Information Systems Co-ordinator/Webmaster

This is one of those posts that exists in any department in all types of authority, but most often is found in the corporate office of the chief executive. Information technology serves all employees and the organisation as a whole.  Co-ordinators, who also may be called 'officers' or 'webmasters', have a supervisory role in information technology work.

Most councils have their own web pages to keep the public informed of the services they provide in order that the 'best value' principles of efficiency, effectiveness and economy are maintained. Also, it is now a government mandate that all council services should be electronically available. If you want to find out what benefits you're entitled to, you can go into a booth and key into the information you need.  Equally important is the internal communications system, the intranet, for which the co-ordinator is also responsible. This is part of the overall structure - of design and implementation - of information technology systems.

Work Environment
Most of the time is spent sitting in front of a computer screen. But there is also some local travel to meetings at other council sites to discuss new ideas and existing projects.  Information Systems Co-ordinators / Officers also attend national meetings.  They normally work between 37-40 hours per week, which occasionally involves anti-social shifts in order to meet deadlines. There may be opportunities to work flexi-time.

Daily Activities
Most of the officers' time is spent developing web pages. This entails meetings with 'clients' (a member of the editorial team or officer from another department) to debate new ideas about how web pages might look and where they should be located on the council's site. This will involve talking to web and IT technicians and IS assistants about:

  • what is technically possible;
  • what design will be most effective and how it will work;
  • whether to use video and aural clips;
  • how it fits with the rest of the website and links to others.

The Systems Officers leads a team dealing with webmaster enquiries, updating web pages and liaising with other local organisations and the general public who are affected by how council websites look and work: benefits agencies, citizens advice bureaux and so on. There is a special responsibility for maintaining the authority's corporate websites and the intranet, too. Officers report to the relevant line managers and get feedback about how the systems are working for them, as well as give advice on what can and cannot be done on a web page. This will entail meeting deadlines set by others. As team leader, the information systems co-ordinator/officer manages a variety of projects that might include:

  • multi-media kiosks;
  • digital television websites;
  • online planning applications.

Skills & Interests
As the world of information technology is always changing you need to be able to adapt to change while remaining customer focused and be able to pick up new skills quickly. You must also have:

  • good communication skills to help clients understand technical detail;
  • a head for figures;
  • the ability to get on with people from different backgrounds and of different status;
  • project management skills;
  • a good grasp of detail;
  • a liking for problem solving;
  • some creative ability;
  • managerial skills;
  • the ability to work on your own and lead a team to meet deadlines.

Entry Requirements
Relevant experience may be considered more important than academic qualifications though you would be expected to have a minimum of four GCSEs/S grades at C/3 including maths and English.  Computer studies and design qualifications are important, so a background in either IT or design is essential.  Previous management experience - of an internet or intranet site for example - or work as a communications officer can be very helpful.  Though many entrants at this level have a degree or HND, through on the job training you can make progress from being a trainee.

Apprenticeships may be available.  A new entrant with appropriate training could expect a salary in excess of £20K, depending on the geographical area - London and the South-East being significantly higher than the rest of the country.

Future Prospects & Opportunities
This is a growth area with clear promotion prospects and competition is strong. Any next careers steps would involve more managerial and team leading responsibilities in this and other areas of IT work, such as systems analysis. 

Further Information & Services
Apprenticeship information
Computer Weekly
E-skills UK
Institute for the Management of Information Systems
Society of IT Management
The Chartered Institute for IT

You may find further information about this area of work through Careers Wales ( or in your local library, careers office or school careers library.

Careers Wales have produced a Spotlight article on careers in STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths):  

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