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Senior Quality Executive (maternity cover)

Job description

Job Grade: 4

Closing date: 21 June 2019

Job title of line manager: Quality Manager

Contract type: 9 month maternity cover

Location: Oxford

How to apply

To apply for this role, please send your CV and a cover letter to: hrsupport@actuaries.org.uk.

Dimensions

There are around 2,500 student admissions each year. The team is responsible for vetting the more complex cases that fall outside of the standard policies.

There are over 3,000 exemption applications made year of which around 30% require significant further review by the Quality and Assessment team. The role is responsible for data collation, analysis and interpretation of said data from some 19 accredited universities and a significant number of other recognised partners who deliver programmes of study which can lead to exemptions from the IFoA qualifications. There are also a number of complex applications from unrecognised partners which the role has to review and decide whether to accept.

The role delivers the audit of the practical work experience that each individual has to complete as part of their requirement to becoming an Associate or Fellow of the IFoA. There are around 15,000 student members of the IFoA who are required to complete this annually and this role will review the more complex cases and authorise final sign off before the award can be made.

The role supports the Quality Manager in the management of and liaison with the student consultative forums. This involves gathering information for a number of meetings and following up throughout the year with key student representatives based both in the UK and internationally.

The role supports the Quality Manager with the recruitment, training and development of a network of over 400 external personnel (examiners, assessors and independent examiners etc.) without whom the IFoA would not be able to carry out its academic responsibilities.

Purpose of job

Contributing to the development and delivery of the Engagement and Learning directorates’ strategic objectives, the Senior Quality Executive is responsible for:

  • Delivering the processes by which the IFoA assures the academic quality of prior learning and practical work experience before qualifications are awarded
  • Coordinating with the external suppliers who support the academic quality processes
  • Supporting colleagues in the assessment area to ensure their workloads are covered during times of peak activity and enhance the experience of IFoA suppliers and customers

Principal accountabilities

To support the Quality Manager by handling the more complex cases in exemptions, admissions, and practical work experience within the agreed deadlines. To review and validate or reject the applications which can involve questioning the independent examiner, university, employer or other external party. To ensure that communication with the applicant is clear and handled with tact and diplomacy, especially when the application is unsuccessful. Checking sensitive information before it is released to safeguard the reputation of the IFoA.

Working with the Quality manager, recruit external personnel to support the quality and assessment processes. Place regular adverts through the IFoA webpages and investigate other avenues of recruitment to ensure that the number of external personnel available is sufficient. To ensure that all external personnel involved in the quality and assessment processes receive appropriate training and are allocated accordingly. Collate feedback on the performance for discussion and onward dissemination by the relevant team member.

Working with the Learning Operations team, collate the documentation required for the Student consultative meetings and subsequent follow up(s). Ensure the feedback obtained is accurate and tailored to the audience and produced within the required deadlines.

Deliver the IFoA framework for handling appeals and student complaints on academic issues. This includes effective communication of the framework to the relevant parties via the IFoA webpages and other communication channels. Ensure timely handling within agreed deadlines is complied with and effective resolution is achieved where possible. Provide recommendations for changes to processes where appropriate.

To be responsible for the replies to complex student queries concerning the academic aspects of the quality area including but not limited to regulations, application outcomes, practical work experience requirements and appeals.

To understand the processes of the Assessment team and be able to support them, particularly during peak activity to ensure that customers of the IFoA quality and assessment services are not disadvantaged and receive an excellent level of customer service.

Main contacts

  • Internal:

    • Head of Quality and Assessment
    • Head of Assessment
    • Quality and Assessment Team
    • Learning Operations team
    • Partnerships manager
    • Head of Engagement
    • Engagement and Learning Staff
  • External:

    • Independent Examiners
    • Module Teams
    • Student forum members
    • Universities
    • Actuarial Bodies
    • Students

Decisions

The post holder is required to work independently and use own initiative when working on complex cases and deciding whether to accept the application whilst adhering to the regulations and procedures.

The post holder has to decide whether an applicant for an external personnel role is suitable for the task concerned or whether they would be better suited to another position.

The post holder will be making decisions on the resolution of complaint cases whilst safeguarding the reputation of the IFoA.

Complexity

The post holder has to be able to appropriately apply regulations, policies and procedures in a busy and fast moving environment and judge when to diversify from those without putting the reputation of the IFoA at risk.

The post holder needs to be able to engage and gain the respect and cooperation of both staff and external personnel at all levels.

The team is key to ensuring that there is an equivalence of standards between the assessment provided by the IFoA and those provided by other organisations such as universities and other partner institutions.

In order to do this, there is a considerable amount of work that must be carried out reviewing, assessing and vetting either providers themselves which requires tact and diplomacy when questioning their examination processes and papers, or when dealing with students or potential students who can be providing sensitive information or may disagree with the decision made.

Impact

As a key team within the Engagement and Learning directorate, Quality and Assessment provide the assurances that those acquiring the IFoA Associate or Fellowship qualification have met the required standards and are fit for purpose. The Senior Quality Executive plays a key role in this area managing a wide ranging portfolio including: assessment of prior learning to ensure it meets IFoA requirements, assessment of practical work experience ensuring that it meets the standards required for qualification, validating/checking the quality of the assessments processes by the appeals process, professional administration of the services provided, risk management, communications and networking with external personnel. Any errors relating to the quality area are very high profile and tend to attract attention from high level committees and volunteers and, potentially, external stakeholders such as the FRC and employers.

Knowledge and experience

Essential:

  • Excellent customer care skills including sensitivity to the needs of the customer.
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a small team.
  • Ability to work in a flexible, proactive way, supporting colleagues across the team as necessary.
  • Discreet and diplomatic in the handling of confidential and sensitive information.
  • Able to maintain high levels of accuracy and a calm, methodical approach while working under sustained pressure at times.
  • Ability to sustain concentration, speed and accuracy during review of cases and to deal effectively with large volumes.
  • A high standard of organisational skills including the ability to work effectively to achieve tight deadlines.
  • Strong communication skills.

Desired:

  • Experience within a professional body or higher education provider.
  • Evidence of commitment to professional development.
  • Working with volunteers

Values and behaviours

The following values and behaviours are a standard requirement for all roles within the IFoA:

Integrity

You must be honest and fair in your dealings with other employees, and respects and acknowledges the opinions and contributions of your colleagues and do the right thing when there is a choice to be made to do so.

Community

You  must  works  together  with  other  employees  and  proactively  build  relationships  to  achieve individual, team and corporate objectives and create engagement from stakeholders.

Progress

You must help to develop the future of the IFoA with a focus on continuous improvement, contributing with their ideas, providing feedback where appropriate and sharing learning.

 

Contact Details

HR Team

hrsupport@actuaries.org.uk

We aim to respond to all enquiries within three working days. To apply for this role, please send your CV, cover letter and your current salary details to: hrsupport@actuaries.org.uk

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