Head of Frontend Development


A head of frontend development is an expert practitioner with broad industry experience. They are an expert in many technical areas, or specialists with very deep knowledge in a particular technical area.

At this role level, you will:

  • define and assure best practice while influencing, leading and mentoring others

  • influence and develop organisational strategy and priorities, collaborating with counterpart colleagues across government

  • ensure the right conditions and environment for frontend developers to work effectively

  • develop departmental capability by facilitating internal mobility, shaping career paths and recruiting talent


Background Components

Description Background

Demonstrates comprehensive knowledge of socio-technical and organisational issues related to an organisation’s use of information and communications technology. Is expert in the theory and practice of user-centred systems development. Is expert in the principles and application of ergonomics to IT systems, products and services. Is able to lead others in the implementation of human-system interfaces and the use of relevant tools, standards and techniques. Is expert in presenting technical issues, processes and solutions, both orally and in writing.

Prior Knowledge and Skills

Work Activity Components

Title Details

Design, analysis and iterative development

Plans and leads user experience design activities for strategic, large and complex programmes.

Commitment and maturity

Obtains organisational commitment to policies, standards and strategies to deliver required usability, accessibility and security. Undertakes or initiates assessment of organisation’s maturity in usability and accessibility and takes appropriate follow-up action.

Content publishing

Develops the overall strategy for the delivery of information and knowledge, including preferred media, overall information structure, and rules for formatting content to meet the needs of the organisation and its desired audience(s).

Standards and strategies

Develops strategies for the delivery of support information, including preferred media, rules for format of content, frameworks for the overall information structure, and graphical style for substantial, complex or high-profile web sites.

Content assurance

Protects and defends published content, its providence and source information by defining content policies to ensure their availability, integrity, authentication, confidentiality and non-repudiation.

Ensures that these policies permit individuals to access only information and network facilities for which they are authorised.

Development needs

Determines development needs for a professional practice area. Aligns development activities with organisational priorities, learning and development strategies and career pathways.

Communities of practice

Promotes the establishment and ongoing development of one or more community of practice (CoP). Encourages participation and ensures alignment with organisational needs.

Generative research

Champions user-centred design and secures organisational commitment to the significant involvement of users in research to achieve a deep understanding of their current and future

User-centred design

Ensures that performance analysis data is combined with user research insights to better support design decision making.


Knowledge/Skills Components

Title Depth Details Type

Conceptual Thinking

Acquiring understanding and insights regarding the underlying issues in complex problems or situations through the development of abstract representations, the identification of patterns and the analysis of hypotheses.

Behavioural Skills

Planning and Organisation

Determining a course of action by breaking it down into smaller steps and by planning and resourcing each of these, making allowance for potential problems and escalating if necessary.

Behavioural Skills


Taking innovative approaches to problem solving and/or devising inventive and creative solutions.

Behavioural Skills

Organisational Awareness

Understanding the hierarchy and culture of own, customer, supplier and partner organisations and being able to identify the decision makers and influencers.

Behavioural Skills

Interacting with People

Establishing relationships, contributing to an open culture and maintaining contacts with people from a variety of backgrounds and disciplines. Effective, approachable and sensitive communicator in different communities and cultures. Ability to adapt style and approach to meet the needs of different audiences.

Behavioural Skills

Influence, Persuasion and Personal Impact

Conveying a level of confidence and professionalism when engaging with stakeholders, influencing positively and persuading others to take a specific course of action when not in a position of authority.

Behavioural Skills


Clearly articulating goals and objectives and motivating and leading others towards their achievement.

Behavioural Skills

Application Development Tools

Proficient in

Software tools which automate or assist part of the development process.

Technical Knowledge and Skills

Database Software

Proficient in

Software that enables the user to capture, create, populate and manipulate data structures and where appropriate unstructured data.

Technical Knowledge and Skills

Graphical User Interfaces (GUI)

Proficient in

Graphical human/computer interfaces that facilitate effective communication between human operator and computer.

Technical Knowledge and Skills

Programming Languages

Proficient in

A set of codes and syntax (supported by software tools) that enables the unambiguous translation of specified functionality into source code for the creation of computer programs.

Technical Knowledge and Skills

Corporate, Industry and Professional Standards

Proficient in

Applying standards, practices, codes, and assessment and certification programmes relevant to the IT industry, and the specific organisation or business domain.

Technical Knowledge and Skills

Graphic Design

Expert in

The creation of graphical designs that are appealing to the viewer, appropriate to the material and the commissioning organisation and that project the desired ‘presence’.

Technical Knowledge and Skills

Systems Ergonomics and Iterative Design

Expert in

Iterative methods and techniques to allocate and optimise the division of functions between the human, machine and organisational elements of IT systems and the functions themselves in terms of ergonomic impact. Systematic and iterative design of the physical and cognitive interfaces to create an effective user experience in a software system, product or service with attention paid to variety of locations and access devices employed by users.

