W505 NCSC Press Officer Ref. 3187

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London, Manchester
Starting salary of £41,935. An allowance of £6,250 is payable to London contracted employees.

About Us

GCHQ, is an intelligence, cyber security agency with a mission to keep the UK safe.  We use cutting-edge technology, ingenuity and partnerships to identify, analyse and disrupt threats.  Working with our intelligence partners MI5 and MI6, we protect the UK from terrorism, cyber attacks and espionage.  At GCHQ you’ll do varied and fascinating work in a supportive and inclusive 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.   

The National Cyber Security Centre is looking for an experienced, talented individual to join NCSC as a press officer.   As part of a collaborative team, you’ll be on the communications front line, enhancing and defending the reputation of the NCSC

The Role

What will the successful candidate be doing?

As a custodian of NCSC communications you’ll  be in a unique position conveying to the press and public information about how the NCSC is making the UK the safest place to live and work online, while being part the UK’s largest intelligence agency, GCHQ.

The role is challenging and wide-ranging. We’ll ask you to get involved in setting communications strategies around some of our biggest challenges, such as protecting the UK’s critical national infrastructure or countering the cyber threats posed by other states. We’ll need you to craft punchy press products, and be able to brief journalists on breaking news stories, including high-profile cyber incidents. And we’ll want you to show us your creativity in developing new ways to reach our audiences.

Some travel to our other UK sites (Cheltenham and Manchester) as well as occasional international travel will be required. And you’ll also be part of our out of hours press duty rota (with appropriate senior cover), for which you’ll  receive additional allowances.

About You

The successful applicant will need to have:

We’re looking for someone who has experience of working in Government communications, public relations or journalism. You’ll have excellent knowledge of, and interest in, the UK and global news agenda and landscape, combined with strong judgement and the ability to spot stories and emerging issues. You’ll have good political awareness, and the confidence to give sound advice to seniors. 

You’ll be organised, and able to juggle priorities while managing a variety of different projects to tight deadlines. Your writing will be compelling: you’ll be able to translate complicated, technical detail into engaging copy. You’ll have superb attention to detail and be cool and calm under pressure. You’ll work effectively with others, including by sharing knowledge between team members and other stakeholders.

This role will be assessed against GCS and GCHQ competencies.

Following interviews, we will hold a reserve list of candidates should further appropriate roles arise. 

GCHQ Competencies
The NCSC will assess you against competencies used by the UK Intelligence Community and the Government Communication Service. These competencies are based closely on the Civil Service Behaviours. The Level 3 competencies you’ll assessed against are:
•    Seeing the Big Picture (Civil Service Behaviour Equivalent: Seeing the Big Picture)
•    Communicating and Influencing (Civil Service Behaviour Equivalent: Communicating and Influencing)
•    Working Collaboratively (Civil Service Behaviour Equivalent: Working Together)
•    Making Effective Decisions (Civil Service Behaviour Equivalent: Making Effective Decisions)

Civil Service Behaviours 
•    Seeing the Bigger Picture  
•    Making Effective Decisions  
•    Communicating and Influencing  
•    Working Together 

Further information on Civil Service Behaviours

Benefits and Rewards

At NCSC and 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.

You’ll receive a starting salary of £41,935. 

For roles based in London, you’ll receive an additional £6,250 London Allowance. 

Other benefits include:
•    25 Days 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.
•    Excellent pension scheme - Civil Service pension with an average employer contribution of 27%

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

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:

•    Demonstrate experience in journalism or media relations. 
•    Demonstrate experience in drafting media products such as news stories or press releases. 
•    Demonstrate commitment to good teamwork, working well with others, and being comfortable communicating with a range of stakeholders and customers.  
•    Demonstrate evidence of working successfully in high pressure environments. 
•    Demonstrate evidence of successfully managing and prioritising competing pieces of work. 

What to Expect

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

•    Online Application (CV and covering letter outlining why you are a good fit for this role)
•    Application sift looking at your motivation for the role and the organisation.
•    Interview
•    If successful, you’ll receive a conditional offer of employment.

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’ve  received your final job offer.


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 London or Manchester, 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

The closing date for this role is: 20/03/2024 at 23:55hrs

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.