Head of Programme Definition & Design

  • Job Reference: 165792
  • Date Posted: 24 November 2021
  • Recruiter: HM Revenue and Customs
  • Location: Newcastle-upon-Tyne
  • Salary: £64,000 to £73,000
  • Sector: Government, Product and Design
  • Job Type: Full Time Flex, Part Time Flex, Super Flex
  • Duration: Happy to talk flexible working
  • Work Hours: Full Time

Job Description

At HMRC, we are committed to crafting a phenomenal place to work for all our colleagues; an inclusive and respectful environment that reflects the diversity of the society we serve.

We want to improve the potential of everyone who chooses to work for us and we offer a range of flexible working patterns and support to make an exciting career at HMRC accessible to you.

Diverse perspectives and experiences are essential to our success and we encourage applications from all people from all backgrounds with the experience and skills needed to perform this role.

About the Team

There could be no more exciting time to be a leader in HMRC, as we support the government’s agenda and undergo huge ground-breaking transformational change since transitioning out of the EU with a negotiated agreement.

The department has a vital role to play in making sure that effective business processes and IT systems operate at the UK border and enable the continued safe movement of goods, passengers and parcels now that the UK has left the EU.

This role is within the Borders and Trade Group (B&T) who are responsible for ensuring the delivery of changes to meet Policy intent and Ministerial objectives for the next phase of EU transition. This includes implementing the Northern Ireland Protocol/Northern Ireland Command Paper, migrating to a single Customs Platform and supporting delivery of an outstanding digital UK border operation by 2030.

You will be joining a GMPP registered Programme, valued in excess of £300m, delivering c100 projects throughout 21/22 and subsequent years.

Job description

About the Role

Specifically, you will work in the High-Level Discovery workstream, accountable to the Borders & Trade Programme for impacting, design & sequencing of changes, ensuring that they meet the Programme’s Strategic Objectives. The workstream is also a meaningful and integral part of the Group’s change control, programme governance and change life cycle management.

You will lead a small team working closely with the Programme’s Business Architect & Target Operating Model teams to define the projects that will deliver the programme’s Strategic Objectives, sequencing those to ensure all dependencies are identified/mapped and that changes are delivered within the Programme’s budget and capacity limits throughout the 3-year Spending Review Period (22/23-24/25).

You will also be accountable for the overall solution design, ensuring that the policy intent is achieved across the full range of projects in delivery and that the overall service proposition works for our customers.


• Plan and design the Programme’s projects to ensure its Strategic Objectives are realised.

• Ensure that all dependencies within those projects are identified and mapped, along with any dependencies between other programmes within HMRC and across Government.

• Plan and sequence the projects to ensure the Strategic Objectives can be realised within the Programme’s budget and delivery capacity.

• Work closely with policy, delivery teams and operational areas to gain sign-off to those plans.

• Articulate and handle key risks, issues and constraints to those plans.

• Coordinate and agree change with policy and strategy teams to ensure business systems, workflows and processes contribute to the target operating model.

• Engage positively in debate and resolve ambiguities, gaining the best possible outcomes for the Programme/Department.

Leadership Behaviours

• Build and engage others in a shared vision.

• Promote diversity, inclusion and equality of opportunity, respecting difference and experience.

• Seek out shared interests beyond own area of responsibility, understanding the extent of the impact actions have on the organisation.

• Encourage and empower teams to be fully engaged in their work and dedicated to their role.

Essential Criteria

• Recognised Project Delivery professional, with significant experience of working in a sophisticated Project/Programme environment.

Desirable Criteria

Recognised Project Delivery qualifications, for example:

• Membership of Association for Project Management.

• Leading Successful Programmes (Managing Successful Programmes - Practitioner).

• APM Registered Project Professional.

Technical skills

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

  • Please explain what you believe you would bring to the role and how your previous skills and experience evidence the person specification for this role.
  • During the interview phase, you will be asked to give a 5 minute verbal presentation; without the aid of any visuals, such as PowerPoint on how your previous skills and experience evidence the person specification for this role.


• Learning and development tailored to your role
• An environment with flexible working options
• A culture encouraging inclusion and diversity
• A Civil Service pension

Team members that are moving offices as a result of the Locations Programme will be entitled to a Moves Adjustment Payment for three years where they incur additional costs. This is calculated based on the difference between the costs of travelling to and from the new and old office, over a weekly period. You will get more detail on this as part of targeted locations move communications.

Find more about HMRC benefits in 'Your little extras booklet'  for further information or visit Thinking of joining the Civil Service

Things you need to know


Successful candidates must pass a disclosure and barring security check.
People working with government assets must complete basic personnel security standard checks.

Selection process details

This vacancy is using Success Profiles, and will assess your Experience and Technical skills.
As part of the application process you will be asked to complete a CV and a 1000 word Statement of Suitability.

Please detail your job history in your CV to show how your experience is relevant to the role. Your suitability will be scored and assessed on this.

Please also explain in your Statement of Suitability, in no more than 1000 words, how you consider your personal skills, qualities and experience provide evidence of your suitability for the role, with specific reference to the Responsibilities, Essential Criteria and Leadership Behaviours in the job description. You will also be assessed on this.

If a large number of applications are received an initial sift will take place against your CV.

The full sift will take place against your CV and Statement of Suitability.

If you are successful at the sift stage you will be invited to interview where we will assess your experience and technical skills.

During the interview phase, you will be asked to give a 5 minute verbal presentation; without the aid of any visuals (such as PowerPoint) on how your previous skills and experience evidence the person specification for this role.

Interviews will take place via video link. Sift and interview dates to be confirmed.