Technical Knowledge and Skills

Web Specifics

Expert in

Knowledge of web specific file extensions, Web 2.0, 3.0 and 4.0 and other latest standards/ practices. Use of multimedia and Active-X controls. Understanding of the nature of browsers and how to design cross-browser layouts. Effective knowledge of metadata (e.g. tags, XML) and related aspects of Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

Technical Knowledge and Skills

Information Architecture

Proficient in

Methods, techniques and technologies for ingesting, securing, processing and using data and information within and beyond an organisation.

Technical Knowledge and Skills

Information and Data Visualisation/ Presentation

Expert in

The ability to visualise and present information and data in an appropriate format that helps stakeholders understand the significance of the information and data.

Technical Knowledge and Skills

Data Handling

Proficient in

The ability to harvest, clean, curate, manage, process and manipulate data in a variety of formats.

Technical Knowledge and Skills


Proficient in

Relevant national and international legislation.

Other Knowledge and Skills

Techniques for Effective Meetings

Proficient in

Methods and techniques for running effective meetings and for understanding and influencing the roles played by participants.

Other Knowledge and Skills

Coaching Techniques

Proficient in

Methods and techniques for coaching individuals or groups by a balanced combination of support and direction, including use of virtual learning environments plus add-ons to augment feedback specific to work items, workflow or career plans.

Other Knowledge and Skills

Project Planning and Control Techniques

Proficient in

Methods and techniques associated with planning and monitoring progress of projects.

Other Knowledge and Skills

Organisational Brand and Culture

Expert in

Knowledge and understanding of the brand image and personality of the organisation’s products and/or services and the overall culture and personality of the work

Other Knowledge and Skills

Training Activities

Training Components

Title Details

Data Management

Data management concepts, methods, tools and techniques relating to the planning, development, implementation, administration and curation of data.

Advanced Programming Methods and Techniques

Complex methods and techniques for the creation of program code. Typically for use in scientific calculation, for improving operational efficiency of programs or for enhancing the productivity of experienced programmers.

Own Organisation’s Systems, Products and Services

Understanding of the organisation’s systems, products and services to enable selling, support and development activities.

Financial Planning and Budgeting

Principles, regulations, procedures and tools for the financial management of both ongoing activities (business as usual) and time-bounded (project) activities.

Advanced Documentation Tools and Techniques

Specialist techniques and tools used in the production of technical publications.


Concepts, methods and techniques for providing coaching in subject specialisms to individuals or groups (e.g. GROW model).


Methods and techniques for providing mentoring support to less experienced individuals.

Latest Cyber Security Threats for Senior Execs

Short, high-level, up-to-date and to-the-point briefing on the latest threats and vulnerabilities in cyber security.


PDA Components

Title Details

Job Shadowing and Special Assignments

Undertaking temporary periods or secondments in other roles, inside or outside IT, particularly those that offer a new perspective on own function or exposure to other environments and cultures.

Project Assignments

Participating in a project team, working group or task force established to deliver a solution to a specific problem or issue – especially valuable if the group is inter-disciplinary.


Acting as a mentor, advising those for whom there is no direct responsibility, on matters to do with their job role, career and professional development.

Gaining Knowledge of Broader IT Issues

Increasing and maintaining currency of knowledge of broader IT issues through reading, attending and participating in seminars or conferences, special studies, temporary assignments etc.

Gaining Strategic Knowledge of Employing Organisation

Developing a comprehensive understanding of the business environment in which the employing organisation operates and its position, policies and direction in relation to industry, country and global issues.

Gaining Knowledge of Standards and Legislation

Gaining and maintaining knowledge of relevant national and international standards and legislation.

Participation in Professional Body Affairs

Taking an active part in professional body affairs at branch, specialist group, committee or board level.

Management Development

Undertaking learning and best practice of the skills appropriate to managing all or part of an organisation, including business and financial management, benefits management, people management, management of change and strategic planning. This will require both on and off the job learning and may include participation in an appropriate development programme such as MBA or DMS (Diploma in Management Studies).


Qualification Components

Title Awarding Body

Chartered IT Professional (CITP)

BCS – The Chartered Institute for IT

CDPA – Certified Digital Persuasion Analyst

Human Factors International

FEDIP Leading Practitioner


Organisation Skills

Framework » Organisation
Category » Subcategory
Skill Name and Description Level

DDaT » Software Development –

Software Development – Accessibility

You can create accessible user interfaces that put user needs first. You can test components and pages against accessibility standards.

4 – Expert

You can show a strong understanding of accessibility and be an advocate for users with accessibility needs. You can build user interfaces that meet a predefined set of standards. You can champion accessibility to internal and external stakeholders. You can offer design solutions to mitigate the risk of failing accessibility testing. You can recommend the best tools and methods to use when accessibility testing.

