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  • Vacancy

Head of External Training and Capacity Building

About us

The Behavioural Insights Team (BIT) is a social purpose company specialising in applying behavioural science to the design and delivery of public policy. We are jointly owned by the UK Government; Nesta (the innovation charity); and our employees. BIT started life inside 10 Downing Street as the world’s first government institution dedicated to the application of behavioural sciences. Our objectives remain the same as they have always been:

  • making public services more cost-effective and easier for citizens to use;
  • improving outcomes by introducing a more realistic model of human behaviour to policy; and, wherever possible,
  • enabling people to make ‘better choices for themselves’.

We do this by redesigning public services and drawing on ideas from the behavioural science literature. We are also highly empirical; we test and trial these ideas before they are scaled up. This enables us to understand what works and (importantly) what does not work. We have around 180 employees, who have either a strong academic grounding in economics, psychology and research methods, or a background in government policymaking. Our headquarters are in London where about 100 people are based. We also have offices in Manchester, New York, Singapore, Sydney and Wellington.

About the role

BIT is often asked to deliver training and development across the UK Civil Service and to local public service agencies, not-for-profit agencies, and some businesses seeking to build their understanding and capability of applying behavioural science for social impact. In addition to this existing work, we have an ambition to grow our training and capacity building offer. As such, we have established a new role based in our head office in London. The Head of External Training and Capacity Building will be responsible for:

  • improving our training offer; we have a body of strong training material we already use but it has not been designed with adult learning theory in mind and currently there is no standard base from which all training is built. Improving our offer will involve standardising our range of training materials and tailoring different course material to different audiences and contexts, which will be done in collaboration with our policy and methodological experts across the business. Our existing range of training includes 3-day courses for civil servants, executive education programmes in collaboration with a leading university, and tailored training sessions of various length and complexity.
  • growing our training offer; we aim to reach a larger audience with our training. Our main market for training is in the UK, but you may also lead and support marketing and business development in other countries and regions. This involves proactive market engagement and sales activity.
  • delivering our training offer; you do not need to be an expert in Behavioural Science but you need to be able to learn how to communicate behavioural science concepts and BIT’s project methodology to educated audiences with authority. You will work in collaboration with our in-house experts in our policy and research teams, all of whom are used to delivering training and will continue to support the Head of External Training and Capacity Building in doing so. Indeed, our training is successful because of the expertise and effort of our existing team of advisors; we don’t want to change that, but we need an experienced trainer to provide both time and specialist training skills to make our offer as good as possible.
  • strategic planning and coordination; you will own and deliver the business plan for growing our training offer, ensuring that it is closely aligned with our events and speaking engagements (Senior staff in the organisation often deliver keynotes and similar talks). This involves relationship management and tracking. Managing and maximising the benefits of the interrelationships between events, training and project work.

Skills and experience


  • A strong track record of delivering training to educated adult audiences on complex concepts in an engaging manner. Our training is fun to attend and we need someone who can design and deliver excellent andragogy that makes learners want more.
  • A strong and evidence-based understanding of how adults learn and the ability to tailor content on that basis.
  • The ability to learn new content and subject matter quickly, as well as the humility to recognise your limits and to draw on others.
  • The ability to work well with others, notably those with more expertise in a topic, to effectively balance the simplicity of messaging with accuracy of content.
  • A track record of building a training practice, product, or business. This role is intended to take our existing training offer to the next level, so we need someone who can demonstrate the ability to take a concept to market effectively.
  • A willingness to do the ancillary stuff: you’ll be the only dedicated resource for training so will have minimal support on things like logistics and any associated administrative work. We need someone who doesn’t mind doing this type of work either.
  • An interest in behavioural insights.


  • A strong understanding of behavioural science as a field, its core concepts, and current trends. Note, if you do not have this expertise you will be supported to develop a sufficient understanding in the job.
  • An interest in other media outside of in-person training. We have a range of products, guides, and tools that are designed to help build capacity and may eventually be much more closely linked to the training function.

Please note:

If you do not already hold the right to work in the UK and/or require sponsorship in order to continue working here, you should think carefully before applying. This is because we will be unable to sponsor you unless there is no other suitably qualified settled worker available to fill the role or your current immigration status means that the resident labour market test will not apply in your case.

The Behavioural Insights Team is committed to a policy of Equal Employment Opportunity and is determined to ensure that no applicant or employee receives less favourable treatment on the grounds of gender, age, disability, religion, belief, sexual orientation, marital status, or race, or is disadvantaged by conditions or requirements which cannot be shown to be justifiable.

Some of the personal data you provide to Applied when you apply for a role with The Behavioural Insights Team will be passed on to The Behavioural Insights Team for the purposes of (a) reviewing your application; (b) inviting you for interview; and/or (c) offering you a job and getting you set up as an employee/contractor.

If your application is not successful, any personal data provided to us by Applied (including any personal data relating to equal opportunities monitoring as set out above) will be retained by The Behavioural Insights Team for no longer than 6 months after the application deadline has passed (other than in exceptional circumstances where we may need to retain your personal data for longer), at which point your personal data will be securely deleted. We only keep your information for that period in order to allow us to comply with relevant legal obligations

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