Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire
High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire
£30,000 pa FTE pro-rata (£24,324pa actual for 30 hrs)
Permanent, Part-time
Job description

Post Title:                           Talking Therapies: Operations Manager

Contract:                              Permanent

Reports to:                           Head of Operations

Responsible for:                Suicide Bereavement Liaison Support Worker

Part Time Counsellor

Online Counselling Coordinator

Counselling and Office Administrator

Volunteer Counsellors

Salary:                                   £30,000 per annum pro rata (£24,324pa actual for 30 hrs)

Location:                              Aylesbury, or High Wycombe offices and some home working required.

Hours of Work:                   Part-Time 30 hours per week

Holidays:                              25 days p.a. pro rata plus bank holidays and 2 additional wellbeing days pro rata

Probation:                             6 months



Buckinghamshire Mind was founded in 1914 as Buckinghamshire Association for Mental Health. The charity is independent and responsible for its own governance and income generation. We are proud to be affiliated to national Mind (the leading mental health charity in England and Wales) and to play our part in a diverse network of over 140 other local Mind associations.

Buckinghamshire Mind shares National Mind’s vision: “We won’t give up until everyone experiencing a mental health problem gets both support and respect.”  It remains our mission to deliver high quality community-based services across Buckinghamshire and East Berkshire to reach out and ensure everyone with a mental health problem gets access to the help they need.

Working from offices in Aylesbury, Chesham and High Wycombe we provide high quality services to some of the most isolated and vulnerable members of society. Services include wellbeing activity groups and peer support, older adults' dementia support, Safe Haven crisis service, befriending, community partnership outreach services, peer support in schools’ projects, employment support and counselling.

Buckinghamshire Mind has over 500 volunteers (including 16 volunteer counsellors, 400 peer ambassadors/mentors in schools and over 100 in befriending partnerships). These dedicated individuals support our passionate staff team alongside an active service user council, who all ensure our services are tailored to need and are of the highest quality. 

Purpose of the Role

This is an exciting time of growth and distinction for our Charity. We delivered our 2016-2019 strategic goals boldly and ahead of schedule and are currently pulling together a new strategic blueprint for the future. This role supports our vision for our strategic ambitions to enhance, develop and expand our Talking Therapies services.

The current services comprise our busy, well-established face to face and Online Counselling Services and a highly regarded Suicide Bereavement Liaison Support Service.

This is a Senior Operational Management position in a thriving organisation and requires an experienced counselling practitioner who is BACP, UKCP or BPS accredited. This role would suit an experienced practitioner/therapist who is looking for a more managerial, influencing role which includes budget, income generation, line management and service design responsibilities.

It is essential that applicants have experience and practice of mentoring trainees, assessing clients, delivering counselling, facilitating supervision and working in an income generation/business model organisational setting. They will also need to demonstrate a willingness to embrace and develop a broad range of counselling business models and short-term counselling modalities. Additionally, applicants will have significant experience of managing and developing staff, project management, ensuring operational quality and promoting equality and diversity.

The successful candidate will need to demonstrate high levels of professionalism, leadership and management skills. Close liaison with the Head of Operations, Finance Manager and the Counselling and Office Administrator will be an integral part of the role.


Key responsibilities

Tasks will vary from week-to-week depending on priorities, but regular tasks will include:

Line management

  • Provide effective monthly line management to 1 x part time Counsellor, 1 x Suicide Bereavement Liaison Support Worker and 1 x Counselling and Office Administrator and a team of Volunteer Counsellors.
  • Line Management tasks will include; coaching and performance development, probation reviews, 1:1’s, supervisions, team meetings, annual appraisals, development plans, identifying training opportunities/needs and responding to ad-hoc support requests.
  • Ensure staff understand and follow organisation and department policies and processes, including prompt and accurate completion of assessments and other administrative tasks.
  • Ensure excellence in the recruitment, training and ongoing support of volunteer counsellors including organising an annual volunteer development calendar and a celebration event.
  • Supervise groups of (up to four) volunteer counsellors and support/manage the remainder of the volunteer counsellors to access their own supervision and external support.
  • Support the Head of Operations to deal with performance management/disciplinary issues confidently and effectively in accordance with organisational policies and procedures.

