British Council

Director Examinations, East Asia


Job Responsibilities

The purpose of this role is to set the 3 year + Regional Exams strategy and deliver income and surplus for the Region aligning with Global Exams and Regional BC strategy. The Regional Exams Director (RED) is ultimately responsible for overall performance, customer experience and reputation ensuring the demand pipeline, partnership relationships, capacity, consistency, capability and appropriate cost model is in place to deliver a sustainable business. The RED provides leadership to country teams ensuring that they are delivering in line with client expectation and in accordance with rigorous compliance procedures.

- Accountabilities
The post is accountable for delivery of all aspects of the regional exams strategy: business development, operations and marketing, as well as financial performance across 12 countries and territories with a turnover of £160m and 1.4m tests. Make a full contribution to the regional leadership team – including matters outside the direct orbit of exams – and the exams global leadership team.

-Exams strategy and planning
Lead the development of both the medium term strategy and annual business plan for Exams across East Asia, ensuring an appropriate balance is struck between SBU, regional and country priorities and market opportunities.
As a key member of the Regional Leadership Team contribute to the development of the East Asia Regional Plan, aligned to wider corporate priorities and targets, ensuring the British Council maximises local market opportunities to deliver optimal cultural relations impact in a financially sustainable way.

- Leadership & management
Develop, motivate and manage the performance of the Regional English Leadership Team, to ensure it creates the right climate for the regional operation to succeed.
Articulate a clear and compelling vision for the English business across the region, to ensure that all staff have clarity about medium-term strategy and long term direction and are committed to achieving a set of shared goals.
As a member of the Regional leadership team, contribute to the development of medium-term workforce planning for the region, ensuring that the BC has the right staff, in the right locations and with the requisite skills necessary to deliver corporate objectives.
As a senior member of the English SBU, contribute actively to effective decision-making and planning across the global business, and lead specific corporate initiatives and projects, as required.

- Operational management
Negotiate with SBU, regional and country-based colleagues to agree optimal resource allocation, organisational structures and staff deployment to enable effective and profitable achievement of the East Asia English strategy.
Work closely with the Regional Director and Deputy Regional Director to ensure country-based staff are held to account for delivering required targets.
Monitor and review the performance against plan of the region’s Exams teams, taking remedial action where necessary, to ensure achievement of agreed targets.
Provide regular reports on performance of the Exams business across the region, to enable effective decision-making and planning at regional and SBU levels.
Lead the production of high quality analyses of operational activity, trends, opportunities and risks to ensure that regional strategies and plans are robust and realistic.

- Market building & brand positioning
Ultimate accountability for standards, customer experience & assurance
Track and monitor a range of market and competitor data, to inform the development of market opportunities and grow the business, and input into product strategy.
Work with the Marketing department to define the marketing strategy for the UK Exams business, and ensure its effective implementation across the region, to build brand consistency, quality and visibility across multiple markets.
Work closely with customer management leads to sure an efficient and optimal customer experience.
Accountable for delivering the business plan (financial/non-financial targets as well as marketing plans and projects linked to regional strategy) and for high standards of quality control in financial compliance

- Relationship, stakeholder and key account management
Identify, cultivate and manage high-level, strategic alliances with key partners/customers to facilitate the achievement of SBU and corporate objectives within assessment services.
Lead the planning, coordination and delegation of appropriate account management responsibilities and targets to Exams colleagues across the region, in order to support effective business development, pipeline planning and income generation.
Build and maintain excellent relationships with internal partners and stakeholders, to ensure effective, integrated and joined-up delivery of agreed business objectives.


- Significant experience of leadership and management in 2-3 examinations operations (large, multi-centre businesses) including management of teams and achieving organisational objectives through others
- Experience of strategic leadership of a substantial business
- Detailed knowledge of the current British Council product offer in testing and assessment.
- Evidence of the ability to use data and analysis to drive commercial decision-making for business benefit at centre, country and regional level.
- Extensive and detailed knowledge of examinations operations across a range of product areas and the ability to lead teams focused on operational excellence and service delivery in large scale B2C markets.
- Proven track record in developing and implementing integrated business development strategies and the ability to establish and maintain large networks of B2B clients across a range of target segments for British Council testing and assessment products.
- The ability to develop and implement Sales, Marketing and Operational Planning processes across multiple geographies resulting in accurate demand forecasting, optimal supply and efficiency benefits.
- The ability to optimise the mix of paper-based, computer-based and the use of technology solutions for remote testing.

About the Organization

The British Council builds connections, understanding and trust between people in the UK and other countries through arts and culture, education and the English language. We work in two ways – directly with individuals to transform their lives, and with governments and partners to make a bigger difference for the longer term, creating benefit for millions of people all over the world. We help young people to gain the skills, confidence and connections they are looking for to realise their potential and to participate in strong and inclusive communities. We support them to learn English, to get a high-quality education and to gain internationally recognised qualifications. Our work in arts and culture stimulates creative expression and exchange and nurtures creative enterprise. We connect the best of the UK with the world and the best of the world with the UK. These connections lead to an understanding of each other's strengths and of the challenges and values that we share. This builds trust between people in the UK and other nations which endures even when official relations may be strained. We work on the ground in more than 100 countries. In 2019-20 we connected with 80 million people directly and with 791 million overall, including online and through our broadcasts and publications.

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