Unipol - Deputy Chief Executive

Candidate Information Pack

Deputy Chief Executive

Unipol Student Homes, the student housing charity


1 – Executive Summary 2 – About Unipol 3 – The Role 4 – Further Information 5 – Application Process

Executive Summary Unipol is a unique student housing charity, established in 1975. We are passionate about helping students find the best housing. We provide help and assistance to students renting in the private sector. Unipol is not only at the centre of student housing but is involved at every level: information, advice, policy development and setting accreditation schemes, measuring and checking standards. We also own and operate a sizable portfolio across Leeds, Nottingham and Bradford offering a high standard of accommodation.

With the upcoming retirement of the existing postholder we are seeking to make the crucial appointment to the post of Deputy Chief Executive. Reporting to and deputising for the Chief Executive, the Deputy Chief Executive is a key role tasked with leading the core operational areas of the organisation. This role will provide strategic and operational leadership, managing four key strategic areas including Housing, Standards, Hub Services and IT & Communications. You will play a pivotal role in future development of the organisation as the ever-changing landscape of higher education provision and student housing continues to develop.

We are seeking an individual with strong operational leadership and management experience gained across a diverse portfolio of services, probably gained in a higher education academic services, student services, student experience or student accommodation setting.

About Unipol Unipol is a housing Charity established in 1973 by the University and the then Polytechnic in Leeds in co-operation with their Student Unions. In 1997, Unipol became an incorporated Charitable Company with a Board structure. Unipol provides assistance in finding and supplying housing for students in Nottingham, Bradford and Leeds and is the main private sector service supplier for the University of Bradford and Bradford College, Leeds Beckett University, the University of Leeds, Nottingham Trent University, The Northern College of Contemporary Dance, Leeds City College, Leeds Arts University and Leeds College of Music. We house just over 3,000 students on a not for profit basis and our housing stock caters to the diversity of the student population.

We offer the best deal we can to our tenants, there are no fees or hidden charges, nor do we ask adult students to be backed by a guarantees. Our housing revenue goes to subsidise housing for students with dependents (normally families), maintain a range of low-cost accommodation, support investment in higher quality properties and helps subsidise our advice and accreditation mission. We continue to invest in sustainability with better infrastructure and more information for our tenants on energy and carbon footprint reduction. We use local traders where possible to provide our service and improve our buildings. We aim to give our tenants a great housing experience, providing good value, promoting social academic interaction and high quality housing - we want a Unipol property to be a home from home. Unipol is not only at the centre of student housing it is involved at every level: information, advice, policy development and setting, measuring and checking standards.

Our values are:

- as a source of help and advice to both students and landlords who want to rent and provide good quality student accommodation that contributes to a great student experience.

- whilst we promote individuality we encourage positive attitudes to equality, cultural diversity and the internationalism inherent in undertaking study in higher education. valuing our human resources, investing in training and sector expertise and ensuring we pay our employees the living wage. We provide information for our tenants on how to use

To promote community

To be trusted

giving student consumers information and advice, based on 40 years’

To be impartial experts

To be ethical

experience in the sector, which empowers them to make good housing choices and get the best deal available. We establish, promote, publicise best practice in student accommodation.

less energy in a comfortable living environment and use local suppliers and trades wherever possible.

providing a first class service to our users which uses the latest technology to allow on-line global accessibility; we recognise

being answerable, as a charity to our Board of trustees and to our users we make our agenda and operations as clear and open as we can.

To be transparent and accountable

To provide value for money

the importance of meeting differing

students’ needs and providing value for money and choice throughout the housing process.

Our Forward Look infographic sums up our values, our mission and our strategy for the coming years:

providing a first class service to our users which uses the latest technology to allow on-line global accessibility; we recognise

To promote safety & wellbeing

the importance of meeting differing

students’ needs and providing value for money and choice throughout the housing process.