Service day to day management

  • Coordinate, manage and lead a safe, professional and accessible Talking Therapies suite of services.  
  • Develop and review appropriate contracts, policies and procedures, including referral, cancellation, assessment, financial and administrative procedures.
  • Ensure all staff have read and understood and adhere to said policies and contracts.
  • Ensure the Counselling and Office Administrator carries out the following duties:
  • Allocate/book in clients for assessments;
  • Allocate/book in clients to suitable free counsellors for start dates
  • Maintain and manage the counselling and suicide bereavement waiting list including client record systems in line with GDPR.
  • Ensure service outcomes and outputs are effectively monitored and evaluated and prepare service statistics monthly.
  • Responds to information requests from staff, clients or external organisations efficiently in a timely manner.
  • keeps bookings/diaries/room allocations up to date and keeps clients informed of where they are within any waiting lists (if appropriate).
  • Hold regular team meetings with both staff and volunteers to collaborate, discuss and agree upon any required changes to service specifications and communications.
  • Ensure counselling is carried out in a safe physical and/or online/telephonic environment, including providing staff cover whilst physical counselling taking place or on call cover for debriefs.
  • Ensure Buckinghamshire Mind retains organisational membership of BACP and adheres to BACP ethical framework for the counselling professions.
  • Assist with any allocation of complex clients to the right ‘counsellor’ - as far as is practicable.
  • Ensure client assessments are carried out face to face wherever feasible (or requested) or ensure that - for online or telephone assessments - counsellors are suitably experienced and have had the right training to carry our remote assessments.  
  • Ensure that the counsellor’s ‘counselling contracts’ are kept up to date, that all counsellors have clearly explained the terms and conditions of service to clients who have signed the relevant administration forms and have agreed to have their fees collected as agreed. 
  • Manage income from counselling clients either via card, charity checkout or similar and ensure all money fees are kept surely and banked where appropriate.
  • Ensure all client records are kept in line with all Bucks Mind GDPR policies and procedures. 
  • If fees are a barrier to support for clients, ensure counsellors have significant knowledge to be able to refer elsewhere to alternative free support where appropriate (such as CBT via Health Minds).

Operational Management

  • Work with the Head of Operations to manage the Talking Therapies services across the organisation effectively and in line with organisational values and performance KPI’s.
  • Develop and implement a business plan and a sustainable business model for our counselling services.
  • Attend and participate in quarterly contract review meetings with Public Health for the monitoring of the pilot Buckinghamshire Suicide Bereavement Support and Liaison Service.
  • Monitor grants and collect evidence against KPI’s for end of grant/funding reports and evaluations – write up reports in collaboration with Finance Manager.
  • To interpret performance and impact data and be responsible for reporting against service targets to the Head of Operations as and when required.
  • To continually drive enhancements to operational effectiveness and maximise outcomes against targets from service delivery.
  • To support the Head of Operations to mobilise new services in line with agreed project plans.
  • To pro-actively develop relationships with external stakeholders in order to improve and develop service provision for people with mental health needs.

Financial Management

  • Manage the counselling budget, including forecasts and income targets; collaborating with the Finance Manager and the Head of Operations as required.
  • Client fee generation; ensuring all counsellors follow protocols and adhere to policies regarding fees.
  • To work with the Head of Operations to ensure sound day to day financial management and work within agreed operational budgets; contributing to the annual budgeting cycle.
  • Offset any gaps/shortfalls in counselling income generation forecasts by writing, or assisting in writing bids, for grants and trusts fundraising.

Quality and Compliance

  • To be the designated Deputy Safeguarding Lead – training will be given.
  • Ensure Safeguarding is maintained within services and carry out investigations in consultation consult with Safeguarding Team, as required.  
  • Ensure any counselling, suicide bereavement visitors to Bucks MIND properties are aware of building H&S procedures and provide induction (and PPE) where appropriate.
  • To support the Head of Operations to draft and update operational policies (as pertaining to talking therapies services) when required and ensure a consistent approach throughout the organisation.
  • Ensure all staff and volunteer teams are issued with and understand the use of personal alarms and where appropriate lone working procedures. 
  • Ensure that client complaints are investigated and dealt with appropriately.

Service User Involvement

  • To ensure high levels of meaningful service user involvement in service provision; responding to the needs of service users locally.
  • Ensure bi-annual service users satisfaction surveys are undertaken.
  • Review client evaluation and feedback to maintain and improve provision of service. 
  • Use client evaluation as evidence of efficacy of service for funding opportunities.


  • Attend Operational Managers meetings and action tasks as appropriate.
  • Represent Buckinghamshire Mind at external meetings as agreed with the Head of Operations.
  • Work alongside line managed staff; establishing proactive working relationships
  • Work closely with HR and Finance Manager to ensure operational issues are co-managed effectively.
  • Assist the Head of Operations to produce a quarterly Operations reports for the Board of Trustees.
  • Keep the Head of Operations fully informed of matters relating to operational delivery.
  • To support the Head of Operations in the delivery of the organisational strategy with the aim of ensuring the sustainability of Buckinghamshire Mind.


  • Undertake such duties not included in the job description as are reasonably requested by the Head of Operations. 
  • This role on occasions involves out of hours working and a willingness to work flexibly is required.


