Executive Assistant to the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Global)

Executive Assistant to the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Global) County Durham

Durham University
Full Time County Durham 27929 - 34308 GBP ANNUAL Today
Job description

Executive Assistant to the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Global) (Job Number: 23000222)
Vice-Chancellor's Office
Grade 6: - £27,929 - £34,308 per annum
Open-Ended/Permanent - Full Time
Contracted Hours per Week: 35
Working Arrangements: Full-time
Closing Date: 07-Mar-2023, 5:59:00 PM
Disclosure and Barring Service Requirement: Not Applicable.

Closing Date: Tuesday 7th March 2023

Potential Interview date - Friday 17th March 2023

The University

At Durham University we are proud of our people. A globally outstanding centre of educational excellence, a collegiate community of extraordinary people, a unique and historic setting – Durham is a university like no other.

Across the University we have a huge variety of roles and career opportunities, which together make us a large and successful community, which is a key hub of activity within our region and nationally. Whether you are at the very start, middle or end of your career, there is a role for you. We believe everyone has their own unique skills to offer.

We would be thrilled if you would consider joining our thriving University. Further information about the University can be found here

Working at Durham

A competitive salary is only one part of the many fantastic benefits you will receive if you join the University: you will also receive access to the following fantastic benefits:

  • 27 Days annual leave per year in addition to 8 public holidays and 4 customary days per year – a total of 39 days per year. The University uses the customary days to close between Christmas and New Year.
  • Depending on the needs of the business and the job role, Professional Services colleagues at Durham University work on a hybrid basis, 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 noncontractual and may change. At the current time you will be expected to provide adequate cover as part of the wider team in the Executive Office and be on campus at least three two days per week.
  • No matter how you travel to work, we have you covered. We have parking across campus, a cycle to work scheme which helps you to buy a bike and discount with local bus and train companies.
  • Lots of support for health and wellbeing including discounted membership for our state of the art sport and gym facilities and access to a 24-7 Employee Assistance Programme.
  • On site nursery is available and children’s clubs in the summer holidays.
  • Family friendly policies, including maternity and adoption leave, which are among the most generous in the higher education sector (and likely above and beyond many employers).
  • There is a genuine commitment to developing our colleagues professionally and personally. There is a comprehensive range of development courses, apprenticeships and access to qualifications and routes to develop your career in the University. All staff have dedicated annual time to concentrate on their personal development opportunities.
  • The opportunity to take part in staff volunteering activities to make a difference in the local community
  • Discounts are available via our benefits portal including; money off at supermarkets, high street retailers, IT products such as Apple, the cinema and days out at various attractions.
  • We offer generous pension schemes.

Durham University is committed to equality, diversity and inclusion

Our collective aim is to create an open and inclusive environment where everyone can reach their full potential and we believe our staff should reflect the diversity of the global community in which we work. As a University equality, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) are a key part of the University’s Strategy and a central part of everything we do. We also live by our values and our Staff Code of Conduct. 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. It’s important to us that all of our colleagues are aligned to both our values and commitment to EDI.

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. If you have taken time out of your career, and you feel it relevant, let us know about it in your application. If you are a candidate with a disability, 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, reasonable adjustments will be made to support people within their role.

What you need to demonstrate when you apply/Person Specification

When you apply it is important that you let us know what skills/experience you have from a similar role and/or what skills/experience you have which would make you right for this role. Further information about the role and responsibilities is at the end of this job description. Where a criterion has an asterisk* next to it, it may be given additional weighting when your application is considered.

Your application should cover the following criteria:

Essential Criteria
1. Excellent oral and written communication skills and the ability to develop effective working relationships, both internally and externally.
2. Experience of effective working with Executive-level staff, proactively anticipating their requirements and taking responsibility for diary, travel and inbox management, providing a professional and collegiate service to internal and external stakeholders.
3. Ability to deal with confidential information and exercise the utmost discretion when dealing with sensitive information.
4. Strong digital competence with demonstrable skills in using core digital tools including internet, email, digital communication tools, Microsoft 365 applications, digital booking system, project planning, financial systems.
5. Five GCSE’s at least Grade C or level four (or equivalent) including English Language and Mathematics (or equivalent experience).
6. Post-16 qualification or equivalent demonstrable experience of successfully working in an Executive Assistant or Personal Assistant role.
7. Evidence of personal development to maintain skills.
8. Experience of providing advice and guidance to a range of customers and colleagues.
9. Experienced service provider with knowledge and expertise used to contribute to the delivery and development of services, events and activities within the organisation.
10. Ability to effectively network and exchange advice and information for development purposes.

