Role Description – Chief Financial Officer


We are seeking an experienced Financial leader who has worked at an executive level and can provide strong, motivational leadership to DofE’s corporate services functions. Our ideal candidate will have strong commercial experience and be able to bring a strategic and commercial perspective to the challenges of pricing, licensing, income generation and overall cost/benefit in order to create a sustainable DofE offer. This ‘hard-headed’ commercial perspective needs to be coupled with an appreciation for the charitable purpose of the DofE and the need to find a financially sustainable way of reaching young people from lower income backgrounds who otherwise couldn’t afford to participate. The right candidate also needs to appreciate the resource constraints of the voluntary sector and the fact that this role has a wide range of responsibilities beyond finance that need effective leadership and a clear development plan. Experience of leading broader corporate functions including IT, HR, Property and Governance functions, as well as a track record of leading on audit and risk would be ideal.

Location:  Windsor / home-based (the postholder will be expected to travel to Windsor at least twice per week once the restrictions created by the Covid-19 pandemic are relaxed)

Salary:  £90,000- £95,000

Summary and main purpose

  • Provide leadership and direction for DofE’s finance strategy, financial management and corporate services; ensuring they align with DofE’s mission and vision and effectively support the achievement of DofE’s strategic objectives and annual participation targets.
  • Act as a champion and advocate for DofE across the UK, building and maintaining effective stakeholder relationships and strategic partnership in order to maximise DofE’s reach, impact and income.
  • To be a member of the Executive Leadership Team, acting as a trusted adviser and business partner to the CEO and playing a full role in the strategic leadership of the DofE.

Scale and scope of the role

  • Reports to the CEO and is a member of the Executive Leadership Team
  • People responsibility: c16

 Key accountabilities

 Strategic leadership and management

  • Provide motivational leadership to corporate services staff in line with DofE’s values, ensuring that staff are supported to meet high standards and recognised for their achievements.
  • Model the DofE desired culture in order to attract, retain and motivate ambitious and talented staff and volunteers from diverse backgrounds and communities.
  • Contribute fully to the overall leadership and strategic direction of the DofE as a member of the DofE’s Executive Leadership team.
  • Provide strategic financial analysis to inform the charity’s financial strategy, including identifying revenue opportunities and monitoring economic trends.
  • Review the commercial effectiveness of licensing and trading activity, including pricing, to ensure DofE’s financial sustainability and ensure the organisation is getting best value for money.

 Assurance and risk management

  • Act as the Lead Director for the Audit, Investment & Risk Committee, ensuring the provision of high-quality financial information and analysis and assurance that organisational risks are being identified and managed appropriately.
  • Accountable for the annual Audit process, ensuring all annual reporting requirements are met.
  • Accountable for managing risk across the DofE, including implementing the risk management framework, owning the corporate risk register; Chair of the internal Risk Management Board.
  • Champion a compliance culture across the organisation, thereby protecting DofE in all areas including Health and Safety, insurance matters, GDPR, cyber security, ISO accreditation and procurement.

Financial strategy, financial monitoring and financial controls

  • Accountable for leading and optimising the budgeting and financial planning processes, monitoring financial performance and preparing financial forecasts, ensuring that the charity is managing its finances appropriately and that budget holders are subject to healthy scrutiny and challenge: Chair of the internal Sustainability Board.
  • Accountable for ensuring that suitable accounting systems and financial controls are in place to enable the DofE to meet its legal and regulatory obligations relating to financial and taxation matters and safeguard the charity’s assets.
  • Accountable for DofE’s investment strategy and (outsourced) investment managers under the guidance of the Audit, Investment and Risk Committee; ensuring the DofE has adequate reserves and investment income to deliver its strategic ambitions.
  • Accountable for analysing internal operations and identifying opportunities for efficiencies and process enhancement.

Property and procurement

  • Accountable for the charity’s property portfolio, in line with operating requirements; seeking to gain the best benefit for the charity’s mission and sustainability over the long term.
  • Accountable for developing and implementing a procurement and contract assurance process to ensure DofE gets best value from its supplier relationships.


  • Manage the Governance Manager and, alongside CEO, Chair of Trustees and Governance Committee; ensure that the governance structure and policies are fit for purpose and that the DofE meets its statutory and regulatory requirements and acts in line with Charity Commission guidance.

People and culture

  • Provide leadership and input at a senior level on HR and workforce matters with strategic ownership of the People Strategy.
  • Ensure the delivery of high quality, compliant HR systems and processes, including payroll


  • Accountable for the development and delivery of the IT strategy; ensuring DofE’s IT systems and support, IT security and IT development projects are fit for purpose and provide the technological infrastructure DofE needs to achieve its goals: Chair of the internal IT Strategy Board.

The post holder will also:

  • Provide effective supervision, performance management and appraisal and professional and personal development opportunities for their staff.
  • Be a role model as an enthusiastic, authentic ambassador for the DofE and engage positively with stakeholders, providing a high level of customer service.
  • Uphold the values of DofE working collaboratively with colleagues across DofE.
  • Demonstrate DofE’s commitment to building a diverse and inclusive organisation.
  • Follow DofE’s Safeguarding and Data Protection policies and procedures at all times.
  • Ensure that all health and safety procedures are followed at all times.
  • Any other duties that may be reasonably required.

Person Specification

Experience and knowledge

  • Experience of working at Director level, operating as part of an Executive management team setting and delivering against strategy and operational plans, and reporting directly to a Board / Trustee Board.
  • Successful track record of working as a senior Finance professional, leading a finance function in a complex organisation; holds a formal accountancy qualification or equivalent experience.
  • Experience of leading on risk management, risk mitigation and governance and providing assurance to a Board / Trustee Board.
  • Experience of financial modelling and developing commercial pricing strategies.
  • Proven ability to develop, empower and lead high performing teams, including effective matrix management.
  • Record of leading and delivering operational excellence and implementing robust quality assurance processes and controls.
  • Experience of overseeing a high performing HR function.
  • Experience of overseeing a high performing IT function.

Skills and Knowledge

  • Ability to translate organisational strategy into effective operational delivery.
  • High degree of commercial acumen and a strategic mindset with the ability to identify opportunities and embrace new initiatives.
  • Strong financial planning and management skills.
  • Outstanding communication and influencing skills with the ability to explain complex information and concepts clearly.
  • The ability to build effective relationships with a wide range of stakeholders and an understanding of the dynamics of dispersed organisations whose services are delivered by volunteers.
  • Understanding of the requirements for safeguarding and quality assurance in organisations serving young people.
  • Able to see the bigger picture and make informed decisions in the interests of the organisation as a whole.


  • High degree of personal integrity and authenticity, a ‘can do’, positive attitude, always willing to go the extra mile.
  • Has high standards and expects excellence, deals kindly but firmly and decisively with poor performance and poor attitudes and behaviours.
  • Organised, efficient and delivers what they say.
  • Collegiate, with highly developed interpersonal skills, works collaboratively with others to achieve organisational goals.
  • Strongly customer-centred and committed to continuously improving the quality of operational delivery.
  • Passionate about developing and empowering young people.
  • Results focused and impact-driven.
  • Inclusive and committed to diversity and acting as an ally.
  • Adaptable and resilient, with the ability to change direction when needed.