Voluntary Initiative Operations Director

Voluntary Initiative Logo_16195

An outstanding opportunity has arisen to lead the Voluntary Initiative, nationally promoting the responsible use of pesticides to all stakeholders.

Job Title: Voluntary Initiative Operations Director

Salary: In the region of: 40K per annum,

(Based between home and the Peterborough office, this is a full time, permanent post- subject to satisfactory completion of 6-month probation period)

Are you a strong and dynamic leader with proven networking skills? Are you articulate and persuasive, with high levels of energy and passion? An outstanding opportunity has arisen for a driven individual to lead the Voluntary Initiative.

The Voluntary Initiative (VI), an industry led programme promoting the responsible use of pesticides in the protection of water and the wider environment is currently seeking to recruit a vibrant and impactful communicator as their Operations Director.

As Operations Director you will be the principal permanent representative and spokesperson for the VI, nationally promoting the responsible use of pesticides to all stakeholders.

To be successful in this unique role you will be able to demonstrate excellent leadership experience, supported by strong interpersonal and persuasion skills.

You will bring experience of interpreting complex policy issues, managing relationships and reputations with diplomacy and tact. In addition, you will have excellent writing and communication skills, with a flair for reaching wide ranging audiences.

Above all, you will relish a challenge and the chance to inspire the VI Directors, whilst being the voice of the VI.

As the successful candidate you will be responsible for influencing policy and working with decision makers at the highest level. You will be pro-active and dynamic, raising the profile of the Voluntary Initiative, and helping to develop and deliver the marketing and communications plan with the VI’s Strategy Group. You will also steer the overall the management and administration of the VI including its budgetary control.

The Operations Director will report to the Chairman of the VI. This is a UK wide post, and the successful applicant will provide support for the VI’s work in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Key areas of work include:

  • Liaising with relevant Government departments and agencies, policymakers, farmers, agronomists, water companies, special interest groups and organisations
  • Developing and delivering marketing communications strategies and campaigns in accordance with the VI objectives
  • Representing and speaking on behalf of the VI at meetings, in discussions and at relevant forums, such as conferences or events
  • Managing the VI and its administration including secretariat functions and budgetary control


  1. To manage the Voluntary Initiative in line with the policies and budget agreed by the VI Strategy Group and the VI Community Interest Company (VI-CIC)
  2. To be accountable for all VI finance, budgets, financial control and reports to the VI-CIC and Companies House.
  3. To identify potential external funding opportunities; to investigate and exploit them to further VI objectives.
  4. To manage and co-ordinate the work of any advisers/consultants appointed to undertake VI activities.
  5. To organise meetings of the VI-CIC, Strategy Group and Steering Group, agreeing the agendas with the VI Chairman and preparing minutes.
  6. To represent the VI at external meetings and events as required.
  7. To develop messages and materials on best practice and ensure these are effectively communicated to the relevant target audiences.  This will include the production of leaflets, press releases and other marketing information; the production of the annual report and management of the VI website.
  8. To be responsible for liaison with The Chemicals Regulation Division (CRD), The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and other policymakers to ensure that the VI continues to be seen as the Centre of Excellence in pesticide stewardship and best practice.
  9. To ensure that VI water stewardship activities are coordinated with other industry-led and Government initiatives such as the Campaign for the Farmed Environment (CFE), the Metaldehyde Stewardship Group (MSG) and Catchment Sensitive Farming (CSF) to ensure best use, and avoid duplication, of resources.
  10. To co-ordinate the publicity of VI activity and successes through the farming press and other media and to promote industry-led approaches.

  1. To work with the VI Water Group to develop general best practice messages and materials for water stewardship and ensure these are effectively communicated to the relevant target audiences through various channels including H2OK activities.
  2. To develop and implement the VI aspects of the proposals aimed at reducing the detection of Oilseed Rape (OSR) herbicides in surface waters used for the abstraction of drinking water.

Key Competences

  • An outstanding communicator with the ability to persuade and influence others through use of verbal and written skills
  • Self-starter with the drive to get things done, delivering initiatives on time and on budget
  • Ability to work effectively with and motivate others
  • Excellent knowledge of agriculture and crop production systems
  • Excellent knowledge of stewardship of pesticides in relation to water and soil management
  • Analytical and creative thinking
  • Good managerial and organisational skills
  • Financial competence/budget management

If you are interested in applying for this position, please apply in writing with your cv to:

Sarah Mukherjee
Tel: 01733 355374

Deadline for applications: 29 June 2018
Interviews to take place: 30 July - 10 August 2018

Last edited on: 08:06:2018

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