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Head of Digital Forensics – 60053
£42,626 – £51,154


We encourage applications from people from all backgrounds and aim to have a workforce that represents the wider society that we serve. We pride ourselves on being an employer of choice. We champion diversity, inclusion and wellbeing and aim to create a workplace where everyone feels valued and a sense of belonging. To find out more about how we do this visit:

Please note changes to advertised Head of Digital Forensics Job Description;

  • The permanent location for this post will be in the North East and Yorkshire region.
  • This role sits within the National Intelligence Unit, and reports to the band 9 Head of Digital Media Investigation Unit.
  • This role has no direct line management responsibilities, however the post holder will be responsible for implementing quality assurance and monitoring systems managed and led by Digital Forensic Hub Manager and Digital Data Analytical Manager.

Please refer to the ‘Job Description Supporting Attachment’ for further information.  You may contact Head of DMIU at to discuss the role.

Overview of the job

  • The post holder will be the head of the HMPPS’ Digital Forensics Laboratory based in Oxfordshire. The post holder will also be the Head of Profession for all HMPPS staff conducting digital forensic activity.
  • The post holder will be responsible for establishing and running our new central laboratory along with developing and rolling out a frontline digital forensics capability.
  • The post holder will identify and implement the necessary quality standards as notified by the Forensic Regulator.
  • The post holder will represent HMPPS at national digital forensic governance boards and events.
  • The post holder will report to the Head of the National Dogs and Technical Support Group.


  • As the wider world embraces technology we are seeing this replicate itself in prisons. For example around 16,000 illicit communication devices are seized in prisons each year and submitted for examination.
  • Alongside this sits a number of other digital phenomena such as conveying illicit items into prisons using drones.
  • In response HMPPS are revamping their approach to digital forensics. Proper examination and analysis of illicit phones, drones and other technology is vital in combatting this problem. It is also seen as a key source of information and evidence for our partner agencies, such as the police. This role would be the HMPPS strategic lead for this work.
  • We are establishing a new central laboratory in Oxfordshire where much of our digital forensic examination activity will take place. The post holder would manage this facility.
  • The post holder would also be responsible for the laboratory design (e.g. fixtures and fittings) and for developing new workflow processes for the laboratory to work to.
  • HMPPS are also rolling out more frontline digital forensic capability (in prisons and regional teams) in order to provide a swifter operational response to seized devices. The post holder would act as Head of Profession to these teams.
  • The post holder would have responsibility for designing/sourcing and implementing the training, processes and standards for the front line capability.
  • The post holder will have ownership of all digital forensic technology deployed in HMPPS.
  • HMPPS will need to adhere to some of the emerging quality standards for digital forensics. The post holder would be responsible for negotiating with the Forensic Regulator what these are and implementing them.
  • The post holder would be responsible for managing audits of these standards in HMPPS – both at the central laboratory and at the front line capability.
  • HMPPS need to forge better relationships with other organisations doing digital forensics. The post holder will be responsible for creating and joining relevant national digital forensic networks and governance arrangements.

Responsibilities, Activities and Duties

The job holder will be required to carry out the following responsibilities, activities and duties:

  • Design the physical layout for the new laboratory and project manage its implementation.
  • Design and implement revised workflows and procedures for the new laboratory. 
  • Broker and implement joint approaches to some forensic procedures and activities with policing.
  • Line manage the Digital Forensics Laboratory Supervisor and be the countersigning manager for four digital forensic technicians.
  • Manage the rollout of frontline digital forensic technology to up to 30 locations throughout HMPPS.
  • Develop training and standards for up to 100 HMPPS staff involved in undertaking frontline digital forensics.
  • Be the Head of Profession for all staff in HMPPS undertaking digital forensic work.
  • Work with the Forensic regulator to identify the standards that HMPPS must adhere to and design plans for achieving these.
  • Implement quality standards (for example ISO 17025, ISO 17020 and ISO 9001).
  • Maintain, audit and review procedures within the digital forensic capability to ensure compliance with the certification / accreditation standards, acting on and resolving any non-compliances.
  • Attend national multi-agency digital forensic meetings and represent the HMPPS view.
  • Scan for developments within the digital forensics world and identify opportunities for HMPPS within these.

The duties/responsibilities listed above describe the post as it is at present and is not intended to be exhaustive. The job holder is expected to accept reasonable alterations and additional tasks of a similar level that may be necessary. Significant adjustments may require re-examination under the Job Evaluation Scheme and shall be discussed in the first instance with the job holder.


