Lead Technical Architect, Biometrics

Home Office

Apply before 11:55 pm on Thursday 2nd February 2023



Reference number



£54,000 - £64,900
National: £54,000 Min - £59,400 Max and London: £59,000 Min - £64,900 Max. A Recruitment & Retention Allowance of up to £8,500 is also available for candidates with exceptional Skills and Experience. Suitability will be assessed at interview.

Job grade

Grade 7

Contract type


Business area

HO - Digital Data and Technology

Type of role

Architecture and Data
Information Technology

Working pattern

Flexible working, Full-time, Part-time, Compressed Hours

Number of jobs available



Manchester, Sheffield, Croydon

Job summary

The Digital Data and Technology (DDaT) profession enable the Home Office to keep the UK safe and secure. They do this by designing, building, and running the services that help people apply for visas or passports, support policing and counter-terrorism operations, and protect the UK’s borders.

Team members have specialised knowledge and a calling to build on it. We want the best people to come to the Home Office and work in the diverse roles and communities they’re passionate about. This is how we produce exceptional outcomes.

The Home Office has created a government-leading bespoke career framework that enables career planning, while ensuring our people can be the best they can be. The framework includes Heads of Role, who are industry specialists. They build communities, set standards for what ‘good’ looks like, and ensure we have the right people in the right jobs at the right time.

We also have a profession management unit, which aims to provide the best professional experience to all our technical staff with a real passion for and focus on continuous professional development. We invest heavily in our people as part of growing our collective capability.

This is an exciting opportunity supporting Police and Public Protection Technology (PPPT) portfolio. PPPT works in partnership with Police Forces, the Fire Service, agencies and arms-length bodies of the Home Office, involved in law enforcement to cut crime and prevent abuse and exploitation. An increasing dependency on technology is at the heart of the ongoing reform and modernisation of the Police and Fire Service and its uses are varied.

Job description

As a Lead Technical Architect with a biometrics specialism, you will assure services and system quality, making sure the technical work fits into the broader strategy for government. You will be responsible for leading the technical design of systems and services, including detailed plans for integration. You will also explore the benefits of cross-government alignment of systems and services.

You will be the primary interface for technical requirements and product design. In addition, you will own the creation and delivery of the technical strategy. You will be responsible for building optimal designs through an iterative process by actively driving post implementation reviews and leading the identification of best practice and lessons learnt.

You will build effective partnerships with diverse teams across multiple locations and technologies and provide mentoring and leadership and to other architects.

Biometric architects work with customers, business analysts and operational users to design, implement and assure the biometric specialist elements of a solution. Biometric architects are engaged in the full engineering life cycle. They support the business analysts in the capture of business requirements, project managers in the development of business cases and the execution of delivery including the management of risk, they collaborate with the Quality Assurance and Test function to ensure robust test plans and execution.

Biometric architects work across multiple projects or teams on problems that require broad architectural thinking. They share the responsibility for establishing the Home Office approach to Technical Architecture and guide projects in using architectures, principles, standards and tooling to deliver new systems and services for citizens and Home Office users.

Hybrid Working

We follow a Hybrid working system which enables employees to work partly in their workplace(s) and partly at home. Interested applicants can discuss what this means with the vacancy holder if you have specific questions.

Recruitment and Retention Allowance (RRA)

This post is eligible for DDaT RRA. Successful candidates with exceptional skills and experience may apply for a Recruitment Retention Allowance between £4,500 and £8,500. This allowance is subject to an initial review within six months of taking up the post and thereafter an annual review in line with departmental priorities and could be reduced or withdrawn at any time.

