Digital Project Manager

Based at: Avon Fire & Rescue Service Headquarters, Portishead

Contract: Fixed term appointment until March 2023, with the possibility of extension or permanency

Hours: 37 hours per week (Monday – Friday)

Salary: Hay 4 (£40,876 - £43,857)

Closing date: 12:00 (midday) on Monday 16 August 2021

We have an exciting opportunity for a Digital Project Manager to join Avon Fire & Rescue Service (AF&RS). Joining at a time of transformation and change, the successful candidate will be responsible for overseeing the digital requirements of AF&RS, whilst horizon scanning and recommending future improvements.

Working under the direction of the Head of Transformation, you will create a realistic but progressive and engaging vision for a digitised service with effective interfacing systems. You will be responsible for bringing stakeholders on board with the vision, develop a detailed and integrated programme of work and drive forward the delivery of that programme with a team of digitalisation staff, the wider Transformation team and key stakeholders.

You will work with the Transformation Project Managers to agree and implement future plans for how new ways of working could be enabled by IT and digital technology. You will be responsible for the management of a digital budget ensuring any expenditure is linked to the aspirations of the Service Transformation Programme. You will also be responsible for implementing upgrades to the FireWatch system that is currently in use.

It is essential to this role that you have a recognised IT qualification such as ITIL accredited status or Chartered IT Professional (CITP). You must also have proven experience of managing IT projects and of maintaining IT infrastructures.

We are looking for an individual with strong communication skills and who has the ability to produce corporate documents, including strategies, business cases and confidently give presentations to a range of audiences.  You must also have strong analytical skills and be committed to being an ambassador for organisational culture change. 

Please note - as this post is based at our new Headquarters which we share with Avon & Somerset Police, the successful applicant will be required to undergo a security clearance check.

To see the full duties of the role and candidate criteria required please see the job description provided.

How to apply:

The job description and application is available to download at the bottom of this page. Once you have read the job description please complete the application form telling us how you meet the requirements of the role - tell us how your skills, qualifications and experience match those required for this role, and provide examples wherever you can. The information you give us will assist us in our shortlisting process. Alternatively, we will accept CVs with covering letters which detail how you meet the requirements of the role.

Completed applications must be submitted to Human Resources, Avon Fire & Rescue Service, Police & Fire Headquarters, PO Box 37, Valley Road, Portishead, Bristol BS20 8JJ by the closing date and time. Alternatively, you can email your application to

Late applications will not be accepted. 

Please note that we will not be accepting CVs alone.

Please quote job reference number 1143 on any communications. Thank you.

Job description






JOB TITLE:    Digital Project Manager

DIRECTORATE:                                                                  Corporate Services

Unit:          Service Transformation Team

POST NO:     1143





1.         JOB PURPOSE


  • Under the overall direction of the Head of Service Transformation, the Digital Project Manager will be responsible for overseeing the digital requirements of Avon Fire & Rescue Service (AF&RS), whilst horizon scanning and recommending future improvements taking account of current best practice in this arena.


With the Head of Transformation, the post holder will create a realistic but progressive and engaging vision for a digitised service with effective interfacing systems.  The post holder will bring key stakeholders on board with the vision, develop a detailed and integrated programme of work, and drive forward the delivery of that programme with a team of digitisation staff, the wider Transformation Team, and key stakeholders. 


  • The post holder will also be the project lead for the implementation of upgrades and improvements to AF&RS ’s use of the FireWatch* system.


  • The post holder will be responsible for the management of a digital budget as part of the overall Transformation Programme budget ensuring any expenditure is linked to the aspirations of the Service Transformation Programme.


  • The post holder will also work closely with Service Transformation Team Project Managers to agree and implement future plans for how new ways of working could be enabled by IT and digital technology.


*Created in partnership with the Fire & Rescue community, FireWatch software connects prevention, resource planning and response 


2.         BACKGROUND


  • AF&RS serves the Unitary Authority areas of Bristol, Bath & North East Somerset, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire, with fire stations and office locations in each area, including AF&RS HQ based in Portishead. 