DDaT » Software Development –

Software Development – Communicating information

You can communicate effectively across organisational, technical and political boundaries. You can make complex and technical information and language simple and accessible for non-technical audiences. You can work effectively with others.

4 – Expert

You can mediate between people and mend relationships, communicating with stakeholders at all levels. You can manage stakeholder expectations and host or moderate discussions about high risk and complexity, even within constrained timescales. You can speak on behalf of and represent the community to large audiences inside and outside of

DDaT » Software Development –

Software Development – Community collaboration (frontend developer)

You can contribute to the work of others and can build, motivate and empower teams. You can create the right environment for teams to work in and can create the best team makeup depending on the situation. You can give and receive constructive feedback, enabling the feedback loop. You can recognise and deal with issues.

4 – Expert

You can solve and unblock issues between teams or departments at the highest level. You can coach the organisation on team dynamics and conflict resolution, while also building and growing the community.

DDaT » Software Development –

Software Development – Leadership and guidance (frontend developer)

You can interpret a vision to lead on decisions. You create a collaborative environment and maintain a good service. You can understand and resolve technical disputes across varying levels of complexity and risk. You can solve issues and unblock problems.

4 – Expert

You can change organisational structures to fixable and sustainable designs. You can lead on the strategy for the whole organisation, marrying business needs with innovative analysis. You can make and justify decisions characterised by high levels of risk, impact and complexity. You can build consensus between organisations (private or public) or highly independent stakeholders. You can solve and unblock issues between teams or departments at the highest level. You can understand the psychology of a team and have strong mediation skills. You can coach the organisation on team

DDaT » Software Development –

Software Development – Modern standards approach (frontend developer)

You can apply a modern standards approach throughout development, automation and testing.

4 – Expert

You can demonstrate a strong understanding of the most appropriate modern standards and practices, and how they are applied. You can coach and guide others in these standards.

DDaT » Software Development –

Software Development – Programming and build (frontend developer)

You can use agreed standards and specifications to design, create, test and document new software, or to make changes to existing software.

4 – Expert

You can advise on the right way to apply standards and methods to ensure compliance. You can provide technical advice to stakeholders and set team-based standards for programming tools and techniques. You can collaborate with others when required to review specifications. You can use specifications to build, test and document user interfaces of high complexity, using the appropriate standards and tools.

DDaT » Software Development –

Software Development – Prototyping

You can apply technical knowledge and experience to create or design workable prototypes, both programs and physical outputs. You can understand parameters, restrictions and

4 – Expert

You can use a variety of prototyping methods. You can share best practice and coach others. You can look at strategic service design end to end.

DDaT » Software Development –

Software Development – Strategic thinking

You can take an overall perspective on business issues, events and activities, and discuss their wider implications and long- term impact. You can determine patterns, standards, policies, roadmaps and vision statements. You can effectively focus on outcomes rather than solutions and activities.

4 – Expert

You can lead the design and implementation of strategy, directing the evaluation of strategies and policies to ensure business requirements are being met.

DDaT » Software Development –

Software Development – Systems design (frontend developer)

You can design system components which meet business needs. You can solve problems and understand technical and business complexity.

4 – Expert

You can design systems characterised by high levels of risk and technical complexity. You can manage and document technical complexity to make sure work is easily maintained and reusable. You can select the appropriate standards, methods and tools, and make sure they are applied effectively. You can ensure others follow relevant technical strategies, policies, standards and practices. You can work with well- understood technology and can identify appropriate patterns to make effective use of technologies’ best features.

DDaT » Software Development –

Software Development – Systems integration (frontend developer)

You can integrate and test user interfaces, systems and programme components.

3 – Practitioner

You can define the static assets build. You can co-ordinate all aspects of the integration and take responsibility for the tests around the user interface. You can configure the part of the system that uses the network and test that it works as

DDaT » Software Development –

Software Development – User focus (frontend developer)

You can understand users and identify who they are and what their needs are, based on evidence. You can translate user stories and propose design approaches or services to meet these needs. You can engage in meaningful interactions and relationships with users. You can show that you put users first and can manage competing priorities.

3 – Practitioner

You can collaborate with user researchers and interaction designers to represent user needs internally. You can explain the difference between user needs and the desires of the user. You champion user research to focus on all users. You can effectively prioritise and define approaches to understand the user story, guiding others to do so. You can offer recommendations on the best tools and methods to use.

DDaT » Software Development –

Software Development – Web performance optimisation

You can understand how web performance can impact users. You can solve problems to improve performance. You can use different sources of data to monitor and identify performance issues.

4 – Expert

You can act as a recognised expert and advocate for web performance optimisation best practices. You can coach and guide others. You can actively collect data from various tools to monitor and fix web performance issues. You can understand that poor web performance has a negative effect on user

This job role profile was created in collaboration with BCS, using Role Model Plus. BCS is the professional body that has the responsibility of updating this job family.

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