About the Role

Whether you’re talking about length, mass, time, temperature, electric current, amount, substance 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 be responsible for this. At NPL, we touch ordinary lives in extraordinary ways, and you could too. 

As the United Kingdom’s national metrology institute (NMI), quality lies at the centre of all that we do. NPL’s Head of Quality will drive the integration of new areas of work and novel ways of working into the established quality system. This includes the application of the quality system to calibration services, data, innovative research and development and non-science & engineering functions, ultimately ensuring all parts of the organisation represent NPL as a centre of excellence.

NPL holds registrations to ISO17025, IS17034, ISO 17043, ISO 9001 and TickITplus and operates across multiple sites.


Essential skills required:

•               Manage the performance and potential of the Quality Assurance Team, building a highly autonomous, motivated and customer focused team

•               Lead through PDCA (Plan-Do-Check-Act) to drive developments and improvements to the Quality Management System and then implement a Quality Control framework to ensure conformity with it within the organisation

•               Improve and integrate with Key Science Skills a Quality Training & Qualification Programme

•               Ensure continual conformity and compliance with appropriate statutory and regulatory requirements, internal governance and external registration, minimising risk to the business and enhancing NPL’s reputation.

•               Drive best practice and consistency in the methods, tools, data collection and adherence to compliance a cross the organisation

•               Work with leadership colleagues to be ‘One NPL’. Ensure you/your team are working together with relevant parts of the organisation to develop a cohesive approach to refine and implement our approach to quality to ensure it is effective

•               Drive the organisation towards quality excellence through clear leadership, vision, and strategy, inspiring and motivating staff to achieve operational excellence

•               Be accountable for developing and improving NPL’s quality environment, tools, practices, competencies to manage future needs and strategies relating to technical quality compliance.

About You

We are looking for a team player, a strong communicator and influencer, and someone who wants to make a difference in everything that they do. We need strong analytical skills, excellent stakeholder management skills and someone with the experience and the ability to develop and implement strategy. You will also have excellent project management skills and you’re keen to act as a technical authority in quality training delivery for the whole organisation

You will need to have relevant expertise to guide and shape the direction within NPL and experience of managing and motivating a team is 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 need.

Experience, skills and qualifications required:

  • 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 focused teams
  • Building strategic relationships with both internal and external customers, acting as a brand ambassador
  • Degree in a Science or Engineering discipline
  • Experience with either R&D or Production environment
  • Knowledge of ISO or equivalent QA requirements and legal standards
  • QA process skills
We review applications as we receive them and interview as soon as soon as possible. So, please apply at the earliest opportunity to avoid missing out on this role.
No Agencies Please

About The Company

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.