Head of User Centred Design

Department for Work and Pensions

London, Sheffield, Leeds, Manchester, Blackpool, Newcastle upon Tyne

  • Location

    London, Sheffield, Leeds, Manchester, Blackpool, Newcastle upon Tyne

  • Job type


  • Sector

    Central Government

  • Salary/Remuneration

    £82,000 to £100,000

  • Job ref


  • Expiry date

    22 July 2019

  • Client

    Department for Work and Pensions

Ref: GSe45009

Ever wished you could make a real difference to how welfare services of critical importance are designed and delivered?

In partnership with the private and voluntary sectors, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) is a major Department of State that plays a critical role in UK life.

We provide services and support to over 22 million people every year, responsible for over 730 million benefits payments, totalling some £173.1 billion.

As we deliver a once in a generation programme of welfare reform, we’re transforming our business to deliver on our commitments to:

  • support economic growth
  • reduce the disadvantages faced by disabled people and people with healthcare conditions
  • increase saving for and financial security in later life
  • maximise the number of children benefitting from an effective child maintenance arrangement

The design and development of world class products underpins our delivery of digital services, strategic purpose and ultimately, a 21st century welfare state system, fully responsive to the changing needs of our users.  

About the role

As Head of User Centred Design, you’ll be in a unique position to shape the service design and delivery of the digitally enabled welfare state.

As a key leader within our Product Design practice, you’ll:

  • set and maintain standards and principles for innovative, end to end service design across DWP’s extensive product portfolio
  • lead a professional community of around 150 Designers, User Researchers and Content Designers
  • be a visible role model for exemplary Service Design within DWP and across Government
  • empower, grow and build the capability and diversity of your team
  • instil a vibrant, open, agile culture and approach, delivering impactful outcomes through the quality of the work you inspire and produce
  • collaborate with a wide range of internal and external stakeholders to drive clarity, alignment of vision and consistency of approach to meet DWP’s strategic objectives

About the person

A recognised subject matter expert, you’ll:

  • have successfully defined and embedded a User Centred Design systems vision and agile ways of working in an organisation of similar complexity
  • have lead and inspired multi-disciplined teams to deliver outstanding results
  • be a first-class communicator and leader
  • have the conviction, energy and experience to shape and cultivate the development and capability of a large, diverse community of service design professionals
  • have created an appetite for continuous improvement whilst setting and meeting high standards that deliver tangible outcomes for users, measured by results and user feedback
  • be used to interpreting a complex range of requirements to deliver truly exceptional service design and customer journeys for digital products that meet the needs of a diverse range of users
  • have excellent well-rounded leadership attributes
  • be an exceptional practitioner and thought leader, with proven experience of leading the professional development of your team and the Service Design community across your organisation

This significant leadership role and unrivalled challenge provides a unique platform for the Head of User Centred Design to transform the services we deliver, and to visibly improve life outcomes for those we are proud to serve.

Closing Date for Applications Monday 22 July 2019 at 5.30pm
Preliminary Interview at our London or Leeds OfficeTuesday 6 August 2019 to Friday 9 August 2019
Psychometric Assessment, Stakeholder Engagement Exercise (SEE) & Fireside Chats (FSC)Assessment Thursday 15 August 2019 to Friday 30 August 2019 - SEE & FSC Wednesday 21 August 2019
Final Panel InterviewMonday 9 September 2019

To apply for this role, please submit an up to date copy of your CV, along with a Supporting Statement (no more than 2 pages) that addresses the criteria set out in the person specification, using examples to demonstrate how you meet the essential requirements. Please provide your home, work, mobile and email contact details and let us know of any dates when you are not available or where you may have difficulty with the indicative timetable. You should also provide the names, positions, organisations and contact details for two referees, one of whom should be your current or most recent employer. We will not approach your referees without your prior permission.

Once you have submitted your application, you will receive an automated email to confirm that you have applied. If you do not receive this email, please make contact with GatenbySanderson.

Contact details
Stephanie Wilson: 07880 382745

Adrian Barlow: 07393 011150