Technical Manager (Visual Arts)

Date: 21-Jan-2023

Location: London, UKM, GB

Company: British Council

The British Council builds connections, understanding and trust between people in the UK and other countries through arts and culture, education and the English language. We work in two ways – directly with individuals to transform their lives, and with governments and partners to make a bigger difference for the longer term, creating benefit for millions of people all over the world. We help young people to gain the skills, confidence and connections they are looking for to realise their potential and to participate in strong and inclusive communities. We support them to learn English, to get a high-quality education and to gain internationally recognised qualifications. Our work in arts and culture stimulates creative expression and exchange and nurtures creative enterprise. We connect the best of the UK with the world and the best of the world with the UK. These connections lead to an understanding of each other's strengths and of the challenges and values that we share. This builds trust between people in the UK and other nations which endures even when official relations may be strained. We work on the ground in more than 100 countries. In 2019-20 we connected with 80 million people directly and with 791 million overall, including online and through our broadcasts and publications.

Technical Manager (Visual Arts)

Purpose of Role:

This is an exciting opportunity to play a key role in a major project to relocate the British Council Collection and operations from London to a new home in Coventry in late 2024.

The Technical Manager leads on the day-to-day management of the technical team and their work to support the Visual Arts programme. They plan and deliver an extensive technical programme. At its heart is the safe and secure storage, art handling, packing of art works and general Collection Care activities.  This also includes the production of specialist mounting, framing and display systems. The Technical Manager ensures that all technical services are delivered following best practice and with end-to-end procedural compliance including risk management, safety and security to exceptional standards.

This is a pivotal operational role which comes with a wide range of training and development opportunities.

The role will be based in London W3, working 8am-4pm Monday to Friday until the relocation project is complete.


About British Council Collection.

British Council Collection is a globally accessed and digitally networked collection used to inspire, foster dialogue, and increase mutual respect and understanding. Since 1938, the British Council has been collecting works of art. The Collection began with a modest group of works on paper and has grown to more than 8,700 modern and contemporary artworks, from paintings, prints and drawings, to sculpture, photography and multi-media. The Visual Arts team helps these objects to travel around the world as part of our collaborative international exhibitions, co-curated digital exhibitions, skills development programmes, curatorial research and exchange and through loans to museums and galleries.


Main Accountabilities:

Leadership & management

• Leads in all aspects of managing the day-to-day technical team to include: the planning and

scheduling of work activity, ensuring that work is completed accurately and to agreed deadlines.

• Plans and prioritises own work activities, and those of the technical team (some of which exist outside the direct management line and may be external to the British Council e.g. artists, venue technical teams), to ensure effective delivery of diverse responsibilities and programmes.

• Formal line management of the Technicians holding them to account for achieving agreed

performance targets aligned with organisational goals.

• Contracts and manages occasional freelance contract technicians, ensuring that all staff are

appropriately trained.

• Deputises for the Senior Facilities Manager in their absence, including contractor liaison, ensuring

building security and facilities are maintained at the British Council’s Collection Workshop.

• Provides coaching and mentoring for staff reporting to the role including the Technicians and/or

staff in the project teams.

• Supports the analysis of skills, identifies development needs and contributes to the development of

learning and development initiatives from areas of own expertise.

• Oversees and manages artwork packing and unpacking, loading and unloading, condition checking,

installation and de-installations as required.

• Actively contributes to an inclusive organisational culture. Ensures people feel valued and are treated equitably, with support for people’s well-being and mental health.

• Understands the British Council’s approach to equality, diversity and inclusion and how it applies

to the role and makes time for learning and development relating to EDI.


Programme management

• Prepares budgets and costings and providing accurate and up to date information about freight

specifications, equipment and requirements, ensuring that all shipments and packing cases conform

to ISPM HT56/30 regulations for soft wood packaging.

• Manages a technical team and resources for all collections management programmes including

storage; photography; annual audit; new acquisitions; conservation care and documentation

projects; working closely with the Collection Manager on scheduling.

• Works with the Collection Manager to implement preventative conservation in all technical aspects

of the Visual Arts collections management programme.

• Provides practical and administrative support to the Senior Facilities Manager across a range of

designated activities in order to meet agreed service and programme delivery performance targets,

schedules and deadlines e.g. liaising with Global Estates about buildings maintenance and security,

or with transport companies about freight requirements

• Sets and maintain consistent policy, process and procedures in relation to the delivery of all

technical aspects of the loans and exhibitions programme.

