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Recruitment: Job description
and Competency Profile:
 Part A: details of post
Openness Data and Digital Directorate
Job title
Solutions Architect
Reports to: Job title
Location / Region
Head of IT Services
York, London or
home based
Business area / Branch
Conditions (e.g. full time, secondment)
Full time, permanent
Part B: job description
Context of the role: (Information to be copied on to the eRecruitment System as part of the Job Advert)
HR 29 (Rev. 04/13)
Provide an overview of current challenges impacting on the role, upcoming issues / events that the branch is likely to
experience, divisional objectives
Historically public sector organisations, including the Food Standards Agency, have implemented single source
models for their ICT managed services to reduce risk and work in partnership with a reputable supplier. Rapidly
evolving business demands have proven this to be inflexible and costly in addressing changing objectives. A
single-sourced solution can also restrict the ability to take advantage of new technologies. The Government
strategy is now to disaggregate into a multi supplier model, but most importantly, to bring overall control back inhouse.
The FSA’s IT Strategy is to take back control of its IT management to facilitate the adoption of a more flexible,
innovative and better value supply chain.
The Strategy can be summarised by the following guiding principles, which are also the GDS Service Design
 Be bold and do less - we will focus our attention on the systems we must develop, using commodity
services for everything else.
 User centred - we will concentrate on user needs during design and delivery, providing simple,
integrated user experiences.
 Do the hard work to make it simple - we will ensure that our technology excels so that the business will
want to use and reuse it.
 Iterate, then iterate again - we will adopt an agile and iterative delivery approach, based on outputs not
 Design before buying or building - we will own and control the design of our technology.
 Design with data - we will value data and information needs, addressing privacy / security risks.
 Work out-loud - we will break down silos and work in collaborative teams across IT and the business.
 Make things open, it makes things better: we will embrace openness - open source, open markets,
open data, open standards and open access.
The Evolve IT programme has been mobilised to implement this strategy and covers:
 Exit management to the end of the IT managed services contract.
 Provision of the new services to be in place before the end of the managed services contract.
 Transition from the single supplier into the new services.
HR 29 (Rev. 04/13)
Job Purpose : (Information to be copied on to the eRecruitment System as part of the Job Advert)
Provide a brief overview of the main purpose of the post
The Solutions Architect will be accountable for the design of solutions for Evolve IT. Each project / work-stream
of Evolve IT has solution design activity. This post will manage the architectural view and design of the overall
solution / future state and ensure that integration and security is fully considered across the full lifecycle of all
projects and programmes – from initial concept through to eventual retirement.
The post holder will be responsible for the overall architectural control of the FSA’s IT portfolio from initial concept
through to retirement from service, managing the technical interdependencies and working in close collaboration
with the Delivery Manager to deliver new services.
They will provide hands on technical leadership in the development, operation and ongoing improvements on IT
The post will be key to ensuring that the design and implementation of the key components of the Evolve IT
Programme are delivered consistently and in line with the IT strategy. The postholder will also drive forward the
IT Strategy to maintain its relevance.
The post will work directly to the Head of IT Services (Grade 6).
Key Responsibilities (Information to be copied on to the eRecruitment System as part of the Job Advert)
List duties and responsibilities including (experience , skills and Knowledge)
Develop service architectures to meet business challenges.
Develop the architectural dependency model between FSA services, to help inform future project
Work with Business Analyst to understand user needs for new and existing services.
Facilitate workshops with key stakeholders to develop a common understanding of the requirements and
Act as design authority during project engagements and in prospective, information gathering and scene
setting meetings with colleagues in FSA and with other government departments.
Lead proof of concept work.
Lead and present solutions to project and programme boards and other stakeholders as necessary.
Objectively assess solutions to ensure optimal recommendations in line with business objectives, IT
strategy and architectural principles.
Ensure that solution design conforms with the FSA IT strategy, relevant standards and design principles.
Develop thorough understanding of Government IT Strategy and apply where necessary.
Develop the IT strategy and maintain its relevance as the FSA business model evolves
Lead solution development, in particular with agile project teams.
Provide constructive challenge throughout the solution development lifecycle.
Ensure that new and updated services are thoroughly tested for performance, are able to handle
specified workload and can be maintained over the long term.
Manage stakeholder expectations.
Operate at all levels within the organisation.
Work closely with colleagues in FSA IT and external suppliers to achieve optimal outcomes.
Share best practice, both within FSA and wider government,
Support Head of IT Services as required.
Assist with building a culture of continuous delivery and improvement, ensuring that key systems are
regularly analysed, maintained and improved.
HR 29 (Rev. 04/13)
Mandatory Qualifications / licences and Membership of professional bodies:
Experienced Solutions Architect with a wide range of skills covering line of business applications, operating software,
networks and hardware.
Experience of working in a multi-site organisation with complex and challenging infrastructure.
A proven track record of enhancing and delivering new solutions.
Ability to understand business problems and define effective service solutions.
Strong analytical and technical skills.
A proven innovator with a track record of successful implementation.
Membership of British Computer Society is desirable.
Part C: Competency Profile
Civil Service Competencies Framework (Essential)
The framework is made up of ten competencies. Please refer to the Civil Service competencies and Levels for
each grade and the high-level summary of each one.
Highlight the six key Competencies and any aspects of these competency frameworks that are particularly
important to the post.
Leading and Communicating
Confidently engage with stakeholders and colleagues at all levels to generate commitment to
Clarify strategy and plan giving clear direction and purpose for self and team.
2. Seeing the Big Picture
Adopt a Government wide perspective to ensure alignment and policy.
3. Delivering Value for Money
Achieve the best return on investment and deliver more for less on specific budgets by managing
resources and maximising the use of assets.
Weigh up priority and benefits of different actions and activities to consider how to achieve cost
effective outcomes.
4. Making Effective Decisions
Identify the main issues in complex problems; clarify understanding or stakeholder expectations
to seek the best option.
Make difficult decisions by pragmatically weighing the complexities involved against the need to
5. Changing and Improving
Spot warning signs of things going wrong and provide a decisive response to significant delivery
6. Delivering at Pace
Maintain effective performance in difficult and challenging circumstances, encouraging others to
do the same.
HR 29 (Rev. 04/13)
Additional Competencies (Desirable)
7. Collaborating and Partnering
Actively build and maintain a network of colleagues and contacts to achieve progress on
objectives and shared interests.
8. Achieving Commercial Outcomes
Question and challenge the value being delivered through commercial arrangements with
delivery partners.
For further information on the role and the work of the branch, please contact:
Line Manager:
Phillippa Tasselli
HR 29 (Rev. 04/13)