Share this Job

Director Examinations, East Asia

Date: 04-May-2021

Location: Singapore, East Asia, SG

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.

Payband:  SMP / LMFG

Location: Singapore


Contract type: 1 year assignment (UK appointed)

Role Purpose

The purpose of this role is to set the Regional Exams strategy and deliver income and surplus for the Region aligning with Global Exams and Regional British Council strategy. 
You will be ultimately responsible for overall performance, customer experience and reputation ensuring the demand pipeline, partnership relationships, capacity, consistency, capability and appropriate cost model is in place to deliver a sustainable business. 
You will provide leadership to country teams ensuring that they are delivering in line with client expectation and in accordance with rigorous compliance procedures.

Challenges and opportunities


•Provide inspirational leadership to a range of diverse country teams, delivering different product mixes
•Development of regional Exams strategy in line with ambitious global and regional expectations
•Continue to optimise the Exams Operating Model in the region  
•Ensure delivery of income and surplus targets, including delivery of cost savings
•Ensuring business models are fit for purpose
•Growing IELTS and strategically securing its position against market competition 
•Ensuring market insight is gathered and used to inform business decision making, working closely with the Marketing team
•Ensuring teams are strategically managing key stakeholders / client relations to derive maximum value for BC and Exam Board partners



Exams strategy & planning 
•    Lead the development of both the 3 year Business Strategy, 3 year Commercial Strategy & Leadership strategy and annual business plan for Exams 
•    Contribute to the development of the Regional Plan, aligned to wider corporate priorities and targets, ensuring the British Council maximises local market opportunities to deliver optimal cultural relations impact in a financially sustainable way.


Market building, Customer service & brand positioning 
•    Ultimate accountability for standards, customer experience & assurance
•    Track and monitor a range of market and competitor data, to inform the development of market opportunities and grow the business, and input into product strategy. 
•    Work with the Marketing department to define the marketing strategy for the UK Exams business, and ensure its effective implementation across the region, to build     brand consistency, quality and visibility across multiple markets. 
•    Responsible for Customer Service across the region, ensuring on-going improvement in corporate measures of success and holding the RCML accountable for this. 
•    Accountable for delivering the business plan (financial/non-financial targets as well as marketing plans and projects linked to regional strategy) and for high standards of     quality control in financial compliance


Relationship, stakeholder and key account management 
•    Identify, cultivate and manage high-level, strategic alliances with RO/key partners/customers to facilitate the achievement of SBU and corporate objectives within the  Exams business. 
•    Lead the planning, coordination and delegation of appropriate global account management/Product strategy deployment responsibilities and targets to Exams colleagues across the region, in order to support effective business development, pipeline planning and income generation. 
•    Build and maintain excellent relationships with internal partners and stakeholders, to ensure effective, integrated and joined-up delivery of agreed business objectives. 


Operational management 
•    Negotiate with SBU, regional and country-based colleagues to agree optimal resource allocation, organisational structures and staff deployment to enable effective and profitable achievement of the Exams strategy. 
•    Ensure staff are held to account for delivering required targets, working across the country / regional team to influence and support the wider team as necessary. 
•    Monitor and review the performance against plan of the region’s Exams teams, taking remedial action where necessary, to ensure achievement of agreed targets. 
•    Provide regular reports on performance of the Exams business across the region, to enable effective decision-making and planning at regional and SBU levels. 
•    Accountable for operational delivery to all corporate standards e.g. QCA/audit/IELTS Audit as well as externally driven client requirements


Risk & Compliance
•    Review and monitor compliance in the region to ensure that exams delivery meets the necessary corporate and Exam board standards and ensure that operations receive the necessary advice and support to improve performance in this area. 
•    Evaluate a range of geo-political, commercial and operational risks across the region and makes changes to business plans and/or resourcing, as necessary, to optimise performance/ mitigate potential difficulties 
•    Work closely with the global Head of Business Assurance to improve standards of perform where necessary

Leadership & management 
•    Develop, motivate and manage the performance of the Regional Exams Leadership Team, to ensure it creates the right climate for the regional operation to succeed. 
•    Articulate a clear and compelling vision for the Exams business across the region, to ensure that all staff have clarity about medium-term strategy and long-term direction and are committed to achieving a set of shared goals. 
•    Contribute to the development of workforce planning for the region, ensuring that the BC has the right staff, in the right locations and with the requisite skills necessary to deliver corporate objectives
•    As a senior member of the Exams SBU, contribute actively to effective decision-making and planning across the global business, and lead specific corporate initiatives and projects, as required.
•    Responsible for leadership of the Regional Exams Management Team for holding the broader team to account to deliver the business as per agreed business plans and financial and non-financial targets
•    Lead and embed compliance through line management, setting a positive culture of reporting and transparency of performance/issues for business/continual improvement.




  • A business, management, marketing or related degree level qualification
  • Substantial experience in business development and operations management of a large examinations business
  • Managing a large scale commercial business across a number of different countries/geographies
  • Track record in business development and management of senior external relationships and partnerships in education sector or similar
  • Proven experience in extended team working and business and partnership development regionally
  • Experience of end-to-end Sales and Operational planning, including Demand Planning and use of dynamic pricing models



  • MBA or equivalent

Closing Date:

Tuesday, 1st of June 2021 23:59 Singapore Time (GMT +8)

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


Equality Statement


The British Council is committed to a policy of equality and to valuing diversity and is keen to reflect the diversity of the societies in which we work at every level within the organisation. We welcome applications from all sections of the community. We aim to abide by and promote equality legislation by following both the letter and the spirit of it to avoid unjustified discrimination, recognising discrimination as a barrier to equality of opportunity, inclusion and human rights. All staff worldwide are required to ensure their behaviour is consistent with our policies. 
The British Council has Disability Confident Employer Status. We offer a guaranteed interview scheme for disabled applicants who meet the essential criteria for the role. Applicants are encouraged to highlight any specific requirements or adjustments needed to enable participation in the recruitment process.

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 askhr@britishcouncil.org

<span style="font-family:"Times New Roman",serif"><span style="font-family:"72",sans-serif">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.