Risk and Assurance Manager

Job reference:
BAS 21/62
Contract type:
Full Time
Open Ended Appointment
Starting from £39,748 to £50,790 per annum.
We offer generous benefits
New Polar Vessel and Associated Projects team
BAS Cambridge
Closing date:
18 April, 2021 11:59 pm

Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, please note there may be delays to our recruitment timeline.


British Antarctic Survey are looking for a Risk and Assurance Manager to assist with the modernisation of our Antarctic infrastructure. The successful candidate will be accountable for defining and applying project and programme management assurance methods and practices, to secure project success. The Risk & Assurance Manager supports and delivers the overall Project governance function and is responsible for supporting and enabling the organisation's projects and programs.

Who we are
British Antarctic Survey (BAS) delivers and enables world-leading interdisciplinary research in the Polar Regions. Our skilled science and support staff based in Cambridge, Antarctica and the Arctic, work together to deliver research that uses the Polar Regions to advance our understanding of Earth as a sustainable planet. Through our extensive logistic capability and know how BAS facilitates access for the British and international science community to the UK polar research operation. Numerous national and international collaborations, combined with an excellent infrastructure help sustain a world leading position for the UK in Antarctic affairs. British Antarctic Survey is a component of the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC). NERC is part of UK Research and Innovation www.ukri.org


Over the last 5 years, the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC, part of UKRI) and British Antarctic Survey (BAS) have invested in an initial phase of projects, to modernise its Antarctic infrastructure. This investment has delivered a new polar research vessel, the RRS Sir David Attenborough, new wharves at King Edward Point in South Georgia, and at Rothera, and building improvements at Rothera and on Bird Island. We are also currently building a new science and operations facility, the Discovery Building, which will complete in 2022.

NERC/BAS are shortly to embark on the next exciting phase of modernisation, which will see the acquisition of a new long-range transport aircraft, hangar and runway enhancements which are needed to support it, and the trial and scale-up of renewable energy generation. Further projects are likely to include new waste management facilities, domestic accommodation and a marine facility, all at Rothera. We also intend to look at further infrastructure requirements for our Island stations and that required for our future work in East Antarctica. These projects are all being delivered under the Antarctic Infrastructure Modernisation Programme (AIMP) Phase 2.

The AIMP projects are part of a Government capital investment for the development of sustainable and efficient infrastructure. In addition, BAS is embarking on an extensive programme of transformation to achieve a number of objectives including using resources more effectively, realising the benefits of capital investments and the integration of BAS business systems and capability with other BAS functions.

To support us in our work, NERC/BAS has entered into long-term partnering contracts with a Technical Advisor and a Construction Partner in order to deliver this challenging programme and BAS has set up a Programme Management Office.

This role is accountable for defining and applying project and programme management assurance methods and practices, to secure project success. The Risk & Assurance Manager supports and delivers the overall Project governance function and is responsible for supporting and enabling the organisation's projects and programs. The central aspect of the role is to validate that projects are undertaking assurance activities in line with mandatory procedures.

The role will involve collaborating with colleagues at a senior level within the programme and wider organisation, including regular interaction with programme leadership and other accountable executives, to create, assess and maintain programme delivery risks and inputs into broader enterprise risks. You will also need to create, agree and execute a risk-related compliance and assurance plan using a variety of resources in our 2nd and 3rd lines of defence. The role will also need to interact with and prepare risk and assurance related papers and documents for a variety of stakeholder groups and forums, such as senior BAS executives, programme boards, risk and audit committees.

BAS has a strong team focus and a true purpose. We want you to share our passion, and our values. If you’d like to join us, take that step forward and apply. You will be working with a truly flexible employer offering a real work life balance, and who has fully embraced working from home culture during lockdown.


  • Experience creating and working with a programme and project management risk framework, and how to identify risks, including risk description, causes, controls and mitigations.
  • Experience working within an enterprise risk management framework, and able to manage the interaction of project risk with enterprise risk.
  • Significant knowledge and experience of mapping of assurance activity to risks and the subsequent delivery of that assurance.
  • Providing expert assurance advice
  • Shape the design and delivery of major projects and change initiatives through timely, expert assurance and advice, particularly in the key set-up and implementation phases in order to achieve agreed business outcomes
  • Act as an advocate of good practice and ‘critical friend’ to support sponsors and project leaders in developing benefits-led plans, anticipating and mitigating key risks, and ensuring effective decision-making and issue resolution
  • Ensure assurance and approval is fully integrated and planned; commission or deliver impartial programme reviews to provide stakeholders with confidence in their deliverability.
  • Provide expert outcome confidence assessment on an ongoing basis, in direct contact with the project, through executive reporting and as part of specified approval gates.
  • Identify and aid the management of critical dependencies
  • Able to assimilate, filter and summarise complex information, identify themes to develop insights and a forward view of risks.

Please quote reference: BAS 21/62
Publication date: 17/03/2021
Closing date for receipt of application forms is: 18th April 2021
Interviews are scheduled to be held: 06/05 and 07/05

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 and will provide necessary adaptations for the interview. 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 - a) oral skills b) written skills

  • Excellent communication skills, both written and oral, with an ability to communicate with individuals at all levels of seniority - Essential
  • PowerPoint presentation experience - Desirable [3]
  • Ability to assimilate, filter and summarise complex information, identify themes and develop insights and a forward view of risks - Essential

Computer / IT skills

  • High level use of MS Office packages - Essential

Decision Making

  • Ability to identify improvements to current risk and issues management framework - Essential
  • Ability to identify and aid the management of critical dependencies - Essential

Interpersonal skills

  • Ability to work with colleagues, assessing their identification of risks and mitigating controls and providing guidance where improvements are needed - Essential
  • Ability to build productive relationships and work with a wide range of people - Essential

Managerial ability

  • Ability to co-ordinate risk & issue activity in all relevant business areas, establishing a level of control consistency with minimal supervision - Essential

Numerical ability

  • Basic numeracy is essential - Essential

Other Factors

  • Flexibility, including the ability to adapt approaches to particular projects or to the achievement of specific outcomes, coupled with the ability to handle ambiguity. - Essential
  • Identifying opportunities through assurance work to support the improvement of processes - Essential
  • Act as an advocate of good practice - Essential


  • Formal risk management qualification would be an asset but not essential. - Desirable [4]

Skills / Experience

  • Experience creating and working with programme/project risk management frameworks - Essential
  • Experience identifying risks, including risk description, causes, controls and mitigations - Essential
  • Significant knowledge and experience of mapping assurance activity to risks and the subsequent delivery of that assurance - Essential
  • Experience in delivering impartial programme/project reviews - Essential
  • Experience providing oversight and assurance though sampling, testing, deep dives, thematic reviews and data gathering and analysis to ensure that policies and procedures are being applied appropriately and that expectations are being met - Essential

In order to apply, please complete and upload all the application forms listed below. If you experience any issues in uploading your Application Form, please email us your complete application, making reference to the job reference and title.

If you are an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen, please visit this website before applying.

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Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the Recruitment team is working remotely and cannot access the building. If you would like to apply for this job but cannot apply online, please contact us: [email protected]

If you need more information

[email protected]
+44 (0)1223 221400
+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.