Head of Digital Forensics

HM Revenue and Customs

Closing date: 19 Feb 2019

Reference number



£67,800 London £61,510 National - £76,610 London £69,500 National


Grade 6

Contract type


Business area

HMRC - CCG - Fraud Investigation Service - Digital Support & Innovation

Type of role


Working pattern

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



Number of posts



City of London, London, EC3R 6EE : Nottingham, East Midlands, NG2 1BG

About the job

Job description

About HMRC

HMRC is the UK's tax, payments and customs authority and we have a vital purpose: we collect the money that pays for the UK’s public services and help families and individuals with targeted financial support.

Digital Support and Innovation (DSI) is the specialist support business area responsible for the provision of enhanced digital and covert specialist technological support to Fraud Investigation Service (FIS) investigations. DSI works across Law Enforcement and Government. DSI provides investigative tools and covert techniques to front-line investigations and works with key partners to develop and provide access to new technology and systems to enable investigators to respond to serious and complex tax evasion and crime. DSI sits within HMRC’s wider Fraud Investigation Service (FIS) which is broadly responsible for the department’s civil and criminal investigations. FIS ensures that HMRC has an effective approach to tackling the most serious tax evasion and fraud.

HMRC’s Digital Forensics has a vital role to play in supporting Her Majesty’s Government’s fight against serious and organised crime, supporting investigations totaling hundreds of millions of pounds each year. Our forensic practitioners are a key part of the UK Law Enforcement community, working on a variety of cases, from corporate criminality to tobacco smuggling. Digital Forensics is a well-established, national resource with a strong delivery record and a reputation for robust results. However, our services are in increasing demand, as we embrace the challenges posed by the pace of technology and advances in data exploitation. We are also responding to stipulations laid down by the Forensic Science Regulator. All forensic capabilities should be accredited to the relevant International Organization for Standardization level (ISO17025).

The role
Reporting to the Head of Cyber and Digital Forensics (C&DF), this post plays an important role in developing and upskilling talent within FIS and helps educate investigation case teams. The post -holder will be expected to transform and introduce a new era of forensics, from new approaches aligned with ISO17025 to being heavily involved in the delivery of a new contract for outsourcing.
This will involve working closely with operational colleagues across Government, ensuring we are playing a full and effective role across Whitehall and beyond.
A key element of the post will involve building relationships and establishing mechanisms for bringing in best practice developed elsewhere as well as handle complaints and provide reporting to Senior Civil Service colleagues across HMRC.

• Be the Senior Responsible Officer for HMRC’s ISO17025 project – ensuring that the FIS Senior Leadership Team are sighted on developments and risks and enhance HMRC’s reputation as a leader in the field of digital forensics, share best practice and support operational and strategic delivery
• Oversee quality assurance and standards, with technical responsibility for all forensics activity – working with solicitors and other key partners to ensure Digital Forensic responds to the latest demands of the criminal justice system. This will include managing new commercial arrangements for managing the “overflow” of forensics work, with a view to increasing the amount of activity undertaken in-house.
• Maintain an advanced forensics skillset and personally innovate by creating energy and a culture that fosters innovation whilst understanding and operating within relevant legislative frameworks
• Maintain a governance framework and mechanisms for engaging all FIS teams – ensuring customer input informs strategic delivery
• Maintain a service catalogue so that investigation case teams can better tailor their forensics experience – this will be supported by a framework developed in collaboration with colleagues in Professionalism and Strategy
• Increase consistency across the two Digital Forensic sites – from IT to ways of working – in support of the “one team” ethos across the HMRC forensics community’
• Maintain delivery against Key Performance Indicators aligned with the DSI Business Plan and introduce or revise Service Level Agreements
• Work with the Head of Cyber and Digital Forensics and HMRC’s lead cyber specialists to put in place technical standards by grade, helping build a sustainable capability – cross-HMG pathways should be considered in the process.

Person specification

Essential criteria

Key experience, qualifications and skills include;
• Be able to demonstrate significant experience– of either overseeing the acquisition of digital material on-site in criminal investigations or managing those officers responsible for such acquisition
• Direct and recent experience of digital forensics, with working knowledge of prominent tooling (e.g. FTK, NUIX or X-Ways Forensics) in a law enforcement environment.
• Proven track record of managing forensic services in the context of Legal Professional Privilege (LPP)
• Understanding of UK legal system – the successful candidate will have experience of providing witness statements in support of criminal and civil investigation cases but they will have actively overseen the quality assurance of digital forensics activity in support of fraud investigations.
• Technical credibility to represent HMRC at industry events and co-ordinate international activity – experience of leading cross-borders activity desirable including working with Five Eyes partners highly desirable


Postgraduate qualification in digital forensics or a related discipline – an MSc is desired (note: the post will require engagement with academia) or relevant experience detailed in the essential criteria.


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

  • Leadership
  • Making Effective Decisions
  • Managing a Quality Service
  • Seeing the Big Picture

Technical skills

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

  • Technical Aptitude



Civil Service pension schemes may be available for successful candidates.


If you are applying for a role in an office within a regional centre location or a transitional or specialist site, then the following may apply: Daily Travel Assistance will be available for this role, provided the successful applicant is a current HMRC employee and meets the eligibility requirements outlined in the department’s Daily Travel Assistance guidance.

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 developed vetting.

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.

Selection process details

This vacancy is using Success Profiles, and will assess your Behaviours, Experience and Technical skills.
The vacancy selection process will consist of an initial sift of the CV and Personal Statement. Those who are successful will be selected for formal interview and an assessment of the individual’s technical knowledge and experience.

CV - Please include details of Academic career, Qualifications, Licences, job history and summary of role and tasks, Accreditations and Chartered Institute Membership.

Personal Statement – In no more than 500 words explain why you would be suitable for this role and include evidence of Leadership and Communication in a Digital Forensic environment.

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

Nationality requirements

Open to UK nationals only.


Candidates in their probationary period are eligible to apply for vacancies within this department.

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

Anthony Usher
03000 585416

Sift/interview dates and location

Sift and Interview will take place within 5 weeks of advert closing date.

Further information

If you are applying for a role in an office within a Regional Centre location or a transitional or specialist site, then the following may apply: Daily Travel Assistance will be available for this role, provided the successful applicant is a current HMRC employee and meets the eligibility requirements outlined in the department’s Daily Travel Assistance guidance at HR43330.

Staff who wish to work an alternative working pattern e.g. part time or part-year are welcome to apply. The preferred working pattern may or may not be available. You should discuss this with the vacancy holder before applying. Flexible Working Hours are available for these posts. However, candidates should note that this is a dynamic work environment and the successful candidate will be required to have a flexible approach to attendance and may be asked to stay away from home on occasion.

Fraud Investigation Service is committed to making reasonable adjustments to support disabled staff. Should the successful applicant require reasonable adjustments in the new job he/she must discuss and agree these with the vacancy holder who will undertake a workplace assessment, before accepting the job.

All applicants will be required to declare any past convictions, criminal findings, or police cautions, regardless of whether they are ‘spent’. You must also declare any disciplinary proceedings relating to previous employments. The disclosure of this information will not automatically disbar you from employment with FIS, but we need to be aware of any event or issue which could impinge on your credibility if questioned in court.

FIS may conduct background checks and any offer will be withdrawn if you fail to disclose any relevant material that causes conflict with you being able to complete the duties of the role.

Appointment will be conditional upon satisfactory conduct and discipline checks and security vetting.

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