Systems Operating Authority (SOA)


Location: Hampshire

Job Type: Full time, Part time


About the job

Job summary

At Dstl we protect lives. We take innovative Science and Technology (S&T) and use it to keep the country Safe.

Dstl Digital provides the platforms and services which underpin the Dstl business and associated S&T Capabilities, and by virtue of the user experience we provide, we are responsible for making Dstl a great place to work. As a Systems Operating Authority (SOA) Officer you are responsible for the through life management of non-corporate (grey) ICT assets from a security and accreditation perspective. If you have a background providing technical support and advice, in investigating issues, or in ICT security policy, or if you are looking for an opportunity to apply your skills to something new, this role might be for you.

You will help conduct registration; renewal and associated audit activity; involved in Risk Balance Cases; procurement triage; working closely with others to ensure our requirements are met; all within security and industry good practice. You will provide direction and advice regarding the compliant use of ICT assets. You will craft and maintain strong working relationships within the SOA team and across the lab.

Dstl recognises the importance of diversity and inclusion as people from diverse backgrounds bring fresh ideas. We are committed to building an inclusive working environment in which each employee fulfils their potential and maximises their contribution.

We particularly welcome female and ethnic minority applicants and those from the LGBTQI community, as they are under-represented within Dstl at these levels.

Job description

In this role you will:

  • Engage with customers to determine their requirements, and provide timely and accurate advice and guidance regarding the correct registration and accreditation, management and disposal of non-corporate (grey) ICT assets.
  • Review business cases and documentation for the purchase of non-corporate (grey) ICT equipment, and process requests and queries promptly and correctly.
  • Organise and conduct audit activities across Dstl sites to ensure conformance and compliance with security and information assurance requirements.
  • Engage with Dstl and MOD accreditor, information assurance and technical architects, security and compliance officers to ensure all security requirements are met.
  • Ensure customers understand their responsibilities regarding the through life management of ICT assets.

Important Information

Our work in defence, security and intelligence requires our employees to be UK Nationals who are able to gain a high level of security clearance to undertake the projects we are involved in to protect us from security threats. For this reason, only UK Nationals will be able to apply for this role. If you are an international or dual-national candidate, and you think you have the skills we need, please consider applying to any of our government, security or defence partners.

This role will require full UK security clearance and you should have resided in the UK for the past 5 years. For some roles Developed Vetting will also be required, in this case you should have resided in the UK for the past 10 years.

Person specification

We are looking for someone who has:

  • Experience of working with ICT services, preferably with a knowledge of ICT security policy, process and good practice.
  • The aptitude to quickly reach the core of an issue, obtaining the necessary information from others and recommending ways forward.
  • A desire to craft new and foster existing relationships with key customers and partners, influencing, obtaining and providing timely advice and guidance.
  • The aptitude to work with due care and diligence, taking personal and collective responsibility for your actions, while maintaining discretion and Dstl/Government standards.
  • Good communication and organisational skills.
  • The ability to work at pace to meet expected timescales and achieve results.
  • IT Literacy with good knowledge of Microsoft Office packages.

The Dstl SOA are responsible for ensuring that all non-corporate (grey) ICT equipment being used within Dstl for Defence purposes is identified, registered and fully accredited/assessed in line with MOD policy, process and best practice. You will work to influence and support the Dstl user community to ensure that all ICT is used in a compliant manner. There are no budgetary, purchasing or line management responsibilities.

The role will also focus on audit activity on various Dstl and MOD sites. Significant travel to other Dstl sites will be required.


Qualification to A Level/NVQ standard or holding a professional qualification in a relevant subject. Relevant equivalent experience will also be accpted.


We'll assess you against these behaviours during the selection process:

  • Delivering at Pace
  • Making Effective Decisions
  • Working Together

Technical skills

We'll assess you against these technical skills during the selection process:

  • Please demonstrate your understanding of ICT services and management of ICT assets.


Alongside your salary of £27,620, Defence Science and Technology Laboratory contributes £7,457 towards you being a member of the Civil Service Defined Benefit Pension scheme. Find out what benefits a Civil Service Pension provides.


Dstl’s full range of great benefits can be found in the information pack which includes:

  • Financial: An excellent pension scheme starting from 26% employer contribution (find out more here). In Year Rewarding Achievement bonuses and thank you vouchers. Rental deposit scheme and cycle to work scheme.

  • Flexible working: Options include alternative working patterns such as; compressed hours (e.g. working a 4 day week/ 9 day fortnight), job shares and annualised hours (agreed number of hours per annum paid monthly i.e. working term-time only).

  • Working hours: Flexibility around your working day (e.g. start time, finish time). Ability to bank hours in a 12 month reference period including the ability to accrue and use 3 days per calendar month.

  • Where you work: Depending on your role, blended working may be available including remote working to suit you and your team. This can be discussed at interview.

  • Annual leave: 25 days pro rata (rising to 30 after 5 years) plus 8 public holidays with the ability to buy/sell 5 additional days per annum.

  • Family: Maternity, adoption or shared parental leave of up to 26 weeks with full pay, an additional 13 weeks statutory pay and a further 13 weeks unpaid

  • Learning and Development: Dstl encourages and supports charterships, accreditations and provides employees access to fully funded apprenticeships up to level 7 (Masters Degree). Dstl will pay for 2 memberships with relevant bodies/institutions. Employees also have access to Civil Service Learning.

  • Facilities: Onsite parking, EV Charging points, restaurants, cafés and gyms.

Things you need to know

Selection process details

This vacancy is using Success Profiles (opens in a new window), and will assess your Behaviours, Experience and Technical skills.
We want you to have your best chance of success in our recruitment process, so If at any stage of the application process you would like help or assistance please contact the Dstl Recruitment Team and we will do all we can to support you.

Sifting will take place week commencing the 16th October with interviews to be arranged from the 7th November 2023

Feedback will only be provided if you attend an interview or assessment.


Successful candidates must undergo a criminal record check.
Successful candidates must meet the security requirements before they can be appointed. The level of security needed is security check (opens in a new window).

See our vetting charter (opens in a new window).
People working with government assets must complete baseline personnel security standard (opens in new window) checks.

Nationality requirements

Open to UK nationals only.

This job is not open to candidates who hold a dual nationality.

Working for the Civil Service

The Civil Service Code (opens in a new window) sets out the standards of behaviour expected of civil servants.

We recruit by merit on the basis of fair and open competition, as outlined in the Civil Service Commission's recruitment principles (opens in a new window).
The Civil Service embraces diversity and promotes equal opportunities. As such, we run a Disability Confident Scheme (DCS) for candidates with disabilities who meet the minimum selection criteria.
The Civil Service also offers a Redeployment Interview Scheme to civil servants who are at risk of redundancy, and who meet the minimum requirements for the advertised vacancy.
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