I joined HM Land Registry 15 years ago after moving from a small HR software company. HM Land Registry offered me flexible working hours, better pay and improved development prospects than my previous job. All of this packaged within a forward-looking government department.
I have worked in a range of roles including Software Developer, Test Analyst and Test Manager before starting my career in IT Assurance 9 years ago. I have since progressed from being an Assurance Officer of an external services group to being the Senior IT Assurance Manager for the whole of HM Land Registry's Digital, Data and Technology (DDaT) division. Before understanding what was involved with assurance, I thought of it as performing audits and filling out checklists, which is part of the work but that is not what attracted me.
As a child I loved taking apart everything I could find, to see if I could put them back together and understand how they work. Sometimes I broke things due to inexperience but mostly I rebuilt them and, in some cases, improved them. This has followed me through to my adult life and working in assurance. It’s all about understanding people, the what, how and why they are doing things and identifying areas where things could be improved.
The importance of IT Assurance
The DDaT Assurance team ensures HM Land Registry follows international best practice standards in IT service management (for example, ISO20000) and adheres to our legal and statutory obligations. This underpins the management and maintenance of more than 25 million property titles and safeguards land and property valued at £7 trillion through the delivery of efficient, effective and exceptional IT services.
Staying safe through the pandemic
Like many people my health means that, owing to coronavirus (COVID-19), I have had to shield as extremely vulnerable. HM Land Registry has been incredibly supportive in this, not just for me but in either enabling people to work remotely or implementing recommended safety measures in an office location so people can continue working throughout these difficult times.
Teams are working together like never before, using collaborative online tools on a daily basis to keep in touch, share information and support each other. Regarding many of the changes made, we are already examining what this could mean after coronavirus and how DDaT could work in the future.
Across DDaT work is taking place to develop our people and their capabilities more than ever before, in recognition that motivated, confident and capable individuals will be able to supply greater services both internally and to the wider public. Mentoring, formal training and professional development are strongly supported as part of this skills development. For me, it’s important to provide support not just for people to do their job but for them to develop and grow in what they do now and what they choose to do in the future.
Outside of work HM Land Registry has an active sports and social scene that runs a range of activities including sporting events and fun days. Don’t think that this has stopped during the current coronavirus protective measures, with a number of sporting and social events (such as recording how many steps you’ve done in a day or a month) being organised via remote interaction and with awards for participants.
Jobs in our Digital, Data and Technology Directorate are advertised on GOV.UK and Civil Service Jobs. They are also advertised on our social media channels, so follow us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to find out when they’re available. Good luck if you're thinking of applying. Don’t forget to do your research; read the job advertisement, job description and the attached candidate guidance and make sure you have included all the relevant information in the format required for the role. Finally, always be yourself!