Appointment of an Assistant Director Culture and Organisational Development


Firstly, I would like to thank you for your interest in this role. The Legion is on an exciting journey of both incremental and transformational change. A key tool to achieving this will be a creative and proactive team to drive the Organisational Development and Culture agenda. I’m really pleased that we are now at the point of recruiting to this key senior role.

The Legion is a complex and multi-faceted charity, with a range of passionate communities and stakeholders. These include our members, over 200,000 of them and our volunteers, the many thousands who go out onto the streets every year to bring the Poppy Appeal to the nation.  And of course, the staff, around 2,000 across the four nations who work in our Care Homes, Regional Offices and working from home, supporting our beneficiaries.

Our work in the the Directorate of People and Organisational Development (OD) is never dull, always changing and challenging. There is a large change agenda ahead of us, both in terms of what we do but as importantly how we do it. Whilst this couldn’t be described as a revolution, this role requires someone with energy, tenacity and resilience to take the large agenda that sits with this role and drive it forward with the rest of our senior leaders. Many of the deliverables in this role are relatively new to the Legion; Inclusion has recently moved from a compliance focus to be one of the Legion’s key strategic goals; a culture aligned to our ambition is a clear aspiration that needs a strong hand to guide the senior leaders forward.   So, we need someone with a good track record across all the elements of this role whilst recognising there are more than one way to deliver. To be successful, you will need to quickly understand what ‘works’ for the Legion and its people.

The Legion is an open, friendly, and dynamic place to work. Equally though it is steeped in tradition and supported by many who believe that tradition needs to be held at the heart of what we do. Navigating the change agenda is therefore one that requires diplomacy, patience, and the ability to understand that sometimes a less direct, longer journey to success is often better than the more direct route.

My hope is that you will be  excited about this role  and inspired to come forward and submit an application.

Karen Gill
Executive Director People and Organisational Development

About us

About Us

The Vision of the Legion is to bring together nations, communities and individuals to create better futures for our armed forces community and their families. The Legion is the nation’s largest Armed Forces charity, providing care and support to all members of the British Armed Forces past and present and their families. It is the national custodian of Remembrance and safeguards the Military Covenant between the nation and its Armed Forces. The Legion serves a community of around 6.2 million people with a diverse and complex set of needs, working both at scale and with individuals to provide support and to campaign on their behalf. The Legion is proud to be “the national Charity with a local footprint” helping veterans and society.

One Legion

We were proud to mark our centenary last year, but we remain firmly focussed on our future. Our rich heritage and 100 years of experience supporting the Armed Forces community have built the strong foundations of an organisation that is fit for purpose and will continue to serve the community for the next 100 years.

Throughout our history, the RBL has evolved and adapted, responding to the changing needs of the Armed Forces community and reflecting the modern-day society we play an important role in. To help ensure we are delivering the best service possible to those that need us, we have recently introduced our One Legion initiative, bringing together everyone from across the charity to work towards the same ambition. Our focus is on putting the people who come to us for support  at the heart of all that we do.

Our vision is to create better futures for our Armed Forces community and their families, using our resources as effectively as we can to provide them with the very best care and support possible. We can only achieve this if we continuously challenge ourselves across all aspects of our operations from how we deliver our services, to how we work with partner organisations and others across our network to ensure people recognise us and understand what we do.

To make One Legion a reality and to achieve our vision, we have the following five strategic priorities:

  • Grow and nurture public support through awareness, education and participation.
  • Understand and adapt to the needs of the Armed Forces community.
  • Raise income to deliver integrated, sustainable and cost-effective services.
  • Collaborate with our network of partners, members, volunteers, stakeholders, fundraisers and supporters.
  • Live our values to attract and develop great people.

The One Legion strategy provides us with a huge opportunity to transform our organisation and change how we work for the benefit of those we support and those who choose to support us, both now and in the future.

