Head of Programmes

Date: 11 Jul 2024

Location: Ashford, England, GB

Company: QinetiQ

Job title:         Head of Programmes, QTS UK
Location:        Ashford, Kent 
Company:      QinetiQ Target Systems 

Package:        Highly Competitive Salary + Benefits Package
Role Type:      Full-time / Permanent 
Role ID:          SF17073


Be part of the QinetiQ journey. Join us as a Head of Programmes at our QinetiQ Target Systems (QTS) in Ashford site where you will have the opportunity to work with cutting-edge technology and many of the industry’s most brilliant minds.

QTS is a wholly owned subsidiary of QinetiQ Group PLC specialising in the design and manufacture of a range of state-of-the-art Unmanned Aerial and Surface Target systems including the world leading Banshee target. The effectiveness of military operations at the front line is based on the Armed Services having the right equipment and having effectively trained against realistic threats. To achieve this, military equipment needs to be rigorously tested and integrated with the war fighter, and comprehensive training conducted prior to entering the theatre of operations.

QTS is a world leader in the design, development, manufacture and operation of advanced target systems for live-fire training exercises and weapons test and evaluation. 

The Role
As the Head of Programmes, reporting to the Managing Director, you'll have a role out of the ordinary. You will be responsible for developing and leading the Programme and Project Management Function within QTS UK, ensuring all projects are clearly identified, reported and delivered to the required schedule/time, cost and quality standards, and ensuring that the business has the required resources (including people, process and tools) to effectively and consistently deliver the project portfolio. T
he project portfolio will include multiple routine to complex customer and internal development based projects.


Day-to-day you will:

  • Take leadership of programmes discipline and line management of a small team of programme and project managers, including the development and embedding of continuous improvement in the programmes function
  • Development, implementation and maintenance of programme management processes embedded in local procedures, aligned with the Group Project Lifecycle Framework (PLF) and applicable Sector P3M Excellence Functional guidance
  • Working with the production manager, where appropriate ensure timescales and resources are planned in detail for the effective prototyping, process validation and transfer of products from development to production
  • Partner with Head of Engineering to review and ensure total Engineering team resource demand is appropriately planned and prioritised to support the project portfolio and delivery requirements
  • Ensure effective and efficient project portfolio planning and integration by partnering with the Customer Accounts team and technical functions to ensure that there are clear lines of responsibility and accountability for each project
  • Develop and implement improved project reporting and regularly update financial forecasts to ensure latest project status is reflected in business level forecasts


This role is full time position with hybrid working arrangement based around a minimum of 2-3 days per week at our QTS site in Ashford, Kent. There is a requirement for occasional travel to suppliers and other sites within the organisation and potential international travel to Canada and Australia.

Essential experience of the Head of Programmes:

  • Strong understanding of engineering processes and product development
  • Significant experience of programme and project management and in a business leadership environment
  • Ability to build and maintain relationships with a diverse range of stakeholders
  • Tackled low-level problems with appreciation of high-level implications
  • Identifies key drivers to business performance and leads mutli-disciplinary teams to address opportunities and risks.
  • Knowledge of Health and Safety


Qualifications for the Head of Programmes:

  • Project Management qualification (or equivalent) and strong knowledge of Programme and Project Management disciplines
  • Relevant engineering qualifications such as a degree or Chartered Engineer (or equivalent)


For further information on QinetiQ Target Systems please visit:

QinetiQ Target Systems - Design, Development and Manufacturing

QinetiQ Target Systems - Test and be assured - YouTube

QinetiQ Rattler Missile Target - YouTube


Please note that all applicants must be eligible for SC clearance, as a minimum.
UKSV National Security Vetting Solution: guidance for applicants - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)


Our Benefits

  • Generous holiday allowance
  • Health Cash Plan, Private Medical Insurance and Dental Insurance
  • Matched contribution pension scheme, with life assurance
  • Employee discount portal: Personal Accident Insurance, Travel Insurance, Restaurants, Cinema Tickets and much more
  • Holiday Trading is a benefit that allows most employees to buy up to 5 days’ additional leave
  • We are proud to support the Armed Forces community by honouring the Armed Forces Covenant
  • Payroll Giving and Volunteering - helping charities and local community


Our volunteering programme enables our people to use their professional skills to make a positive difference in our local communities, for example STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) ambassador days in schools. We support a number of charities that are important to our people, including those which help the defence community.


Why Join QinetiQ?

As we continue to grow into new markets around the world, there’s never been a more exciting time to join QinetiQ. The formula for success is our appetite for innovation and having the courage to take on a wide variety of complex challenges.


You’ll experience a unique working environment where teams from different backgrounds, disciplines and experience enjoy collaborating widely and openly as we undertake this exciting and rewarding journey. Through effective teamwork, and pulling together, you’ll get to experience what happens when we all share different perspectives, blend disciplines, and link technologies; constantly discovering new ways of solving complex problems in a diverse and inclusive environment where you can be authentic, feel valued and realise your full potential. Visit our website to read more about our diverse and inclusive workplace culture.


About QinetiQ

As a company of thousands of dedicated professionals, we are a world-centre of excellence in research and development and act as a catalyst for fast-track innovation, offering outstanding experimentation facilities, and technical, engineering and scientific expertise. QinetiQ is made up of dedicated experts in defence, aerospace, security and related markets, all working together to explore new ways of protecting what matters most. Being part of QinetiQ means being central to the safety and security of the world around us. Partnering with our customers, we help to save lives; reduce risks to society; and maintain the global infrastructure on which we all depend. Come and find out how you can play a role.



Please note that many roles in QinetiQ are subject to national security vetting. Applicants who already hold the appropriate level of vetting may be able to transfer it upon appointment, subject to approval. A number of roles are also subject to restrictions on access to information, which mean factors such as nationality, previous nationalities held and the country in which you were born may affect the roles that you can be employed in.

Application Guidance
If you have a disability or need any reasonable adjustments during the application and selection stages, please contact your regional recruiting team in strictest confidence. We’re committed to building an inclusive culture where everyone’s free to thrive. We are happy to talk about flexible working - please ask about alternative patterns of work at interview.