About the Role
Whether you’re talking about length, mass, time, temperature, electric current, amount or the brightness of light, the National Physical Laboratory sets the standards by which these things are all measured. As such, we need to make sure our work continues to define world-class, and is delivered on time, within budget and to the highest standards. As a Head of Department you’ll see to it that we do. At NPL, we touch ordinary lives in extraordinary ways and you could too. 


To keep our science and engineering capability at the top of its game, we have to consider every aspect that feeds into its success – our people, our scientific facilities and our equipment. You are the one who will take a step back and assess how we’re performing in line with our obligations and our aspirations, so that we’re continually challenging what we do and how we do it. Driving the performance of your team and ensuring the right people are in the right roles to deliver will be essential. You will also need to build relationships with stakeholders and customers, to understand their requirements and assess the impact these have to your department’s resources. Of course, everything we deliver need to be compliant with internal and external governance, so you’ll keep oversee that too. In addition, as a member of the senior leadership team, you’ll act as a brand ambassador for NPL, working as one team, optimising opportunities, championing change and promoting our values. 

We are now working in a hybrid way, with a mix of remote and office working. We strive to offer a great work life balance - if you are looking for part time or flexible options, we will try to make this work where business possible. This will be dependent on the kind of role you do and part of the business you work in. 
About You
You will need to have relevant technical expertise in order to guide and shape the direction within NPL. This must be backed by solid commercial and financial acumen, and experience of managing and motivating a team be essential too. Beyond that, we’re looking for someone who’ll thrive in an environment like ours. At NPL we learn from each other, respect each other and work together to do better. For ourselves and for our customers. And whilst we’re always looking to stretch beyond what we know, we don’t make things more complicated when there’s no needTogether, we’re helping make the impossible, possible.
Essential skills required for Head of Department - in all disciplines
  • A wealth of experience of inspirational leadership to ensure NPL’s mission, strategy and plan are articulated and delivered successfully, to deliver maximum impact and growth
  • A record of driving the performance and potential within your team, building highly motivated, customer focussed teams
  • Management and responsibility for P&L and delivering to time, cost and quality
  • Accountability for health, safety, quality, security and environmental compliance, minimising risk to the business and enhancing NPL’s reputation
  • Full resource management across the department and multi locations, creating an agile, flexible and high performing team and department
  • Leading science and engineering capabilities within the department and across NPL in collaboration to create seamless delivery
  • Building strategic relationships with both internal and external customers, acting as a brand ambassador
Applications will be reviewed, and interviews will be conducted throughout the duration of this advert therefore we may at any time bring the closing date forward.  We encourage all interested applicants to apply as soon as practical.  
If you are applying for this position and you have been displaced by the Ukrainian crisis, please apply and email careers@npl.co.uk or text 07976873073 highlighting you are applying under the "We support Ukraine" initiative - Ukraine employment support - NPL
About The Company

NPL and BEIS have strong commitments to diversity and equality of opportunity, and welcome applications from candidates irrespective of their background, gender, race, sexual orientation, religion, or age, providing they meet the required criteria. Applications from women, disabled and BAME candidates in particular are encouraged. All disabled candidates (as defined by the Equality Act 2010) who satisfy the minimum criteria for the role will be guaranteed an interview under the Disability Confident Scheme.

We’re transforming. As a national laboratory, we’re exploring even more commercial routes to market and that’s presenting us with greater opportunity – for you and us. Our success relies on the diversity and talent of our people, we strive to nurture and respect individuals to ensure everyone feels valued and supported to excel in their chosen field. This value is at the core of our organisation.

We believe in a culture of fairness by treating everyone on the basis of their own individual merits and abilities regardless of their own or perceived identity, background or any other factor irrelevant to a person’s work. At NPL we are committed to the health and well-being of our employees. Flexible working and social activities are embedded in our culture to create a positive work-life balance, along with a broad range of benefitsNPL’s values are at the heart of what we do and they shape the way we interact, develop our people and celebrate success.

As part of our commitment to diversity & inclusion, we signed up to the Institute of Physics' Project Juno in 2015 as a Juno Supporter. NPL were proud to be awarded Juno Practitioner status in 2018. NPL also joined Stonewall as a Diversity champion in 2015, participating in their annual Workplace Equality Index for the equality of LGBT+ community at NPL. In 2018, NPL became a member of the Business Disability Forum and joined the disability confident scheme as level 1 committed employer.

To ensure everyone has an equal chance, we’re always willing to make reasonable adjustments to the recruitment process. If you would like to discuss, please contact us.