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Senior Content Designer

Posted: 7 Jun 2019 Closes: 27 Sep 2019
Bristol, Warrington, York £46,612 - £54,320
Flexible defra/20190607131159

The Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) is recruiting senior content designers for our teams in Bristol, York and Warrington.

Please make it clear in your personal statement which location or locations you’re applying for. 

About Defra 

Defra is responsible for safeguarding our natural environment, supporting our world-leading food and farming industries and sustaining a thriving rural economy. Our broad remit means we play an important role in people's day-to-day life, from the food we eat and the air we breathe to the water we drink. 

Defra’s thriving content design team is part of a wider user-centred design group devoted to building inclusive and intuitive digital services for everyone. 

Defra offers flexible working arrangements and has a supportive and diverse staff culture. 

About the role 

Content designers help to identify and match users’ needs to the right kind of content. They use language and other tools to help people find or do what they need to, in the way they need to. 

Senior content designers are experienced practitioners who can take a high-level view of how a user’s content journey maps to government processes. They draw upon research and data to steer content development for complex transactional and information services. 


As a senior content designer, you’ll: 

• lead on the creation of content across channels that meets user needs and departmental objectives 

• develop content strategies based on user research and analytics data and iteratively improve existing content 

• help to set and implement style and other content standards 

• take part in user research and work with multidisciplinary, Agile teams to contribute to an overall user experience 

• build relationships and work closely with policy, legal and other expert colleagues to make sure content is accurate and consistent 

• review others’ work and be a source of advice on the best content design tools and methods 

• promote user-centred content design within and outside the department 

• take part in discussions as a content expert at a senior departmental level 


To be considered for this role, you’ll need to: 

• have made significant strategic decisions about content creation in other roles 

• have experience of working in an Agile or similar multidisciplinary environment 

• have experience of writing and editing using a style guide and, ideally, plain English 

• have experience of a user-centred approach to content creation and of explaining content decisions to non-experts 

• have knowledge of how to plan user research and have experience of using research and analytics data to make content decisions 

• be able to handle constructive criticism of your work and to constructively review other people’s work 

• be able to manage other team members and take part in hiring people


We'll assess you against these behaviours during the selection process:

  • Changing and Improving
  • Delivering at Pace
  • Seeing the Big Picture
  • Communicating and Influencing

Technical skills

We'll assess you against these technical skills during the selection process:

  • Relationship Management
  • User-Centred Content Design



Civil Service pension schemes may be available for successful candidates.


Equality Diversity and Inclusion: 

We have many strong staff networks that cover a broad range of requirements including mental health and disability. We also have a range of special leave policies for hospital appointments and a commitment to putting reasonable adjustments in place for those who need them. 

The department also places significant emphasis on talent programmes which help everyone to achieve their full potential. 

The Civil Service as a whole is committed to providing a work environment free from discrimination, harassment, bullying and victimization. There is a range of support in place to help and support those that may be experiencing difficulties including the Bullying and Harassment network and Mediation services. 


Your pension is a valuable part of your total reward package. 

Defra invests in providing a contribution to the cost of your pension (contribution rates vary between 20.0% and 24.5%, dependent upon salary). 

The contributions you make are deducted from your salary before tax is taken. 

Generous Annual Leave and Bank Holiday Allowance: 

Defra offers 25 days annual leave (rising, over 5 years, to 30 days) for full time new entrants to the Civil Service. Employees receive 8 public holidays a year, plus an additional day in May to mark the Queen’s Birthday. 

Staff Recognition:

We have a Staff Recognition Scheme, to reward exemplary work. 

Learning and Development: 

All new employees joining (and returning) to Defra will have an induction to the department, our work and policies. You will have access to a broad range of learning and development opportunities with world class providers.

Mentoring and Coaching: 

Mentoring is an effective means of developing your career, boosting your confidence and empowering both the mentor and mentee. All our employees have the opportunity to voluntarily engage and work with a Mentor or a Coach. 


Defra employees are entitled to 3 days special leave with pay, per year, for volunteering. We encourage our employees to take this up, as it can be a great way to share skills with worthy charitable causes, while developing new insights and stronger links with the civil society sector. 


We fully support reservists and offer 15 days special leave with pay for training. 

Salary Sacrifice: 

Childcare vouchers: 

The government has introduced the Tax-Free Childcare (TFC) scheme. Working parents can open an online childcare account and for every £8 they pay in, the government adds £2, up to a maximum of £2000 a year for each child or £4000 for a disabled child. Parents can then use the funds to pay for registered childcare. 

Bicycle Loan Schemes: 

Defra offers interest-free loans towards the cost of a bike and Cycle to Work Scheme. Defra loans you a bike for your commute as a tax-free benefit. At the end of the loan period, you have the option to buy the bike, saving 30% of the original cost. 

Season Ticket Loan:

We offer interest-free season ticket loans to all Defra employees with more than three months’ service, for purchasing train and bus season tickets, as well as station car parking. 

Sick Pay:

We offer a generous and supportive Sick Pay Policy, with Sick pay progressively increasing, by the length of service, beginning at one month’s sick pay in the first year of service. 

Employee Discounts: 

Defra employees have access to a range of discounts at hundreds of top retailers via our employee discount scheme. 

Give as You Earn: 

Defra is registered with the Give as You Earn scheme, which enables you to make regular deductions directly from your salary, in support of a chosen charity. This is simple and tax efficient. 

Flexible working: 

Defra is committed to providing a great place to work and is open to smarter ways of working that enable you to choose how, when and where you want to work in line with business needs. This includes the ability to work from home, work compressed hours and choose from a range of locations best suited to when and where you need to be. Our offices are equipped with a range of onsite facilities including fitness centres, staff canteens and much more. You can discuss where you will be based and the amount of travel you will need to undertake at the interview with the Vacancy Holder. 

Employee Assistance Programme: 

Is a free and confidential 24/7 telephone advice service available to all our staff. 

Occupational Health Service: 

Provides a range of support services, to optimise attendance, engagement and performance at work. 

Sports and Social Association: 

Promotes sports and social activities and organises our annual sports day and staff lottery.

Things you need to know


Successful candidates must pass a disclosure and barring security check.

Successful candidates must pass basic security checks.

Nationality statement

Candidates will be subject to UK immigration requirements as well as Civil Service nationality rules.

If you're applying for a role requiring security clearance please be aware that foreign or dual nationality is not an automatic bar. However certain posts may have restrictions which could affect those who do not have sole British nationality or who have personal connections with certain countries outside the UK.

Selection process details

This vacancy is using Success Profiles, and will assess your Behaviours, Experience and Technical skills.

Please submit a CV and personal statement. In your statement, refer to the responsibilities and experience sections of this advert to show how you’re suitable for the role. Make your statement no longer than 700 words. 

If you are selected for interview, we’ll concentrate on your behaviours and technical skills. We’ll also ask you to give a presentation. 

Please note:
Feedback will only be provided if you attend an interview or assessment.

Nationality requirements

Open to UK, Commonwealth and European Economic Area (EEA) and certain non EEA nationals. Further information on whether you are able to apply is available here.

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.

The Civil Service embraces diversity and promotes equality of opportunity. There is a guaranteed interview scheme (GIS) for candidates with disabilities who meet the minimum selection criteria.

Department for Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs

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