Head of Operations and Special Projects

Come and work for UCISA

25 March 2024 - Head of Operations and Special Projects


Founded in 1993, UCISA is the member-led professional body for digital practitioners in education. We are a registered charity working on a not-for-profit basis. The work we do and the services we offer to our members is continuously developing and we are also growing as a team.

Open and inclusive, we work together to use our collective technical knowledge and digital expertise to help transform teaching, learning and research by supporting operational efficiency and an excellent student experience.

Our community collaborates, networks, and shares their inspirational thinking, practices and procedures so that we can all learn more, advance faster and be more effective. We also work closely with technology and digital service suppliers to the sector – helping them better understand the sector’s requirements so that they can deliver the solutions needed within member institutions.



The role sits within the Management Team (SMT) and the post holder will deputise for the CEO alongside management colleagues.

This key role presents an excellent opportunity to see projects through from conception to completion and to play a part in shaping how we work and what we do.  You will have responsibility for day-to-day operation of UCISA, including technical Infrastructure and systems used to deliver UCISA’s services to our members.  You will deputise on operational matters for the CEO and represent and advocate for UCISA alongside other management team colleagues.

You will be reporting directly to and working closely with UCISA’s CEO and have opportunities to develop your own skills in running an organisation in an innovative and agile way.  Ultimately, you’ll ensure our operations run smoothly and that people are productive.


Key role duties

Business and Continuity Planning

  • Working closely with the CEO, create and implement operational plans aligned to and achievement of UCISA’s five year strategic plan
  • Lead on the development, implementation and compliance monitoring of business continuity plans
  • Monitor and report on business continuity plan delivery, including co-ordinating updates from SMT colleagues
  • Create policy, briefing and guidance documents for senior stakeholders
  • Collect, maintain and analyse relevant data and management information to inform the CEO of the impact of internal and external issues on our operational strategy
  • Lead on monitoring and managing compliance with UK legislation (e.g. Data Protection, Health and Safety)
  • Active membership of UCISA’s Leadership Council 
  • Manage contracts and relations with customers, vendors, professional advisors and third party suppliers
  • Oversea technical infrastructure, including systems and website security and maintenance in liaison with external suppliers
  • Oversea internal UCISA infrastructure, including connectivity and logistics to support our hybrid working model, liaising/working with our managed service provider

People Management

  • Support the CEO and liaise with external HR contractors to develop, review and implement people management and organisational development plans in liaison with UCISA’s external HR contractor
  • Manage and coordinate UCISA’s HR policies and procedures, including the recruitment and selection of staff, induction, appraisal and promotion in line with policies and procedures and in liaison with UCISA’s external HR contractor 
  • Liaise with the Head of Finance regarding HR data retention, use and compliance via UCISA’s HR reporting system, for which the HOF has lead responsibility
  • Line-manage UCISA team members as required
  • Identify and support, in conjunction with other managers, training and development requirements across UCISA 
  • Oversight of Health and Safety, liaising closely with the Executive Support Officer
  • Promote a strong customer service culture across UCISA’s operational structure 
  • Ensure that all comply with organisational policies and procedures, including health and safety 

Special Projects

  • Lead on development and oversight of special ad-hoc projects
  • Lead on specific designated key stakeholder representation
  • Review and develop internal communications (including signing off copy)
  • Deputise for the CEO and Head of Representation on delegated areas/projects


The skills and experience you need (E=Essential D=Desirable)

E: Experience of operations, project or line-management in a fast paced and agile business

D: Experience of managing services in HE sector or member led organisations

E: Experience in a similar or related position(s) or substantial relevant experience in another sector, demonstrating development through involvement in a series of progressively demanding work roles

D: Experience of full cycle people management processes

E: Experience of working with and influencing senior stakeholders (including C Suite)

E: Experience of analysing, explaining and disseminating information efficiently and effectively

E: Experience of managing complex projects, including breadth and detail

E: Strong staff management skills, with a proven record of motivating staff, active listening and developing structures that empower other and guarantee operational delivery

E: Excellent interpersonal and influencing skills at a senior level

E: Degree or equivalent qualification

D: Prince or equivalent project management qualification

E: Good awareness of HE sector challenges and economic and political context/environment

D: Excellent understanding of digital technologies

E: Proven capability to build and sustain effective working relationships and networks in a complex and diverse organisation

E: Ability to perform effectively under pressure with excellent personal organisation and time management

E: Analytical and able to resolve problems with proven people skills

E: A very strong eye for detail

E: Able to travel to, attend and support UCISA UK events and conferences as part of the whole team approach to our member events

E: Self-motivated and confident with the ability to persevere in order to achieve objectives

E: Highly articulate, with the ability to be decisive and assertive when necessary

E: Tactful, diplomatic and able to influence and engage with people at all levels of seniority

E: Ability to produce clear and concise written material and financial management information using appropriate IT packages, such as Excel and Microsoft Office applications

E: Able to take a creative approach to problem solving

Summary of key Terms and Conditions

  • Contract: Permanent Full time, Oxford based, hybrid
  • Hours per week: 37.5, Monday-Friday with some flexibility to support UCISA events and participate in team days
  • Salary: £55,000-£65,000 per year (depending on candidate experience and skill set)
  • Leave: 30 days annual leave & 8 Bank Holidays
  • Pension: Defined Contribution scheme (6.7% employer contribution, voluntary employee contribution 0-6.7%)
  • Reporting to: CEO


To apply for this role, please email your CV and a covering letter of no more than 2 x A4 pages explaining why you are applying this role to our HR Consultant: jo.cairns@sereniti.co.uk by 10:00 26th April 2024.

Interviews will take place on Friday 31 May 2024 in person at the UCISA office in Oxford and will include a relevant skills test/s  
Start date: As soon as possible.

For more information on the role description download the full job description

Additional Documents