From Police Service to Platform Service

Picture of Sean

Darllenwch y dudalen hon y Gymraeg

I’m Sean a Digital, Data and Technology (DDaT) Fast Streamer in Welsh Government. I joined Welsh Government in September last year as part of the Civil Service graduate scheme… but first let me start at the beginning.


It was spring 1986 on a South Wales maternity ward …..Ok, perhaps best not to start at the very beginning.

So where was I before the Fast Stream? Well I spent 10 years working as a police officer throughout South Wales. After deciding that I wanted a change of career and a new challenge I joined the Fast Stream last year and to say it was a big change is an understatement.

Each posting on the Fast Stream is designed to develop both digital and non-digital skills. Well it’s now March and I’ve approached the end of my first posting and I can honestly say it was both challenging and diverse!

My First Posting

I was posted to the Digital Team within the Office of the Chief Digital Officer. The  team offers  a consultancy-like service across the whole organisation, through being involved in a wide range of projects at every stage. The team also looks  at how digital approaches to  policy and legislation development  could support greater direct engagement with the public.

On my first day I arrived at Welsh Government and having worked as a police officer thought nothing would throw me on the first day… that was until I had my picture taken for my ID pass. It wasn’t the picture that threw me but sat there in front of the camera I suddenly realised that although I’ve always taken a keen interest in the digital and technology world, in terms of digital I had little to no workplace experience.

Having collected my (unfortunate looking) ID pass photo, I was taken to meet my new colleagues . I was made to feel a part of the team straight away and the worry quickly subsided.

Picture of Sean with the Office of the Chief Digital Officer team

My role was based around platform services and their application in Welsh Government. A platform service is simply an online business tool which allows a digital service to perform a common task, for example authenticate a user’s identity or notify someone of an application status.

Through this role I was able to learn as I went along and gain experience in a wide range of Welsh government policy areas that involved platform services. As my knowledge grew  I was able to work on more specific tasks such as the development and potential implementation within Welsh Government  of the Government Authentication Provider (GAP) platform. As part of this work I got to meet and work with a variety of different colleagues throughout the organisation as well as external stakeholders.


Although challenging I can honestly say that my time at Welsh Government so far has been very rewarding.

As a police officer I always felt proud to have helped improve people’s quality of life. I thought by leaving I would no longer be able to have that sense of pride, however I soon learnt that every aspect of what I do within Welsh Government could at some point affects someone’s quality of life.

Whether that’s making a transaction quicker so that the user has more time to spend with their family, or enabling Government to deliver their promises to the best possible standards using digital thinking; I can make a difference.

Looking to continue to build on my skills I will be taking everything I have learnt at the OCDO to my next posting Rural Payments Wales. No matter how difficult the challenges get I still have that first day’s ID pass photo hanging around my neck to remind me that with the right support and attitude I can achieve my goals.

Post by Sean Williams, Office of the Chief Digital Officer, Welsh Government