Deputy Vice Chancellor

Guildford, Surrey (base), with travel to London, Birmingham and homeworking possible.
£80,000 - £120,000 experience depending
17 Mar 2021
End of advertisement period
16 Apr 2021
Contract Type
Full Time

Context and Background:

ACM is a leading institution in its field that delivers education and continuing professional development for the creative industries based on 2 key principles. These are reflected in everything we do, from student auditions to staff interviews, and the acquisition of degree credits to determining staff leadership responsibilities.

1. We ‘make learning count’ by recognising the knowledge and skills that students and staff already have when they join ACM, gained through previous experience in education, self-employment, enterprise, volunteering, community activities or employment.

2. We ‘facilitate learning by doing’ through creating the opportunity for students and staff to develop their curiosity, engage in creative problem-solving and develop their unrealised potential in an environment designed to broaden their personal and professional environment.

We highly regard the achievement of personal, educational and professional experiences which can be transferred into individual and collaborative value within the creative and cultural industries, creative education or creative work within other industries, from songwriting, live and digital events, musicianship, production, sound design, games development, management or entrepreneurship.

Over the past year, ACM has undertaken a project to develop a culture that integrates key functions and stakeholders, engendering a working practice that is more joined up and connected to the students. All functions including Registry, Quality Assurance and Student Services related activities have been reengineered in a way that brings them closer to the ‘front line’ and relevant to the realities of the student journey.

We are seeking an individual who is able to demonstrate a proven commitment to the expressed values of ACM: inclusion through widening participation; professionally relevant higher education; and facilitating innovative, interdisciplinary applied research.

ACM welcomes candidates who currently occupy similar roles in the University Sector, or those such as Director of Education” within the private provider sector.

Main Responsibilities: 

The primary area of responsibility is the operational lead for ACM’s education provision. This will include maintaining transparent, effective systems, processes and structures that have been developed through a period of organisational transformation.

This will also require involvement at the strategic level in meetings and decision-making around the delivery and management of ACM programmes and issues relating to student experience.

The postholder will support the organisational culture by analysing, overseeing and disseminating accessible and relevant data (e.g. student assessment and progression data, programme review, staff performance against KPIs, annual facilities and resources reviews) to inform executives and contribute to strategic decision making.

Education Management: 

ACM has recently undertaken a period of organisational development and transformation which has resulted in new organisational structures in education and professional services. The Deputy VC (Education) will be responsible for embedding, maintaining and managing the new organisational structure in education. They will work closely with the Executive Chairman on the continuous measurement and review of education operational processes, reporting on areas of good practice and areas of risk.

In order to manage the education provision effectively, the Deputy VC (Education) will develop a good understanding of the internal skills economy within ACM’s academic staff. They will develop the work already carried out with regards to mapping the internal skills economy, and be in a position to identify and evaluate resources internally and make recommendations for further internal resources and external resources where necessary.


Although the key focus is operational management, the Deputy VC (Education) would also be a stakeholder in strategic development, namely via the continuous measurement and review of ACM’s provision and involvement in the institutional governance committee structure with a place on the Academic Board which reports directly to ACM’s governing body. This strategic activity would seek to enhance the experience of the current students, as well as inform strategic decisions for future academic years.

The Deputy VC (Education) would also work to assess the viability of certain programmes and lend expertise to the steering group(s) responsible for the development of new programmes.

Student Voice: 

The Deputy VC (Education) would be engaged with the student voice at every level. This includes, but it not limited to:

  • Receiving reports from tutors and other academic staff on student feedback within modules. This would be for the purposes of risk mitigation and immediate remedies to arising issues;
  • Attending the Chairman’s Questions sessions as a panel member, and deputising for the Executive Chairman where necessary;
  • Overseeing the NSS process each academic year, managing the project in a way that connects all pieces of the student journey with all relevant stakeholders.

Quality Assurance and Enhancement:

The Deputy VC (Education) will be responsible for embedding the internal quality assurance actions relating to education, reporting progress through the governance structures at ACM including the academic board.

They will be chiefly responsible for running departmental meetings to complete the annual monitoring returns relating to education provision and ensuring that the robust process of module and programme review is adhered to throughout the year

Key Performance Indicators:

  • Maintain transparent, effective systems, processes and structures of ACM’s Education provision, ensuring clear reporting and minimal errors
  • Successfully oversee the completion of the NSS process each year, ensuring the necessary response levels are received prior the deadline
  • Identify and evaluate resources internally and make recommendations for further internal resources and external resources where necessary
  • In liaison with relevant teams in facilities, timetabling and student support, ensure that the operational plan for delivery is completed, including a timetable and facilities plan, in a timely manner
  • Ensure that actions set through the annual monitoring process are completed and reported on through the annual cycle
  • Ensure that a CPD strategy and plan is in place for academic staff which links to individual KPIs set through performance review meetings

Person Specification

Essential Qualifications

  • Level 7 or Level 8 qualification in Professional or Academic Field

Essential Experience

  • Experience of working at a senior level, minimum Head of Faculty/Associate Dean, in a Higher Education Provider. Ideally with experience of working in two or more type of institution (e.g Alternative Provider, pre-92 University, post-92 University)
  • Experience of line management
  • Experience of using a data-driven approach to underpin decision-making

Essential Skills

  • Proven ability to apply, interpret, analyse and review data within a management framework
  • Proven leadership skills in a professional or academic community of practice with evidence of maintaining good working relationships with internal staff and external stakeholders
  • Have a deep understanding of the needs of a diverse and creative student population in Higher Education or Professional Education
  • A detailed understanding of external reference points for Higher Education Providers, such as the Framework for Higher Education, QAA Quality Code, Subject Benchmark statements, TEF, REF and KEF

Desirable Experiences

  • Experience of KPI setting, monitoring and measurement
  • Experience of managing internal continuous professional development programmes

Please be aware all ACM staff must undergo a Disclosure and Barring Service Check prior to starting. This will need to be renewed once every three years.

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