Director of Academic


RSL (Rockschool Ltd) is the world’s leading specialist Contemporary Arts Awarding Organisation, operating in over 40 countries across the world. We assess and certificate over 60,000 music and performance arts examinations and qualifications a year and we are continuing to grow. We pride ourselves on our knowledge of the sectors we work in and the quality and integrity of the qualifications we award.

At RSL we believe our success is down to the people who work for us. RSL is committed to providing opportunities for professional growth and development in a work environment that is innovative, dynamic and supportive and which values professionalism and academic rigour at its core.

The Role

As RSL’s most senior academic, the post holder will lead the academic work of the company, harnessing our expertise to produce research and a suite of qualifications which ensures that RSL is globally recognised as a leader in our field.  The Director will lead the development and management of all new and existing qualifications and explore strategic opportunities for qualification creation and development.  They will direct the Academic team to ensure that, as the business grows, the full RSL academic panel is kept at required capacity, trained and updated in all new and amended syllabi.

Key duties and responsibilities:

  • Strategically manage the portfolio of products to meet customer and regulatory needs and maintain a competitive offering in UK and International markets
  • Actively manage global networks and relationships to capitalise and accelerate RSL’s ability to identify, research and act on opportunities ahead of competitors, allocating resources appropriately to achieve organisational objectives
  • Develop the annual operating plan for the development and delivery of new qualifications
  • Develop a training schedule for each specialism of the academic panel in line with qualification additions, updates or changes
  • Research regulatory and strategic opportunities for qualification development through engagement with regulators, industry specialists, educational institutions and independent teachers
  • Represent the organisation with external stakeholders
  • Contribute to the leadership and management of RSL as a member of the Senior Leadership Team
  • Design/update academic procedures and policies
  • Establish and manage Expert Panels
  • Liaise with Operations department to ensure new qualifications can be delivered in a timely and compliant manner
  • Commission qualification writers and manage the writing process
  • Lead the Product Development and Qualifications Development Committee meetings
  • Work collaboratively with Business Development and Marketing to generate suitable supporting copy, collateral and sales messages
  • Provide exemplary line-management of the Academic team, setting clear objectives, giving regular feedback, and offering ongoing guidance and support


  • Degree qualified, likely to have experience of teaching at post graduate level
  • Minimum 10 years’ experience
  • Experience of strategic leadership at a senior level
  • Experience of establishing and leading research projects and an interest in the impact and future of popular music education globally
  • Ability to engage at a senior level with HE and FE music educators to convene new initiatives and ideas
  • Assimilate the diversity of RSL’s international academic range, strengthening our global reach and expertise to influence governments and other overseas stakeholders
  • Strong project management skills; experienced in delivering high performing services within a regulated framework
  • Expert at developing new qualifications including market research, product development, standard setting and assessment
  • Deadline oriented, articulating priorities and revising plans to meet deadlines

Applications, CV and covering letter, should be sent to