Job Specification

Job Title: Deputy Head of Information Systems Office/Principal Developer

Salary range: £57,245 – £58,981 (under review)

Grade: Assembly Grade 4

Directorate: Parliamentary Services

Business Area: Information Systems Office

Accountable to: Head of Information Systems Office

Accountable for:  Application Development team and Business Relationships team


Job Purpose

This is a challenging new post within the Information Systems (IS) Office combining two distinct roles. The post holder will lead the Assembly’s Application Development and Business Relationship functions and also be the Deputy Head of Information Systems Office. This is a key change role within the Assembly, supporting and reshaping the provision of information systems and enabling other parts of the business to perform effectively. The successful delivery of information systems in a rapidly changing technical environment presents many strategic, operational and technical challenges to the post holder.


Managing the Application Development function:

The post holder will lead a specialist team of 12 staff, developing and supporting the information systems required to successfully facilitate the work of the Assembly. The post holder will require a clear focus on the timely production of high-quality, bespoke procedural systems which are critical to the effective operation of Assembly business. The primary responsibility will be the ongoing development and support of the Assembly Information Management System (AIMS) – a complex suite of applications which records and publishes the procedural work of the Assembly – as well as the development and support of a wide range of corporate applications.

The post holder will be responsible for the availability, effectiveness and support of business critical Assembly Chamber and Committee systems, ensuring that the office is adequately resourced to provide direct support to the business.

The post holder will provide strategic direction for and management of the development function, ensuring that the team works effectively and efficiently.  They will oversee the delivery of project and contract management, 1st line support of third party applications, database administration and cloud infrastructure provisioning.  They will also prepare and maintain the financial, staffing, IT and training requirements for the Application Development team.


Deputy Head of IS Office:

The post holder will assist and support the Head of Information Systems and Strategy in managing a very demanding and wide-ranging workload of competing priorities, often to be completed within tight deadlines.

The post holder will assist in the management of the distinct teams of ICT staff across the Information Systems Office, to ensure the overall effectiveness of the corporate IS and ICT services provided. They will provide advice on the development, management and monitoring of IS and IT policies, procedures and systems for the Assembly. They will also provide strategic and authoritative technical advice and assessments on the ongoing development of the Assembly’s business  critical Chamber and Committee systems.

This is a key role in the organisation, and the post holder will have significant influence on any discussions relating to IS matters. The post will frequently involve a “challenge” aspect to the plans of other Assembly Business units and/or Directorates and this requires excellent communication skills and a degree of assertiveness when required.


Managing the Business Relationship function:

The post holder will also be responsible for managing the Assembly’s Business Relationship function, which acts as a strategic contact between Information Systems Office and Assembly business units to assist in, and improve the planning and delivery of ICT enabled projects.

At present, the Assembly’s Infrastructure function will continue to be managed by the Head of IS Office. However, the structure of the IS Office is reviewed on an ongoing basis and management of the Infrastructure function may, in the future, fall within the remit of the Deputy role.


Job Description:

The main duties and responsibilities of the post are:

