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Deputy Director, Laboratories Directorate




Deputy Director, Laboratories Directorate FTC till end of March 2022


Flexible working 3 days from home 2 days in Office

Salary £71, 000 per annum , pro rata for FTC.

We are seeking two exceptional candidates to join our Clients Teams as Deputy Directors in the Laboratories Directorate.

The Laboratories Directorate sits within the United Kingdom Health Security Agency (UKHSA).

This is a newly created agency that became fully operational on 1st October 2021, bringing together Public Health England, NHS Test and Trace and the analytical capability of the Joint Biosecurity Centre.

The Laboratories Directorate provides the ‘gold’ standard of testing capacity, turn-around-time and accuracy to break the chains of COVID 19 transmission to enable people to return towards and maintain a more normal way of life.

In combination with the National Health Service (NHS) these laboratories make up the largest diagnostic network in British history.

These are exciting, fast-paced and demanding SCS roles at the centre of the national effort against COVID 19.

Two roles are available.

While much of the work delivered by both roles will be interchangeable, it is likely that one of the successful candidates will have experience of running diagnostic laboratories and the other will bring an in-depth understanding of the Civil Service.

Job description 

The Deputy Directors work to the Director of Laboratories.

At the heart of the role is supporting the Director of Laboratories to deliver sustained and effective testing capacity for Test and Trace, working with a network of independent Lighthouse, Partner and Surge laboratories as well as the UKHSA Rosalind Franklin Laboratory.

Key Responsibilities

  • Assist the Director of Laboratories to ensure the laboratory network aligns with, and delivers, the strategic intent of the UKHSA.
  • Accountable for the performance of the laboratory network to the Director of Laboratories, ensuring appropriate utilisation and driving test sample turnaround times (TATs) to, or above, SLA.
  • Deputise for the Director of Laboratories, representing the Laboratories Directorate across the programme to share updates, solve challenges and interface with senior stakeholders.
  • Lead the management and resolution of key operational risks and issues across the laboratory network.
  • Lead on representing the Laboratories Directorate in the planning and execution of high-profile initiatives (such as increasing testing capacity) and events (such as the G7 in Cornwall and COP 26 in Glasgow).
  • Assist the Director in fostering and developing a workforce culture where people are happy, productive, embody the Civil Service values, and are able to fulfil their potential.

Essential Criteria

ü  Capability to develop a detailed understanding of principles for operating a national level laboratory network and interfacing with upstream/downstream elements of the overall testing programme.

ü  Capability to receive, synthesise and act on complex operational data to determine most appropriate responses, taking account of both operational constraints, policy drivers and other key factors.

ü  Ability to support fast-paced 24x7 operations with rapid decision making (based on situational awareness and historical insight) over an extended period.

ü  Ability to refine and enhance network operations based on operational experience and continued development of external requirements, while maintaining programme KPIs.

ü  Credibility, experience and capability to deputise for Director of Laboratories in key internal and external meetings, lead operational delivery and engagement with all components of the testing network.

ü  Ability to define, execute and assess ongoing projects to deliver enhanced capability or capacity within the testing network.

ü  Ability to manage network stakeholders at senior levels of the programme and related organisations, including UKHSA and OGDs.

ü  Ability to lead resolution of complex operational issues, drive analysis of root causes and development of issue mitigations/operational changes to prevent recurrence.

ü  Ability to bring people with you and bring together a diverse and distributed team of civil servants, contractors, consultants, subject matter experts, scientists and generalists.

Points to note

Please note, that whilst the teams continue to work from home, the successful candidate may be required to work in the London office approximately 1 to 2 days per week.

This is Covid dependant.

Insignia Recruit and our clients are equal opportunities employers, value diversity and are strongly committed to providing equal employment opportunities for all employees and all applicants for employment.

Equal opportunities are the only acceptable way to conduct business and we believe that the more inclusive our environments are, the better our work will be