Head of User Research


A head of user research leads user researchers in an organisation and attracts and builds talent. At this role level, you will:

be an expert practitioner who can define and assure best practice

influence organisational strategy and priorities

collaborate with colleagues across government

Work Activity Components

Title Details
Generative research (Level 6) 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 needs.
Collaboration (Level 6) User research Collaborates with internal and external partners to facilitate effective user research.

Behavioural Skills

Title Details
Information Acquisition Identifying gaps in the available information required to understand a problem or situation and devising a means of resolving them.
Strategic Perspective Keeping organisational objectives and strategies in mind, and ensuring courses of action are aligned with the strategic context.
Commercial Orientation Understanding commercial considerations and ensuring alignment with them when making decisions or recommending actions.
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.
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.
Leadership Clearly articulating goals and objectives, and motivating and leading others towards their achievement.

Technical Skills

Title Details Depth
Systems Ergonomics and Iterative Design 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. Expert in

Other Skills

Title Details Depth
Presentation Techniques Methods and techniques for delivering effective and accessible presentations, either face-to-face or online within various contexts and to a variety of audiences. Proficient in


Title Details
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.

Professional Development Activity (PDA)

Title Details PDA Group
Mentoring 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. Broadening Activities
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. Increasing Knowledge
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. Increasing Knowledge
Gaining Knowledge of Standards and Legislation Gaining and maintaining knowledge of relevant national and international standards and legislation. Increasing Knowledge
Participation in Professional Body Affairs Taking an active part in professional body affairs at branch, specialist group, committee or board level. Participation in Professional Activities
General Management Continuing learning and development in general management skills, such as effective communication, leadership styles and skills, team building and team roles, motivation and delegation, planning and resource scheduling, influencing, persuasion and negotiation, so as to be in a position to accept greater responsibility at senior management or director (including non-exec) level. Developing Professional Skills

Organisational Skill Name and Description

Framework Skill Level
Government Digital and Data Profession Capability Framework

Analysis and synthesis

Analysis and insight involves examining, interpreting and analysing data to help make informed decisions.

Expert Analysis and synthesis

You can: help an organisation to adopt a wide range of analysis and synthesis techniques, and to continually assure, improve and innovate their practices to generate clear and valuable findings

Government Digital and Data Profession Capability Framework

Inclusive research

Incident management involves coordinating the response to incident reports, ensuring effective prioritisation, investigation and resolution.

Expert Inclusive research

You can: help organisations understand the diversity of users of government services guide organisations to adopt inclusive practices and apply what they learn to design and deliver accessible services that work for all users

Government Digital and Data Profession Capability Framework


Requirements definition and management involves identifying and validating user or business requirements for a product or service.

Expert Research

You can: help an organisation adopt a wide range of user research methods lead a community of practice to help an organisation continually assure, improve and innovate their user research

Government Digital and Data Profession Capability Framework

Society and technology

Service support involves fixing service faults and maintaining the underlying infrastructure, ensuring processes are in place to keep the service running efficiently.

Expert Society and technology

You can: align user research activities to help the organisation understand changing user behaviour, and the challenges and opportunities for government policy and service proposition

Government Digital and Data Profession Capability Framework

Strategic insight

Strategy involves creating a plan to achieve a team or organisation's objectives.

Expert Strategic insight

You can: understand organisational strategy and objectives align research activities across the organisation to create strategic insights align wider research activities at a departmental and cross-government level

Government Digital and Data Profession Capability Framework

Technical understanding (user-centred design)

Performance measurement involves collecting and interpreting data to identify how a team, product or service is performing.

Practitioner Technical understanding (user-centred design)

You can: demonstrate knowledge of the technologies used to build and operate digital services collaborate closely with colleagues in different digital disciplines

Government Digital and Data Profession Capability Framework

User-centred and Agile practices

Expert User-centred and Agile practices

You can: understand and demonstrate extensive experience in a range of user-centred and Agile approaches help government organisations adopt user-centred practices and embed them into Agile service design and delivery effectively advocate for user research across an organisation

Qualification Components

Title Awarding Bodies
FEDIP Leading Practitioner The Federation for Informatics Professionals

The Professional Body Responsible for this job family is BCS. This job role profile was created in collaboration with BCS, using Role Model Plus.

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