  • To lead and manage the Application Development team, providing customised ICT solutions to facilitate the work of the Assembly, its Committees, its Members and the Secretariat.
  • To lead and manage the Business Relationship function, liaising with senior managers and staff across business areas involved in IT related projects and providing guidance and advice to the Business Relationship Manager as required.
  • To provide professional IS and IT expertise and advice to all users in the Assembly and to provide authoritative and expert advice on application development matters to the Head of IS Office, the Director of Parliamentary Services and the Secretariat Management Group in relation to the strategic provision of IS facilities and services for the Assembly.
  • To lead the development of, and support for, the ongoing development of the Assembly Information Management System (AIMS) covering the work of the Business Office, Committees, Hansard and other in-house procedural teams.
  • To be responsible for the provision of technical hosting and design services, consultancy and technical support for web-based Assembly platforms.
  • To take a leading role in software evaluations and development projects and to provide technical advice and support across a range of Assembly technologies.
  • To develop specifications for the procurement of ICT enabled business solutions and to lead, in an IS Office representational role, in discussions with potential contractors and suppliers within the specialism.
  • To lead the development, management and monitoring of IS and IT policies, procedures and systems relating to the work of the Application Development and Business Relationship teams.
  • To provide advice on the development, management and monitoring of other IS and IT policies, procedures and systems for the Assembly.
  • To prepare and maintain the financial, staffing, IT and training requirements for the Application Development and Business Relationship teams, for the approval of the Head of IS Office.
  • To be responsible for maintaining the security, confidentiality and integrity of all internally developed Assembly information systems.
  • To assist with the drafting, profiling and management of the IS Office annual budget with specific responsibility for monitoring those areas of the budget related to application software licences and subscriptions.
  • To assist in the day-to-day management of a complex team of IT specialists in the IS Office. This includes all aspects of project management, recruitment, training and performance management, preparation of business plans, SMG papers, management reports and updates on progress.
  • To comply with the Assembly’s Equal Opportunities and Dignity at Work policies and procedures.
  • You may also be required to carry out other duties that the Assembly Commission reasonably requires of you.



Essential Criteria:

Applicants for the post of Deputy Head of IS Office / Principal Developer must, by the closing date for applications:

1. Possess at least a Bachelor’s (or higher) Degree in Computing or other discipline relevant to Information Systems / Information Technology and at least 3 years’ experience of leading and managing an application development team;


a minimum of one year’s experience in each of the areas described below at (i), (ii), (iii), and (iv):

(i) Application Development

  • Microsoft Visual Studio 2015 or later
  • C#.NET and ASP.NET programming skills
  • Agile Development Processes
  • MVC Architecture
  • Entity Framework
  • Team Foundation Server

(ii) Application Development Lifecycle Management:

  • Azure DevOps including:
  • Azure Boards for capacity management
  • Azure Pipelines for build & release management
  • Azure Team Foundation Server for version control
  • Azure Test Plans for application testing

(iii) Database Design and Management

  • Microsoft SQL Server 2012 or later with experience of :
  • logical and physical data modelling and writing SQL code
  • design, support and maintenance of transactional replication for distributed databases
  • design, support and maintenance of always-on Availability Groups for high-availability and disaster-recovery

(iv) Internet / Web technologies

  • a sound, in-depth knowledge of HTML including cascading style sheets (CSS), Bootstrap and Internet scripting skills such as JavaScript, JQuery, AJAX, etc


2. At least 5 years’ experience of leading and managing an application development team;


have a minimum of one year’s experience in each of the areas described above at (i), (ii), (iii) and (iv).

*NB Only those courses with a computing content of 50% or more will be considered and applicants must give full details on the application form of how the content of the course meets this requirement.


Shortlisting Criteria:

Should shortlisting be required, the following shortlisting criteria will be applied:

Experience of providing strategic advice, both verbally and in writing, to the highest level in an organisation (i.e. Management Board or Chief Executive) on Information Systems projects and issues.


Skills & Behaviours:

The following Assembly Skills and Behaviours will be assessed during the selection process:


Building relationships and effective communication

…is creating and maintaining positive, professional and respectful internal and external working relationships through effective and appropriate communications.


Initiating improvement and delivering change

…is looking for and being open to new and innovative ideas and improvements to the service provided. It is being flexible and adapting positively and professionally to sustain performance when the situation changes, workloads increase or priorities change. It is about forming sound, evidence-based decisions and being accountable for results.


Managing & Leading Self and Others

… is setting high standards for ourselves. It is about guiding, motivating and developing others to achieve high performance. It is about engaging others in delivering a corporate vision of excellence, expertise and innovation in support of the Assembly as a legislature.


Parliamentary & Political Understanding

…is displaying an appropriate understanding of the wider political environment; what the Assembly does and how our role fits in; and the level of public scrutiny to which the actions and decisions of Assembly staff are exposed. It requires impartiality, integrity and political sensitivity.