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NHS Test and Trace - Head of Inclusive Design

Department of Health and Social Care


NHS Test and Trace’s purpose is to break chains of COVID-19 transmission to enable people to return towards and maintain a more normal way of life.

We are the Civil Service like you have not seen before. We started from scratch to build our testing capacity at scale, a contact tracing system of a size never before imagined and boosted our intelligence and analytical capability. We will be here, beyond COVID-19, when we become a part of the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA).

You will be working with a highly motivated and passionate group of people, who have come together from across the country, to work on one central cause at an organisation created to address a crisis. Our organisation is non-hierarchical with transparent and engaged leaders. You will be working alongside them in an exciting and fast pace environment with the opportunity to make your mark and influence government policy and delivery.

We have all been affected by COVID-19. This is your opportunity to help and make a difference. Your work will be saving lives and enable people to return towards and maintain a more normal way of life.

The NHS Test and Trace service is central to the government’s coronavirus recovery strategy. It is designed to enable life to return to as close to normal as possible, for as many people as possible, in a way that is safe and protects our NHS and social care. It brings together testing, contact tracing and outbreak management into an end-to-end service.
Job description
Equity & Inclusion (E&I) is at the heart of NHS Test and Trace. We must be fair to all people, according to their respective needs, and empower individuals to participate by eliminating both implicit and explicit barriers to doing so. Through our work, NHS Test and Trace will deliver better outcomes for underserved, excluded and disproportionately impacted communities.

Our strategy for achieving this:

• First, by better meeting the needs of everyone through the design of equitable and inclusive policy, communications, services; and
• Second, through the delivery of targeted and tailored awareness raising, and improved service experience and support, designed specifically to meet the needs of those still unable or unwilling to engage with NHS Test and Trace.

We are recruiting a G6 Head of Inclusive Design and Accessibility to lead NHS Test and Trace’s Inclusive Design Practice. The purpose of this unit is to ensure all design and delivery methodologies across the organisation are truly inclusive, delivering accessible and inclusive services for all who need them as a result. The team will:
• tackle a backlog of cross-cutting and high-impact accessibility and inclusion improvements, uncovering barriers and opportunities for improvement through continuous discovery research, monitoring feedback mechanisms and driving inclusive service design initiatives to address exclusion.
• empower existing service teams, by acting as a central accelerator for inclusive design and accessibility initiatives, championing best practice and building sustained capability in the process
• lead on the design and delivery of discrete, high-impact service transformation programmes, including pivoting existing service infrastructure to allow services to be tailored to meet the diverse needs of our users

This role will be home-based with travel to DHSC Test & Trace sites/offices as required. Your salary will be based on your home address and the relevant pay scales under DHSC/Test &Trace Policy. National pay rates will apply to those employees whose permanent place of work is outside of the 40-mile radius of the M25. Test & Trace is moving to the new National Institute for Health Protection in Spring 2021 which may result in some roles being performed from a regional office. This should be taken into account when applying for this role.

As head of Inclusive Design and Accessibility, your responsibilities will include:
• Leading the Inclusive Design Practice team, including researchers, service designers, accessibility specialists and business analysts. You will set strategic direction for the team, and ensure that each team member has the conditions to work effectively
• Ensuring team delivery contributes to NHS Test and Trace’s organisational goals, reporting on this to senior leaders
• Set clear standards and expectations for inclusive, ethical, robust research practice for E&I groups
• Set clear standards and expectations for inclusive, equitable and responsible service design and design practice
• Procure and coordinate use of external capabilities that all teams should be drawing on to meet access needs
• Articulate and enable best practice in coproduction and co-design with advocacy organisations and underrepresented or vulnerable users, guiding research participant recruitment for wider T&T teams so that they can be confident they are designing to meet the needs of lesser-heard groups
• Level-up “design for accessibility” skills across digital and non-digital channels with a compelling, coherent and integrated framework that bridges between the two worlds
• Create and share frameworks, models and templates to bolster inclusivity of design practices
• Drive the consistent use of existing compliant standardised patterns and components that meet service standards

Essential Criteria:
- extensive experience in cross-disciplinary User-Centred Design Leadership roles, including coaching and mentoring less experienced colleagues
- extensive experience empowering, leading and developing large cross-disciplinary teams of designers, content designers and user researchers, co-ordinating work across multiple projects, and ensuring people are organised appropriately and effectively so that design activities deliver maximum value and impact
- proven experience in engaging with, and influencing, key individuals/teams to deliver outcomes, including senior stakeholders up to board level
- extensive experience in researching, designing, prototyping and iterating accessible, usable, equitable services that are based on user needs, as an interaction, content or service designer or user researcher
- extensive experience in helping teams to understand the wider service context of a project or product
- extensive experience of working in an agile, multi-disciplinary and collaborative environment
- strong, demonstrable understanding of the importance and value of equitable and inclusive design methodologies

Desirable Criteria:
• experience designing services to be equitable and inclusive, working with seldom-heard communities and people traditionally excluded from design and user research practice, including doing user-centred research and design for underrepresented or vulnerable people
• experience working within complex, fast-paced environments delivering high profile programmes of work, including in environments where the policy and delivery context is in flux
• experience ensuring services comply with GOV.UK and/or NHS Digital Service Standards, or experience using the standards and working practices described in the GOV.UK and/or NHS Digital Service Manual(s), whether inside or outside government/NHS

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

Seeing the Big Picture
Communicating and Influencing
Working Together
Delivering at Pace

Technical skills

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


• Learning and development tailored to your role
•An environment with flexible working options
• A culture encouraging inclusion and diversity
• A Civil Service pension
Things you need to know
Successful candidates must pass a disclosure and barring security check.
People working with government assets must complete basic personnel security standard checks.
Selection process details
This vacancy is using Success Profiles, and will assess your Behaviours, Experience and Technical skills.
Sift and Interview Dates: TBC

At application stage you will be assessed on experience, this will be in the form of a CV and a personal statement of 750 words.

At interview stage you will be assessed on your behaviours and technical skills, this will be through questions and a presentation.

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 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.

Other Information

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

Existing Civil Servants and applicants from accredited NDPBs are eligible to apply, but will only be considered on loan basis (Civil Servants) or secondment (accredited NDPBs). Prior agreement to be released on a loan basis must be obtained before commencing the application process. In the case of Civil Servants, the terms of the loan will be agreed between the home and host department and the Civil Servant. This includes grade on return.

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.

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

In order to process applications without delay, we will be sending a Criminal Record Check to Disclosure and Barring Service /Disclosure Scotland/Access NI (If location is in England will be DBS, Scotland will be Disclosure Scotland; Northern Ireland will be Access NI) on your behalf. However, we recognise in exceptional circumstance 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 stating the job reference number in the subject heading.

For further information on the Disclosure Scotland confidential checking service telephone: the Disclosure Scotland Helpline on 0870 609 6006 and ask to speak to the operations manager in confidence, or email

For further information on the Access NI confidential checking service telephone: the Access NI Helpline on 0300 200 7888 and ask to speak to the operations manager in confidence, or email

Any move to Department of Health and Social Care 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

If you are experiencing accessibility problems with any attachments on this advert, please contact the email address in the Contact point for applicants section.

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 (or eligible for) status under 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.
Apply and further information
Once this job has closed, the job advert will no longer be available. You may want to save a copy for your records.
Contact point for applicants
Job contact :
Name : Ellie Lewis
Email :

Recruitment team :
Email :

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