Head of Commercial Services


Employment Type Full time 4 day week
Location Remote · UK Occasional in-person meetings/events, plus ad hoc for role.
Salary Expenses paid for travel
Team Policy & Strategy
Seniority Senior
  • Closing: 11:59pm, 9th Jun 2024 BST

Job Description

Salary: £52,000 per annum, with competitive benefits package, and potential for ‘on-target earnings’, linked to performance

Contract: Permanent 

Reports to: CEO

Hours: Full time (40 hours per week including one hour lunch break each day) 

Start date: As soon as possible after 1st September 2024 (start date flexible but organisational need is from September)

Location: Home-based (travel costs paid for meetings) 


Waterwise is the leading independent voice in the UK for using water wisely, for the benefit of people and the planet. Our vision is that water is used wisely every day, everywhere, by everyone. We are the UK’s conscience on water efficiency, on behalf of people and the planet, and are experts in water efficiency policy, regulation, research, behaviour and campaigns. Waterwise is a people-led organisation which prioritises the wellbeing of its staff.

Water scarcity is an urgent issue right here, right now, right across the UK - consistent record-breaking high temperatures and low rainfall, and recurring drought, show how climate change and population growth are already putting our water resources under severe pressure, and this challenge is growing. Water efficiency has to be a big part of the solution, and we support and challenge governments, industry, customers and others to be innovative and ambitious on water efficiency. Our work includes campaigns, events, media, policy and regulatory influencing, research projects, stakeholder engagement and services such as Waterwise Training and the Waterwise  Checkmark. We are funded by supporters across and beyond the UK water sector. Our Waterwise Strategic Direction to 2030, published in August 2022, tells you a bit more about us. Our UK Water Efficiency Strategy to 2030 tells you a bit more about our ambition.

At Waterwise we put staff wellbeing first, and our staff surveys show that our team knows, feels and appreciates this. Our values are 

Purpose: We will deliver independent and ambitious leadership to drive social and  political change on water efficiency 

Pioneer: We will be forward-thinking and visionary in our approach, being brave and  innovative in challenging the status quo 

Passion: We will campaign to protect water and the planet and work to keep our own  environmental impact as low as possible 

People: We will prioritise staff wellbeing, be an inclusive, kind and positive team. 

We are always looking for bright, committed people with a diverse set of skills and  experience to help achieve our vision that water is used wisely every day, everywhere, by  everyone. We are a lively, happy, friendly team, and we can’t wait to read your application! 

At Waterwise, we’re committed to driving equity and preventing discrimination at work and in the work we do. Please see more on this below. 

We are also working to reduce Waterwise’s own carbon and environmental footprint. 

Head of Commercial Services Role Description

You will be a key member of the Senior Leadership (Executive) Team, reporting directly to the CEO - alongside three other SLT colleagues. This is a new role specifically designed to deliver against the next phase of Waterwise’s journey - increasing our reach and impact on water efficiency both within and beyond the water sector, as set out below, and including through broadening our commercial approach.

The role involves leading on the strategy and delivery of the 5 key aspects of our Impact Plan set out below. This will require the refinement of our proposition and pricing of existing services, seeking opportunities to cross-sell additional services to existing audiences, as well as a focus on broadening our reach, engaging with completely new audiences and developing and shaping new commercial services aligned to new customer needs.  

Key components of the Impact Plan are:

  • Developing a new membership proposition to reach and engage new audiences with a relevant offer

  • Development of new digital services, including a public engagement tool to monitor ongoing attitudes and behaviour shift

  • Scaling up the roll out of water literacy programmes to businesses, organisations and community groups to build public consciousness

  • Identifying new project & research opportunities by extending our stakeholder reach

  • Developing and rolling out a new B2B consultancy services proposition to support businesses with water literacy and water strategies aligned to CSR objectives.

You will draw on your skills and prior experience to lead on the above initiatives, cultivating new partnerships/consortia and identifying and securing new funding streams to support growth. Your strategic and commercial delivery skills will help us deliver our Impact Plan and drive greater water efficiency across the UK.

