Head of Assurance

Start Network

  • Team: Operations
  • Grade: Grade 1
  • Salary: £57,000-£59,000
  • Location: London, with Hybrid working options
  • Closing: 11:59pm, 3rd Jul 2022 BST

Job Description

Start Network has an exciting opportunity for a Head of Assurance focusing on provision of internal risk management and due diligence for members, while ensuring compliance to regulations, including legal and donor requirements. The role provides an assurance service to the senior management and wider team. Internally, the role is responsible for ensuring risk policies and processes are in line with our vision and values, as well as regulation. At a network level, the role will work with colleagues to develop risk models and frameworks involving strategic, programmatic and operations risks.

Candidates must have proven experience in compliance and assurance, probably gained through work in audit, compliance or risk management. Candidates will have the ability to think creatively and innovatively, developing solutions to challenge the status quo. Experience of working in an agile, complex environment is essential with an ability to operate at strategic and operational levels. Candidates should also have proven ability to develop and implement organisation-wide risk management strategy and framework. Membership of a professional body such as the Institute of Risk Management or similar is desirable.

JOB PURPOSE

The key purpose of the role is to oversee and manage the assurance function, focusing on provision of internal risk management and due diligence for members, while ensuring compliance to regulations, including legal and donor requirements. 

The role provides an assurance service to the senior management and wider team, including Hubs. Internally, the role is responsibility for ensuring risk policies and processes are in line with our vision and values, as well as regulation. At a network level, the role will work with colleagues to develop risk models and frameworks involving strategic, programmatic and operations risks. 

The role is required to bring innovation to our assurance function and to challenge the status quo.

KEY ACCOUNTABLITIES

Strategic Leadership and Team Management

  • Build, manage and lead the assurance team, as part of the wider support functions of Start Network enabling team members to perform to their strengths and to develop

  • Provide leadership and professional advice to drive a strategic approach to the operations and risk function, and act as an internal advisor to different parts of the charity, including senior leaders

  • Provide reports and advice to the Senior Management Team, and Board Committees as needed

  • Management of the budget related Assurance Function

Risk Management Framework and Organisational Compliance

  • Maintain and improve a robust risk management strategy and framework that integrates with our existing strategy and plans

  • Promote a risk management culture that aligns our approach to risk with our mission, vision and values, balancing risk, reward, and opportunity, including design and delivery of training

  • Ensure effective controls and mitigation measures are in place, including ongoing compliance with the charity’s Compliance Plan and Code of Conduct, updating relevant policies

  • Lead on disaster recovery planning and critical incident management planning and processes, making improvements based on learning

  • Together with CFOO be the main contact point with the Risk and Compliance Committee, which oversees operational functions including compliance, legal, risk and internal audit

  • Lead any investigations for complaints / whistleblowing / safeguarding including carrying out investigations and Board reporting

  • Ensure the organisation has all necessary insurance cover in place etc.

  • Oversee and support the Assurance Advisor in coordinating internal audit and responsible for overseeing implementation and reporting of internal audit recommendations across the organisation

  • Ensure the Operations function are managing safety and security risk for staff international travel and provide sign off for travel to high risk environments against travel risk assessments

Compliance in Humanitarian Work

  • Support the design of risk and compliance infrastructure for our humanitarian work, such as a financing mechanism that pools risk and a network of Hubs

  • Oversee the Due Diligence Manager and Assurance Advisor to improve the processes, tools and guidance for due diligence compliance

  • Support on response to due diligence requests from external partners

  • Support the Due Diligence Manager to design and implement non-membership due diligence and vetting framework

  • Ensure the Resource Mobilisation team meet institutional donor reporting and compliance requirements

Legal Oversight

  • Responsible for keeping updated on legal requirements for charities

  • Oversee the Assurance Advisor, who in collaboration with external counsel, delivers legal advice, including drafting and reviewing contracts and agreements

PERSON PROFILE

Education, Experience and Technical skills

  • Proven experience in compliance and assurance, probably gained through work in audit, compliance or risk

  • Ability to think creatively and innovatively, developing solutions to challenge the status quo

  • Experience of working in an agile, complex environment with an ability to work at strategic and operational level

  • Proven ability to develop and implement organisation-wide risk management strategy and framework

  • Membership of a professional body such as the Institute of Risk Management or similar is desirable

