Vacancy: Head of Specialist Programmes

An exciting opportunity to help us develop the next generation of retail leaders, we’re looking to recruit a Head of Specialist Programmes. OSS Retail was founded in 1923 and is a leading provider of high quality management development programmes for retailers. We are a subsidiary of bira, the retail trade association based in Birmingham which represents over 6500 independent retailers across the UK. 

Job Title: Head of Specialist Programmes

Duration: Permanent 

Reporting to: OSS Managing Director 

Location: Birmingham 

Hours: Full time, 9am – 5pm Monday to Friday (Some overnight and weekend work is required)

Purpose of role

To develop and take accountability for a new channel within the Oxford Summer School of programmes catering for our Customer requirements.

Main responsibilities

1. To continually evaluate  the school’s position within the retail service/ training market in line with competition

2. To meet all KPI targets which result in our sales budget and attendance targets at our specialist programmes.

3. To effectively and efficiently promote, develop and deliver the Oxford Summer School suite of Specialist Programmes, in order to ensure maximum customer satisfaction from delegates and client companies, whilst maximising delegate numbers and profit in accordance with OSS policies and procedures.

4. To work with the Programme Support Manager (PSM) to ensure all administration in support of Specialist Programmes is completed to a high standard. 

5. To work with the OSS Directors and PSM to ensure the Specialist Programmes database of contacts and customers is kept up to date

6. To work closely with the OSS Directors and Brand Account Manager to promote the Specialist Programmes and the OSS brand to the customer database including taking every opportunity to raise awareness of the Programmes and to recruit new customers to the OSS programmes

7. To maintain a high level of knowledge of the content of each OSS course and as part of promoting the courses be able to present effectively to customers the key elements of the programmes including; Programme Aims, Learning Outcomes, benefits and developmental impact of the courses 

8. To identify and work effectively with selected associates and organisations to design and develop course materials and programme content for the Specialist Programmes, reflecting best practice and current trends in the specific retail function covered by the course

9. To support the delivery and as appropriate, deliver elements of the content of Specialist Programmes

10. To ensure a consistent high level delivery of the Specialist Programmes course content working closely with Programme directors, associate trainers and guest speakers as appropriate

11. To ensure that delegate feedback on the Specialist Programmes is collated, analysed and acted upon to promote continuous improvement of the programme content 

12. To provide summary delegate feedback to client companies and to support review sessions with the delegate companies in order to maintain the impact and return on investment of the programme

13. To plan and manage with the PSM and take accountability for expenditure on controllable items which support the design, development and delivery of the Specialist Programmes including venues, materials, equipment etc.

14. To work with Partner organisations who support and sponsor OSS and the Specialist Programmes as appropriate, to encourage and maintain their engagement and the benefits they accrue from working with OSS

15. To work towards and achieve KPI targets for the Specialist Programme course as agreed with the Directors of OSS Ltd.

16. To support the development and achievement of the OSS Ltd., business plan with regard to timescales and financials

17. To carry out other duties, as appropriate to the role, in support of other OSS Ltd. operations etc. as required.

18. Actively support good communication practices within your work and promote and maintain good teamwork. 

19. Be aware of and comply with the rules relating to your employment as detailed in the staff handbook. 

20. Be aware of and comply with the Health & Safety regulations of OSS.

21. Be aware of and comply with the Fire Regulations within OSS’s offices. 

22. To actively support the Equal Opportunities Policy of OSS. 

Person Specification

  • Experience of designing, developing and delivering management training programmes
  • Well-developed training and facilitation skills 
  • Experience of facilitating learning for diverse management groups 
  • Broad experience in retail and in retail management roles
  • Excellent organisational skills with experience in event management.
  • Excellent communication skills; face to face, written and in formal and informal presentations
  • A proven ability to promote and successfully sell delegate places for the Specialist Programmes
  • Ability to work effectively and collaboratively in a team with fellow managers and directors
  • Ability to manage own workload efficiently, multi- tasking to very tight deadlines
  • Confident and friendly professional with a ‘can do’ attitude
  • Well-developed IT skills including Word, powerpoint and excel
  • Ability to prioritise
  • Full clean Driving Licence
  • Willing and able to travel independently throughout the UK


Deadline for applications is 5pm on Friday 3rd August 2018.

Further information

For further details (including salary) and an application form, please contact Julie Elcock, HR Manager – 0121 446 6688 -

Delegate Portal


Click here to download our 2018 prospectus

Book your place

Connect with OSS

Sign-up for alerts

* indicates required