UPP - Operations Director

Operations Director North and Central Candidate Information Pack


We are the UK’s leading provider of on-campus residential and academic accommodation infrastructure. We have over 35,000 rooms in operation or under construction through long- term, bespoke partnerships with 15 leading UK universities. With approximately 1000 employees, since 1998 UPP has invested well over £3.5bn in the UK higher education sector and provided homes to over 400,000 students. Our unique, long-term partnership approach enables our university partners to develop their estates whilst reinvesting in their core services of teaching and research. We design, build, finance and operate (DBFO) new, on-campus residential and academic infrastructure, and complete estate transfers of existing accommodation, for concession periods ranging from 40 years to 125 years. By providing high-quality and affordable accommodation on campus we aim to deliver the very best student experience in partnership with universities.

We create an environment for students to live and learn, so that they can get the most out of their university experience.



Company established

Long term partnerships with world-class universities

1000 Employees



£3.5bn + 400,000

Students supported

Invested in the UK higher education sector

1 2 3 4 5 Our Priorities:

Our Purpose To collaborate with our university partners to reinvent the way that students live and learn at university by sustainably transforming the campus experience Our Vision To be the leading infrastructure and services partner to UK universities by delivering next-generation low carbon campuses Our Strategy To preserve and grow the value of our business through partnership, innovation and delivery Our Culture A commercially focused, high performing, customer and results orientated organisation that operates with energy, pace and passion

Preserve Preserving value by driving occupancy; actively managing our assets and investments, and elevating service delivery.

Grow Developing new business opportunities with existing and new university partners.

Partner Acting as a true, long-term partner working in collaboration with universities.

Innovate Innovating to co-create next generation sustainable campuses.

Deliver Focusing on operational excellence and strong service delivery.

Student Experience Great space and services with student experience built in. Our partnerships enhance the support and connection we have with the students who make their home with us. We currently manage the needs of more than 35,000 students every term and this means we never stop learning and we share our experience with our partners. We also know that every university is as unique as the thousands of students it serves and this ensures that we are never complacent, and never take a one size fits all view. Listening, responding, adapting Students can be demanding, and their needs constantly evolve. Independent qualitative and quantitative research helps us understand the evolving needs of students, and face to face focus groups and regular surveys with our residents enable us to check and adapt our approach quickly. As specialists, the quality of our teams and their in-depth understanding of the unique environment and the people for whom we provide services enables us to support universities, understand their aims and their strategy and together deliver tangible improvements to the student experience. Our design teams work to understand how students want to use space, and how they interact with each other, leading to seemingly small improvements to the specification of a bedroom, or major changes that impact on construction or technology. At UPP we aim to deliver great places to live, with student experience literally built in.

Transforming the Campus Experience At UPP we want to reinvent the way students live and learn at university by transforming the campus experience. Our new and clearly defined strategy for growth is based on our overarching mission to develop long-term partnerships, supporting universities in improving the quality of their physical infrastructure and services to students. In aligning the interests of both parties, our unique approach provides security in the delivery of revenues and, in turn, expected returns to investors. Our strategy seeks to protect and grow the value of our existing business, innovate our partnerships, and deliver the very best experiences to our student residents. Our strategy will: • Grow the number of partnerships we have with selected universities • Expand and innovate our next-generation product offer to universities • Enhance our experiential offer for our partners and their students • Empower our teams to deliver by building capability • Transform and optimise our Portfolio through strategic asset management • Drive a proactive and multi-channel approach to business origination • Develop an energetic performance culture with leadership at its heart • Embrace technology in our products and services and to improve our processes • Expand our complementary facilities management strategy

Our University Partners




1,711 rooms University of London

Nottingham Trent University

University of Exeter 4,133 rooms

4,413 rooms

Imperial College London

Leeds Beckett University

4,982 rooms University of Reading




1,364 rooms

479 rooms


1,750 rooms University of Hull

2,223 rooms University of Nottingham

1,764 rooms University of Plymouth






Lancaster University

1,310 rooms Loughborough University

Swansea University

4,374 rooms

2,432 rooms




1,840 rooms University of Kent

Oxford Brookes University

1,043 rooms University of York

771 rooms

UPP manages over 600 buildings on behalf of our University partners.


