Access and Engagement Assistant Manager

Durham, United Kingdom
£26,715 - £32,817 per annum
14 Apr 2021
End of advertisement period
12 May 2021
Contract Type
Full Time

Academic Office

Grade 6: - £26,715 - £32,817 per annum
Open-Ended/Permanent - Full Time
Contracted Hours per Week: 35
Closing Date: 12-May-2021, 6:59:00 AM 

Job Family: Business Process and People Services

OUR CHARACTERISTICS: We are welcoming, collegiate and inclusive.

OUR VALUESWe are motivated, inquisitive, challenging, rigorous and innovative.

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.

The Department and role purpose

Access and Engagement is part of the Academic Office. The Academic Office provides a professional administrative support service to staff, students and potential students of Durham University.

The Academic Registrar is the head of the department and is responsible to the Pro-Vice Chancellor (Education) for its management.  The following services fall under the remit of the Academic Office:

  • Access and Engagement
  • Curriculum, Learning and Assessment
  • Recruitment and Admissions
  • Student Immigration and Funding
  • Student Registry

All of the services are based at either the Palatine Centre or Mountjoy Centre in Durham City.

Access and Engagement supports the Higher Education choices of young people who are traditionally underrepresented at university and encourages anyone with academic ability to consider applying to Durham, regardless of background. The service is based within the Academic Office, which is part of the University's Education Division.

The Access and Engagement Assistant Manager will provide management support to the access and participation activities performed by the team. The post holder will be responsible for supporting and deputising for Access and Engagement Managers in delivering widening participation strategies and fulfilling the requirements of the University’s Access and Participation Plan.

The role holder will specialise in one of the following areas:


Access includes projects to support admissions pathways to the University. This includes projects such as Supported Progression and the Sutton Trust Summer School Programme.


This area involves working with schools and colleges to support recruitment of students from under-represented backgrounds.

Core responsibilities:

  • Supervisory responsibilities for services, resources and people.
  • Provide induction and ongoing development support and training to team members.
  • Contribute to the ADR process, assisting with the identification of development needs where appropriate. 
  • Plan and organise own workload, and allocate and monitor work activities for others.
  • Act as first point of contact for HR issues when supervising a team.
  • Experienced Access and Engagement practitioner, planning and co-ordinating of Access and Engagement projects and work streams with inter-related activities.
  • Plan and organise own workload.
  • Senior support with problem solving and query handling.
  • Reactive and proactive Access and Engagement provision with others to deliver an excellent experience for young people, teachers and parents.
  • Relationship building, network participation internally and externally to build and update knowledge and skills, particularly with schools and colleges, external organisations such as charities and internal staff.
  • Engage with colleagues from other institutions and organisations to exchange knowledge and information.
  • Supervise widening participation activities including residential summer schools and school visits.
  • Interpret, design and present information which supports the enrolment of under-represented groups.
  • Implement and monitor protocols relating to child safeguarding.
  • Monitor and report incidents with particular reference to young people attending events and activities.
  • Carry out in-depth investigations, searches and research information and data to identify trends and patterns in higher education progression of under-represented groups.
  • Take responsibility for day to day decision making on widening participation events and activities.
  • Implement and monitor recognised procedures to ensure compliance and meet University values of inclusion, diversity and participation.
  • Contribute to business meetings, working groups and committees to help shape service delivery and stakeholder expectations.
  • Accountable for managing/maintaining financial and budget records and reconciling consumable expenditure queries to ensure good value for money in relation to tuition fee income
  • Monitor and evaluate stakeholder feedback and work with colleagues to translate this into improvements to widening participation activities.
  • Involved in the purchase and return of goods and services.

Role responsibilities:

  • Manage and organise widening participation activities, events, staff and/or resources to achieve Access and Participation Plan targets and outcomes.
  • Supporting and encouraging Graduate Ambassadors.
  • Develop, implement and enforce recognised procedures to ensure compliance, co-ordinate effort and contribute to team goals.
  • Provide professional guidance and advice to staff and student workers with the operational running of budgets, processes, data and information recording.
  • Ensure projects, activities, budgets and documents comply with internal University and external regulation, policy and procedures, particularly the Office for Students.
  • Ensure accuracy by instituting recognised and routine checks, assessment criteria and techniques.
  • Record data and information accurately, provide reports and distribute information to key stakeholders in the process or service.
  • Use a range of digital media and tools to communicate with a diverse range of key internal and external stakeholders, both verbally and in written format who may need to access information.
  • Establish, maintain and develop productive and ongoing relationships with stakeholders to influence perception of the University.
  • Contribute to the measures and targets laid out in the University’s Access and Participation Plan.
  • Help continue the University’s current success in promoting fair access and support the development of new approaches to encourage and persuade young people from non-HE backgrounds to apply and enrol at Durham.
  • Support areas of Access and Engagement’s work, such as Supported Progression, the Sutton Trust Summer School Programme and Schools Engagement.
  • Manage student helpers working on Access activities.
  • Any other reasonable duties.

Specific role requirements

DBS Check

Ability to travel independently between remote locations and transport promotional materials and equipment (i.e. display stands), with the requirement to travel and work during evenings and weekends.

Recruiting to this post

In order to be considered for interview, candidates must evidence each of the essential criteria required for the role in the person specification (including those listed in the section ‘Realising Your Potential Approach’).

In some cases, the recruiting panel may also consider the desirable criteria, so we recommend you evidence all criteria in your application.

Please note that some criteria will only be considered at interview stage.

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. Examples of how you satisfy the essential criteria in the person specification, this will require a separate document to be uploaded as part of the application process.

The Realising Your Potential Approach criteria is for information only, but may be referred to during the interview process.

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

Contact details

For further information please contact; Claire Smiles-Harrison (claire.smiles-harrison@durham.ac.uk)

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

  • Excellent oral and written communication skills and the ability to develop effective working relationships, both internally and externally.
  • Proven IT skills, including use of Microsoft Office.
  • Five GCSE’s at least Grade C or level four (or equivalent) including English Language and Mathematics (or equivalent experience).
  • Post-16 qualification or equivalent experience.
  • Experience of providing advice and guidance to a range of customers and colleagues.
  • Experience of working on complex logistical activities and events with young people, preferably in a higher education setting.
  • Ability to create materials and resources aimed at instructing whilst engaging young people. The ability to create online resources, or at least the willingness to learn, will be essential
  • An understanding of current trends in higher education, especially student recruitment, social mobility and fair access, with a commitment to the principles of equality and diversity and of academic excellence.

Desirable Criteria

  • Evidence of personal development to maintain skills.
  • Experienced service provider with knowledge and expertise used to contribute to the delivery and development of services, events and activities within the organisation
  • Experience of implementing policy and procedures and involvement with future changes for a service area.
  • Ability to effectively network and exchange advice and information for development purposes.

Realising Your Potential Approach

The Realising Your Potential Approach clarifies the behaviours expected to be demonstrated by all staff across Professional Services in the University regardless of their role. Along with the core responsibilities, role responsibilities and the person specification, the Realising Your Potential Approach behavioural indicators are used to inform the recruitment and selection process. Further information on the Realising Your Potential Approach is available here.

DBS Requirement: Please note that the successful applicant will require DBS disclosure.

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