Appointment of the Director of Finance and Operations


Dear Applicant

Thank you for your interest in the position of Director of Finance and Operations at the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing (ISTD).

This position represents an exciting opportunity to make a significant contribution to the future development of our 117-year-old charity.  Over the past three years we have undertaken an extensive modernisation programme, including the complete renovation of our office building, the introduction of a new finance system, a new website, and significant improvements to our IT infrastructure.

The Society is loved and respected throughout the world but, like all charitable organisations, we face many challenges as we slowly emerge from the global pandemic.  The successful candidate will play a key role in our recovery and future growth – contributing to the development of a new 5-year strategic plan, developing new income streams and leading on the procurement of a new CRM system.

This post sits within a Leadership Team of five Directors, each of whom is responsible for delivering growth, innovation and efficiency in their specialist area.  We work collectively to build the Society’s international profile and to extend the range and diversity of people with which we engage.  We aspire to be a leading force for dance education both in the UK and internationally and are strongly committed to removing barriers to access, whilst maintaining the quality for which we are renowned.

I hope the information provided will give you an insight into the work of the Society.  If you feel you can help us realise our goals and build for the future, I would be delighted to hear from you.

With best wishes

Ginny Brown
Chief Executive

About us

The Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing is one of the world’s leading dance examination boards with the widest range of dance genres available. We are a registered educational charity, supporting and training our members through a wide variety of courses, teaching syllabi and techniques.

Established in 1904, with a mission to educate the public in the art of dancing in all its forms; today the Society strives to advance excellence in dance teaching and education. We promote knowledge in each specialty and provide up-to-date techniques in the ever-changing world of dance. We work hard to maintain and improve teaching standards in schools, academies and performing arts settings across the world.

We are known for our quality of teaching, our diversity of dance forms, and a passion for raising standards. We put our members – teachers of dance – at the heart of everything we do. Supporting their career development and progression by providing a range of resources, events, training and continuous professional development, all designed to support their journey through dance.

The Society is a registered educational charity (250397), regulated examinations board and membership association. With 6,000 members in 59 countries worldwide, we conduct over 120,000 examinations and 20,000 hours Continuing Professional Development each year.

Our COVID-19 response

Recognising that communication and support for our members was crucial during this challenging time, we established a COVID-19 website portal, weekly news bulletins and a programme of free members meetings and faculty events.

In August we moved our summer school online, where we hosted a month long programme of CPD activities. In total 5,043 members from 28 countries attended online courses in 2020. Our faculty student events also moved online last autumn and in January we launched the digital Inspirational Spaces to Dance Challenge.

We conducted calculated assessments for ‘gateway’ qualifications last summer and then transitioned to remote exams from September, as need dictated. By the end of 2020, 6,500 learners had successfully completed an online examination. Whilst this has been a steep learning curve, the Society now has the ability to move seamlessly between online and direct delivery as the situation demands. And, an unexpected joy of this move to digital engagement has been the ability to come together as an international community like never before.


The Society aspires to be a world leader in dance education, setting the benchmark for best practice through our extensive syllabi and teacher training. We are committed to becoming a dynamic, future-focused organisation that promotes the social, cultural, physical and educational benefits of dance for all.

We have a proud history that stands for the pursuit of excellence in the dance world. To build on past successes and the business plan of 2019–2021, the leadership team and trustees are in the process of developing our five-year strategic plan for the organisation; conducting a 360 degree review and planning processes.  Our aim is to make sure that our commitment to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) is at the heart of our strategic development, creating an agile and future focused organisation that encourages membership and financial growth within a rapidly changing environment.


The balance sheet reflects a sound position – the Society owns the freehold of its Shoreditch, London property, plus an investment portfolio managed by CCLA and healthy cash balances.

These resources enable the Society to invest in new pathways to improve services to our members and the development of new initiatives in line with the ISTD’s charitable aims.

Recent deficits have been due to restructuring and investment, essential to the Society’s successful development, and in 2020 the impact of COVID-19 severely curtailing our activities.

You can view the latest report (2019) online at:

The role

Director of Finance and Operations

Job reference:

Responsible to: Chief Executive Officer; also reports to the Board on financial, legal and charitable matters.
Responsible for: Governance and Legal Compliance, Finance, IT, HR, Building Services.
Line manages: Finance Manager, Finance Business Partner, HR Business Partner, Policy & Governance Manager, Facilities Manager.

Role purpose

  • Responsible for ensuring that the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing’s (ISTD) financial, legal and charitable obligations are met
  • Support the business planning and direction setting for the Society
  • Lead the Finance Department, IT and HR, and oversee the administration of the building
  • Deputise for the Chief Executive Officer in their absence

Key duties and responsibilities

Departmental duties and responsibilities

  • Lead on the operations of ISTD to ensure that all services are efficient and compliant, working in close collaboration with the Chief Executive Officer, Board and other Directors.
  • Ensure that ISTD’s financial, legal and charitable obligations are met, fulfilling the role of Company Secretary and reporting to the Board as required.
  • Manage the Finance & Audit Committee and relationships with the auditors/bankers. Lead on the development of IT, HR and building services, ensuring that ISTD has the physical, human and technological resources needed to achieve planned growth and efficiency.
  • Plan and manage IT infrastructure and mange relationships with external IT support provider.
  • Authorise payments, oversee the production of monthly management accounts, statutory accounts and ISTD’s annual budget, and oversee the management of the ISTD’s investment portfolio.
  • Liaise with ISTD’s lawyers to produce appropriate contracts and copyright agreements, and any other legal matters that might occur.
  • Act as ISTD’s Data Protection Officer and Designated Safeguarding Officer.

