Head of ICT

  • Avon Fire & Rescue Service
  • Bristol, UK
  • Dec 20, 2023
Full time Executive Government

Job Description

Role Summary

Be at the forefront of ICT improvements and transformation within the Fire & Rescue Service (AF&RS). We are seeking a visionary leader to shape our future ICT and digital strategy, make further improvements to our infrastructure and ensure our ICT systems are resilient, reliable, and accessible to all staff 24/7.

This is a new role leading the development of an integrated ICT strategy and technology roadmap and overseeing the delivery of technology initiatives. This business-critical position will require you to work effectively with key stakeholders to create and implement an ICT strategy which aligns with our organisational goals and ambitions, ensures the integration and enhancement of our systems and improved user experience. 

This role will require an ambitious, forward-thinking individual who has the technical knowledge, drive and passion to make a big difference. You will have a unique opportunity to make the role your own and bring your experience, ideas, influencing skills and technical expertise to our organisation.  With challenging budgets, a creative and innovative approach is key, as is the exploration of potential funding sources.

 Some of the things you’ll be doing

  •  Strategic Leadership: Drive continuous improvement, culture change, and effective performance management. Act as the advocate for AF&RS’s digital vision, engaging leadership and representing AF&RS in local and national digital forums.
  • Expert Consultation: Offer expert guidance on ICT matters to senior stakeholders and the Fire Authority, enabling discussions on modern ICT and digital technology.
  • System Management: Ensure the efficiency, reliability, security, and cost-effectiveness of ICT systems and technology. Oversee external IT helpdesk providers and business continuity plans.
  • Infrastructure Enhancement: Drive continual improvements to the ICT infrastructure to ensure a solid foundation and enhanced user experience. Collaborate with stakeholders to define and implement improvements, presenting robust business cases for investment.
  • Digital Horizon-Scanning: Stay updated on digital developments and evaluate new technologies potential benefits, risks, and affordability aligned with the ICT strategy.
  • Strategy Development: Lead the creation and implementation of AF&RS’s cohesive ICT and Digital Strategy, fostering innovative and integrated improvements.
  • Project Oversight: Oversee the successful delivery of all ICT, digital, and systems projects. Establish governance structures, aligning with the ICT strategy and legal compliance.
  • Change Management: Implement efficient change processes, improving service quality and business continuity while minimising disruption.
  • Risk Management: Proactively assess and monitor ICT-related risks across AF&RS, implementing effective controls and mitigations.
  • Resource Optimisation: Develop an appropriate ICT organisational structure, optimising internal and external resources to ensure delivery and an integrated approach.
  • Team Leadership: Provide training and mentoring to internal ICT staff, fostering a responsive and agile cross-functional team.
  • Stakeholder Engagement: Liaise with stakeholders across AF&RS, building strong internal networks to maximise technology benefits.
  • Policy Implementation: Develop and implement up-to-date ICT policies ensuring robust controls across AF&RS. Liaise with internal data protection teams, ensuring ICT developments are compliant with relevant information legislation. Act as the Deputy Senior Risk Owner ensuring high-quality governance standards and compliance.
  • Training Alignment: Identify and evaluate ICT training aligned with the ICT strategy and budget requirements.
  • Budget Management: Manage ICT budgets aligned with the ICT strategy, forecasting and reviewing budgetary arrangements and exploring potential funding opportunities.

 What we’ll need from you:


  • Proven experience in senior ICT leadership role, driving digital transformation and strategy (ideally within the emergency services or public sector – but not essential).
  • Demonstrable experience in design, sourcing, transition, delivery and implementation of new technology and data capabilities.
  • Excellent up-to-date technical knowledge of ICT and the technology landscape.
  • Extensive knowledge of digital, data and technology regulations and best practice methodologies (e.g. ITIL, ISO) and performance benchmarking. You will also maintain up-to-date technical knowledge of ICT and the technology landscape.
  • Significant experience of leading and managing high performing teams (via direct or matrix management).
  • Proven experience of strategic service planning, business processes, developing, leading, and implementing IT/ICT strategies and change programs.
  • Experience of successfully managing high quality business-as-usual (BAU) ICT, while also inspiring, leading, and driving innovative solutions.
  • Proven experience of proactively managing business continuity and cyber security arrangements.
  • Significant experience of dealing with vendors and third parties including experience of procuring, negotiating, and robustly managing business-critical service contractors.
  • Degree level education, or equivalent, in business, computer science or a related field of study, or proven relevant business experience.
  • Professional ICT qualifications (such as ITIL or accredited status such as Chartered IT Professional CITP), or equivalent through a combination of proven relevant training, experience and evidenced continuing professional development.
  • Highly effective communication and influencing skills across the full breadth of written, verbal, presentation, and digital media. You will be able to engage, advise and explain technical matters in a non-technical way.
  • Adaptable, inclusive, and values-based leadership and people management skills.
  • Relationship building and collaboration skills with the ability to influence strategic thinking and approaches to complex service issues.
  • Strong analytical, research, numerical and decision-making skills, to deal with complex service delivery.
  • Ability to manage and prioritise high workloads, with pressing and conflicting deadlines.


  • Comprehensive budget-creation and budget-management experience including identifying and evaluating opportunities, negotiation, and delivering efficiencies.
  • Experience of working in a climate of transformation and/or continuous improvement and supporting others in uncertain times.
  • Experience of working for an emergency service or local authority.
  • Experience of Information and Data Governance and/or of being a Senior Risk Information Officer (SIRO) or Deputy SIRO.
  • Experience of portfolio and project management methodologies and tailoring these for significant ICT projects and organisational context.
  • Proven ICT risk management experience. 
  • High level of political awareness and acuity to interact with senior stakeholders and elected Members.
  • Foundation or Practitioner level qualification in programme or project management.

 What you can expect in return

  •  27 days annual holiday (plus public holidays) rising to 31 days after 5 years, and 32 after 10 years of service
  • Local Government Pension - Defined Benefit Scheme
  • Flexible and hybrid working
  • Electric Vehicle Salary Sacrifice Scheme
  • Cycle to Work scheme
  • Welfare and Wellbeing services
  • Staff Engagement Groups
  • Access to a Medical Intervention Scheme which can support staff to access private medical assessments and treatments
  • Access to Blue Light card with offers online and high street discounts
  • Use of the multi-gym, sports hall, restaurant, free parking, and beautiful open surroundings at our Headquarters in Portishead

 Please note - as this post is based at our Headquarters which we share with Avon & Somerset Police, the successful applicant will be required to undergo a security clearance check & DBS check.

 Further Information

 If you would like to have an informal conversation with the hiring manager for this role please contact recruitment@avonfire.gov.uk to request this.

 How to apply: The full job description can be found on our careers pages: Head of ICT | Yes You Can! The Avon Fire & Rescue Service Job.  Once you have read the job description please submit a tailored CV demonstrating how your skills and experience match the requirements of the role.

 Late applications will not be accepted. Please quote job reference number 1023 [JD number] on any communications. Thank you.

 Avon Fire & Rescue Service is committed to securing equality of opportunity. We welcome applications from all members of our community who are currently under-represented at Avon Fire & Rescue Service, particularly women, Disabled people and members of ethnic minority communities.


Other, Firefighting and Rescue


Up to £76,000 + organisational benefits

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