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Receptionist / Executive Administrator

We are looking for a proactive, motivated team member who displays a high level of initiative to join the professional support team working in the Vice Chancellor’s Office.

The primary purpose of the role is to maintain a professional and efficient reception service for all internal and external visitors to the Vice Chancellor’s Office.

Much of the work of the Office involves institutionally sensitive matters, therefore an acute awareness of the need to maintain confidentiality is essential. There will be an extensive variety of visitors to the Vice Chancellor’s Office, including students, dignitaries, international guests and local community/business leaders. You will be required to deliver a friendly and efficient customer service at all times to all visitors to the Vice Chancellors’ Office, provide hospitality and create a welcoming environment.

In addition to visitors in person, the Vice Chancellor’s office receives a wide variety of enquiries by telephone and email, both from within the University and outside, relating to all aspects of the University’s activity and policy. Excellent interpersonal skills and the ability to liaise with all levels within the University, as well as a variety of external bodies, are therefore essential in this role, as is tact, diplomacy and sensitivity. You should be confident, reliable and conscientious and willing to be adaptable and flexible to meet the daily needs of the Office. A proactive approach is required in order to meet sometimes tight deadlines, as is the willingness to take responsibility for your own workload.

You will be in a shared office with a team of Executive Assistants, whom you will assist with many of the duties outlined below. It is crucial therefore, that you are comfortable working as part of a small team.

Closing date: Thursday 19 Jan 2017

Reference number: DIR1605b - 3171

Job details

Job details

£18,411 - £20,624, with opportunity to progress to £21,842 a year
Full time, 37 hours a week, 9.00am to 5.00pm
As soon as possible
Responsible to
Executive Assistant to the Vice Chancellor's Office
Responsible for
Interview date
Interviews will be held on Thursday 2nd February 2017




The Vice Chancellor’s Office is located in the Edward Elgar building on the University’s St. John’s campus and currently comprises the following colleagues:

• Vice Chancellor & Chief Executive

• Deputy Vice Chancellor

• Pro Vice Chancellor International

• Pro Vice Chancellor Students

• Deputy Pro Vice Chancellor Inclusive Sport & Educational Development

• Director of Human Resources

• University Counsel

• Clerk to the Board of Governors

• Capital Developments Projects Co-ordinator

• Secretary to the University Executive and Head of the VC’s Office

• Senior Executive Assistant

• A team of Executive Assistants

• Receptionist/Administrator.

The Vice Chancellor’s Office maintains general oversight of all of the work of the University and acts as the key interface between the University and the external environment. It also acts as a two way channel of communication around the University.

Main duties

Main duties

1. To act as a representative of the University and first point of contact for all internal and external visitors and guests to the Vice Chancellor’s Office, maintaining high levels of customer service, professionalism, presentation and confidentiality at all times.

2. To ensure that all correspondence is dealt with speedily on a daily basis. This will entail opening all mail, recording it appropriately, and bringing it to the attention of the appropriate member of the team.

3. To receive and respond to incoming enquiries via email, telephone, or in person including a wide range of urgent, sensitive and confidential matters, liaising effectively to ensure that key relationships are maintained and developed.

4. To respond in a timely way to any written complaints, acknowledging receipt of the complaint and forwarding it onto the appropriate person.

5. To be responsible for maintaining the University archive within the Vice Chancellor’s Office.

6. As required, to assist with internal events/conferences for the Vice Chancellor/Deputy Vice Chancellor / Pro Vice Chancellors, liaising with the University’s Events team as appropriate.

7. To provide administrative support for other members of the team on a daily basis, as well as covering for them in periods of sickness or leave and taking a proactive approach to the workload, in order to ensure the professional continuity of the service. This may include servicing meetings as required.

8. As required, to carry out discrete areas of project work in support of the Vice Chancellor, Deputy Vice Chancellor and Pro Vice Chancellors. This will include researching subjects on the web and presenting information in an appropriate format.

