Head of Operations

Date: 03-Jun-2021

Location: Ho Chi Minh, East Asia, VN

Company: British Council

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.
  • Payband: PB7
  • Location: Ho Chi Minh
  • Contract type: Full time, Indefinite

Role Purpose

You will lead the Vietnam Exams Operations team to ensure effective, efficient delivery of the end- to -end operational cycle for examinations delivery, from capacity planning to post-test service. You will be responsible for embedding the new operating design and model whilst developing the Operations plan to ensure international examinations are delivered to clients on behalf of the British Council and its partners to the highest standards. You will be accountable for team management, test security, and responsible for customer experience, capacity, contingency, cost, consistency and operational compliance.  

Challenges and accountabilities

The Examinations business makes a significant contribution to British Council financial sustainability, and as such, it is essential that the business evolves in order to maintain its position in a fast-changing operating context. There is a need to standardise and automate activities across the globe to deliver efficiencies, and there is also a requirement to develop new digital products and services to meet changing customer demands and competitive pressures. In this context, you will have the opportunity to:
  • Set up the operations function under a new Operating Model within a large country business which delivers approximately 100 000 exams
  • Develop new ways of working across the function while coaching and developing a large team
  • Enable economies of scale in exam operations
  • Drive standardization, best practices while embedding a professional work culture


Product Service Delivery
  • Strategize and develop 1-3 year Operations plan, including continual improvement to global standards, effective integration of new products/services /delivery methods and process/ systems changes
  • Implement a range of standardised, operational procedures and systems within a given work plan to achieve specified, clearly measurable targets (revenue, volume, time and/or cost)
  • End to end oversight of Operational Planning, logistics, resourcing, service delivery performance /standards and effective capacity management (Makes recommendations)
  • Define and approve SLA (Service Level Agreement) requirements and performance management of supporting functions/external suppliers
  • Develop 2-3 year Operations strategy to ensure supply chain security meets changing delivery requirements and Commercial strategy
Customers & stakeholders
  • Ensure achievement of Customer Experience standards and performance by regularly gathering feedback to drive improvements
  • Translate agreed cluster customer service and client management strategies into appropriate local operational policies and procedures
  • Monitor and reports on the clusters’ achievement of agreed customer satisfaction performance targets
Risk & compliance
  • Contingency planning and risk management of supply
  • Set standards and performance Exam security and compliance
  • Serve as point of escalation for Country Operations Managers on significant issues
  • Use standardised processes to monitor compliance with agreed corporate risk management procedures relevant to service delivery (e.g. child protection, security policies, financial protocols, anti-fraud measures)
Analysis & reporting
  • Use standard data analytics and reporting tools to validate strategies and operational planning
  • Maintain relationship with Commercial for cost to serve and delivery feasibility
  • Stay within parameters on Operations budget, Cost management and efficiency of operational
  • Activities (including link to Finance and Procurement)
  • Set standards, embed change and deliver cost savings consistent with Global/Regional
Programme for change
  • Set up operational platform and ensure capability in place to achieve economies of scale and deliver improved agility
  • Set and embed Capacity & Operational Planning, management and cost profile in line with Global/Regional strategy/targets, integrating Customer Services and Commercial
  • Define Venue Strategy and ensure technical support in place to meet physical footprint/demand from Commercial Manager and new methods of delivery
Leadership & management
  • Ensure right capability in place through leadership development, succession planning and career coaching
  • Actively applies coaching, performance feedback and sickness/absence management techniques to maximise staff productivity and motivation in a high volume/pressurised delivery environment
  • Share ideas to implement and identify new operational plans


  • Fluent in English and Vietnamese
  • Experience of overseeing daily operations in a business environment
  • Experience in managing a large team
  • Experience managing Operations in a large scale commercial business
  • Demonstrated the ability to sustain and/or grow a product/service in line with strategic priorities
  • Significant experience in delivering change across a business function
  • University Degree or relevant qualification
  • Risk assessment and management/ contingency planning
  • Experience of leading on delivery of computer-based exams

Closing Date:

Wedneday, 16th June 2021 23:59 Singapore Time (GMT +8) A connected and trusted UK in a more connected and trusted world.  

Equality Statement

The British Council is committed to a policy of equality and to valuing diversity and is keen to reflect the diversity of the societies in which we work at every level within the organisation. We welcome applications from all sections of the community. We aim to abide by and promote equality legislation by following both the letter and the spirit of it to avoid unjustified discrimination, recognising discrimination as a barrier to equality of opportunity, inclusion and human rights. All staff worldwide are required to ensure their behaviour is consistent with our policies. The British Council has Disability Confident Employer Status. We offer a guaranteed interview scheme for disabled applicants who meet the essential criteria for the role. Applicants are encouraged to highlight any specific requirements or adjustments needed to enable participation in the recruitment process. The British Council is committed to safeguarding children, young people and adults who we work with. We believe that all children and adults everywhere in the world deserve to live in safe environments and have the right to be protected from all forms of abuse, maltreatment and exploitation as set out in article 19, UNCRC (United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child) 1989. Appointment to positions where there is direct involvement with vulnerable groups will be dependent on thorough checks being completed; these will include qualification checks, reference checks, identity & criminal record checks in line with legal requirements and with the British Council’s Safeguarding policies for Adults and Children. If you have any problems with your application please email askhr@britishcouncil.org
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