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Job description

Acquisitions & Curation:

- Setting direction of acquisition policy and making proposals of artworks for approval by the Advisory Committee on the Government Art Collection

- Leading the curation and selection of displays from the Collection with ministers, diplomats and senior civil servants, and occasionally overseeing the installation of works in government buildings worldwide

- Assessing display requests within Government and for external loans to temporary public exhibitions.

- Developing and overseeing other projects, such as curating public exhibitions from the Collection; selecting works from the Collection for display in non-typical venues; and commissioning work on behalf of other
government departments for refurbished or new government buildings

- Overseeing the management of the Collection, including care and conservation, documentation and research and interpretation

Stakeholders and Audiences:

- Developing and maintaining positive relationships with a wide range of people, including the GAC Advisory Committee members and chair, artists, gallerists, ministers, diplomats and staff from other Government departments, including No 10

- Representing the GAC within DCMS and at external meetings and events

- Overall leadership on public engagement, including website, social media and public tours (including evenings and at weekends and further developing public access to the Collection

People Leadership:

- Confidently leading, empowering and developing a strong, successful, inclusive and resilient team of 17 people

- Actively contributing to the leadership of the Arts, Heritage and Tourism Directorate in DCMS, and to the wider department and its policies

Strategy and Business Planning:

- Leading on strategic development and policies of the GAC, including operational, business and budget planning

- Overall leadership and line-management for the three strands of GAC work including:

- Curatorial: Displays; public engagement, research and interpretation

- Collections Care: Conservation; installations and transport logistics; technical support; loans; documentation; photographic and digital asset management

- Administration: Budget monitoring; business planning; accommodation; HR and staff wellbeing; responding to Freedom of information requests and Parliamentary Questions; liaising with DCMS comms; business continuity,
disaster and salvage planning

Person Specification

Essential Requirements:

- A track record of driving delivery and providing visible leadership, with a proven ability to develop a motivated, engaged, diverse and high-performing workforce. Evidence of corporate leadership contributing to wider priorities (e.g. diversity and inclusion).

- Leadership experience of business and budget planning and corporate and HR matters.

- Outstanding ability to forge excellent relationships and political sensitivity, including credibility to be seen as a trusted adviser to ministers and ability to navigate between being a civil servant who is leading what is part of a Government Department while also an accredited museum.

- Extensive experience of curating British art within an art gallery, museum or similar environment, including working with a collection and with artists, organising temporary exhibitions and managing art projects involving the commissioning and fabrication of new work.

- A good working knowledge of British art, with an emphasis on the modern and contemporary

- Experience of writing and editing texts and producing publications

- A knowledge of the art market and valuations

- Ability to present art in different settings with sensitivity and good judgement

- Ability to speak engagingly about art to a variety of different audiences.


You'll receive over 30% of your total compensation package in benefits:
Flexible working arrangements and Flexi-time
26.5 days annual leave on entry increasing to 31.5 days after 5 years' service.
Exceptional contributory pension scheme
5 days of paid leave for L&D
3 days of paid volunteering
Parental leave up to 9 months on FULL pay
Occupational sick pay
Brilliant and engaged staff networks to join including the LGBT+, BAME, Mental Health and Wellbeing and Women's Network.
Access to one of the world's largest learning and development platforms
Masterclasses and talks through the DCMS Academy
Season ticket loan, Cycle to work scheme and much more!

SCS T&C's will vary, please refer to the attached candidate information pack to find out more.

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

Application Process

To apply for this post, you will need to submit the following documentation online via the CS Jobs portal. no later than 23:55 31/10/2021:

A CV setting out your career history, with key responsibilities and achievements. Please ensure you have provided reasons for any gaps within the last two years.

A Personal Statement (no longer than 1250 words) explaining why you want the role and how you consider your personal skills, qualities and experience provide evidence of your suitability for it, paying particular reference to the criteria in the essential requirements and desirable skills section of this advert. For further information; please see the candidate pack.


Please note; the timeline indicative below is indicative only at this stage and may be subject to change.

Shortlist meeting - 5/11/2021

Opportunity to visit the GAC and meet with the current Director: Shortlisted candidates only will be given the opportunity for a 30 minute visit to see the GAC office for a short tour and conversation with the outgoing Director at a mutually convenient time before interviews.

Interviews - W/C 22/11/2021

At sift, a panel, including the hiring manager, will assess your application to select those demonstrating the best fit with the role by considering the evidence you have provided against the criteria set out in the essential requirements and desirable skills section of this pack. Failure to address any or all of these may affect your application.

Interviews will consist of questions where candidates will be expected to build on the information provided in their personal statement and CV.

The interview will be a blended assessment consisting of a series of questions to test your professional and technical expertise, linked closely to the essential requirements set out in his role specification. Candidates may be asked to prepare a short presentation on a topic to be advised if/when invited to the interview stage.

Interviews will take place remotely via Google Hangout video call. Successful applicants will join the department through our remote onboarding process.

Further Information

If successful and transferring from another Government Department a criminal record check may be carried out.

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 [email protected] stating the job reference number in the subject heading.

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

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.

Please note that this role requires SC clearance, which would normally need 5 years' UK residency in the past 5 years. This is not an absolute requirement, but supplementary checks may be needed where individuals have not lived in the UK for that period. This may mean your security clearance (and therefore your appointment) will take longer or, in some cases, not be possible.

The candidate must also be willing to undergo DV clearance if required.

DCMS has a London and a National pay scale. For more information on this, including the circumstances in which each pay scale will apply, please see the candidate information pack.

This role will be based in London Only. Hubs are currently in London and Manchester, with further regional hubs set to be established in the near future. More information is available in the candidate information pack.

A reserve list may be held for a period of 6 months from which further appointments can be made.

Any move to DCMS 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 at https://www.childcarechoices.gov.uk

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

If a person with disabilities is put at a substantial disadvantage compared to a non-disabled person, we have a duty to make reasonable changes to our processes.

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

Contact Government Recruitment Service via [email protected] 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.

To help VERCIDA find roles that are best suited to you at DCMS, we ask you to confidentially share information about yourself with us. Any data VERCIDA receive is securely stored and never shared with third parties.

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