Vacancy -- Chief Architect

Recruitment Principles

The Welsh Government's recruitment processes are underpinned by the principle of selection for appointment on merit on the basis of fair and open competition as outlined in the Civil Service Commission’s Recruitment Principles.

Vacancy Details

Permanent Secretary's Group
Grade 7 - £50,870 - £60,830
Full time (applications are welcome from people who work part time, as part of a job share or who work full time)
Pan Wales, Other location
Whilst this is a Pan Wales posts, some presence will be required at the WG Cardiff office to participate in technical reviews and briefings with third parties. The frequency of the on-site attendance will be agreed prior to the commencement of the post, in line with the latest Covid-19 guidance.
'Pan Wales' means that the location in which the vacancy can be based is flexible, subject to the needs of the business. A list of the Welsh Government's offices can be found on our website ( Please note it may not always be possible to accommodate a preference for a specific office location, but requests will be taken into consideration.

Purpose of Post:

The Welsh Government has made significant improvements to its ICT technology over the last few years and is considered to be one of the leading UK public sector organisations in terms of Digital and ICT capability.  WG has recently completed a number of ICT projects such as the move to Exchange 365, the transition away from GSI email, the rollout of new laptops to all WG staff (enabling flexible working) and the completion of a major application migration to Microsoft Azure.  This has been captured in a GDS case study on best practice examples of Cloud migration (see

The Chief Architect role is part of the Digital Data and Technology (DDaT) Profession in Welsh Government (WG). The Chief Architect is responsible for delivering governance, advice and support to clients across all WG departments and ensuring that the ICT Strategy is agreed and followed.

Key tasks:

  • Define the standards and policies for the overall structure of IT programs or systems across Welsh Government.
  • Network and communicate with senior stakeholders across organisations and proactively seek out opportunities for ICT/Digital transformation.
  • Support multiple teams, finding and using best practice and emerging technologies.
  • Lead and inspire other architects and help them understand how to deliver the goals of the organisation.
  • Promote and support diversity within the team and create an inclusive working environment where everyone feels able to participate and achieve their potential.
  • Be responsible for governance, solving complex and high risk issues or delivering architecture design.
  • Research and recommend emerging technologies, toolsets, applications, and systems, considering factors such as cost savings, user adoption, standardization/simplification, flexibility and reuse.
  • Ensure that new systems and application development conforms to the current ICT Security and Cyber standards.
  • Act as the ICT subject matter expert to support the business, architects and the wider ICT function as required, attending to complex inquiries and problems; respond to escalated issues and negotiate solutions based on customer needs and organisational policies.
  • Review application/product changes and provide feedback to improve the overall product development.
  • Conduct cost-benefit analysis to determine the viability of IT project taking into account business need, timescales and availability of resources.
  • Recommend solutions and vendors to utilize in executing a project to ensure strategic fit and value for money.
  • Identify technical issues and effect changes to avert future problems and security implications to ensure system availability and cyber assurance.

Development opportunities:

You can expect to be supported to establish yourself in the grade, and be the best that you can be.  You will be encouraged to take advantage of opportunities for continuous development, and to offer the opportunity for others to learn from you as you progress.

Closing Date:

14/08/2020, 16:00

Disability Confident

Welsh Government accepts the social definition of disability, in which it is recognised that barriers in society act to disable people who have impairments or health conditions or who use British Sign Language. We are committed to removing barriers so that all (or potential new staff) can perform at their best. The Equality Act 2010 uses the medical definition of disability (“a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long-term impact on a person’s ability to carry out normal day to day activities”).

We guarantee to interview anyone who is disabled whose application meets the minimum criteria for the post. By ‘minimum criteria’ we mean that you must provide us with evidence in your application which demonstrates that you generally meet the level of competence for the role and any qualifications, skills or experience defined as essential. We are committed to the employment and career development of disabled people.

If you have an impairment or health condition, or use British Sign Language and need to discuss reasonable adjustments for any part of this recruitment process, or wish to discuss how we will support you if you were to be successful, please email as soon as possible and a member of the team will contact you to discuss your requirements and any questions you may have.

Welsh Language Requirements

The Welsh Government is a bilingual organisation and Welsh language skills are considered an asset to the organisation. We encourage and support staff to learn, develop and use their Welsh language skills in the workplace. 

The following list of language requirements represents an objective assessment by the line manager on behalf of the Welsh Government of the Welsh language skills required to undertake the duties of this particular post.

Not necessary to undertake the duties of this post

Social Partnership

In Welsh Government, the relationship between the employer and trade unions is based on social partnership. We believe our goals can best be achieved by management and trade unions working together.

Our 3 recognised trade unions are:
•         PCS
•         Prospect
•         FDA

This relationship is underpinned by a partnership agreement. This sets out how our unions work with Welsh Government on issues such as:
•         pay
•         terms and conditions
•         policies and procedures
•         organisational change.

Our Welsh Government trade union colleagues work together to give their members a real say in the workplace. They make sure that the interests of their members are promoted and protected. They also help reduce inequalities and improve terms and conditions.

