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Business Operations Manager Job at British Council Nigeria – Abuja/Lagos


The British Council is the world’s leading cultural relations organization and creates opportunities for people in the UK and worldwide to understand each other, to work together and learn from one another. We see this as crucial to building secure, more prosperous and sustainable futures for us all. We build trust and understanding between different countries and cultures and develop strong international links that are of benefit to people in Britain and the rest of the world.

We are recruiting to fill the position below:

Job Title: Business Operations Manager

Location: Lagos/Abuja
Role Type: Business Delivery
Pay Band: PB7
Duration: 12 Months (fixed term)
Reports to: Country Exams Manager

Role Purpose

  • To ensure increasing effectiveness and efficiency of operational delivery of all exam products in Nigeria through identification, implementation, maintenance from business improvement approaches as part of the Global Business improvement strategy and exams change programmes.
  • Ensure minimal operational disruption during transition period.

Geopolitical/SBU/Function Overview

  • Nigeria is now officially the largest economy in Africa. It is also the most populous country with over 180 million citizens. The UK is its largest trading partner.
  • Nigeria holds significant political power in the region and internationally and its society retains a positive attitude to the UK.
  • Therefore, there continue to be major opportunities for the UK and British Council to build on our strong existing relationships with the Nigerian government, institutions and customers/audiences.
  • However, there are complex and substantial risks to this work i.e. security and compliance.
  • Nigeria is the British Council’s largest operation in sub-Saharan Africa with offices in 4 cities – Port Harcourt in the south, Kano in the north, Abuja the Federal capital and Lagos the commercial centre.
  • We also have a number of project offices across the country. Our 200 staff work across a range of states delivering large scale contracts, partnership programmes, examinations, projects as well as services in Arts, Education & Society and English & Exams.
  • We are already achieving substantial impact and income (current annual income is £27.2 million) and have plans to grow and develop our impact further.
  • Partners and clients include government, public and private institutions, foundations, private sector organisations and civil society.
  • We work closely with the wider UK mission including DFID and UKTI.


  • 42% of Nigeria’s population is under 14. The government has recognised that its Vision 2020 must address the aspirations of this young population as part of its drive to achieve peace and prosperity.
  • This has led to unprecedented interest and investment in Education, the Arts and good governance.
  • This alignment with the UK’s priorities creates a growth environment for the British Council.
  • To be successful in this, we need to build understanding with our UK stakeholders of Nigeria as an emerging economy with substantial commercial and development opportunities as well as the challenges they may be more familiar with.
  • In this we will seek to integrate our approach with that of the wider UK mission.
  • We intend to expand and scale up our existing programmes, contracts and services in the Arts, Education & Society, English & Examinations and develop offers to fill important gaps such as in Skills.
  • We also intend to ensure that we have a good balance of partnership, customer services and client funded work across all these sectors. To do all this we need to create the right enabling environment.
  • In addition to developing the professional and technical expertise of our staff, we need to support them to build their relationships within Nigeria, the region and the wider global network.
  • This will ensure we develop as well as adopt and use best practice. We also need rigorous and compliant frameworks to support our work in areas such as finance, tax & status, security, procurement, compliance and quality management. We have new premises in Kano and have a major premises project under development in Abuja.
  • However, there is still more work to be done, especially in Lagos and Port Harcourt to ensure our premises and technology support our brand reputation for integrity, innovation and professionalism.
  • The Exams business in Nigeria has grown significantly in recent years. We doubled our income and volumes between 2011 and 2013. In 2014/15 we delivered 90,000 examinations, this financial year the target is 100,000 exams on a turnover of £8.5m. Nigeria examinations work encompasses School exams, IELTS, and a wide range of academic and professional qualifications.

Main Opportunities/Challenges for this Role

  • The postholder will operate across Nigeria. The role will be accountable to provide people, process and change leadership through a transitional period to ensure business as usual operations is maintained while transitioning to a new operating model.
  • Support the ongoing delivery of the current Exams Transformation Programme portfolio ensuring that the supply chain is efficient and effective on a global basis.
  • Implementation of new products and services including support of the transition from paper based to computer based exams
  • Champion for the region to enable the business to respond to future product demands.
  • Review and guarantee improvement of exams systems to ensure that they remain fit for purpose and are designed to meet customer and stakeholder needs.
  • Act as a funnel for the region to present challenges and to provide continuous support the implementation process from start to finish including evaluation of benefits and capability realized.
  • Support business as usual compliance and operational activities

Main Accountabilities
Service delivery:

  • Identifies and makes recommendations on improvements to ways of working that enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of Exams delivery, as well as the operational effectiveness of their internal customers. Supports transitional arrangements to the new operating model.
  • Supports implementation of Exams Transformation and acts as a key agent of change for the country ensuring embedding in the business and benefits realisation.
  • Supports the delivery of the strategic transition from a paper based exams business to the embedding of Computer Based Testing (CBT) processes in all delivery processes
  • Continuous Improvement
  • Support the ongoing exams transformation programme by ensuring maximum effectiveness, efficiency and co-ordination of the delivery of the Exams business
  • Provides communication and documentation support on a range of market and competitor data to improve Exams delivery processes and services
  • Supports the planning and delivery of business changes through processes and systems to the implementation in business in a more effective and efficient way

