Senior University Assurance Manager

Durham, United Kingdom
£41,526 - £49,533
Friday, 23 April 2021
End of advertisement period
Monday, 10 May 2021
Contract Type
Full Time

University Assurance Service

Grade 8: - £41,526 - £49,533
Open-Ended/Permanent - Full Time
Contracted Hours per Week: 35
Closing Date: 10-May-2021, 6:59:00 AM 

Durham University   

A senior assurance role at a global top 100 university.   

A globally outstanding centre of teaching and research, a collegiate community of extraordinary people, a unique and historic setting – Durham is a university like no other.   

We’re looking for an outstanding assurance professional to work within our University Assurance Service. Committed to the principle of Assurance by Design, the University Assurance Service relies on the independence of our co-sourced internal audit arrangements to allow the Service to be involved in the design of risk-based controls and embedded assurance. You will be familiar with the concepts of integrated assurance, tight-loose controls and risk management. You will also need to have the ability to work together, as an agent for change, with both academic and professional service colleagues from all over the university. Whilst a background in Higher Education would be helpful, it’s your knowledge of risk-based process design and leadership skills that are of paramount importance, and your ability to transfer them to the university context. 

With the support of a diverse group of exceptional peers, you will both be a challenger and challenged. We find it easy to be proud of the extraordinary people we have at Durham. We supply the inspiration; they achieve the extraordinary. We invite you to join us. 

The Department and role purpose   

The University Assurance Service (UAS) is located within the University Secretary’s Office, which has responsibility for the University’s overall governance and who reports directly to University Council (the governing body of the University and Trustee Board).

UAS is an internal audit service, delivered through a co-sourced model.  In addition, it provides some support to management and the wider University with new initiatives, but the extent of this will depend upon management invitation. 

Reporting to the Director of University Assurance, this is a key post in the UAS, involving the frontline provision of audit, assurance, risk and consultancy services across all areas of the University’s activities and with the addition of specialist IT auditing skills.  

The postholder will play a crucial part in developing the Service’s standards in relation to international professional practices from the Chartered Institute of Internal Auditors.  

The postholder will deputise for the Head of University Assurance in his/her absence.

Core responsibilities:

  • Provide expert professional subject expertise and problem-solving skills.
  • Act as recognised practitioner within audit, assurance, risk and consultancy, shaping activities, processes and systems.
  • Responsible for operational activity across different areas.
  • Oversight of short term or temporary project teams/strands, taking responsibility for decision making as appropriate.
  • Engage with key stakeholders and internal and external contractors to influence opinion, delivery and reputation of services.
  • Act as specialist point of contact dealing with complexity of data and information sources, interpretation and analysis.
  • Significant internal audit input into the scoping and resource planning across a range of activities at operational and possibly strategic level.
  • Carry out project scoping, initiation, planning and implementation for large scale/University wide initiatives.
  • Responsible for shaping the development and learning of others outside of team, through the design and delivery of training sessions.
  • Lead on the internal audit contribution to the design, implementation and monitoring of policy and quality standards, procedures and systems ensuring effective working and continuous improvement.
  • Promote and develop a deep understanding of organisational policy and external developments.
  • Promote the improvement and efficiency of departmental services by implementing and managing review and improvement procedures.
  • Ensure all activities, processes and transactions are accounted for accurately and promptly to meet regulatory and professional service and policy standards.
  • Implement processes to manage the integrity and security of all commercially and professionally sensitive and personal data.
  • Lead internal business meetings, working groups and sub-committees at operational service level to influence governance, organisational policy and standards for the service. 
  • Responsible for auditing, allocating and monitoring financial budgets and resources.

Role responsibilities:

  • Provide competent, professional advice, guidance and support services to all levels of staff but particularly to those with responsibility for assessing, managing and controlling risks – including Directors, Heads of Department and PVCs.  
  • Represent the UAS and (where required) lead the investigation of irregularities (and potential fraud incidents), ensuring that an effective relationship is maintained with HR  and other appointed officers and formulating and implementing any follow-up actions that may arise.  
  • Take responsibility, in collaboration with other team member, for receiving incoming incident reports, whistle-blowing or fraud reports and determining the appropriate course of action and ensuring that incidents are followed-up appropriately. 
  • Act as a first point of contact for any external assurance stakeholders (e.g. external auditors, grant funding providers and others) for their enquiries relating to assurance, audit and risk issues  
  • Take lead responsibility for and work with a wide range of audit stakeholders to perform risk-based assurance reviews, system audits, project assurance exercises and value for money studies in complex areas of University business to contribute to the delivery of the University’s Assurance plan of work
  • Manage quality and regulatory audit process for student and staff services over-arching systems and procedures.
  • Work with team members and stakeholders to build and maintain excellent working relationships.
  • Contribute to operational leadership teams and decision making to shape the nature and level of support services.
  • Provide professional guidance to stakeholders on audit, assurance, risk and control 
  • Lead and deliver professional development and support initiatives that would apply across the University.
  • Produce communications for promotion and reporting purposes, designing and structuring information and fact, applying creative and innovative principles to influence and engage. 
  • Deliver professional expertise with investigative and service methodologies, make recommendations and identify priorities to develop business plans and achieve business outcomes and objectives.
  • Maintain an oversight of the service and performance metrics to provide reports for higher level managers and committees.
  • Represent the service and University at promotional events and contribute to the delivery of presentations at conferences.
  • Develop external relations, identify and develop opportunities for communities of practice, employers, alumni and donors via extra-curricular activities and increased levels of participation.
  • Any other reasonable duties. 