The Role Unipol fulfils four distinct but connected roles:

- It has its own Housing Section which develops, takes into ownership and manages refurbished properties and lets them directly to students. Unipol is currently responsible for housing around 3,000 students (including over 210 student families) located in Leeds, 270 students in Nottingham and 59 students in Bradford - It runs three Housing Hubs providing a forum in which owners (including Unipol) can advertise their properties. Although owners are asked to pay a fee for Unipol’s services the Housing Hubs are partially funded by the institutions listed above. Unipol’ s websites, which centralises all private sector vacancies, are a major source of information and advice for students and receives around 100 million hits a year - Unipol runs a number of successful voluntary accreditation schemes for owners letting to students that covers 79% of student housing need in Leeds, 65% in Nottingham and 99% in Bradford. The Codes are designed to maintain and improve property and management standards. In Leeds Unipol runs the Leeds Rental Standard for the City Council and in Nottingham Unipol, together with DASH (Decent and Safe Homes) runs the Nottingham Standard. Unipol has a stake in two Government Approved Codes of Practice dealing with larger student developments in the United Kingdom. Unipol currently accredits an estimated 340,000 student bed spaces. - Through its training arm “Unipol Training” Unipol is the main national trainer in the niche market of student accommodation, running a full annual programme. The training arm also undertakes some bespoke in house training and a number of briefings for different constituencies. Unipol has in-house training facilities in both Nottingham and Leeds. Unipol is currently following a Forward Look designed to maintain and upgrade its services to meet the increasing needs of its student clientele and increase its own accommodation services. A copy of this can be found at http://www.unipol.org.uk/footer/governance/cor- porate-documents-policies/forward-look-2015-2018. A new Forward Look will be formulated for the beginning of 2019 and will cover 2019-2022 Unipol is organised into six operational areas: i) The Senior Management Team consists of the Chief Executive, the Deputy Chief Executive, the Director of Finance, the Assistant Chief Executive - Housing, the Assistant Chief Executive - Hub Services, the Assistant Chief Executive - Standards and the Assistant Chief Executive - IT and Communications. The Chief Executive and Deputy Chief Executive are supported by an Office and Homestay Coordinator. ii) The Standards Team is headed by the Assistant Chief Executive - Standards who over- sees all accreditation and tribunal systems which is coordinated by the Unipol Codes Administrator and a National Codes Administrator together with the Complaints and Code Investigator. Marketing, both in respect of brand and lettings, falls within this team and is undertaken by the Digital Marketing Coordinator and the Marketing Coordinator.

The conferences and training operation (with the Training and Events Officer) also works within this area. iii) The Housing Services team is overseen by the Assistant Chief Executive - Housing and consists of the Housing Manager - Logistics and Compliance, the Housing Manager - Operations and the Development Manager (who is directly answerable to the Chief Executive). In Leeds and Bradford day to day housing management is carried out by two housing management teams, each with a Team Leader who have an assistant to assist them in administrative matters supported by two Housing Management Assistants. Across both team there are seven Senior Housing Management Officers and Housing Management Officers. The teams are supplemented by Residents’ Assistants (currently 16) and a number of part time Housing Assistants over the summer (normally seven who are overseen by one of the Team Leaders). In Nottingham the housing management service has a Senior Housing Management Of- ficer supported by an Assistant Housing Management Officer and two Residents’ Assistants. The housing management team is supported by a Leeds-based Team Leader and an on-site housing management presence of a least one day a week. Although the Nottingham Services Officer oversees the day to day operations of the Nottingham Office, the housing management functions falls under the Assistant Chief Executive - Housing operations. Housing Services and the Housing Hub is an integrated service and the staff teams operate operationally together. Certain Housing Hub operations are overseen by the Assistant Chief Executive - Hub Services and she is assisted by a number of Housing Hub Assistants (currently three). Located within the housing management team but directly answerable to the Deputy Chief Executive is the Tenancy Support and Wellbeing Coordinator. iv) the Nottingham Service is led, on a daily basis by the Nottingham Services Manager (who is overseen by Assistant Chief Executive - Hub Services) and consists of a Senior Housing Management Officer and an Assistant Housing Management Officer and a number of part time Residential Assistants (currently two). iv) the Finance Team is headed by the Director of Finance and consists of a Finance Manager, a Senior Finance Officer and three full time and one part time Finance Assistants supplemented by consultants for project work from time to time. v) the organisation has a technical services arm that is led by the Assistant Chief Executive - IT and Communications who oversees an IT Manager, an Applications Developer, an ICT Officer and two part time support staff to ensure that the organisation maintains high quality IT and web services.