The Legion’s Activities


We offer broad-ranging support, including advice and information through our telephone contact centre and online and over 250 outreach locations across the UK, as well as through our care homes and services. The Legion’s pioneering work in dementia care has received widespread recognition. Membership of the Legion through its local branches provides veterans and their families with a strong community; these communities also undertake vital fundraising for the Legion. We also help veterans back into work through commercial partners including Marks and Spencer, and through our own “Civvy Street” programme, helping Service personnel make the switch to civilian life. The Legion works collaboratively across the sector, sharing space and working through a national external grants programme through which other charities and community projects can apply for Legion funding for causes within the Legion’s remit.

We also run the Battle Back Centre in Lilleshall. Established by the Royal British Legion in 2011 to support wounded and injured service personnel returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, we aim to help ensure the best possible recovery for the Armed Forces community, whether it’s returning to duty or successfully transitioning to civilian life. As well as continuing to support wounded, injured and sick service personnel, more recently we have expanded our service with the introduction of wellbeing courses for veterans.


The Legion is the national custodian of Remembrance. Its role is to champion Remembrance, to promote its observance, encourage participation across our nation and to ensure that the torch is passed to future generations. The Legion does this nationally through events such as the Festival of Remembrance and the march past at the Cenotaph. The Legion’s members ensure the contribution and sacrifice of regiments, counties, towns, villages and families is marked locally, and fundraising plays a key part in enabling people to mark their remembrance individually through the Poppy Appeal.

The Legion also owns the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire, the nation’s year-round centre of remembrance and home of the powerful and moving Armed Forces Memorial.


We are the leading campaigner for the Armed Forces community, with a strong record of achieving practical change for serving personnel, veterans and their families. Thanks to the Legion’s work, the Armed Forces Covenant was enshrined in legislation in 2011, and recent successes have included ensuring thousands of veterans do not have to give up their injury compensation to pay for social care, securing fair compensation for veterans suffering from asbestos-related cancer and ensuring all current and future Armed Forces widows are able to keep their military pensions for life if they remarry.


We provide a spectrum of services designed to meet the interests and needs of the Armed Forces community in the areas of financial, physical, and mental health, employment, housing, independent living and social support. We want to make sure that our beneficiaries are able to live with dignity, whether that is in their own home or one of our care homes.

The Legion is the largest dedicated care services provider in the military charity sector. It has six care homes, four of which provide specialist dementia care, offering short and long-term care to beneficiaries. The homes range in size from 52 to 90 bedrooms (approximately 475 in total).

As well as introducing new and expanded ways of providing care, we have also introduced entirely new services in response to the increasingly complex needs of our community. These include Admiral Nurse Teams, who support the carers of those with dementia and provide independent living advice, supporting people to remain in their own homes.

We also run Battle Back, a specialist recovery centre for serving military and veterans and their families to access. Run with MOD and with partnerships with Sport England, the centre has a successful recovery programme for across a wide range of issues, physical and psychological that have impacted members fo the armed forces present and past.

Corporate Teams

Alongside our frontline services in Care, Welfare, Remembrance and Fundraising we have key corporate roles predominantly in our London hub but also across our regional hubs in Edinburgh, Cardiff, Belfast, Birmingham and Manchester. Functions across Marketing, Finance, Property, Legal, IT, the Directorate of People and OD provide a strong support to the range of front-line services we provide.

Case for change


As the largest armed forces charity, we hold a privileged position in the public eye, both for the work we do to support the large veteran community but also the trust we hold in safeguarding the legacy of Remembrance. It’s fair to say that internally there is a real pride by all of our staff, volunteers and members in the work which we do daily to make a difference across the Armed Forces community. This makes a tangible difference in improving the wellbeing for thousands of beneficiaries in our Care Homes and across the diverse welfare services we provide.

The Legion has gone through a detailed review of its purpose and strategic goals over the last eighteen months. In a rapidly changing environment, a requirement for our future armed forces and a growing wish to remain ‘relevant’ in a world where so many competing and difficult challenges face society remains one of our key priorities. On this basis, we have set our stall out in the One Legion strategy.

