September 24, 2022

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Education Support Officer, Programmes job with DURHAM UNIVERSITY

Academic Office

Grade 6: – £27,116 – £33,309 per annum

Open-Ended/Permanent – Full Time
Contracted Hours per Week: 35
Closing Date: 19-May-2022, 6:59:00 AM

The closing date for applications is 18 May at midnight.

When appointing to this role the University must ensure that it meets any applicable immigration requirements, including salary thresholds which are applicable to some visas.

The Department and role purpose:


The University offers an education that is challenging, difficult, enabling and transformative. The Curriculum, Learning & Assessment Service (CLAS) supports this offering.

Working for the Vice-Provost (Education), we develop and implement educational guidance, policy and regulations. We manage engagement with external educational bodies and reviews, support the University’s Education Committee (and its sub-committees), run and analyse Durham’s national student surveys, and publish and maintain the University’s regulations and handbooks. We work directly with departments and faculties, overseeing quality assurance and enhancement processes, and managing progress and examination processes for research degree students. We oversee student appeals and academic misconduct processes, and run the University’s matriculation and graduation ceremonies. Our Common Awards Team manages the national Common Awards partnership, working with the Church of England and Theological Educational Institute (TEIs) partners across England, Scotland and Wales.

CLAS 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 Vice-Provost (Education) for its management. The following services fall under the remit of the Academic Office:

  • Curriculum, Learning and Assessment Service (CLAS)
  • Student Immigration and Funding
  • Student Registry

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


This role supports the operation of the University’s quality assurance processes for programme and partnership development. Working with the faculty-linked Education Support Officers in CLAS, the postholder will support new proposals as they are taken for formal approval within the University. This will include providing formal support for the University’s key Quality & Standards Committee, the programme academic review process, and partnership and other approval panels. The postholder will work with colleagues to ensure that information relating to new programmes in accurate in light of external regulations (such as the requirements of the CMA and OfS).

The postholder will also help to coordinate non-standard curriculum development activities (including modules for credit bearing and non-credit bearing continuing professional development), liaising with staff across the University, and supporting University responses to changing external regulatory requirements.

The postholder will provide wider support across the office as required. This may include support for and coordination of sub-committees and other groups, working on process and policy enhancement, and helping to develop and maintain sources of guidance and information (such as the Learning and Teaching Handbook).

As part of their role, the postholder will collaborate closely with colleagues in CLAS, the wider Academic Office, other professional support services, and in academic departments and faculties.

Core responsibilities:

  • Experienced service practitioner, planning and co-ordinating projects and work streams with inter-related activities.
  • Plan and organise your own workload.
  • Specialist support with problem solving and query handling.
  • Reactive and proactive service provision with others to deliver an excellent stakeholder experience.
  • Relationship building, network participation internally and externally to build and update knowledge and skills.
  • Engage with external peers and specialists to exchange knowledge and information.
  • Interpret, design and present information and data.
  • Implement and monitor protocols, procedures, processes and regulations.
  • Monitor and, where necessary, report incidents (in relation to internal and/or external regulatory requirements).
  • Carry out more in-depth investigations, searches and research information and data to identify trends and patterns.
  • Take responsibility for day to day decision making within own area of responsibility for operational aspects of service delivery, translating external requirements into practical application and advice.
  • 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.
  • Support the capture of business requirements from users and work with colleagues to translate these into recommendations for future service provision.

Role responsibilities:

  • Manage and organise relevant curriculum and committee processes, activities and resources to achieve defined targets and outcomes.
  • Develop, implement and enforce recognised procedures in relation to quality assurance and curriculum development to ensure compliance with internal and external requirements, coordinating effort and working collaboratively with academic departments and professional support services.
  • Provide professional guidance and advice to academic and support services staff regarding relevant processes and policies. 
  • Ensure activities, guidance, policy and published information comply with internal University and external regulation, policy and procedures.
  • Ensure accuracy by instituting recognised and routine checks, assessment criteria and techniques.
  • Record data and information accurately, providing reports and distributing information to key stakeholders.
  • Use a range of digital media and tools to communicate with a diverse range of key stakeholders, both verbally and in written format.
  • Develop, plan and deliver internal events and/or training activities for key stakeholders.
  • Establish, maintain and develop productive and ongoing relationships with stakeholders to influence perception of the service and University.
  • Any other reasonable duties.

