Head of Estates – Cambridge and Antarctica

Job reference:
BAS 87/19
Contract type:
Full Time
Open-Ended Appointment
Starting from £48,877 per annum.
We offer generous benefits
British Antarctic Survey
Closing date:
1 September, 2019 11:59 pm


The British Antarctic Survey (BAS) is looking for a Head of Estates to provide leadership, strategic vision and management of the BAS Estates Team in order to support delivery of world-class science in some of the most inhospitable places on earth.
To be successful in this post, you will need to demonstrate your experience of large infrastructure projects and have proven leadership and management experience. You will need a proven track-record of managing budgets and processing budgetary information. Excellent interpersonal and communication skills are vital to communicate fluently and persuasively to a range of staff and stakeholders. Flexibility is a must to respond to changes and encourage others to engage with change processes.
This is an exciting position for someone with relevant industrial project management experience to lead and manage a lively and enthusiastic team.


To provide the leadership, strategic vision and management of the BAS estates team in order to support delivery of world-class science in some of the most inhospitable places on earth. This is not a typical estates or facilities management function – it goes far beyond that. It ensures that BAS is able to conduct safety-critical operations at the limits of human and equipment performance. It is a key role in the organisation – people’s lives depend on the successful delivery of a safe, responsive and reliable service 24/7/365 in dispersed, isolated and exposed locations. The post holder will be expected to set the agenda, driving improvement and ensuring that all aspects of our facilities in Cambridge and the Antarctic are fit for purpose, now and into the future.
BAS is currently undertaking a series of high impact/high value modernisation projects. The Head of Estates will be a key stakeholder in helping to deliver the Antarctic Infrastructure Modernisation Project. Working closely with the BAS Project Office, technical advisors, construction partners and key stakeholders you will be a key enabler in driving the best solutions and ensuring that project benefits are realised.


HNC/HND in a construction / engineering industry qualification or equivalent experience.


# Lead the estates group as a united team in order to deliver BAS’ strategic objectives by providing the management and guidance necessary to support success and safeguard our reputation.
# Be the driving force in delivering safe, environmentally sound and sustainable infrastructure, ensuring that BAS has an effective long-term view of estates.
# Keep abreast of relevant regulatory and sector developments to ensure maximum use is made of appropriate technology to deliver coherent solutions to issues.
# Ensure effective communication at all levels that allows positive engagement with all stakeholders.
# Identify, scope and deliver the projects and benefits required to support operational output.
# Fulfil all associated managerial functions, including:
• Properly manage staff, supervising, guiding & advising as necessary in order to ensure their professional and personal effectiveness; run an effective appraisal system.
• Prepare annual budgets, monitor and report as required. Ensure the department operates within allocated resource and capital limits.
• Prepare, review and maintain up to date plans, procedures and policies that ensure:
o cost effective operational delivery
o compliance with relevant rules, regulations and best practice
o emergency procedures, incident response and resources are fit for purpose
o all required audits, inspections, reviews and follow up actions are carried out in a timely manner
# Work with key stakeholders to ensure that BAS views and requirements are properly represented.
# Work collaboratively with colleagues to formulate strategy and deliver the plan that enables the above. Be a champion for change and actively seek new ways to improve working practices.
# Undertake other duties as directed by the Director, consistent with the key roles & responsibilities of the post.

This Job Description sets out the principal responsibilities of the post; duties may vary from time to time without changing the general character of the role or the level of the responsibility entailed.

The post holder will be expected to spend short periods deployed south during the Antarctic season.

On-line application forms and further information are available on our website at www.bas.ac.uk/vacancies.

