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Programme Manager


Contract type: Fixed term (3 years)

Reports To: Director of the SQE

Direct Reports: NA                  

Key Stakeholders: The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA), Pearson VUE, Kaplan UK Executive Team, IT and SQE leadership colleagues

The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) is the independent regulatory body created by the Law Society to regulate solicitors of England and Wales. In April 2017, the SRA announced their decision to introduce a new Solicitors Qualifying Examination. The introduction of the Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE) will bring significant change to the current qualification framework and will be the sole route to qualifying as a Solicitor of England and Wales.

Following an extensive, tender process, we are delighted that Kaplan has been appointed as the independent assessment organisation for the SQE.  We are now looking to appoint a Programme Manager who will design a robust plan for the creation and delivery of the SQE. The successful candidate will ensure effective resourcing and co-ordination of the programme's projects and management of their inter-dependencies including oversight of any risks and issues arising.

The successful candidates will work alongside our academic leaders as part of the leadership team who will have collective responsibility for developing, piloting and delivering the new examination to upwards of 13,000 candidates per year. The senior team will also play a significant role in supporting Kaplan's Director of the SQE in establishing the business function and day to day processes and procedures.

This is a high profile, demanding and influential role.  Working closely with the SRA and the Kaplan UK Executive Team, it offers an exciting and rare opportunity to be part of the team responsible for establishing, operating and growing a major new national licensing examination involving the establishment of a sizeable assessment business function.

Primary Objectives:

  • Establish robust project plans and adequate resourcing, and ensure critical dependencies are understood and well managed (while ensuring all obligations under the SQE contract will be met)
  • Monitor and deliver performance against the project plan, taking mitigating action for identified risks and ensuring clear escalation for issue resolution
  • Maintain effective and productive relationships amongst all key stakeholders and contributors



  • Lead the creation of the SQE project plans, accounting for all key obligations & dependencies
  • Identify all key resource requirements at all stages of the programme
  • Establish effective working practices to support the delivery of the programme


  • Management of the programme of activities needed to ensure successful delivery of SQE requirements within agreed timescales and budgets, and according to the obligations set out within the SQE contract
  • Assurance over constituent projects, undertaking continuing reviews to ensure that projects are being supplied with what they need, are delivering to commitments and are being managed effectively
  • Initiating positive action where sufficient progress is not being made or where risks and issues are escalating
  • Ensuring the programme and constituent projects are budgeted accurately and are reviewed and reported according to financial timetables
  • Provision of expert, internal advice and guidance to the Director of SQE, in particular advising on dependency, risk, issue and resource management, proposing appropriate mitigating action where needed


  • Development and maintenance of highly effective relationships with key internal and external stakeholders - including negotiation of solutions as required to deliver objectives 

Person Specification:

  • Considerable experience in the practical application of programme/project methodologies
  • Accredited in MSP and practitioner level Prince2/AMP (desirable)
  • Ability to absorb and evaluate complex information quickly and use this to construct and manage robust plans which deliver the required outcomes
  • Experience in working with sub-contractors and third party suppliers
  • Able to forward plan strategically across a timeline horizon of a number of years and using strong attention to detail to manage day to day activity
  • Able to develop and manage highly effective relationships and co-ordinate a range of partners and stakeholders both internally and externally to successfully deliver objectives
  • Able to influence, negotiate and persuade the action of others
  • Advanced analysis, judgement and creative thinking


Please send your CV with a short email outlining why the role interests you and highlighting your most relevant skills and experience to will be accepted until close of business on 24 August 2018.

Kaplan is an equal opportunities employer and positively encourages applications from suitably qualified and eligible candidates regardless of sex, race, disability, age, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, religion or belief, marital status, or pregnancy and maternity. If you require any adjustments or additional support within the recruitment process, please contact us directly.         

To view our Candidate Privacy Notice click here.

Location: London
Salary: Not Specified
Hours: Full Time
Contract Type: Fixed-Term/Contract
Placed On: 6th August 2018
Closes: 24th August 2018
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