Lead Test Engineer

UK Hydrographic Office

Apply before 11:55 pm on Sunday 24th October 2021


Reference number



£42,507 - £45,571
Dependent on skill set, with a possible Recruitment and Retention Allowance (RRA) of £8000. The total reward package is potentially worth up to £65,920.74 per annum, which includes basic salary, RRA, and employer pension contributions.


Senior Executive Officer

Contract type


Business area

UKHO - Technology

Type of role

Information Technology

Working pattern

Flexible working, Full-time, Job share, Part-time

Number of posts




About the job


The UK Hydrographic Office is a leading centre for hydrography, providing marine geospatial data to inform maritime decisions. We work with a wide range of data suppliers and partners to support maritime navigation, safety, security and marine development around the UK and worldwide.

An exciting opportunity has arisen for a Lead Test Engineer to join our Software Engineering team. The role will provide technical leadership in software testing and assurance, supporting and enabling our development teams in their delivery of the UKHO digital vision.

As a Lead Test Engineer you will be an authority on testing, supporting development teams by promoting best practice, enabling test automation, mentoring both testers and developers and researching new test tooling and practices.

The role will involve a high degree of working with our third-party delivery teams – assisting with test approach creation, ensuring they work to our test standards and assisting to resolve any day-to-day issues or questions.

Job description

As a Lead Test Engineer you will:

• work closely with other test and development leads across the digital, data and technology profession to champion quality.
• assist teams to design test strategies, helping them select the best test options for a delivery.
• make significant contributions to test automation - creating and troubleshooting code and creating and updating delivery pipelines.
• make changes to code bases using multiple languages, for example C#, JavaScript, Python, Java.
• assist developers and testers improve their use of test automation.
• mentor in testing - promote and inspire others to test better.
• have a presence in external test communities and regularly share your learning.
• be involved in large cross-team projects, supporting assurance activities.

You will set your own agenda and workload rather than being a member of a scrum team. A typical day could look like:

• Working with a development team to help them resolve an issue with their delivery pipeline.
• Contributing to a sprint event to guide a team on the best automation options for user stories.
• Pairing with another Lead Test Engineer to investigate a new test tool.
• Mentoring a junior tester.
• Writing a blog on work that you have done that will be of interest to the wider test community.

One of the benefits of the role is seeing your contributions leading to better practices being used, teams and individuals growing, and enabling the UKHO to test better and produce more robust software products.

We offer a great work/life balance. Peoples' start and end times are built around their own preferences and around a 10am - 2pm team time, where the team is focused on building things (no meetings). We're all set up for working from home and encourage people to make use of this if they prefer. We are committed to providing part time options and reasonable accommodations and will work with you to meet your needs.


Below are some of the responsibilities associated with the role:

• You will need to assist teams in applying test automation frameworks to their projects and in adding test runs to their build pipelines.
• You will work with test engineers to create test strategies for their teams, helping them to understand and apply testing best practice to their approach.
• You will be responsible for setting and promoting the organisation’s test strategy and ways of working.
• By working with and contributing to our partners in government and industry, you will help ensure testing at UKHO continues to use and shape best practice.
• You will enable others by sharing your work internally and externally.
• Through line management you will have the opportunity to shape a colleague’s career.

Below is a list of essential behaviours, technical and experience skills:

• Experience in providing technical leadership.
• Broad knowledge of and application of modern software testing principles and patterns.
• Able to lead the design of manual and automated test approaches.
• Broad range of experience in creation of automated tests in C#, Java or similar language.
• Good documentation skills.
• Able to communicate with colleagues with varying levels of technical knowledge.

Full brief of the Behaviours, strengths, ability, knowledge, skills and experience required

Civil Service Core Competencies or Key Skills or Experience – Level 3

› Experience in providing technical leadership.
› Broad knowledge of and application of modern software testing principles and patterns; able to lead the design of manual and automated tests.
› A broad range of coding experience, including application of automated test frameworks.
› Working together.
› Communicating and influencing.
› Developing self and others.

Things you need to know

• This role is open to full time, part time, job share. The UKHO will consider flexible working or workplace adjustments, where appropriate.
• Security – successful candidates must pass a disclosure and barring security check and gain a Security Clearance
This position is a permanent non-reserved post which is open to full time, part time and job share candidates. The role will be contractually based at our Head Office in Taunton. We are working remotely at present but envisage a hybrid working model post pandemic whereby you will be able to balance your work

Nationality Statement

Candidates will be subject to UK immigration requirements as well as Civil Service nationality rules.
If you’re applying for a role requiring security clearance, please be aware that foreign or dual nationality is not an automatic bar. However certain posts may have restrictions which could affect those who do not have sole British nationality or who have personal connections with certain countries outside the UK.


