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GDS builds DDaT jobs framework

The Government Digital Service has created a framework to build common skills and capability across digital, data and technology roles

The Government Digital Service (GDS), together with a cross-government team, has built a framework of digital, data and technology (DDaT) jobs to create consistency across departments.

In a blog post, Arif Harbott, former Ministry of Justice (MoJ) CIO and now GDS advisor on digital data and technology, said the framework aims to create a “common set of roles, skills and career paths that every government department can use”.

“Through a shared framework, departments are better positioned to attract and retain talent and more effective at both building and upskilling capability,” he said.

Harbott joined GDS on a short-term basis in the autumn of 2016 to lead the programme to develop skills, recruitment, training and career paths for IT experts across the civil service. 

The project, which was launched last year, brought together more than 600 people from DDaT communities and civil servants from across government, “to join in a coordinated approach and agree a common language” for DDaT roles.

The team working on the project has reclassified job roles across departments into 37 roles, split into six clusters including data, IT operations, product and delivery, technical, user-centred design, and quality assurance and testing.

Currently in the beta stage, the frameworks will be updated regularly, “based on wider feedback and user behaviour”.

“This framework is a living asset, not a final product,” said Harbott. “It allows departments and communities across government to adapt it to their own environments and provides insight into what is and isn’t working.”

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Some departments are already piloting the framework in order for the team to develop guidance and further job descriptions, as well as an implementation user guide.

The framework is part of a commitment from GDS, as set out in the government’s transformation strategy to “have one of the most digitally skilled populations of civil servants in the world” by 2020.

This includes growing the DDaT profession and developing consistent career paths, as well as “building the best possible learning and development opportunities for DDaT professionals through the Digital Academy”.

GDS director general Kevin Cunnington said the framework is “a significant step forward in enabling departments to attract, recruit and retain the specialists they need in a very competitive marketplace”.

“It’s delivering on a key commitment that we made in the Government Transformation Strategy, and has been the result of sustained collaboration across many communities and departments,” he said. 

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