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Deputy Head of Academic Quality

This post provides an excellent opportunity to contribute to the further development of the University’s quality approaches, undertake projects and internal reviews, and work cross-institutionally with both academic and professional service departments.

It involves working with the Head of Academic Quality in managing the Academic Quality Unit team, planning and scheduling quality assurance activities, developing and enhancing the University’s quality policies, procedures and practice. The post holder will take particular responsibility for working on collaborative arrangements with UK and overseas partners.

The post involves specific responsibilities for quality assurance and risk management in relation to existing collaborative partnerships and programmes and the development of new links and provision. This requires advising and working with colleagues across the University and partner institutions, both UK and international, in order to ensure that quality requirements are observed, and ensuring that an appropriate audit trail and agreements are in place.

For both elements of the post the University is seeking applicants who have the ability to relate positively and confidently with colleagues at a range of levels internally and externally, and to provide sound and authoritative advice. The post includes line management responsibility for designated quality officers and deputising for the Head of Academic Quality when required.

Selection Methods:
Shortlisted candidates will attend an interview and be asked to deliver a ten minute presentation on:

“Risk and quality management in the context of the new regulatory framework”.

Candidates are asked to bring to the interview two examples of written reports and one example of minutes/notes of a committee or similar meeting produced recently.

In the supporting statement of your application form please give evidence to demonstrate how you meet the essential criteria listed in the person specification; you are advised to address each item on the person specification in turn and give specific examples of activities you have undertaken.

Closing date: Tuesday 03 Apr 2018

Reference number: AQU1801 - 3557

Job details

Job details

Band 7: £32,547 - £36,613 a year with opportunity to progress to £39,993 a year
Full time, 37 hours per week; with flexibility to travel to partner institutions including those located regionally, nationally and internationally. This could involve occasional evening and weekend stays, with appropriate notice.
As soon as possible
Responsible to
Head of Academic Quality
Responsible for
Line management of designated AQU staff
Interview date
Potential date of 19th April



We strive to be an outstanding university at which to be both a student and a member of staff. We have a national reputation as a very friendly community, where both staff and students feel genuinely valued and empowered to make a meaningful contribution. We are one of the fastest growing universities in the UK. We are now a community of over 10,000 students and 1,000 staff members, drawn from over 60 countries and a wide variety of disciplines; we are a major employer in the region.

We are committed to offering our staff the creative combination of challenge, opportunity and support which is needed to grow personally and professionally. Having the best people work at the University is central to the University’s ongoing and future success. We offer you a comprehensive induction, extensive staff development opportunities and a wide range of benefits including generous holiday allowance, pension scheme and access to excellent facilities. Staff can also access the University’s wide array of sports, educational and leisure facilities.

The Academic Quality Unit at the University is a key part of the wider Quality and Educational Development team, which takes lead responsibility for quality assurance and enhancement for taught programmes, and develops policy and practice in relation to learning, teaching and assessment. Responsible for the central management and co-ordination of all aspects of the University’s quality assurance processes, the Unit currently has a team of five Academic Quality Officers, and an overall team of nine. The Unit works closely with academic Institutes and with partner organisations in providing advice and guidance and ensuring the effective implementation of policies and procedures. This is an exciting time to be engaged with quality matters as the Office for Students and the TEF begin to impact.

The University has a significant number of academic partnerships with FE Colleges and other training providers predominantly within the West Midlands and South West of England, but also further afield. Currently there are a small number of international academic collaborations; however, the University’s Strategic Plan intends that such partnerships grow.

Further information about the work of the Unit can be found at Informal enquiries about the post are welcome, please contact Jennifer Zandbeek (Head of Academic Quality) – email or phone 01905 542663).


Main duties

Main duties

1. To work with the Head of Academic Quality on the development, review and implementation of the University’s quality assurance and enhancement procedures, taking a lead on key themes, and adopting project management of internal reviews.

2. To take line management responsibility for designated officers/colleagues within the AQU team and deputising for the Head of Academic Quality when required. This includes representing the University at external meetings and/or conferences.

3. To provide advice on national guidance relating to quality management and to partnerships specifically, and translating how these impact both strategically and operationally to relevant colleagues.