The Role About this Post

The Deputy Chief Executive is the key post in the organisation and has responsibility for operational oversight, the co-ordination of all of Unipol’s services and important aspects of the charity’s governance. The Deputy Chief Executive is directly responsible to the Chief Executive. In the absence of the Chief Executive they automatically deputise for their role. This is a significant opportunity to sit at the strategic and operational hub of Unipol and have real impact on the charity’s values and the offer the charity can provide to its users. The Deputy Chief Executive is a leader for four members of the Assistant Chief Executives who reports directly to them: • The Assistant Chief Executive - Housing • The Assistant Chief Executive - Standards (in all matters excepting their role as Company Secretary) • The Assistant Chief Executive - Hub Services • The Assistant Chief Executive - IT and Communications and has a major role to play in ensuring that Unipol offers a high quality service to all of its users and delivers on its values, commitments, operational efficiency and strategic plans. The Deputy Chief Executive must also work closely with the Director of Finance. The Deputy Chief Executive is a key management post with 4 important strategic areas of first line responsibility for overseeing, delivering and co-ordinating service outputs: i) from the Assistant Chief Executive - Housing in respect of lettings, services, housing management and health and safety and for initiating and maintaining a number of mechanisms to assist in the development and enforcement of quality control in both the consumer services and housing management areas. ii) From the Assistant Chief Executive - Standards in respect of the correct operation of Unipol’s accreditation systems and ensuring Unipol’s values are consistently and efficiently applied through marketing and branding. iii) From the Assistant Chief Executive - Hub Services in respect of all forward facing services to partners and Unipol’s customers (particularly landlords and students) and for overseeing the on-going development of those services, currently in Leeds, Bradford and Nottingham iv) From the Assistant Chief Executive - IT and Communications in respect all all IT operations, security and forward investment. In these four areas the Deputy Chief Executive will guide, inspire, support and meet regularly with these senior managers, setting a performance framework for those staff and ensuring that quality, efficiency and delivery are being achieved as set. v) In addition to this the Deputy Chief Executive has operational responsibility for overseeing all human relations policies and recruitment and has first line responsibility in respect of operating the joint staffing contractual relationship with the University of Leeds vi) Working with the Financial Controller and the Chief Executive in respect of maintaining an oversight of key budgets and their correct application and use.

Specific Duties of the Post Management and Leadership

The Deputy Chief Executive has line and strategic management for the The Assistant Chief Executive - Housing, Assistant Chief Executive - Standards, The Assistant Chief Executive - Housing Hub Services, The Assistant Chief Executive - IT and Communications and is responsible for: • Co-ordinating and overseeing the activities of these staff within the overall organisational framework and strategic objectives of the organisation, taking responsibility for ensuring that services and output from both areas are presented to consumers and other users in a seamless and efficient manner. • Setting and monitoring a number of quality control and output measures to ensure that, especially a times of pressure of work, that essential routines and administrative procedures are maintained and remain robust • Maintaining a strategic overview of progress and identifying priorities for future development within defined timescales and assisting in identifying resourcing for the delivery of those objectives • Convening and chairing the Senior Management Team meetings and producing the notes from those meetings and ensuring that matters rose are dealt with in a timely and proper manner. • The management and relationships with partners and the funding that frequently accompanies those relationships • Overseeing all aspects of the complaints procedures for the charity and reporting annually to be Board analysing the number and nature of complaints and making any recommendations for changes in systems where clusters of issues have arisen.

The Role Human Resources The Deputy Chief Executive takes first line responsibility for:

