Manchester Policy & Compliance Lead For Security & Information Risk Management Ref.1929

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Operational and Surveillance

We are an intelligence, security and cyber agency with a mission to help keep the UK safe. Our purpose is to pioneer a new kind of security in this ever more complex world.

Our people use cutting-edge technology and their combined ingenuity to identify, analyse and disrupt threats to us all. We work closely with MI5, the Secret Intelligence Service (MI6), law enforcement, the military and international partners to counter real-world and online threats from a broad range of adversaries.

We are opening a new office in central Manchester; this new location will be fundamental to our mission, pulling on a wide mix of minds to create innovative and inventive solutions and enabling us to better identify and disrupt threats to the UK.


To enable us to continue to operate legally and deliver effectively against our mission, we are seeking a Policy and Compliance Lead for security and information risk management in Manchester. They will ensure GCHQ (with its partners) understands its information and security risks and will provide pragmatic guidance on how to manage them. This will include providing independent assurance and consultancy to the organisation on the management of key risks and threats, alongside advising on strategies that allow us to best exploit opportunities that will benefit the mission.

The ideal candidate will use their experience and knowledge to create guidance that strikes the right balance between achieving business objectives and risk.

A key measure of success for GCHQ Manchester is ensuring that there is a robust information security and risk management culture that supports and complements the dynamic working environment. Our Policy and Compliance Lead will play an essential part in establishing this culture in Manchester, instilling the core concepts throughout the workforce through the role–modelling of effective and positive behaviours.

You will be providing professional consultancy services to a wide range of people across GCHQ. This will require you to build the necessary relationships and increase levels of information and security risk management maturity across our organisation, increasing our capacity and capability as you go.

The role will involve the following:

• Learning new tools, techniques, the way our organisation ticks, and the people around you
• Building strong consultancy relationships with clients, often in advising particular areas on best practice for information assurance controls
• Building the capability of the GCHQ Manchester information, physical, risk management and data security communities
• Developing clear and authoritative policies on technical aspects of GCHQ’s work
• Leading the policy response to support innovative ways of working in Manchester
• Managing stakeholder relationships to ensure effective risk management mitigation and escalation as appropriate
• Assimilating complex information from multiple sources to identify relevant risks and opportunities, and offering guidance to seniors in Manchester, as well as the wider GCHQ risk management community


Whilst possessing the professional skills below is highly desirable, of equal importance is attitude, the desire to learn, be creative and having the enthusiasm, growth mind-set and interpersonal skills to deliver in a fast- paced environment.

In terms of professional and personal skills, the following are desirable:

• Contribution to the provision of guidance and briefings to Manchester staff on the risk management policies and frameworks that governs our work
• Maintaining awareness of changes in GCHQ policy and wider information and security risk, professional trends, providing review and challenge as appropriate
• Formal IRM qualifications (such as CISA, CISMP, ISO27001) are not a requirement, however, previous experience of Information Assurance, Risk Management and Data Security would be an advantage
• Experience of agile delivery methodologies and business focussed solutions
• The ability to deliver local learning feedback to the Manchester team using diplomatic, constructive and engaging approaches
• You should be able to demonstrate a keen interest in the latest technologies, have a strong intellectual curiosity, political awareness and an outstanding ability to engage and inspire people

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… Rule yourself in and give it a go!

Competencies - Level

Working with and Leading Others - Higher – essential in 6 months
Contribution to Delivery - Intermediate – essential now
Managing the Customer Relationship - Higher – essential now
Corporate Vision and Efficiency- Intermediate – essential in 6 months
Change and Innovation - Higher - desirable
Analysis and Decision Making - Intermediate – essential now
Communications and Knowledge Sharing - Intermediate – essential now

Further information on the competencies can be found here.


At GCHQ we’re 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’re committed to helping you fulfil your potential. With comprehensive training and development opportunities, tailored to your needs and the requirements of your work, we’ll enable you to flourish in your role and perform to the very best of your abilities.


As one of Britain’s intelligence agencies, we unlock the complex world of communications to keep our nation safe. We work closely with MI5 and MI6, our partners in the intelligence community, to safeguard Britain’s people, interests and businesses from various threats. Think cyber-attacks, espionage, terrorism, and organised crime. It’s challenging, varied and meaningful work that you simply won’t find anywhere else.


Salary of £33,580 p.a currently with a concessionary annual payment and potential for additional specialist skills payments based on relevant skills and experience which starts from £5,000.


Roles will be based in Manchester.


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

As users of the disability confident scheme, we also guarantee to interview all disabled candidates who meet the minimum criteria for our roles.

Once we’ve established that you meet our eligibility criteria, the next steps of this selection process are:

- Application Form
- Personal interview*
- Drug Test

*Interviews will be held in Manchester
A DV is required for this role.

The closing date for applications is Tuesday 12th November 2019, however if we receive the amount of applications required we may close the vacancy early. Applicants are encouraged to apply promptly to avoid disappointment. We reserve the right to close the advert early.

We are working hard to create the right physical environment with the new Manchester facility, but we also need our staff to work in the right ways to support this and one another. As part of the mind-set, we expect any successful applicants to be willing to help us shape the Manchester environment. It will be a dynamic and flexible environment, so we are looking for people to embrace this and help us shape this fantastic new opportunity.

As such, should you be selected for interview, in addition to the usual competency-based questions, we will ask you to begin the interview by spending 2-3 minutes talking through:

•Something you have learnt in the past 3 months and how have you gone about the task of doing so? This should be a specific thing you’ve learnt taking us through how you went about acquiring the relevant knowledge. It can be work related or come from something you’ve done outside of work.

To be clear, the focus here is very much on the content and not the delivery. You can choose whichever style suits you (be that an informal chat/discussion, printed slides, an essay, a mind map, TED-talk style, etc).

This Program / Vacancy is closed to applications.