We'll assess you against these behaviours during the selection process:

  • Working Together
  • Communicating and Influencing
  • Developing Self and Others

Technical skills

We'll assess you against these technical skills during the selection process:

  • Experience in providing technical leadership
  • A broad range of commercial experience using C#, Java or similar language, including building and maintaining automated test frameworks. (This will include a technical test).
  • Evidence of expert skills in a range of test areas, including functional and non-functional and automation and manual (this will include a scenario assessment).


We offer a range of benefits to support your lifestyle, including generous leave allowances, flexible working hours, a lift-share scheme, enrolment in the Civil Service Pension scheme, and regular training and development opportunities.

We operate from a brand new state of the art, award-winning building with an onsite gym, cafeteria, and state of the art meeting rooms; a Chaplaincy service; and an Employee Assistance Programme. We have several internal networks available for you to join, including: Mental Health Group, STEM Ambassadors, Woman’s Network, Pride Network and Disabilities group. Travelling to UKHO onsite parking, electric car charging ports, and cycle-to-work scheme are available.

Full-time employees receive 26.5 days annual leave per year, increasing to 31.5 days annual leave after five years’ service (pro-rata for part-time employees).

We offer many flexible working options. These include: a flexible working hours scheme with up to two days per month Flexi leave, remote working, part-time working, job sharing, paid special leave, career breaks, and unpaid leave. We want you to feel part of something bigger and we encourage team-spirit and a community feel in our workplace.

Parents with children will be supported to enable you to manage work and family responsibilities. We offer an on-site independently run nursery with discounted prices for children of UKHO employees.

Any voluntary move to UKHO, from another employer will mean you can no longer access childcare vouchers. This includes moves between government departments. However, you may be eligible for other government schemes including Tax Free Childcare. You can determine your eligibility at https://childcarechoices.gov.uk

With regards to maternity, adoption, and/or shared parental leave the flexibility to have up to 26 weeks full pay, followed by 13 weeks statutory pay and a further 13 weeks unpaid leave. Paternity leave of up to two weeks is available with full pay, subject to certain qualifying criteria.

We offer at least 5 days’ learning and development to each employee per year, with professional membership subscriptions, mentoring, and Civil Service-Learning available to all.

Things you need to know


Successful candidates must pass a disclosure and barring security check.
Successful candidates must meet the security requirements before they can be appointed. The level of security needed is security check.

See our vetting charter.
People working with government assets must complete basic personnel security standard checks.

Selection process details

This vacancy is using Success Profiles, and will assess your Behaviours, Experience and Technical skills.
This vacancy is using success profiles, and will assess your Behaviours, Strengths, experience and Technical Skills. The selection process will be designed specifically for the role. Should you be invited to interview, you will be required to complete a technical test designed to test your coding skills and ability to build and maintain test automated test frameworks.

Interview will be held week commencing 1st November 2021.

Short-list Criteria

You will be short-listed against the following criteria: Please ensure your cv is tailored to cover the below 3 bullet points, we will be looking for evidence of experience in these areas.

• Experience in providing technical leadership
• Evidence of expert skills in a wide range of testing techniques
• A broad range of coding experience, including application of automated test frameworks

Interview Criteria

You will be interviewed against the following criteria: (please list if its behaviours, technical, etc)

• Experience in providing technical leadership
• Evidence of expert skills in a range of test areas, including functional and non-functional and automation and manual (this will include a scenario assessment).
• A broad range of commercial experience using C#, Java or similar language, including building and maintaining automated test frameworks. (This will include a technical test).
• Working together
• Communicating and influencing
• Developing self and other

Additional Information
We are currently recruiting Lead Test engineers at the B1/ SEO grade, the salary for this role is £42,507 - £45,571 However for suitable qualified candidates a recruitment and retention allowance (RRA) maybe available this is up to an additional £8,000.

The total reward package is potentially worth up to £65,920.74 per annum, which includes basic salary, recruitment & retention allowance, and employer pension contributions.

Further Information

We have adopted anonymised recruitment. This means that your name, date of birth and other personal details will not be seen by the sift panel.

We may hold a merit (reserve) list for up to 6 months. During this time, if a similar role is identified and you have been placed on the merit list you may be considered for the post.

It is likely we will be able to start your employment with BPSS clearance (your clean DBS certificate and satisfactory references that we will obtain) before your SC/DV clearance is successful – this is called a conditional offer.

You will be presented with an unconditional offer only once you have obtained the necessary level of clearance for the role.

If your fail to gain SC/DV clearance, whichever is appropriate for the role you have applied for, your employment with UKHO will be terminated immediately.

