Chief Operating Officer

Canterbury, Kent
£55K - £60K + Generous Pension & Benefits
14 Jun 2017
10 Jul 2017
Public Sector
Contract Type
Full Time


Kent Union is the representative body for students of the University of Kent and provides wide-ranging services for its members at campuses across Kent and in Europe. We are a registered Charity, with annual revenues in excess of £11 million, 600 staff, 2,500 volunteers and services including a nightclub and a nursery, employment agency and retail outlets, a welfare advice centre, volunteering opportunities and a wide range of student activities. Kent Union has been included in the Sunday Times 100 Best Not-For-Profit Organisations to Work For eight years, achieving 24th in this year's table, and is often referred to as an example of good governance practice in the charity sector.

After more than a decade of rapid growth and development, from 2001 to 2012, Kent Union is emerging from a five-year period of consolidation, having refocused around a clear and compelling purpose, divested non-core activities and focused on quality, rather than quantity. Growth is central to our new strategy with the opening of three new buildings - the new Student Hub in Medway, which opened in January 2017, the ‘Parkwood Building', which is due for completion in September 2018, and the main new Building on the Canterbury Campus, which we are aiming to have completed by July 2020. With the introduction of the new buildings, we expect Kent Union to grow from its existing £11-12m turnover to over £15m by 2020 and from 600 staff to around 800.

The COO is a new role, an expansion of the Director of Finance role, with a diverse and exciting portfolio as the lead for Finance, Human Resources, Health & Safety and Governance. These areas form a key element for the new strategic plan of the Union, which will be launched in the coming weeks and seeks to elevate Kent Union from being a leading charity in the UK, to one that is recognised globally as a leading Not-For-Profit organisation, an international champion of the student voice and the best students' union in Europe.

We are looking for a highly credible finance professional who can lead financial planning, build on the existing relationship with the University, as well as be able to critically appraise financial controls, financial systems and audit procedures for continuous improvement as we grow. We have lots of business opportunities ahead and we want somebody who is as excited about our growth potential as we are.  The ability to lead and influence, even inspire, our Human Resources, Governance and Health & Safety areas to reach their potential, will be critical to our future success. Experience of working for a students' union, Not-For-Profit or Higher Education organisation would be welcome, although it is more important that you have sufficient experience in leading finance and a range of business-critical services and functions effectively.

This is an exciting opportunity to join the Senior Leadership Team at Kent Union, and play a key role in delivering our new strategic plan to create a global leader in the Not-For-Profit sector.

Closing date, Monday 10th July.