Director of Corporate Services

Vacancy details



Director of Corporate Services


Based at: Avon Fire and Rescue Services Headquarters (Portishead)

Contract:  Permanent

Hours: 37 hours per week (minimum)

Salary: £93,069 per annum

Closing date: 29 May 2020


Avon Fire & Rescue Service has a vacancy on our Service Leadership Board for a Corporate Services Director.  The post holder will be required to lead across a range of professional disciplines including Property Services, Corporate Performance & Assurance, Communications & Marketing, Finance, Human Resources, Procurement & Supplies, ICT and administration services. 


The role involves working alongside the Chief Fire Officer/Chief Executive, Assistant Chief Fire Officers, Treasurer and Clerk to ensure efficient and effective delivery of services to the community and continuous improvement.   


Avon Fire & Rescue Service operates within the four Unitary Authorities of Bath and North East Somerset, Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire and has 850 employees. Our operational area encompasses a broad risk profile.


We are in a period of significant organisational change and austerity.  As a member of the Service Leadership Board you will be required to devise and lead the implementation of strategies to further improve the quality and effectiveness of services provided, working in collaboration with partner organisations.  The role involves engagement with Elected Members of Avon Fire Authority, working together to shape the direction of the Service.  This requires political awareness and an understanding of the community in which Avon Fire & Rescue Service operates.     


The successful candidate will be a strong leader with extensive experience across a range of professional strategic disciplines operating at senior management level.    This role requires ability for demonstrating strategic leadership, integrated risk management planning, business, financial and succession planning, performance and people management and partnership working.  You should have a proven record of delivering results and improvements.  Candidates will be required to evidence well developed problem solving skills and the ability to resolve complex organisational issues.


We are seeking candidates who welcome the challenge of a broad range of responsibilities and possess the ability to make a significant contribution to the work of the Fire Authority and shape our strategic development.


The full details of the role are outlined in the job description.  Further information can be obtained from Chief Fire Officer/Chief Executive Mick Crennell (0117 926 2061 Ext 233 or 07918 887509). 


How to apply:

Please submit your CV along with a detailed covering letter, providing evidence of your experience against the criteria contained within the job description.  Applications should be submitted to Human Resources, Avon Fire & Rescue Service, Police & Fire Headquarters, PO Box 37, Valley Road, Portishead, Bristol BS20 8JJ or by e-mail to Please quote job reference number 1021. 

Job description



1.1       Responsible as a member of the Service Leadership Board (SLB) for the strategic direction and effective and efficient delivery of corporate services. The Corporate Services Directorate comprises of Property Services, Performance & Assurance, Communications & Marketing, Finance, Human Resources, Procurement & Supplies, ICT and administration services.      






2.1       As a member of SLB, to be jointly responsible for the leadership, direction and performance of Corporate Services within Avon Fire & Rescue Service to ensure it fulfils its statutory and non-statutory obligations to the organisation and community.  Ensure Corporate Service Managers provide appropriate professional advice and guidance to the Service Leadership Board/Team, Elected Members of the Combined Fire Authority and associated Committees.


2.2       To assist the Authority in promoting corporate aims and objectives, values and cultural change in line with our Culture and Inclusion Strategy.


2.3       To ensure the service responds positively to the requirements of HMICFRS, audit regimes and peer reviews.  The scale of this work is significant.  It requires the ability to co-ordinate a diverse range of work streams and organisational priorities, ensuring they are aligned and delivered within set deadlines and resources.  This requires the ability to adapt plans and implement required changes swiftly to demonstrate efficiency and effective leadership. 


2.4       To be proactive in promoting the Service Mission and Values.  To actively lead, support and facilitate the implementation and delivery of corporate services strategies and policies.


2.5       To directly manage the Deputy Director of Corporate Services and jointly lead the corporate services functional units.  Ensure corporate objectives are appropriately focused, adapt to changing circumstances and are implemented in a cohesive manner.  The role requires the ability to understand the complexities within each specialist function and to work with each Manager to ensure emerging issues are correctly identified and proposed solutions are appropriate and efficient.   