Director duties and responsibilities

  • Identify and implement strategic opportunities for growth in line with ISTD’s mission, core values and the aims of its Business Plan.
  • Review and, where necessary, redesign departmental staffing structures to meet the financial and performance targets of the Business Plan.
  • Initiate and oversee programmes of continuous improvement to ensure that all work streams are conducted with optimum efficiency and to the highest standards.
  • Work collaboratively with the Chief Executive Officer, Directors and direct reports to ensure that key performance indicators are consistently achieved.
  • Foster new partnerships and nurture existing relationships with stakeholders and policymakers nationally and internationally.
  • Support and nurture staff development to ensure high quality delivery of all services.
  • As a public facing role, present the values and ideals of ISTD at all times.
  • Research and gather business intelligence to support effective business development.
  • Undertake any other duties necessary to this post as delegated by the Chief Executive Officer.



Education and qualifications

  • Fully qualified accountant (ACA/CIMA/ACCA) with full membership of a recognised UK accountancy body or equivalent.

Knowledge and experience

  • Substantial experience in leadership roles at Director or Senior Manager level, leading and motivating teams to deliver results.
  • Experience of managing both financial and non-financial operational teams.
  • Experience of developing organisational strategy and successfully implementing change.
  • Extensive experience of planning, budgeting and the development of management reporting.
  • Knowledge and experience of all aspects of financial management, including statutory accounts, the preparation and control of budgets and the management of an organisation’s investment portfolio.
  • Experience in a role having governance and/or compliance responsibility for an organisation.
  • Knowledge to steer the organisation towards achieving its objectives while operating effectively, responsibly, legally and sustainably.


These are an indication of some of the observable behaviours needed for successful performance of this role. Please note that ISTD is developing a new competency framework that will apply across all roles, so the competencies shown below will be reviewed as part of this process.


  • Demonstrates business acumen, contributing to the creation, implementation and evaluation of ISTD’s strategic plans.
  • Effectively manages ISTD’s finances, investment portfolio and operational teams.
  • Monitors and applies relevant legislation, policies and procedures.
  • Recommends appropriate strategies to ensure adherence to governance structures and application of best practice internal controls.
  • Identifies and manages risk appropriately, using risk management techniques for the best interests of ISTD and its stakeholders.
  • Communicates complex financial issues in a simple and understandable manner.
  • Drives efficiency from both administrative and financial perspectives.
  • Evaluates the financial impact of decisions and works within allocated budgets.

Leadership and management

  • Ensures that initiatives and priorities in their department(s) effectively deliver business objectives and are aligned with ISTD’s strategic priorities.
  • Displays resilient and motivational leadership to maximise team and employee performance.
  • Clearly delegates authority to match employees’ responsibilities and capabilities.
  • Leads by example, acting as a role model for integrity and fairness, and promoting a culture of opportunity, collaboration, equity diversity and inclusion.
  • Promotes the sharing of expertise and supports learning opportunities across ISTD.


  • Makes sound and timely decisions based on an analysis of relevant information.
  • Acts proactively and thinks strategically to anticipate ISTD’s needs.
  • Delivers innovative solutions to complex problems.
  • Demonstrates excellent interpersonal and negotiation skills.
  • Credible when communicating decisions and managing others’ expectations.
  • Able to challenge and influence, building and maintaining effective relationships within and outside ISTD.
  • Applies professional and ethical judgement, taking responsibility for their own performance.


Terms of appointment

  • Competitive Salary
  • Generous Annual Leave Entitlement (25 days + bank holidays + the period from the day before Christmas to the day after New Year)
  • Matched Pension Contribution (between 4% and 8%)
  • Employee Assistance Programme

How to apply

Anderson Quigley is acting as an advisor to the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing. An executive search process is being carried out by Anderson Quigley in addition to the public advertisement.

Should you wish to discuss the role in strict confidence, please contact Rob Hilyer on +44 (0) 7719 325 771 or Elyse Turner-Pearce on +44 (0) 7808 648 559.

The closing date for applications is noon on Friday 30th April 2021.

Applications should consist of:

  • A full CV
  • A covering letter setting out your interest in the role and details of how you match the knowledge and experience criteria of the role (please refer to the criteria above).
  • Please click here to complete an online Equal Opportunities Monitoring form.

Completed applications should be uploaded at using AQ1115 as the reference number.

The Society values diversity of thought and experience. We welcome applications from anyone regardless of their age, disability, ethnicity, heritage, sexuality, gender and socio-economic background. If you have any access needs or there are any barriers to access please let us know this in your application or if you would like to discuss any of this prior to applying please contact our supporting consultants at Anderson Quigley.The Society values diversity of thought and experience. We welcome applications from anyone regardless of their age, disability, ethnicity, heritage, sexuality, gender and socio-economic background. If you have any access needs or there are any barriers to access please let us know this in your application or if you would like to discuss any of this prior to applying please contact our supporting consultants at Anderson Quigley.


Closing date: noon on Friday 30th April
Longlisting: Friday 7th May
Preliminary Interviews with AQ: w/c 10th and 17th May
Shortlisting: Monday 24th May
Final Panel Interviews: Wednesday 2nd June