Director, Identity Assurance Programme

Government Digital Service

Apply before 11:55 pm on Monday 19th April 2021


Reference number



£93,000 - £120,000
Salary dependent on experience


SCS Pay Band 2

Contract type


Type of role


Working pattern

Flexible working, Full-time

Number of posts



Bristol, South West, BS2 0ES : Manchester, North West, M1 2WD

About the job


People in the UK increasingly expect and need to carry out their transactions online and with ease. The impact of COVID-19 has brought this clearly into focus. Government cannot meet this expectation without an effective system of digital identity. It establishes that people are who they claim to be and is essential for reducing costs and fraud.

The government currently has five major digital identity systems (and numerous authentication services besides) and now wants to unify all of them into one programme and system. Following an independent review of the current GDS managed digital identity system, No.10 and HM Treasury have agreed an ambitious new cross-government digital identity agenda. This is backed by significant investment in 2021/22, and you will be expected to grow the programme’s existing team to around 200 people to help deliver on that investment.

This is an exciting programme at the very heart of digital government, aiming to provide citizens with easy and secure digital access to key services. Such a system will radically transform how services are provided to citizens, with dramatically reduced waiting times and improved targeting. Citizens will be able to find the online services they require more quickly and more easily. These services can be delivered at higher quality and lower costs, and enables future new high value services with potential personalisation. The system will also lower the risk of fraud and reduce errors.

As Director you will ultimately be accountable for ensuring this critical programme meets its objectives, delivers the projected outcomes and realises the required benefits. This includes the challenge of building a user-friendly verification system, supported by a single sign on to the main government domain to access all government services, in which a user’s data can easily and instantly be exchanged with departments, subject to appropriate data protection.

This is a complex and high-profile multi-year programme that will require you to integrate activity across government departments, overcome significant technical and change management challenges, and proactively engage a wide range of stakeholders within government, the digital identity industry, special interest groups, and scrutiny bodies including the NAO and Parliament.

Job description

We are looking to recruit a candidate with experience in significant agile programme management and/or major change delivery. Specific accountabilities include:

• Owning the creation, strategy, and delivery of the Identity Assurance solution for Government, ensuring that any products are user-centric and are delivered at pace. This will involve building and leading a team of talented multi-disciplinary digital, data and technology practitioners.

• Providing outstanding leadership of the programme and the wider digital identity agenda for Government. This will involve working closely with departments to ensure the success of this cross-government programme, and building their support where necessary. You will oversee the governance of the programme as chair of cross-government boards and within your team at programme level.

• Communicating the programme’s vision and product roadmaps with clarity and confidence. You will also be required to engage with Ministers, Permanent Secretaries, and relevant boards, and provide appropriate levels of assurance, both at operational decision points and on overall governance and progress.

• Ensuring strategic and operational programme risks and issues are identified, prioritised, mitigated and managed, escalating within the governance structure where appropriate.

• Oversight of the programme budget, maintaining a strong focus on value for money and financial accountability. This will include selecting and managing suppliers – both for programme delivery and potentially any ongoing commercial arrangements.

• Being responsible for ensuring the realisation of expected benefits are tracked to demonstrate value for money, value to the user and value for government.

• Supporting the programme team to deliver effectively and, as part of the wider GDS Senior Leadership Team, creating a positive, delivery focused and collaborative culture, with a strong focus on continuous improvement.

• As a member of the GDS Senior Leadership Team, jointly leading the organisation to support the digital transformation of government, and building a friendly, performant and inclusive culture.


• Experience and understanding of digital programme delivery at a senior level. You will have a proven track record of building high performing, multidisciplinary digital teams.

• Proven experience delivering projects with significant technical components and complexity. You will understand how to lead the delivery of products that meet user needs, with demonstrable experience setting, monitoring and reporting measurable product performance objectives;

• Strong leadership skills and the ability to set clear direction, create and present a compelling narrative, and motivate, inspire and empower colleagues to drive the programme and deliver on its intended outcomes.

• Excellent stakeholder skills, with a track record of building and maintaining strong working relationships with senior stakeholders . You will be able to progress a demanding agenda amongst competing priorities with the confidence and credibility to challenge where necessary.

• Comfortable making decisions and setting direction without having the full picture; applying knowledge and experience to reduce ambiguity.


. learning and development tailored to your role
• an environment with flexible working options
•a culture encouraging inclusion and diversity
• a Civil Service pension
• training and development opportunities
•interest free season ticket, tenancy deposits and holiday advances
•an in-year bonus scheme
•bike loans
•eye care vouchers
• on site showers, mothers room, multi-faith room, secure bike parking (subject to availability), Quiet spaces and cafe/wine bar
•free networks and clubs

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 security check.

See our vetting charter.
People working with government assets must complete basic personnel security standard checks.

Selection process details

Please read the candidate pack before applying.

To apply, please submit the information below via the application portal:

• CV (two pages, font size 12)
• A Statement of Suitability (no longer than two pages, font size 12) explaining how you consider your personal skills, qualities and experience meet the essential criteria on page 4.
• Within the statement of suitability please include your response to the following question: ‘what makes you suitable for the role and what excites you about the opportunities that exist for the identity assurance programme?’.

Our assessment is based on the Civil Service Success Profiles framework, and we start with gathering evidence that candidates have the experience and the skills required for the role.We will inform you when your application is shortlisted, and, depending on the role, we may schedule remote or in-person assessments for the next stage. We receive many applications, and unfortunately we’re not able to provide feedback for candidates who aren’t shortlisted. If you feel your application has not been treated in accordance with the Recruitment Principles and you wish to make a complaint, you should contact in the first instance.

If you are not satisfied with the response you receive you can contact the Civil Service Commission by email:

Or in writing: Civil Service Commission, Room G/8 1 Horse Guards Road , London, SW1A 2HQ.

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

Nationality requirements

Open to UK nationals only.

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 :  Gaynor Francis
Email :
Recruitment team :
Email :

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