Parliamentary Affairs Lead Ref. 2264

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Operational and Surveillance
Cheltenham, London
£43,095 - Applicants applying on a secondment basis will remain on their Home Department Salary and Terms & Conditions

At GCHQ, diversity and inclusion are critical to our mission. To protect the UK, we need a truly diverse workforce that reflects the society we serve. This includes diversity in every sense of the word: those with different backgrounds, ethnicities, gender identities, sexual orientations, ways of thinking and those with disabilities or neurodiverse conditions. We therefore welcome and encourage applications from everyone, including those from groups that are under-represented in our workforce.

Short Summary of role

External interest in and scrutiny of the activities of the Intelligence Agencies has never been higher. Building on the successful passage of the Investigative Powers Act 2016 (due for review next year), and the success of the open, transparent agenda of the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), we continue to build GCHQ’s relationships with Parliament to maintain and increase their trust in us, amplify our communications messages and enable smooth passage of upcoming bills to ultimately ensure the success of our missions.

The Parliament Team is quite unique in being a truly joint team working across both NCSC and the rest of GCHQ, so while this post is the NCSC Parliamentary lead, it’s also much more than that.

As NCSC Parliamentary Lead, you will be the face of all parliamentary business relating to the NCSC, maintaining its authoritative voice on cyber security within Parliament. Tactical NCSC-related parliamentary business predominantly consists of answering Parliamentary Questions and Ministerial Correspondence, and giving input into relevant inquiries and committees.  This alone makes it an interesting, busy and complex portfolio of tasking.

However, as part of a joint team you will also be exposed to and involved in inquiries that relate to other aspects of GCHQ’s work, lead on one or more cross-cutting issues on behalf of the team (e.g. coordination of legislation, strategic parliamentary engagement or internal awareness of our oversight), and help to oversee the work of team members who lead on the majority of tactical work across the whole portfolio. You will also have the opportunity to be involved in wider strategic and policy work, particularly that related to upcoming legislation.

Last, but by no means least, we hope you have a personal and professional drive to learn more about diversity, and will play your part in our determination to develop a truly inclusive culture and diverse team.

What will the successful candidate be doing?

As NCSC Lead for Parliamentary Affairs you will:

·    Lead the NCSC elements of the Parliamentary Team, overseeing work activities and building a sense of cohesion and resilience across the team, including line management for 1 team member
·    Oversee and deliver our input into Parliamentary Committees, Parliamentary Questions and Ministerial Correspondence, ensuring they are coordinated, drafted and cleared to consistent lines, a high standard and in a timely manner
·    Coordinate our input into Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC) Inquiries
·    Build relationships and coordinate business with stakeholders across Government, Cabinet Office and the Office of the ISC, particularly with the cross-Whitehall virtual team of those most involved in ISC work
·    Prepare briefings for Director and other senior staff, in preparation for ISC evidence sessions
·    Represent Parliamentary work at the GCHQ/NCSC Parliamentary Strategy Oversight Group;
·    Lead on one or more cross-cutting or strategic issues, for example coordinating our response to legislation or our broader engagement with Parliamentarians on behalf of GCHQ
·    Help build an inclusive and diverse culture across the joint team, through being aware of and implementing Equality, Diversity & Inclusion strategies, sharing opportunities and taking visible action to support the growth of that culture across wider GCHQ and NCSC.

Who are you looking for?  

The Skills you’ll need to be successful:

·    Building relationships with a wide range of stakeholders, across the organisation, as well as with partners in Whitehall and the ISC
·    Representing NCSC, GCHQ and how we ensure effective Parliamentary oversight with audiences internally and externally
·    Allocating and managing resources effectively, and juggling priorities, particularly during periods of high intensity work, to meet tight deadlines
·    A keen eye for accuracy and consistency, and those things of interest or concern to others
·    Strong oral and written briefing skills for seniors/ministers and a wider audience
·    Ability to negotiate with stakeholders, balance differing views and maintain a firm line diplomatically where necessary
·    Experience of working with parliamentary oversight, stakeholder engagement or legislation would be beneficial but not essential

What you’ll learn:

·    You’ll get exposure to the full breadth of GCHQ’s activities and see cutting edge developments that will affect how we work into the future, as well as experience (and influence) thinking in Whitehall, Parliament and across various senior fora.  
·    You’ll learn how to navigate protecting GCHQ’s position, while understanding and supporting the positions of our partners.  
·    You’ll learn how to tread a fine line between ensuring transparency and openness with our overseers, and protection of our current operations.
·    You’ll learn how Parliament works, how legislation is made and how our activities are overseen.  
·    You’ll also learn a wide range of transferable skills around writing and communicating, and identifying threats and risks in what we do (and don’t) say to whom, and learn to manage those.