• Responsible for maintaining serviced machinery, equipment, tools and stock levels at the Collection

Workshop and off-site at installations; and for checking the work of suppliers and contractors.

• Undertakes regular quality checks and reviews, following agreed corporate or relevant external

protocols, to monitor the quality, consistency and effectiveness of technical service delivery. Reports

on findings and recommends appropriate remedial actions as required.

• Leads a team by example to follow Health and Safety and security best practice and legal and

corporate procedures and requirements on and off-site in all aspects of their work. Owns the

technical services risk log and escalates to Senior Facilities Manager accordingly.

• Ensures work is accurate, pays attention to detail and applies judgement with a commitment to

quality control, best practice and sector ethics.

• Ensures projects and programmes are delivered in line with British Council quality standards and

Project Management methodologies, including adherence to all process and procedures,

governance requirements and communication procedures.

• Uses standardised processes to monitor team compliance with agreed British Council risk

management procedures relevant to service delivery (e.g. child protection, security policies,

financial protocols, anti-fraud measures) to protect the interests of the Council and its customers at

all times. Highlights to senior managers any instances of non-compliance.

• Supports the Senior Facilities Manager in managing the art storage facilities to international and

Government Indemnity Scheme Standards for the care, storage and use of works in public collections, including storage solutions, security, environmental control, Integrated Pest Management and delivery of emergency, disaster and salvage planning.

Relationship & stakeholder management

• Builds and maintains effective relationships with internal stakeholders, to ensure effective, integrated

and joined-up delivery of programme goals in a complex matrix environment. Maintains excellent

relationships with Loans Manager and Collection Manager ensuring clear understanding of team

 needs to inform and enable continuous improvement in the quality of delivery.

• Develops and maintains excellent working relationships with partner institutions, artists, external

suppliers and contacts ensuring that a collaborative working relationship is cultivated.


Sector/subject expertise

• Actively builds professional networks and information channels that maintain an excellent

understanding of relevant developments and best practice (in both the UK and internationally), to

support the delivery of excellent art handling, logistics and installation and de-installation


• Provides specialist knowledge and expertise in relation to designated aspects of the safe and secure

storage, transportation and installation of art works e.g. evaluating and meeting the conservation

needs necessary to handle safely all works of art for overseas travel, providing specialist mounting

and framing for works of art, full technical service to Visual Arts on all aspects of audio-visual

equipment, usage, and maintenance, including management of AV and lighting requirements for all

loans and exhibitions.

• Is a Visual Arts sustainability champion and researches and implements new methods and

approaches in all aspects of technical work and materials for collections care and programme.

• Conducts analysis using a range of standard methodologies to provide high quality and evidence-

based recommendations on procedural improvements into their work and Visual Arts programmes

and/or highlight resource requirements needed to enhance operational performance.

• Ensures all quantitative and qualitative evidence is routinely gathered, evaluated and reported

centrally in regular project meetings and wash-up reports following corporate procedures and for

impact reporting


Further Information


With the priority of onsite Collection Work preparation, it is unlikely that there will be much opportunity for overseas travel during this time.

Pay Band – 7 /F   up to £33.000 yearly gross salary – plus £3,300 yearly gross London allowance

Contract Type – Indefinite

Location – This role will be located in West London W3 (non-remote working)

Requirements – Candidates must have the legal right to work in the United Kingdom

Closing Date – 26th February 2023



A connected and trusted UK in a more connected and trusted world.


Equality , Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) Statement


The British Council is committed to policies and practices of equality, diversity and inclusion across everything we do. We support all staff to make sure their behaviour is consistent with this commitment.  We want to address under representation and encourage applicants from under-represented groups, in particular, but not exclusively, on grounds of ethnicity and disability.  All disabled applicants who meet the essential criteria are guaranteed an interview and we have Disability Confident Employer Status. We welcome discussions about specific requirements or adjustments to enable participation and engagement in our work and activities.


The British Council is committed to safeguarding children, young people and adults who we work with.


We believe that all children and adults everywhere in the world deserve to live in safe environments and have the right to be protected from all forms of abuse, maltreatment and exploitation as set out in article 19, UNCRC (United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child) 1989.


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.


If you have any problems with your application please email


Please note: Applications to this role can only be considered when made through the Apply section of our careers website. 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.