Chief Project Officer Ref. 2709

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Technology Roles
Cheltenham, Manchester
Basic salary is £83,856, with NSP payment of £2,963

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.

What will the successful candidate be doing?

You will lead and champion the P3M and PMO+ communities across GCHQ (approx. 350 people). You will also be a ‘practicing PM’ and apply your skills to some of GCHQ’s most challenging transformations and complex deliveries. 

As a member of the Infrastructure Projects Authority Projects Council, you will be responsible for steering the government project delivery function and profession, creating the operating environment for project success, and setting the ambition for nothing less than world class delivery. 

This is an exciting role with opportunity to have impact at scale. At a time of significant transformation and volatility, your personal leadership skills and experience will be tested on a regular basis, but you will be part of a supportive and inclusive team.

Who are we looking for?  

We are looking for talented, committed, and driven individuals from all backgrounds who can lead our project management community into the future. We are looking for role models who can have a positive and credible impact for our organisation and our people through our communities of practise. You will be a leader driving decisions to strengthen our project management function and skillsets for preparing our people for our ambitious future.

Key responsibilities:

•    EDI – We value the mix of minds. In a fast-changing and challenging world we must continuously learn and support everyone to be the best they can. 
•    Collective Leadership - Being an active member of the SCS community across GCHQ and DGT. 
•    Leading and supporting the GCHQ P3M and PMO+ communities across the business and building a complementary and collaborative approach to delivery across related disciplines (Technology, Strategy & Delivery, Agile & Delivery Management, Systems Engineering). 
•    Role model for emerging project leaders and will be responsible for the talent pipeline for future project, programme managers and project control officers
•    Engaging at all levels – you will comfortably work with people from new entrants to board members often challenging their thinking or introducing new concepts.
•    Leading the development and delivery of GCHQ’s strategy for P3M and PMO+ in collaboration with our key partners. You will join part of a cross government group on P3M, helping set the strategy for the future of P3M in UK Government departments.  
•    Coaching and mentoring within and beyond the P3M and PMO+ communities.  
•    As Head of Profession for Project Management you will ensure the long-term health of P3M skills, capacity and capability within GCHQ including staff and industry. Ensuring that the Department’s P3M practice, tools and tradecraft are enhanced to meet current and future needs.
•    Working with partners, industry, academia and other external bodies to share best practice and invest in the development of P3M skills.
•    Oversee reporting from projects and provide performance analysis at portfolio level to support appropriate intervention, decisions and development activities. 
•    Provides inspiring leadership to the departmental project delivery function, profession and community, and helps build a government-wide function and profession that people feel proud to be a part of. 

The successful applicant will need to have:

It is important that you give evidence and examples of proven experience against each of the selection criteria detailed. The successful candidate will be able to demonstrate:


•    A track record of delivering EDI impact at scale
•    Leadership of a community of practice – ability to lead others through complex decision making and prioritisation

Professional qualifications/accreditation:

•    Major Projects Leadership Academy graduate; or
•    Accreditation at senior practitioner or mastery level under the government project delivery profession scheme, or working towards it;
•    And, Management of Portfolios (practitioner) is desirable
If an applicant does not currently meet the professional qualifications standard, they should state clearly how and when they would (re)achieve it.


SCS Behaviours levels 

You will be assessed against the following behaviours at level 5 (Deputy Director):

•    Seeing the Big Picture 
•    Changing and Improving (Essential)
•    Making Effective Decisions
•    Leadership (Essential)
•    Communicating and Influencing (Essential)
•    Working Together (Essential)
•    Managing a Quality Service

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

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!

Training and Development

As an active member of the Project Management profession you will enjoy the same opportunities for training and development as those you lead and will be expected to complete CPD. This will range from classroom based training through to attendance and/or speaking at relevant international conferences. If you are working towards or have not yet acquired the qualifications we listed under the role requirements we would look to fund you to complete those. 

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 £83,856 (SCS1 ranges from £83,856 up to £97,890, subject to meeting qualifying criteria, plus additional benefits (see Salary and Benefits)).


Cheltenham or Manchester based. Some travel on a national/ international basis will be required for this role, mainly between our Hub locations of London, Cheltenham and Manchester.

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). 

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: 
•    Papersift 
•    Staff Engagement panel
•    Personal interview
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 23:55 on Monday 12th December.

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.