Job Description:

Solution Architect


Not many organisations can really offer the chance to be part of something new. Fewer still where there will be an impact on the whole of the UK. HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) is looking for digital specialists to help us transform the way we deliver services for 50 million customers.

You’ll join the vibrant, modern Digital Delivery Centre we’re creating in Newcastle, where the needs of our customers will be at the heart of everything we do. Using agile methods and the latest technology, you’ll be right at the forefront of building revolutionary new digital services that will change forever how individuals and businesses interact with HMRC. As part of a close-knit, multi-skilled team, you’ll be involved throughout the development process. You’ll bring new services rapidly to life, test them with customers, and constantly improve them. Life will be fast-paced and exciting, and you’ll use every ounce of your skills and experience.

Interested? Then read on.

About you

We want to hear from you if you:

  • Have excellent technical skills and a genuine passion for digital technology.
  • Understand the importance of putting the needs of the customer first.
  • Have a desire to make a real and lasting difference.
  • Thrive in a team environment and can quickly build great working relationships with colleagues.
  • Would relish the chance to develop your skills, learning from others around you and sharing your knowledge.

The role will be based in Newcastle, but some travel may be required to other HMRC locations.

About us

HMRC is the UK’s tax authority. We are responsible for making sure that the money is available to fund the UK’s public services and for helping families and individuals with targeted financial support.

We are on a journey to become a digital organisation. Where we currently receive 70 million letters a year and send out 250 million, we want to introduce world-class digital services. Our aim is to make it simpler, clearer and faster for individuals and businesses to deal with us, and allow them to take greater control of their tax affairs. At the same time this will save the taxpayer hundreds of millions of pounds a year.

To make this happen, we’re setting up a new Digital Delivery Centre in Newcastle. It will be the first of its kind in government, and help to establish the North East as a centre of excellence for digital delivery. We’re creating an agile working environment to rival the best in the UK. We’ll also release as much of our work as possible as open source software.

About your application

You can apply for this role by sending us
i) a recent CV listing your relevant experience and skills and
ii) a Personal Statement demonstrating how you meet the skills, experience and competencies required for this role. Your Personal Statement should be no more than 500 words.

Following the application closing date, you may be invited to a telephone interview or to carry out a remote test as an intermediate step in the process. Candidates who reach the final stage will be invited to a face to face interview in Newcastle. The interview will be conducted by staff from HMRC and the Government Digital Service (GDS), and will include a formal test of your specialist skills – full details will be included with the invitation to interview.

When preparing for interview you should be aware of the Civil Service Competency Framework – we will ask candidates to give examples of how they meet the standard competences listed in the job advert, and we will also be asking questions that let you demonstrate specialist skills relevant to the role. You can download a description of the Competency Framework below, and you can learn more about applying for government digital jobs on our website. (Note that this article was originally written for people applying for technical roles in GDS, but the advice is still helpful for both technical and non-technical roles at HMRC).

Applicants should note that the starting salary for those who are offered a position is the pay band minimum for the role and we are unable to negotiate a starting salary.


Solution Architects work with service/product managers to define end-to-end solution architecture for new and existing services built upon the Digital Tax Platform. In performing this role, you should adhere to HMRC’s strategic technology vision and overarching departmental policy, whilst ensuring that your work is tailored to the fact that the developers are working in an Agile manner.

As a Solution Architect at HMRC, you will:

  • Ensure that systems are robust, scalable, open and secure, with appropriate overall system design and integration points/APIs, and – deliver a high quality Digital user experience as a result.
  • Set the direction of travel’ during Discovery phases and provide solution oversight during subsequent delivery phases.
  • Provide support and guidance to JASSC delivery teams throughout the project life cycle.
  • Provide mentorship and/or line management for other architects, software developers and junior software developers.
  • Contribute to the estimation of effort required to deliver solutions which meet the user requirements [Question: Is this part of the perceived role?)
  • Liaise with various internal stakeholders and subject matter experts, such as security architects, strategy architects, local domain experts etc.
  • Sponsor/lead initiatives to deploy new architecture & capabilities across JASSC delivery teams.
  • Recognise emerging risks & issues during solution definition, along with identifying mitigation actions.
  • Maintain a keen understanding of emerging trends, tools and techniques that can be effectively utilized to improve solution development.
  • Document solution designs within Solution Overview artefacts and progress through architecture governance gates eg HMRC Architecture Review Forum (ARF).
  • Build a culture of continuous service improvement, ensuring that key systems are regularly analysed, maintained and improved.
  • Have excellent interpersonal skills and the ability to quickly develop strong working relationships in high pressure Agile environments.

Skills and Experience


  • Experience of defining end-to-end architectural solutions within a large-scale enterprise, ideally involving online digital services.
  • Strong business analysis skills with a proven track record of working with a diverse range of business stakeholders.
  • Understand a wide range of integration methods & techniques and where each is appropriate to apply.
  • Knowledge of a broad set of technologies across areas such as system platforms, web, databases, software development languages & tools.
  • Skilled in being able to convey technical information to a range stakeholders by adopting appropriate communication styles.


  • Experience of working on GDS projects and the associated governance processes (eg Digital by Default Service Standards).
  • Business analysis certification from BCS(ISEB) and/or IIBA.
  • Familiar with working within the HMRC (or large government department) IT estate.


  • Leading and Communicating
  • Seeing the Big Picture
  • Making Effective Decisions

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