Horsham, West Sussex (Hybrid)
£400 - £500 per day
Contract, Full-time
Job description

Branches Stream


To strengthen the partnership with our branch network so that they can continue to work with us in the rescue, care, rehabilitation and rehoming of the most vulnerable animals, and ensure a more joined up and coordinated One RSPCA approach.


Problem Statement

The branch network of separately registered 144 RSPCA branches is vital to our future success in delivering animal welfare.  They perform a wide range of animal welfare work including 80% of the RSPCA’s rehoming, as well as generating local engagement with communities and helping to promote the RSPCA values.  However, the relationship between the branches and national Society is not as strong as it could be, leading to inefficiencies in operations, a disjointed and inconsistent service to the public, and financial pressures on the branch network.

There are several elements that cause these pressures:

  • The support services provided by the national Society to the branch network are ill defined and inconsistent.

  • The relationship between us is driven from the wrong tone - can be more parental than a supportive, collaborative partnership.

  • Financial instability among the branch network, at a time when some branches are sitting on large reserves, questions the financial viability of the services provided to the public.

  • There is a lack of sufficient and cohesive support for branches in national administration, to get them back to health or find a suitable exit strategy (such as merger, scaling back or closure).

In Scope

The Branches Programme went live in May 2021, with extensive consultation and engagement with the branches on proposal development.  The work of the programme is split into 3 main areas:

1) Support

  • Delivery of the new support model to branches which includes:

  • Define the services that the national Society should provide to the branches - it may be less than previously but it needs to be consistent and of high quality (inc. review of other federated charities) and ensuring a shared understanding of the model and the role of the national Society, as an umbrella organisation, exists both across branches and within the national Society.

  • Consider which elements of service to branches should be provided internally and which elements are better being provided externally

  • Define the services that the branches should provide for the public

  • Creation of a branch online support hub (using third party providers); building a modern framework to support the professionalisation of the branch network.

  • Development of “The Link”, the branches extranet, as the go-to point for up to date, accessible resources and support.


2) Governance

  • Develop our relationship with branches to one of partnership.

  • Reduce regulation over their affairs, encouraging self-reliance, innovation and autonomy i.e. review of Branch Rules

  • Overhaul our governing documents and create a new governance framework that will empower the Branch network and enable a modern partnership relationship

  • Review of the legal status of branches (e.g. CIO)

  • Develop a best practice model on federated governance

  • Build a new partnership model based on our shared charitable aims and agreed standards

  • Review of the status of the national Society Chief Veterinary Officer role in relation to Branches

  • Review of the licensing and enforcement of licensing with branches to deliver better AW

  • A process for branches to submit data to the national Society in a controlled and timely manner to support the necessary MI

3) Sustainability

  • Alignment with Branch Affairs Committee project on branch sustainability

  • Analysis of the financial sustainability of the branch network; review income flows (i.e. to and from the national Society)

  • Options for improvement, including mergers where necessary

  • Review of the legacy scheme and options for improving income for branches

  • Options appraisal on approaches to handling downed branches including whether we will we have downed branches, and how we handle those currently in that situation


What you'll be doing:


The overall purpose of the role is to lead the Branches Programme.  This is a long term societal change project that will require you to identify and bring to the fore threats/risks to animal welfare through the analysis and collation of trends, feedback and data.

Working with the Business Owner (Assistant Director of Branches, Partnerships and Volunteering) and the Head of Branch Partnerships, you will lead the work through bringing insight and creative thinking to the challenge.  The Programme Manager will need to be a strategic thinker, capable of creating business cases to explain and excite the business on the journey required.  The Programme Manager will need to energise the business around the need for change.  They will take the lead on the design of the process and on deep and broad cross-organisational engagement.  

  • Develop and project manage the programme plan to deliver the desired benefits and effect the change in a controlled and successful manner.  

  • Work with the Business Owner and Head of Branch Partnerships to develop and deliver the programme.

  • Manage two project managers. 

  • Work with subject matter experts to deliver the projects within the programme e.g. governance and legal, digital change, business analysts.

  • Manage all key programme artefacts and budget.

  • Map out and manage the stakeholders, both in the national Society and across the branch network.

  • Provide regular updates and reports as required to a range of stakeholders.


You will have:


  • Extensive experience in mobilising, delivering and managing large scale change management programmes

  • The ability to strike the right balance between structured, planned, adaptable and pragmatic

  • A strong ability to influence a wide range of stakeholders across a federated organisation.

  • Experience explaining and engaging a Board in a strategic change

  • Ability to self-manage a changeable work programme

  • A strong project and programme management background

  • Strong partnership development skills, working with the voluntary and public sectors

  • Deployed effective consultation techniques across internal and external audiences, gathering views and requirements of the brand and building understanding

  • Assimilated a complex range of views and inputs to create a clear, balanced view of the way forward that achieves mutual satisfaction  

  • Understanding of the complexities and requirements of working with a federated structure or regional offices and gained insight on how to build joint communities across a variety of establishments


You will be:


  • Naturally consultative, inspiring and galvanising in their approach and style to bring people with them on their journey

  • An effective, positive and confident communicator at all levels, engaging one to one and able to quickly gain the confidence of the room

  • Strategic, structured and solution focussed with a track record of delivering on time, on budget and with stakeholders on board.

  • Robust, mature and solution focussed in response to conflict and disagreement.

  • A practitioner of multi-disciplinary working with various senior stakeholders and operations to understand their current and future requirements to create an inclusive workplace that promotes teamwork, partnership and collaboration.

  • Experienced at establishing strong governance structures and good reporting lines

  • Used to working at pace in a demanding environment

More about RSPCA

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We were the first to introduce a law to protect animals and work hard to ens... Read more

Refreshed on: 09 June 2022
Closed date: 24 June 2022 at 12:55
Job ref: 6252
Tags: Management, Business Development

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