Current Roles

Director of Finance and Corporate Services

Salary: Competitive six figure package and excellent benefits

A unique opportunity has arisen for an outstanding and highly strategic Director of Finance and Corporate Services to join UCAS, the university admissions service, a leading edge technology company.

UCAS is an independent charity using cloud-based, digital applications to deliver to its customers. It has a diverse business model that is based solely on income from its customers and users; not a penny of its funds come from taxpayers.

You will work collaboratively with the CEO, Executive team and the Trustees to deliver a valued shared service for education providers, a leading-edge digital experience for students, and all the while making sure that UCAS reaches out to those who are disadvantaged in education.

You will be energised by the opportunity to be involved in leading a fully digital and contemporary national shared service, with a reputation for reliability, value for money and efficiency. As well as strategic insight and dynamism, you will have first class financial leadership skills that can be deployed in digital operations, technology, social media marketing, and in optimising our fast growing commercial digital media business.

Previous experience of working in education or higher education isn’t essential, but you must be passionate about the value of education and be willing to develop an understanding of the policy environment.

In return, this role offers the kudos that comes with working for a company with a nationally and internationally recognised brand, the satisfaction of working for public benefit, the challenge of a 21st century technology company, and an attractive remuneration package

The Organisation

UCAS is an independent charity providing the route to studying at UK Universities, with a commercial subsidiary, UCAS Media. It currently has an annual turnover of around £40million and employs about 450 people.

UCAS is housed in a superb headquarters building in one of the most beautiful towns in the Cotswolds, Cheltenham, which is within easy reach of commuter routes, home to a range of excellent schools and grammar schools, and with a growing reputation as a technology hub.

Vision: UCAS is at the heart of connecting people to higher education.

Mission: To inspire and facilitate progression in education through information and admissions services.

The Role

The Director of Finance and Corporate Services is accountable for the strategic financial management and leadership of UCAS and UCAS Media. The role also carries responsibility for the stewardship of all the company’s physical assets, and a range of internal corporate services.

As a key member of the Executive Team, the Director of FCS reports to the Chief Executive and takes a strategic role in the overall leadership and management of UCAS and UCAS Media.

Specifically, the Director of FCS is accountable for optimising the financial health of UCAS by managing income streams and investments, driving efficiency, reducing costs and increasing the funds available to invest in the realisation of the UCAS mission.

Key responsibilities

Take overall control of the company’s accounting functions, assisting in formulating the company’s future direction and financial strategy to optimise the value created for customers and stakeholders, and secure a sustainable future for UCAS
Work with Executive colleagues to develop the annual budget for approval by the Finance Committee and Board of Trustees
Monitor and report on performance against budget and steer the company in managing variations in income and expenditure
Provide strategic management of the company’s cash, investments portfolio, fixed assets and reserves policy
Contribute fully to the development of the company’s strategy across all areas of business, challenging assumptions and decision-making as appropriate, and providing financial analysis and insight on all activities, plans, targets and value drivers
Provide strategic insight and recommendations to enhance financial performance and new business opportunities
Lead a focus on continuous review of costs, driving efficiencies, and delivering value from our development activities
Provide specific financial leadership and insight to support the success and growth of UCAS Media
Ensure compliance with GAAP / Charities’ SORP and applicable regulatory legislation for financial and tax reporting
Oversee an effective internal control framework; and work closely with the Audit Committee to ensure that the framework of risk management, controls, and assurance support the company’s success
Build productive relationships with Executive colleagues and Trustees
Capture and communicate key messages to ensure that internal and external stakeholders understand the financial status of the organisation
In addition to the accounting functions, the Director of FCS has overall responsibility for the following areas:

The ‘Digital Back Office’ project
There is also potential for the role to include the Organisational Development (OD) (Human Resources) and Corporate Governance. At present, the company’s OD and Corporate Governance Performance functions report direct to the CEO. However, if candidates for the Director of FCS role are able to demonstrate appropriate experience and track record in these areas, these functions could be transferred to the FCS business unit.

Person Specification

UCAS is looking for someone who can contribute to its diverse Executive team and help drive delivery of its ambitious Corporate Strategy.

You will have substantial leadership experience and a track record of success in a senior finance role at Board level or Divisional board level. You will be commercially astute, technically strong, with the ability to be effective at both strategic and operational levels and will thrive within an organisation of this size.

You will be educated to degree level or equivalent with a professional accounting qualification ACCA, CIMA or ACA

In addition, you will have:

Experience of working in a technology-rich environment with high levels of digital literacy
Ability to use analysis and data to manage risk, reveal insights, and drive continuous improvement
Track record of success in a commercial / sales environment with experience of working in or with a social enterprise or charity
Demonstrable experience and success in delivering excellence in corporate services (and possibly in human resource management)
Exceptional interpersonal and influencing skills with the ability to communicate effectively with people at all levels
A strategic and entrepreneurial approach with the ability to bring creativity, innovation and insight into your work and the development of UCAS and UCAS Media
Ability to thrive in an environment that is characterised by significant diversity and constant change
Ability to prioritise and multi-task, working efficiently, often to tight timelines
Resourceful, with strong negotiating skills
Leadership qualities that motivate and inspire colleagues and team members while gaining their respect and confidence
A management style that recognises UCAS’ desire to support individual success as well as corporate success
Naturally collaborative and solution focused
Ability to motivate and develop staff and build a strong team ethos
Well organised and able to manage a complex workload
For a confidential discussion about the Opportunity

Please contact Dale Perrett Director at Novo Executive Search: or 08442412064


Charity / Third Sector

Cheltenham, Gloucestershire (GB)

Job Ref No: UCAS-DP

This job has now been successfully concluded.