These are also available from the Human Resources Section, British Antarctic Survey, High Cross, Madingley Road, Cambridge, CB3 0ET. Tel: (01223) 221508.
Please quote reference: BAS 87/19
Closing date for receipt of application forms is: 1st September 2019
Interviews are scheduled to be held on: 19th September 2019
BAS is an Equal Opportunity employer. As part of our commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion and promoting equality in careers in science, we hold an Athena SWAN Bronze Award and have an active Equality, Diversity and Inclusion programme of activity. We welcome applications from all sections of the community. People from ethnic minorities and disabled people are currently under-represented and their applications are particularly welcome. We operate a guaranteed interview scheme for disabled candidates who meet the minimum criteria for the job. We are open to a range of flexible working options, including job sharing, to support childcare and other caring responsibilities.

Skills are listed as either Essential or Desirable. Desirable skills importance rating in parenthesis (1 is high, 5 is low)

Communication skills

  • Able to communicate fluently and persuasively in all media, as appropriate for the audience - Essential

Computer / IT skills

  • Able to use MS Office packages, databases, email etc - Essential
  • Knowledge of CAD,BIM - Desirable [4]

Decision Making

  • Make complex and high value engineering and operational decisions. - Essential
  • Experience of sound decision making in a deployed, safety critical setting - Desirable [2]

Interpersonal skills

  • An engaging, flexible and dedicated person, who quickly gains people’s trust, inspires confidence and delivers results. - Essential

Leadership ability

  • A proven leader with the ability to remain flexible and adaptable. - Essential
  • A clear vision for future Estates management and evidenced success of turning strategic aims into reality. - Essential
  • Able to provide strong team support but also able to delegate effectively - Essential
  • Experience of remote management of staff and work programmes - Desirable [1]

Numerical ability

  • Able to process budgetary information, be conversant with engineering formulas. - Essential
  • Read engineering schematics and drawings. - Desirable [3]

Other Factors

  • Ability to respond quickly to change and encourage others to engage in the change process - Essential
  • Clear evidence of being a champion for lasting change - Desirable [2]

Project management

  • An understanding of project management principles and processes - Essential
  • Prince 2 or equivalent qualification - Desirable [2]


  • HNC/HND in a construction / engineering industry qualification or equivalent experience. - Essential
  • Degree in an engineering discipline or equivalent experience. - Desirable [4]

Resource Management ability

  • Proven record of managing budgets for large infrastructure projects - Essential

Skills / Experience

  • Able to demonstrate practical experience of project management of large infrastructure projects or equivalent with a strong focus on people management. - Essential
  • Knowledge of current legislation related to the construction industry - Desirable [1]
  • Experience of implementing and managing a PPM system. - Desirable [1]
  • Knowledge of construction based engineering - Desirable [1]

Stakeholder management

  • Proven success of managing stakeholder relationships with a strong focus on customer delivery - Essential

You can apply for this job online or you can print off the application forms, fill them out by hand and mail them.

Apply Online:

Apply by post:

If you would like to apply for this job but cannot apply online, you can print the application form(s) and post it back to us.

Please ensure you complete all required sections of the application form(s) and include a Cover Letter and a copy of your CV.

When posting your application, ensure there is sufficient postage.

These forms are in an OpenDocument format and may not be suitable for users of assistive technology. An accessible format may be requested by contacting us.

Send your completed application forms to:
Human Resources Team
British Antarctic Survey
High Cross, Madingley Road
United Kingdom

If you need more information

Email: [email protected]
Telephone: +44 (0)1223 221400
Facsimile: +44 (0)1223 362616

The information you provide during the application process will only be used for the purpose of progressing your application, to fulfil legal or regulatory requirements where necessary or, in the case of the Equal Opportunities Monitoring Questionnaire, to help BAS meet its equal opportunities policy.

The British Antarctic Survey will not share the information you provide with any third parties, and the information will be held securely by the British Antarctic Survey whether the information is in electronic or physical format. Please note that the Equal Opportunities Monitoring Questionnaire will be detached from your application prior to the short-listing of candidates for interview.

Unsuccessful applications will be securely destroyed 6 months after the end of the recruitment process (or 1 year after the end of the recruitment process in the case of Marine Staff and AEP. The applications of successful applicants will be retained as part of their personnel file.

Further information can be found in the information notice of NERC, our parent body.