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Head of Advocacy and Policy

Greenwich, Greater London (Hybrid)
£46,925 - £52,815 per year
Job description

Job Description

The Head of Advocacy and Policy will be responsible for developing an excellent Advice Service and Retention Team to support and advise students effectively to enable excellent student experience and satisfaction.

This role will lead on the development of effective insights, representation and support initiatives/campaigns for students, across our three campuses at Greenwich, Avery Hill and Medway.

This role will enhance work with the diverse student population of the University of Greenwich and lead a dynamic team to ensure students have consistent and accessible services that contribute to positive student experience.

This role sits within the wider Membership Services department, together with other key areas consisting of; Activities, Sport, Academic Communities, Representation and Democracy, we provide a high-quality service for students, that they can shape, steer and be at the heart of.

This postholder will be part of the GSU Senior Leadership Team and will be expected to contribute to department and organisation wide strategic development.

The post holder will:

  • Have expert knowledge in areas of in relation to Advice and Retention and policies and legislation relating to such activity
  • Support and develop strong student-led communities and campaigns in areas of: Advice, wellbeing and retention so that members can thrive
  • Provide line management support to staff so that the team have up to date, specialist advice skills, knowledge and understanding of University regulations, policies and procedures that may affect the work of the Advice service and oversee engagement across Greenwich’s 3 campuses
  • Undertake casework and provide expert advice for the team on all aspects of Advice
  • Lead on the project management of wellbeing/health promotion campaigns and initiatives throughout the year, as well as any external bids through bodies such as OfS
  • Oversee the Retention and Wellbeing Project work, and other relevant projects with external partners
  • Lead on insights work relating to retention, wellbeing and support
  • Lead on responses to external consultation and enquiry responses, including but not limited to OfS, Department for Education, OIA and Universities UK
  • Support elected officers to deliver on campaigning priorities
  • Ensure the Advice service has the skills and is equipped to support the diverse needs of students at Greenwich and Kent at Medway.
  • Provide regular insights and reports on the GSU Membership to inform our strategy and service provision
  • Work with other Heads to develop relevant and modern Front of House services for each GSU campus ensuring ease of access and consistency for all members.

Key Areas

  • Be an engaged and active member of the Senior Leadership team, contributing regularly and working collaboratively with peers
  • Provide leadership, strategic direction and day to day operational management to the Advocacy and Policy: recruiting and inducting members of staff, motivating, supporting and developing team members to ensure they have the necessary skills and knowledge for their roles as well as manage performance
  • Develop a proactive results driven culture within the team, ensuring agreed objectives and targets are delivered, whilst promoting a collaborative approach to working with internal departments
  • Develop succession plans and identify training and development opportunities within the team
  • Be accountable for the quality of outputs of the team
  • Provide support to the Officer team helping and equipping them, particularly in their roles as representatives and providing pastoral support and guidance.
  • Ensure the whole organisation is aware of and understands the work of the Advocacy and Policy Team and its contribution to our strategic objectives
  • To maintain expert and up-to-date knowledge on sector policies and regulations relating to advice, retention and student success, providing relevant guidance to officers and staff as required.
  • Develop and promote a culture of continuous improvement across the team to ensure we can adapt to changing students’ needs and priorities, as well as building on successes and preparing for the future.

Strategic Development

  • Contribute to the strategic objectives of GSU, with a particular focus on advice, support and wellbeing in relation to the student experience
  • Develop and oversee a new and innovative approach to proactive health and wellbeing campaigns that empower students to look after themselves and each other, as well as seeking support
  • Lead on Access and Participation Plan Engagement, acting as the key contact on this area with the University.
  • Build and maintain strong working relationships with relevant senior UoG staff and departments including Student Academic Services, Faculties and our partners at Kent Unio
  • Develop and oversee the Advice service to support advocacy initiatives at multiple levels within the University, ensuring both students and University stakeholders view GSU as a credible and reliable source of information on the needs of students.