Key Competencies

  • Influence stakeholders to address difficult or complex issues by listening to diverse perspectives, finding common ground and avoiding criticism or complaint

  • Generate and support implementation of ideas that have impact at organisational, network and/or humanitarian systems-level by promoting these ideas to relevant internal and external stakeholders

  • Provide leadership by inspiring and unlocking motivation in others across the network to lead and hold them accountable for the results

  • Create and promote a learning culture, authentically sharing own learning and supporting others to do the same at organisational, team and network level

  • Bring in best practice from a range of external sources to drive innovation to advance our work, connecting with diverse stakeholders and perspectives outside the sector

  • Identify opportunities and take calculated risks to capitalise on opportunities that further our purpose and mission without compromising our vision Effective communicator, experienced working in cross-cultural settings and explaining concepts using simple English avoiding jargon

  • Excellent relationship builder internally and externally

  • Strong collaboration and listening skills to maximise the strengths from a diverse team

ABOUT START NETWORK

We are tackling what we believe are the biggest systemic problems that the humanitarian sector faces. Start Network’s vision is for a locally led humanitarian system that is accountable to people affected by and at-risk of crises. We aim to see:

LOCALLY-LED ACTION: We believe that a more balanced international aid system, which shifts power to those closest to the front-line, will generate more effective and appropriate responses for people affected by crises.

NEW FORMS OF FINANCING: Our pooled funds enable fast and early action to tackle the kind of crises that are often overlooked by other funding mechanisms. Our risk financing pilots are introducing new ways of working that can save even more lives.

COLLECTIVE INNOVATION: New ways of working are needed to tackle the challenges we face. By innovating collectively, we can share expertise, insights and perspectives to shape a more effective humanitarian system.

We are evolving into a decentralised “network of networks” in line with our vision. We are currently working with five national and regional hubs made up of civil society organisations in Pakistan, DRC, Guatemala, India and the Pacific. They are developing locally owned ways of anticipating and responding to humanitarian crises. We aim to support the emergence and development of further hubs in the coming years. Our ultimate ambition is to devolve leadership and decision making to the hubs, while the central team transitions to become a service provider. 

For more information, please visit our website.

OUR OFFER TO YOU

  • Being part of a network bringing change to the humanitarian sector

  • Hybrid working with the expectation of being in the London office at least 1 day per week

  • Contributory pension

  • Life assurance

  • Family friendly policies

  • Learning and development opportunities

  • 25 days’ holiday plus 2 company days over the Christmas period

INFORMATION FOR CANDIDATES

Our roles are open to discussion about flexible working. For part-time working and job-shares, please get in touch with us for a conversation about possibilities.

Start Network is committed to protecting people, particularly children, at-risk adults and affected populations from any harm that may be caused due to their encountering the Start Network as well as responding effectively should any harm occur.  We are also committed to safeguarding staff from any forms of bullying, harassment, sexual harassment, discrimination, and abuse of power as outlined in the Dignity at Work policy. 

Start Network embraces diversity, promotes equality of opportunity and eliminates unlawful discrimination. We are an equal opportunities employer and treat every application on merit alone.  We particularly encourage applications from disabled, BAME, LGBTQ+ and non-binary candidates.  We offer a guaranteed interview scheme for disabled applicants who meet our essential selection criteria set out in the Person Profile.

APPLICATION 

We use Be Applied, an online recruitment platform. Rather than relying on CVs and cover letters, Be Applied allows you to demonstrate your skills and abilities through answering questions which are blind reviewed by our team to reduce bias.

If you have any questions or need support with your application, please email us using peopleandculture@startnetwork.org 

Closing date: Sunday 3rd July, 11.59 (BST)

Applications will be reviewed on an ongoing basis, so please apply early

Any offer of employment is subject to relevant checks. Please refer to our candidate privacy notice regarding treatment of your data.

Removing bias from the hiring process

  • Your application will be anonymously reviewed by our hiring team to ensure fairness
  • You’ll need a CV/résumé, but it’ll only be considered if you score well on the anonymous review

Start your de-biased application

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Removing bias from the hiring process

  • Your application will be anonymously reviewed by our hiring team to ensure fairness
  • You’ll need a CV/résumé, but it’ll only be considered if you score well on the anonymous review

Start your de-biased application