The role

The head of profession is responsibility 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