Head of Business Development – Exams at the British Council

British Council

The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. We create friendly knowledge and understanding between the people of the UK and other countries. We do this by making a positive contribution to the UK and the countries we work with – changing lives by creating opportunities, building connections and engendering trust.
We work with over 100 countries across the world in the fields of arts and culture, English language, education and civil society. Each year we reach over 20 million people face-to-face and more than 500 million people online, via broadcasts and publications. Founded in 1934, we are a UK charity governed by Royal Charter and a UK public body.

We are recruiting to fill the position below:

Job Title: Head of Business Development – Exams

Location: Port Harcourt – Rivers
Pay Band: BRC-8-F
Contract Type: Indefinite Contract

Role Purpose

  • The purpose of this role is to develop and deliver the 2-year market led, integrated cross portfolio Business Development & Sales strategy aligned with Global/Regional Exams strategy working with other BC colleagues to leverage opportunities and create value.
  • This role is ultimately responsible for building and managing demand, ensuring capacity fill, delivering income/surplus targets, ensuring excellent B2B Customer Service and overseeing quality of B2C customer experience.
  • This role will also serve as the Senior Responsible Officer in the British Council Port Harcourt office. 
  • The post holder will have some level of oversight across all staff, events, and activities, and will represent the organisation, as needed, at various internal and external activities with our key stakeholders and partners. 
  • The post holder will need to be familiar with the full portfolio of British Council programmes and services.

Main Accountabilities
Commercial planning:

  • As part of a wider SBU or country team, contributes to the development and delivery of customised, local business development initiatives (within a specific area of product/market/customer focus), which are capable of achieving agreed targets (e.g. on margin, income, impact and take up) and are aligned to relevant corporate and regional priorities.
  • Analyses and assimilates multiple commercial data sets and indicators (e.g. profitability, market dynamics, competitive potential, volumes, sales effectiveness, fundraising/partnership targets etc) to produce tailored reports on performance and trends that assist more senior management in identifying areas for new, additional or modified business development activity.
  • Works closely with Commercial Manager

Market & customer intelligence:

  • Keeps updated and has extensive knowledge of the market within their area of focus, from both a supply and demand perspective.
  • Lead contribution into Demand Planning, achieving high levels of sales forecasting accuracy and embed Global framework at Country/Geography level
  • Agree Marketing Plan and review effectiveness
  • Agree Customer Services requirements and review effectiveness

Winning business:

  • As part of a wider team, provides professional input to support the development of high quality, competitive and customer/market-focused bids, tender submissions, programme plans and sponsorship appeals, which are capable of generating specified commercial returns and cultural relations impact.
  • Manage and review effectiveness of partnership (agency) model and input into physical footprint strategy

Account & stakeholder management:

  • Assists in the planning, establishment and maintenance of nominated account/stakeholder/partner or sponsor relationships, in accordance with the relationship strategy and objectives set out by the designated Account Manager or SBU/country priorities.
  • Deliver income/surplus targets, working with Operations on commercial feasibility 

Brand/product knowledge & promotion:

  • Builds effective working relationships with a variety of SBU and regional colleagues, and a range of information-gathering techniques, to maintain a full and current understanding of product/programme/sector developments and priorities. 
  • Contributes to the planning, monitoring, execution and evaluation of promotional, marketing, PR and outreach collateral/activities within their area of product/programme/customer/market focus.

Leadership & management:

  • Plans and prioritises own work activities to ensure effective delivery of diverse responsibilities and internal customer deliverables over a monthly to quarterly time horizon
  • Serve on Exams Leadership team. Deputise for Director, Exams, as required.
  • Serve as Senior Responsible Officer for the Port Harcourt Office.  Serve as point of escalation for significant issues.  Represent British council at events, as required.

Risk and Compliance:

  • Support Head of Operations, as needed, as on the ground point of escalation for any exam compliance issues.
  • Understanding of exams security and compliance standards, along with knowledge of corporate risk management procedures to service delivery (i.e. child protection, security policies, financial protocols, anti-fraud measures).

Role Specific Knowledge and Experience

  • Significant experience of managing a large team and managing staff performance
  • Demonstrable experience of sustaining and/or growing a product/service in line with strategic priorities for income and impact
  • Significant experience collecting and analysing client/stakeholder feedback and using the data to identify business needs and obstacles; works to resolve them.
  • Takes a pro-active approach to identifying ways in which service can be improved, and takes these forward 
  • Demonstrated analytical ability and commercial acumen
  • Budget and financial management experience
  • Has a track record of identifying and highlighting risks and suggesting mitigating actions


  • Business development experience in the English & Exams sector
  • Experience working in examination services

Language requirement:

  • Written and verbal proficiency in English is required

Application Closing Date
18th June, 2023; 23:59 (South Africa Time)

How to Apply
Interested and qualified candidates should:



  • Role holder must have existing rights to live and work in the country the role is based.
  • Please note: Applications to this role can only be considered when made through the Apply section of our careers website.
  • If you have any problems with your application please email askhr@britishcouncil.org
  • Our ‘ASK HR’ email is only to be used in case of a technical issue encountered when applying through the careers website. Emails with supporting statements and CV/Resumes sent to this email address will not be reviewed and will be deleted.
  • 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.

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