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Assistant Operations Manager

Requisition ID:  15487

Newcastle, GB

Contract Type:  Open Ended
Working Pattern:  Full Time
Posted Date:  10-Jan-2022


We are a world class research-intensive university. We deliver teaching and learning of the highest quality. We play a leading role in economic, social and cultural development of the North East of England. Attracting and retaining high-calibre people is fundamental to our continued success.


Salary: £31,406.00 - £40,927.00 per annum

Closing Date: 10 February 2022



The Role


The School of Natural and Environmental Sciences is seeking an exceptional and enthusiastic Assistant Operations Manager to join the Professional Services management team. This is an exciting and challenging role, and you will be responsible for organising the Schools operational services with responsibility for supporting the development of an environment to enable high-quality education, research and engagement. 


You will lead the operations administrative team, having overall responsibility for ensuring all the School’s activities relating to operational services are carried out effectively and with a commitment to enhanced efficiency and quality. This includes building and leading relationships with the Deputy School Manager (Operations), Deputy Head of School, Technical manager and other key business partners across the faculty and working in alignment with the Outstations Manager (Operations) to support excellent service delivery and a ‘one team’ culture.  


To be responsible for operationalising strategy across the School in core areas including front of house management, estates and procurement and purchasing.


To lead on all day to day operational activities, providing advice, recommendations and guidance to senior management and academic staff. To develop and improve administrative processes to enable a high performing culture of continuous improvement in the Operations team.


You will also act as deputy to the Deputy School Manager (Operations) and is expected to be competent in all aspects of operations business.


You will be a proactive, innovative and highly organised individual, with experience of successful delivery of operational activities. You will have a strong commitment to sharing best practice in a culture of continuous improvement, in addition to excellent interpersonal skills.  You will have experience of building effective working relationships with academic and professional service stakeholders and senior management. You will be a graduate (or equivalent) with experience of working in a higher education environment with a knowledge and understanding of quality assurance and enhancement standards and practice in Higher Education institutions. 


We are committed to building and maintaining a fair and inclusive working environment.  The position is available immediately and is offered on a full-time basis and we would be happy to discuss arrangements for flexible and/or blended working.

For all informal enquiries, please contact Teresa Jordon, Deputy School Manager (Operations) via email:  teresa.jordon@newcastle.ac.uk


For more information about the School of Natural and Environmental Sciences please click here.


To apply, please complete an online application and upload a CV and a cover letter. Your cover letter is a supporting statement and you should outline how you meet the essential criteria of the role and evidence this with examples. 


We’re celebrating 150 years of Science, Agriculture and Engineering. Although a huge amount has changed over the last 150 years, one thing has stayed the same: our commitment to making a difference. We're educating the next generation of experts and tackling the biggest challenges facing our planet. Our innovative work has always focused on making a difference to people’s lives, and you can be part of it.


Key Accountabilities


1.    To lead, manage and develop the Operations teams based across all buildings of the School estate. This will include responsibility for staff induction, training, performance management and Performance Development Review (PDR), the allocation and prioritisation of duties.


2.    To ensure that the School’s operational activities are carried out effectively and with a commitment to enhanced efficiency and quality. To ensure the delivery of exceptional customer service and support for students, staff and other visitors.


3.    To provide support to the Deputy School Manager (Ops) and School Executive in the delivery of the School’s strategic plan. To assist with the preparation and implementation of short, medium, and long term plans, ensuring Equality, Diversity and Inclusion principles are consistently embedded in all areas.


4.    To be responsible for the oversight of and planning around all School resources including the provision of management information. To establish and improve processes and tracking in HR-related activities, including recruitment, induction, annual leave, PDR etc. To work closely with the Deputy Head of School and Deputy School Manager on the workload allocation model and process. To oversee and report on the consolidated asset register. To support the process of workload allocation, working closely with the Deputy Head of School.


