Deputy Director of Corporate Services

Vacancy details

Based at: Avon Fire & Rescue Service Headquarters, Portishead BS20 8JJ

Contract: Permanent

Hours: 37 hours per week

Salary: Hay 1 (£55,645 - £61,398) - pay award pending

Closing date: 12:00 (midday) on Wednesday 21 April 2021

We are seeking a Deputy Director of Corporate Services to help lead Avon Fire and Rescue’s key business operations from finance, IT, estates, environment and procurement to human resources, communications, corporate assurance, performance and administration.   In this role no two days will be the same but you will be making a difference to our staff and communities every day.

This is a role for a leader with significant experience of working effectively at a strategic level and with an approach which demonstrates our values.  Joining at a time of change, the successful candidate will work with the Director of Corporate Services to actively develop and drive forward the ambition of the Directorate and contribute to wider collaboration, transformation and culture change in Avon Fire and Rescue Service.

The main purpose of the role is to: ensure effective planning and management of our people, financial and property resources; enable the ongoing delivery, development and improvement of our core business functions; and nurture and sustain a collaborative, inclusive and learning culture in which our staff are encouraged, developed and supported to be their best and achieve great results.

We are looking for someone who has significant experience of strategy making and planning, leading and developing multi-disciplinary, high performing teams, and embracing change and innovation to improve what we do and how we work in collaboration with our staff and partners.   Ideally you will also have a degree level (or equivalent) professional qualification in a relevant discipline to compliment this experience and value set.  This is a fast paced environment and therefore the successful candidate will also be self-driven and proactive in their approach.

The Service embraces flexible working but some office based work will be required.  As this post is based at our new Headquarters which we share with Avon & Somerset Police, the successful applicant will be required to undergo a security clearance check.   

We welcome questions and discussions about our posts.  Please email if you would like to discuss the role with the Director of Corporate Services or a member of the team.

To see the full duties of the role and candidate criteria please see the job description at the bottom of this page.

How to apply:

Once you have read the job description please complete the application form telling us how you meet the requirements of the role - tell us how your skills, qualifications, experience and approach align with what we are looking for and provide examples wherever you can. The information you give us will assist us in our shortlisting process.   Your values and approach are important to us and therefore, while they will be accepted, CVs may not provide the fullest opportunity for you to talk about your suitability. 

Completed applications should be submitted to Human Resources, Avon Fire & Rescue Service, Police & Fire Headquarters, PO Box 37, Valley Road, Portishead, Bristol BS20 8JJ by the closing date and time. Alternatively, you can email your application to

Late applications will not be accepted. 

Please note we will not be accepting CVs via Recruitment agencies. 

Please quote job reference number 1022 on any communications. Thank you.


Avon Fire & Rescue Service is committed to securing equality of opportunity

We welcome applications from all members of our community who are currently under-represented at

Avon Fire & Rescue Service, particularly women, Disabled people and members of Black & Minority Ethnic communities

Job description







Job Description



Deputy Director of Corporate Services


Corporate Services







1.         JOB PURPOSE


    1. Working with the Director of Corporate Services, this senior leadership role is responsible for the effective operational delivery of a wide ranging, multi-disciplinary Corporate Services function of approximately 60 people, providing strategic leadership and development to ensure a high performing and cohesive team.  The Directorate currently consists of the following departments: Finance, Property Services, Performance, Planning & Assurance, Communications, Human Resources, Procurement & Supplies, ICT, Data Protection, Audit and Inspection, and Administration Services.     


    1. The post holder will play a pivotal role in ensuring Avon Fire and Rescue Service’s (AF&RS) core business functions are effective, modern and continuously improving including providing expert advice, high quality data and reports to the Service Leadership Board, the Service Leadership Team and the Fire Authority.


    1. Working closely with the Director of Corporate Services, they will also actively develop and, drive forward, the strategic direction and ambition of the Directorate.


    1. This role will also actively assist and support the Director of Corporate Services to further develop the Service-wide collaboration strategy for Avon Fire and Rescue Service (AF&RS) working with key partners inside and outside of the Service, and across the Emergency Services.


    1. The post holder will also deputise for the Director at Service, local, regional and national meetings and deputise as the Senior Risk Information Officer (SIRO) for the Service.




    1. AF&RS delivers a wide range of fire, rescue and community safety services across our geographic area, serving a residential population of more than one million people, with an annual budget in excess of £50 million. AF&RS have 21 operational fire stations and employs over 800 members of made up of whole time and on-call firefighters, control and Corporate Services staff.


    1. Avon Fire Authority (AFA) is responsible for making sure that the Service performs well and is good value for money.  It is a locally accountable body made up of elected members from the unitary authorities of Bath and North East Somerset, Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire.