Person specification

The person specification seeks to define a person most likely to be suited to the job of Buckinghamshire Mind Talking Therapies: Operations Manager.  Candidates are required to meet all the essential conditions and requirements listed (E) and the majority of the desired requirements (D). Please refer to these conditions and requirements in your supporting statement that accompanies your CV as they will be used to help select candidates for interview.


  • Positively supports the aims and work of Buckinghamshire Mind (E)

Qualifications and experience

  • 5 years post counselling qualification experience (E)
  • Recognised qualification in counselling or psychotherapy (Level 4 two-year diploma minimum) (E)
  • Significant experience of client assessments (E)
  • Minimum of certificate in counselling supervision or equivalent experience (for example approx.10 years of counselling experience.) (E)
  • BACP accreditation/UKCP reg or equivalent (E)
  • Significant adult safeguarding experience (E)
  • Management Qualification or similar experience (E)
  • Membership of a professional body, preferably BACP, UKCP or BPS (E)
  • Experience of training counsellors to assess and allocate clients (E)
  • Experience of managing counselling budgets (or other similar budgets) including annual budget forecasts and planning income targets. (E)
  • Experience of bid writing/ applying for grant funding from Trust and Foundations and/or local Council funding pots. (D)
  • Experience of delivering talks and presentations. (D)
  • Significant experience of managing, motivating, developing and training staff/volunteers (E)
  • Developing and implementing policy and procedure. (D)
  • Working within internal and external quality frameworks and leading improvements in quality. (D)
  • Compiling and interpreting performance data and reporting against service targets. (E)
  • Successful track record in planning and project management. (D)


  • Knowledge of and empathy for the issues facing people with mental health problems. (E)
  • Knowledge of the day-to-day application of relevant legislation e.g. GDPR, Health and Safety, Equality and Diversity, Safeguarding, HR Practice. (E)
  • A thorough understanding of different counselling modalities and their pros and cons within a short-term counselling framework (E)
  • Understanding of the principles of ensuring safe service provision for people at risk and how these are put into practice. (E)
  • A thorough understanding of the BACP ethical framework for counselling professions (E)



  • Excellent communication skills and able to communicate effectively to a variety of audiences. (E)
  • Skilled in promotion and communications around sales/income generation campaigns including; social media, website management and production of leaflets and posters. (D)
  • Commitment to service user involvement and able to work with service user groups to develop this.  (E)
  • Is committed to working in an anti-oppressive way and striving to create equal opportunities for all people (E)
  • Commitment to working within the policies of Buckinghamshire Mind including equal opportunities and confidentiality. (E)
  • Positive attitude, passionate about working for Buckinghamshire Mind and able to inspire people to higher levels of performance. (E)
  • Team player and able to form positive, professional relationships with staff at all levels. (E)
  • Able to work effectively with external stakeholders and the Board of Trustees. (E)
  • Creative approach in identifying appropriate opportunities to take Buckinghamshire Mind forward. (D)
  • Strong organisational skills and able to take control of own workload and meet deadlines. (E)
  • Confident in challenging poor performance assertively, constructively and successfully. (E)
  • High professional standards and the ability to communicate these clearly to others. (E)
  • IT literate to aid communication and analysis of data. E.g. Excel formatting/formulas word tables/publications and use of Microsoft Teams. (E)
  • Willing to undertake training and development. (E)
  • Access to own vehicle with appropriate licence and insurance - work related mileage will be paid at 45p per mile.

Employee Benefits

  • 25 days annual leave plus bank holidays and 2 wellbeing days pro rata
  • Sodexo employee benefits - access to a portal with discounts on supermarket shops, holidays, high-street shops, days out, cinema and gym membership
  • Cycle to work scheme
  • Employee Assistance Programme – free professional confidential counselling
  • Childcare vouchers
  • Annual leave purchase scheme
  • Flu vaccinations
  • Free eye tests
  • Pension: Auto Enrolment (currently 3% employee contribution, 3% employer contribution

Applications: Please send –

VERY IMPORTANT:  a comprehensive C.V. is essential, and applicants should also send a covering letter which includes a ‘Supporting Statement’ and must structure their statement by responding to each of the points listed in the Person Specification / Selection Criteria. Please let us know what skills and experience you have to match this criterion. The short-listing panel make their decisions based on this information and no assumptions about your skills or experience will be made. 

Buckinghamshire Mind is an Equal Opportunities employer. We welcome applications from all sections of the community. Any offer made relating to this post will be subject to satisfactory references and a satisfactory enhanced DBS check.

Closing date for applications is 15th November 2020.

More about Buckinghamshire Mind
Buckinghamshire Mind

Buckinghamshire Mind shares National Mind’s vision: “We won’t give up until everyone experiencing a mental health... Read more

Refreshed on: 20 November 2020
Closed date: 20 December 2020
Tags: Management, Operations