Web Archive Technical Specialist

The National Archives

Closing date: 20 Jun 2019

Reference number





Senior Executive Officer

Contract type


Business area

Digital - Web Archiving

Type of role


Working pattern

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



Number of posts



Kew, Richmond, Surrey TW9 4DU

About the job

Job description

What will the future know of today? Archives, as the homes for our collective memories, are in the future business. Your work will ensure that today’s digital records are accessible to the next generation of citizens, researchers and historians.

Archives matter. Without records, we could not hold government to account, carry out pioneering research or learn from the past. Today’s government websites will form a crucial evidence base and a rich source of context for future generations wishing to understand the operation of the state and its relationship with citizens. In recognition of this, The National Archives runs the UK Government Web Archive, one of the largest and most-used web archives in the world.

As our Web Archive Technical Specialist, you’ll develop our preservation process for the web archive collection with the support of colleagues and will work with our supplier to deliver it as an ongoing process. You will help unlock the research potential of the collection through facilitating access to the raw data and datasets based on the collection. Working within a team dedicated to continually improving the service for users, you will be a strong advocate for using innovative technologies to solve some big, often novel, challenges in an organisation that offers great support and exceptional benefits.

About the role
In the 15 years of its existence, the UK Government Web Archive has become a large and varied digital collection. At an approximate size of 140TB, with 5 billion objects, it presents some unique and exciting challenges.

Our supplier provides the majority of web crawling and service provision but there is plenty for our team to do. You will help us ensure that the web archive is of extremely high quality and the actual preservation of the captured content is done at Kew, after it has been transferred to us from our supplier. You will be responsible for making sure that the processes supporting this are robust, well-designed and run smoothly. In doing this, you will have the opportunity to develop your understanding of the practical applications of cloud technologies.

As a member of the web archiving team you will be supporting our varied work in making sure that the service meets user needs. You will provide crucial technical advice and services to help us open the web archive to research possibilities, supporting exciting research into the unique dataset.

About you
You’ll be a problem solver, able to think creatively and use novel approaches in order to meet the varied needs of our users. You’ll come with a desire to innovate, challenge what we’re doing and drive forward improvements to our service. In turn we will invest in developing your skills with cloud technologies, programming languages, and other areas as required.

Join us here in beautiful Kew, just 10 minutes’ walk from the Overground and Underground stations, and you can expect an excellent range of benefits. They include learning and development opportunities, a pension and discounts with local businesses (e.g. beauty salons and bars). We also offer wellbeing resources (e.g. on-site therapists) and have an on-site gym, restaurant, shop and staff bar.

Full job description attached

To submit your application please click the 'Apply now' button on this page. You will be asked to upload a CV and the following criteria will be used for short listing:

* Degree level qualification in computing or equivalent level of practical experience with an intermediate level of skill in commonly-used web technologies, for example JSON and XML and programming languages, particularly Python.
* Good understanding of, and practical experience in, handling data and metadata for the preservation, description, management and use of digital records.
* Demonstrable understanding of the technical principles of digital preservation, their practical application and the rationale for preserving the online presence of government.
* Experience of ensuring adherence to agreed quality standards and delivery dates.

In addition the following criteria will be assessed at interview:
* Clear, confident and articulate written and verbal communication skills.
* Demonstrable ability to effectively manage own workload, work to tight deadlines, and manage competing priorities.
* Good interpersonal skills, with the ability to build strong relationships within team and with those in other teams.

SC-level Security Clearance or willingness to obtain SC clearance is mandatory for this role and requires that you have lived in the UK for the last 3 years.



Civil Service pension schemes may be available for successful candidates.


Generous benefits package, including pension, sports and social club facilities, onsite gym, subsidised staff restaurant and opportunities for training and development

Things you need to know


Successful candidates must pass basic security checks.

Selection process details

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

Nationality requirements

Open to UK, Commonwealth and European Economic Area (EEA) and certain non EEA nationals. Further information on whether you are able to apply is available here.

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 equality of opportunity. There is a guaranteed interview scheme (GIS) for candidates with disabilities who meet the minimum selection criteria.

Apply and further information

Contact point for applicants

For further information please contact the Recruitment Team on 0208 392 5203 or careers@nationalarchives.gov.uk

Sift/interview dates and location

To be confirmed

Further information

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 The National Archives via careers@nationalarchives.gsi.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 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
The National Archives via email: careers@nationalarchives.gov.uk
If you are not satisfied with the response you receive from the Department, you can contact the Civil Service Commission at

Transfers across the Civil Service on or after 4 October 2018

• From 4 October 2018 individuals moving across the Civil Service to a new PAYE scheme on any type of move other than TUPE/COSOP will lose the right to continue to claim Childcare Vouchers.

• Whilst some employees may lose the right to continue claiming childcare vouchers via their employer, they may still be eligible to claim Tax Free Childcare.

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