    1. The post has a leadership role across AF&R Service, as well as for the Corporate Services Directorate.  The Service and Directorate are undergoing a significant period of change in order to improve efficiency and effectiveness and modernise. The post holder will be instrumental in supporting the Director, Board and leadership team colleagues to ensure necessary and continuous change and improvement.


    1. This role sits in the Corporate Services Directorate directly under the Director of Corporate Services.







    1. Working closely with the Director of Corporate Services and engaging with the leadership teams, Heads of Department and staff, support the ongoing development and implementation of the Corporate Services strategy and AF&RS core business strategies (for example Estates, ICT, Procurement, People and Assets). This work will include business development, modernisation and transformation of each Department and the Directorate as a cohesive team.


    1. Working with the Department Heads, proactively seek and explore best practise in the sector and conduct high quality research and analysis to identify and evaluate opportunities for innovation and ongoing improvement encouraging new ways of working and creativity as an enabler for change.


    1. In line with the transformation of the Service and Fire Sector, work effectively with internal and external bodies (including auditors), Department Heads and other relevant teams to review the efficiency and effectiveness of their functions.  Provide support and guidance to redesign systems and processes which simplify and automate whilst also maintaining essential internal control frameworks and good governance.


    1. Responsible for the effective strategic planning, implementation and delivery of the Directorate strategies and unit plans providing support and working effectively with the Department Heads to ensure objectives and statutory and non-statutory requirements are met to time and quality.  The scale of this work is significant.  It requires the ability to understand the complexities within each specialist function and involves co-ordinating a diverse range of work streams ensuring they are aligned and delivered within set deadlines, regulations and resources and under the scrutiny of internal and external stakeholders and inspections.


    1. Ensure the Service has a robust business planning and corporate risk management framework together with well-practised business continuity plans in respect of its core corporate functions such as IT.


    1. Apply critical thinking and exercise sound judgement in solving issues across the Corporate Service Directorate.  Advise and assist the Director on significant technical and functional issues which impact on the effectiveness of the function.


    1. Responsible for the planning and preparation of high quality, timely reports, analysis and business cases for the Service Leadership Board and a number of Fire Authority Committees (including the Audit Committee and the Local Pension Board) working with Heads of Department and the Director.  The post holder may also be required to present reports to the Board, Authority, its Committees and internal and external bodies as required with confidence and political acuity. 


    1. Working closely with the Head of Finance, Director, and Treasurer, oversee and support Heads of Department in the effective management of the Corporate Services budget (currently £4.7M excluding staff costs) applying sound financial practice, ensuring best value for money and reporting progress and any issues or concerns to the Director. In addition ensure there is effective workforce planning in each Department and oversee their management of contracts and Service assets.


    1. Work effectively with the Director and key partners on the ongoing development of the AF&RS collaboration strategy (which extends across all the Service and its partners) and, for Corporate Services specifically, seek out new opportunities for mutually beneficial collaboration and/or sharing of data and services with blue light partners.


    1. Be a strong advocate for Corporate Services engaging with the wider workforce to improve mutual understanding of roles and contribution and attend key, relevant regional and national meetings to represent AF&RS.


    1. In the absence of the Director of Corporate Services, deputise in matters involving the Fire Authority or Service Leadership Board, ensuring a competent, objective and professional representation of the Directorate and Service.


    1. Act as a deputy Senior Risk Information Officer in the absence of the Director of Corporate Services as necessary, which would incorporate high level engagement with the Clerk, Data Protection Officer and Information Commissioner.


    1. Responsible for keeping up to date with regulatory change and best practice (inside and outside the fire and rescue service) in respect of corporate functions including working with National Fire Chief’s Council (NFCC), Local Government Association (LGA).




    1. As part of the Service Leadership Team (SLT) proactively help lead and deliver the overarching Service values and priorities (making our communities safer and service stronger), improvements to the Service’s performance and culture and the requirements of Her Majesty’s Inspectorate.


    1. As part of SLT, proactively support the Service Leadership Board in driving forward change and creating a culture of continuous improvement and innovation which improves the employee experience, public safety, transparency, capacity and value for money.


    1. Provide clear, visible and professional leadership for the Corporate Services Teams supporting delivery, development and innovation and ensuring cohesiveness and collaboration across functions and with the wider Service. 


    1. Work with the Director of Corporate Services to motivate, empower (and where needed) coach the Department Heads to build confidence, capability and capacity.  This will include personally conducting Personal Development Reviews, 1:1s and team meetings for effective planning and monitoring of performance, attendance and development and ensure objectives are met, staff are supported and able to develop their skills and potential.


    1. Encourage, embed and promote a culture of continuous improvement, innovation, creativity, health and wellbeing, inclusion, equality of opportunity and exemplary leadership within the Directorate aligned to Service values,


    1. Responsible for resolving day to day staffing issues with Corporate Services as they arise and, where necessary, refer people or resourcing concerns to the Director of Corporate Service as appropriate.