  • Making Effective Decisions
  • Changing and Improving
  • Managing a Quality Service
  • Leadership
  • Working Together


  • Evidence of managing digital forensic capability  within a public organisation
  • Evidence of managing law enforcement change projects


£42,626 - £51,154

Additional Information

Working Arrangements & Further Information

The MoJ offers Hybrid Working arrangements where business need allows. This is an informal, non-contractual form of flexible working that blends working from your base location, different MoJ sites and / or from home (please be aware that this role can only be worked in the UK and not overseas). Some roles will not be suitable for Hybrid Working. Similarly, Hybrid Working will not suit everyone’s circumstances. Arrangements will be discussed and agreed with the successful candidate(s) and subject to regular review.

For nationally advertised roles, the successful candidate(s) will be appointed to a MoJ office location, which may include their nearest Justice Collaboration Centre or Justice Satellite Office. This will be discussed and agreed on the completion of pre-employment checks.

Some of MoJ’s terms and conditions of service are changing as part of Civil Service reform. The changes will apply to staff joining MoJ who are new to the Civil Service. Staff joining MoJ from other civil service employers will transfer onto the new MoJ terms if they are already on ‘modernised’ terms in their current post or onto ‘unmodernised’ MoJ terms if they are on ‘unmodernised’ terms at their current post. Details will be available if an offer is made.

Standard working hours for this post are 37 hours per week excluding breaks which are unpaid.

If you are a current NPS employee, this vacancy may be available on a Loan basis for up to 2 years. Applications are invited from suitable qualified staff.

The Loan/Secondment is subject to the approval of the selected candidate’s Business Unit, which should be obtained before confirmation of appointment.


Annual Leave

-The holiday year runs from 1 March. If you work a non standard work pattern your leave entitlement may be expressed in either hours or days as appropriate. Leave entitlement is calculated on a pro-rata basis and you will be advised of your actual entitlement on appointment. If you were appointed internally and your leave was previously calculated in days, this will continue to be the case.

Bank, Public and Privilege Holidays

-You are entitled to 9 days (66 hours 36 minutes) in recognition of bank, public and privilege holidays. These hours are added to your annual leave allowance. There is a requirement to work some public and bank holidays subject to your shift pattern and the operational needs of the establishment


-The Civil Service offers a choice of two pension schemes, giving you the flexibility to choose the pension that suits you best.

Work Life Balance

HM Prison & Probation Service  (HMPPS) is keen to encourage alternative working arrangements. Work life balance provides greater opportunities for staff to work more flexibly wherever managers and establishments can accommodate requests to do so. HMPPS offers flexible working subject to completion of a satisfactory probationary period and NVQ

Season Ticket Advance

-After two months’ service, you’ll be eligible to apply for a season ticket advance to purchase a quarterly or longer-period season ticket for travel between home and your place of work

Childcare Vouchers

For any moves across the Civil Service may have implications on your ability to carry on claiming childcare vouchers


HMPPS is committed to staff development and offers a range of training and development opportunities, including areas such as Equality and Diversity, Dealing with Challenging Behaviour, Suicide Prevention and Anti Bullying Programmes

-There are opportunities to access promotion programmes and HMPPS provides a variety of training appropriate to individual posts

-All staff receive security and diversity training and an individual induction programme into their new roles


-All candidates are subject to security and identity checks prior to taking up post

-All external candidates are subject to 6 months probation. Internal candidates are subject to probation if they have not already served a probationary period within HMPPS

-All staff are required to declare whether they are a member of a group or organisation which the HMPPS considers to be racist

Working for the Civil Service

The Civil Service Code sets out the standards of behaviour expected of civil servants.

We recruit by merit on the basis of fair and open competition, as outlined in the Civil Service Commission’s recruitment principles. Should you feel that the recruitment process has breached the recruitment principles you are able to raise a formal complaint in the following order

The Civil Service embraces diversity and promotes equal opportunities. As a Disability Confident employer, MoJ are committed to providing everyone with the opportunity to demonstrate their skills, talent and abilities, by making adjustments throughout all elements of the recruitment process and in the workplace. MoJ are able to offer an interview to disabled candidates who meet the minimum selection criteria, except in a limited number of campaigns.

You will be able to request reasonable adjustments to the recruitment process within the application form. If you need additional help completing the application form, please contact the SSCL Recruitment Enquiries Team.

We encourage applications from people from all backgrounds and aim to have a workforce that represents the wider society that we serve. We pride ourselves on being an employer of choice. We champion diversity, inclusion and wellbeing and aim to create a workplace where everyone feels valued and a sense of belonging. To find out more about how we do this visit: