The head of profession for design, enables and empowers designers across the department with the tools, support, standards, and guidance for delivering good design outcomes.

The role

The head of profession is responsible for:

The current head of profession

The current head of profession for design is Andy Jones.

Vision and strategic leadership

  • Setting the vision and strategy for the design profession across the department
  • Collaborate with the wider Department to ensure that the vision for the profession aligns to the wider needs of the department.
  • Creating a plan and roadmap to build and strengthen the professional capability and excellence.
  • Working across government and the sector to ensure a cohesive approach to the specialism, create opportunities for collaboration through existing networks – or setting up new networks where they don’t exist
  • Hold authority to ensure that specialists are able to contribute towards building the profession and participate in communities, backed by DDaT Committee.
  • Raising the profile of the profession across the department
  • Develop an attraction and retention strategy, to grow professional capability in the department

How we do this

Expert practitioner

  • Is the expert practitioner in their field with a high level of knowledge of current and new methodologies/strategies/technologies/techniques and a track record of delivery.
  • Retains an element of practice of their profession to keep their skills sharp and to work towards strategic departmental objectives
  • for example, unblocking delivery, product strategies, content strategies, architectural designs and patterns, etc.

How we do this

  • Developing tools and services to support design professionals such as the Design history service
  • Supporting teams or incidents with design advice and peer reviews


  • Developing professional communities to support our people to grow, establish standards and consistency, support rapid delivery through sharing and learning from one another
  • Working cross Government and externally to build connections into professional communities
  • Working with other Heads of Profession in related professions within their job family

How we do this

  • Established working groups centred around problem areas for developing the design professions
  • Active member of the cross-government heads of design working group

Quality and standards

  • Creating accessible knowledge, standards, and practice to set good conditions for people in their professions to work effectively, and ensuring they are well enforced through service assessments
  • Being the guardian of quality and standards of the practitioners within the profession and the principles and policies of the profession
  • Lead by example in the application of standards
  • Grow the assessor pool in the profession, to assure service delivery and build profession sustainability

How we do this


  • Building and growing a forward thinking and diverse team within the profession
  • Building the professional capability across the department
  • Define the competency, professional practice, skills profile, and expertise expectations at different grades across the profession
  • Setting approach for recruitment, onboarding, retention, graduate pipelines, diversification and developing the framework for professional development of people in their specialism
  • Develop the framework for professional development of people in their specialism and tracking capability

How we do this

  • Working to improve the recruitment and onboarding experience for designers
  • Ensuring that we reach the widest audience possible when recruiting into design roles
  • Supporting capability based pay framework implementation
  • Along with the Heads of Design in Ministry of Justice and Government Digital Service, create and implement a new design skills and capability framework

Organisational Delivery

  • Establishing close relationships with all delivery teams to understand their needs and challenges and to be able to identify areas of profession related join-up
  • Advising and consulting for the senior management team on questions relating to the profession
  • Providing consulting support for programmes with performance issues or where a particular specialism is lacking or causing delivery issues.
  • Feed up to date capability information into the workforce plan.
  • Making evidenced based decisions on the best tools, platforms, services, and content which supports the professions across the department.

How we do this

  • Work to support and build relationships with portfolio leadership to support with recruitment, people, or design needs
  • Take part in design peer reviews and service assessments, including cross-government assessments
  • Ensure that new joiners have access to the tools and technology they need to do their job