We support peace and prosperity by building connections, understanding and trust between people in the UK and countries worldwide.
We work directly with individuals to help them gain the skills, confidence and connections to transform their lives and shape a better world in partnership with the UK. We support them to build networks and explore creative ideas, to learn English, to get a high-quality education and to gain internationally recognised qualifications.
Working with people in over 200 countries and territories, we are on the ground in more than 100 countries. In 202122 we reached 650 million people.
The British Council is the UKs international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. We create friendly knowledge and understanding between the people of the UK and other countries. We do this by making a positive contribution to the UK and the countries we work with changing lives by creating opportunities, building connections and engendering trust. We work with over 100 countries across the world in the fields of arts and culture, English language, education and civil society. Founded in 1934, we are a UK charity governed by Royal Charter and a UK public body.
The English and Examinations Strategic Business Unit (E&E) is one of three strategic business units in the British Council (the others being Arts and Education & Society) all of which have the remit to build trust for the people of the UK by building relationships through aspects of our language and culture. E&E achieves this by enabling people across the world to access the life- changing education and work opportunities that are created by learning English or gaining valuable UK qualifications. Promoting the English language also provides a medium for communication, helping break down barriers of misunderstanding or mistrust between cultures.
The UK and Ireland Examinations department currently delivers over 150,000 examinations per year split between IELTS, Secure English language tests (SELT) for UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI), and exams for Global Exams Services clients such as the ACCA, Cambridge Admissions Tests, and the General Medical Council. This role has line management duties, and will report to Exams Director, UK and Ireland Examinations.
This role will lead & oversee IELTS & SELT operations in the UK and Ireland, ensuring high quality delivery, both effective & efficient, covering the end-to-end operational cycle from capacity planning to post-test services. The role will ensure future planning of capacity, resourcing, and calendar are managed and generate improvements to existing processes and performance. The post-holder is accountable for developing & implementing operations strategy to manage customer experience, cost, compliance and capacity in both direct and partner delivery networks.
Main accountabilities but not limited to the following:
Product Service Delivery
Strategises and develops 1-3 year Operations plan, including continual improvement to global standards, effective integration of new products/services /delivery methods and process/ systems changes
Implements a range of standardised, operational procedures and systems within a given work plan to achieve specified, clearly measurable targets (revenue, volume, time and/or cost)
End to end oversight of Operational Planning, logistics, resourcing, service delivery performance/standards and effective capacity management
Defines and approves SLA (Service Level Agreement) requirements and performance management of supporting functions / external suppliers
Identifies and shares examples of best practice
Prioritises work and resolves day-to-day operating resource issues, to ensure high quality, consistent and efficient services are delivered
Ensures that supply side capacity places / people / dates are available to meet current plans and where necessary adjusted to meet future plans
Customers & stakeholders
Ensures achievement of customer experience standards and performance by regularly gathering feedback to drive improvement
Translates agreed customer service and client management strategies into appropriate local operational policies and procedures.
Monitors and reports on the achievement of agreed customer satisfaction performance targets.
Manages complex relationships with exams delivery partners across the geography of the UK and Ireland, for IELTS partners and SELT suppliers
Maintains excellent relationships and communication with internal and external stakeholders to build a clear understanding of their needs and experiences to inform and enable continuous improvement in the quality of service delivery
Risk & compliance
Contingency planning and risk management of supply.
Uses standardised processes to monitor compliance with agreed corporate risk management procedures relevant to service delivery (e.g. child protection, security policies, financial protocols, anti-fraud measures)
Analysis & reporting
Uses standard data analytics and reporting tools to validate strategies and operational planning
Monitors performance regularly against planned targets
Commercial & resource management
Maintains relationship with Commercial for cost to serve and delivery feasibility
Stays within parameters on Operations budget, Cost management and efficiency of operational activities (including link to Finance and Procurement)
Set up operational platform and ensure capability in place to achieve economies of scale and deliver improved agility
Defines Venue Strategy and ensures technical support in place to meet physical footprint/demand from Commercial Manager and new methods of delivery
Leadership & management
Ensure right capability in place through leadership development, succession planning and career coaching.
Actively applies coaching, performance feedback and sickness/absence management techniques to maximise staff productivity and motivation in a high volume/pressurised delivery environment.
Provides feedback and platforms for upskilling and knowledge /skills exchange between within cluster
Sets and oversees delivery of work-plan and enables a climate of constructive feedback and productive workplace performance.
Shares ideas to implement and identify new operational plans
Set effective handover and team working across operations team as well as ways of working with Commercial/Business Development
Role specific knowledge and experience:
- Detailed knowledge of IELTS and SELT or other languageexams polices and procedures
- Experience in holding people accountable
- Experience in enabling a colleagues or teams development
- Experience of managing exam administration and operation delivery in a challenging deadline-driven environment ; experience of delivering complex global services or products
- Takes a pro-active approach to identifying ways in which exams service can be improved, and takes these forward
- Ability to manage complex relationships with Awarding Bodies, different types of partner organisations, and internal stakeholders from different areas of British Council
What you will receive in return
32 days annual leave plus statutory public holidays and half day privilege Christmas leave
Non-contractual discretionary annual performance bonus
Extensive and generous family friendly benefits
Extensive range of voluntary benefit options
Outstanding defined benefit career average Civil Service Pension Scheme which includes life cover and pensions for eligible dependants, e.g., Spouse, civil partner, partner, dependent children
Pay Band 8 38,820-46,203 plus London Weighting 3,300
Contract Type Indefinite Contract
Location UK Flexible London Manchester Edinburgh Cardiff Belfast
Requirements Candidates must have the pre-existing (permanent) right to work in location. Mobility / relocation / visa sponsoring support will not be provided. If you are currently sponsored by the British Council, in a country or regional role, please check with your local/regional HR colleagues if you are able to remain in your current location for this global role.
Closing Date 3rd December 2023 at 23.59 uk time
A connected and trusted UK in a more connected and trusted world.
Equality , Diversity, and Inclusion(EDI) Statement
The British Council is committed to policies and practices of equality, diversity and inclusion across everything we do. We support all staff to make sure their behaviour is consistent with this commitment. We want to address under representation and encourage applicants from under-represented groups, in particular, but not exclusively, on grounds of ethnicity and disability. All disabled applicants who meet the essential criteria are guaranteed an interview and we have Disability Confident Employer Status. We welcome discussions about specific requirements or adjustments to enable participation and engagement in our work and activities.
The British Council iscommitted to safeguarding children, young people and adults who we work with.
We believe that all children and adults everywhere in the world deserve to live in safe environments and have the right to be protected from all forms of abuse, maltreatment and exploitation as set out in article 19, UNCRC (United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child) 1989.
Appointment to positions where there is direct involvement with vulnerable groups will be dependent on thorough checks being completed; these will include qualification checks, reference checks, identity & criminal record checks in line with legal requirements and with the British Councils Safeguarding policies for Adults and Children.
If you have any problems with your application please email email@example.com
Please note: Applications to this role can only be considered when made through the Apply section of our careers website. Our ASK HR email is only to be used in case of a technical issue encountered when applying through the careers website. Emails with supporting statements and CV/Resumes sent to this email address will not be reviewed and will be deleted.