Things to consider:

·    While the holder of the post will need to maintain strong connections to key NCSC and GCHQ stakeholders in both London and Cheltenham, this post could be based wherever you, and those we want to influence, are.
·    Equally, (as the pandemic has demonstrated) while regular UK travel is not absolutely essential, if you are not already based in London we would expect you to visit regularly in order to both build relationships with our stakeholders and ensure team inclusion, given that your team member is based in London and the rest of the team in Cheltenham.
·    While some work can only be carried out in the office for security reasons, this can be balanced with working from home.
·    It is a busy job which does need some flexibility particularly around inquiries, but this shouldn’t preclude anyone who is interested from applying, whether reduced/compressed hours, job-share, or term time working (Parliament helpfully recesses over school holiday times).
This post requires DV clearance.

Key responsibilities:

The successful applicant will need to have:

Competency Requirements

·    Communication and Knowledge sharing – Higher (Desirable)
·    Corporate Vision and Efficiency – Intermediate (Essential Now)
·    Change and Innovation – Intermediate (Essential Now)
·    Analysis and Decision Making – Higher (Essential in 6-12 months)
·    Contribution to Delivery – Higher (Essential Now)
·    Managing the Customer Relationship – Higher (Essential in 6-12 months)
·    Working with and Leading Others – Higher (Essential Now)

You can familiarise yourself with the general competencies we use to assess the aptitude of candidates here - Recruitment Process

If you’re excited about working with us and think you have some of what we’re looking for but aren’t sure if you’re 100% there yet… Back yourself and give it a go!

Benefits we offer

At NCSC and GCHQ, we are proud of our inclusive and supportive working environment that’s designed to encourage open minds and attitudes.  As an organisation that values and nurtures talent, we are committed to helping you fulfil your potential.  With comprehensive training and development opportunities, tailored to your needs and the requirements of your work, we will enable you to flourish in your role and perform to the very best of your abilities.

•    Access to learning and development tailored to your role and support to gain professional qualifications and certifications.
•    An environment that supports a range of flexible working options (including a flexible working hour scheme).
•    A culture which encourages inclusion and diversity.
•    Support to gain professional qualifications and certifications
•    A civil service pension
•    25 days annual leave, rising to 30 days based on length of service.


Salary of £43,095

If coming in on a secondment basis you will remain on your Home Departments Salary, terms and conditions.


Cheltenham or London

Selection Process

To apply for this position, you must meet our nationality, residency requirements. You’ll find more details here –

As a Disability Confident employer, we will ensure that a fair and proportionate number of disabled applicants who meet the minimum criteria for this position will be offered an interview. This is known as the Offer of Interview (OOI).
To secure an interview for this role, candidates applying under this scheme must meet the minimum criteria for the role.  

Be prepared to dedicate 60-90 minutes to completing your application. We’re conscious this might be more time than you expected, so our system will allow you to save your application at any time and come back to it later. But remember to submit your full application before the closing date.
Once we’ve established that you meet our eligibility criteria, the next steps of this selection process are:

- You will need to submit a short covering letter (no more than 2 pages) setting out what you would bring to the job, as detailed in the role description and person specification.
- You will need to submit a CV as part of your application, giving details of relevant achievements in recent posts.

Applications will be sifted against the competencies required for this role. Candidates that are able to demonstrate evidence of the essential competencies at the required level will be invited to a panel interview.

You will be contacted by email and offered a time and date to attend an interview. The format of the interview will be via remote video conference. The interview will take around 45 minutes. Please allow 60 minutes for the whole process.

If you successfully complete these stages, you’ll receive a job offer, conditional upon you completing our developed vetting (DV) process which enables you to obtain the level of security clearance required to perform this vital role.

The closing date for this role is 18 May 2021.

Please be aware that we withhold the right to bring forward the closing date for this role from the original closing date once a certain number of applications have been received. Please be mindful of this and submit your application at your earliest convenience to avoid disappointment.

This Program / Vacancy is closed to applications.