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Job description

We are looking to recruit two exceptional policy advisers to join the Security and Online Harms (SOH) Directorate. These are exciting opportunities, as key policy makers, to shape the future of the internet and tech in the UK - an industry which plays an intrinsic role in people's lives as well as being a substantial part of the UK economy. Our teams work closely with industry, civil society, regulators, academia and policy makers across DCMS and Whitehall. These roles will provide exciting opportunities to drive forward existing policy priorities for Ministers as well as leading strategic thinking about new challenges facing the online world.

The Department

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) is here to help make Britain the world's most creative, connected and exciting place to live, visit and do business. DCMS has recently become the UK government's home for digital policy, and we are rapidly growing in size. Our goal is to make Britain the most innovation-driven, digitally-skilled, cyber-secure and safe place to be online in the world. The department also has responsibility for the creative industries and cultural sectors, including media, broadcasting, publishing, film, advertising, arts, museums, heritage, tourism, sport and other cultural sectors.

The Team

SOH is the newest Directorate in DCMS and was set up to deal with the rapidly changing landscape of social and security harms in the online space. Indeed, the Prime Minister has made tackling online harms one of her key priorities, taking a personal interest in the policy and setting the clear ambition of making the UK the safest place in the world to be online.

The Online Harms White Paper was published In April 2019 and sets out the UK Government's approach to tackling harms online. Security and Online Harms has a leading role in tackling a diverse range of online harms and broader internet policies including fake news and disinformation, child online safety, tech for good, EU trade and international internet governance. SOH is rapidly expanding to meet this brief and is looking for enthusiastic, ambitious and collaborative individuals to work on high-priority policy areas.

The Roles

The Online Harms White Paper emphasises the crucial role that technology and product design can play in keeping users safe, and in helping to equip companies and users with better tools to tackle online harms.

These are key objectives that are needed in advance of legislation to ensure the effective implementation of a duty of care regulatory framework, and support an independent regulator.

You will work as part of a new team within the SOH Directorate that is focused on helping government and industry seize this crucial opportunity. Your work will help establish the UK as a world-leader in the development of online safety technology and services, and the establishment of a 'safety by design' framework. As the regulatory framework develops, you will help to ensure that companies of all sizes have access to, and adopt, innovative solutions to improve the safety of their users.

Both roles will involve significant exposure to ministers, for whom online harms is a key policy area, and policy-makers across DCMS and Whitehall. In particular, they will also involve close collaboration with organisations across the tech sector, as well as leading organisations in the tech sector, civil society, academia and beyond.

The policy advisor posts are expected to focus on two broad areas:

(i) Driving innovation and market growth

The post-holder will support and deliver programmes to:

  • Evaluate the capability and potential of the UK 'safety technology' sector;

  • Working with industry partners to understand and address barriers to growth;

  • Lead a consistent cross-government response to innovation around online safety, coordinating with stakeholders across government to establish areas of shared priority and insight;

  • Support the delivery of innovative technological solutions; and

  • Explore opportunities for adoption of shared approaches.

(ii) Safety by design

The post-holder will support and deliver programmes to:

  • Evaluate the capability of organisations in scope to comply with upcoming legislation, identifying gaps and opportunities that can be addressed through product design choices;

  • Develop a 'safety by design' framework of guidance, tools and practical resources that enables companies of all sizes be equipped to design and build safer digital products and platforms;

  • Support the development of innovative design solutions;

  • Embed and drive adoption by industry of a safety by design framework; and

  • Work with industry to encourage the take-up of free or low-cost safety technologies or services for safety.

For both positions, the successful candidate will:

    Be a motivated self-starter;
  • Be adept at building and maintaining excellent relationships with multiple stakeholders;

  • Be a strong communicator - both orally and in writing;

  • Have proven ability to analyse and synthesise complex information from multiple sources;

  • Manage policy delivery projects from conception, through to delivery, using strong project and programme management skills to plan projects and ensure they remain on track;

  • Be comfortable working independently and as part of the team; and

  • Be willing to flex and adapt as priorities shift.

We would be keen to receive applications from candidates who have an interest in the technology sector and technological innovation, and a desire to help shape policy in this area. A background in innovation, product design or service design are welcome, but not essential.


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

  • Seeing the Big Picture: Understand how your role fits with and supports organisational objectives. Recognise the wider Civil Service priorities and ensure work is in the national interest.

  • Delivering at Pace: Take responsibility for delivering timely and quality results with focus and drive.

  • Making Effective Decisions: Use evidence and knowledge to support accurate, expert decisions and advice. Carefully consider alternative options, implications and risks of decisions.

  • Working Together: Form effective partnerships and relationships with people both internally and externally, from a range of diverse backgrounds, sharing information, resources and support.

As part of the selection process (interview stage), you will be able to specify which of the two roles you have a preference for or whether you wish to be considered for both of them.

Candidates invited to interview will be asked to make a brief presentation.


We'll assess you against these behaviours during the selection process:
  • Seeing the Big Picture
  • Delivering at Pace
  • Making Effective Decisions
  • Working Together



Civil Service pension schemes may be available for successful candidates.

Things you need to know


Successful candidates must meet the security requirements before they can be appointed. The level of security needed is counter-terrorist check .

Nationality statement

Candidates will be subject to UK immigration requirements as well as Civil Service nationality rules .

If you're applying for a role requiring security clearance please be aware that foreign or dual nationality is not an automatic bar. However certain posts may have restrictions which could affect those who do not have sole British nationality or who have personal connections with certain countries outside the UK.

Selection process details

This vacancy is using Success Profiles , and will assess your Behaviours and Strengths.

Candidates will be assessed against the evidence provided in their application forms against each of the behaviours listed.

An initial sift based on behaviour 1 may be held if a large number of applications are received.
If your application progresses to a full sift, all behaviours will then be considered.

As part of the recruitment process we reserve the right to ask shortlisted candidates to complete a supplementary assessment. If applicable, further details will be provided following the shortlist.

At interview, candidates may be asked to make a short presentation. Details will be supplied on invitation to interview.
Feedback will only be provided if you attend an interview or assessment.

Nationality requirements

Open to UK, Commonwealth and European Economic Area (EEA) and certain non EEA nationals. Further information on whether you are able to apply is available here .

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 equality of opportunity. There is a guaranteed interview scheme (GIS) for candidates with disabilities who meet the minimum selection criteria.

Job Sector
Strategy & Consultancy
Job Position
£32,618.00 - £38,426.00
London, UK Show on map
Post date
Closing date

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