Census Operations Support Manager

Application deadline date has been passed for this Job.
This job has been Expired
Fixed TermPermanent
  • Salary Range £25,000+
  • SALARY & BENEFITS £29,540
  • Job Contact Elle McCue
  • Contact Email CDCTP.vacancy.support@ons.gov.uk
  • Job Level Higher Executive Officer
  • INDUSTRY SECTOR Business, consulting and management
Job Description
Are you well organised with a pro-active approach to your work? Enjoy working in a busy, fast paced environment with a great team of likeminded people ready to support and celebrate with one another? Then this might be the role for you.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) is the UK’s largest producer of official statistics, covering a range of key economic, social and demographic topics. These include measuring changes in the value of the UK economy, estimating the size, geographic distribution and characteristics of the population, and providing indicators of price inflation, employment, earnings, crime and migration.

ONS runs the Census in England and Wales every 10 years. It’s a crucial element in the design and planning of future services. A census in the UK is a count of all people and households that is carried out every 10 years. Every effort is made to include everyone, and that is why the census is so important. It is the only survey which provides a detailed picture of the entire population and is unique because it covers everyone at the same time and asks the same core questions everywhere. This makes it easy to compare different parts of the country.

The Census Transformation Programme (CTP) will deliver both the:
• 2021 Census; involving research, development, testing and operation of a 2021 online Census and implementation of methods for producing outputs from the 2021 Census data enhanced with data from other sources, and
• Administrative Data Census; involving research into the potential use of administrative data and new surveys to replace a census after 2021.

Job description

As an Operations Support Manager you will be responsible for helping develop and improve the operational delivery of Census services for the 2021 Census.

There are 4 job opportunities available in the Census Operations team. These roles sit within the following workstreams:
1. Operational Management Services (inc. Incident Management, Risk and Business Continuity) – 2 posts available, all require security clearance
2. Operational Readiness Assurance and Operational Development (Please note: 1 of the above vacancies will be part of this workstream until November 2020, at which point it will move full time into the role described above 1) – 1 post available – requires security clearance
3. Operational Management Information – 1 post available – requires basic security


1. Operational Management Services (inc. Incident Management, Risk and Business Continuity) – 2 posts available
• Responsible for the delivery of products such as the Incident Management System and Business Continuity Plans as well as the delivery of cross cutting contingency plans;

• Review, plan and aid in the testing of Business Continuity Plans and other key scenarios that could affect the delivery of Census;
• Delivery of Incident Management Training to service areas including process and system;
• Supporting the business teams during the live operation with the triaging, logging and management of incidents;
• Assist in writing and testing business continuity and contingency plans to ensure they are operationally functional;
• Gather requirements and developments for the Census Incident Management system;
• Communicate and engage with teams across the Census Programme to ensure all constituent projects understand and are committed to the delivery of testing and required operational activities;
• Assist in planning and coordinating readiness testing. Including executing test scenarios and ensuring smooth transition into live operations;
• Be a subject matter expert for the Operations team, assisting with the ongoing development of the Operational Management service for the 2021 Census;
• Provide support during the high-pressured operational period to the different workstreams;
• Have the potential Line Management responsibility of 1 member of staff.

2. Operational Readiness Assurance and Operational Development – 1 post available (post will be part of this workstream until November 2020, at which point it will move full time into the role described above. Temporary duties within Operational Readiness Assurance and Development include:

• Stakeholder management across the Census programme to gather requirements for operational management services in the lead up to 2021 Census operations;
• Assist in the development and delivery of operational management services for all areas of the Census, ensuring that teams have the required processes in place to run a successful operation;
• Assist in producing Operational Readiness Assurance reports which are used to assess programme readiness prior to commencing the Census operation.
• Have the potential Line Management responsibility of 1 member of staff.

3. Operational Management Information – 1 post available
Working in the Operational Management Information Team, you will help to develop a Business Intelligence solution to support Operational decision making for the 2021 Census; providing support in the following areas:
Planning –
• Assisting in the planning and delivery of a Business Intelligence system for the 2021 Census;
• Development of Management Information indicators, to support governance during operations;
• Working closely with stakeholders, Business Analysts and technical teams to define data requirements.
• Assist in the development of Business Intelligence dashboards and data visualisations, utilising Google Data Studio;
• Development of operating procedures and contingency plans for live operations;
• Testing of dashboards and data feeds.
• Monitoring daily data feeds and dashboard refreshes;
• Troubleshooting dashboard errors;
• Carrying out data quality checks;
• Responding to ad-hoc analysis requests;
• Responding to change requests;
• Supporting the analysis of daily dashboards and providing briefings to managers on any deviations from expected values.
• Have the potential Line Management responsibility of 1 member of staff.