2.6       To assist the Authority in creating a culture of continuous performance improvement which meet the requirements of the community and the requirements of statutory assessment and external scrutiny


2.7       To actively liaise with Members of the Combined Fire Authority to support them in their role, including producing Committee reports, briefing notes and research documents as appropriate.  Attend meetings and present information in association with relevant functional Managers. 


2.9       To be responsible for corporate risk management ensuring there is an accurate log of risks and mitigations and that this is assessed on a monthly basis by the Service Leadership Team.


2.10     Monitor Corporate Services budgets (£4.7m, excluding staff costs) ensuring Functional Managers accurately forecast annual budgets and manage expenditure effectively to ensure value for money.  Ensure Corporate Services financial information provided to the Finance Manager, Treasurer and SLB by the Functional Managers is comprehensive and accurate to enable appropriate financial decision making and governance. 


3.         MANAGERIAL


3.1       In conjunction with the Deputy Director of Corporate Services, ensure performance management meetings with functional Managers are conducted, providing strategic direction, leadership, vision and mentoring, to ensure delivery aligns with corporate objectives and targets. 


3.2       Actively manage performance and attendance across Corporate Services as part of the wider cultural improvement strategy.


3.3       In conjunction with the Deputy Director, lead, motivate and manage Functional Managers, including their performance and development as appropriate, ensuring activities are conducted with maximum effectiveness and efficiency in line with Service policies and objectives.


3.4       Ensure Functional Managers have the necessary development, support, resources and empowerment to effectively lead, manage and review the performance of employees within their functions. 


3.5       Ensure Functional Managers effectively manage their services, contracts, budgets and resources to enable effective delivery of organisational priorities and objectives. 


3.6       To delegate appropriate day-to-day responsibilities to the Deputy Director or the respective Functional Managers who will be responsible for the achievement of timely results to agreed standards.


3.7       To agree with Functional Managers clear targets and timescales for their functions and budget plans, ensuring they adequately and appropriately reflect the Service’s objectives, policies and procedures, as well as address targets contained in the Corporate Service Plan and Integrated Risk Management Plan.




3.9       The post holder must ensure that, both in their dealings with other employees and with members of the public, they adhere to the principles of equality, fairness and dignity and must confront incidents of behaviour that offend against those principles.


3.10     All Leaders and employees are jointly responsible for ensuring compliance with the Health & Safety At Work Act.  As Director of Corporate Services you will lead your functional managers to ensure potential risks are identified and mitigated and any Health, Safety & Welfare issues are resolved appropriately.  


3.11     This Job Description contains only the main accountabilities relating to the post and does not describe in detail the duties required to carry them out.




4.1       The post holder reports to the Chief Fire Officer/Executive Director, with whom there is regular contact and by whom overall parameters and objectives are set.


4.2       The post holder is a full member of the Service Leadership Board (SLB) and is, therefore, expected to contribute strategic and corporate innovations to this forum with little or no direct supervision.


4.3       The post holder is directly responsible for line managing the Deputy Director of Corporate Services to jointly lead and manage a number of Functional Managers.  This encompasses ensuring Managers have the correct skills and expertise to lead their departments, providing guidance, development, support and direction as required to ensure the Corporate Services Directorate contributes to the efficient and effective running of Avon Fire & Rescue Service. 




5.1       Significant experience of leading a large team across a diverse range of professional disciplines is essential. 


5.2       The post holder will lead, involve and motivate others and will be expected to demonstrate their ability to work as part of a strategic team and deliver positive outcomes in line with organisational objectives.  Experience of driving and managing change to improve organisational effectiveness is essential.


5.3       The post holder will be committed to development of themselves and their teams and will have strong influencing skills.  The ability to communicate effectively both orally and in writing is required. 


5.4       The post holder must have a commitment to diversity and integrity, and have well developed problem solving skills.


5.5       The full list of essential experience and desirable qualifications is contained within the person specification.


6.         JOB CONTEXT


6.1       Avon Fire & Rescue Service services the Unitary Authority areas of Bristol, Bath and North East Somerset, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire, with fire stations and office locations in each area.  It is a Combined Fire Authority, consisting of Members drawn from these authorities.  Avon Fire Authority is a precept Authority.  Service Headquarters is based at Portishead with offices in Bristol, Bath, Weston-Super-Mare and Yate.  In total, there are 21 fire stations.  The Control Centre where emergency calls are handled is based in Lansdown, near Bath.


