Assistant Adjudicator

Office of the Independent Adjudicator for Higher Education

Join our team of highly skilled professional complaints handlers, resolving complaints from HE students. Our office is in Reading.

We are passionate about fairness, value Higher Education in all its forms, and believe that complaints provide important learning to improve the HE experience for all students.

Assistant Adjudicators use their analytical skills to cut through lengthy documentation and complex argument to deliver decisions which both parties understand whilst working to targets and organisational KPIs.

We would like to hear from you if you:

  • Can communicate complex ideas simply in writing and on the telephone
  • Understand how to take account of a student’s emotional response whilst making a reasoned, logical and evidence-based decision
  • Can think creatively about solving problems.

Experience/knowledge of the Higher or Further Education Sectors would be an advantage as would experience in legal investigation or a significant background in complaint handling/settlement.

Benefit package

We offer the following salary packages and benefits that include:

  • A starting salary of £38,369 for Assistant Adjudicators
  • 35 hour working week with the opportunity for ad-hoc flexible working for permanent staff
  • Generous holiday entitlement of 28 days (rising to 33 days) plus bank holidays
  • Gym membership for permanent staff
  • Attractive USS pension scheme
  • Season ticket loan

Who we are

The OIA is the designated operator of the student complaints scheme for higher education in England and Wales and is a recognised authority in developing good practice in the handling of student complaints. Since its inception in 2004 the OIA has grown significantly and earned the trust and respect of higher education providers, student organisations and Government. Since 2015, in addition to university students higher education students at Further Education colleges, Alternative Providers and providers of School-Centred Initial Teacher Training (SCITTs) are also covered by the OIA Scheme. Following the Higher Education & Research Act 2017 there will be further expansion in the OIA’s membership in 2018.

We are a registered Charity, under the supervision of the Charity Commission, and a not-for-profit company limited by guarantee, governed by its Memorandum and Articles of Association.

Role and team focus

Assistant Adjudicators are required to independently manage a demanding and varied workload of complex cases whilst also contributing to the Office’s outreach work and strategic objectives. You will analyse and evaluate evidence, and prepare and present decisions in a timely manner that are of excellent quality. You will be expected to contribute to meeting organisational targets as well as those set for you as an individual.

The OIA Adjudication Team focuses on complex and entrenched cases requiring our Full Review Process which may also include alternative methods of settling a complaint.

Equality & Diversity

We welcome diversity amongst our staff and Board to reflect the nature of independent adjudication, our users and stakeholders. Therefore we would particularly welcome applications from men, people from Black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds and people with disabilities, who are under-represented in our adjudication staff.We are committed to Equality of Opportunity.

Next step

Further information about the work of the OIA can be found on

If you are interested in applying for one of these positions please complete the application form on our website outline your interest, skill and experience in a cover letter and send it to us with your CV attached. A person specification can be found on our website by following the above link.

The closing date for the receipt of applications is 13 December 2017 The second stage of the recruitment process will involve a piece of written work, which will be issued by email prior to the third stage which will include an interview and case study exercise. Interviews are anticipated to be held in the week commencing 15 January 2018