Insights and Assurance Lead – Census Transformation Programme

Fareham, South East, PO15 5RR
13 Nov 2017
19 Nov 2017
Job Function
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

Job description

About the Role: 
The role of the Assurance Lead is to provide independent assessment and confirmation that a project is on track, that it is being appropriately managed and that its activities and business rationale remain aligned to the organisation’s objectives. This includes ensuring reviews are scheduled and delivered to enable scrutiny of the achievability of the project to meet its objectives and benefits as stated within the business case. 

Typical Responsibilities: 

  • Application of Assurance Standards – Responsible for leading Assurance within the Census Transformation Programme. Ensure proportionate reviews at key milestones and management of recommendations. 
  • Planning – Oversees the planning, scheduling and management of assurance activities across the Census Transformation Programme. Ensures the alignment of key assurance activities to major delivery milestones and ensure these are integrated across interdependent projects. 
  • Results/Actions – Reports the outcomes of reviews to all relevant stakeholders, confirms their understanding and acceptance, and agrees resulting actions. 
  • Reporting – Oversees the timely and accurate reporting of assurance to departmental or Cabinet Office teams to ensure transparency. 
  • Areas for Assurance Evaluation – Key areas for evaluation in assurance reviews include: Alignment with the business case; management processes; overall progress towards output in terms of time, cost & quality; stakeholder relationships & perceptions; final outcomes & lessons learned and benefits plans & realisation. 

Person Specification: 

You will be a high energy, proactive individual with the skills and experience to lead the assurance function of a multi-million pound programme that has a large number of internal and external stakeholders. You will have operated at a senior level in project delivery environment and understand the ingredients for successful project delivery. 

You will be comfortable working in traditional and agile methodologies with a strong leadership and delivery background at a senior level. You will have extensive experience and proven track record of assurance activities, insightful reporting, stakeholder management and delivery on major and complex projects (in excess of £200M) some of which will be in an agile environment. 

You will have the confidence and gravitas to proactively engage and challenge senior managers in the areas of risk and planning. You will also possess a flexibility of thinking aligned to highly proficient presentation skills to be able to change your approach and communication methodology to achieve maximum understanding within your target audience. 

Key Skills: 

  • Extensive knowledge and experience of leading assurance activities on major and complex projects, experience of working in an agile environment. 
  • An expert in interpersonal and communication skills with a proven record of establishing, building and maintaining strong, collaborative and productive relationships across functional and organisational boundaries. 
  • An expert in driving action through the principle of continuous improvement and development, throughout a complex technical and diverse organisation. 
  • An expert at effectively managing relationships with and influencing senior stakeholders, producing clear advice on complex issues. 
  • An expert, focused on delivery of outcomes, who can work under pressure, respond quickly and decisively to changing circumstances and to a tight timetable. 
  • Experience of creating and implementing effective controls and frameworks to enable a culture of continuous improvement and development, focused on achievement of value for money outcomes. 
  • A track record of fostering a leadership culture that is oriented to tangible delivery outcomes. 
  • Proven ability to organise a complex workload, to prioritise, and manage rapidly changing demands and priorities but essentially to model positive behaviours that reflect the corporate values and culture. 

About ONS: 

We are the UK's national statistical institute and the largest producer of official statistics in the UK. We are also the only government department with the production of statistics as its main role. We are independent of ministers and instead report through the UK Statistics Authority to Parliament and the devolved administrations of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. 

About the Census Transformation Programme: 

The ten yearly Census has a 210 year history. Every household in England and Wales has, since 1801, been required by law to respond by answering a series of questions, providing an unparalleled source of consistent and comparable information about population, household and housing characteristics. 

The Census is highly valued by government departments, local authorities, public bodies, business, the voluntary sector, academic researchers, commentators and individuals. For genealogists and historians, household responses from the ten yearly Census are a key source, when released after 100 years, to support family or social history research. Almost all the information collected in the Census is demanded by users in England and Wales. Many of the statistics currently produced by the Census are also required to meet European regulations. 

Every decade there is a review to establish whether and what population information is needed and if a ten yearly census is the best way to meet information needs. In May 2010, ahead of the last Census in 2011, ONS began a review of the future provision of population statistics in England and Wales in order to inform government and Parliament about the options for the next Census. 

Having extensively reviewed all the available options and evidence, in March 2014, the National Statistician recommended: 

  • An online census of all households and communal establishments in England and Wales in 2021 with special care taken to support those who are unable to complete the Census online; and 
  • Increased use of administrative data and surveys in order to enhance the statistics from the 2021 Census and improve annual statistics between Censuses. 

This will make the best use of all available data to provide the population statistics which England and Wales require and offer a springboard to the greater use of administrative data and annual surveys in the future.


A valid Managing Successful Programmes (MSP) practitioner certificate awarded by Axelos and / or extensive experience in a multi-million pound transformation programme with a large number of internal and external stakeholders.