The ESFA is responsible for delivery and operation of the new apprenticeship service. This service provides access for employers to funding and training providers to deliver apprenticeships to their staff. The service is currently available to employers that pay the apprenticeship levy and we now delivering further transformation of the service to bring other employer groups and other delivery partners onto the service.
User Researchers are key figures in service teams, working to generate the feedback and insight service teams need to build a clear picture of their users and deliver solutions that they need. They will support service managers by generating new and useful user insights and translating it into features and actions that will allow them to iteratively improve their service for users.
As a junior user researcher you should have knowledge and some experience of user testing methodologies to reveal actionable customer insights. You will have excellent analytical and problem solving skills, and the ability to develop recommendations based on quantitative and qualitative evidence. You will need to be confident in explaining user needs to senior user researchers and the wider team, and act as an advocate for those needs both within the team and the department at large. You will also be comfortable working with data, from gathering and analysis through to design and presentation. You will report into a senior user researcher.
The main responsibilities of the post are:
• Supporting a senior user researcher to plan, design and conduct in-house usability testing sessions to support the design and development of government services
• Working alongside other user researchers in a team, planning and preparing research activities
• Working alongside a senior user researcher to conduct usability testing, from developing user recruitment briefs through to test moderation, analysis and feeding back
• Supporting research activities within the team through lab and workshop set up and effective note taking during research
• Conducting in-house research to test new product and concept developments (including user requirements gathering and early stage concept and prototype testing, guerrilla research, and other approaches to ensuring the user need is fully understood in the service design)
• Collaborating in design sessions, working closely with a senior user researcher designers and developers to explain research data, and turn this into actionable product/service requirements that feed into prototype development, and influence product direction
• Designing, scripting and analysing ad-hoc quantitative surveys using in-house software licences
• Managing ad-hoc qualitative/quantitative research projects such as proposition development, visual identity and customer experience mapping
• Applying knowledge in user behaviour, and the user-centered design process to product and service design in an iterative development environment
• Supported by a senior researcher presenting findings and related design/business recommendations and customer insights to senior decision makers
• Promoting user centered design principles and best practice within government
• Demonstrable knowledge, experience in and passion for web user centered design practices.
• Proven experience of gathering user requirements for web based services.
• Proven experience of managing, executing and analysing usability test sessions
• Proven experience of working in an agile development environment with User Experience teams, designers and developers to create new digital products and services
• Experience of audience modeling and developing design personas.
• Degree in HCI/Usability/Cognitive Psychology/Market Research or related field.
• Experience across web content, tools and transactional services, especially those with complex user journeys.
• Experience within a research and digital environment.
We’ll assess you against these competencies during the selection process:
You will be entitled to join the highly competitive Civil Service Pension Scheme, which many experts agree is one of the most generous in the UK.
The Institute for Fiscal Studies recently said, “the biggest difference between public and private sectors remains the value of employer contributions to public service pensions. These are much more generous in the public sector than in the private sector”.
If you have accrued pension rights in another pension scheme, you may be eligible to transfer these rights into the Civil Service Pension Scheme.
Your annual leave allowance will be 25 days, increasing by one day every year to a maximum of 30 days after five years’ service.
In addition, all staff receive the Queen’s Birthday as a privilege one-day holiday in addition to eight days’ bank and public holidays.
Flexible Working and Family Friendly Culture
We offer flexible working arrangements that recognise the importance of a good work/ life balance. We offer support with childcare and holiday play schemes costs by providing childcare vouchers for staff who meet the eligibility criteria. There is also a generous maternity/adoption/paternity leave package.
Flexible working is open to everyone regardless of their personal circumstances, where business or operational needs allow. For example, we offer: job share, compressed hours, term-time working, and part-time working.
Development and Progression
We exist to support lifelong learning, offering all staff a minimum of five days formal learning and development every year, supported by ongoing professional development and opportunities for professional accreditation. We also have many different talent schemes and groups to help you achieve your full potential.
If you’re applying for a role requiring security clearance please be aware that foreign or dual nationality is not an automatic bar. However certain posts may have restrictions which could affect those who do not have sole British nationality or who have personal connections with certain countries outside the UK.
New entrants are expected to join on the minimum of the pay band.
Applicants who are successful at interview will be, as part of pre-employment screening subject to a check on the Internal Fraud Database (IFD). This check will provide information about employees who have been dismissed for fraud or dishonesty offences. This check also applies to employees who resign or otherwise leave before being dismissed for fraud or dishonesty had their employment continued. Any applicant’s details held on the IFD will be refused employment.
Terms and conditions of candidates transferring from ALBs and NDPBs:
1. Bodies that are not accredited by the Civil Service Commission and are not able to advertise on Civil Service jobs will be treated as external new starters and will come into DfE on modernised terms and conditions with a salary at the band minimum.
2. Bodies that are accredited by the Civil Service Commission but do not have civil service status will be offered modernised terms and will not have continuous service recognised for leave or sickness benefits. Salaries will be offered at band minima, but there is some flexibility where this would cause a detriment to the individual.
3. Bodies that are accredited by the Civil Service Commission and do have Civil Service status will be treated as OGD transfers. Staff appointed on lateral transfer will move on to pre-modernised DfE terms and staff appointed on promotion will move on to modernised DfE terms. Salaries will transfer over, but be capped at the DfE band maximum.
If a person with disabilities is put at a substantial disadvantage compared to a non-disabled person, we have a duty to make reasonable changes to our processes.
If you need a change to be made so that you can make your application, you should:
• Contact Government Recruitment Service via email@example.com soon as possible before the closing date to discuss your needs
• Complete the “Assistance required” section in the “Additional requirements” page of your application form to tell us what changes or help you might need further on in the recruitment process. For instance, you may need wheelchair access at interview, or if you’re deaf, a Language Service Professional
DfE currently offer both a Salary Sacrifice and an enhanced “Salary Plus” childcare voucher scheme to support employees with childcare costs. “Salary Plus” will be open to employees who join DfE prior to 2 May 2018, but will close to new entrants who haven’t made an application to the scheme by this date. Salary sacrifice will be open to staff until October 2018. Any move across the Civil Service on or after October 2018 may have implications on an employee’s ability to carry on claiming childcare vouchers.
The Department for Education’s recruitment processes are underpinned by the Civil Service Commissioner’s Recruitment Principles, which outlines that selection for appointment is made on merit based on fair and open competition.
If you feel your application has not been treated in accordance with the values in the Civil Service Code and/or if you feel the recruitment has been conducted in such a way that conflicts with the Civil Service Commissioner’s Recruitment Principles, you may make a complaint, by contacting the Central Recruitment Team at the following address CentralRecruitment.Operations@education.gov.uk
If you are not content with the outcome of your complaint you have the right to complain to the Civil Service Commissioners.
Department for Education do not cover the cost of travel to your interview/assessment unless otherwise stated.
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