Staff vacancy: BGS Conferences and Region Development Manager

The British Geriatrics Society is a registered charity aiming to improve the healthcare of older people. It is the professional association for NHS doctors, nurses and other healthcare specialists engaged in the treatment and care of older people across the UK, with over 4,000 members. BGS conferences attract hundreds of delegates, cover the latest advances in research and showcase the best in clinical quality for improving healthcare of older people.

Job title: Conferences and Region Development Manager

Reporting to: Director of Learning and Professional Development

Salary: £38,489.73 per annum (grade 2.1), rising by annual increments

Benefits: 11% employer pension contribution; 29 days annual leave (plus bank holidays)

Base: The British Geriatrics Society’s office is in Farringdon, London EC1. In line with the BGS flexible working policy, arrangements to work from home on a regular basis may be agreed. Occasional UK travel with overnight stays may be required, with very occasional evening work supporting delivery of events.

Overview of the BGS

The British Geriatrics Society is a medical society and charity of multidisciplinary health professionals, united by a desire to improve healthcare for older people. Our 4000+ members work in hospitals providing acute care, and in community hospitals and rehab centres, GP practices, care homes and older people’s own homes, providing primary and community care. Founded in 1947 by Marjory Warren, a pioneer of geriatric medicine, the Society has a diverse membership of geriatricians, nurses, GPs, therapists, paramedics, pharmacists, and researchers from across the four countries of the UK. Our Strategic Plan sets out the Society’s priorities for 2020 to 2023 across five strategic objectives (clinical quality, research, education and professional development, policy influencing and member value) and three cross-cutting themes (stronger regions, stronger digital and stronger community).

BGS events

The BGS is noted for its diverse and dynamic conference programme which supports the professional development of those interested in older people’s healthcare, and provides a great opportunity for networking, connections and learning. Since the Covid pandemic began, we pivoted from delivering face-to-face educational opportunities to rapidly developing our online offer, including short webinars and longer virtual conferences through a new platform. We aim to deliver an excellent, high-quality delegate experience and to compensate for the loss of face-to-face engagement through interactive and participatory sessions, supplemented by access to a new forum and pre- and post-event networking. As face-to-face opportunities resume (pending advice on safety for speakers, delegates, sponsors, staff and contractors), we are likely to maintain a strong digital offering, enabling our busy workforce to access relevant content in downloaded form rather than only as a live option. To get a feel for the range and diversity of our conferences please see our website.

Staff team

The BGS has a team of eleven paid staff, working in pursuit of our mission, and to support the membership as a whole, including the many members who undertake voluntary officer or representative roles. The Conferences and Region Development Manager reports to the Director of Learning and Professional Development, and works closely with the Conferences Administrator, and with other staff whose work links to educational opportunities, such as the Membership Officer and the Comms, PR and Media Manager.

This role

The Conferences and Region Development Manager is part of a three-person events team, with a crucial responsibility for project management. Our conferences are planned with the input of our members, via committees responsible for developing the programme and meeting the educational needs of healthcare professionals. But making it happen in terms of planning and logistics is down to the Conferences and Region Development Manager. This means good preparation months ahead of the event itself, on-the-day project management and post-event follow-up. You will be the person making sure there is relevant attractive information on our website about the upcoming conference and that delegates have a smooth experience of booking and paying for the event, speakers are clear on what is expected and contractors are briefed. You will ensure everything is well-planned in terms of the venue for live events, such as room layout, catering, audio-visual set-up, social events, on-site registration, family-friendly support, staff support roles etc. On the day you will be responsible for making sure the event runs smoothly and efficiently. For virtual events, you will be working with colleagues to ensure the conference is promoted well in advance, speakers are prepared and delegates are supported to have a productive and engaged experience.

You will be working with colleagues to ensure our webinars and conferences give those who attend a rich educational experience, which will make them want to join the BGS, engage more actively and attend further events. After the event, you will work with colleagues to ensure our bank of post-event resources is available for members to access, and you'll gather feedback, signposting to further resources such as our new BGS e-learning modules.

The role also has lead responsibility for coordinating work to support BGS members across our 14 England regions. You will be responsible for coordinating our work in the regions, leading on region webinars and conferences and working with colleagues to help strengthen the region community through communications, information-sharing and engagement.

For full details of the job description and the person specification, see here.

Terms and conditions

Our office base is Marjory Warren House, Farringdon, London, but staff are mostly working from home at present owing to the Covid pandemic. Our flexible working policy has been revised to support remote working for the longer term. However, all staff will need to attend the office on an occasional basis for key meetings. The Conferences and Region Development Manager has historically had to undertake a significant amount of travel within the UK, visiting prospective conference venues, attending meetings in the England regions and the four nations and coordinating onsite preparation for larger meetings. This requirement is currently reduced owing to so many meetings being online but it may increase in future again. Travel, accommodation and subsistence costs will be covered, and time off in lieu allowed to compensate for out-of-hours work, some of which may be in the evenings and occasionally at a weekend.

The BGS has a generous employment package. The successful candidate will be appointed on the first point of the grade 2 scale, at an annual salary of £38,489. Staff move automatically to the next spine point on the scale, which ranges from grade 2.1 (£38,489) to grade 2.9 (£52,074). In addition, a cost of living increase is considered annually by the BGS Trustees. An 11% pension contribution is made by the BGS, and staff are entitled to annual leave of 29 days (plus bank holidays). There are other staff benefits such as a cycle-to-work scheme, and a season ticket loan scheme. The BGS aims to be an equal opportunities employer and is open to considering flexible work patterns including part-time options.

How to apply

Please send a CV of no more than 3 pages with a supporting statement of no more than 2 pages showing how you meet the person specification and why you would be suitable for the role. You should address the essential requirements for the job in the order set out in the person specification. Please send both documents to Mark Stewart: m [dot] stewart [at] bgs [dot] org [dot] uk by the closing date of 9am on Monday 21 September 2020 including your name in the filename for each document.

We will shortlist and invite candidates for online interviews in the period 29 September to 5 October 2020, and ask these candidates to undertake a short online test. We are keen to find the right person for the job, so please do not waste your time and ours by applying if you do not meet the person specification. No recruitment agencies please.