Head of Representation & Democracy

Kent Students' Union

Kent Union is a successful, vibrant and exciting organisation with a bright future ahead. We have achieved a great deal in the last few years, more than doubling in size to our current £11 million turnover, 500 employees and 2,800+ volunteers. We achieved Investor in People Gold status in December 2014, and were accredited with Leaders in Diversity in 2013; we were the first students’ union in the UK to achieve Investing in Volunteers status and we have been included in the Sunday Times 100 Best Not-For-Profit Organisations to Work For, for 7 years, placed 25th for 2016.

The Representation and Democracy Department is fundamental to Kent Union, giving our members a voice in the University, their local community and nationally. We represent their interests and campaign on important issues both with and for them. The department has had significant change over the last two years with the implementation of a new democratic system in 2015 that sits at the base of our policy formation. On the back of a review of our representation structures and academic rep programme in 2015, we negotiated funding to expand the academic representation function in the department to include two new staff posts.  We also commissioned the creation of a new piece of software to collate feedback and utilise this to develop education policy. We have also expanded our work to influence local decision makers arranging meetings between members and MPs, contributing to consultation responses and supporting our officers to shape the agenda for the benefit of the membership. As a democratic organisation, we oversee and run hundreds of elections across the year ranging from the election of the officer trustees where we had a 26% membership turnout in 2016 to the elections across all student group committees.

This role is key to overseeing and managing the influence the organisation and our members have on the world around us. The post holder will work closely with our elected leaders and staff empowering them to deliver a range of innovative and relevant campaigns. In addition to excellent project management skills, the post holder will also require political acumen and the ability to create and deliver effective influencing strategies, developing the links between our democratic structures and processes, and the need for campaign driven student engagement. As the Head of Representation and Democracy, you will also be key in helping develop policy with our full time officers to make changes for students in the ever changing higher education climate.

To succeed in this role, you will have to be a self-motivated, flexible individual, who can work well leading a team.  Knowledge of a student union environment or of higher education policy would be welcome, although it is more important that you have excellent project management experience.  Knowledge and experience of policy and/or campaigning are also important.

If you require an information pack or would like to talk about the role, please contact our recruitment consultants Bill Yuksel or Grant Taylor at Peridot Partners on 0203 036 0623 or at contact@peridotpartners.co.uk.

Closing date for applications:  9am Monday 14th November 2016

Telephone interviews for shortlisted candidates:  16th – 18th November 2016
Panel Interviews:   28th November 2016.

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