Operations Manager 40 views

Location: London, UK

Reporting to: Executive Director

Line management: Office Manager

Duration of contract: 2 years (with possibility of extension)

Deadline: 31 January 2021

Salary: £41,869


We are looking for an Operations Manager to work with our London-based team. You will be conscientious, with an attention to detail and excellent interpersonal skills, and above all have a strong commitment to social and environmental justice. This is a great opportunity to join an organisation working at the nexus of human rights and tropical forest protection.

Reporting to the ED, you will be responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations of the organisation and ensuring these are carried out in accordance with agreed policies and processes including internal systems, compliance and safeguarding.

The Rainforest Foundation UK

The Rainforest Foundation UK (RFUK) is a non-profit organisation dedicated to supporting indigenous peoples and traditional populations of the world’s rainforests in their efforts to protect their environment and fulfil their rights to land, life and livelihood.

It was founded in 1989 by Sting and his wife, Trudie Styler, after they saw first-hand the destruction of the Amazon rainforests, and the devastating impact it had on the lives of the indigenous and forest-dependent people who live there. Since then, it has supported indigenous and local communities to secure and protect over twelve million hectares of rainforest – an area the size of England. Today, RFUK has around 20 staff and works with 15 indigenous and NGO partners in the Peruvian Amazon and across West and Central Africa.

Our approach differs from that of other organisations in that we are committed to both human rights and environmental protection. We firmly believe that the best way to protect the rainforest is through empowering indigenous peoples to defend their ancestral lands. We promote the establishment of community rights to rainforests, tackling the root causes of deforestation, and paving the way for local people to benefit fairly from the use and protection of forest resources.

RFUK is recognised as a leading force in the protection of tropical forests and their inhabitants, particularly in the Congo Basin region of Africa. As well as delivering high quality on-the-ground practical projects, often in difficult conditions, the organisation is also known for its advocacy work, which often challenges prevailing paradigms.

Our work is divided into the following strands:

Tackling the threats to forests. RFUK aims to tackle forest destruction by investigating and exposing its underlying causes, by building partnerships for change, and by pressing governments and companies to improve practices.

Land and resource rights. We work diligently to tackle communities’ lack of control over their forest, such as through our award-winning MappingForRights and ForestLink programmes that assist them to map, monitor and protect their lands and resources. This work is developed on the basis of ‘full participation’ to ensure that communities are able to set their own priorities. At the national and international levels, we campaign for changes in laws and policies that protect rainforests and their inhabitants.

Securing Indigenous Peoples’ rights. We support partner NGOs and Indigenous Peoples’ organisations to help forest communities realise their rights to lands and resources; to free, prior and informed consent (FPIC) and to self-determination.



1.Human resources

· Ensuring the organisation is appropriately staffed and skilled to fulfil its strategic direction.

· Working with other Senior Management Team members and line managers to ensure the charity recruits, trains and retains outstanding members of staff.


· Overseeing the development and implementation of RFUK’s HR strategies and policies.

· Building a highly inclusive and supportive culture ensuring team members thrive and organisational outcomes are met.

· Leading on effective processes for recruiting, onboarding, professional development, performance management, appraisals and training of staff.

· Providing strategic HR advice, acting as a point of contact for staff and managers in relation to employment law.

· HR administration, including management of our online HR system, HR documentation and monitoring of key dates in the employee lifecycle.

2. Organisational policies and compliance

· Overseeing the development and upkeep of RFUK’s internal governance documents and procedures in line with UK legislation and aid sector standards.

· In conjunction with the Programmes team, ensuring compliance with international donor requirements and integrating these into our organisational policies where appropriate.

· Serving as RFUK’s data protection officer.

· Ensuring adherence to our code of conduct with employees, beneficiaries, partners, funders and all those who come into contact with RFUK.

· With Programmes staff, ensuring that all staff are fully aware of and comply with the prescribed policies and procedures, including travel safety and security arrangements, anti-bribery, safeguarding, procurement etc.


With the Finance Manager:

· Preparation and monitoring of organisational budgets and cash flow forecasts.

· Assisting with the annual organisational audit and project-specific audits and coordinating/incorporating any required changes.

· Ensuring value for money and maximising financial efficiency in the internal functioning of the organisation.

· Assisting with banking facilities and payment runs, including international transfers.

· Management of cash held in the office; assisting with regular cash reconciliations.

· Liaising with the Programmes team to ensure that required financial information is made publicly available (e.g. in compliance with the International Aid Transparency Initiative, Charity Commission etc.).

4. General operations

· Ensuring there are adequate internal communications systems to enable staff to carry out their jobs effectively.

· Assisting with coordination of office meetings, organisational away days and no travel weeks.

· Participating in regular SMT meetings.

· Liaising with the Board and the ED in ensuring that regular Board meetings are held, agendas set and outcomes implemented.

· Ensuring that the highest possible standards are established and maintained for the RFUK staff’s working environment, and that infrastructure such as IT and other systems are adequate for staff to carry out their work.

· Carrying out other tasks as may be requested by the Executive Director.


Knowledge and experience


· A minimum of 5-years’ experience as an operations manager in a small to medium size organisation

· Demonstrable experience developing and improving organisational policies in accordance with regulatory changes and industry best practice

· HR management experience and demonstrable knowledge of best practice in the field

· Excellence in compliance and risk management with advanced knowledge of UK and international regulatory environment

· Ability to set and manage organisational budgets

· Degree in relevant field

· Excellent command of Microsoft programmes, including Excel


  • Experience of working in charity sector, particularly international development

  • French or Spanish speaking

  • Knowledge of safeguarding requirements

Personal attributes

· Strong personal commitment to RFUK’s mission and to social and environmental justice in general

· Excellent interpersonal and communication skills – written and oral

· Careful and conscientious with demonstrable attention to detail

· Excellent organisational and time management skills with the ability to work under pressure and to multiple deadlines

· Proactive, collaborative and approachable

· Personal integrity

Interest in human rights & environmental issues


Hours, remuneration and place of work:

The post is offered on a 2-year fixed term contract with possibility of extension. The role will be subject to a 6-month probationary period.

The post is a full-time position, based on a 35-hour working week in our North London office.

The starting salary is £41,869 gross per annum.

Monthly salary is paid by Bank Automated Credit transfer, on the 25th of every month.

Holidays, sick pay and other benefits are provided in accordance with statutory requirements. 30 days paid leave per year are offered.

Workplace pension (4% employer contribution).

Equal Opportunities

RFUK is an equal opportunities employer, and makes no discrimination on the grounds of gender, race, age, physical abilities, religious or sexual persuasion.

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