Operations Administrator

Updated: about 2 months ago
Location: Durham, ENGLAND

Operations Administrator (
Job Number:
Department of Engineering
Grade 4: - £23,751 - £24,533 per annum
Open-Ended/Permanent - Full Time
Contract Duration: Open-Ended/Permanent
Contracted Hours per Week: 35
Working Arrangements: Normally 09:00 - 17:00 Monday to Friday
Closing Date
: 18-Apr-2024, 6:59:00 PM
Disclosure and Barring Service Requirement: Not Applicable. 

The University

At Durham University we are proud of our people.  A globally outstanding centre of educational excellence, a collegiate community of extraordinary people, a unique and historic setting – Durham is a university like no other. Across the University we have a huge variety of roles and career opportunities, which together make us a large and successful community, which is a key hub of activity within our region and nationally.  Whether you are at the very start, middle or end of your career, there is a role for you. We believe everyone has their own unique skills to offer. 

We would be thrilled if you would consider joining our thriving University.  Further information about the University can be found here . 

The Role and the Department

The Department of Engineering seeks an Operations Administrator. This exciting role will be responsible for the provision of a professional, efficient administrative service supporting a wide range of operational activities within the Department.  You will be working in a small, dynamic team who support each other on a daily basis, and which is at the heart of the staff and student experience.  You will be required to work with colleagues across the Department and Institution to ensure the service functions effectively in meeting priorities, working in accordance with University and Departmental policies and practices.

We are looking for someone who is passionate about working in an educational environment, making a difference and achieving results. You will be an adaptive individual with strong time management skills and an ability to develop and nurture relationships with others. You will possess an ability to flex your working schedule to manage both planned and unplanned tasks.  You will also have a keen eye for detail, a commitment to the principles of continuous improvement and a drive to get things done.

The Department of Engineering at Durham University is continuing a period of strategic growth. This is an exciting opportunity to join an expanding, unified Engineering Department which is recognised as one of the very best in the UK, with a reputation for excellence in teaching, research and employability of our graduates. The Department is committed to an ethos of research-led education at all levels of our taught programmes. Engineering at Durham University was ranked 5th in The Guardian University Guide 2024, 7th in The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2023 and 5th in The Complete University Guide 2024. We were ranked 2nd in Engineering behind only Cambridge in a recent Institute for Fiscal Studies report on the difference in graduate earnings by UK university choice. 

The Department holds an Athena SWAN Silver Award, recognising our commitment to diversity in STEM and reflecting the supportive and positive environment within the Department. It is an exciting time to join this expanding Department and make your mark.

Working at Durham  

A competitive salary is only one part of the many fantastic benefits you will receive if you join the University: you will also receive access to the following fantastic benefits:

·         27 Days annual leave per year in addition to 8 public holidays and 4 customary days per year – a total of 39 days per year.

·         No matter how you travel to work, we have you covered.  We have parking across campus, a cycle to work scheme which helps you to buy a bike and discount with local bus and train companies.

·         Lots of support for health and wellbeing including discounted membership for our state-of-the-art sport and gym facilities and access to a 24-7 Employee Assistance Programme.

·         On site nursery is available and access to holiday camps for children aged 5-16 throughout the year.

·         Family friendly policies, including maternity and adoption leave, which are among the most generous in the higher education sector (and likely above and beyond many employers).

·         There is a genuine commitment to developing our colleagues professionally and personally.  There is a comprehensive range of development courses, apprenticeships and access to qualifications and routes to develop your career in the University.  All staff have dedicated annual time to concentrate on their personal development opportunities. 

·         The opportunity to take part in staff volunteering activities to make a difference in the local community.

·         Discounts are available via our benefits portal including; money off at supermarkets, high street retailers, IT products such as Apple, the cinema and days out at various attractions. 

·         We offer generous pension schemes. 

Durham University is committed to equality diversity, inclusion and values

Our collective aim is to create an open and inclusive environment where everyone can reach their full potential and we believe our staff should reflect the diversity of the global community in which we work.

As a University equality, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) are a key part of the University’s Strategy and a central part of everything we do.  We also live by our values and our Staff Code of Conduct.  At Durham we actively work towards providing an environment where our staff and students can study, work and live in a community which is supportive and inclusive. It’s important to us that all of our colleagues are aligned to both our values and commitment to EDI.

We welcome and encourage applications from members of groups who are under-represented in our work force including people with disabilities, women and black, Asian and minority ethnic communities.  If you have taken time out of your career, and you feel it relevant, let us know about it in your application.  If you are a candidate with a disability, we are committed to ensuring fair treatment throughout the recruitment process. We will make adjustments to support the interview process wherever it is reasonable to do so and, where successful, reasonable adjustments will be made to support people within their role. 


