Chief Operations Officer

North Dublin
28 June 2019
19 July 2019
Position / level
Contract Type
Full Time


Irish Wheelchair Association (IWA) is an independent charity and one of the largest not-for- profit organisations in Ireland. Owned and directed by its members, the mission of IWA is to work with, and on behalf of, people with physical disabilities to drive positive change in Ireland through influencing public policy, the provision of quality services and enabling accessibility to all aspects of society. Since its foundation in 1960, IWA has evolved into a vibrant organisation with over 20,000 members, 2,500 employees and 2,300 registered volunteers. IWA provides over two million hours of service annually, with a budget of over €50 million, operating across 57 locations.


Reporting to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), the Chief Operations Officer (COO) is a new, senior strategic role with leadership responsibility for all of IWA’s disability service functions, as well as the organisation’s property and transport portfolios. The COO will lead the service delivery management teams through a process of continuous improvement and commitment to excellence, in delivering quality accredited services in line with customer requirements, financial and operational viability, and best practice.

The COO will continuously review and develop service organisation structures to ensure alignment with Irish Wheelchair Association values, mission and goals to maximise efficiencies and opportunities across all service directorates and functions. S/he will develop and deliver the operational plan and related KPI’s and lead on Health Service Executive (HSE) operational reporting requirements and requests, as well as lead the HSE annual service arrangements process. Together with the CEO, the COO will ensure further development of long term, sustainable relationships with key state funding stakeholders and deputise for the CEO as required.


Suitably qualified and interested candidates will have 10+ years management experience in health or social care services with a minimum of 5 years at senior management level in a large, complex organisation. Extensive experience of the disability sector in Ireland as well as experience of developing high performing management teams across multiple services and in multiple locations will be important.

An awareness and understanding of the work of the IWA will be important as will a commitment to IWA’s values. It is expected that applicants will possess demonstrable high-level competencies in the areas of: leadership, strategic thinking, financial acumen, change management, motivating & empowering, quality & customer focus, critical analysis & decision making, accountability, communicating & influencing, adaptability and drive & resilience.

IWA is an equal opportunities employer, opposed to discrimination and the best candidate will be appointed regardless of age, disability, gender, ethnicity or other grounds. The post will be subject to reference checks and Garda vetting.


Candidates should write via email, in strict confidence, to our retained executive search partners, Principal Connections, stating how they meet the above requirements, quoting Reference: ‘IWA’, and enclosing a detailed Curriculum Vitae on or before 12.00 noon on Friday, 19th July 2019.

Pat O’Donnell, Managing Partner

Principal Connections – Irish Arm of Agilium Worldwide LLC

Add: 95 Lower Baggot Street, Dublin 2


Tel: +353 (0)1 703 88 88


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