Customers & stakeholders:

  • Maintains excellent relationships and communication with internal and external stakeholders across the regions and SBU’s, to inform and enable improvements in the quality of exams delivery.
  • Builds a network of internal sponsors and supporters to help influence decision-making.
  • Develops peer/personal networks within and outside the BC to enhance own knowledge and expertise
  • Builds understanding of exams product portfolio

Risk & compliance:

  • Support team to ensure Exams delivery is compliant with agreed standards and that areas identified for improvement are quickly and fully implemented
  • Actively champions and monitors staff compliance with the agreed corporate policies and practices relevant to their area of functional expertise. Investigates reasons for non-compliance and feeds these back into country, region and corporate team, as required

Commercial & resource management:

  • Shows an understanding of value for money/cost effectiveness in the advice, recommendations or service support provided to the business improvement team
  • Provide financial analysis to country, region and corporate team. Support regular financial reporting requirements
  • Contribute to marketing strategy, as required. Help represent exams at external functions and/or with key partners.

Leadership & management:

  • Support exams leadership in planning and resource planning. Line manage staff across multiple locations
  • Plans and prioritises own work activities to ensure effective delivery of diverse responsibilities and deliverables over a quarterly to annual time horizon
  • Determines work plans and coordinates input from others to meet specific objectives
  • As an experienced professional, contributes ideas to support the development of discipline-wide and customer-specific business plans and priorities

Key Relationships

  • Country Exams Manager Nigeria, Exams team Nigeria, Exams Product Managers, Venue Staff managers, Change Manager Exams
  • HR, Finance and Compliance colleagues, Nigeria, Head of Finance, Country Director Nigeria
  • Regional Operations Manager, Regional Exams Director, Regional Compliance Manager and other regional exams colleagues.
  • Country Strategic Business Unit (SBU) Directors, Nigeria and Regional Procurement colleagues
  • Global Examinations colleagues, Global exams transformation change team
  • Shared Services Centre India and SAP specialists
  • Role equivalents across the British Council network
  • Venue staff and Examiners


  • External Suppliers
  • Exams Boards
  • Corporate Partners

Role Requirements
Threshold requirements:

  • Passport requirements/ Right to work in country
  • Direct contact or managing staff working with children?

Role Specific Skills, Knowledge & Experience
Minimum / essential:

  • At least 3 years line management experience with evidence of managing staff performance
  • At least 3 years in operations, meeting challenging targets
  • Experience of business process management improvement including improvement within a global business environment
  • Experience of supporting projects in response to customer expectations and changing products & services.
  • Data analysis skills
  • Excellent communication and stakeholder dispersed teams management skills.


  • Broad knowledge and understanding of the Exams Delivery end to end supply chain
  • Knowledge of project management
  • Education or exams management experience; or working in public sector
  • Knowledge of UK qualifications
  • Leading teams across
  • Working knowledge of SAP

Assessment Stage:

  • Shortlisting

Language Requirements
Minimum / essential:

  • Fluency in written and spoken English
  • Shortlisted candidates will need to demonstrate that they meet the required standard through IELTS tests which will be administered as part of the recruitment and selection process

Assessment Stage:

  • Shortlisting and Interview


  • Bachelor’s Degree in any numerate course of study.

British Council Core Skills
Assessment Stage:

  • Managing People (Level 4): Experience of providing full line management to a team where members working across different areas of business or expertise.

Shortlisting AND Interview:

  • Managing Finance and Resources (Level 4): Negotiates and agrees the resources for a defined area as part of forward planning, monitoring progress and adjusting resources or priorities to meet goals.
  • Managing risks (Level 4): Has track record of analysing potential risks, promoting risk awareness, and holding others to account for their practices.
  • Analysing data (Level 3): Able to apply or devise specialised concepts and methods of analysis – or commission them from others. Understands the output and uses the results to make clear and / or solve complex business, market or policy problems.

British Council Behaviours
Creating shared purpose (more demanding):

  • Creating energy and clarity so that people want to work purposefully together
  • Connecting with others (more demanding): Actively appreciating the needs and concerns of myself and others
  • Making it Happen (more demanding): Achieving stretching results when faced by change, uncertainty or major obstacle
  • Being Accountable (more demanding): Showing real dedication to the long-term mission of the British Council or the team.
  • Shaping the future (more demanding): Exploring ways in which we can add more value
  • Working together (more demanding): Ensuring that others benefit as well as me.

Assessment Stage:

  • Interview
  • Required for the role but not assessed during the application stage.

Starting Salary NGN 10,316,122.00.

Deadline: 5th November, 2018.

How to Apply
Interested and qualified candidates should:
Click here to apply online

Click here to download Job Details (pdf)

Click here to download BC Behaviour (pdf)

Click here to download BC Core Skills (pdf)

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