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Chief Executive Officer

Posted: Fri, 20 Apr 2018 10:55


OxSPA is one of 40+ County Sports Partnerships (CSP) located throughout England. Our purpose is to improve people's lives by growing participation in sport & physical activity. We do this by working with local partners (Local Authorities, Education, Health, the voluntary sector and the business community) and national organisations (e.g. Sport England and national sports bodies).

While Oxfordshire has one of the highest activity levels in the country we still have over 100k people (20+% of the population) who do less than 30 mins of physical activity per week. Our mission is to inspire people across the county to include sport & physical activity as an essential part of their daily routine making Oxfordshire an even greater place to live and work.

Following a recent strategic review in response to changes in the Sport England strategy (Towards an Active Nation) and changes in the priorities of our local partners we are looking to renew and reenergise OxSPA as an independent charity to meet the challenges of the future.

What we are looking for

We are looking for a Chief Executive with the drive and ambition to lead the new organisation in the next phase of its evolution. The role requires exceptional leadership and advocacy skills to bring together organisations around a shared ambition to improve the lives of people in the county by reducing inactivity. We need someone who has the potential to be seen as the figurehead and primary advocate for sport and physical activity in the county.

While a passion for sport and physical activity is essential we are keen to consider applicants from outside the sector. This is an exciting opportunity for the right person to shape the future direction of the organisation and make a real difference to the health and wellbeing of people in Oxfordshire.

Please note we welcome applications from all members of the community regardless of age, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, faith or disability.

How to Apply

For a confidential discussion about the role please contact:

Mary Nicholls on 01865 529541 or 07826 894867

For general information visit: www.oxspa.co.uk

To apply, please send a CV and covering letter, setting out in no more than two sides of A4 how you meet the person specification criteria for the role, to: mnicholls@oxford.gov.uk

or by post to:

CEO Application, Oxfordshire Sport & Physical Activity, c/o Community Services Directorate, Oxford City Council, Horspath Road, Oxford, OX4 2RH

  • Closing date: Friday 1st June 2018
  • Interviews: Thursday 14th June 2018


Job Title: Chief Executive

Organisation: Oxfordshire Sport & Physical Activity / Active Oxfordshire

Location: Oxford

Responsible to: Chair of the Board of Trustees

Staff Responsible for: OxSPA Core Team (8-10)

Salary: £60,000

Main Purpose of Job

A Chief Executive Officer (CEO) is required to lead OxSPA to work at a strategic level with partners to reduce the levels of inactivity in Oxfordshire and be seen as the figurehead and primary advocate for sport and physical activity within the county. The CEO has overall responsibility, accountability and authority within the organisation and must inspire, lead and develop a small core team to deliver on its remit. The CEO must also work with the Board of Trustees and partners to develop and drive the local agenda. They must ensure that relationships are managed effectively and positively to ensure OxSPA's influence and expertise impact on the strategic decision making of partners and local community organisations.

Key Tasks and Responsibilities

Strategy, Business Planning and Delivery:

  • Create, communicate and implement the organisation's purpose, vision and strategy with stakeholders, trustees and core team.
  • Develop and implement the organisation's overall business plan in consultation with stakeholders, trustees and the core team
  • Provide strategic leadership to OxSPA
  • Identify and pursue business opportunities to ensure the commercial sustainability of the organisation
  • Oversee the day to day operations of the organisation, ensuring it is positioned as the primary agency for the development of physical activity and community sport in Oxfordshire.

Leadership and Advocacy:

  • Develop and maintain excellent relationships with national, regional and local partners and stakeholders ensuring that OxSPA is positioned locally as the partner of choice in relation to the development of community sports participation and physical activity
  • Establish OxSPA as an evidence and insight led, people focused organisation, which aligns its work to national and local strategic priorities
  • Influence relevant policy and practice, at a national and regional level across sectors
  • Engage in high level advocacy to ensure cross sector understanding and commitment to the value of physical activity and achieve the outcomes of the Sport England strategy 'Towards an Active Nation'
  • Ensure that OxSPA earns a reputation as one of the country's leading County Sports Partnerships
  • Represent OxSPA at civic and professional events.

Management and Governance:

  • Ensure the Board of Trustees and organisational structure are always fit for purpose to support delivery of the strategy and business plan
  • Ensure the organisation is fit for purpose to deliver against the new Sport England contract and local strategies
  • Ensure that the organisation's leadership maintains constant awareness of the external and internal landscape, emerging evidence and opportunities to optimise delivery against the organisation's purpose and vision
  • Oversee the recruitment of trustees and team members to ensure the organisation remains fit for purpose
  • Work effectively with, and report to the Executive Board on all strategic matters relating to the organisation, including, but not limited to performance, risk, corporate governance and staffing issues
  • Ensure the Board of Trustees are fully aware of matters relating to the delivery of the strategy, major expenditure items and any significant variances to budget
  • Leverage the skills and experience of trustees where appropriate as well as advice and guidance from external advisors and partners.

Practical Requirements

The post holder must:

  • Be values driven and display the utmost integrity and transparency
  • Work with high energy and be motivated to succeed
  • Be a leading advocate for the benefits that physical activity and sport can play in developing communities and individuals
  • Be a leader who will bring creative and innovative approaches to the role of CEO
  • Have strong interpersonal skills that provide an exceptional basis to create strong strategic networks
  • Have the skills and knowledge to influence senior decision makers.

The above job description is a guide to the work you may be required to undertake but does not form part of your contract of employment and may change from time to time to reflect changing circumstances.


Job Title: Chief Executive

Organisation: Oxfordshire Sport & Physical Activity / Active Oxfordshire

Location: Oxford

Responsible To: Chair of the Board of Trustees

Responsible For: OxSPA Core Team (8-10)

Salary: £60,000

Qualifications/ Academic Achievements

  • Educated to degree standard.


  • Experience navigating large and complex organisations, including gaining access to key executives and stakeholders and successfully managing senior relationships
  • A proven ability to respond quickly and on own initiative to changing complex circumstances, maintaining a clear view of overall strategic picture
  • A proven ability to build partnerships and represent the organisation to the outside world
  • A track record of identifying commercial opportunities and business development
  • Knowledge of the sport and physical activity landscape and the social and economic benefits that this can bring
  • Practical knowledge of health, education, local government and the political environment that drives investment into sport
  • A proven ability to build and manage a high performing team including the ability to improve teamwork and individual performance

Skills/ Special Aptitudes Required

  • Highly developed written and oral communication skills including the ability to present complex messages at the highest level
  • Strong influencing and relationship management skills
  • Exceptional presentation and public speaking skills and ability to work with the media
  • Ability to develop a compelling business case based on sound strategic and commercial reasoning
  • Strong strategic planning skills along with the ability to oversee the operational aspects of its implementation
  • Ability to motivate and lead a diverse team from a range of backgrounds
  • Clear, strategic thinking with an organised approach.

Personal Disposition

  • Integrity, transparency and authenticity
  • Focus and confidence: able to make difficult decisions for the future of the organisation
  • Inspirational, with the ability to motivate and lead others
  • Highly motivated, demonstrating a passion for the positive role that sport and physical activity can play in developing people and communities
  • Innovative: bringing fresh thinking and new ideas
  • Self-aware, with strong interpersonal skills to develop productive and strategic working relationships within a political environment.

Other Conditions

  • The successful candidate will be required to travel locally, regionally and to national events
  • The role will require occasional unsociable hours with weekend and evening working.

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