Design Manager *Closing Date Extended*

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

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


Reference number



£47,549 - £54,728
+ Industry Leading Pension + Benefits


Grade 7

Contract type


Business area

DEFRA - Digital, Data and Technology Services (DDTS)

Type of role

Information Technology

Working pattern

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

Number of posts



Bristol, Warrington, York

About the job


Digital, Data and Technology Services (DDTS) is the trusted team for digital across the entire Defra Group.

We have around 800 colleagues, including project managers, digital developers and research specialists. Our offices are located throughout England, with larger digital hubs in Bristol, York, Warrington and Reading.

Our ambition is to make it easier and faster than ever for people to interact with Defra. To achieve this, we are continuously designing, building and supporting innovative user-centered digital technology.

Fundamentally, we are transforming and improving the way information and services are accessed by our staff, as well as members of the public and businesses. This is how we are playing a critical role in helping the UK’s rural communities, and our world-class food and farming industries, to thrive.

We are proud to be known as pioneers across government. We never stop looking for ways to improve, from new product development, to the use of robotics. Our line of work is fascinating and we want you to be part of it.

If you share our vision, and you are ready to drive innovation and push boundaries, we want to hear from you. Join us, and together we will create a great place for living, and a green and healthy future for all.

Follow our Defra Digital blog for all the latest news and insights.

Job description

Defra is recruiting 2 Design Managers.

Defra’s design team is part of a wider user-centred design group as well as the wider community of over 800 designers working in the UK government.

The Design Manager will sit in our Design Operations team providing line management, leadership, and direction to teams of up to 15 Interaction and Service designers.


• Providing line management, leadership, and direction teams of up to 15 Service and Interaction designers

• Promoting and assuring good design practice.

• Developing and mentoring designers of all levels

• Working with colleagues to create a culture of user centred and evidence-based service design and delivery with teams actively involved in user research

• Contributing to the organisation and cross-government design communities - including presenting at meetups, writing blog posts, and leading on aspects of practice.

• Line managing a team of designers across multiple projects (both civil servants and contractors)

Skills and Experience

• Experience of designing for large complex organisations.

• A deep understanding of interaction and service design

• Experience of designing accessible, inclusive user interfaces and the challenges of designing for a diverse audience

• An ability to talk about, and advocate for, user-centred design in a way that other people understand

• Experience of helping teams to adopt a range of user centred service design and delivery practices and embed them into their agile workflow.

• Experience of leading design and continually assuring, improving, and innovating design practices.

• Experience of people and performance management and staff development.

Application Process

As part of the application process you will be asked to complete:

• a CV

• 500-word statement of suitability.

The statement will asking the following:

Please provide evidence on how you meet the skills and experience criteria listed on the job advert.


Sift will begin shortly after the advert closes.

Should there be a large number of applications, an initial sift will be conducted using your suitability statement.

Candidates who pass the initial sift may be progressed to a full sift, or progressed straight to assessment/interview.


If successful at sift stage, you will be invited to interview where you will be assessed on experience and the behaviours and technical skills listed below

Interviews will be held from the week commencing 18th October.

For further information on Success Profiles, visit GOV.UK.

Visa Sponsorship Statement

Please take note that Defra does not hold a UK Visa & Immigration (UKVI) Skilled Worker License sponsor and are unable to sponsor any individuals for Skilled Worker Sponsorship.


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

  • Communicating and Influencing
  • Developing Self and Others
  • Making Effective Decisions

Technical skills

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

  • Taking an iterative approach to design
  • Prototyping methods
  • Designing accessible and inclusive services


• You will be entitled to join the highly competitive Civil Service Pension Scheme, which many experts agree is one of the most generous in the UK - Contributory pension (worth 26.6 - 27.9% of salary)

• The Institute for Fiscal Studies recently said that “the biggest difference between public and private sectors remains the value of employer contributions to public service pensions. These are much more generous in the public sector than in the private sector”

• If you have accrued pension rights in another pension scheme, you may be eligible to transfer these rights into the Civil Service Pension Scheme

• Learning and development tailored to your role

• An environment with flexible working options

• A culture encouraging inclusion and diversity

For a full list of the benefits of working for Defra, please view the attached Candidate Information Pack.

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, Experience and Technical skills.

Reserve List

A reserve list may be held for a period of 12 months from which further appointments can be made.


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

Reasonable Adjustment

If a person with disabilities is put 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 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.

Criminal Record Check

If successful and transferring from another Government Department, a criminal record check maybe carried out.

In order to process applications without delay, we will be sending a Criminal Record Check to Disclosure and Barring Service on your behalf. However, we recognize in exceptional circumstance some candidates will want to send their completed forms direct. If you will be doing this, please advise Government Recruitment Service of your intention by emailing stating the job reference number in the subject heading.

Internal Fraud Database Check

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.

A candidate is not eligible to apply for a role within the Civil Service if the application is made within a 5 year period following a dismissal for carrying out internal fraud against government.

Childcare Vouchers

Any move to Defra from another employer will mean you can no longer access childcare vouchers. You may however be eligible for other government schemes, including Tax Free Childcare. Determine your eligibility at


We are closely monitoring the situation with regard to Coronavirus, and will be following central Government advice as it is issued. There is therefore a risk that recruitment to this post may be subject to change at short notice. Please continue to follow the application process as normal and ensure that you check your emails regularly for any updates from us as this is how we will communicate with you.

As government restrictions continue to lift, Defra group is exploring future ways of working with flexibility in mind. This means, that subject to business need, successful candidates will be offered the option to combine working at home with working at their contractual Defra group workplace, with occasional travel to other work locations. Further information relevant to this post will be available for candidates invited to interview.

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 :  DDTS Recruitment Hub
Email :
Recruitment team :
Email :

Further information

Complaints: If you feel your application has not been treated in accordance with the Recruitment Principles and you wish to make a complaint, in the first instance, you should contact Government Recruitment Services via email: If you are not satisfied with the response you receive from the Department, you can contact the Civil Service Commission: Click here to visit Civil Service Commission

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