4. To manage the process for the approval and review of new partners, including liaising with and advising senior colleagues in the University and partner organisations on strategy, business case and operational arrangements, setting up approval visits, conducting due diligence checks, taking a full part in the approval process and advising the approval panel, and preparing reports of outcomes.

5. To be responsible for drafting formal partnership and course agreements, taking account of national and international legal and academic requirements, securing agreement on content and arranging for timely signature by all relevant parties.

6. To maintain oversight of the University’s responsibilities with regard to the currency and accuracy of public information in relation to collaborative provision and partnerships.

7. To work closely with the Head of Collaborative Programmes in ensuring the effective oversight, management and enhancement of collaborative arrangements, including induction and staff development for link tutors, and both partner staff and HE managers (or equivalent) in partner organisations.

8. To act as secretary and lead officer to the Academic Partnerships Committee. This will involve working with the Chair and Vice Chair to produce the agenda, writing papers and reports, and ensuring accurate minutes, as well as advising on matters of policy and procedure.

9. To undertake other such duties that may be required from time to time as commensurate with the grade of the post.

*Maintain personal and professional development to meet the changing demands of the job; participate in appropriate training activities and encourage and support staff in their development and training.

*Take steps to ensure and enhance personal health, safety and well being and that of other staff and students.

*Carry out these duties in a manner that promotes equality of opportunity and supports diversity and inclusion, and takes into account the University's commitment to environmentally sustainable ways of working.


Person specification

Person specification


Please provide evidence of how you meet each of the essential criteria.

Essential Criteria

1. Good Honours degree (2:1 or above) or equivalent and evidence of continuing professional development.

2. Extensive successful experience of working in quality assurance for higher education.

3. Excellent understanding of the principles of quality assurance and enhancement, including risk management, and a good knowledge of the UK Quality Code for higher education.

4. Ability to manage relationships, to establish and maintain trust, and exhibit tact and diplomacy but also, where required, demonstrate appropriate firmness in discussions and negotiations.

5. Excellent administrative and organisational skills, with an ability to pay attention to detail, whilst maintaining a clear perspective on the larger context.

6. Excellent inter-personal and communications skills with an ability to relate to senior internal and external academic staff and different situations, to provide advice and guidance, and to lead both teams and discussions in planning activities and reaching appropriate conclusions.

7. Excellent written skills including an ability to write clear policies, procedures, reports and handbooks; drafting formal agreements; experience of producing high quality minutes and succinct reports of meetings, and writing papers for committees.

8. The ability to work effectively as both a team leader and a member of a team in the context of a busy office, to meet deadlines, and to work on own initiative, prioritise and manage own and others’ workloads.

9. Fully competent in Microsoft packages, particularly Word, Excel, Outlook, Powerpoint etc.

10. Ability to research, critically evaluate and communicate complex documents.

11. A strong commitment to academic integrity, to collegial working, and an awareness of cultural differences and sensitivities.

12. Willingness and ability to travel to partner organisations in the region, the UK and abroad. 

Desirable Criteria

1. Successful experience of project management.

2. Experience of HE quality assurance work with partners.

Applications from Non EEA Workers:
Prospective applicants are advised to ensure that they are eligible to work in the UK without restriction.

Prospective applicants in points-based system immigration routes should assess their circumstances against the published criteria, which are set out on the GOV.UK website at .

Visit  for more information on how you can use a qualification from outside the UK to meet the requirements of the immigration rules.

Unspent convictions, cautions and bind-overs
The University is strongly committed to the fair treatment of its staff and potential staff, regardless of race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, responsibility for dependants, age, physical/mental disability or offending background.

In line with the University's policy on the Recruitment of People with a Criminal Record, shortlisted candidates are required to provide information of any unspent convictions, cautions and bind-overs. Applicants are advised to seek independent advice if there is any doubt about the status of a previous conviction, caution or bind-over. Disclosures will only be considered at the point when an offer of employment is made. The existence of a criminal record will not in itself prevent you from gaining employment.

This is a description of the job as it is presently constituted. This job description is intended to enable a flexible approach to be offered working across the University as required. It is subject to review and amendment in the light of changing needs of the University and to provide appropriate development opportunities. Members of staff are expected to participate fully in discussions about changing requirements and it is the University's aim to reach agreement to reasonable change. If agreement is not possible, it reserves the right to require changes to the job description after consultation with the individual concerned.


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