Working Arrangements

At Durham we recognise that our staff and students are our greatest asset and we want to support the health and wellbeing of all. Hybrid working supports this ethos and provides many benefits to our colleagues, including empowering people, where their role allows, to work in a manner which is more suitable for them, whilst encouraging our commitment to environmental sustainability.

Depending on the needs of the business and the job role, Durham University is piloting hybrid working for all Professional Services colleagues in the academic year 2021/2022, which may include the opportunity to work both on and off campus and to flex working hours. If appointed to the post, your line-manager will discuss the specific arrangements with you. Any hybrid arrangements are non-contractual and may change within the pilot and when the pilot ends.

Interviews are anticipated to take place on or around May.

Reward and Benefits

To support the delivery of the University’s People Strategy to attract, retain and reward the very best, we offer a fantastic range of rewards and benefits to our staff, including:

  • 27 days annual leave, plus 4 customary days and 8 bank holidays (pro-rata for part time) and the option to purchase additional leave;
  • Automatic enrolment into a pension scheme;
  • Corporate and local discounts;
  • Wellbeing resources and discounted health benefits;
  • Health discounts on sports and activities at Maiden Castle Health and Activity Centre;
  • Reward and Recognition Schemes;
  • Personal and career development;
  • And SO much more, with further information available here

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.  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 which provides information on the collation, storing and use of data.

Information if you have a disability

The University welcomes applications from disabled people. We are committed to ensuring fair treatment throughout the recruitment process. We will make adjustments to support the interview process wherever it is reasonable to do so and, where successful, adjustments will be made to support people within their role.

If you are unable to complete your application via our recruitment system, please get in touch with us on [email protected]

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 in the essential and desirable criteria;
  3. A Word document, with examples of how you satisfy the person specification. Please ensure you give detailed examples of how you meet these criteria if requested.

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

Contact details

For further information regarding this post, please contact: Andy Rennie ([email protected]).

Contact information for technical difficulties when submitting your application

If you encounter technical difficulties when using the online application form, we prefer you send enquiries by email. Please send your name along with a brief description of the problem you’re experiencing to [email protected]

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.

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.

As a University we foster a collegiate community of extraordinary people aligned to the University’s values. Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) are a key part of the University’s Strategy and a central part of everything we do. At Durham we actively work towards providing an environment where our staff and students can study, work and live in a community which is supportive and inclusive, and in doing so, recruit the world’s best candidates from all backgrounds and identities. It’s important to us that all of our colleagues are aligned to both our values and commitment to EDI.

Person specification – skills, knowledge, qualifications and experience required

Essential Criteria

  1. Educated to degree level (or equivalent experience).
  2. Excellent written communication skills and the ability to draft reports for committees and other meetings.
  3. Excellent presentation and oral communication skills.
  4. Knowledge and experience of ensuring compliance with regulatory and organisational policy and guidelines, and the ability to develop and maintain an understanding of changing external requirements.
  5. Experience of providing advice and guidance to a range of stakeholders and colleagues, including more senior colleagues.
  6. Excellent team working skills and the ability to work co-operatively as part of a team across institutional boundaries.
  7. Time management skills with the ability to balance the conflicting demands, work to deadlines and deliver under pressure.
  8. The ability to use own judgement and initiative to solve problems.
  9. Excellent attention to detail and an ability to maintain accuracy whilst working under pressure.
  10. Experience of implementing complex policy and procedures effectively and efficiently.
  11. Proven IT skills, including use of Microsoft Office.
  12. A commitment to continuing professional development.

Desirable Criteria

  • Experience of implementing policy and procedures and involvement with future changes for a service area.
  • Experience of committee work, not necessarily in a work environment.
  • Experience of working in higher education or a related area.

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 online.

Durham University

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 VALUESWe are inspiring, challenging, innovative, responsible and enabling.

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.

DBS Requirement: Not Applicable.