Fordingbridge, Hampshire
circa £60,000 per year
Permanent, Full-time
Job description


The British Deer Society is an incorporated charity, funded by membership, a trading subsidiary and philanthropic contributions.  BDS promotes deer education, research and management best practice to ensure a healthy and sustainable deer population in balance with the environment; a key feature of the biodiversity of the UK landscape.

The Role

The Chief Executive is a key member of the BDS Leadership Team and pivotal in the Society’s strategic direction and stakeholder management.  The primary role, working with the Society’s Chair and Board of Trustees, is in setting the strategic direction of the Society. The Chief Executive maintains a strong relationship with the Society’s Board of Trustees.  In particular, the Chief Executive engages with local, regional, national and international organisations in the identification, specification development and management of Society projects.  The Chief Executive plays a central leadership role in maintaining service levels to the membership, Regional Branches and the general public.  The role holder, through their institutional network, assists in the management of external relationships.  The Chief Executive ensures that the governance and financial integrity of the Society is maintained at the highest level.  The Chief Executive oversees the Society’s fiscal activity, including budgeting, reporting, and auditing. A significant part of the role is overseeing the staff and contractors of the Society on a day to day basis. There may be some expectation for evening and weekend work and domestic and international travel. 

The following provides an indicative* percentage weighting of the role’s responsibilities in terms of the role holder’s time:

  • Management  of the Team 25%
  • Employee development 10%
  • External Organisation Relations 15%
  • Strategic Oversight 10%
  • Society Governance 10%
  • Programme Project Management 10%
  • Systems oversight 10%
  • Other Duties 10%

*N.B. This is indicative only and may not reflect the actual allocation of the role holder’s time.

Main Responsibilities

The post holder will be responsible for:

1. Management of team

  • Management of staff of the Society on a day to day basis.
  • Supervision of the recruitment and performance of contractors.
  • Monitoring performance of the team.
  • Conducting a regular review process.
  • Recommending an incentive plan for outstanding performance of staff member

2. Staff Development and Performance

Ensuring a continuous staff performance and development process through the following actions:

  • Building a positive and productive culture in the workplace by listening to employee and Trustee opinions, making adjustments where necessary. 
  • Evaluating and implementing the Society’s HR review.
  • Creating an effective staff development programme.

3. Strategic Oversight

Working alongside the Chair, Board of Trustees and Leadership Team, the Chief Executive will:

  • Create, communicate, and implement the Society’s vision, mission, and overall direction.
  • Lead the implementation of the overall Society’s strategy.
  • Solicit advice and guidance, when appropriate, from the Chair and Board of Trustees.
  • Formulate and implement the strategic plan that guides the direction of the Society.
  • Oversee the complete operation of the Society. 
  • Evaluate the success of the Society in achieving its goals.
  • Pursue potential sources of funding for the Society.  
  • Represent the Society to all stakeholder groups. 

4. External Organisation Relations

Ensuring a proactive and high standard of external institutional relations through:

  • Maintaining and extending the Society’s active engagement with both private, public and third sector stakeholders. 
  • Identifying and nurturing external commercial sponsors for the operations and programmes of the Society.
  • Liaising with the Marketing Manager to deliver member acquisition and retention strategies.    
  • Creating effective media strategies with the Board of Trustees.
  • Nurturing philanthropic sources of funding for the Society. 

5. Society Governance

With the Finance Officer, ensure the highest level of governance and financial probity are maintained through:

  • Ensuring good governance structures for the Society and the good conduct of all aspects of the Society’s activities.
  • Assuring all regulatory and legal documents are filed.
  • Monitoring compliance with laws and regulations. 
  • Overseeing the Society’s fiscal activity, including budgeting, reporting, and auditing.
  • Policy setting, financial probity and annual budget setting.
  • Implementation of the agreed policy and budget.
  • Managing the Risk Register for the Society in conjunction with the Board of Trustees.

6. Programme Project Management

The Chief Executive is responsible for providing high quality services in the following areas ensuring the efficient and effective management of programme projects through:

  • Government and Higher Education relationship development.
  • Project identification.
  • Developing suitable project specifications (briefs).
  • Alongside the Committees ensuring periodic reviews of the projects undertaken.

7. Training Programmes

Overseeing training activities. Working with the Head of Training, the post-holder is responsible for providing high quality services in the following areas ensuring efficient and effective training programmes to the Society’s membership and general public:

  • Maintaining a relevant training curriculum.
  • Management of overall programme costs.
  • Monitoring the financial viability of taught programmes.
  • Ensuring quality and value of the taught curriculum.
  • Supervising the transition to on-line learning platform delivery when appropriate. 

8. Other Duties

As a member of the Leadership Team, the post holder is responsible for providing high quality services in the following areas ensuring the development of the Society through:

  • Providing good leadership and guidance to the wider team and a high level of support for the administrators in the on-going development of the Society. 
  • Ensuring access to relevant management and benchmarking information, sharing with and advising team members.
  • Engaging with any other duties appropriate to grade as required by the Chair and Board. 


The Person

The ideal candidate should have the following qualities, skills and attributes:


  • Proven experience as a Chief Executive or other senior managerial position.
  • Experience in developing successful strategies and implementing vision.
  • Strong understanding of financial and performance management principles.
  • In-depth knowledge of corporate governance and general management best practices.
  • An entrepreneurial mindset with outstanding organizational and leadership skills.
  • Analytical abilities and problem-solving skills.
  • Familiarity with diverse business functions such as marketing, PR, finance etc.
  • An ability to create a harmonious working environment and manage conflict.
  • Ability and confidence to work independently and unsupervised and to make decisions as necessary.
  • Excellent communication skills, ability to interact effectively with a wide range of people from different backgrounds and cultures and at all levels of society.
  • Ability to prioritise workload to meet multiple deadlines, and forward plan.
  • Accuracy and attention to detail, and ability to maintain this under pressure.
  • IT Skills, using MS Office. Strong spreadsheet skills are particularly important.
  • Understanding of the Charities Commission Governance model.
  • Educated to at least degree level standard or equivalent.
  • Car owner/ full UK driving licence.


  • Professional or Trustee experience within the third sector.
  • Experience of working in a customer-service focussed environment.
  • Quantitative and accounting skills.
  • An understanding of digital marketing including content management and social media
  • Experience in Government relations.
  • A proven track record of working with the media.
  • Ability to engage with unfamiliar systems; CRMs, content platforms and databases and assist with development of those systems.
  • Proof reading skills.
  • Experience in fund-raising.


This is a full-time position working 37.5 hours per week.  Holiday entitlement is 25 days per annum plus eight days of public holidays. Pension.

The Chief Executive will be based at the British Deer Society offices in Fordingbridge, Hampshire on the edge of the New Forest, an area with unparalleled wildlife, ancient woodland, heathland and endless opportunities for outdoor activities. 20 miles to the South lies the Dorset coastline with its glorious beaches and havens, a paradise for sailors and water sports enthusiasts. To the North and North East lie the cathedral cities of Salisbury and Winchester.

To apply: Your application consisting of a CV and covering letter should be sent online for the attention of The General Manager .

Closing date for receipt of applications is Tuesday 30th June.

It is expected that first interviews will be held remotely during July followed by a second stage interview for successful candidate/s, venue to be decided but most likely Oxford or Swindon.

The British Deer Society Charity No: 1069663(England & Wales); SC037817 (Scotland)



Refreshed on: 17 June 2020
Closed date: 30 June 2020
Tags: Senior Management, Project Management