Head of Data Innovation

Food Standards Agency

Apply before 11:55 pm on Sunday 26th September 2021


Reference number



£60,300 (National) per annum (pro rata for part-time working), £64,300 (London) per annum (pro rata for part-time working).


Grade 6

Contract type


Business area

FSA - Openness, Data & Digital - Data Team

Type of role

Information Technology

Working pattern

Full-time, Job share, Part-time, Compressed Hours

Number of posts



Multi-location from one of our FSA Offices (Belfast, Cardiff, Birmingham, London or York), or home based in the UK. Please be aware that this role can only be worked within the UK and not overseas. The role will involve travel depending on business needs, including overnight stays.

About the job


The FSA is a non-ministerial department of over 1300 people, with a big vision – to drive change in the food system so that it delivers “food we can trust”. Our primary goal is to continue to protect public health and consumers’ wider interest in food. As we have now exited the EU the FSA faces a significant period of change and activity.

Working across the broad spectrum of food and feed safety issues that impact consumers and businesses alike, the FSA is always seeking to utilise the very best opportunities that new technologies afford us. By ensuring that the Agency’s approach to its work is supported by modern digital, data and technology, the FSA enables their staff to do the very best work possible and keep food safe for all.

The Head of Data Information role is an exciting and high-profile position that will allow the post-holder to act as an ambassador for innovation and technology with the FSA, ensuring that users of the Agency’s digital tools are able to make the most of them. From colleagues with the Agency to external stakeholders including consumers, food businesses and other government organisations, the work of the Head of Data Information will impact almost everyone who engages with the FSA.

Job description

Shaping the culture and processes of the FSA to enable innovation to succeed and have a lasting impact on the Agency’s work, the successful candidate will be capable of building productive relationships with colleagues, influencing the way they approach digital technology.

The Agency’s approach to innovation needs leadership from somebody who can offer impartial advice, train and support others to better support new approaches, and work with those building new products to help them develop and realise their visions.

Heading the FSA’s portfolio of innovation activities, the post holder will seek to offer strategic leadership and direction - working to identify new opportunities and make the most of them, developing business cases for innovation and collaborating with others in the FSA to better enable their delivery.

Candidates should be adept at building upon the bigger picture - identifying where the Agency stands and seeking to comprehend the myriad ways we can improve our future. If you are able to communicate with and influence those around you in order to champion the continuous improvement of collective efforts and are excited by the chance to impact the future of the FSA, apply for this exciting position today.


Please read the attached Candidate Pack to discover further details about the role, our organisation, who we are looking for and the criteria we will assess against during the selection process. We look forward to receiving your application and wish you every success.


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

  • Seeing the Big Picture
  • Changing and Improving
  • Communicating and Influencing
  • Delivering at Pace


Our candidate pack details the benefits that the FSA has to offer. Please also refer to the attached Terms and Conditions statement.

Things you need to know


Successful candidates must pass a disclosure and barring security check.
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 and Experience.
Full details of the selection process are detailed in the attached candidate pack. This will consist of shortlisting against the essential person specification criteria stated. If successful at shortlisting stage, you will be invited to the final selection stage consisting of an experience/technical/behaviours-based interview and seen presentation.

In the event of receiving a large number of applications an initial sift may take place on just the identified lead criteria indicated below:
• Has delivered tangible projects and / or business change, achieving timely outcomes aligned to agile approaches and Government design principles.

The FSA is committed to being an inclusive employer with a diverse workforce. We encourage applications from people from the widest possible diversity of backgrounds, cultures and experiences. Part-time (no less than 30 hours per week) and established job share candidates are also welcome to apply. All appointments are made on merit.

We actively review the deployment of talent on a periodic basis in the interests of optimising personal development and the achievement of business plans.

Our candidate pack details the benefits that the FSA has to offer. Please also refer to the attached terms and conditions statement.

Any move to the Food Standards Agency from another employer will mean you can no longer access childcare vouchers. This includes moves between government departments. You may however be eligible for other government schemes, including Tax Free Childcare.
Determine your eligibility at https://www.childcarechoices.gov.uk

A reserve list will be held for a period up to 12 months from which further appointment may be made.

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 :  Diane Barlow
Email :  diane.barlow@food.gov.uk
Recruitment team :
Email :  hr.recruitment.campaigns@food.gov.uk

Further information

If you wish to raise a complaint then please email hr.recruitment.campaigns@food.gov.uk in the first instance.

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