Lead Network Architect


A lead network architect is accountable for designs and networks representing their business area.

At this role level, you will:

  • be a point of escalation

  • actively input into governance forums that determine IT strategy

  • cascade messages, standards and best practice from other architecture teams and design authorities to the network architecture team

  • act as a subject matter expert for network architects

  • represent network architects internally and externally

  • have an understanding of all network technology including LAN (local area network), WAN (wide area network), wifi, data centre LAN, SD (software-defined) networks, telephony, mobile solutions infrastructure, unified comms, network management solutions, and network specific security and remote access technologies and approaches

  • champion new technologies and solutions

  • coach and mentor network architects and associate network architects

  • be a strategic thinker who can communicate network concepts to technical and non-technical stakeholders


Background Components

Description Background

Has a broad understanding of the technical and operational aspects of working with external telecommunications service suppliers. Has an extensive knowledge, both theoretical and practical of a wide range of communications systems, networks, software, hardware and supplier services, networking media, services, and facilities. Understands the technical and economic needs of the business, is budget conscious and possesses strong interpersonal skills and knowledge of project management.

Prior Knowledge and Skills

Work Activity Components

Title Details


Provides advice and guidance to, business management, analysts, designers, and less experienced colleagues on all aspects of network design and technology. Ensures that all network requirements are reflected in design specifications.


Documents all work using required standards, methods and tools, including prototyping tools where appropriate.

Architecture and policies

Produces the overall architectures, topologies, configuration databases and design documentation of all, or most of, the networks and networking technology within the organisation, including documented descriptions of the network management procedures, the processes, the information flows and the external services.

Option evaluation

Reviews network costs against external service providers, new developments and new services, initiating proposals to change network design where appropriate cost reductions and benefits can be achieved. Obtains and evaluates proposals from suppliers of equipment and software, and other network service providers.


Assists in the assessment and selection of suitable networking solutions to meet all or parts of specified requirements, including the design and establishment of call centre telecommunications systems and services.

Development needs

Supports the identification and prioritisation of development needs for a professional practice area. Identifies development activities that align with organisational priorities, learning and development strategies and career pathways.

Communities of practice

Provides advice, guidance and, where appropriate, support for the establishment and organisation of communities of practice.

Network architecture development

Leads the development of network architectures in specific business, infrastructure or functional areas. Ensures that appropriate tools and methods are available, understood and employed in architecture development. Educates and ensures an understanding of non-functional requirements by all stakeholders.

Evaluation and selection

Develops product short-lists and evaluation criteria then uses them in product selection, in accordance with policy and strategy for the selection of network architecture components. Translates component specifications into detailed designs for implementation using selected

Technical assurance

Advises on appropriate technical assurance criteria, and the conduct of quality reviews of technical products. Ensures change control is applied to specifications and designs. Ensures the adequacy and effective use of quality control procedures in relation to network architecture components.


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

Commercial Orientation

Understanding commercial considerations and ensuring alignment with them when making decisions or recommending actions.

Behavioural Skills

Cross-Functional and Inter-Disciplinary Awareness

Understanding the needs, objectives and constraints of those in other disciplines and functions.

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


Working collaboratively with others to achieve a common goal.


Infrastructure Architecture

Proficient in

The frameworks and principles on which networks, systems, equipment and resources are based both on premises and cloud based.

Technical Knowledge and Skills

Networking and Communications

Proficient in

The planning and management of the interaction between two or more networking systems, computers or other intelligent devices.

Technical Knowledge and Skills

Corporate, Industry and Professional Standards

Familiar with

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

Operational/Service Architecture

Proficient in

Knowledge of the IT/IS infrastructure and the IT applications and service processes used within own organisation, including those associated with sustainability and efficiency.

Technical Knowledge and Skills

Business Continuity Planning

Familiar with

Methods and techniques for risk assessment, business impact analysis, establishment of countermeasures and contingency arrangements relating to the serious disruption of IT services.

Technical Knowledge and Skills

Third Party IT Products and Services

Proficient in

The IT products and/or services supplied to own organisation by external suppliers.

Technical Knowledge and Skills

Network Traffic Analysis

Proficient in

Methods and techniques for the capture of traffic information (packet level) and the forensic analysis of this information into its constituent elements.

Technical Knowledge and Skills

Big Data

Familiar with

The discipline associated with data sets so large and/or complex that traditional data processing applications are inadequate. The data files may include structured, unstructured and/or semi-structured data, such as unstructured text, audio, video, etc. Challenges include analysis, capture, curation, search, sharing, storage, transfer, manipulation, analysis, visualization and information privacy.

Technical Knowledge and Skills


Familiar with

The principles and application of cloud/ virtualisation (including ownership, responsibilities and security implications). Use of tools and systems to manage virtualised environments.

Technical Knowledge and Skills


Proficient in

The principles, functions and operation of WiFi components, routers, hubs and repeaters and the installation of Wi-Fi hot spots with appropriate use of security and encryption techniques.

Technical Knowledge and Skills

Communications Modelling Tools

Proficient in

Tools and techniques (manual or automated) that can be used to plan or document an understanding of the design, structure, relationships and usage of networks.