5.    To work closely with the Deputy School Manager and School Executive to ensure excellent internal and external communications for the School, through the development of a communications strategy and operational plan. To be an active, leading member of the School Web Development Group, working closely with the Digital Marketing Manager and 
senior academics in the School. You will coordinate and quality assure the School’s intranet site, as well as school newsletters, emails and other communications.


6.    To take an active part in the development and implementation of the School Strategic Estate Plan and other capital plans. To work closely with the Deputy Head of School, Deputy School Manager and Faculty Infrastructure team in developing longer-term strategic estates plans.


7.    To work closely with the School Health & Safety Officer, Technical Manager and Operations Team Leaders in ensuring efficient and effective health and safety and processes for the School. To coordinate the Local Incident and Business Continuity planning process for the School.


8.    To be a positive change agent, identifying additional service requirements or shortfalls in service and recommending improvements or innovative solutions to maximise service quality.


9.    To lead and deliver School and Faculty projects. To design and develop new and innovative projects and ideas, to request and closely monitor resources to ensure successful project completion.


10.    Any other duties within the scope and general nature of the grade which may be required, under the direction of the Deputy School Manager and/or School Manager.

The Person (Essential)


Knowledge, Skills and Experience 


•    Knowledge of the wider HE environment and sector bodies.
•    Knowledge of Equality, Diversity & Inclusion practice and policies.
•    Excellent numeracy and IT skills, together with a high level of competency and confidence in handling and manipulating data from a diverse range of sources.
•    Excellent interpersonal skills, including negotiating influencing and relationship building and developing and working as part of a team.
•    Evidence of a proactive, creative and flexible approach to problem-solving. A ‘can-do’ approach.
•    Experience of issues relating to Higher Education in a research-intensive University.
•    The ability to communicate effectively with a range of colleagues within and beyond the university, and in particular the ability to write and present persuasively and cogently on complex matters of planning and strategy.
•    Self-confidence in advising senior colleagues on matters of policy and procedure. 
•    Evidence of the ability to contribute effectively and creatively to the development, communication and implementation of policy.
•    Experience of strategic analysis, such as scenario analysis, performance against target, benchmarking, comparator analysis and analysis of League Tables and similar to identify high level implications.
•    Proven experience and skills in staff management & leadership, the ability to motivate and develop members of a multi-functional team, and a demonstrated ability to lead by example.


Attributes and Behaviour

•    Acts in a collaborative, inclusive, transparent and open manner, acting with integrity and able to build high levels of trust
•    Has the ability to see the “big picture”, to think strategically and to manage complex problems and issues.
•    Understands and makes sense of complex or conflicting data and different perspectives of stakeholders and University areas/faculties/etc.
•    Uses clear, concise and accurate communication, tailoring the approach accordingly and encouraging a two-way communication process.
•    Encourages and supports a free flow of communication and information across own area, and the wider University where appropriate.
•    Sets own priorities in conjunction with team and area objectives and has the ability to quickly identify what is important and act accordingly.
•    Uses systems and tools to ensure records and audit trails are clear and up to date.


•    Degree or equivalent level qualification plus experience in a similar role or significant vocational experience, demonstrating development through progressively more demanding, relevant roles.



Newcastle University is committed to being a fully inclusive Global University which actively recruits, supports and retains colleagues from all sectors of society.  We value diversity as well as celebrate, support and thrive on the contributions of all our employees and the communities they represent.  We are proud to be an equal opportunities employer and encourage applications from everybody, regardless of race, sex, ethnicity, religion, nationality, sexual orientation, age, disability, gender identity, marital status/civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, as well as being open to flexible working practices.

The University holds a silver Athena SWAN award in recognition of our good employment practices for the advancement of gender equality. The University also holds the HR Excellence in Research award for our work to support the career development of our researchers, and is a member of the Euraxess initiative supporting researchers in Europe.

We understand how important the full employment package is to our colleagues at Newcastle University and we are committed to providing a great range of benefits and discounts for all.  You can learn more about what is available here on our Benefits Website page.

Requisition ID: 15487