9. To assist team members in accurately updating information in the electronic diaries within the Vice Chancellor’s Office.

10. To organise travel arrangements for the Vice Chancellor and Deputy Vice Chancellor. This will include local, national and international trips.

11. To organise conference and meeting room bookings, catering and provisions/supplies.

12. To assist with organising visits to the University from external visitors, which will include agreeing dates, internal liaison with colleagues regarding tours of the University facilities both at the St. John’s Campus and the City Centre campus.

13. To help ensure accurate information is filed in the ‘bring forward’ system for the Vice Chancellor and Deputy Vice Chancellor.

14. To complete personal expenses submissions on behalf of the Vice Chancellor, Deputy Vice Chancellor and Pro Vice Chancellors for all business related expenditure, ensuring that it is claimed against the appropriate budget centre codes.

15. To assist in the development and maintenance of new systems and ways of working within the Vice Chancellor’s Office.

16. To assist in the maintenance of an effective filing/retrieving system of all documentation within the office. Predominately documents are filed electronically in a shared network drive.

17. To use the University purchasing software for any purchases required for the office, which will include the booking of hire cars, making travel arrangements, ordering stationery and supplies to ensure stock levels for the Office are maintained. Full training will be provided in the use of the software.

18. To undertake other duties from time to time commensurate with the grade of the post.

*Maintain personal and professional development to meet the changing demands of the job; participate in appropriate training activities and encourage and support staff in their development and training.

*Take steps to ensure and enhance personal health, safety and well being and that of other staff and students.

*Carry out these duties in a manner that promotes equality of opportunity and supports diversity and inclusion, and takes into account the University's commitment to environmentally sustainable ways of working.

Person specification

Person specification

Please provide evidence of how you meet each of the essential criteria.

Essential Criteria

1. A friendly, confident and professional approach together with the ability to demonstrate a calm, sensitive and hospitable demeanour.

2. Ability to demonstrate a high level of discretion, diplomacy and confidentiality.

3. Minimum of two years’ recent and relevant experience within a customer facing role.

4. Excellent communication skills, both oral and written, appropriate for dealing with people of all levels and situations.

5. Excellent organisational skills, with an ability to work flexibly under pressure and often to tight deadlines/changing priorities.

6. Proven ability to work as part of a team and able to support other colleagues.

7. Educated to GCSE or equivalent standard, including Maths and English, with basic IT skills in Word, Excel (data input) and Outlook (diary management and emails), with the ability and willingness to learn new applications.

Desirable Criteria

1 . Knowledge of the higher education sector.

Applications from Non EEA Workers:

Prospective applicants are advised to ensure that they are eligible to work in the UK without restriction.

Prospective applicants in points-based system immigration routes should assess their circumstances against the published criteria, which are set out on the GOV.UK website at

Visit for more information on how you can use a qualification from outside the UK to meet the requirements of the immigration rules.

Unspent convictions, cautions and bind-overs

The University is strongly committed to the fair treatment of its staff and potential staff, regardless of race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, responsibility for dependants, age, physical/mental disability or offending background.

In line with the University's policy on the Recruitment of People with a Criminal Record, shortlisted candidates are required to provide information of any unspent convictions, cautions and bind-overs. Applicants are advised to seek independent advice if there is any doubt about the status of a previous conviction, caution or bind-over. Disclosures will only be considered at the point when an offer of employment is made. The existence of a criminal record will not in itself prevent you from gaining employment.

This is a description of the job as it is presently constituted. This job description is intended to enable a flexible approach to be offered working across the University as required. It is subject to review and amendment in the light of changing needs of the University and to provide appropriate development opportunities. Members of staff are expected to participate fully in discussions about changing requirements and it is the University's aim to reach agreement to reasonable change. If agreement is not possible, it reserves the right to require changes to the job description after consultation with the individual concerned.

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