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Policy Development Principal - Age Assurance

  • Ofcom
  • London, UK
  • 24/05/2024
Full time Media-Journalism

Job Description

Closing Date:

07/06/2024

Group:

Online Safety Group

Management Level:

Principal

Job Type:

Permanent

Job Description:

Please note that this role will close at 00:01 on Friday 7th June and therefore we advise that you get your application in by no later than midnight on Thursday 6th June.

How to Apply

Please submit your CV and a covering letter of no more than one page outlining your experience and suitability for the role. Please note you are able to upload multiple documents at the point where you upload your CV.

About the Team

Almost every part of our lives is now online: we use online spaces to learn, play, make connections, do business and keep in touch. Alongside the many benefits, users face real risks from harmful or illegal content - from fraud, hate speech, bullying and harassment, child sexual exploitation, and more. Ofcom is the new regulator for online safety in the UK and there has never been a better time to join us on our mission to create a safer life online.  

 

Ofcom’s role will be to hold online services to account for the steps they take to protect their users from harmful content, in order to ensure a safer life online for UK internet users. These roles provide an opportunity to help create a safer online environment and leave a lasting legacy for future generations. 

 

This role will be part of Ofcom’s Online Safety Group, whose broader purpose is to lead our work in ensuring UK citizens have a safer life online. The Group consists of five teams – Policy Development, Supervision, Strategy Delivery, Tech Policy and Trust & Safety. This role sits within the Policy Development team, who are responsible for establishing and implementing our policy codes and guidance. This role sits within the protection of children policy development team and will work very closely with colleagues in Trust & Safety and Tech Policy as well as colleagues in supervision.  

Purpose of the Role/Key responsibilities

The Online Safety Act 2023 places duties both on online services and Ofcom relating to the use of age assurance technologies to protect children from harm online. We have already published proposals for service providers publishing pornographic content, setting expectations for implementing highly effective age assurance to prevent children from encountering pornographic content. Our major Protection of Children consultation extends these protections to social media companies and other online services, to ensure that they are able to identify children to ensure they receive age-appropriate experiences 

 

The Age Assurance Principal will lead Ofcom’s policy development work on the role of age assurance in securing safer experiences for children online. You will be responsible for driving the policy forward to final statement on our guidance for industry on highly effective age assurance and the circumstances in which we expect them to adopt these technologies, taking into account the responses received, as well as the evolving state of technology.  

 

While the role sits within the online safety policy team, the successful candidate will be leading a multi-disciplinary project team, comprising of policy specialists, researchers, technologists, economists, and lawyers, working on the associated deliverables.  

 

We are looking for candidates with experience of leading and implementing a complex work programme, trialling and implementing new policies, delivering effectively through others, developing and communicating strategy, producing clear accessible public documents, and effectively managing stakeholder relationships. 

 

A successful candidate will be able to: 

  • Lead the policy development and delivery of a number of regulatory products, including codes of practice and guidance for the role of age assurance, working collaboratively with technologists, economists and lawyers. 

  • Manage relationships with a diverse group of stakeholders, ensuring a broad range of input into Ofcom’s age assurance policy and to anticipate and address likely stakeholder reactions.  

  • Monitor and help shape the evolution of policy developments internationally on the use of age assurance, including by representing Ofcom’s interests in international forums.  

  • With Ofcom’s tech experts, monitor the development of technology to help anticipate what it means for our regulatory requirements, including the potential for imposing numerical thresholds of accuracy  

  • Work constructively with supervision and enforcement colleagues to ensure the age assurance policy requirements are implemented by regulated services and deliver real change for children.  

  • Lead Ofcom’s report on the role app stores play in children encountering harmful content, and the use of age assurance by providers of apps stores.    

  • Manage a team including leading, coaching, motivating, and developing colleagues and building individual and team capabilities. 

  • Work as part of the Policy Development Management Team, to provide team-wide leadership and strategic direction, as well as developing processes for working seamlessly between the various functions to deliver our strategic priorities. 

  • Contribute to the ongoing development of the team and Ofcom as an excellent place to work. 

 

As the online safety regime is focused on assessing tech companies’ systems and processes, rather than adjudicating on individual pieces of content, we do not anticipate that colleagues working in the Policy Development team will be routinely exposed to harmful or distressing online content. At the same time, due to the nature of the harms covered by the online safety regime, some exposure to distressing content or themes may be unavoidable from time to time. We will offer support to colleagues to manage any such exposure, but candidates should be aware of this aspect of the role, alongside the need to ensure the right support is in place for their team.  

The skills, knowledge and experience you will need for success

Essential 

 

  • Excellent written communication skills, with experience in overseeing production of large and complex publications, ensuring clear and coherent narrative flows. 

  • Experience in policy development and delivery, with the ability to understand and explain complex technical systems and process in ways that can be translated into policy proposals and explained to the public.  

  • Experience working autonomously to deliver in new policy areas and with the ability to develop cohesive strategies across a number of disparate and sometimes conflicting policy areas.

  • Experience in setting and implementing programme-level strategy and delivery action plans, in line with broader organisational strategic priorities. 

  • Experience of directing complex projects, delivering the implementation through others, and working collaboratively with colleagues at all levels and across cross-functional teams.  

  • Experience of leading or managing others, setting direction, and helping colleagues develop. 

  • Experience weighing up complex arguments and making proportionate, evidence-based decisions.  

  • Excellent stakeholder management and communication skills, with proven ability to influence and persuade.  

 

Desirable  

 

  • Experience in child protection policy and the role of age assurance.  

  • Experience of implementing a new regulatory regime or system and/or applying new rules, guidance, or policy in regulated sectors. 

  • Experience of assessing companies’ systems, processes, governance, and compliance with key regulatory requirements. 

  • Programme management experience, including setting objectives, planning, tracking progress, and managing risks. 

 

Qualifications 

 

No mandatory qualifications.  

Ofcom has a clear mission: to make communications work for everyone.  To be able to deliver on this, we want our organisation to reflect the diversity of background, experience, upbringing and thought that exists across the UK.  We aim to recruit from the widest pool of candidates possible – no matter your social background, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender or disability. 

Where positions are listed as full-time, we remain open to reduced hours, part-time arrangements, job shares, and other flexible working options. From day one, we champion flexible work arrangements to accommodate individual needs.

We also warmly welcome applicants who are returning to the workforce after a break – for whatever reason. If you have taken time away and are ready to rejoin, we look forward to reviewing your application.

Our recruitment processes prioritise accessibility and inclusivity. If you need information in an alternative format or have specific preferences, please contact our recruitment team at resourcing@ofcom.org.uk or call 0330 912 1378.

As a Disability Confident employer, we offer interviews to disabled applicants who meet essential criteria for advertised roles. Learn more about this scheme here. https://www.ofcom.org.uk/about-ofcom/jobs/disability-confident-scheme