Technical Knowledge and Skills

Network Data Security

Proficient in

Network security and threat mitigation, including physical, electronic, firewalling, encryption, access, and authorisation; protecting data at rest and in transit; defending against viruses and malware; the impact of Big Data; and the integration of robust security controls into enterprise services and policies.

Technical Knowledge and Skills

Infrastructure/System Security

Proficient in

The security threats and vulnerabilities that impact and/or emanate from system hardware, software and other infrastructure components, and relevant strategies, controls and activities to prevent, mitigate, detect and resolve security incidents affecting system hardware, software and other infrastructure components.

Technical Knowledge and Skills

Risk Management

Familiar with

Methods and techniques for the assessment and management of business risk including safety-related risk.

Other Knowledge and Skills

Techniques for Effective Meetings

Familiar with

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

Other Knowledge and Skills

Coaching Techniques

Familiar with

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

Standards Writing Techniques

Familiar with

Principles, methods and techniques for establishing, documenting, and maintaining standards.

Other Knowledge and Skills

Project Planning and Control Techniques

Familiar with

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

Other Knowledge and Skills

Training Activities

Training Components

Title Details

Service Delivery

The service delivery processes: the systems, products, services, hardware and software environment.

Program Design Methods and

Programming or system development methods (e.g. structured program design).

Software Configuration

Installation, configuration and tuning of applications or systems software.


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

Advanced Telecommunications Techniques

In-depth knowledge of telecommunications practices, processes and methods.

Telecommunications/Network Industry Standards

National and international telecommunication/network standards, legislative instruments, codes of practice etc.

Supplier/Service Provider Training

The installation, testing and commissioning of supplier specific-products and services in a variety of situations and locations.

Architecture Management

Architecture processes and descriptions covering, architecture precursors: goals, directives and scope, and architecture description for business, data, applications and infrastructure. Techniques for migration planning, implementation, change management and governance.


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

Security Awareness

Tools and techniques to help users and employees understand the role they play in helping to combat information security breaches and for IT and security professionals to prevent and mitigate risk.

Solution Architecture

Methods, tools and techniques for architecture design and development to provide an understanding of the critical architecture terms and concepts and how to apply them across typical architecture domains — business, applications, data and infrastructure.


PDA Components

Title Details


Standing in for supervisor or manager on a temporary basis during periods of absence.

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.

Research Assignments

Exploring a topic which is not part of own normal responsibilities and presenting findings to colleagues and/or management

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.

Participation in Professional Body Affairs

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

Negotiating and Influencing

Undertaking learning and practice of negotiating with and influencing others.


Qualification Components

Title Awarding Body

Chartered IT Professional (CITP)

BCS – The Chartered Institute for IT

FEDIP Advanced Practitioner


Organisation Skills

Framework » Organisation
Category » Subcategory
Skill Name and Description Level

DDaT » Network Architect

Network Architect – Governance and assurance

You can understand technical governance. You can participate in or deliver the assurance of a service

4 – Expert

You can understand how technical governance works with wider governance (such as budget). You can assure corporate services by understanding important risks and mitigating them through assurance mechanisms.

DDaT » Network Architect

Network Architect – IT infrastructure (network architect)

You can support, design and implement infrastructure technologies and solutions. These can include computing, storage, networking, physical infrastructure, software, commercial-off-the-shelf software (COTS), and open-source packages and solutions. They can also include virtual and cloud computing such as Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Software as a Service (SaaS).

4 – Expert

You can lead teams and departments in the design, implementation, administration and support of infrastructure solutions and services.

DDaT » Network Architect

Network Architect – Systems design

You can create the specification and design of systems to meet defined business needs. You can work with business and technology stakeholders to translate business problems into technical designs. You can visualise the ideal user service and come up with design ideas and possible design approaches. You can effectively explore different approaches to solving problems.

4 – Expert

You can design systems characterised by high levels of risk, impact, and business or technical complexity. You can control system design practice within an enterprise or industry architecture. You can influence industry-based models for the development of new technology applications. You can develop effective implementation and procurement strategies, consistent with business needs. You can ensure adherence to relevant technical strategies, policies, standards and practices.

DDaT » Network Architect

Network Architect – Systems integration (network architect)

You can understand and design network services that integrate with existing or new services, including cloud services and infrastructure.

3 – Practitioner

You can create the design of network services within a team requiring moderate to complex service integration.

DDaT » Network Architect

Network Architect – Technical understanding

You can demonstrate knowledge of the specific technologies necessary to fulfil the responsibilities and tasks of the role. You can apply the required breadth and depth of technical knowledge. You can actively keep informed of industry developments to make cost- effective use of new and emerging tools and technologies.

4 – Expert

You can anticipate and advise on future technology changes that present opportunities for the product or programme.

DDaT » Network Architect

Network Architect – Troubleshooting and problem resolution

You can think laterally to break a problem down into its component parts to identify and diagnose root causes, allowing problem resolution. You can troubleshoot and identify problems across different technology capabilities that can include computing, storage, networking, physical infrastructure, software, commercial-off-the- shelf software (COTS), and open-source packages and solutions.

They can also include virtual and cloud computing such as Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Software as a Service (SaaS).

3 – Practitioner

You can break a problem down into its component parts to identify and diagnose root causes. You can troubleshoot and identify problems across different technology capabilities.

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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