Portfolio / Programme Support Officer

Department for Education
08 Apr 2018
22 Apr 2018
Contract Type
Full Time
DfE recognises the benefits that digital technologies can bring to the millions of people who use our services on an annual basis and we are committed to investing in improving our services.

The Department for Education's newly formed DDaT community has a clear vision to 'be the best place in government to work, building world class services to improve the opportunities for everyone in the country.'

DDaT are embarking on an ambitious multi-year transformation programme to orientate the organisation around the needs of our users; students, parents, teachers and educational establishments. This change will be as much cultural as it is technological and is based around 4 core values:

1. User-centric focus. A culture that starts with the user; both internal and external.
2. Evidence based. Our decisions will be based on sound user evidence.
3. Empowered staff. Staff will be empowered to make decisions, breaking free of the time delays caused by inefficient approval processes outside of user needs.
4. End to end delivery. We will move from fragmented services, platforms and teams, to a one-team approach enabling the delivery of services from start to end.

The role

The Programme Support Officer's role is a key delivery and support role, within a busy team responsible for the delivery of new developments and the modernisation of existing systems.
We are looking to recruit candidates who have experience of working in busy and changing environments, who can quickly develop, adopt and adhere to supporting processes and procedures to ensure effective management of projects, particularly in terms of governance and finance.
We are looking for staff who are passionate about providing professional services and want to make the team a great place to work.
This role is within the Technology Delivery Team who have the responsibility to implement IT solutions to business problems. By working with our customers and working closely with our delivery partners, we produce new or improved IT services across the Department for Education.
The key to delivery is not only working with the customer to put the right systems in place, but to be strategic, innovative and digital by default.

Key responsibilities

The post holder will be accountable for providing support to a range of projects, programmes and activities within the Technology Team.

• To support Project/Delivery Managers and wider teams to deliver a set of programmes and projects concurrently, achieving delivery on time and to budget.
• Manage resource planning to ensure value for money and aid in short and long term capacity planning and resource delivery to meet the needs of both the Technology Delivery team and wider teams within the Department.
• To ensure the governance for the programmes and projects, organising appropriate meetings, production of papers and materials and management of records and documentation. Act as an assurance role in governance boards, providing the Senior Responsible Owner with advice and guidance on meeting governance requirements.
• To oversee the financial contracts for the programmes and projects, managing spend to date, financial position against budget, ensuring payments are appropriate and correct and that authorisation have been met.
• Manage reconciliation of Contract resource timesheets and payments.
• Establish and maintain programme/project risk and issues logs and ensure that the agreed risk mitigations are planned, resourced and implemented.
•Monitor plans to ensure concurrent delivery of products, identifying and managing dependencies between projects.
• Coordinate financial processes, working closely with the Project Managers to produce financial reporting documents.
• Provide secretariat support where required.
• Promotes continuous improvement of PMO processes across the Technology Team and play an active part in developing a strong team culture.

Professional skills and experience

Essential skills:
• Experience with MS package
• Strong people skills
• Excellent written and spoken communication skills
• An ability to problem solve and implement solutions
• Financial acumen
• Time management and prioritisation skills
• Attention to detail

Desirable skills:
• Experience of contract and financial management.
• Understanding of project management.

Job Criteria (ie skills, behaviour and experience required)
Candidates will be required to:

Demonstrate that they can deliver in a fast-paced environment, by:

• Working positively to keep own and the team's efforts focused on highest priority goals
• Planning and being able to reassess workloads and priorities if situations change or people are facing conflicting demands.
• Regularly monitoring own and team's work against milestones or targets and acting promptly to keep work on track and maintain performance.
Show that they can lead and communicate effectively, by:
• Communicating in a concise, engaging manner and is able to confidently stand their ground when needed, providing sound reasoning for this.
• Displaying enthusiasm and energy about their work and encouraging others to do the same
• Communicating verbally and in writing to a very high standard, ensuring accuracy and attention to detail.
Demonstrate they are effective at collaborating and partnering to support delivery of objectives, by:
• Establishing relationships with a range of stakeholders to support delivery of business outcomes.
• Investing time to generate strong working relationships, garnering a common focus and genuine team spirit.
• Dealing with conflict in a prompt, calm and constructive manner.
• Readily sharing resources to support higher priority work, showing pragmatism and support for the shared goals of the organisation.

Deliver Value for money in all aspects of their work, by:

• Processing and encouraging an awareness of costs within your team, using clear simple examples of benefits and how to measure outcomes.
• Monitoring the use of resources in line with organisational policies and holding your team to account where these policies are not met.

This role requires someone who is committed, enthusiastic and enjoys a challenging environment. Attention to detail and conscientiousness will be valuable asset.

Communication is vital in this role. You will need to work closely with Project Managers and Portfolio Development Managers.



Civil Service pension schemes may be available for successful candidates.



You will be entitled to join the highly competitive Civil Service Pension Scheme, which many experts agree is one of the most generous in the UK.

The Institute for Fiscal Studies recently said that "the biggest difference between public and private sectors remains the value of employer contributions to public service pensions. These are much more generous in the public sector than in the private sector".

If you have accrued pension rights in another pension scheme, you may be eligible to transfer these rights into the Civil Service Pension Scheme.

Contributory pension (worth 20-22% of salary).

Annual leave

Your annual leave allowance will be 25 days, increasing by 1 day every year to a maximum of 30 days after five years' service. In addition, all staff receive the Queen's Birthday privilege holiday and eight days' bank and public holidays.

Flexible working and family friendly culture

We offer flexible working arrangements that recognise the importance of a good work/ life balance. We offer support with childcare and holiday play schemes costs by providing childcare vouchers for staff who meet the eligibility criteria. There is also a generous maternity/adoption/paternity leave package

Flexible working is open to everyone regardless of their personal circumstances, where business or operational needs allow. For example we offer:
• job share
• compressed hours
• term-time working
• part-time working

Development and progression

DfE exists to support lifelong learning, and offer all staff a minimum of five days formal learning and development every year supported by ongoing professional development and opportunities for professional accreditation.

Other benefits

We offer a range of other benefits, including season ticket loans and a cycle-to-work scheme.

Things you need to know


Successful candidates must pass basic security checks.

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

As part of the application process you will be asked to complete a CV section and a Personal Statement section. Further details around what this will entail are listed on the application form.

Please note that your Personal Statement should be aligned to the technical skills and experience outlined on the job description under essential requirements.

During the selection process we will use the essential technical skills and experience outlined on your Personal Statement.
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