Deputy Head of Critical National Infrastructure Operated in the Private Sector Ref.1854

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Operational and Surveillance

The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) is the UK’s national authority for cyber security advice and incident management. It is a fundamental part of the Government’s strategy for making the UK the safest place to live and work online. The NCSC’s Private Sector Critical National Infrastructure (PS CNI) team works with industry to make the UK a safer place. We develop trusted relationships with industry and work with them to increase their cyber security and resilience to ensure essential services are available to help the public. The team works across eight critical sectors Energy, Civil Nuclear, Transport, Communications, Finance, chemical, Space and Water. Naturally, this is a key priority for the Government, particularly considering the targeting of our infrastructure by our adversaries.

This is an exciting time to be joining the team as Whitehall develops its thinking on the future of cyber security policy, prepare for a spending review and internally we are in the midst of a team transformation programme. This role will give you the opportunity to develop strategy and policy skills as you help shape the direction of the NCSC in two areas, critical infrastructure (CNI) and supply chain, two of the CEO’s top priorities for this year.

Your management span is across three teams with 19 staff that are a blend of GCHQ and MI5 plus additional contractors and industry integrees.  The whole team is going through a significant change in terms of its structure, expectations and delivery.  Therefore, you need to be an experienced manager, who can lead and support a workforce at a time of change, champion the team and challenge policies that no longer work and assist the team in finding new ways of working.  You will be interested in people, enjoy finding solutions, and ensuring they are implemented, through personal involvement. You will need to be energetic, enthusiastic, have strong delivery and organisational skills.  

You will develop and nurture relationships with Cabinet Office, who provide much of our programme funding through the National Cyber Security Programme, the Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure (CPNI) and key partners across the NCSC who provide the operational support and expertise that drive our activities in industry.  

You will act as the Deputy to a part-time Deputy Director; the job is internal and external facing; you will be expected to represent the team at senior meetings internally, across Whitehall and with industry.  You will look to form strong partnerships that deliver measurable real-world change.  As the Deputy Head you will be responsible for developing, implementing, monitoring, reporting and reshaping the team’s strategy, managing its finance and shaping our bids for the approaching spending review, monitoring delivery, holding staff to account and the performance management of the whole team.  You will need good negotiation and partnering skills to manage the relationship with CPNI who provide almost half the team, with the help of a senior CPNI member of the team.  You will also have oversight of a range of improvement and capability projects; some experience of project management will be necessary.

The post will be responsible for three teams:

1. Strategic Engagement: Development of the engagement strategy, coordination and delivery of one-to-many activities (e.g. physical and virtual trusted groups, conferences) to ensure that CNI owners and operators have the necessary knowledge, advice, guidance and skills to improve their cyber security.  You will support a programme that draws upon the expertise that sits within the NCSC Comms team.

2. Strategic Projects: Identifying and driving cross-sector initiatives in the PS CNI community, liaising across NCSC, Whitehall and externally to define, resource and implement projects that deliver widescale improvement to the cyber security of the PS CNI; for example, the development and roll-out of Active Cyber Defence tools and services to industry.

3. Delivery Unit: Performance management of the CNI team, monitoring outcomes, holding the team to account, reporting on team delivery against the strategy, finance, highlighting issues and risks to delivery, overseeing executive administration to the team.

We are looking for someone who is quick to establish relationships, to ensure we maximise our delivery by reaching across NCSC, GCHQ, UKIC and the wider Whitehall community to source the expertise needed to protect our essential services.


• An experienced manager, who can implement transformational change, then lead and assist a workforce through this time.
• Strategic thinking and experience of development and implementation of multidisciplinary strategy.
• Proven track record in developing and influencing Whitehall policy, providing constructive challenge where necessary.
• Proven track record of working across departments, internal or external, to develop costed projects to take through a Spending Review, or financial bidding process through to successful conclusion.
• Experience working with Whitehall Departments, particularly Cabinet Office, building virtual teams and influencing peers at senior levels.
• Proven stakeholder management and delivery through partnership with others.
• Project / programme management expertise including the monitoring of performance, day-to-day delivery and adjustment of projects and strategy accordingly.
• Experience of managing and monitoring team finance.
• A foundation knowledge of cyber security.
• Existing SC clearance and requirement to upgrade to DV.

• Qualification in cyber security
• Communications and stakeholder engagement skills
• Workforce planning
• Working with industry and the private sector
• Existing DV clearance


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.

Competencies - Level - Desirability

Communication and Knowledge sharing - Higher - Essential
Corporate Vision and Efficiency - Higher - Essential
Change and Innovation - Advanced - Essential in 6 months
Analysis and Decision Making - Higher - Desirable
Contribution to Delivery - Advanced - Essential
Managing the Customer Relationship - Advanced - Desirable
Working with and Leading Others - Advanced - Essential

Selection 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… why not just give it a go!

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

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

• Application Form
• Business Sift
• Face to Face Visual Interview *

We will perform an application sift based on competency and skills/experience criteria.

The team is based in both Cheltenham & London, and with regular Whitehall meetings so being willing and able to travel to customer sites and between NCSC offices is a requirement for this post. As the majority of the work done within NCSC is at OFFICIAL, you will have an NCSC laptop and phone, enabling you to work remotely.

We are seeking applicants from the widest possible talent pool. Applications from staff working part-time, full-time, compressed hours or job-share are encouraged. We will take a flexible and positive attitude to how you get the job done.

*Interview will be held towards the end of August/beginning of September.

This Program / Vacancy is closed to applications.