The RBL is and will remain one of the great institutions of this country. But if we don’t take action to rise to this challenge, our impact and relevance will diminish over time. The respect that our reputation commands will reduce, and we’ll have missed a huge opportunity to be relevant 20 years from now.

How we have been structured and worked in the past was relevant but is no longer sufficient. The needs of our beneficiaries are evolving, and their expectations are rising – higher levels of service, and new services are expected of us, so we must anticipate, innovate, and respond.. Our own workforce is changing too, in line with wider social change. This means that as a people function, we have to work harder to make the RBL the best place to have a career in the charitable sector, with exciting opportunities for personal and professional growth.

We are deeply ambitious for the RBL, so we must be in a place where the objective challenge to the status quo is the norm, and where leaders are ambitious, restless about ways we can improve.. In practice, this will mean creating an organisation that is equipped to deliver strong performance and strategic change, and we aim to do this by combining clarity about goals with the right people, systems, and ways of working to achieve them.

As part of the development of the One Legion strategy, a full review has been conducted to understand the capabilities of the top leadership teams to deliver on the ambitions the RBL has mapped out for the future. Having established the Executive structure (see fig One below), work is underway to establish the core leadership team below it., in terms of breadth of roles, the appropriateness of role sizes and accountabilities and the skills and competencies required to deliver the key strategic goals at this level.

The work to define the Executive level roles, laid the foundation for the secondary activity, where each Director is conducting a review of their Directorate to establish whether its structure, capacity and capabilities are sufficient to meet the challenges their services will be dealing with over the coming years.

This review came at a point where we also take stock of the Directorate of People and OD, how it was structured, how it delivered business as usual and how it was set up to support the ambitious plans for the future. The review of the Directorate of People and OD has identified that changes are necessary to ensure the services we provide are fit for purpose and enable the wider organisation to meet its challenging change agenda.

The establishment of the Directorate of People and OD leadership roles is the first phase of the work as these roles will lead the three distinct but interconnecting services: Service Delivery through a strong Business Partner function in tandem with the Shared Service Centre and the delivery of the Legions’ Culture & OD.

The New Operating Model

The design of the new operating model themes (Figure Two Below) provides for the leadership and ultimately the delivery of our People Strategy, ensuring we can support and drive RBL’s strategic goals.  The vision for the Directorate is to have a positive and inclusive workplace that will attract and retain talent, alongside strategies to support the development of our Volunteers.

How we collaborate internally across the Directorate of People and OD, will have a bearing on how we deliver our support to the wider organisation. The revised model will require a new way of thinking about service delivery, the application of skills and knowledge in ways that we may not have fully developed in the past, with a clear focus on our customers and the wider needs of the organisation to have an engaged and high performing workforce.

The revised delivery model emphasises the need for front facing partnering to support the Directorates, (People – Service Delivery), with a capability that can drive a level of engagement over and above the current reactive, transactional approach which features heavily in our current model.

The Culture and OD Team will balance the service and ensure we have the necessary Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) and resources to effectively attract, develop and retain talent across each directorate The Learning & Development, Workforce Planning, People Engagement and Wellbeing teams will work closely with our Head of Inclusion to maximise our employee value proposition. This work will impact on the wider RBL Group, our Membership and our Volunteers.

Typically Pay and Reward would sit in the OD function to support the initiatives related to talent acquisition, performance and staff engagement. However, the changes to the Culture and OD function are seen as significant enough at this point. Therefore, this vital function will initially form part of the People Delivery Team and we would look to transition this over at an appropriate time in the future.

The Human Resources Information Systems (HRIS) Team, which currently drives the transactional work to support staff pay and reward, is developing into a more strategic function, generating Management Information (MI) that genuinely aids operational activities and informs our decision making and future planning. The aim will be to continue this work, which will be linked to the relaunch of the HRIS (ITrent) later in 2022.