Person specification
Essential criteria for all vacancies:
• Experience of cross team working across projects and / or collaboration with different business areas;
• Proven ability to work in a fast-paced environment and the ability to adapt to a new and ever-changing working environment;
• Proven skills to balance priorities and manage your own workload effectively, as well as organisational skills to deliver to time with quality;
• Strong communication and interpersonal skills, both written and verbal;
• Excellent attention to detail and ability to identify key information from various sources;
• A strong customer centric approach to understand needs and the ability to gain buy in from key stakeholders;
• Knowledge and experience of core Microsoft packages, including PowerPoint, Word and Excel;
• Ability to present complex information in a way that can be easily understood by stakeholders at all levels.

Desirable criteria:
• Previous operational delivery or Census experience;
• Previous Incident Management or Business Continuity experience;
• Experience of system and service testing;
• Experience developing Management Information Dashboards;
• Data visualisation experience;
• Training will be provided in visualisation tools, but ideally you will be confident in and have experience of using software packages.

Please note – You will be expected to be part of a rotated team that will provide emergency out of hours cover for incidents that occur during the 2021 Census live operational period. This will involve being on call during evenings, weekends and bank holidays.


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

  • Delivering at Pace
  • Working Together
  • Communicating and Influencing
  • Managing a Quality Service

Technical skills

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

  • Knowledge and experience of core Microsoft packages, including PowerPoint, Word and Excel


As well as a competitive salary, you’ll enjoy:
• Generous holiday allowance – 25 days annual leave, rising to 30 days after 5 years’ service in addition to public holidays;
• Good work-life balance – working options include flexible working arrangements Monday to Friday between 7am and 7pm;
• Strong ethos of equality and diversity;
• Up to 3 days paid leave per year for voluntary opportunities;
• Maternity, adoption or shared parental leave of up to 26 weeks full pay followed by 13 weeks of statutory pay and a further 13 weeks unpaid, and statutory paternity leave of 2 weeks plus an additional week of departmental paternity leave all at full pay;
• Highly competitive contributory Civil Service Pension;
• Career development and progression – Career pathway options such as apprenticeships and recognised qualifications for a variety of professions are available;
• Free onsite car parking in Newport and Fareham;
• Cycle to work scheme.

Things you need to know


Successful candidates must pass a disclosure and barring security check.
Successful candidates must meet the security requirements before they can be appointed. The level of security needed is security check.

Selection process details

This vacancy is using Success Profiles, and will assess your Behaviours, Strengths, Experience and Technical skills.

Assessment at application stage will be based on your CV and personal statement. Your CV should be tailored to demonstrate any skills, knowledge and experience that are relevant to the content of the role.

Your personal statement should be no longer than 1250 words. You should use this space to provide evidence for each essential criteria within the person specification. As the criteria are scored, we would recommend that you give clear examples for each including the impact of your actions. Success Profiles Behaviour examples are not required at this stage.

In cases where there is a high number of applications the sift pass mark may be adjusted and candidates will be invited to interview in merit order, i.e. those scoring the highest.

Should you be invited to interview, you will be assessed using various assessment techniques aligned to the new Civil Service Success Profiles, where you’ll be assessed against all the behaviours outlined in the advert.

At interview candidates will be asked their preference for which role they would like if successful. Assessors will determine suitability for each role based on evidence provided by each candidate. Successful candidates may not be offered their first preference but this will be discussed at offer stage

In certain circumstances, interviews may be conducted by Video Conference.

A reserve list may be held for a period up to 12 months from which further appointments may be made.

Sift: Week commencing 20 April 2020
Interviews: Week commencing 4 May 2020

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  • For the full terms and conditions of the post, please see attachment.

  • Feedback will only be provided if you attend an interview or assessment.

Nationality requirements

Open to UK, Commonwealth and European Economic Area (EEA) and certain non EEA nationals. Further information on whether you are able to apply is available here.

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

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 Paul Cudmore, Office for National Statistics, Government Buildings, Cardiff Road, Newport NP10 8XG. If you are not satisfied with the response you receive from the Department, you can contact the Civil Service Commission at http://civilservicecommission.independent.gov.uk/civil-service-recruitment/complaints/