What you need to demonstrate when you appl y

To be considered for this role, here are the skills / experience we’re looking for:

Qualifications / Experience

1.     Five GCSEs at least Grade C or level four (or equivalent) including English Language and Mathematics or equivalent experience or qualifications.

2.     Demonstrable relevant experience of working in a busy office environment, delivering front line administrative services or having relevant qualifications for the role.

3.     Experience of working in a team.

4.     Demonstrable experience of managing time to meet deadlines and working under pressure without compromising on quality.

5.     Demonstrable experience of maintaining accuracy, numeracy and attention to detail. 


6.     Excellent spoken and written communication skills.

7.     The ability to develop effective working relationships, both internally and externally.

8.     Evidence of a positive attitude to work and customer service.

9.     Ability to proactively solve problems and use initiative to resolve straightforward issues yourself and as part of a team.

10.  Ability to provide advice and guidance to a range of colleagues and customers.

11.  Good digital skills including experience in using digital devices and apps including the internet, email, digital communication tools, Microsoft 365 applications, digital booking systems.

12.  A high level of discretion and the ability to maintain confidentiality.

Desirable Criteria

13.  Post-16 qualification or equivalent experience.

14.  Experience of working in Higher Education.

15.  Experience of working in a multicultural environment. 

16.  Experience of working with social media in a professional capacity.

17.  Committed to continuing professional development.

How to apply

To progress to the assessment stage, candidates must evidence each of the essential criteria required for the role in the person specification above.  Where there are desirable criteria, we would also urge you to provide any relevant evidence.  Please don’t forget to check if there is any weighted criteria (see above).

While some criteria will be considered at the shortlisting stage, other criteria may be considered later in the assessment process, such as questions at interview.  

Submitting your application 

We prefer to receive applications online.  We will update you about your application at various points during the process, via automated emails from our e-recruitment system. Please check your spam / junk folder periodically to ensure you receive all emails 
What you are required to submit:

  • A CV and;
  • A covering letter which shows examples of how you meet all of the essential criteria within the Person Specification – you may wish to present this in a grid format. 
  • Contact details 
    If you would like to have a chat or ask any questions about the role, Dr Ruth Vater (Department Manager) ([email protected] )  would be happy to speak to you.

    Typical Role Requirements   

    Here are the kind of activities that you’ll be asked to undertake and ways in which you’ll be expected to operate.

    Service Delivery

    ·         Show a commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion and the University’s values.

    ·         Provide an excellent and timely service to our students, staff and anyone else you come across as part of your role.

    ·         Use your experience and problem-solving skills to source background information and resolve routine issues with things relevant to your role, such as Estates and Facilities defects, event management or room booking enquiries, and provide information and updates to help your team find solutions.

    ·         Collect, organise and record data and information accurately and provide reports, initiating follow up procedures where required.

    ·         Promote positive wellbeing arrangements which benefit you and your team.

    ·         When carrying out your role, use and apply relevant professional and regulatory standards, e.g. data protection, when managing data.

    ·         Use standard office-based devices and applications such as word, excel, outlook and power point to deliver services.

    ·         Update guidance on standard operating procedures followed by the team.

    ·         Make venue, catering, travel and/or equipment arrangements for events, meetings and other departmental activities.


    ·         Resolve queries and respond to requests for information and advice and bring any complex issues to the attention of more experienced team members.

    ·         Help your team organise and provide administrative services that support key activities, for example induction and away days, undertaken within your service and contribute to team planning activities.

    ·         Help your team ensure that products and services are adapted in response to feedback and to meet changing demands.


    ·         Provide a responsive and proactive support service for stakeholders (including academic staff, students, University and departmental colleagues and external partners). 

    ·         Flexible in approach to accommodate the needs of team members and/or service users.

    ·         Seek feedback from students, staff and anyone else that you come across as part of your role on their requirements from your service to ensure that their reasonable expectations are being met.

    ·         Accurately record information, e.g. bookings for activities / events, and respond to queries which you receive.

    ·         Liaise with staff in other areas, professional organisations and agencies to ensure that services are being delivered in an efficient and collaborative way.

    ·         Liaise with external suppliers, contractors, specialists and service providers to plan the delivery of services and events.

    ·         Provide support for meetings, working groups and committees, such preparing and sending documents for meetings, drafting reports and taking minutes.

    ·         Any other reasonable duties.

    Useful links

    If you would like further information, you may find the following will help:

    Department of Engineering - Durham University   

    Please note that in submitting your application Durham University will be processing your data. We would ask you to consider the relevant University Privacy Statement Privacy Notices - Durham University which provides information on the collation, storing and use of data.

    When appointing to this role the University must ensure that it meets any applicable immigration requirements, including salary thresholds which are applicable to some visas.

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