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Head of Data Engineering

NHS AfC: Band 8a

Main area
Data Warehousing, Reporting & Analytics
NHS AfC: Band 8a
  • Full time
  • Home or remote working
37.5 hours per week
Job ref
Home working
£47,126 - £53,219 per annum
Salary period
25/10/2021 23:59

The HRA is a Non Departmental Public Body with the remit to protect and promote the interests of patients and the public in health and social care research.  We do this by supporting and promoting a robust and efficient regulatory and governance framework in the UK. We provide the Research Ethics Service (RES), Confidentiality Advice function, assessments and assurances on behalf of the NHS, and learning, guidance and advice for the research community.  Our ambition is to make the UK a great place to do research, where more money invested in research goes into carrying out relevant, good quality research.

Our purpose is to ensure that research involving NHS patients and members of the public is approved through a proportionate and robust system, that they are provided with the information they need to help them decide whether they wish to take part, and that their opportunity to do so is maximised by simplifying the processes by which high quality research is assessed.  We have already delivered significant improvements by centralising and simplifying the approval of research in the NHS in England, and are undertaking a range of significant programmes to deliver further improvements.

Job overview

Applications are invited for this exciting new role within the Digital Directorate at the Health Research Authority which provides Research Systems capabilities to the organisation and its research partners.    The role is for a talented, experienced and enthusiastic individual with strong technical skills and stakeholder engagement experience, to lead on implementing a new data warehouse and analytics function at the HRA.  We anticipate that you will be an experienced Band 7 (or equivalent) looking for your first senior management role or an existing Band 8a (or equivalent).

Main duties of the job

The successful candidate will assist in establishing, maintaining and developing the HRA’s Data Warehouse and is the main source of data to enable a high quality analytical service to be provided to managerial, approvals and operational staff.  This role will entail use of databases and information systems and include a focus on data quality.

Advanced capabilities with SQL Server (TSQL, SSIS and SSRS and/or PowerBI) and MS Excel experience are essential. The successful candidate will be experienced at communicating complex data issues to a range of people.  A ‘can-do’ attitude with attention to detail and the ability to work under pressure and to tight timescales is required.

The postholder will be home based with the need for travel to HRA offices typically once a month for group meetings.

Prospective applicants are strongly encouraged to contact Julie Waters, Associate Director IT Portfolio Management for an informal discussion.  

Working for our organisation

Working at the HRA, we are reminded daily of how important life is. As a flexible working friendly organisation, we want to be sure that you can work in a way that is best for you, not just us and the work we do.
We are committed to creating an inclusive workplace that promotes and values diversity. We know from experience that different ideas, perspectives and backgrounds create a stronger, more creative workplace that helps us to deliver the best services. We welcome applications which represent the rich diversity of our community: age, disability, gender identity and expression, ethnicity, religion or belief, sex, sexual orientation and other diverse characteristics, and we have policies in place to ensure that all applicants are treated fairly and consistently at every stage of the recruitment process.
When applying to work here, speak to us about how we might be able to accommodate a flexible working arrangement – if it works for us, we will do our best to make it work for you.

Detailed job description and main responsibilities

This role sits within HRA Digital. The HRA Digital directorate is responsible for developing, delivering and supporting complex solutions within the HRA’s portfolio or national information systems for health research. This includes a major programme to build a new Integrated Research Application and Workflow system and to achieve the successful migration and eventual closure of current systems (IRAS and HARP).
The HRA Digital team is a collaborative, supportive team consisting of HRA employees, secondees, contractors and vendors.
To find out more and to understand the full duties of the role, please refer to the job description attached.
In submitting your application with us, please note the following:
We currently do not accept applications via recruitment agencies.
We do not hold a sponsorship licence and are unable to offer employment under any sponsorship arrangement.
Where applicants fail to demonstrate how they meet any one of the essential criteria of the person specification, the application will not be shortlisted. You will be considered based only on the information in your application form. CVs will not be considered.
The HRA reserves the right to close this vacancy early should it receive a sufficient number of applications.

Person specification


Essential criteria
  • Educated to degree level or equivalent level of experience of working at a management level. Alternatively, equivalent professional experience and portfolio of evidence demonstrating data warehousing, analysis and data management experience.
Desirable criteria
  • Qualification in Project Management e.g. PRINCE 2 Foundation
  • Association of Professional Healthcare Analysts professional registration


Essential criteria
  • Experience of using and implementing SSRS and SSIS
Desirable criteria
  • Experience of maintaining database back end processes such as jobs, backups and linked servers

Analytical and Judgemental Skills

Essential criteria
  • In depth specialist knowledge of statistical and information data analysis

Interpersonal Skills

Essential criteria
  • Ability to work effectively and collaboratively with other teams to improve ways of working.


Essential criteria
  • Commitment to own personal and continued professional development

Knowledge, Skills and Expertise

Essential criteria
  • Ability to manage a workflow and achieve short deadlines
  • Ability to work in an environment where there are frequent interruptions
  • Knowledge and understanding of confidentiality within the workplace (particularly within the NHS)
  • Knowledge and understanding of General Data Protection Regulations (2018)
  • Ability to work autonomously on a day to day basis, to work within broad occupational policies and targets and meet with manager at regular intervals to discuss progress, complex issues or areas of concern
  • Advance level of MS Excel
  • Intermediate level of MS Access, Word, Outlook, Visio and Sharepoint
  • Experience of managing multiple databases
  • Experience of designing, developing and managing data warehouses or other complex relational databases
  • Experience of designing, developing and managing ETL processes
  • Experience of working to tight deadlines
  • Extensive experience of analysing complex data sets effectively in a variety of settings
  • Experience of working with and combining data contained within different data sources
  • Extensive experience of complex SQL code to include development of scripts, functions and procedures
  • Experience of working with a range of internal and external stakeholders to better understand their data and reporting requirements
Desirable criteria
  • Experience of using Power BI and creating reports/analysing data using it.
  • Experience of procuring and/or building a data warehouse from scratch

Analytical and Judgemental Skills

Essential criteria
  • Ability to collate, analyse and interpret extremely complex data sets.
  • Structured, diagnostic approach to identify underlying problems by analysing information and find effective solutions

Analytical and Judgemental Skills

Essential criteria
  • Proven ability to explain complex analytical methods to non-analytical people

Interpersonal Skills

Essential criteria
  • Proven ability to manage multiple stakeholders
  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills.


Essential criteria
  • Ability to work collaboratively as part of a team and be sensitive to other providers of information as data processes are modernised
  • Self-motivated and confident approach
  • Confident with a high level of drive, enthusiasm and commitment
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Applicant requirements

Applications from job seekers who require sponsorship to work in the United Kingdom (UK) are welcome and will be considered alongside all other applications. Please note that from January 2021, to work in the UK all candidates who are not UK or Republic of Ireland (RoI) nationals require sponsorship unless you have permission to work via another route. Non UK / RoI candidates wishing to apply can self-assess the likelihood of obtaining a Certificate of Sponsorship here. It is vital that you provide full and accurate details of your current immigration status on the application form. Overseas applicants applying for entry clearance into the UK must present a criminal record certificate from each country they have resided in continuously or cumulatively for 12 months or more in the past 10 years. Guidance can be found here. Not everyone needs a ‘Skilled Worker’ visa. If you are applying for a vacancy in health or adult social care, check if you’re eligible to apply for the Health and Care Worker visa instead. It’s cheaper to apply for and you do not need to pay the annual immigration health surcharge

Documents to download

Apply online now

Further details / informal visits contact

Julie Waters
Job title
Associate Director IT Portfolio Management
Email address
Telephone number
07999 407 319