Working in the Access, Inclusion and Skills directorate

It's an exciting time to join our Access, Inclusion and Skills (AIS) directorate, and an opportunity to take the next step in your career while making an impact for students.

We’re incorporating new priorities in our work, arising from the agenda of our new Director for Fair Access and Participation. As the OfS moves into its next phase of driving improvement in higher education, AIS has a new focus on raising attainment in schools and a strengthened focus on evaluation and developing effective practice.

‘Universities and colleges have a moral duty to put their shoulder to the wheel of improving that wider community they sit within, and as both educational and civic institutions, improving attainment in our schools is an essential part of that work.'

John Blake, Director for Fair Access and Participation

What will I do?

As a Senior Officer in AIS, you will find yourself deployed on interesting and challenging assignments across the division. You will have the potential to contribute to national improvements in equality in higher education, using your skills to input into policy development and managing complex projects. We will match candidates’ skills and experience to initial assignments.

Examples of assignments

  • Support the delivery of reforms to our regulation of access and participation through access and participation plans. If higher education providers wish to charge higher fees, the OfS must first approve their plans. This will include undertaking assessments of new access and participation plans as well as contributing to the assessment of variations to existing plans.
  • Contribute to the successful delivery of the Uni Connect programme: you will be responsible for leading key strands including communications, project management, evaluation and monitoring.
  • Contribute to the broad development of evaluation within AIS whilst managing the Uni Connect evaluation programme. Working with evaluation consultants, the role will manage the contracts, ensure Uni Connect partnerships are equipped to contribute to the national evaluation, scrutinise the evaluation reports and ensure results are effectively communicated.
  • Support our work on funding and regulating medical and health education, engaging with government departments and other agencies. You will also be assigned to a second area of work for part of their time, for example to support reforms to our regulation of access and participation

What do I need?

  • Working at pace: you will be able to manage project delivery against a background of competing priorities with a range of stakeholders, delivering to a high standard.
  • Ability to think logically and use supporting evidence: you will be able to use different types of information to develop a policy position.
  • Seeing the bigger picture: you will need to show political awareness when formulating advice and a good understanding of links to other work areas and priorities.
  • Experience of working on strategy or policy: you will need to show developed policy expertise to make sound and balanced judgements.
  • You will be able to draft clear and concise materials for a variety of audiences, including students, vice-chancellors and government departments.
  • You will need to persuade and influence senior grades and stakeholders, and to advise and guide less knowledgeable people on complex issues.
  • You will be able to build trusting relationships and confidently represent AIS to a variety of stakeholders.
  • You will care about making a difference to students’ lives and be able to apply analytical rigour and creativity to do so.

What it’s like to work in AIS

You will:

  • Have the opportunity to work on a range of activity across the directorate, including project management, policy development and evaluation, and stakeholder engagement
  • Gain a deeper understanding of specific areas of our work
  • Have opportunities to engage with higher education providers and work with partnerships in the sector on funded programmes
  • Work on a mix of regulation, enhancement and programme activity, working flexibly across the directorate and organisation
  • Have opportunities to work at national level on projects that involve a range of stakeholders
  • Work with government and other national stakeholders
  • Be able to engage with students to gain valuable insight into developing policy.

We’re proud of our people, our culture and the benefits we offer. We also care about supporting and developing our staff, working together to achieve more than each of us can do alone. 

At the OfS we want to create a welcoming and engaging working environment which is free from discrimination. We particularly welcome applications from people with a disability or impairment, those who identify as lesbian, bisexual, gay or transgender, and those from a black, Asian and minority ethnic background, as these groups are underrepresented within our workforce. 

More information

If you have any further questions about the scheme, please email [email protected]

Published 04 March 2022

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