The British Council is the world’s leading cultural relations organisation and creates opportunities for people in the UK and worldwide to understand each other, to work together and learn from one another. We see this as crucial to building secure, more prosperous and sustainable futures for us all. We build trust and understanding between different countries and cultures and develop strong international links that are of benefit to people in Britain and the rest of the world. We call this work – cultural relations.
We are looking for an Exams specialist to set the strategic direction and lead the development and delivery of the Nigeria examinations business. The postholder will build relationships with key national and international stakeholders and contribute to the leadership of the British Council Nigeria operation.
Examinations work focuses on providing access to high quality UK qualifications to Nigeria customers, thereby facilitating the building of relationships with our target audiences. One of the largest in the global network by income, surplus and volume surplus, the Nigeria examinations business delivers almost 100,000 exams and has an income stream of over £8 million. Our ambition is to double this by 2020.
Nigeria is now officially the largest economy in Africa. It is also the most populous country with over 170 million citizens. The UK is its largest trading partner. Nigeria holds significant political power in the region and internationally and its society retains a positive attitude to the UK. There are therefore major opportunities for the UK and British Council to increase influence, income and, through this, our impact by building on our strong existing relationships with the Nigerian government, institutions and customers/audiences. However, there are complex and substantial risks to this work i.e. security and compliance.
Minimum degree-level qualification
To set the strategic direction and lead the development and delivery of the Nigeria examinations business. Build relationships with key national and international stakeholders and contribute to the leadership of the British Council Nigeria operation.
- Translates regional and SBU strategies into annual work plans and deploys resources efficiently and cost effectively to deliver required income, impact and profitability targets for a small/lower priority country operation or a substantial proportion of defined service/product/programme delivery within in a country or market segment
- Liaises closely with regional and SBU colleagues (and/or the external customer as necessary) to clarify and agree local targets in terms of quality/revenue/margin/volume/impact/time/cost
- Implements and adapts team work plan(s) in the light of revised corporate requirements, operational changes and local social/economic or political events
Customers & stakeholders
- Develops and maintains excellent relationships and communication with internal and/or external customers to build a clear understanding of their needs and experiences, to inform and enable continuous improvement in the quality of service/programme/product delivery.
- In accordance with agreed regional and SBU strategies, acts as a figurehead for the team/unit in local cultural relations/commercial/collaborative activities, managing a range of relationships with external stakeholders (e.g. government, sponsors, customers, partner agencies) to achieve positive outcomes for the BC and facilitate effective operational delivery
- May be formal account manager for a nominated customer/institution/agency/sponsor, as required by regional/SBU business development and partnership plans
Risk & compliance
- Uses standard corporate protocols, combined with previous experience and detailed knowledge of the local social/political/security context, to assess a range of risks in to service/product/programme delivery. Ensures appropriate contingency plans are in place and implemented promptly to manage delivery safely and effectively in challenging or high-risk circumstances.
- Investigates any reported instances of non-compliance with agreed corporate risk management policies (e.g. child protection, security policies, financial protocols, anti-fraud measures), and takes appropriate remedial action, including escalation to more senior colleagues as required
Analysis & reporting
- Uses management information, analysis and personal operating experience to identify and make recommendations on improvements to unit or country-wide ways of working, processes, procedures and/or resources that will enhance efficiency and effectiveness
- Implements a range of corporately/regionally agreed BC reporting procedures and holds staff to account for maintaining them, to ensure that results are accurately recorded, thereby enabling timely and effective operational decision-making
Commercial & resource management
- Proposes annual budgets and undertakes detailed resource planning to enable cost effective, high quality in-year delivery of operational activities in the country/team/unit
- Leads the negotiation/structuring of local deals to achieve required operational goals, drawing appropriately on the input and expertise of other colleagues/external advisors as required to protect the BC’s interests effectively
- Within agreed corporate procedures and schedules of delegated authority, manages and reports on variances to plan, controlling principal local levers impacting on cost and service provided (e.g. people, processes, resources, suppliers)
Leadership & management
- Leads and controls a large team of people and/or range of resources in a single location, ensuring clear communication of goals and expectations. Time horizons are likely to be quarterly to annual.
- Identifies requirements and recommends training and development provision to build improved operational capability within the unit/team/area
- Puts in place processes, resources and support to ensure all staff with line management responsibilities in their area/unit deploy appropriate coaching, performance feedback and sickness/absence management techniques to maximise staff productivity and motivation in a high volume/pressurised delivery environment.
- As an experienced operations professional, actively contributes to the development of wider regional and SBU strategies and plans.
- Contributes to the leadership of the wider operation, leading cross-SBU initiatives and representing the operation with senior stakeholders.
Please note applicants need to be a UK passport holder as this post has diplomatic status.
The closing date for application is 26 April 2015 at 23:59 UK time.
Please note: Mobility packages do not apply to applicants currently working in-country on local terms. Please note that the British Council UK-appointed overseas package is based on the assumption of a UK contractual base. This means you will be on a UK contract and be paid in pounds sterling from the UK. Various benefits and allowances are designed around the assumption that you are moving from the UK and will be able to maintain a UK base whilst overseas. More information is available on request.
Method of Application
Interested and suitably qualified candidates should click here to apply online.
The British Council is committed to a policy of equal opportunity and is keen to reflect the diversity of UK society at every level within the organisation. We welcome applications from all sections of the community. In line with the British Council's Child Protection policy, any appointment is contingent on thorough checks. In the UK, and in other countries where appropriate systems exist, these include criminal records checks.