6.2       The Service is going through a period of significant change in order to improve the quality and effectiveness of the services it provides.  These post holders, along with Management Board colleagues, will be instrumental in ensuring necessary organisational change is introduced successfully, whilst maintaining employee motivation and ensuring employees are focused on customer satisfaction and the delivery of efficient and effective services to the public and outside organisations. 


6.3       As a member of the Service Leadership Board (SLB), the Service’s corporate decision-making forum, the post holder is involved in determining the Services overall strategy as well as ensuring that Member’s decisions are implemented.




7.1       The principal role of the post holder is to assist the Chief Fire Officer/Chief Executive in the maintenance and development of effective service provision.  The role has responsibilities to the Fire Authority and the public.  This post directly contributes to the Fire Authority’s aims of making the Service stronger and community safer.  The post holder must be able to initiate and promote strategies, policies and action plans which sustain and develop the corporate aims and objectives.  In addition, as a member of the Service Leadership Board (SLB) the post holder plays an important role in determining the Service’s direction and development, and ensuring planning and performance monitoring procedures are developed and implemented in line with the Service’s overall strategy.


7.2       The post holder must have wide-ranging knowledge of the issues relevant to an area such as that covered by Avon Fire & Rescue Service, be aware of the pressures under which local authorities operate.  The Director of Corporate Services may occasionally be required to contribute in leading and directing organisational critical incidents. 


8.         CONTACTS


8.1       The post holder has frequent and regular contact with the other members of the Service Leadership Board (SLB) and with the other Functional Managers, as well as with Members of the Combined Fire Authority.  There is also wide-ranging contact with professional colleagues in other Services and organisations both locally and nationally, and with Members of the four Unitary Authorities.  There will also be contact with central government agencies or departments, and occasionally with the general public.


9.         NOTES


9.1       The Chief Fire Officer/Chief Executive will, from time to time, change references and principal accountabilities of Leadership Board Members, in order to meet the needs of the service.


9.2       This post is designated as politically sensitive under the 1989 Local Government and Housing Act by virtue of it being a designated post, and, as such, will comply with these regulations.













Source of evidence


Source of evidence

Skills and aptitudes


Proven leadership and excellent interpersonal and social interaction skills.


Authoritative, confident and fair with an approachable manner


Proven ability to develop and manage teams and to consult with colleagues/stakeholders


Proven ability to work effectively under pressure to meet tight deadlines showing flexibility in their approach to situations.


Commitment to the values of the Authority.


Evidence of strategic analysis and decision making ability at senior level.


The ability to sensitively and effectively manage situations, with political acuity, tact and diplomacy


Ability to communicate, negotiate and interact effectively, orally and in writing, with people from a wide variety of backgrounds and with the media and Politicians





AF   I   




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Knowledge & understanding of the corporate requirements of a public service, including people, legal, budgets, resources environmental and health & safety responsibilities.



AF I   





Experience of interacting with Members and other politicians.


Proven senior management experience and evidence of personal development (by qualification or experience).



Experience of developing and working in successful teams.


Experience in cultivating and working in partnerships and collaborations.


Proven experience of programme and project management

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Appropriate management qualifications


Driving Licence 







Membership of a relevant professional organisation. (e.g. IFE / CMI / IoD / CIPD, etc)


Relevant senior management qualifications. (e.g. MBA/MPA/MA Mgt/NVQ5)


Degree or higher qualification, indicating intellectual capacity for analysis, data presentation and reporting.












Other requirements

Displays ethical standards and behaves in a manner commensurate with a senior public sector role


Ability to travel to meetings/locations locally, regionally and nationally to meet requirements of role, which will include the use of a car on a frequent basis.


Willingness to undertake external activities in the wider FRS interest (subject to approval of the Fire Authority as appropriate)

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AF - Application Form

I – Interview

P – Presentation

M - Medical declaration / examination

DC - Document check





Documents and forms