UCL - Cost Manager



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Recruitment to the Capital Projects team

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Job Description

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Person Specification

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Further Information

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Application Process


UCL is London’s leading multidisciplinary university, with more than 11,000 staff and 38,000 students from 150 different countries. Founded in 1826 in the heart of London, UCL was the first university in England to welcome students of any class, religion, and the first to welcome women on equal terms with men.

UCL’s estate is unique, rich in history, at the heart of London and diverse in use.

Our 230 buildings are predominately located in Bloomsbury but with a number of specialist satellite sites beyond that. UCL Estates are excited to be playing a key role in the delivery of UCL’s 20-year strategy, UCL2034, including the realisation of UCL East, our new campus at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, which will offer world class research, teaching and living accommodation within the largest cultural and educational development in Europe.

UCL Estates manages the estate and facilities infrastructure, from the strategic to the operational. This ranges from ensuring our estate is operating efficiently and safely to maintaining, developing and delivering our building and planning future strategic developments to support UCL’s academic ambition. UCL Estates services include property acquisition and management, capital projects, engineering and maintenance, environmental sustainability, safety, security, catering and cleaning. In addition, it manages the University and Customer Services switchboards, student residences, nursery and central teaching and meeting room bookings. We have a proud history and the ambition and drive to innovate. We strive to provide a co-ordinated and customer oriented approach

to both buildings and services, maintaining and transforming UCL’s estate, so that it directly contributes to the creation of a truly inspirational environment for our academics, students and staff. UCL has embarked on an extensive building and refurbishment programme – Transforming UCL. This is about creating sustainable spaces that meet UCL’s world-class aspirations and commitment to excellence and innovation. Transforming UCL is the largest capital programme in the University’s history. It has seen significant investment to refurbish and develop some of our most iconic buildings whilst also bringing forward new world class buildings. Together these will enable and support the University’s continued growth as we continue to build now and for the future.

UCL is midway through ‘Transforming UCL’, an extensive 10-year building and refurbishment programme that began in 2014. The first five years have led to a number of successfully complex projects. Many of these were completed within budget, enabling the funding of new and emerging projects. This investment has made a significant difference to perceptions of the Bloomsbury estate across the UCL community, with the recent completion of the New Student Centre, Bloomsbury Theatre and interim Dementia Research Institute within the Cruciform building all significant milestones in the programme. In the 5 years since the start of the capital of the current capital programme (August 2014), 155 Transforming UCL projects with a value of c.£570m have been completed. Over this period we have achieved a £27m forecast underspend, which has enabled the funding of new projects.

Looking ahead we have bold plans that will build on our recent success. We are continuing a project to transform the Institute of Education estate, embarking on Project Oriel, a £400m purpose built centre of excellent that will support pioneering eye research, education and treatment in partnership with Moorfields Hospital, progressing the development of our iconic new campus UCL East (Pool Street West and Marshgate forming phase 1) and planning the development of the £290m Institute of Neurology/Dementia Research Institute, a world class centre for advancing neurological research and treatments.

You can view further information on Transforming UCL here.


It is essential that a robust, stable programme and project team is established which will build on-going capacity to ensure a depth of expertise and the sharing of good practice across all programmes. UCL Estates is therefore seeking to build an industry-leading team of professionals with the capability, track record and drive to develop, deliver and mobilise projects that will deliver world-class facilities for London’s global University. The team is being developed to give both depth and breadth of resources, with project management professionals appointed at middle, senior and director level in addition to multidisciplinary appointments to give in-house intelligence and capability across space management, property, engineering, health & safety and project transition & mobilisation.

The Cost Manager will support the delivery of the capital programme by undertaking pre and post contract quantity surveying activities on a diverse range of estate development projects whilst also taking responsibility for strategic cost management activities such as developing benchmarking data, providing project and programme oversight and supply chain management. UCL Estates places a very heavy emphasis on quality, safety, value and exceptional stakeholder engagement. We are therefore seeking best-in-class individuals that possess excellent interpersonal and communication skills and a flexible, collaborative, highly motivated and resilient disposition.