    1. Personally drive and manage personal and professional development through seeking and engaging with opportunities to enhance knowledge, skills and competencies to meet the existing and future requirements of the role.


4.        GENERAL


    1. Ensure that as an AF&RS employee you exemplify behaviours aligned to the Service values; courageous, ambitious, honest, respectful, inclusive and transparent.


    1. Ensure you maintain an awareness of Health and Safety Regulations relevant to the duties and tasks you carry out and report any situations or incidents which could be considered hazardous.  You have a responsibility for your own safety and must not endanger that of colleagues/visitors in the workplace or the public.


    1. Ensure you perform all duties in accordance with the principles and requirements of Data Protection legislation, upholding AF&RS policies and practices.


    1. As an employee of AF&RS, we require all staff and leaders to promote equality and diversity by:


  • ensuring that, both in your dealings with other employees and with members of the public, you comply with all aspects of the Service’s Equality Policy and legislation that outlaws discrimination;
  • treating members of the public and other AF&RS staff  with  respect, dignity and in line with the expectations determined by our Service values at all times;
  • taking action on witnessing an act that could be considered discrimination or harassment, challenging it and/or raising with managers.


    1. Carry out such other duties as may reasonably be required in relation to a post of this nature, without prejudice to your right to seek a re-evaluation of the post.


    1. This job description contains only the main responsibilities for this post and does not describe in detail all the duties required to carry them out.





5.1       The post holder reports to the Director of Corporate Services who will provide overall direction and set objectives.


5.2       The post holder will lead the day to day operations of Corporate Services working under his/her own initiative, making key decisions and updating the Director of Corporate Services as necessary.


5.3       The post holder is directly responsible for Department Heads as allocated including all line management duties commensurate with this level of leadership. 







6.1       A qualification (level 6) in a relevant discipline (e.g. leadership, management, business, finance, leadership, human resources etc.) and membership of a professional organisation relevant to the role (e.g. MCIPS, CIPFA, CIPD). Significant experience in a relevant corporate leadership role may be acceptable in lieu of these criteria.


6.2       Proven ability and significant experience of working effectively at pace at a strategic level within a complex multi-disciplinary environment with high workloads.


6.3       Proven experience in strategic analysis, strategy setting and implementation and decision making at senior level.


6.4       Significant experience of leading, managing, coaching and motivating others in a collegiate way to develop successful teams at a strategic/senior level.


6.5       An aptitude for creativity, innovation and change with experience of leading change including effective staff engagement. 


6.6       Proven ability to be self-driven and proactive in their approach and in their problem solving.


    1. A proven track record of strong and credible communication, influencing and interpersonal skills to build effective working relationships with a wide range of stakeholders (internally and externally) to drive delivery, collaboration, change and innovation. 


    1. Significant experience of writing and presenting high quality written reports and business cases to directors and senior managers.


    1. Evidence of building relationships and credibility at a senior level.


    1. Proven knowledge and experience of financial management, budget planning and monitoring at a strategic and practical level.


    1. Relevant knowledge & understanding of the corporate requirements within a public service organisation, including people, legal, funding and budgets, resources, political, environmental and health & safety responsibilities.


    1. Commitment to self-development and experience in developing others.





6.13     Experience of working with politicians and Members in local or central government.


6.14     Experience of working with Trade Unions and Staff Networks and the ability to effectively communicate, consult and negotiate. 


6.15    A general awareness of the pressures under which local authorities operate and a well-informed understanding of the dynamics of working in an environment of political and public scrutiny. 


6.16     Proven experience of programme and project management.


6.17     Proven experience of contract management.


6.18     Proven experience of risk and business continuity management


6.19     Knowledge and experience of data protection issues and risk management at a senior level.



7.         SPECIAL NOTES


7.1       The Chief Fire Officer/Chief Executive will, from time to time, change references and principal accountabilities of Leadership Team Members, in order to meet the needs of the service which may affect department allocations across Directorates.


    1. This post requires some travel both locally and nationally for which appropriate reimbursements apply.  Therefore a current driving licence and willingness to travel around the Service area using own or provided transport is required.


    1. The post is based at the joint police and fire headquarters and willingness to undertake the police vetting process which is a requirement.


    1. This role may involve you dealing with highly confidential and sensitive information.  It is essential that you ensure this information is held and processed securely and that you act with tact and discretion at all times and comply with the General Data Protection Requirement (GDPR).  Confidentiality must be maintained, even after leaving this post or AF&RS employment.  




For the use of the HR Unit only:


 Date approved:            14 December 2020


 Date effective:             14 December 2020


To be signed by post holder:







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