Head of Problem Structuring Analysis

Birmingham, Hastings, Leeds, London
National - £60,135 London - £65,439
16 Sep 2021
29 Sep 2021
Contract Type

About the job Summary

We recognise the challenges that people with (multiple) protected characteristics may experience on the job market and in their career progression. We are fully committed to being an inclusive employer and ensuring equal opportunities. We are keen to make our workforce as diverse as possible, and we hope to attract applications from underrepresented groups, including Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) people, people with a disability, and people with gender diverse identities.

The Advanced Analytics Division (AAD) is a growing multidisciplinary unit of Operational Research Analysts, statisticians and Data Scientists within the Analysis and Science Directorate including members of the Government Operational Research Service (GORS) and the Digital, Data and Technology (DDaT) Profession. The team is currently split site between London and Hastings. This division is in the department’s Analysis and Science Directorate which supports the whole department.

We work on a range of projects across DfT, including supporting the DfT’s Agencies to ensure decisions are underpinned by robust analysis. We leverage the full spectrum of Operational Research and data science techniques from systems thinking, optimisation and simulation modelling to AI & machine learning to solve high profile and technically challenging problems.

We now have an exciting opportunity for a Head of Problem Structure and Analysis to join the AAD. This is a permanent role and locations of work can be either in London, Hastings, Leeds or Birmingham.

Job description

Our projects cover a range of policy areas and internal organisational needs as priorities and opportunities arise and we we’re looking to expand our influence to ensure we’re supporting all the Department’s priority areas, which requires an Agile approach to be able to pivot at a moment’s notice.

Your role in the division will be a crucial part of leading and growing the use of soft Operational Research (OR) and core analysis techniques such as problem structuring and systems thinking in the Department. Working with OR colleagues, embedded analytical teams and policy leads you will play an essential role in driving the use of soft OR and analysis to underpin decision making.

You’ll be responsible for leading this key capability area in the Division and building a centre of excellence. You’ll be reaching out to stakeholders in the department to identify where our team can add value and will lead teams to deliver this important analysis. You can expect to be working on a variety of projects concurrently.

You’ll also be able to apply your knowledge of other OR techniques (soft and hard) to the vast array of projects we work on. We matrix manage our projects, so whilst we want to grow our expertise in problem structuring it is likely you’ll also be asked to lead small project teams of various disciplines across the spectrum of analysis techniques from project initiation, through to delivery and subsequent retro.

You will also get the opportunity to develop your technical skills and networks in dedicated learning and development time.


We are looking for someone with experience in soft and hard OR and in leading and delivering problem structuring and systems thinking to underpin decision making.
Key responsibilities include:

• Engaging with DfT stakeholders to identify high impact projects and where we can add value to embedded analytical teams.
• Lead and manage analysts and innovative analytical projects from project initiation to delivery and retrospectives.
• Building awareness and soft OR capability in our team and the wider department

About You

We are flexible with working arrangements (due to COVID) and are offering hybrid working within the department at present. Due to the nature of the role post-COVID there will be a requirement for the successful candidate however to be willing to travel and work in the office more frequently.

We are looking for someone dynamic and engaging, with a passion for Organisational Research.

For further detail on this please see attached the Role Profile for further information.

We are different people, one team

Find out more about what it's like working at the Department for Transport.


To apply for this post candidates must meet the Government Operational Research educational requirements. More information about this can be found here GORS entry requirements.

You must possess a 2:1 or higher numerate degree, or a 2:2 with relevant work experience or postgraduate qualification.

Highly numerate degrees include: Astrophysics, Data Science, Decision Science, Econometrics, Engineering, Mathematics, Operational Research, Physics and Statistics. Other degrees, such as Accounting, Biology, Business, Chemistry, Economics, Finance, Geography, IT, Management, Management Science, Psychology, Sociology, Social Sciences and Systems Science, may be accepted if 50% or more of the modules are considered highly numerate.

GORS Competency Framework (Grade 6).


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

  • Developing Self and Others
  • Leadership
  • Managing a Quality Service

Technical skills

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

  • Sustaining and developing Operational Research professionals and professionalism
  • Knowledge and application of OR skills and techniques
  • Achieving impact with analysis


Being part of our brilliant Civil Service means you will have access to a wide range of fantastic benefits. We offer generous annual leave, attractive pension options, flexible working, inclusive working environments and much more to support a healthy work/life balance.

Find out more about what it's like working at the Department for Transport

Things you need to know Security

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.

We are closely monitoring the situation regarding the coronavirus and will be following central Government advice as it is issued. There is therefore a risk that recruitment to this post may be subject to change at short notice. In addition, where appropriate, you may be invited to attend a video interview.

Please continue to follow the application process as normal and ensure that you check your emails regularly as all updates from us will be sent to you this way.

How to Apply

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

Please provide a CV outlining your career history, and the key responsibilities you had in each of your roles.

For your Personal Statement, please use your 750 words to demonstrate your experience of the following:

• Leading and Managing Analytical Teams.
• Leading on the development, use and governance of models including Rapid Application Development (RAD)
• Engaging with Stakeholders to identify where analysis can be used to help improve decision making.

Sift and Interview Dates

The sift is due to take place w/c 27th September 2021.

Interviews are due to take place w/c 11th October 2021.

This interview could be conducted via a video interview, details of which will be provided to you should you be selected for interview.

We will try to meet the dates set out in the advert. There may be occasions when these dates will change. You will be provided with sufficient notice of the confirmed dates.

The selection process will be designed specifically for the role. As a result, your assessment could include:

• an interview and a technical exercise (e.g. presentation, written, or coding exercise etc)

As part of the Technical exercise, you will be measured against the GORS competency framework at a Grade 6 level (elements detailed in Technical section above) which can be found here.

More detail around this can be found in the Role Profile.

The Department for Transport alongside other Government Departments recruit using Success Profiles. This means for each role we consider what you will need to demonstrate in order to be successful. This gives us the best possible chance of finding the right person for the job, drives up performance and improves diversity and inclusivity.

For further information on Success Profiles visit our Careers website.

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

Further Information

To learn more about applying for a role within the Department for Transport, visit the Application Process page of our Careers website.

Before submitting your application, we encourage you to visit our Things You Need to Know page for further information about applying for a role within the Department for Transport and the Civil Service.

Throughout this job advert there are links to the DfT Careers website, which provides you further information to support your application. Should you be unable to access the information on our website, please email DRGComms@dft.gov.uk for assistance.

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.

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 :   Sam Rose Email :   Sam.Rose@dft.gov.uk   Recruitment team : Email :   dftrecruitment.grs@cabinetoffice.gov.uk Further information

If you feel your application has not been treated in accordance with the Recruitment Principles and you wish to make a complaint, in the first instance, you should contact Government Recruitment Services via email: dftrecruitment.grs@cabinetoffice.gov.uk If you are not satisfied with the response you receive from the Department, you can contact the Civil Service Commission: Visit the Civil Service Commission website at https://civilservicecommission.independent.gov.uk