Our ability to start employment on a conditional basis is subject to the specific requirements of the role and cannot be guaranteed; please contact our recruitment team if you would like further information: Recruitment@ukho.gov.uk

Please note, if you have not been resident in the UK for the last 5 years (for SC clearance) or for the last 10 years (for DV clearance) then you may be requested to supply the information below:

• Evidence of your actual overseas residence (bills or rental agreements confirming addresses etc)
• Police Certificate providing confirmation that no criminal record is held in the overseas country of residence.
• Reference/Confirmation of employment from an employer in the overseas country of residence.
• Reference/Confirmation of residence or travel from friends, companions or fellow travellers that have knowledge of or have been in the company of you, when resident outside of the UK.
• Reference from a UK based organisation maintaining contract with a sponsorship of you, while residing oversea

Disability Confident – Guaranteed Interview

UKHO embraces diversity and promotes inclusion and equality of opportunity. We are a Disability Confident employer, which includes offering a guaranteed interview to candidates with disabilities, providing they meet the minimum selection criteria.

By ‘minimum selection criteria’ we mean that the evidence you provide in your application must demonstrate that you meet the minimum pass mark, set by the short-list panel, for each criteria listed in the ‘short-list’ section, above. The short-list panel will not be made aware of any disability you may choose to declare; this information will be processed solely by HR, in accordance with Data Protection legislation.

If you are a disabled candidate, please ensure you complete the Equality and Diversity form or inform our HR department, at recruitment@ukho.gov.uk, if you wish to be considered under the Disability Confident guaranteed interview scheme.

Civil Service Recruitment

From 01/10/2020, UKHO’s HR Department is to provide a Fair Processing Notice (FPN) to all new applicants after they have been successful at interview.
These candidates will be informed that, as one aspect of pre-employment screening, their personal details – name, NINO and date of birth - will be checked against the Civil Service Resourcing Extract Internal Fraud Database (IFD) and that anyone included on the IFD will be refused employment unless they can show exceptional circumstances.

UKHO’s HR Department will also include the FPN wording advising of the check against the extract IFD in the advert for employment for the pilot departments.

UKHO’s HR Department will, on behalf of the vacancy holder, inform applicants when they are refused employment because of their inclusion in the IFD.

Civil Service Commission
Recruitment into the Civil Service is governed by the Civil Service Commission which has two key functions.
? To maintain the principle of selection for appointment to the Civil Service on merit on the basis of fair and open competition.
? To promote an understanding of the Civil Service Code which sets out the constitutional framework in which all civil servants work and the values they are expected to uphold, and to hear and determine appeals made under it. More detailed information can be found at on the Civil Service Commission website: http://civilservicecommission.independent.gov.uk

Feedback will only be provided if you attend an interview or assessment.

Nationality requirements

This job is broadly open to the following groups:

  • UK nationals
  • nationals of Commonwealth countries who have the right to work in the UK
  • nationals of the Republic of Ireland
  • nationals from the EU, EEA or Switzerland with settled or pre-settled status or who apply for either status by the deadline of the European Union Settlement Scheme (EUSS)
  • relevant EU, EEA, Swiss or Turkish nationals working in the Civil Service
  • relevant EU, EEA, Swiss or Turkish nationals who have built up the right to work in the Civil Service
  • certain family members of the relevant EU, EEA, Swiss or Turkish nationals
Further information on nationality requirements

Working for the Civil Service

The Civil Service Code sets out the standards of behaviour expected of civil servants.

We recruit by merit on the basis of fair and open competition, as outlined in the Civil Service Commission's recruitment principles.
The Civil Service embraces diversity and promotes equal opportunities. As such, we run a Disability Confident Scheme (DCS) for candidates with disabilities who meet the minimum selection criteria.

Apply and further information

Once this job has closed, the job advert will no longer be available. You may want to save a copy for your records.

Contact point for applicants

Job contact :
Name :  recruitment.queries@ukho.gov.uk
Email :  recruitment.queries@ukho.gov.uk
Recruitment team :
Email :  recruitment.queries@ukho.gov.uk

Further information

The Department’s recruitment processes are underpinned by the requirement of selection for appointment based on merit, open and fair competition as outlined in the Civil Service Commissioners’ Recruitment Principles, details of which can be found at http://civilservicecommission.independent.gov.uk If you feel your application has not been treated in accordance with the Recruitment Principles and you wish to make a complaint, you should contact the UKHO’s Recruitment Team, Human Resources, Admiralty Way, Taunton, Somerset TA1 2DN or email recruitmentqueries@ukho.gov.uk , in the first instance. If you are not satisfied with the response you receive you can further contact the Civil Service Commission at: Email: civilservicecommission.independent.gov.uk or in writing to: Civil Service Commission, Room G/8, 1 Horse Guards Road, London SW1A 2HQ

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