Today’s students are passionate about Net Zero, equality and social mobility, determined to fight hard for what they believe, from climate change to diversity to mental health and wellbeing. And like our university partners, we stand side by side with students in wanting a fair, inclusive, sustainable future for all.


UPP has long led the way in sustainability and responsibility.


Every day, we are driving new initiatives that make a difference in the communities within which we operate, from recycling white goods to fundraising for local community charities to helping students manage their personal carbon footprint more effectively. But we recognise there is more to do and that’s why our sustainability strategy sets out highly ambitious targets and commitments aligned to the UN Sustainability Development Goals (SDGs). At UPP, we know these SDGs have the power to change our world for the better, to ensure our impact on both the planet and people is a positive one. That’s why we have incorporated alignment with the UN SDGs into our Environmental, Social and Governance strategy.



To find out more click here.

BY 2035


Operations Director


UPP Residential Services Limited

Business Unit:

Residential Services

annual programme per discipline across their specific portfolio. They will have a sharp focus on legislative compliance across all FM services and asset-based works that are undertaken by RS. They will lead from the front in these critical areas and drive performance to ensure engagement across all team members and ultimately high levels of compliance. The Operations Director takes a senior role in partner engagement as well as liaison and performance monitoring. They will develop and maintain mutually beneficial relationships with university partners and other key stakeholders. They will be adept in presenting concepts and proposals to an executive audience, both internally and externally. The role holder will be expected to operate in line with our values and behaviours, acting as an ambassador for UPP with our university partners, students and colleagues across the business.

• Engage in the summer works programme, including planning activities and execution of refurbishment, fire safety and sustainability works, resolving and escalating issues where required • Ensure compliance with Group strategy, policies and procedures • Undertake regular contract/performance reviews to monitor delivery against key performance indicators contained within Service Level Agreements • Monitor the quality of service delivery and ensure continuous improvement of the service to customers • Identify best practice opportunities for improvement and share this across the business to drive continuous improvement of operational performance • Lead the operational aspects of the implementation of new projects/mobilisation of new services, ensuring that mobilisation activities are adequately planned, resourced and delivered to time • Identify, and in collaboration with other UPP functions, and crystalise revenue transformation opportunities that grow the long term value of the business • Leverage the UPP CAFM system (Planon) to ensure appropriate works scheduling, reactive responses and reactive performance monitoring • Identify and leverage technology and digital transformation opportunities to drive services forward, supported by objective actionable data and insights

Reports To:

Executive Director, Residential Services

Location: Job Title:

North and Central Region

Operations Director

Direct Reports:

General Managers , Residence Director, Area General Manager, Operations Co-ordinator

Job Purpose The Operations Director fulfils a key strategic role within the Residential Services (RS) business and the broader UPP senior leadership team. This role will provide the strategic leadership, foresight and focus on delivery to ensure that the RS business accomplishes the requirements of the corporate strategy, actively contributing towards UPP’s strategic ambition and execution plan. They will take a long-term view of business success, translating the 3-year corporate strategy into tangible deliverables for the RS business unit to deliver. They will balance these longer- term business improvements with consistently meeting in-year targets and achieving associated key performance indicators. The Operations Director leads the overall management of RS delivered services to the University student residences and academic estate within the region. They will lead the regional site teams to deliver the highest standards of service to preserve and grow the value of the business, enhance the student experience and support our university partners. The Operation Director is accountable for achieving both long-term financial targets and annual budgets. They will instigate both cost

and revenue optimisation plans across the portfolio with the aim of sustainably reducing our cost base. They will proactively seek and crystalise business development opportunities with new and prospective partners to expand our FM services. They will be at the forefront or initiating service improvement programmes across both soft and hard service disciplines. They will drive an expanded use of technology to modernise and create smart sustainable services, whilst enabling a scalable operating model primed for growth. Data will play a key component is this role as we seek to improve the data available to us and its use to make more effective and impactful decisions. They will build capability and strengthen leadership within the region, creating a strong top tier of management with robust focus on performance, delivery, the customer and preserving/growing the value of the business. They will actively motivate and engage staff through a series of people programmes. People development and succession planning form a key part of this position. The Operations Director champions Health, Safety, Technical and Statutory Compliance, Fire Safety, Sustainability & Quality performance, and ensures delivery of the