Monitoring and Evaluation

  • Develop and oversee a structured approach to gathering, analysing and reporting on data relating to engagement of students with our services and to student views on key issues relating to retention and success
  • Develop and oversee processes of collecting quantitative and qualitative data from casework to analyse trends and inform feedback for the SU and university
  • Ensure evaluation mechanism are embedded in the teams working practises and that findings are shared and used to implement learnings with the goal of improving services
  • Support Officers by preparing information, statistics and trends about key services to be shared within the University committee cycle
  • Be responsible for the implementation of service standards for the Advocacy and Policy Team and to monitor and report on adherence to these standards
  • Prepare materials to apply for any relevant quality mark accreditations for the service.

Budget and Financial Management

  • Manage a budget relating to Advocacy and Policy including any restricted funds.
  • Be responsible for the teams resources, ensuring these are effectively allocated, managed and controlled
  • Review and establish processes, systems, polices and where appropriate standard procedures to maximise efficiency ensure deadlines are met and a positive return on investment
  • Review and provide narrative for scrutiny at monthly management meetings with the Finance Team

Stakeholder management

  • Collaborate with GSU colleagues, particularly the Student Voice and Engagement Teams to ensure we have a consistent approach to how we work with and support students
  • Work with students through our representative structures and forums to ensure we shape services students want and need, taking into consideration the varying campus priorities
  • Maintain strong relationships with key university staff to develop, deliver and evaluate collaborative projects and interventions supporting advice and retention
  • Attend meetings relating to Advocacy and Policy as well as associated areas at both GSU, the University and externally, included, but not limited to regional networks
  • Identify opportunities to share best practice and represent the work of GSU and your team to the wider HE community, through conferences and publication.

Personal Specification

Essential Experience

  • Line management experience
  • Relevant experience working in the youth, education, students’ union or other membership or advisory organisation
  • Experience of leading a multi-functional team
  • Experience of mentoring coaching staff/elected officers
  • Experience of developing operational policies and procedures
  • Experience of budget management, project management, and operational management
  • Experience of working with a range of stakeholders and partnership working or strategic networking

Essential Skills and Abilities

  • Ability to work with and lead a high performing team
  • Ability to troubleshoot difficult situations, and deal with them calmly, efficiently and effectively
  • Ability to produce confident, clear written reports and be able to write succinct documents on complex areas
  • IT skills at a level that supports membership CRM systems, Advice Pro and other platforms
  • Excellent time management and organisational skills with the ability to manage others to reach deadlines, within agreed budgets and to a consistently high standard
  • Ability to write strategies and be able to effectively communicate vision and mission
  • Ability to stay focused and efficient in the face on changing priorities
  • Track record of successfully developing and implementing projects and operational change
  • Able to draft policies and procures with an eye for detail and accuracy

Essential Knowledge

  • Awareness of current issues within the higher education sector
  • Knowledge of relevant external bodies and organisations including Advice UK, NUS, Citizens Advice, OIA, Ofs, Student Minds
  • Knowledge of relevant health and safety legislation
  • Knowledge of Safeguarding, advice legislation, risk assessments and GDPR
  • Knowledge of providing 121 support


  • No one specific qualification is required, but evidence of recent continuing professional development in a professional area relevant to the post is required. For example: ILM, City &Guilds etc.

Personal Attributes and other requirements

  • Able to travel within the Borough and Region.
  • Able to work some evenings and weekends and stay overnight where necessary.
  • Works well in a team with a flexible approach to work
  • Be eligible for a DBS check if needed
  • A commitment to the principles and practices of equality and diversity
  • An ability to apply awareness of diversity issues to all areas of work.
  • Commitment to the values and ethos of GSU.

Desirable other requirements

  • Visionary, creative, and innovative strategist
  • A positive, solution focused leader – able to make ‘tough’ decisions; determined and resilient in order to cope with the demands of the role
  • Empowering, authentic leader with high levels of emotional intelligence
Posted by
Greenwich Students' Union View profile Company size Size: 101 - 500

We help students at the University of Greenwich become the best they can be at university and beyond.

Posted on: 18 April 2024
Closed date: 14 May 2024 at 17:00
Tags: Advice, Information, Policy/Research, Senior Management, Social Care/Development, Project Management, Advocacy

The client requests no contact from agencies or media sales.