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 9am on the 1st November 2019

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 one of the main points 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 general training and bespoke support, both remotely and in person, offering ad-hoc advice and ongoing consultancy to clients ranging from small charities to national governments.
  • You will travel nationally and internationally to meet with clients, offer on-site technical support, deliver training and attend conferences.
  • You will manage relationships with policy and technology staff, and will support them to publish and use 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.
  • You will become involved in project management, product ownership and client management roles in the co-op.
  • You will analyse data to provide feedback to publishers and users.
  • And as part of our co-operative, you will be 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: each of us is an executive director. 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 £37,822/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, and historically we have increased salary annually in line with inflation.

We are a remote working organisation, with financial support available for employees and members who wish to work from co-working spaces. 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.

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 of 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;
  • Ability to travel to deliver training or consultancy;
  • Capacity for independent and team working, and prioritising a complex workload;
  • Clear data analysis skills (e.g. use of SQL) and attention to detail.

We’re looking for the following desirable skills, knowledge and experience:

  • Working with schema languages such as JSON Schema, using and modifying scripts written in Python and working with version control in Git.
  • Contributing to project management or product ownership for digital tools and services.
  • Working on both policy and technology dimensions of open data, working with the non-profit and international development sectors.
  • Knowledge and experience of work relating to grantmaking, aid, procurement or corporate transparency.
  • Business or management skills (e.g. client management, finance, staff welfare, business development or communications).
  • Experience of working co-operatively.

Please give details in your application of how your background and experience equips you to meet the essential and desirable requirements. We’re also interested in hearing about any ‘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 identifying information when carrying out our first round of shortlisting. You can help us in this by removing this information and e-mail address from the CV you send.

In your email, please tell us where you heard about the job. (This will not be used to evaluate your application.)

Applications are due by 9am on 1st November 2019. Following shortlisting, we will conduct short telephone interviews in the week commencing 11th November, and we may invite you to an in-person meeting during w/c 18th November.

Contractual details


We’re looking for someone to start as soon as possible, ideally joining us by January 2020.


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 are happy to consider applications from anywhere in the UK (we currently have co-op members near these cities: Manchester, Edinburgh, Newcastle, Birmingham, Stroud and London).

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 £37,822 p.a. We provide a 3% pension contribution. Staff are covered by a group life insurance policy.

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. We’ll cover the costs of a co-working space or setting up home working.

We offer a training budget of £1,000 and 5 paid training 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 welcome applications for part-time working of 0.5 FTE and above (currently around half of our members work part-time).

We have a flexible working culture. 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 approximately 3 - 6 times a year.