Head of People and Business Ref. 2823

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Mission Enablers
Staring salary of £72,792 plus a National Security Payment of £2,899 subject to mandatory training.

At GCHQ, we unlock the complex world of data and communications to keep the UK and its citizens safe, both in the real world and online. Working closely with our British Intelligence partners in MI5 and MI6, we protect the UK from threats including serious organised crime, terrorism, and cyber-attacks. A role in GCHQ means you’ll have varied and fascinating work in a supportive and encouraging environment that puts the emphasis on teamwork.

The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), part of GCHQ, is the UK Government’s lead authority on cyber security. The organisation is at the heart of the Government’s cyber security strategy and has the aim of making the UK the safest place to live and work online.

NCSC Engineering has responsibility for developing and running a number of NCSC’s applications and IT platforms, including the UK Key Production Authority. Engineering is also leading on behalf of NCSC for some of the critical relationships with wider GCHQ, including those with UKIC's IT support services and the cross government DTX programme. Engineering is also setting the direction for NCSC on how it manages its Information Assurance (IA) risks.

Job Description

What will the successful candidate be doing?

This new position, Head of Business and People, will report directly to the Deputy Director and offers a fantastic opportunity to set the strategy for how NCSC Engineering operates as a business to maximise our delivery potential and impact. We are looking for an individual who can balance the needs of the business between the pastoral needs of the staff and delivery of a challenging set of objectives. 

Skilled people are critical to NCSC Engineering's success, and this role will set the strategy for developing our workforce to meet the growing demands placed on us. Appropriate accommodation is needed for our workforce and this role will also own our accommodation strategy.

NCSC Engineering needs to be confident that the services it provides have an appropriate level of assurance in place for delivery, finances, IA risk management and technical. This role will be accountable for making sure that this is all in place. The role will sit alongside the other three GC6s in NCSC Engineering and will add essential senior leadership capacity to respond to our growing responsibilities.

This post will offer a successful candidate the opportunity to shape a growing main business unit (MBU) at the heart of NCSC. Beyond the MBU, the post offers great visibility of NCSC’s business and opportunity to support and influence the whole of NCSC as well as other parts of the department.


•    Be a part of the strategic leadership for NCSC Engineering
•    Set the strategy for how NCSC Engineering operates as a business including for financial and risk management
•    Lead NCSC Engineering’s response to corporate initiatives
•    Attend the Delivery Management Board on behalf of NCSC Engineering
•    Provide support to the Deputy Director in running the NCSC Service Management Board
•    Own NCSC Engineering’s Commercial agreements and supplier engagement
•    Own the Workforce strategy and use it to drive workforce planning across the MBU including recruitment and skills requirements, working with the other GC6s who will own the relationships with the career streams. 
•    Responsible for ensuring that NCSC Engineering’s accommodation requirements are represented, and also for overall management of our accommodation.
•     Ensure that assurance standards are implemented and provide effective assurance for delivery, finance, IA risk management and technology.

Person Specification

•    Previous experience of directing/governing complex work across multiple teams would be a significant benefit, as would influencing a wide group of senior stakeholders. 
•    Experience of project or service management would be desirable, as would be awareness of cyber security.
•    Experience in leading and being responsible for a workforce of at least 40 people

GCHQ Competency Requirements

•    Communication and Knowledge sharing - Higher
•    Corporate Vision and Efficiency - Higher
•    Change and Innovation - Higher
•    Analysis and Decision Making - Advanced
•    Contribution to Delivery - Advanced
•    Managing the Customer Relationship - Advanced
•    Working with and Leading Others - Advanced

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

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.

You’ll receive a starting salary of £72,792 plus an annual National Security Payment of £2,899, subject to mandatory training.  

Other benefits:

•    25 Day's Annual Leave automatically rising to 30 days after 5 years' service, and an additional 10.5 days public and privilege holidays
•    An environment with flexible working options
•    Opportunities to be recognised through our employee performance scheme.
•    Interest-free season ticket loan
•    Cycle to work scheme
•    Facilities such as a gym, restaurant and on-site coffee bars (at some locations)
•    Paid parental and adoption leave.
•    A Civil Service pension with an average employer contribution of 27%

Selection Process

Before You Apply

To work at GCHQ, you need to be a British citizen or hold dual British nationality. You can read our full eligibility criteria here

This role requires the highest security clearance, known as Developed Vetting (DV). It’s something everyone in the UK Intelligence Community undertakes. You can find out more about the vetting process here

Please note we have a strict drugs policy, so once you start your application, you can’t take any recreational drugs and you’ll need to declare your previous drug usage at the relevant stage.

The role is based in Cheltenham, so you’ll need to live within a commutable distance. Please consider any financial implications and practicalities before submitting an application, as we do not offer relocation costs.

Please note, you should only launch your application from within the UK. If you are based overseas, you should wait until you visit the UK to launch an application. Applying from outside the UK will impact on our ability to progress your application. You should not discuss your application, other than with your partner or a close family member.

What to Expect

Our recruitment process is fair, transparent, and based on merit. Here is a brief overview of each stage, in order:

On the application, you will be asked to provide a personal statement, please explain why you are suitable for the role and the skills and experience you will bring (up to 350 words).

•    Application sift
•    Interview
•    If successful, you will receive a conditional offer of employment subject to vetting.

Please note, you must successfully pass each stage of the process to progress to the next. Your application may take around 6 - 9 months to process including vetting, so we advise you to continue any current employment until you have received your final job offer.

We’re Disability Confident

GCHQ are proud to have achieved Leader status within the DWP’s Disability Confident scheme.  This is aimed at encouraging employers to think differently about disability and take action to improve how they recruit, retain and develop disabled people.  Being Disability Confident, we aim to offer a person-to-person interview to any candidate who self-identifies as disabled and meets the essential criteria for the role.  This is our ‘Offer of Interview’ (OOI). To secure an interview for this vacancy, the essential criteria (in order of application process) are:

•    Experience in leading and being responsible for a workforce of at least 40 people

Equal Opportunities

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, ages, ethnicities, gender identities, sexual orientations, ways of thinking and those with disabilities or neurodivergent conditions. We therefore welcome and encourage applications from everyone, including those from groups that are under-represented in our workforce such as women, those from an ethnic minority background, people with disabilities and those from low socio-economic backgrounds.

Find out more about our culture, working environment and diversity on our website:

Our Vetting

To work in this role, you will need the highest security clearance, known as Developed Vetting (DV). It’s something everyone in the UK Intelligence Community must go through and it can take some time. As part of the DV process you will be asked to fill in a detailed questionnaire and attend an interview with a vetting officer. In your interview the vetting officer will have a thorough, compassionate, and honest discussion with you about you as a person and your life experiences, to ensure holding a DV clearance is right for you. You don’t need to do any preparation for your vetting interview, just be honest and be yourself. All applicants for DV are treated impartially and consistently, irrespective of gender, race, disability, religion, age, sexual orientation, and other protected characteristics.

The closing date for this role is: 11:55pm 30th March 2023

Right to Withdraw Statement: 

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.