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Head of Academic Quality

In this role you will lead a small team of Quality Officers and work in partnership with academic and administrative colleagues in order to ensure that the Academic Quality Unit provides a professional, high quality and responsive service in support of the University’s strategic ambitions.

The Head of Academic Quality will provide leadership, advice and expertise on the University’s quality assurance and enhancement (QA/E) policies and processes, ensuring these are fit for purpose and effective. Working closely with the Director of Quality and Educational Development (QED) and Quality Leads in academic Institutes, the postholder will oversee an annual programme of course approvals and departmental and partnership reviews, as well as ensuring academic policies and procedures are reviewed and updated. The successful candidate will have proven experience of working both positively and effectively as a team leader, and with a wide range of colleagues, with excellent interpersonal skills that will be used in negotiating and influencing staff at all levels. The encouragement of professional development by all members of Academic Quality Unit will also be key to this role. The ability to manage a demanding workload with excellent organisational skills whilst also bringing a creative approach to problem solving will also be crucial. Excellent written communication skills with some experience of drafting policy and procedural documents is also essential.

Selection Process:

Candidates invited to interview will be required to give a ten-minute presentation and answer questions to a presentation panel on the following topic:

“The role of an Academic Quality Unit post implementation of the Higher Education and Research Act.”

The chair of this group will provide feedback on the presentation to the interview panel.

 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: Sunday 07 Jan 2018

Reference number: AQU1703 - 3474

Job details

Job details

Band 8 £37,705 - £47,723 a year, with opportunity to progress to £52,131 a year
Full time, 37 hours a week
As soon as possible
Responsible to
Director of Quality and Educational Development
Responsible for
Academic Quality Unit staff
Interview date
25th January 2018



The Academic Quality Unit (AQU) at the University takes lead responsibility for quality assurance and enhancement in relation to taught programmes, and develops policy and practice in relation to the quality management of courses and the student educational experience. AQU is responsible for the central management and co-ordination of all aspects of the University’s quality assurance processes. The team supports validation and review activity, and manages the appointment and communication with external examiners. The Unit works with academic Institutes and with partner organisations in providing advice and guidance and ensuring the effective implementation of policies and procedures.

It is intended that the work of the Unit will develop over the next period to become more clearly focused on embedding effective quality management and enhancement processes, streamlining formal processes where possible, whilst also strengthening student input and the effective management of information. Working collaboratively with Institutes and professional support departments across the University is a key feature of the work of AQU, Making use of electronic communication systems to improve the efficiency and efficacy of processes and record keeping is a priority.

Further information about the work of the Unit can be found at

Informal enquiries about the post are welcome, please contact Dr Marie Stowell (Director of Quality and Educational Development) – email or phone 01905 855579).



Main duties

Main duties

1. To oversee implementation of University quality assurance processes for course approval, monitoring and review, including processes relating to external examiners and collaborative partnerships, ensuring these are current, efficient, and fit for purpose, whilst also meeting external expectations.

2. To manage the AQU team and develop and support their role as an authoritative source of informed and professional advice and support on quality assurance and related matters.

3. To work with colleagues, plan the schedules of approval, review and development activity for an academic year, ensuring that there is appropriate student engagement and that assessments of academic and reputational risk are taken into account.

4. To draft policies and procedures and to carry out analysis of data and information with respect to academic standards and quality as required.

5. To maintain oversight of the implementation of the University’s governance and quality assurance processes and procedures as they apply to collaborative activity, and where appropriate taking account of the requirements of professional statutory regulatory bodies.

6. To act as a key institutional source of advice and guidance concerning the UK Quality Code for HE, academic quality assurance and enhancement policies, procedures and processes, working with colleagues to provide staff development and training as appropriate.

7. To work with senior staff in the University’s central professional support departments and Institutes to maintain oversight of, and monitor, the currency and quality of publicly available information produced by the University and its partners on higher education provision, including programme specifications, in line with all external requirements and reference points, as appropriate.

8. To develop and maintain professional links with external bodies and networks, representing the University as appropriate, and ensuring the development of the University’s external profile on quality matters.

9. To work with colleagues across the University, particularly the Director of QED and Quality Leads in Institutes, to maximise engagement with QA/E processes, in support of a continuous improvement culture that underpins the achievement of University strategic goals and objectives.

10. To act as Secretary for the Academic Standards and Quality Enhancement Committee (ASQEC) (and any other sub-committees as determined by the Director of QED), ensuring the timely production of agendas, papers and minutes and follow-up of actions, producing reports and papers, including statistical analyses, as required.

11. To act as Chair/Secretary, as/when required, and participate in working groups, committees, approval and review events.

12. To make a proactive and positive contribution to the work of the wider Quality and Educational Development Directorate, working collaboratively with colleagues and supporting activities that relate to the realisation of teaching excellence.

13. Carry out such other duties that are required and are 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. First degree (or equivalent) and evidence of continuing professional development.

2. Proven management experience of quality assurance and enhancement in higher education, and knowledge and understanding of current issues in quality management.

3. Excellent administrative, organisational and written communication skills, with an ability to think creatively and strategically, whilst also paying attention to detail.

4. Excellent inter-personal and communication skills with an ability to influence and persuade senior internal and external academic colleagues and peers, to deliver staff development, provide professional advice, training and guidance.

5. Proven experience of team leadership and staff management, with a consultative and collaborative management style, and the ability to meet multiple deadlines and deal with busy work schedules.

6. Successful experience of writing policy and procedural documents, reports, minutes and other formal and guidance documents.

7. Willingness and ability to travel to partner colleges in the UK and overseas as appropriate.

8. Considered and well-judged approach to the role and responsibilities with an ability to make objective decisions with professional and academic integrity.

Desirable Criteria

1. Established external networks relevant to post.

2. Proven successful experience of change and/or project management.

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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