Roles and Responsibilities FM Service and Contract Delivery

• Ensure site based operational teams are delivering FM services in accordance with UPP contractual requirements, balancing customer and commercial needs of key stakeholders • Drive enhanced performance across Hard and Soft FM to benefit student experience and corporate objectives • Execute and contribute to wider FM contract obligations such as benchmarking, variation management, change in law and performance management as captured in the facilities management contracts • Ensure compliance with all legislative, technical compliance and health and safety obligations

People Management • Ensure the region has proactive people plans in place to enhance employee engagement/ experience and maintain the UPP Investors In People (IiP) accreditation • Proactively management performance of site leads to ensure they are delivering on all obligations, implementing performance improvement plans where necessary • Ensure all sites comply with relevant HR policies & procedures • Take ownership for all aspects of your teams’ employment including all pay, contract and scheduling decisions, owning the end-to-end recruitment and selection process, performance management, recognition and celebration of success • Develop and maintain regular communication and engagement channels with direct reports and site population, as well as corporate functions • Build the capability of your team utilising the internal development offer and identifying additional external development opportunities where appropriate • Create a motivated and energised team, ensuring great performance is recognised, celebrating success through the appropriate channels • Act as a role model for our values and behaviours, look for opportunities to bring these to life and encourage your team to do the same • Lead, motivate and coach the operational teams to deliver the UPP strategy, setting measurable performance targets and ensuring they are progressed to achievement throughout the year • Deliver the UPP culture to ensure focus on development, performance management and recognition of high performers with

a view to continuously improving the employee experience

• Ensure compliance with Fire Risk Assessments and actions from the UPP Fire Safety Programme

• Support the UPP growth agenda through engaging prospective partners in dialogue, FM business development and bid submissions • Seek opportunities to expand UPP’s range of services delivered with current partners Leadership Responsibilities • Formulate and initiate strategic initiatives as part of the senior management team • Translate UPP’s Strategic Business Plan, ambition and targets to meaningful content and engage operational teams in a meaningful way to galvanise teams around delivery • Provide all necessary reports to the ELT, Boards and Committees as required, ensuring papers are to a high standard and always delivered on time and to brief • Manage operations in line with UPPs risk management, incident management and escalation processes • Actively engage with the wider senior management team to progress strategic initiatives, improve UPP’s performance and increase individual exposure to all elements of the business Other • Be part of the management escalation procedure / incident management plan • Take a leading role in selective UPP wide projects and business improvement initiatives • Any other duties reasonably required in order to fulfil the role • Regular UK travel will be required including some overnight stays

• Deliver UPPs performance management process through setting stretching and value accretive KPIs and focusing on delivery through our values and behaviours • Promote and ensure the implementation of the organisation’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion strategy across all spheres of operation to promote and champion an inclusive and supportive work environment • Regularly review and evaluate the effectiveness of the operational teams and identify development needs Health, Safety, Technical Compliance, Fire Safety and Quality Management • Take a leading role in promoting health, safety and environmental matters driving improved performance associated with a positive safety culture • Manage risk and ensure compliance with legal, technical, regulatory and internal procedural requirements • In conjunction with the Safety, Health & Wellbeing team ensure that policies and procedures are adhered too • Ensure all sites are compliant to statutory and technical compliance obligations; ensuring all systems, processes and policies are in place, complied with, monitored and recorded • Ensure all employees are appropriately and suitably trained in and aware of their duties and responsibilities • Ensure the requirements, and remedial actions of audits and inspections, both internal and external audits (ISO 9001, ISO 1400 and ISO 45001) are met to maintain certificated management systems

Financial Management • Provide adequate test, challenge and support in the budget setting process to deliver budgets for each operational site that meets the in year budget challenge • Deliver the Cost and Revenue Transformation, EBITDA, cash and yield targets as set out in the Strategic Business Plan • Comply with the UPP Delegation of Authority, taking the relevant decisions and accountability for financial performance within the region/portfolio • Proactively identify and implement cost and revenue optimisation opportunities to maximise financial performance of RS and UPP Group Partner Engagement • Engage with University Partners within the defined tiers of engagement model and on ad hoc periodic basis to ensure an ongoing productive relationship for the benefit of both parties and students • Escalation point for both University Partners and Partnership Directors to ensure continued delivery and that challenges are resolved in an efficient manner that aligns with UPPs commercial and partnership principles • Support site management teams in creating, agreeing and delivering action plans following the annual student satisfaction surveys in conjunction with University Partners