Please take extra care to tick the correct boxes in the eligibility sections of your application form. We understand mistakes sometimes happen but if you contact us later than two working days (Monday-Friday) before the vacancy closes, we will not be able to reopen your application for you. The inbox to contact is: hmrcrecruitment.grs@cabinetoffice.gov.uk Use subject line to insert appropriate wording eg Please re-open my application - 165792 & vacancy closing date 7 December 2021.

Security Update
If you are successful and transferring from another Government Department, we will carry out a check of your identity, nationality, and immigration status (including the right to work in the UK) and a criminal record check before confirming your appointment.

Successful candidates must pass a Disclosure and Barring Security Check. Please note that HMRC have an exemption under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974, which enables us to make enquiries about both unspent and spent convictions.

In order to process applications without delay, we will be sending a Criminal Record Check to Disclosure and Barring Service on your behalf. However, we recognise in exceptional circumstances some candidates will want to send their completed forms direct. If you will be doing this, please advise Government Recruitment Service of your intention by emailing Pre-EmploymentChecks.grs@cabinetoffice.gov.uk stating the job reference number in the subject heading.

Applicants who are successful at interview will be, as part of pre-employment screening, subject to a check on the Internal Fraud Database (IFD). This check will provide information about employees who have been dismissed for fraud or dishonesty offences. This check also applies to employees who resign or otherwise leave before being dismissed for fraud or dishonesty had their employment continued. Any applicant’s details held on the IFD will be refused employment.

A candidate is not eligible to apply for a role within the Civil Service if the application is made within a 5 year period following a dismissal for carrying out internal fraud against government.

HMRC transformation

HM Revenue and Customs is currently going through an exciting ten-year transformation programme to create a tax authority fit for the future. As part of this, we are committed to providing high-quality jobs and giving employees a great place to work, whichever location you work from.

HM Revenue and Customs has made significant progress with its plans to locate in 13 large, modern, flexible offices, equipped with high-speed digital infrastructure supporting improved customer service and compliance activity. These collaborative workspaces will enable smarter working and great training and development facilities, allowing for the sharing of expertise, local training, promotion, and provide great ongoing career development opportunities.

These offices will be located in central locations in the following towns and cities close to accessible transport links: Glasgow, Edinburgh, Belfast, Newcastle, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Nottingham, Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Croydon and Stratford.
In addition, there will also be a small number of specialist sites where the work cannot be done anywhere else, in Gartcosh (near Glasgow), Telford, Ipswich, Worthing and Dover, as well as our headquarters in central London. What’s more, our Welsh language service has people located in Porthmadog, as well as Cardiff.

We are letting you know about our future plans because if you are recruited into an office that is not one of these locations, you will be expected, subject to HM Revenue and Customs applicable policies, to move to one of these locations in the future. In some cases, this will be via one of our nine transitional sites.

For more information please contact the vacancy holder.

Terms and Conditions

We really hope you decide to apply for this role. If you’re successful you need to know that in February 2021 members of recognised trade unions (ARC and PCS) voted to approve a pay and contract reform offer. This means that HMRC will adopt new terms and conditions for all colleagues as part of a multi-year pay deal and contract offer, the pay deal period is 01 June 2020 – 31st May 2023 and terms and conditions changes take place from the 01 June 2021 onwards. These terms will apply to colleagues who already work in HMRC and if you join us, it will apply to you too. We’ve put together a summary of the key changes that will be made and you can find this attached to the Job Advert.


If you are currently working for an OGD and would like to consider the impact on your pay when joining HMRC, please see the attached document "Pay on Transfer from OGD" for further information. (Please note the attached document could also be called “Combined T&C and OGD Pay English”)

New entrants are expected to join on the minimum of the pay band.

Further Information

Customer facing roles in HMRC require the ability to converse at ease with members of the public and provide advice in accurate spoken English and/or Welsh where required. Where this is an essential requirement this will be tested as part of the selection process.

A reserve list may be held for a period of 12 months from which further appointments can be made.

Any move to HMRC from another employer will mean you can no longer access childcare vouchers. This includes moves between government departments. You may however be eligible for other government schemes, including Tax Free Childcare. Determine your eligibility here

HMRC welcomes applications from those who need to work a more flexible arrangement and will agree to requests where possible, taking into account our operational and customer service needs. We can’t guarantee that we can meet all requests to work flexibly, as agreement will be subject to business ability to accommodate, and any request to work a more flexible arrangement should be made prior to your acceptance of the provisional offer.

If you are experiencing accessibility problems with any attachments on this advert, please contact the email address in the 'Contact point for applicants' section.

Reasonable adjustment

We want to make sure no one is put at a disadvantage during our recruitment process because of a disability, condition or impairment. To assist you with this, we will reduce or remove any barriers where possible and provide additional support where appropriate. Please see our Disability Matters: How we can support you during our selection process booklet for more details.

If you need a change to be made so that you can make your application, you should:

Contact Government Recruitment Service via hmrcrecruitment.grs@cabinetoffice.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.

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

Nationality requirements

This job is broadly open to the following groups:

  • UK nationals
  • nationals of Commonwealth countries who have the right to work in the UK
  • nationals of the Republic of Ireland
  • nationals from the EU, EEA or Switzerland with settled or pre-settled status or who apply for either status by the deadline of the European Union Settlement Scheme (EUSS)
  • relevant EU, EEA, Swiss or Turkish nationals working in the Civil Service
  • relevant EU, EEA, Swiss or Turkish nationals who have built up the right to work in the Civil Service
  • certain family members of the relevant EU, EEA, Swiss or Turkish nationals
Further information on nationality requirements

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.