Deputy Head of Service, Counselling & Mental Health Service

Updated: 2 months ago
Location: Durham, ENGLAND

Deputy Head of Service, Counselling & Mental Health Service (
Job Number:
Student Support & Wellbeing Directorate
Grade 8: - £43,414 - £51,805 per annum
Open-Ended/Permanent - Full Time
Contracted Hours per Week: 35
Closing Date
: 25-Nov-2022, 6:59:00 PM
Disclosure and Barring Service Requirement: Please note that the successful applicant will require DBS disclosure. Further info: 

Job Title:           Deputy Head of Service
Department:       Counselling and Mental Health Service
Grade: Grade 8  
Salary range:          £43,414 - £51,805 per annum
Working arrangements:  Monday-Friday, 9-5; we offer options of full-time onsite working or hybrid working minimum 3 days onsite

The  normal working hours of the Counselling & Mental Health Service are 8.00am to 5.00pm two days per week and 8.00am to 9.00pm three days per week in term-time (29 weeks per year) and 8.00am to 5.00pm per week in University vacations (23 weeks per year).The maximum working day is seven hours with a one hour break. The post holder will typically work 9am to 5pm, weekdays.


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. We believe that inspiring our people to do outstanding things at Durham enables Durham people to do outstanding things professionally and personally.   

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

The Counselling & Mental Health Service is a multi-disciplinary central specialist service for student mental health and wellbeing provision in the University.  It sits within the Student Support and Wellbeing Directorate.  The Service provides support for the institution by providing individual and group interventions, advice for College and Departmental Staff, and the development, delivery or support for proactive initiatives around mental health and wellbeing.  The Service exists to enable students to make the most of the academic and social opportunities that the University affords, and to support staff managing student mental health need across the University.  The Service is responsive to the changing needs of Durham University and operates within clear ethical and professional guidelines. 

In collaboration with the Head of the Counselling  and Mental Health Service, the Deputy Head will manage the delivery and development of psychological support and mental health advice, line-managing a group of practitioners and administrators. They will identify Service improvements, write policy and procedure, and represent the Service at a range of working groups, committees and meetings. The post-holder will provide advice to Service and wider University staff on complex and high-risk casework, liaising with external services as necessary, and will deputize in the absence of the Head of Service.
Further information about the role and the responsibilities is at the bottom of this job description. 
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:  

•    30 Days annual leave per year in addition to 8 public holidays and 4 customary days per year – a total of 42 days per year.   
•    The University closes between Christmas and New Year
•    We offer a generous pension scheme, As a new member of staff you will be automatically enrolled into this University Superannuation Scheme (USS) which the University will add contributions of 21.4%.  
•    No matter how you travel to work, we have you covered.  We have ample parking across campus, a cycle to work scheme which helps you to buy a bike and discount with local bus and train companies. 
•    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.  
•    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 children’s clubs in the summer holidays. 
•    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). 
•    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.  
•    A salary sacrifice scheme is also available to help you take advantage of tax savings on benefits.  
•    If you are moving to Durham, we can help with removal costs and we have a dedicated team who can help you with the practicalities such as house hunting and schools.  If you need a visa, we cover most visa costs and offer an interest free loan scheme to pay for dependant visas. 


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.

Person Specification 

When you apply it is important that you let us know what skills/experience you have from a similar role which would make you right for this role.  Further information about the role and responsibilities is at the end of this job description
 Your application should cover the following criteria: 

  Essential Criteria

  • Excellent oral and written communication skills
  • Excellent digital competence with demonstrable skills in using core digital tools including internet, email, digital communication tools, Microsoft 365 applications, digital booking system, creative software, financial systems and recruitment tools  
  • Five GCSE’s at least Grade C or level four (or equivalent) including English Language and Mathematics (or equivalent experience). 
  • Educated to degree level (or equivalent experience). 
  • A professional qualification in nursing, psychological therapy, social work or equivalent.
  • Current registration with a professional body (ie NMC, BACP Full Accreditation, UKCP, HCPC or equivalent professional registration).
  • Professional practitioner with specialist knowledge and expertise in the area of psychological therapy, mental health care coordination/ case-management, or both.
  • Experience of working collaboratively and flexibly as part of a team that offers a range of different approaches to student support and wellbeing.
  • Track record of management experience and/or supervision across a large service or teams.
  • Experience of providing specialist advice and guidance to a range of customers and colleagues, including more senior colleagues. 
  • Ability to contribute to planning at operational and strategic levels, and to write and present policy and procedure documents. 
  • Continuing professional development required to maintain professional recognition. 
  • Knowledge and experience of ensuring compliance with regulatory and organisational policy and guidelines.    
  • Experience of being able to network effectively and develop effective working relationships, both internally and externally. 
  • Knowledge of a wide range of mental health issues, NHS structures, referral mechanisms and practices with respect to mental health, and the work of other support agencies.
  • Experience of leading on mental health crisis-management.
  • Desirable

  • Knowledge of professional frameworks and requirements of the diverse potential practitioners within the Service, ie psychological wellbeing practitioners, counsellors, social workers, mental health nurses.
  • Experience of providing mental health support to students or young people.

    Typical Role Requirements

    Service Delivery

    • Provide professional expertise in the delivery and development of wellbeing and psychological support, and mental health advice.
    • Deliver a specialist service using creativity and innovation to improve access for students, particularly under-represented groups.
    • Provide advice to University staff on crisis and risk-management and the management of complex casework
    • Consult with University colleagues and external agencies to ensure provision of optimal student support packages.
    • Manage and develop service-delivery, infrastructure and staff performance including management of psychological support waiting times, reporting to the Head of Service
    • Take the lead in maintaining professional standards and ethical working practice, including confidentiality and the management of risk, within  legislation and Service policy
    • Ensure all student-facing staff provide an accessible, friendly and professional service, .

    Planning and Organising

    • Lead on the design, implementation and monitoring of policy and procedure to ensure effective working and continuous improvement, including oversight of workload triage and allocation processes.
    • Identify areas requiring new or revised procedure; write and disseminate guidance and process documents to ensure consistent practice across the University
    • Analyse student feedback, to review and improve Service provision.  

    Teamwork and Team Development

    • Line-manage a group of staff from different professional backgrounds
    • Support staff professional development, provide feedback on team and individual performance and identify development needs through ADR and line-management
    • Recruit, induct, train and develop new team members. 
    • Delegate responsibilities to team members to ensure continuity of service provision and encourage skills development. 

    Communication and Networking

    • Liaise and engage with internal, local and sector networks to improve services and the University’s reputation
    • Lead internal meetings, working groups and committees to influence governance, organisational policy and standards.
    • Represent the service and University at promotional events and contribute to the delivery of presentations at sector and partner network events. Any other reasonable duties. 

    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. It will be at the discretion of the recruiting panel as to whether they will also consider any desirable criteria, but we would urge candidates to provide evidence for all criteria.  
    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 throughout the selection process, via automated emails from our e-recruitment system. Please check your spam/junk folder periodically to make sure you have not missed any of our updates. 
    What you need to submit    
    •    A CV: and    
    •    A supporting statement which outlines how you meet all of the criteria within the Person Specification.     

    Contact details    
    For a chat about the role or any further information please contact Kate Augarde, Head of Service at 

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