Specific role requirements

  • Occasional working out of standard office hours, as required by the role.

Durham University Job Families

This position belongs to durham University 

Job Family: Business Process and People Services

OUR CHARACTERISTICS: We are a globally outstanding centre of teaching and research excellence, a collegiate community of extraordinary people, in a unique and historic setting.    

OUR VALUES: We are inspiring, challenging, innovative, responsible and enabling.

Durham University

Durham University is one of the world's top universities with strengths across the Arts and Humanities, Business, Sciences and Social Sciences. We are home to some of the most talented scholars and researchers from around the world who are tackling global issues and making a difference to people's lives. 

The University sits in a beautiful historic city where it shares ownership of a UNESCO World Heritage Site with Durham Cathedral, the greatest Romanesque building in Western Europe. A collegiate University, Durham recruits outstanding students from across the world and offers an unmatched wider student experience.

Durham University seeks to promote and maintain an inclusive and supportive environment for work and study that assists all members of our University community to reach their full potential. Diversity brings strength and we welcome applications from across the international, national and regional communities that we work with and serve.

It is expected that all staff within the University:

  • Contribute to our learning culture by engaging in mentoring, training and coaching.
  • Positively contribute to fostering a collegial environment; as well as demonstrating commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion.
  • Have due regard to Health and Safety requirements appropriate to grade and role.

Family key attributes

Roles in this family provide a comprehensive service and deliver the efficient administration and governance of the University.

Overall family purpose

  • Deliver direct and indirect services to stakeholders.
  • Provide advice and answer queries as part of an enquiry-desk/help-desk function.
  • Respond to and manage requests for information and resources.
  • Deliver services to meet regulatory requirements and procedures. 
  • Plan and deliver a joined-up approach to University business and people services.
  • Align business processes and services to meet operational and strategic policy objectives.  
  • Deliver business processes to ensure effective management, governance and the economic viability of the University. 
  • Encourage, collaborate and participate in the development of productive cross-institution relationships and working.
  • Provide excellent professional services that meet strategic and operational goals and business needs.
  • Carry out monitoring, analysis, development and planning to design new services and service updates for continuous improvement whilst meeting changes in regulations.
  • Engage with specialist professionals, consultants, and suppliers to exchange knowledge and facilitate partnership working.
  • Work collaboratively and network across the University with staff in other families to ensure a smooth, timely and high-quality delivery of service.
  • Align and deliver programmes and activities to meet operational and strategic objectives to enhance the stakeholder experience.
  • Engage and encourage participation with external professionals, schools, alumni and donors.

Link to key strategic plan

  • An economically sustainable approach to delivering Professional Services across the University;
  • A joined-up approach to University professional services, regardless of location or line management;
  • A culture and practice of continuous improvement; 
  • Design services that meet business need;
  • A stakeholder-focused orientation, offering satisfying careers to all staff;
  • Support and facilitate programmes that offer intellectual challenge, cohesiveness and a strong sense of progression;
  • Ensure that an increasingly diverse workforce is treated equally, fairly and with respect, and that all staff are demonstrably valued and actively engaged.

Recruiting to this post 

In order to be considered for interview, candidates must evidence each of the criteria required for the role in the Person Specification.  

How to apply 

We prefer to receive applications online. Please note that in submitting your application Durham University will be processing your data. We would ask you to consider the relevant University Privacy Statement https://www.dur.ac.uk/ig/dp/privacy/pnjobapplicants/ which provides information on the collation, storing and use of data.

What you are required to submit:

  1. A CV
  2. A covering letter which details your experience, strengths and potential in the requirements set out above
  3. A document providing examples of how you satisfy the Person Specification criteria.

Please ensure that you submit all documentation listed above or your application cannot proceed to the next stage.

At Durham University, our aim is to create an open and inclusive environment where everyone can reach their full potential and believe our staff should reflect the diversity of the global community in which we work.  We welcome and encourage applications from members of groups who are under-represented in our work force including people with disabilities, women and black, Asian and minority ethnic communities.

We will notify you on the status of your application at various points throughout the selection process, via automated emails from our e-recruitment system.  Please check your spam/junk folder periodically to ensure you receive all emails

Person specification - skills, knowledge, qualifications and experience required

Essential Criteria

  1. Excellent oral and written communication skills and the ability to develop effective working relationships, both internally and externally.
  2. Proven IT skills, including use of Microsoft Office.
  3. Educated to degree level (or equivalent experience).
  4. Professional practitioner (CCAB qualified, e.g. ACA, ACCA or CMIIA or equivalent) with specialist knowledge and expertise used to influence events and activities within the organisation. 
  5. Continuing professional development required to maintain professional recognition.
  6. Knowledge and experience of ensuring compliance with regulatory and organisational policy and guidelines.   
  7. Experience of providing specialist audit, risk and controls advice and guidance to a range of customers and colleagues, including more senior colleagues.
  8. Ability to contribute to planning at operational and strategic levels.
  9. Experience of being able to network effectively and develop strong and productive working relationships, to influence perceptions of the University.
  10. Ability to demonstrate sensitivity, tact and discretion and an ability to deal appropriately with confidential data, knowledge and evidence gathered.
  11. Resilient and persistent in approach, with an ability to be assertive when circumstances require (including when working with senior colleagues).
  12. Ability to influence people through reasoned, persuasive arguments.

DBS Requirement: Not Applicable.

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