Head of Operations & Strategy
This crucial, senior role manages the strategic, business and operational aspects of King’s Online (KO) and King’s Professional & Executive Development (KPED) and works across the School of Professional and Continuing Education (PACE) with other Heads of Operations to align policies, process and approaches across a new hybrid function.
Alongside the Director of King’s Online and the Director of KPED, s/he plays a central role in driving the growth and development of both departments, overseeing the development of strategy and the implementation of new programmes, projects and areas of business. The role holder will also have overall responsibility for business management within the departments including tracking against original business plans, developing costing tools and managing financial targets. They will also have responsibility for the shared operations team (King’s Online and KPED) as well as the operational running of all programmes under the King’s Online umbrella, including account managing the relationship with any commercial third parties. The role holder is a member of both King’s Online and KPED senior leadership team .
About King’s Online
King’s Online is part of the new School for Professional and Continuing Education, it was formed in 2015 and develops a range of fully online courses and programmes. You’ll be joining us at an exciting time as we seek to redefine online education and realise King’s strategic ambition of being the leading provider of online and blended learning by 2029.
King’s Professional & Executive Development (KPED) is a specialist business development unit enabling King’s Faculties to deliver Professional Education to a wide international and domestic audience. We partner with all faculties at King’s to design, develop and deliver open and bespoke educational programmes in line with King's Education Strategy. It is a small, dynamic team with ambitious growth targets in an exciting area of development for King’s.
The School of Professional and Continuing Education (PACE)
King’s Online and KPED are part of the newly formed PACE. PACE brings together King’s Foundations, Summer, Modern Language Centre, King’s Online and KPED into one home. All of the areas are well-established, with the new function providing a stronger platform for the areas to work collaboratively with our faculties, offering greater impact around educational innovation and transformational learning experiences for our students.. This post reports to the Director of King’s Online and will have a dotted line to the PACE Director of Operations and Strategy
The role is primarily based at King’s Strand Campus though you may be required to travel to other campuses on occasion. As part of King’s trial of hybrid working, all team members can work remotely for part of the week if they wish.
This post will be offered on an indefinite contract.
This is a full-time post.
With responsibility for a team of eight (two direct reports) which works across both departments, the Head of Operations and Strategy is responsible for:
STRATEGY & PLANNING
- Develop strategy for online and professional education, internally for King’s Online and KPED and externally with King’s Faculties.
- Support the Directors with planning, horizon scanning, developing high level presentations, and responses to internal and external changes.
- Responsible for tracking King’s Online and KPED performance against business case at individual programme and overall levels.
- Oversee regular reporting to various stakeholder groups
- Responsible for business case development for new initiatives.
- Coordinate the preparation of reports of special analyses, and information reports for senior management; presents recommendations for changes and improvements.
- Lead the business planning process and annual academic processes for King’s Online and KPED.
- Proactively establish and maintains strong relationships with key stakeholders at all levels, internal and external to the university.
- Represent King’s Online and KPED at various business meetings and committees, deputising for the Director of King’s Online and Director of Professional Education where necessary.
- Leading and supporting cross PACE projects.
- Overall responsibility for the operational running of the suite of King’s Online programmes following production;
- Supporting the broadening of the King’s Online portfolio to include blended, Executive Education, CPD, stackable microcredentials etc.
- Oversee launch process of new programmes including the marketing launch, programme modifications, and all necessary approvals and changes, liaising with appropriate parties as relevant;
- Responsible for dealing with operational issues on the King’s Online programmes and short courses escalating to the Director of King’s Online or Director of KPED where appropriate;
- Manage the day-to-day relationship with King’s Online’s delivery partner(s).
- Overall responsibility for the King’s Online and KPED shared operations team liaising closely with PACE colleagues and university professional services teams.
- Working across PACE and supporting the PACE Director of Strategy and Operations to align approaches and realise the benefits of coming together in one area.
- Manages the operational activities of King’s Online and KPED, including business management, space management, budget preparation and control, and purchasing.
- Identifies and implements efficiencies and improvements to process, driving a continuous improvement approach within the unit and across PACE.
- Works with the Management Accountant and Business Partner for PACE on internal financial reporting and management information. Has monetary control, and takes oversight and responsibility for adherence to budgets and coordinates budget planning.
- Evaluates and/or negotiates contracts for the purchase of services and equipment in coordination with the university purchasing department.
- Develops and maintains internal and university-level policies and procedures relating to King’s Online and KPED.
- Works with process and systems owners to ensure that King’s Online and KPED needs are communicated and embedded in university planning and roadmaps.
- Promote and operationalise KCL EDI policies and be a departmental EDI champion.
The above list of responsibilities may not be exhaustive, and the post holder will be required to undertake such tasks and responsibilities as may reasonably be expected within the scope and grading of the post.
Skills, knowledge, and experience
1. Substantial senior professional service skills which demonstrate leadership skills in a complex environment, ideally gained within the Higher Education sector. 2. Excellent leadership, interpersonal and influencing skills and the ability to build up and maintain effective working relationships with both internal and external stakeholders at all levels
3. Proven ability to manage teams and develop individuals including dealing with conflicting demands and managing tight timelines
4. Experience of effectively managing the ongoing business administration of a large department, including involvement in budgetary, human resources, estate planning, monitoring KPIs etc
5. Successful track record of operational success e.g. in translating strategic plans and decisions into operational practice, effective business continuity planning, including identification of solutions to perceived potential blocks and an understanding of complex dependencies
6. Experience of managing multiple projects and leading strategic change processes independently and in collaboration with others
7. Excellent organisational skills, the ability to prioritise effectively and deliver work personally and through others to tight deadlines and within budget
8. Highly degree of numeracy and the ability to analyse statistical data to underpin financial decisions and approaches
9. Excellent IT skills, with particular emphasis on Excel, PowerPoint, databases and data interpretation and visualisation
10. Demonstrable commitment to inclusivity in working practices and people management, ensuring that policies and local practices are adhered to
1. Relevant postgraduate or professional qualification
2. Evidence of Continuous Professional Development
3. Knowledge of online education, professional education, international education and market trends