Person specification

Your main day to day activities will be:

  • Creating optimal technical designs through an iterative process, aligning such factors as the user need within the system requirements, security and organisational objectives
  • Leading the design and review processes for new solution and services, evidencing the inclusion of ‘Secure by Design” in the technical designs you produce, oversee and approve
  • Developing and documenting the proposed technical design for the integration and implementation of any solution, working with and across other areas of DDaT and the business
  • Presenting recommendations for technologies or improvements to enhance systems to support project goals clearly to senior management, based on knowledge of IT and analysis of systems’ needs
  • Contributing to the development of architectural practice, ensuring a coherent and consistent strategy across cyber, cloud, data centre, storage, network, mobile and the user experience of infrastructure
  • Contributing to the overall technical strategy and road map for the department in your area of expertise

You will also be expected to carry out the following day to day activities:

  • Evaluating the success of a project, once the solution has been integrated, identifying best practices and lessons learned
  • Providing feedback to leadership and incorporating best practices and lessons learned into future integration plans
  • Managing, coaching and mentoring more junior Technical Architects

Essential skills

You’ll have a demonstrable passion for Technical Architecture with the following skills or strong experience in:

  • Evidencing strong technical leadership qualities, with a passion for delivering leading edge designs, and inspiring a culture of technical excellence and innovative solutions
  • Navigating the complex landscapes of technologies, 3rd party suppliers, internal and cross-government teams across multiple projects
  • Anticipating and advising on future technology that present opportunities for the product or programme
  • Managing and delivering complex technology solutions within time, cost and quality targets
  • Defining, owning and contributing to the technical roadmap and strategy
  • Demonstrating a detailed knowledge of technical requirements to implement, design and manage associated technologies

The skills listed above are reflective of the Home Office DDaT Profession Skills and Competency Model (based on the industry standard SFIA framework). Please see below for the relevant skills required for your role:      

Strategy & Architecture:

  • Information Strategy
    • Strategic Planning (ITSP) – Level 3
  • Advice & Guidance
    • Consultancy (CNSL) – Level 4
    • Specialist Advice (TECH) – Level 4
  • Business Strategy & Planning
    • Innovation (INOV) – Level 3
    • Enterprise and Business Architecture (STPL) – Level 3
  • Technical Strategy & Planning
    • Solution Architecture (ARCH) – Level 5

In addition to the general Technical Architecture skills you will demonstrate at least two of the following biometric specialist skills:

  • Experience of biometric capture client, equipment and process design
  • Knowledge and experience of biometric accuracy testing
  • Knowledge and experience of biometric quality assessment specification and testing
  • Knowledge of biometric standards covering capture, data exchange and quality assessment
  • Application of biometric technologies to verification, identification, intelligence and crime solving use cases.

Desirable skills

Ideally you will also have the following skills or some experience in:

  • Communicating clearly in a language which meets the needs of different users, with a good understanding of different channels and formats for different audiences and can adapt to stakeholders’ reactions with flexibility
  • Working with scaled agile frameworks and implementations
  • Having a strong preference for the leverage of community integrated market products wherever technical and security considerations allow
  • BCS certificate in Enterprise and Solution Architecture


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

  • Communicating and Influencing
  • Making Effective Decisions
  • Seeing the Big Picture

Technical skills

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

  • Strategic Planning (ITSP) – Level 3
  • Consultancy (CNSL) – Level 4
  • Specialist Advice (TECH) – Level 4
  • Innovation (INOV) – Level 3
  • Enterprise and Business Architecture (STPL) – Level 3
  • Solution Architecture (ARCH) – Level 5
  • Learning and development tailored to your role
  • An environment with flexible working options
  • A culture encouraging inclusion and diversity
  • A Civil Service pension with an average employer contribution of 27%

Please find more information here - Benefits - Home Office Careers

Selection process details

This vacancy is using Success Profiles, and will assess your Behaviours, Experience and Technical skills.

As part of the sift application process, candidates will be asked to complete a name-blind CV and Statement of Suitability (maximum limit: 1000 words) Further details around what this will entail are listed on the application form.

Please note your Statement of Suitability should be aligned to the Essential Criteria set out in the job advert. It should outline your motivation for applying for the role as well as the skills and experience that you consider make you a suitable candidate. 

Sift will be held on CV and Statement both will be scored.

If you are successful at this stage, you will be invited to interview which will use a blended approach consisting of Experience and Technical based questions, which will assess skills from the SIFA framework. We will assess the behaviours included in the job advert.

Sift and Interview dates

The sift will commence from 3rd February 2023

Interviews are expected to take place from week commencing 20th February 2023

We will try to meet the dates set out in the advert. There may be occasions when these dates will change. You will be provided with sufficient notice of the confirmed dates.

