NCSC Head of Guidance (Secondment - 2 Years) Ref. 2421

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Operational and Surveillance
Cheltenham, London, Manchester
Successful applicant will remain on their Home Department Salary, Terms and 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

The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) is the UK government’s lead authority on cyber security. Its headquarters are in London but its roots are in GCHQ’s world-class expertise in Cheltenham. NCSC’s communication team is at the heart of the Government’s new cyber security strategy and has the aim of making the UK the safest place to live and do business online.

The successful applicant will be responsible for setting strategy and direction of guidance published to the NCSC website, using research & insight to inform approach. They will be responsible for commissioning guidance to ensure we have a regular flow of timely and credible guidance – and also working in a pragmatic and agile manner to ensure new guidance is published to support significant breaking issues.

What will the successful candidate be doing?

The purpose of the NCSC’s guidance is for it to enact behaviour change, so it should reach as many people as possible through stakeholder support and earned media – and then evaluated, to ensure lessons are learned to make the next piece of guidance perform even better. They will be responsible for the commissioning of guidance to ensure that we have a regular flow of timely and credible guidance on the NCSC’s website.
This person should be an evangelist for guidance across the whole organisation, including creating a simple process to ensure the guidance process is easily understood. On appointment this role will be responsible for reviewing opportunities for our guidance to be delivered in a more creative, dynamic way.
They will work closely with colleagues one Newsdesk, Strategic Comms and the Head of Comms Projects to ensure the strategic delivery of guidance is received by as wide an audience as possible.

The successful candidate will ensure that all guidance content published for the NCSC:
·    Achieves the overall aims of the organisation
·    Has the best possibility of receiving earned media coverage, increasing exposure
·    Meets the technical accuracy standards set via the guidance publishing process
·    Meets the needs of real world users of NCSC’s digital services
·    A significant criteria for successful applicants will be the ability to make fast, important decisions when creating content in order to help affected users in the best way possible – and then communicating these decisions effectively with key stakeholders at all levels.

Who are we looking for?  

Applications from staff working part time, full time, compressed hours or job share are welcome. Workloads can be significant and the successful candidate will be expected to demonstrate an ability to operate effectively in a pressured environment.

The successful applicant will need to have:

·    An ability to deliver high quality guidance informed by user research;
·    Proven track record of achievement in communications or technical advice;
·    A good understanding of strategic planning and cross-Whitehall working to deliver products;
·    Ability to foster relationships with colleagues who can provide expert technical advice and guidance – with enough technical knowledge to also contribute to content creation;
·    Excellent organisational skills for use internally and externally;
·    Excellent influencing skills, stakeholder management skills and the ability to use evidence to make a convincing argument often in the face of competing agendas;

Competency Requirements

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

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!

Training and Development

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.

Benefits we offer

•    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, remote working).
•    A culture which encourages inclusion and diversity.
•    Support to gain professional qualifications and certifications
•    A civil service pension


Successful applicant will remain on their Home Department Salary, Terms and Conditions.


Cheltenham, London, 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).
To secure an interview for this role, candidates applying under this scheme must meet the minimum requirements for the role. The criteria will be related to previous experience and competency based.
To apply for this role on Secondment you must be a permanent Civil Servant.
A Secret Clearance (SC) is required for this role. The successful applicant will need to acquire a SC if not already held.

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.

You’ll also be required to provide a covering letter (no more than 500 words) setting out why the role appeals to you.

Once we’ve established that you meet our eligibility criteria, the next steps of this selection process are:
-Business Sift
- Personal interview - via remote video conference. Interviews to be held early 2022.

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

The closing date for this role is 11:55pm 20th December 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.