Post Title:

Cost Manager (Estate Development)


UCL Estates

Reporting To:

Head of Commercial (Estate Development)

Job purpose The Cost Manager (Estate Development) will support the Head of Commercial (Estate Development) in ensuring that UCL gets best value and a high degree of assurance from its capital programme. The post holder will work with a multitude of stakeholders including UCL Estates colleagues, cost and commercial management consultants and contractor teams to successfully plan and manage commercial, contractual, procurement and supply chain challenges and mitigate risk across major capital projects and a range of complex capital and small works projects including new build, refurbishments and improvements spanning the entirety of the UCL estate. Key Dimensions The UCL Estate comprises over 200 buildings valued in excess of £2 billion, more than four million square feet of academic accommodation and c 4000 student bedrooms. The scale, variety and complexity of the estate are unparalleled in the sector. UCL Estates is responsible for managing the delivery of an Estate Strategy with a capital investment programme in excess of £1.25 billion over the next ten years, with projects ranging in scale, complexity and value. Projects range in scale, complexity and value (£50k to £500m) and must be delivered to specification, cost and time, frequently within a highly congested and busy operational environment where quality of student and staff experience throughout the works is also critical. UCL Estates places a very heavy emphasis on safety and a strong focus on multi-stakeholder engagement. Main duties and responsibilities 1.Support all commercial aspects of the delivery of major projects or a programme of projects from inception, design, construction, mobilisation and post project reviews to agreed specifications, achieving time, cost, quality parameters and full compliance with health, safety, statutory and environmental obligations and best practice. 2.Ensure all projects represent best value for money for UCL and that appropriate and effective risk management, corporate governance and audit controls are in place. 3.Support the development of strategy for efficient and effective delivery of capital programmes/ projects, including consultant and contractor procurement, forms of engagement, management of risk, contingencies, best value and cost planning.


4.Ensure full and transparent reporting, inter alia, to meet the requirements of governance/ committee procedures, financial regulations etc. working closely with the Portfolio Services team, internal and external auditors and wider partners for consistent project/programme reporting. 5.Ensure a consistent approach to capital project delivery, including the supporting the management of framework consultants and contractors and reporting of supplier performance. 6.Support the management of framework consultants as an integral part of the Estates delivery team. 7.Review and develop the systems and processes to deliver the programme of capital projects in support of achieving business needs. 8.Support the processes for establishing realistic project budget estimates cost plans, cash-flows and regular forecasting across UCL’s capital projects. 9.Support the performance management of external contractors, consultants and other service providers engaged to deliver capital programme projects. 10.Work with the Space & Feasibility and Capital Projects team members to carry out pre- feasibility cost estimating. 11.Provide independent cost assurance on externally produced estimates and cost plans including assessment of value engineering opportunities. 12.Work collaboratively with colleagues in the Facilities & Infrastructure team to develop whole-life cost models. 13.To review and monitor valuation payments against agreed cash flows. 14.Support the procurement & appointment of Framework Consultants, including preparation of tender documentation and appointments. 15.Support the procurement & appointment of Building Contract and suppliers, including preparation of tender documentation and appointments as may be required. 16.Carry out pre-issue reviews of all contract documentation. 17.Ensure proactive and excellent communications about projects and programmes to the wider UCL community, with all stakeholders and across the Division liaising with the Estates Communications Officer. 18.Work collaboratively with the Estate Development team to collect benchmarking data from completed projects on a per m2 basis for use in new projects, and to provide assurance on project costs on inception and throughout their life cycle. 19.Liaise closely, and work collaboratively with, UCL Procurement, Legal Services and Estate Development team to ensure contract consistency and compliance with relevant legislation, regulation and internal procedures. Working with colleagues to review the impact of contract changes and working with legal advisers on how best to inform contract agreements. 20.Working collaboratively with the UCL Procurement Manager to keep up to date new and revised procurement regulations and internal procedures; disseminate information and advice; assess the impact on contracts and their management. 21.Responsibility for expert input at Contract Mobilisation and providing professional guidance on the operation of the contract terms, and contract management processes.


