Head of Product - Universal Credit

Department for Work and Pensions


Ref: GSe59817

The Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) is a major Department of State that make a vital contribution to UK life.  Operating at significant size and scope, we provide services and support to over 22 million people every year, responsible for over 730 million benefits payments, totalling some £173.1 billion. Engaged in delivering a once in a generation programme of welfare reform, we are committed to helping citizens into sustained employment, increased earnings and self-sufficiency; reducing the disadvantages faced by disabled people and people with healthcare conditions; increasing savings for and providing financial security in later life and maximising the number of children benefitting from an effective child maintenance arrangement.

Universal Credit is the Government’s major welfare transformation programme, with a primary objective to support more people into work and to earn more.  It is also the financial and support safety net for some of the most vulnerable people in society. 

In this role, you will play a fundamental role in the iterative design and continuous improvement of the Universal Credit product, as the service (and consequently platform) grows and develops, scaling to provide services to 7 million claimants whilst being used daily by thousands of DWP employees and third parties at service and job centres across the country.

You’ll be required to develop and maintain a strong understanding of the changing needs of users, providing a vision, design and roadmap of measurable outcomes for a live service that must continue to evolve. You’ll also operate at significant scale, breadth and visibility, liaising with a vast range of stakeholders (including Ministers), whilst providing coherent and inspiring leadership to an exceptional multi-disciplinary team.  As Head of Product, you’ll not only work on one of the highest-profile products in government, but also one that continues to be at the forefront of digitally enabled welfare reform. 

We are looking for an exceptional digital product leader with experience of having run and developed a business-critical, high-profile, live digital service in an Agile environment.  Accustomed to operating at size and scope (with teams of 100+), you’ll bring relevant personal subject expertise and a strategic approach to product development, with experience of having defined and delivered user-centred product roadmaps in a large-scale, data-rich, complex and sometimes ambiguous business environment.  Your ability to secure and maintain the confidence of a range of stakeholders and parties will be key to your success in this role, as will your ability to develop internal capability; you must be an accomplished and coherent leader who is able to further develop and inspire an already outstanding team to take Universal Credit forward on the next stage of its development.

This is a rare opportunity to play a leading role in the digital transformation of the UK Welfare State.

Closing Date for Applications Monday 9 March 2020 @ 11.55pm
Preliminary Interview at our London Officew/c Monday 16 March 2020 & w/c Monday 23 March 2020
Psychometric Assessment, Stakeholder Engagement Sessions & Fireside Chats (FSC)w/c Monday 30 March 2020 & w/c Monday 6 April 2020
Final Panel InterviewMonday 20 April 2020

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
Eleanor Lawrence: 020 7426 3379