This is an exciting time of change and expansion at the ICO and we’re offering secondment opportunities to a wide range of people across all areas of the organisation.

Who are we looking for?

We are keen to host secondments in all areas of our business so are looking for people from a range of backgrounds. These could include policy, legal, cyber-security, audit, investigations, information technology, information governance, communications, customer service, finance, organisational development, research and grants or project management.

Prior experience dealing with the legislation we oversee is always desirable but we are happy to consider people with a wide range of expertise.

A secondment at the ICO is an opportunity for individuals, who are currently employed by an organisation/company, to gain experiences and opportunities they may not in their current role/organisation.

Secondments are not available to those who are self-employed, students or consultants. However if you are interested in working for the ICO please visit our vacancies page to see our current employment opportunities.

Current secondment opportunities

Details of any current secondment opportunities at the ICO will be outlined below:

Currently we are particularly keen to host secondments in our Innovation and Technology policy teams. We are looking for technical specialists with knowledge and experience in:

  • Cybersecurity
  • Artificial intelligence
  • Adtech
  • pseudonymisation techniques, biometric technologies, the Internet of Things, smart cities, modern operating systems (including telemetry and virtual assistants), connected and autonomous vehicles, and privacy enhancing technologies.
  • Horizon scanning –with the ability to identify and evaluate emerging technologies, and assess their potential impact on information rights.

In addition we are also looking for policy specialists, project managers and audit/risk management experience.

Potential secondment opportunity: Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

We are exploring the potential for a secondment, for between one and four months, to the Security and Online Harms Directorate at the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS). The commencement and duration of the secondment will be agreed with the secondee and DCMS, and may be dependent on the nature of the Online Harms White Paper drafting processing currently being undertaken by DCMS. The post is likely to require 1-2 days’ work at the DCMS offices in London each week, with the remainder of the week spent working remotely from your regular ICO office. Accommodation costs and travel expenses will be funded by either the ICO or DCMS.

This role would be suitable for an ICO member of staff currently working as a Senior Policy Officer or in an equivalent Level E position, who has a detailed understanding of the workings of the ICO and its approach to interpreting, regulating and enforcing the GDPR, DPA 2018 and PECR. During the period of the secondment, the secondee will act as a full member of the DCMS team and will therefore not be expected to carry out their ICO duties in parallel.

The DCMS is currently drafting an Online Harms White Paper, which is likely to set out the government’s proposals for a future regulatory regime aimed at tackling the occurrence and impacts of harmful activities and content on online platforms. The ICO has an important role to play in the development of public policy in this area and the secondment will be a key part of our contribution.

The DCMS is interested in hearing from people with a background in ICO policy, complaints, audit or investigations activity. Much of the team’s work is focussed on the development of new regulatory responsibilities and powers, with the models adopted for existing regulators such as the ICO being used to drive online harms policy development. This is an exciting opportunity for a representative of the ICO to work alongside DCMS colleagues in an area of policy that is high on the agenda of government, the media and the UK public.

An understanding of UK legislative and parliamentary processes will be beneficial. The successful secondee will also need to have experience of contributing to and leading policy discussions, and must be able to represent the views of the ICO accurately and articulately.  We are looking for an individual who is confident in engaging with stakeholders, can demonstrate experience of collaborative working, and has a background in policy development.

If you are interested in this opportunity, please email HR with a maximum 500 word expression of interest by midnight on Sunday 14 April 2019, explaining the reasons you are interested in the role and your areas of expertise. Given that the successful secondee’s ICO work will need to be reallocated for a number of months, line manager approval will be needed before applying.

Following expressions of interest, a selection process will be held to determine the successful secondee. If you require further information, please contact HR.

Senior Policy Officer

We currently have a secondment opportunity for a Senior Policy Officer in the Parliament and Government Affairs directorate. The secondment will be for a period of six months.

The secondee will take responsibility for complex policy outputs, undertake research and policy development and provide advice and guidance. This can also include being a primary source of contact for stakeholders often at a senior level.

More information on the Directorate and the key responsibilities for this secondment opportunity are available at the above link.

For those interested in this opportunity please email a copy of your CV to secondments@ico.org.uk with the subject title ‘Senior Policy Officer, Parliament and Government Affairs Secondment’ by 17:00 on Tuesday 2 April 2019.

Why join the ICO?

We will:

  • provide induction and technical training as necessary;
  • provide ongoing guidance, support and training;
  • consider a variety of working structures including part-time, job shares or job swaps; and
  • consider home and remote working, where appropriate.

Matthew Farrington from Slaughter and May commented on his time as a secondee at the ICO, saying:

The work is interesting and the people have been welcoming and engaging. The more that private organisations can learn from the public sector, and vice versa, the better."

How does it work?

Individuals on secondments with the ICO retain their parent organisation’s terms and conditions. However, we do ask that all secondees sign a confidentiality agreement, a code of conduct and declare any political affiliations.

We’d typically expect a secondment to last between six and 24 months.

Depending on the type of secondment, the funding may be either:

  • fully reimbursed by us;
  • partially reimbursed by us with the balance being funded by the parent organisation; or
  • fully funded by the parent organisation.

How do I apply?

To express an interest in secondments at the ICO, please email a copy of your CV to secondments@ico.org.uk  and briefly outline the area that you are interested in.

Please discuss this with your employer first to ensure they are supportive of your secondment application.

What will happen after I apply?

We’ll review your application and, if we feel there may be an appropriate opportunity for you to join us, we will get in touch. We may invite you for an interview, for example. If opportunities aren’t available straight away then, if you are happy for us to, we’ll keep your details on file for up to six months and contact you if suitable opportunities arise in future. 

We also welcome contact from organisations looking to second staff to the ICO.

For information about what we do with personal data see our privacy notice.