Appointment of the Chief Executive


We are really pleased that you are interested in joining Options as Chief Executive.

We are seeking to appoint a new Chief Executive after our current Chief Executive decided to retire following a wonderfully effective and successful 18 years at the helm.

Options for Supported Living is a hugely respected organisation existing to support, empower and enable people with disabilities to live their lives to the full. Why? Because we believe all people should live a fulfilled and meaningful life in their local community. We are an organisation whose priority is to deliver exceptional person-centred support, helping to improve the lives of people who we support, and those who work for and with us. We have seen growth over the years as the support we provide is greatly appreciated, but our focus is not simply to become bigger, but rather to provide consistent and high-quality support as an organisation that lives out its values.

Options supports people with learning disabilities, autism and acquired brain injuries across Merseyside and the surrounding areas. We support 180 people in three local authority areas. We have a staff team of 340, and income from local authorities and fund-raising of £9m to do this work. Options is a Real Living Wage employer.  We always try to work from first principles (and not according to accepted wisdom or tradition) – so it is an exciting place to work and an exciting organisation to lead as a CEO. You will be working with a brave, committed and values focused Board of Trustees and Leadership Team. We are inspected by the Government’s Care Quality Commission and hold an ‘Outstanding’ rating – one of only 5% of providers in England to do so.

Adult social care is a challenging environment to work in, in the UK. Many organisations are experiencing a whole range of challenges including financial and staff recruitment. Options is not immune to these but is well placed and has an excellent staff team and sound finances. Our new chief executive must be up for the challenges ahead. They will need to work with the community, commissioners of support, staff and those we support to ensure clarity of purpose, planning, direction and effectiveness in order to deliver our vision and mission.

So, there is lots of work to be done. And it is a great adventure to be part of.

With best wishes.

Ivor Langley
Chair of Trustees

About us

Options for Supported Living is a local charity existing to support, empower and enable people with disabilities to live their lives to the full. We believe all people should live a fulfilled and meaningful life in their local community. We support people with learning disabilities, autism and acquired brain injuries across Merseyside and the surrounding areas.

Our history:

During the 1970’s, a growing number of people from different parts of the globe began to challenge the model of support for people with learning disabilities which kept them in longstay hospitals or big residential homes.  There were increasing numbers of people saying that people with disabilities have no different potential than those without disabilities, but that the lack of aspirations or belief from those who managed the system meant that people had very little opportunity to live their lives to the full, to achieve their unique potential.

In the late 80s Peter Kinsella, a Liverpool lad, travelled to the US to see what was emerging there and was increasingly called ‘Supported Living’.  What this meant was that support was provided starting with the individual, finding out what their aspirations for life were (often written up in a person centred plan) and then building support around them to help them achieve their aspirations – so it started with the person and not a building.  Peter came back from the US and started work as commissioner for Liverpool Health Authority, using Supported Living as the way to do things in Merseyside.

One of the principles underpinning this was that organisations providing support needed to be nimble and responsive, not requiring meetings and committees to make decisions, but relying on good communication between a few key people.  And so Liverpool and Sefton jointly commissioned 4 brand new organisations to provide supported living.  That is how Options began, as one of the four, in 1993.  And the rest, as they say, is history.

But the principles on which we were created have endured and continue to hold true:

  • Good Beliefs and Values underpinning all that we do
  • Support starts by listening to the person supported and their families and designing support around them
  • It is dependent on great staff with strong beliefs and values and a making it happen attitude
  • Stay as small as possible with as few tiers of management as possible – better communication, and quicker decision-making
  • A strong emphasis on relationships – in all aspects of what we do, and on a few systems to hold it all together (less paperwork for the sake of it and less bureaucracy)
  • A belief that it can work for anyone – not just those with lesser needs
  • A great culture that holds the organisation together
  • A bias towards working things out together – not in isolation or through conflict

Please view the links below for additional information:

Organisation Chart Dec 2021 By Role

Development Plan 2020-2024

CQC July 19 Inspection Report

The role

Chief Executive

Job reference:

Our Mission: To support, empower and enable people with disabilities to live their lives to the full

Our Vision: A better world where people with disabilities contribute as unique and valued members of dynamic and inclusive communities

Main purpose of role:    To ensure clarity of purpose, planning, direction and effectiveness in order to deliver our vision and mission, influencing the wider community towards person centredness.

