About the role

The use of technology in the NHS has been fast, full on and exciting especially in the last year. NHS Digital has been at the forefront of leading this technology and data change and the commercial team is a critical component of our organisation. This is your opportunity to build your career, gaining rich commercial experience in a well valued, forward thinking, ever evolving team.

The Commercial function is responsible for NHS Digital’s system wide commercial strategy and operation and ensures effective procurement, category management and contract management. We spend hundreds of millions of pounds per annum, executing and managing deals under exciting deadlines to deliver services that support world leading products and services into the NHS. 

We are recruiting a Category Lead with commercial skills in technology, data and digital services to work in our Commercial Delivery team.

As part of the role you will be responsible for:

Developing commercial strategies and category plans relating to common goods and services, delivering measurable and significant commercial results including savings and other indirect benefits. 

Designing, shaping and agreeing innovative commercial strategies for highly complex, high value, high profile requirements in the technology category, as well as common goods and services, in accordance with best practice, local policy and expectations.

Driving strategic and tactical sourcing exercises aligned to category strategies within defined timescales and to agreed quality standards.

About you

We want you to be set for success, these are some of the key skills and experience that you'll bring to the role:


  • Understanding of the commercial lifecycle and demonstrate extensive skills and behaviours at an expert level with detailed knowledge and substantial experience of the majority of the following skills areas and applying them when undertaking complex and contentious commercial activities.
    • Pre-sourcing
      • Supply market analysis
    • Sourcing
      • Legislation and departmental policy including value for money obligations
      • Procurement project resource deployment and utilisation
      • Executing the sourcing strategy
      • Contract finalisation and award

Skills Experience

  • Business acumen (strong)
  • Detailed knowledge of technology purchasing and category
  • Detailed knowledge of category management approaches, tools and techniques
  • Detailed understanding of financial analysis
  • Knowledge of contract law and contract models


  • MCIPS accreditation or evidence of equivalent level of experience
  • IACCM Expert status or evidence of equivalent level of experience

For more information about what is required for this role, please refer to the role profile. 

What's in it for you

  • a role as part of a dynamic team using data and digital technology to transform health and care
  • a range of opportunities to build your experience in an environment where your
    work has a direct and positive impact
  • a real commitment to your personal and professional development with access
    to a broad range of learning opportunities

About us

NHS Digital is a great place to work. What we do matters.

Our outstanding teams are passionate about technology and public service, making use of everyone’s skills to improve people’s lives.

We collaborate to deliver world class tech and intelligence, so come and join us. We are committed to sustainability, diversity and inclusion; our people are at the heart of what we do.

Find out about the amazing work we do by visiting our website: https://digital.nhs.uk/about-nhs-digital

Find further information on the current work we are undertaking meeting the challenges of the pandemic here: https://digital.nhs.uk/coronavirus

The Secretary of State for Health and Social Care recently announced that NHSX, NHS Digital and Health Education England will be incorporated into NHS England and NHS Improvement as part of Laura Wade-Gery's review of digital transformation in the NHS. The purpose of bringing the organisations together is to ensure better alignment, put data, digital and tech at the heart of transforming the NHS, and deliver high quality care to our patients.

Over the last 18 months, NHS Digital has done an amazing job helping the NHS to improve and save lives, and whilst it is too early to say if there will be changes to this role because of the announcement, we continue to need people to join us who specialise in delivering data and digital technologies that make a difference to people’s lives. With this in mind, we are continuing with our recruitment activity across the Organisation and would welcome your application.

Why you should apply

We value the different experiences our people bring to their work at NHS Digital. We're working to create an environment where everyone can make a full contribution no matter their background, identity, or circumstances.

Which means, we encourage applications from people of all backgrounds and abilities. Don't worry if you don’t meet all the criteria we’ve suggested – knowledge and experience you've gained in other ways might make us think about the role differently. Go ahead and apply.

Our work matters. You matter

What we offer you:

  • we're moving to a hybrid working approach which offers you an informal, flexible way of blending home and office working
  • flexible working opportunities - we value and respect the diversity of our employees, and applications from prospective candidates who require flexible working arrangements are welcomed; these include part-time hours, job sharing, flexible hours and part-remote set ups
  • 27 days annual leave increasing to 33 days with service
  • ability to buy and sell annual leave  
  • a generous pension (with our contribution equal to 20.6% of your earnings)
  • NHS Discounts including shops, restaurants, gym, mobile phones, and insurance
  • employee benefit schemes including our Season Ticket Loan, Car Lease and Bike to Work schemes

Next steps

Remote interviews will take place in late January/early February through Microsoft Teams. Applicants who are shortlisted for interview will be contacted by email.

To view further information please see the attached role profile.

This post is not exempt from the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974. We only ask applicants to disclose convictions which are not yet spent / unspent under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974. Following an offer of employment, we will carry out a Basic Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check as part of the pre-employment check process.

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