Desirable Criteria

  • Experience of implementing policy and procedures and involvement with future changes for a service area.
  • Knowledge of project management and methodologies.
  • Experience of working in a higher education environment.

How to apply

To progress to the assessment stage, candidates must evidence each of the essential criteria required for the role in the person specification above. Where there are desirable criteria we would also urge you to provide any relevant evidence. Please don’t forget to check if there is any weighted criteria (see above).

While some criteria will be considered at the shortlisting stage, other criteria may be considered later in the assessment process, such as questions at interview.

Submitting your application

We prefer to receive applications online. We will update you about your application at various points during the process, via automated emails from our e-recruitment system. Please check your spam/junk folder periodically to ensure you receive all emails

What you are required to submit:
  • A CV
  • A covering letter and/or document which shows examples of how you meet all of the criteria within the Person Specification

Contact details
If you would like to have a chat or ask any questions about the role, Denise Baker – [email protected] would be happy to speak to you.

Typical Role Requirements

Service Delivery

  • Provide a welcoming, professional and collegiate first point of contact for anyone wishing to engage with the PVC Global and the wider Division, ensuring a positive first impression and ongoing experience.
  • Specialist support with problem solving and query handling.
  • Reactive and proactive service provision with others to deliver an excellent stakeholder experience.
  • Interpret, curate, design and present information, data, equipment and resources.
  • Monitor and report incidents.
  • Carry out more in-depth investigations, searches and research information and data to identify trends and patterns.
  • Accountable for managing/maintaining financial and budget records and reconciling consumable expenditure queries.
  • Involved in the purchase and return of goods and services.
  • Ensure projects, activities, budgets and documents 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, provide reports and distribute information to key stakeholders in the process or service.
  • A commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion and the University’s values.

Planning and Organising

  • Plan and organise own workload with or without involvement with project work streams and support the PVC Global with the effective planning and organisation of her time, workload and travel arrangements.
  • Implement and monitor protocols, procedures, processes and regulations.
  • Implement and monitor recognised procedures to ensure compliance and meet University values of inclusion, diversity and participation.
  • Manage and organise professional business and administrative service processes, activities, events and/or resources to achieve defined targets and outcomes.
  • Develop, implement and enforce recognised procedures to ensure compliance, co-ordinate effort and contribute to team goals.


  • Support the capture of business requirements from users and work with colleagues to translate these into recommendations for future service provision.
  • Provide a seamless and flexible support service to other Executive colleagues as required, including by working closely with other Executive Assistant colleagues and providing cover in the event of absence.
  • Work closely with the PVC Global to ensure effective oversight of the Division.

Communication and Networking

  • 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.
  • Supervise service users and stakeholders undertaking activities, events, project work and exhibitions.
  • Contribute to business meetings, working groups and committees to help shape service delivery and stakeholder expectations.
  • Use a range of digital media and tools to communicate with a diverse range of key stakeholders, both verbally and in written format who may need to access information across different geographic and time zones.
  • Develop, plan and deliver internal and external events and activities for stakeholders.
  • Establish, maintain and develop productive and ongoing relationships with stakeholders to influence perception of the University.

Knowledge and Experience

  • Experienced service practitioner, planning and co-ordinating of projects and work streams with inter-related activities.
  • 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.
  • Provide professional guidance and advice to staff and students with the operational running of budgets, processes, data and information recording and assessment data.
  • Any other reasonable duties.

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 Privacy Notices - Durham University which provides information on the collation, storing and use of data.

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.

Executive Assistant to the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Global)
Durham University

Durham, United Kingdom
Professor Karen O’Brien
Unknown / Non-Applicable
1001 to 5000 Employees
College / University
Colleges & Universities