• The operation of all human resources policies, overseeing recruitment, probationary assessment, on-going assessment and training for all staff and for ensuring that other staff follow the procedures and policies set out by them in these areas • The overall control of permission for holidays of all staff • Maintaining Unipol’s staff relationships and links with the University of Leeds and ensure that Unipol is fully updated on relevant processes and procedures operated by the University • Preparing regular reports on staffing changes and movements to both the Board and the Financial Affairs and Staffing Committee. Health and Safety The Deputy Chief Executive has a number of important Health and Safety obligations and is an important member of the Health and Safety Review Board. The Deputy Chief Executive will: • from time to time, test all systems to ensure that essential up to date verification documentation can be produced in a timely manner and is in good order • in respect of the Policy for Offices and Staff ensure: - that all records of health and safety training are properly kept - that all staff line have received appropriate training in health and safety matters - that the dissemination of information on health and safety issues is taking place properly within Unipol - that new members of Unipol, including temporary staff, volunteers and consultants on the premises, are made aware of Health and Safety policy and standards - Oversee any investigation into any serious accidents or incidents and report to the Unipol prides itself on the support it gives to its tenants in respect of their induction, transition, finding a home from home and meeting and retaining friends. This continues to be a developing role as incidents of mental health increase amongst the student population. The Deputy Chief Executive, working closely with the whole housing team, supervises the Tenancy Support and Wellbeing Coordinator, a post dedicated to helping tenants throughout their tenancy with the charity, and takes responsibility for ensuring that all staff are properly trained to recognise mental health issues and use proper signposting and support to tackle issues identified. relevant body on those findings. Tenancy Support and Wellbeing

Governance: Groups, Reviews, Committees and the Unipol Board The Deputy Chief Executive is responsible for important aspects of the charity’s governance and has first line responsibility for ensuring that Committee and Group papers are properly produced, distributed and that accurate records are kept of meetings held and decisions taken. In this role they will work closely with the Assistant Chief Executive - Standards who is also the charity’s Company Secretary. The responsibilities for the production of agendas, papers and minutes for each of the main Committees are devolved to senior members of staff as follows: Financial Affairs and Staffing Committee - the Director of Finance The Portfolio Committee - the Assistant Chief Executive - Standards Communications and IT Committee - the Assistant Chief Executive - Communications & IT The Review and Remunerations Committee - the Deputy Chief Executive For each of the governance forums the Deputy Chief Executive will have responsibility for the timely production of any specific reports as may be required by the Chief Executive in order to ensure both strategic policy input and accountability for the areas under their remit and will ensure that these responsibilities are fulfilled within the meetings cycle. The Deputy Chief Executive is a member of, and will attend (including confidential matters excluding matters concerning themselves): - the Board (including confidential business, excepting discussions relating to themselves) - the Financial Affairs and Staffing Committee (and will prepare reports in respect of staffing matters as required by the Chief Executive for those meetings) - the Communications and IT Committee. The Deputy Chief Executive is in attendance at the Group on Governance. The Deputy Chief Executive is in attendance at the Review and Remunerations Committee and services that Committee. The Committee reviews the performance and determine the salary of the Chief Executive and the Company Secretary of Unipol. Both the Chief Executive and Company Secretary are required to present a review document to the Committee annually for their consideration outlining successes, challenges and future targets for subsequent evaluation by the Committee. General Duties The Deputy Chief Executive shall undertake occasional additional project related duties from time to time as required by the Chief Executive. The Deputy Chief Executive will also undertake such general duties within Unipol as from time to time may be required and shall accept periodic revisions of this job specification where transferable skills are utilised.

Further Information The post holder will be required to attend some evening meetings and, at certain times of the year, to work at anti-social hours, including certain weekends and bank holidays (as are all Unipol staff). At certain defined times of the year they will also be required to be on call during anti-social hours if emergencies arise. The Deputy Chief Executive must have an operable driving licence and be willing to drive in the course of their business. Unipol, the University of Leeds and the other universities and organisations are multi-cultural communities, which value diversity. The Deputy Chief Executive is expected to treat all individuals fairly, with dignity and respect and contribute to creating a safe, supportive and welcoming environment for all.

This post carries a Scale 10 salary £59,828 - £73,539 per annum according to qualifications and relevant experience. All those working in Unipol are jointly employed by Unipol Student Homes and the University of Leeds. There is a probationary period of one year.

Application Process

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For a confidential discussion please contact our retained advisors Ben Duffill (ben.duffill@mrgpeople.co.uk) and Hayley Mintern (hayley.mintern@mrgpeople.co.uk) of The Management Recruitment Group on 0208 892 0115. 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 Hayley.mintern@mrgpeople.co.uk.

The closing date for applications is Sunday 13th January 2019. Interviews will take place at the Unipol HQ in Leeds during w/c 28th January 2019.

University of Surrey



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