Key responsibilities in the role include: 

  • Develop and deliver Waterwise’s Commercial Strategy and Business Development Plan, identifying the focus and activities required to deliver on the Impact Plan agreed in spring 2024 by the Waterwise Board. This will include

    • Target customers/audiences

    • Service mix (current, planned and new services) and routes to market

    • Direct business development activities, key referral sources and partnerships and alignment to other organisations (including sponsorship and events)

    • Proposition and pricing development - through market research and active market engagement: ensuring we have a clear understanding of customer need within different segments and audiences and aligning our proposition to deliver on that need

    • Sponsorship strategy

  • Through networking, build and maintain an active pipeline of commercial opportunities to drive confidence in delivery of income/growth targets and convert new prospects

  • Monitor the performance of commercial activities using key metrics

  • Run the procurement and delivery of programmes to broaden engagement and awareness and build the water efficiency evidence base

  • Lead on commercial discussions, procurement and delivery with bodies established under Ofwat’s Water Efficiency Fund for England and Wales

  • Lead on the further roll-out of the Water Literacy programme following the current proof of concept pilot

  • Build on and deliver our offering to business and organisations - driving champions-led change

  • Reporting to the CEO and the Board, lead in the executive team on income - setting income targets; and delivery against budgeted income, including reforecasting and mitigating shortfalls

  • Develop new commercial partnerships and deliver and generate income against these and existing ones

  • Develop new funding streams and deliver income within them, including owning our screening approach for values match

  • Programme and project management

  • Lead on risk management on the executive team, reporting to the CEO and Board

  • Be the lead point of contact for potential new Waterwise partners and Affiliates

  • Be the strategic lead for existing Supporters, Affiliates and partners, ensuring retention and perceived value for money

  • Lead on our strategy around competitors

  • Present to the Waterwise Board

  • Attend Waterwise Board meetings and Committees as appropriate

  • Represent Waterwise at external events, pitching our Commercial Services

  • Deputise for the CEO

  • Line manage colleagues

  • Manage the operations and HR functions at Waterwise, including the operational plan (which includes resourcing, and the action plans for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion; Sustainability; and Wellbeing); supplier contracts; the CRM; GDPR; IP

The above is not an exhaustive list of activities but gives you a sense of the role and requirements. 

Head of Commercial Services Person Specification

We need someone who has operated at a senior level and has a track record in developing and delivering commercial services - this experience can be in the commercial, not-for-profit or public sectors. You will be our commercial eyes and ears and you will be absolutely central to us delivering on our strategy to drive greater impact, and bring in the associated income. You will be really skilled at both creating and spotting commercial opportunities, and delivering new partnerships and income against them. Your values will be a good match with ours, and you will share our commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion; and wellbeing.

You will be eligible to work in the UK.

Essential Commitment, Experience and Skills

  • Commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion and wellbeing

  • Experience at executive level in creating and spotting commercial opportunities and leads, and delivering new income and impact against them

  • Experience at executive level of developing and delivering commercial strategies and services

  • Experience of creating, and delivering against, new partnerships and consortia, providing income, impact and value for the organisation

  • Experience of contract development and scrutiny, and management of IP

  • Experience of risk management, including reporting to Boards

  • Experience of working with Boards

  • Experience of working with businesses, government, regulators, the not-for-profit sector and trusts and foundations to develop and deliver mutually impactful partnerships 

  • Experience of agreeing NDAs and MOUs

  • Experience in effective project and programme management

  • Experience in fundraising/income generation

  • Experience in managing others to deliver bids and projects on time and to budget

  • Ability to pull on an established business network and relationships to nurture new opportunities

  • Experience in consultative selling and strong track record of building trust-based relationships which garner client loyalty

  • Strong spreadsheet and other software skills

  • Ability to put together and present compelling ideas and strategies and how they all fit together

  • Good influencing skills to work collaboratively with a range of stakeholders, including clients

  • Strong organisational skills, including the ability to plan and work proactively to meet deadlines

  • Excellent attention to detail 

  • Ability to positively promote Waterwise and its work

  • Ability to work flexibly within a small team that works from home

  • Ability to manage own time and prioritise tasks

  • Ability to communicate across the team about your work and workload


Please note that at Waterwise we work a Four Day Week, under voluntary agreements which all staff members sign. This means that you will be contracted and paid as full-time but you will sign a voluntary agreement stating that you commit to employing efficiency tools both individual and team-wide to deliver and be paid for 5 days work within four normal 9 to 5 days - the office is closed on Fridays. Training will be provided and you will be expected to continue to refresh your training and to keep up use of the efficiency tools. Annual leave is also pro rata’d. More information on a Four Day Week can be found here. We can answer any questions you may have about this at interview. The Four Day Week is a financial benefit as well as a wellbeing benefit, because you are working fewer hours for a full-time salary.