Person Specification


Skills/ Knowledge/ Ability

Education/ Qualifications

Personal Qualities

Essential Criteria • Experience of operating at Senior Management/Leadership level within an FM organisation • Proven track record in managing multi-site FM operations in Property, PFI, hospitality, accommodation or related discipline • Experience in change management and driving continuous improvement to deliver business and customer benefits • A demonstrable track-record of achieving cost and revenue transformation/ optimisation and financial performance improvement within a complex multi stakeholder matrix style environment • In-depth knowledge of PFI project and finance documents and their contractual application • Experience in customer data analysis, action planning and tracking to drive improvements • Managing outcomes through large teams Desirable Criteria • Higher Education or student accommodation sector experience • Business development/ growth opportunity identification and implementation • Experience of managing asset investment programs to defined financial outcomes

Essential Criteria • Wide ranging knowledge of the FM Market and service innovation • Strong knowledge of FM contractual arrangements with a commercial mindset • Strong financial management and analytical skills • Thorough knowledge and understanding of health, safety and technical compliance practices and management • Strong interpersonal and relationship management skills at a senior level

Essential Criteria • Facilities Management qualifications across relevant disciplines. Evidence of Continuing Professional Development • Health and Safety qualification e.g. IOSH Managing Safely, NEBOSH

Essential Criteria • Excellent leadership and interpersonal skills across multiple levels within organisational structures • A curious mind that seeks out innovation and emerging trends in FM service delivery • Business and commercially focussed, with a drive to seek innovative cost effective and technology led solutions • A strong decision maker with an ability to manage in a dynamic environment • Resilient and with gravitas • An ability to manage through others to deliver successful outcomes

Desirable Criteria • Professional qualifications • Member of IWFM or other relevant professional organisation

Desirable Criteria • Understanding of successfully mobilising new or expanded FM services

The benefits of working at UPP

This is an exciting time to join a commercially focused, high performing, customer and results oriented organisation that operates with energy, pace and passion. We strive to develop a highly-engaged, skilled and collaborative organisation that is diverse and has an embedded culture that promotes equality of opportunity. We offer the opportunity for flexible working and an inclusive environment for our people. We have an ongoing commitment to making UPP a great place to work for our teams, and as a reflection of this, the Company has been awarded Gold accreditation by Investors in People (IiP). This internationally recognised accreditation is the sign of a great employer and a great place to work with a clear commitment to sustained success through people.

In addition to a competitive basic salary level and industry leading annual bonus potential UPP offer a diverse range of employee benefits, including:

Salary exchange pension – matched contributions of 5%

Private Medical Insurance – single cover with the option to add dependants

Private Health Insurance (Group Income Protection)

Life Assurance x4 salary

29 days annual leave, plus 8 days bank holiday

Holiday purchase option – up to 5 days (FTE)

Bonus Exchange

UPP Payroll Giving (Give as You Earn)

UPP Rewards (discount portal)

Employee Assistance Programme

Further information and application process

For a confidential discussion to learn more about the role and opportunity please contact the UPP’s appointed recruitment partners James Gregory and Michael Hewlett of The Management Recruitment Group.

James Gregory 07966 827 391 james.gregory@mrgglobal.com

Michael Hewlett 07972 579938 michael.hewlett@mrgglobal.com

Applications should consist of a CV and supporting cover letter and be sent to james.gregory@mrgglobal.com and michael. hewlett@mrgglobal.com

Closing date Sunday 31 st March 2024.

All candidates are also requested to complete an Equal Opportunities Monitoring Form which will be available upon submission of your application. Privacy Notice: Please note that by submitting your details, you are accepting that MRG and UPP is a “data controller”. This means that we are responsible for deciding how we hold and use personal information about you. You will receive an ‘Applicant Privacy Notice’ if your application is progressed. This notice will make you aware of how and why your personal data will be used, namely for the purposes of recruitment, and how long it will usually be retained for.

Page 1 Page 2-3 Page 4-5 Page 6-7 Page 8-9 Page 10-11 Page 12-13 Page 14-15 Page 16-17 Page 18-19 Page 20

Made with FlippingBook - Online magazine maker