  • AF&RS has experienced a significant amount of change over recent years not only following the publication of the Baker Report in 2017, but also due to inclusion in the first tranche of Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services inspection regime in 2018.  While good progress has been made through the Improvement Programme, failure to continue that progress could ultimately result in non-compliance with our Section 3 duty of the Local Government Act 1999.


  • The establishment of a dedicated Service Transformation Team to oversee the new Service Transformation Programme is imperative to guarantee that the momentum and corporate synergies already established continue, to ensure that AF&RS is a 21st century response, prevention, and protection Service. 


  • This post is based within the Service Transformation Team.
  • AF&RS is currently going through significant change with regard to the IT infrastructure and the post holder will be required to lead the Transformation programme in relation to this ambitious programme. This will include utilising Microsoft 365 (including Sharepoint Online) across the Service and advising the Transformation Team on how its applications could enable policy management and processes to be more efficient and effective.


  • AF&RS currently uses an Enterprise Planning Platform (ERP) called FireWatch that records HR, crewing and training information.  AF&RS  is currently considering whether to upgrade to a newer Cloud based version of FireWatch and the post holder will be required to lead the work of and advise the Transformation Team on this.
  • The Service Plan outlines improvements that need to, and are proposed to, be made to digitise the Service, and there is a requirement to enable processes to be modified and made more efficient and effective by the use of modern technology.  Furthermore, the Transformation Team have been consulting managers and staff throughout the Service about their issues and frustrations with current processes.  A number of key themes have started to emerge within the operational working environment alone that need attention including, but not limited to:


    • Digital fire-ground and incident resource management
    • Vehicle telemetry
    • Vehicle cameras
    • Smart screens
    • Recording/tracking station equipment
    • Kit checks and daily routines
    • Recording of drills and station diaries
    • Incident handover forms
    • Process for creating/recording monthly training plans
    • Recording of premise risk assessments
    • Provision of information at stations and other venues
    • Pager use
    • Under use of telecommunications systems


  • The post holder will be required to produce a business case outlining resources required and, where necessary, recruit and appoint the necessary technical expertise to assist with this programme.




3.1       Develop and manage a realistic and achievable Digital Project Plan from initiation through to roll-out and handover to business as usual.


3.2       Consulting with key stakeholders, work to further develop and implement Digital solutions across AF&RS.


3.3       Monitoring and tracking progress to ensure delivery within agreed timescales, budget and quality, ensuring that risks and issues are managed and that successful desired outcomes and benefits are achieved.


3.4       Liaising with Corporate Communication Team as necessary, develop and manage an inclusive and cohesive communication plan to ensure key stakeholders are involved, engaged and informed throughout.

3.5       Assisting the Transformation Team, Service Leadership Team (SLT) and other stakeholders to agree future strategies and plans for how new ways of working could be enabled by modern IT and digital technology.


3.7       Producing and presenting business cases to demonstrate the need for change, including a cost/benefit analysis and options appraisal.


3.8       Recruiting, motivating and developing a small number of staff with the necessary technical expertise, including setting objectives, conducting PDRs and ensuring that individual and team performance is effective and meets objectives, in order to deliver digital solutions across AF&RS.  Ensure the team maintains a customer focus and provides a sustainable, proficient and professional level of expertise. 


3.9       Ensuring AF&RS staff are kept abreast of new technological developments and are equipped with the necessary skills and resources to meet changing and increasing demands.


3.10     Working with the Procurement Teams where required to produce procurement specifications, Invitation To Tenders (ITT) and Request For Quotations (RFQ), and evaluate potential suppliers and solutions. Where additional services or products are procured for digital projects, the post holder will manage those contracts to ensure delivery against the contract term.


3.11     Ensuring best practice for the organisation by initiating, developing, promoting and managing relationships with external partners. Actively pursuing opportunities to collaborate and share knowledge and resources to maximise efficiencies and outcomes.


3.12     Ensuring training needs analysis is done for all staff impacted by IT and digital changes and that they receive the necessary training prior to rollout.


3.13     Working with impacted stakeholders, manage the process to ensure a smooth transition between current and future ways of working, and handover to business as usual.


3.14     Ensuring physical and data security of any new digital services and systems in line with GDPR and other relevant legislation.