At Waterwise the wellbeing of our employees is our number one priority. To recognise the  fantastic work our team does in driving water efficiency, and to support their wellbeing, we  have a wide range of employee benefits, beyond statutory commitments. These include: 

  • Positive, values-based environment and an inclusive culture where it feels safe for  employees to say ‘no’ on grounds of workload 

  • Strong emphasis from CEO on wellbeing and workload management 

  • Homeworking and a small allowance for occasional shared office working 

  • Four Day Week - being paid full-time but working 80% of this (or pro rata equivalent), in exchange for using tools to work efficiently. For full-time employees this equates to a day off every week, in addition to annual leave

  • Flexible working 

  • Part-time working 

  • 27 days annual leave per annum for full-time employees (pro rata equivalent for part-time colleagues) - pro rata’d to 22 days full-time equivalent as we work a Four Day Week - plus Bank Holidays

  • Death in service benefit at x2 of salary 

  • Paid chartered and professional memberships 

  • Individual and team training budgets 

  • Maternity leave and maternity adoption leave beyond statutory 

  • Childcare costs for activities undertaken outside normal working hours 

  • Sickness pay beyond statutory 

Equity, diversity and inclusion 

At Waterwise, we’re committed to driving equity and preventing discrimination at work and in the work we do. We know that simply having a diverse workforce is not enough. We want to create an inclusive environment within Waterwise and in our work and events, where everyone can contribute their best and develop to their full potential. We celebrate and value how different everyone is, and we work hard to ensure everyone is treated with dignity and respect. This aligns with our ‘People’ value that we will prioritise staff wellbeing, and will be an inclusive, kind and positive team.

Please see our Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Statement here. 

We are committed to treating all current and prospective employees fairly and to ensuring  that our workplace and employment practices are free from discrimination, harassment or  victimisation on the grounds of age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil  partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex or sexual orientation. We  strongly encourage applicants from a wide range of backgrounds and with different identities and experiences to apply. Everyone in our team has a role to play in helping Waterwise become more diverse and inclusive, and we hope you will join us for this next stage in our journey. 

We want to ensure that our recruitment process is inclusive of and accessible for everyone.  If you are interested in applying for a role with us and think you may need some additional  support or reasonable adjustments made to any part of the recruitment process, please get  in touch on the email address below.

At Waterwise, we know diversity fosters creativity and innovation. We are committed to equality of opportunity, to being fair and inclusive, and to being a place where all belong. For this role we therefore particularly encourage applications from candidates who are likely to be underrepresented in Waterwise's workforce. 

These include people from the global majority, LGBTQI+ people, and men.

How to apply 

To apply for this role, you will need to answer role-related questions. Please provide evidence and examples from your work history or other aspects of your life to  answer the questions and demonstrate how you meet the criteria required. Please refer to the person specification when you are doing this.

Our goal is to remove bias from the hiring process, so rather than asking you for a CV  and cover letter, we have set up role-related questions which will allow us to assess your  approach to a problem and understand what knowledge and skills you have. Your answers  will be anonymised, randomised and reviewed by the selection panel. We will use these  scores to shortlist for interviews. We also think giving feedback is incredibly valuable for  candidates, so at the end of the process, you'll see how well you performed during the  application process.  

The closing date for applications is 23:59pm on 9th June 2024. There will be a two-stage interview process. First interviews will be held on 26th June 2024, with the CEO and members of the Board and SLT, and second interviews will be held on 10th July 2024 with CEO and other members of the Board and SLT .  First interviews will be held online via Zoom and second interviews will be held in person in central London.

Download the full candidate info pack including a video message from our CEO Nicci here.

We will consider flexible working requests within this role - please state your preferred hours  and working pattern within your application.

Removing bias from the hiring process

Applications closed Sun 9th Jun 2024


Removing bias from the hiring process

  • Your application will be anonymously reviewed by our hiring team to ensure fairness
  • You won't need a CV to apply to this job

Applications closed Sun 9th Jun 2024