Commitment to equality UCL is proud of its longstanding commitment to equality and to providing a learning, working and social environment in which the rights and dignity of its diverse members are respected. Among other initiatives, UCL has eight Athena SWAN awards for good employment practice for women working in science, engineering and technology in higher education and research. General As duties and responsibilities change, the job description will be reviewed and amended in consultation with the post-holder. The post-holder will carry out any other duties as are within the scope, spirit and purpose of the job as requested by the line manager. The post-holder is required actively to follow UCL policies including Equal Opportunities policies. The post-holder will maintain an awareness and observation of Fire and Health & Safety Regulations.





1. General

•The post requires the professional background and experience necessary to provide professional and technical advice at a senior management level within UCL, to identify and implement opportunities for improvement and the management of change •Professionally recognised cost/ commercial management related qualification i.e. BSc Quantity Surveying / MRICS •Significant experience in a quantity surveying, cost management or commercial management role •Professional quantity surveying and cost management skills and experience including cost planning, forecasting and budgeting, value engineering and contract procurement •Experience of project/supply chain •Experience of financial management across a wide range of budgets, with proven analytical skills and the ability to collate financial and other information from a range of sources, analyse it, draw conclusions and propose solutions •Experience of construction contracts, contract management and procurement practices relating to project and service delivery procurement and management •Experience of reporting and performance management

2. Education/ Training

•Postgraduate finance, commercial management or supply chain management qualification

3. Relevant Experience

•Track record of working on projects of a technically complex nature, ideally in the research / healthcare / science / commercial sectors





3. Relevant Experience

•Strong knowledge and experience of contract management and procurement, cost management and budgeting and supply chain management •In depth experience of managing the commercial aspects of capital construc- tion projects •Business management demonstrating sound commercial awareness •Budget management and analysis. •Benchmarking •Feasibility cost planning •Excellent communication and influencing skills (both written and oral) •A natural collaborator, working cross functionally and at all levels, internally and externally •Possessing a high level of attention to detail •Ability to effectively manage time and meet deadlines whilst under pressure •Strong verbal and numerical reasoning ability •Strong customer focussed approach. •A positive and creative “can do” approach •Possessing a high level of commercial acumen, with the experience and nous to work with partner organisations to deliver projects with the best interests of UCL under consideration.

4. Relevant Skills/ Aptitude


Salary level The salary range is £44,674 to £57,279 per annum. Employee Benefits

UCL is a dynamic, global university based in one of the most exciting capital cities in the world. Not only does working at UCL offer the opportunity to work with game changers in your field, it also provides competitive terms, conditions and benefits. UCL benefits and policies apply equally whatever the sexual orientation and/or gender identity of employees. Benefits and policies relating to employees partners, includes both different sex and same sex partners. In addition to 41 days leave (inclusive of public holidays and closure days) and generous pension schemes, UCL provides a number of other staff benefits outlined below. • Excellent provision for professional development • The UCL Cycle scheme • The UCL Eye Care scheme • Voluntary Healthcare schemes • Subsidised access to a range of health and fitness facilities

• The offer of an interest-free season ticket loan • Various family friendly benefits and support https://www.ucl.ac.uk/human-resources/pay-and-staff-benefits Work location

The permanent base for each of the posts is at Bidborough House, in UCL Estates’ recently refurbished, modern, open-plan offices. Given the scale and nature of the UCL estates post holders will be expected tow work across the UCL portfolio as the needs of the role dictate.


To arrange a confidential conversation to discuss the opportunities in more depth, please contact Ben Duffill (ben.duffill@mrgpeople.co.uk) or Nick Coppard (nicholas.coppard@mrgpeople.co.uk) of The Management Recruitment Group on 020 3962 9900. Applications should consist of a comprehensive CV (of not more than 4 pages) and a covering letter (of not more than 2 pages). Applications should be sent to ucl@mrgpeople.co.uk clearly quoting the post title of the role to be applied for.

52-54 Gracechurch Street London EC3V 0EH Tel 020 3962 9900

111 Piccadilly Manchester M1 2HY Tel 0161 638 0936

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