Accountable to: The Board of Trustees

Primary Responsibilities

  1. To ensure the delivery of the vision and mission in whatever ways will prove most impactful and effective
  2. To be the ‘public face’ of Options and a passionate advocate of person centredness in a range of local, regional and national arenas
  3. To influence others towards a person centred perspective through encouragement, publicity, shared learning and championing
  4. To provide clear and effective leadership to the organisation, providing a positive role model, ensuring that what we do is genuinely person-centred
  5. To provide clear leadership in listening to and responding to people with learning disabilities autism and acquired brain injuries
  6. To ensure excellence in the quality of the support we provide
  7. To oversee the management of the finances of the organisation, ensuring that a balanced budget is set each year, reporting to the Board and ensuring that Options operates within budget
  8. To manage effective relationships with all stakeholders and particularly with commissioners negotiating fee levels each year
  9. To ensure that Options complies with its governance policy and procedures established by the Board of Trustees
  10. To define and shape the culture of the organisation
  11. To mentor staff, particularly those in the more senior roles, in their development
  12. To draft and oversee the Development Plan.
  13. To maintain positive relationships with purchasers, external agencies, partners and key stakeholders
  14. To report to the board on Options’ performance
  15. To act as Registered Manager and/or Responsible Individual re the CQC
  16. To perform any other duties, relevant to the post, as determined by the Board

Person Specification



  • At least three years of senior management experience in a person-centred and mission oriented, innovative and responsive social care organisation
  • A track record of successful practice with people with a learning disability or in a comparable field
  • An involvement in the implementing, monitoring and evaluating of business/development plans
  • Participation in external inspection/audit requirements

Skills and Knowledge

  • A motivational verbal communicator able to relate to a broad range of people
  • A strong written communicator able to produce clear and concise writing in plain easy to understand English
  • An effective problem solver and trouble shooter
  • An enthusiastic team builder focused on helping people achieve their potential
  • Able to develop and manage complex budgets and maximise resources
  • Competent and self-sufficient general office IT applications
  • Satisfy the CQC Registered Manager interview/appointment

How you work

  • Have a passionate commitment to a person-centred approach, supported living, personal empowerment and social inclusion principles
  • Good with people – respected and trusted
  • Challenging and willing to make hard decisions
  • An effective delegator and devolver – who delivers through coaching, mentoring and developing others
  • Self-reliant – prepared to sometimes ‘stand outside’ or ‘buck the trend’
  • Natural bridge builder on the lookout for new allies and opportunities
  • Have a manner and style that gives others confidence in your abilities, values and commitment
  • An effective and discerning listener who is able to evaluate and where appropriate take on board input from trustees, staff, families and those supported to bring out the best in people and the organisation.


  • A relevant professional qualification and/or evidence of leadership/management development
  • A talent for designing and using management information
  • Substantial experience of supported living

Terms of appointment

Salary:  £75,000 to £85,000 pa
Annual Leave:  6 weeks plus bank holidays
Pension:  10% of salary
Probationary Period:  6 months, with interim review at 3 months

How to apply

Anderson Quigley is acting as an advisor to Options for Supported Living. An executive search process is being carried out by Anderson Quigley in addition to the public advertisement.

The closing date for applications is noon on Monday January 17 2022.

Completed applications should be uploaded at using the reference AQ1295

Applications should consist of:

  • A full CV.
  • A covering letter (maximum of two pages) setting out your interest in the role and details of how you match the criteria outlined in the person specification.
  • Details of two referees, though please note that we will not approach your referees without your prior consent and only should you be shortlisted.
  • Please complete the following online Equal Opportunity Form.

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


Closing date: noon on Monday 17 January 2022
Longlisting: Friday January 21 2022
Preliminary interviews with AQ: w/c Monday January 24 2022
Shortlist meeting: w/c Monday January 31 2022
Final Panel Interviews: w/c Monday February 7 2022