Head of Quality Assurance & Improvement

Dublin (City), Leinster
09 June 2017
30 June 2017
Position / level
Department Head
Contract Type
Full Time


To lead a team in the development and implementation of effective Quality Assurance and Accreditation systems and processes related to learning and employability services. To ensure compliance with statutory, contractual and funding requirements in partnership with Operations Management.

Maximise Groups delivery on Quality Assurance and Improvement integrating all aspects of Risk/Health and Safety and Policy and Procedure in partnership with Senior team of the Quality & Governance Directorate


Formal Education / Training

  • A third level qualification (NFQ8) or equivalent experience in the field in a relevant discipline
  • Substantial knowledge and experience of standards and accreditation systems

Work Experience

  • A minimum of 5 years’ experience of managing or supporting delivery of vocational training, education and/or employability services
  • History of delivering high standards of contract compliance in an outcomes driven environment
  • Experience of engaging with public, private and voluntary sector stakeholders
  • Experience of managing the work of others and planning over significant timescales (circa 1 year or more) either through service/programme management responsibility or via a strategic commissioning, policy and/or advisory role.
  • Experience of developing approaches to ensure organisational policies/objectives are delivered and improvements in practice and service delivery occur.

Skills and Knowledge

  • Knowledge of funder and certifying body requirements relating to quality assurance
  • Relevant and current knowledge of quality approaches and systems
  • Knowledge of person-centred service delivery
  • Effective written and verbal communication
  • Ongoing training on developments in quality systems and standards relating to the area of responsibility
  • Highly developed communication and interpersonal skills in order to lead staff and/or to win hearts and minds of others (internally and externally) in order to bring about necessary changes in behaviour and to achieve the required outcomes


  • Lead development of effective quality assurance systems and processes within education and employability services to ensure compliance with mandatory standards and continuous improvement in service provision. 
  • Develop and implement monitoring, review and audit systems within education and employability services to identify areas of non-compliance and support corrective actions where required.
  • Work closely with Operations management and support functions to promote staff awareness of quality assurance systems appropriate to the needs of the business and funder requirements.
  • Liaise with Strategic Planning & Development function on quality and accreditation requirements within education and employability new services and projects.
  • Lead development and review of organizational policies relating to quality assurance and continuous improvement to ensure that policies reflect legislative requirements and good practice.
  • Develop and implement accessible systems to enable service users and other stakeholders to express satisfaction or dissatisfaction with services and to respond to complaints effectively.
  • Liaise with external agencies as necessary such as Certification/Accreditation Bodies, statutory regulators, funders and private contractors.
  • Provide comprehensive and timely information on quality assurance developments and outcomes to relevant Board Sub-committees, Senior Leadership Team and Senior Operations Team to include deputizing for the Director of Quality and Governance when required.


Typical Level of Interaction

☐  Standard:  Typical interaction is to request and provide information.  Courtesy, tact and effectiveness are required.

☐  Advanced:  Influence using logic and facts.  Communication is important but not critical to the achievement of job objectives

X   Expert:  Win the hearts and minds, changing opinion of people.  Critical in achieving the job objectives.

Primary Audience (Internal) 

  • Director of Quality & Governance,
  • Senior Leadership Team members,
  • Regional & Local Operations Management

Level of Audience (Internal)

☐  Clerical / Operational

☐  Supervisory / Junior Professional

X   Middle Management / Seasoned Professional

X  Senior / Top Management

Primary Audience (External)

  • Funders (primarily the HSE)
  • Regulatory Bodies (HIQA)
  • Service Provider bodies & associations
  • Participation in Working Groups on behalf of the sector.

Level of Audience (External)

☐  Clerical / Operational

☐  Supervisory / Junior Professional

X   Middle Management / Seasoned Professional

X   Senior / Top Management


Financial and budget responsibilities as assigned by the Director of Quality & Governance.

There are five staff members reporting directly to this role and other indirect reporting lines by members of regional interdisciplinary teams on quality elements of their roles.


This role is based in head office but will require travel to other locations as necessary.

The post holder will report to the Director of Quality & Governance and will be a member of a senior Interdisciplinary team within the Directorate.


Leadership & Strategic Direction

  • You lead the team, setting high standards, tackling any performance problems and facilitating high performance.
  • You facilitate an open exchange of ideas and foster an atmosphere of open communication.
  • You contribute to the shaping of Departmental / Organisational strategy and policy.
  • You develop capability and capacity across the team through effective delegation.
  • You develop a culture of learning & development, offering coaching and constructive / supportive feedback
  • You lead on preparing for and implementing significant change.
  • You anticipate and respond quickly to developments in the sector / broader environment.
  • You actively collaborate with other colleagues, and Organisations.

Judgement & Decision Making

  • You identify and focus on core issues when dealing with complex information/situations.
  • You assemble facts, manipulate verbal and numerical information and think through issues logically.
  • You see the relationships between issues and quickly grasping the high level implications.
  • You identify coherent solutions to complex issues.
  • You take action, making decisions in a timely manner and having the courage to see them through.
  • You make sound and well informed decisions, understanding their impact and implications.
  • You strive to effectively balance the departmental issues, organisational elements and the service user / employee impact in all decisions.

Management & Delivery of Results

  • You initiate and take personal responsibility for delivering results/services in own area.
  • You balance strategy and operational detail to meet business need.
  • You manage multiple agendas and tasks and reallocates resources to manage change in focus.
  • You make optimum use of resources and implements performance measures to deliver on objectives.
  • You ensure the optimum use of ICT and new delivery models.
  • You critically review projects and activities to ensure their effectiveness and that they meet Organisational requirements.
  • You instil the importance of efficiencies, value for money and meeting corporate governance requirements.
  • You ensure the team are focused and act on Business plans priorities, even when faced with pressure.

Building Relationships & Communication

  • Speaks and writes in a clear, articulate and impactful manner
  • Actively listens, seeking to understand the perspective and position of others
  • Manages and resolves conflicts / disagreements  in a positive & constructive manner
  • Works effectively within the Organisational process, recognising & managing tensions arising from different stakeholder perspectives
  • Persuades others; builds consensus, gains co-operation from others to obtain information and accomplish goals
  • Proactively engages with colleagues at all levels of the organisation and across other Departments and builds strong professional networks
  • Makes opinions known when s/he feels it is right to do so.

Practice and Professional Development

  • You continually monitor, evaluate and reflect on:
    • your knowledge and skills;

    • your attitudes and behaviour;

    • any experiences and personal beliefs that might affect your work;

    • how well you practice and what could be improved;

    • the processes and outcomes from your work.

  • You take action, with supervision and support, to access development opportunities that will enhance your knowledge and practice.

  • You review the impact of such development opportunities on your work.

  • You challenge poor practice constructively and in ways that support others and promote the use of best practice.

  • You provide constructive feedback to enable others with whom you work to identify how their practice could better meet service and practice needs.

Planning and Organising

  • You develop high level plans for your own area of responsibility, ensuring input from appropriate parties.
  • You communicate those plans to those team members affected by them.
  • You pro-actively raise deviations (actual or potential) from the plan with appropriate personnel and work to find ways to address these.
  • You know when to be detail oriented and when to take a wider perspective.
  • You coach others on effectively planning and organising their workload ensuring they take account of individual’s preferences in line with organisation and legal requirements.
  • You help resolve conflicts which may arise as staff endeavour to balance their own duties and responsibilities with the individual’s needs and preferences.