Operations Administrator

Durham University

Operations Administrator (
Job Number:
Department of History
Grade 4:  £23,144 – £24,533 per annum
Fixed Term  Full Time
Contract Duration: 12 months
Contracted Hours per Week: 35
Closing Date
: 13-Nov-2023, 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 Operations Administrator will be responsible for assisting the Head of Department and Department Manager to deliver efficient and innovative professional support solutions across all operations activities.

They will act as a key member of the department operations team, and will possess strong organisational and logistical skills, as well as being detail-orientated.  The History professional support team is a small group (8 people) and we are looking for someone who possesses a ‘can do’ approach and enjoys problem solving and thinking outside the box.

The Department of History at Durham has established itself firmly as one of the top History departments in the UK.  Staff and students are part of a vibrant learning community, set within the magnificent location of Durham’s World Heritage Site. Our research and teaching extend from late antiquity and the Middle Ages to contemporary history; from the British Isles and continental Europe (including Russia) to the USA, Africa, South and East Asia; and across social, cultural, gender, visual, scientific, environmental, political and economic history. In the Univjobs (THE) World University Rankings by Subject 2022, Arts & Humanities subjects at Durham were ranked 26th. 
The History Department is an excellent and rewarding place to work.  Our Professional Support colleagues are based in a dedicated hub at 43 North Bailey; well equipped with personal desk space in an open-plan office, plus dedicated breakout space for meetings.  Hybrid working opportunities are encouraged, with the possibility of working up to two days out of five (Monday to Friday) from home. 

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.  The University closes between Christmas and New 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 apply

When you apply it is important that you let us know what skills/experience you have from a similar role and/or what skills/experience you have which would make you right for this role.  Further information about the role and responsibilities is at the end of this job description.  Where a criteria has an asterisk* next to it, it may be given additional weighting when your application is considered.

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

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

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

3.     Experience of managing time to meet deadlines and working under pressure without compromising on quality.


4.     Good spoken and written communication skills. *

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

6.     Committed to continuing professional development.

7.     Ability to solve problems and resolve straightforward issues yourself and as part of a team. *

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

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 
•    A covering letter (maximum 1 page A4)
•    A Word document with examples of how you satisfy the Person Specification/Essential Criteria (above).  Please ensure you give relevant examples of how you meet these eight criteria (maximum 200 words per criterion);

Contact details 
If you would like to have a chat or ask any questions about the role, John Thompson (Department Manager) would be happy to speak to you. Please email [email protected] to arrange a convenient time. 

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 your colleagues, students and anyone else you come across as part of your role].

·         Use your experience and problem-solving skills to resolve routine issues with things relevant to your role and provide information and updates to help your team find solutions.

·         Collect, organise and record data and information accurately and provide reports as 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 and PowerPoint] to deliver services.

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

·         Arrange [meeting/event venues and travel arrangements] for other members of the Department.



·         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 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.



·         Seek feedback from colleagues 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.

·         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.

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. 

The post is full time, fixed term for one year and may be offered on an internal secondment basis subject to the agreement of the current line manager.

Appointment to this post is fixed term to cover the substantive post holder’s adoption leave and is not anticipated to be extended.

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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