vacancy: data standards adoption consultant

Open Data Services Co-op works with leading transparency initiatives, providing tools and technical assistance to organisations across the world to make sure that open data is useful, usable and in-use. We’re looking for a new person to join our interdisciplinary team, working with data publishers and users.

This role will make a key contribution to scaling support for transparency in public contracting, grantmaking transparency, the transparency of corporate ownership and transparency in humanitarian and international aid by providing accessible, friendly frontline support to a wide range of organisations.

Apply by 10th September 2018

What does the role involve? [Key responsibilities]

  • You will work with a wide variety of organisations to help them publish and use open data using specific open data standards, with a primary focus on data relating to procurement, grantmaking, corporate structures and humanitarian and international aid.

  • You will be the main point of contact for our publisher and user support service, fielding requests and providing tailored technical input for advocacy staff, policy makers, system architects and developers, to help them understand and implement key open data standards.

  • You will provide both general training and bespoke support, offering ad-hoc advice and ongoing consultancy to clients ranging from small charities to national governments.

  • You will manage relationships with policy and technology staff, and will support them to publish valid and meaningful data in formats including JSON, spreadsheets and XML.

  • You will undertake research to feed into the development of data standards and shared codelists, including

  • You will keep a focus on the impact of open data: making sure that transparency is not a tick-box exercise, but instead that it delivers genuinely impactful outcomes.

And as part of a co-operative, you will have the opportunity to get involved in running the organisation, taking part in one or more subgroups (finance, business development, staff welfare, communications, and more) and contributing to other areas of the business.

What can we offer?

Everyone who works here has a stake in the organisation. As a workers co-operative, the members own the organisation. We are committed to creating a great place to work that combines social impact and work-life balance, and that supports team members to develop their careers, technical skills and skills for co-operation.

We operate a flat pay structure of £37,008/year for everyone, with allowances for workspace, technology and training, and for travel for co-working with colleagues. Members can also decide on bonus payments, shared equally amongst the team, based on revenue for the year.

We are a remote working organisation, with co-working hubs in Manchester, Edinburgh and London. We get together at least four times a year for co-operative meetings, and encourage everyone to meet with their immediate project colleagues more regularly.

This role will include opportunities to attend conferences and events, and to travel within the UK and internationally, according to the candidate’s profile and preferences.

You will have access to training and support from colleagues in order to understand the policy context or technical details of the standards and projects we work on.

After your probationary period, you will have the option to become a co-operative member, and be involved in the running of the business: gaining a stake in its future, and the opportunity to develop new skills in co-operative business management.

Who are we looking for? [Person specification]

The ideal candidate will recognise and be able to communicate the role of technology and open data as tools for social change. You will be proactive and a fast learner, adept at understanding and communicating technical concepts to a wide range of audiences. You will be a natural co-operator, used to working both independently and in an interdisciplinary team, as well as collaborating with colleagues across organisational and geographical boundaries.

We recognise that there are many paths to developing the globally aware and data literate skill set we are looking for. You will be joining a team whose backgrounds include physics, philosophy, youth work, software development, economics and history. You will have access to support from colleagues to complement your skill set. We recognise the value that diverse backgrounds and experience bring to our work.

With that in mind, we’re looking for the following essential skills, knowledge and experience:

  • Experience providing friendly technical consultancy and support to technical and non-technical clients;

  • Experience working with structured data (JSON, XML etc.);

  • Ability to write documentation and training resources;

  • Ability to work remotely, and with online collaboration tools;

  • Capacity for independent and team working, and prioritising a complex workload;

  • Clear data analysis skills and attention to detail.

In addition, we’ll be happy to help you get up to speed in other areas this role may involve, including working with schema languages such as JSON schema, using and modifying scripts written in python, working with version control in git, and contributing to project or product management for digital tools and services. The role will also involve working on both policy and technology dimensions of open data, working with the non-profit and international development sectors, and may involve specialising in work relating to grantmaking, aid, procurement or corporate governance.

As part of a co-operative team, there will be opportunities to take on leadership of new and existing projects, and to contribute to running the business through finance, staff welfare, business development or communications working groups.

In addition to details of how your background and experience equips you to meet the essential requirements, please tell us in your application about existing experience you can bring in relation to the other areas of the role described above.

We’re also interested in your application addressing the ‘wildcard’ skills and experience you might bring to the team.

How to apply

Please send a copy of your CV and a covering letter of up to two pages to

We remove name and gender information when carrying out our first round of shortlisting. You can help us in this by removing your name, gender and e-mail address from the CV you upload.

Applications are due by 10th September. Following shortlisting, we will conduct short telephone interviews, and may invite you to an in-person meeting during w/c 17th September.

Contractual details


We’re looking for someone to start as soon as possible, and by 1st November 2018 at the latest.


We’re a UK-based distributed team and all work from home or a co-working space, with regular team meetings and co-working. We will consider applications from anywhere in the UK, although we particularly welcome applications near one of our hubs in Manchester, Edinburgh or London (Finsbury Park).

You must have the right to live and work in the UK.

remuneration & benefits

As a collectively managed co-operative, we operate a flat rate of pay for all staff. This is currently set at £37,008 p.a. We provide a 3% pension contribution.

This post is a permanent contract.

We operate a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy and provide the online tools and software you need for your job. If you don’t already have a home working set-up, or need to find local co-working space, we’ll help with the costs of getting that all set-up.

We offer a training budget of £1,000 and 5 paid days per year, and are committed to supporting staff development, training and conference attendance. We provide a cycle-to-work scheme, and allowance for eye tests.

hours and holiday

Full time hours are set at 37.5 hours a week with 33 days holiday (inclusive of bank holidays). We will consider applications for part-time working of 0.5 FTE and above.

Within reasonable limits we operate a flexi-time policy. We have a short team call each morning to plan work for the day which we expect everyone to try and join - and then we each set our schedules accordingly, striving for a good work-life balance.

This role will involve regular calls with international partners, which may require occasional early morning, late evening or weekend working.


You must be willing to travel within the UK, and to undertake international travel. We anticipate this role may require international travel 3 - 6 times a year.