We are closely monitoring the situation regarding Coronavirus and will be following Central Government advice as it is issued, as such you will be invited to attend a video interview utilising Microsoft Teams Skype for Business.

PLEASE NOTE: Due to time constraints we may not be able to offer alternative interview date(s). It is therefore expected that candidates who are successful at sift stage will make themselves available during the above time frame given

Further information

If you have previously made an unsuccessful application for a role with the same essential skills and are not able to demonstrate how you have developed these skills since your last application please reconsider applying as your application is unlikely to be successful.

We often have similar roles available at different grades. If a candidate is suitable for a similar role, or a lower grade than they have applied for, we may offer the candidate that role without the need to go through a further selection process providing the role has the same behaviours and essential skills.

For meaningful checks to be carried out, individuals need to have lived in the UK for a sufficient period of time to enable appropriate checks to be carried out and produce a result which provides the required level of assurance. You should normally have been resident in the United Kingdom for the last 3 years if the role requires CTC clearance, 5 years for SC clearance and 10 years for DV. A lack of UK residency in itself is not necessarily a bar to a security clearance and applicants should contact the Vacancy Holder/Recruiting Manager listed in the advert for further advice.

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

Every day, Home Office civil servants do brilliant work to develop and deliver policies and services that affect the lives of people across the country and beyond. To do this effectively and fairly, the Home Office is committed to representing modern Britain in all its diversity, and creating a welcoming, inclusive workplace where all our people are able to bring their whole selves to work and perform at their best.

We are flexible, skilled, professional and diverse. We work to recruit and retain disabled staff and area Disability Confident Leader. We are proud to be one of the most ethnically diverse departments in the civil service. We are Stonewall top 100 Workplace Equality Employer and a Social Mobility Foundation top 75 employer.

New entrants are expected to join on the minimum of the pay band.

Applicants who are successful at interview will be, as part of pre-employment screening, subject to a check on the Internal Fraud Database (IFD). This check will provide information about employees who have been dismissed for fraud or dishonesty offences. This check also applies to employees who resign or otherwise leave before being dismissed for fraud or dishonesty had their employment continued. Any applicant's details held on the IFD will be refused employment.

For further information please see the attached notes for candidates which must be read before making an application.

Existing Civil Servants should note that some of the Home Office terms and conditions of employment have changed. It is the candidate’s responsibility to ensure they are aware of the Terms and Conditions they will adopt should they be successful in application and should refer to the notes for candidates for further details.

Transfer Terms: Voluntary.

If you are invited to an interview you will be required to bring a range of documentation for the purposes of establishing identity and to aid any pre-employment checks.

Please see the attached list of Home Office acceptable ID documents.

Any move to the Home Office 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 

Reasonable Adjustments

If a person with disabilities is at a substantial disadvantage compared to a non-disabled person, we have a duty to make reasonable changes to our processes. 

If you need a change to be made so that you can make your application, you should:

  • Contact Government Recruitment Service via HOrecruitment.grs@cabinetoffice.gov.uk as soon as possible before the closing date to discuss your needs
  • Complete the “Assistance Required” section in the “Additional Requirements” page of your application form to tell us what changes or help you might need further on in the recruitment process. For instance, you may need wheelchair access at interview, or if you're deaf, a language service professional

If you are experiencing accessibility problems with any attachments on this advert, please contact the email address in the ‘Contact point for applicants’ section.


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


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.

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.
The Civil Service also offers a Redeployment Interview Scheme to civil servants who are at risk of redundancy, and who meet the minimum requirements for the advertised vacancy.
This vacancy is part of the Great Place to Work for Veterans initiative.
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 : Optimus AC Recruitment
  • Email : OptimusACRecruitment@homeoffice.gov.uk

Recruitment team :

  • Email : HOrecruitment.grs@cabinetoffice.gov.uk

Further information

If you feel that your application has not been treated in accordance with the recruitment principles, and wish to make a complaint, then you should contact in the first instance HORecruitment.GRS@cabinetoffice.gov.uk If you are not satisfied with the response that you receive, then you can contact the Civil Service Commission.

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