3.15     Overseeing impact assessments, such as GDPR and Equalities, to ensure compliance with the relevant statutory and Service requirements.


3.16     Providing regular progress reports to the Project Management Office (PMO) for consolidation into wider Programme reports and other corporate updates.


3.17     Promoting continual sector research to assess suitability of new technology; while ensuring legislative compliance, and championing continuous learning, collaboration and innovation.


3.26     Carrying out any other duties that may reasonably be required in relation to a post of this grade and nature.



  • Ensure you maintain an awareness of Health and Safety Regulations relevant to the duties and tasks you carry out and report any situations or incidents which could be considered hazardous.  You have a responsibility for your own safety and must not endanger that of colleagues/visitors in the workplace or the public.


  • AF&RS requires all staff and supervisors to promote equality and diversity.  You must:
    • ensure that, both in your dealings with other employees and with members of the public, you comply with all aspects of the Service’s Equality Policy and legislation that outlaws discrimination
    • treat members of the public and other AF&RS staff  with  respect and dignity at all times
    • take action on witnessing an act that could be considered discrimination or harassment, challenging it and/or raising with managers.


  • In addition to the individual responsibilities above, you must ensure that any staff reporting to you conform with the principles of equality, fairness and dignity and must confront incidents of behaviour that offend against those principles.


  • Ensure you perform all duties in accordance with the principles and requirements of Data Protection legislation.





4.1       You will report to the Head of Service Transformation, who will provide direction, priorities and support. 


4.2       You will be supported and advised by the PMO Manager in project management best practice.


4.3       You will be expected to work with minimal supervision, using initiative to resolve day to day issues, but referring the most complex issues to your Line Manager.


4.4       You will lead and manage a small team to deliver digital solutions across AF&RS.


4.5       You will liaise with the PMO and other project managers to ensure there is synergy across all transformation projects and culture change.


4.6       AF&RS continues to evolve and improve, requiring ongoing change in order to be more economic, efficient and affective. This involves reprioritisation of support functions and changing ways of working. To that end, you will also be expected to work with key stakeholders to achieve other AF&RS improvements and efficiencies.





  • Although based at AF&RS Headquarters, you may be required to work from any base within the Service area for which we will pay allowances where appropriate.


  • As AF&RS looks to develop and implement new ways of working after the Covid-19 pandemic, the post holder will be required to adapt their working practices and location to reflect any changes to ways of working implemented by the Service.






  • Recognised IT qualification e.g. ITIL or accredited status e.g. Chartered IT Professional (CITP)
  • Proven experience of managing IT projects.
  • Evidence of delivering innovative digital solutions.
  • Experience of maintaining IT infrastructures and software licences.
  • Experience of implementing or upgrading an ERP or similar system.
  • Experience in managing budgets.
  • Excellent written and oral communication with the ability to produce corporate documents and business cases and confidently give presentations to a range of audiences.
  • Ability to manage a team.
  • Strong skills in maintaining programme/project management tools to enable effective management of risks, issues and dependencies.
  • Experience of collating, analysing and reporting on technical data.
  • Ability to build and maintain productive relationships and to influence/negotiate with colleagues to agreeable resolutions.
  • Proficient IT skills in Microsoft applications particularly in producing flow charts, pictures, graphs and diagrams.
  • Strong analytical skills and able to interpret a range of data to make recommendations.
  • Committed to being an ambassador for organisational culture change.
  • Possess or rapidly develop an in-depth understanding of all functions across AF&RS.



  • Experience of implementing Microsoft 365 within a small-medium sized organisation.
  • Degree level qualification in IT
  • Foundation or Practitioner level qualification in programme or project management.
  • Experience of developing or testing disaster recovery plans.
  • Experience of managing IT security.
  • A background in delivering Agile software development projects.
  • Experience of writing procurement specifications and managing contracts with third party suppliers and technology partners.
  • Experience of working with software teams to deliver bespoke package solutions.
  • Experience of working for an emergency service or local authority.
  • Experience of working in a climate of transformation and/or improvement.




For official use only:


 Date approved:          12.4.21


 Date effective:            12.4.21

To be signed by post holder:







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