The Welsh Government has an excellent track record of working in partnership with its trade unions. We encourage staff to get involved. We support you to join a recognised trade union, to ensure your voice is heard in the workplace. and to learn more about trade unions and partnership working.

Competencies / Job Specific Criteria

Keeping in mind the Key Tasks above, you should present your Personal Statement in context of the following 5 Behaviours:

Turning Business Problems into Technical Design – You can design systems characterised by high levels of risk, impact, and business or technical complexity.

Bridging the gap between the technical and non-technical – You can mediate between people and mend relationships, communicating with stakeholders at all levels.

Leadership – You seek out shared interests beyond own area of responsibility, understanding the extent of the impact actions have on the organisation.

Managing a Quality Service – You create regular opportunities for colleagues, stakeholders, delivery partners and customers to help improve the quality of service.

Changing and Improving – You identify early signs that things are going wrong and respond promptly.

Assessment Process

Throughout the entire assessment process, candidates will be assessed against Behaviours from the Civil Service Success Profile and the Digital Data and Technology (DDaT) framework.

Leadership, Managing a Quality Service, Changing & Improving, Communicating & Influencing, Developing Self and Others, Turning Business Problems into Technical Design and Bridging the gap between the Technical and Non-Technical.


Sift Stage

You should use the template provided to submit your Personal Statement and CV

Your Personal Statement will be assessed in two stages:

Stage 1

An initial sift will be carried out against the two DDaT Behaviours included in the ‘Competencies / Job Specific’ section. These are:

  • Turning Business Problems into Technical Design
  • Bridging the gap between the Technical and Non-Technical

Stage 2

The Personal Statement of candidates who have passed the first stage of the sift will then be further assessed against the three Success Profile Behaviours included in the ‘Competencies / Job Specific’ section. These are:

  • Leadership
  • Managing a Quality Service
  • Changing & Improving

Your Personal Statement should not exceed 1500 words - any content that exceeds the 1500 word limit will be discounted.

Your CV will be used to help inform the panel of your career history, however it will not contribute to your overall sift score. CV's should be no longer than 2 sides of A4

If you are successful at sift, you will not be able to request your sift scores until the full assessment process has completed as some of your sift scores will contribute to your overall assessment mark.


Assessment Stage

All candidates that are successful at sift, will be invited to participate in an assessment event. This will consist of three parts:

  • Part 1 – Technical Exercise Preparation (remote video session using Microsoft Teams, no panel)
  • Part 2 – Technical Exercise Feedback and Presentation (remote video session using Microsoft Teams with Technical Panel)
  • Part 3 – Interview (remote video session using Microsoft Teams with Interview Panel)

Further details of the assessment stage will be shared with successful candidates following the sift.

Final Outcome

Following the assessment events, outcomes will be issued as soon as possible.

Reserve List

Unsuccessful candidates who have achieved the minimum score across all required behaviours will have the opportunity to be held on a WG ‘reserve’ list for 12 months from the date of the outcomes being issued. If additional roles become available or existing roles become vacant during this time, WG may offer the role to the highest scoring candidate on the reserve list. If they decline, WG may offer the role to the next highest scoring candidate and so on.

Other Information


  • Starting salary of £50,870
  • 31 days holiday (plus 10 public and privilege holidays)
  • Permanent position
  • Personal development budget
  • Home working
  • The latest ICT kit
  • Death in service cover
  • Flexible working hours
  • Cycle to Work Scheme - a brand new bike up to £1000, saving at least 32%
  • Childcare Vouchers Scheme, saving up to £933/year
  • Contributory pension scheme

How to apply

Please upload your evidence in the 'Attach Competency/Job Specific Criteria Evidence' section of the online application form. Please use the template provided

All applications for this vacancy should be made online via the Welsh Government's online application system.  If you have a disability which would prevent you from applying on-line, please e-mail to request an application pack in an alternative format, or to request a reasonable adjustment related to a disability in order to submit your application.

To apply, you'll need to have an account on our online application system.  Click the 'Apply' button below, and you'll be asked to 'Log in' if you already have an account, or 'Register' if you don't yet have an account.  Registration takes just a few minutes to complete.  You'll need an e-mail address to be able to register.  Once you've registered for an account and logged in, you'll be taken to the online application form, which you'll need to fully complete and submit before the deadline on the closing date.  

If you’d like to apply for this vacancy in Welsh, please use the ‘Newid Iaith / Change Language’ link at the top of this page, to take you to the Welsh version of this advert, from which you can apply in Welsh.

When evidencing your suitability for the post, it is recommended that you refer to the Civil Service Behaviours Framework as well as the Digital Data and Technology Framework.

**Please note:  If you already have an Appoint account and would like to update your username and e-mail address to the new address, simply log in using your old details, click on your name in the menu bar, and select ‘Edit Personal Details’ in the dropdown list.  You can update any of your registered personal details on this page.**

This vacancy is closed to applications.