The Shared Service Team will look to provide a consistent and agile method of delivery for all the teams administration and employee relations case work. The current model of management under the various sub teams and individual HRRM’s means the service delivery is inconsistent in pace and quality and lacks synergy. Bringing this together will improve this service and customer experience and drive a higher level of engagement by the line managers in Employment

The way forward

The role

Assistant Director Culture and Organisational Development

Job reference:

Job Description

Job Title: Assistant Director Culture & Organisational Development

Grade: Grade 10

Reporting to: Executive Director People & Organisational Development

Directly Responsible for:

  • Learning and Development
  • Organisational Design & Workforce Planning
  • Wellbeing
  • Resourcing & Talent Management
  • Reward & Benefits

Via a matrix relationship: Diversity & Inclusion

Role Purpose:        

Working with the Assistant Director People, jointly develop and lead an excellent and efficient HR function that is responsive, proactive, and optimally resourced. Setting the vision and defining the standards for the Directorate of People and OD, ensure the individuals and teams within the directorate effectively contribute building a high performing organisation with an inclusive culture where everyone can thrive. Working with the wider leadership teams and subject matter experts in the Directorate of People and OD, you will enable ‘best practice/best fit’ people management and HR practice at every level across the Legion.

This role is specifically accountable for Talent Management, Learning & Development, Organisational Design, Resourcing, Workforce Planning, Employee Wellbeing and Experience. Diversity & Inclusion is a key accountability via a matrix relationship with the Head of Diversity & Inclusion.

Key Responsibilities:

Strategy and Policy Development

  • Accountable for providing strategic direction and operational planning on Talent Management; Learning and Development (including Career and Leadership Development across the RBL Group); Employee Experience, ensuring the strategies and plans equip our people with the skills and capabilities to achieve our vision and strategic ambitions and retain talent and engages people to deliver excellence.
  • In collaboration with the Head of Diversity and Inclusion, provide oversight & support to the development and implementation of RBL’s Diversity and Inclusion Strategy, ensuring the strategic plans and development programmes enable the creation and maintenance of an inclusive workplace where everyone feels valued, respected and can reach their full potential.
  • Ensure the strategies and plans that fall within the remit of Culture and Organisation Development encompass and effectively address RBL needs for our workforce, membership and volunteers.
  • Together with the Assistant Director People and wider Directorate of People and OD Senior Leadership Team (SLT), implement the 3 Year People Strategy, striving for exceptional employee experience in all that we do, consequently contributing to the delivery of the RBL’s (RBL) Strategic Plan.
  • As a key member of the Directorate of People and OD SLT, implement HR practices and strategy across RBL that that draw on best practice and best fit across the organisation and act as a voice of influence for people matters across the Legions leadership population.
  • Develop and deliver impactful HR and People initiatives, plans and projects for discussion, scoping and sign off through the HRSLT, EB and where appropriate the Board of Trustees including key stakeholder groups, to promote organisational effectiveness and development which enables RBL to meet its strategic objectives.
  • Develop and apply knowledge of key business drivers in making long range people related strategic decisions.
  • Ensure that strategic business objectives and particularly the people related aspects are supported and enabled across multiple business areas through the provision and application of proactive HR interventions and solutions.
  • Ensure robust arrangements in place to secure data and insight that informs the development of strategy and delivery of services.

Service Delivery

  • Together with the Assistant Director People, lead and develop an inclusive and high functioning HR Service, responsible for the development and delivery of a positive culture which recognises success, drives high performance and rewards results to attract and retain talent within the partnering team and across the Directorate of People and OD.
  • Lead and develop the Culture and OD functions across the Directorate of People and OD enabling individuals and teams to excel in their support and influencing of a diverse customer base.
  • Lead the organisations planning, implementation, and ongoing development of cultural alignment, working in partnership with the senior leadership community to build a strong and positive organisational culture to support and drive strategic goals.
  • Ensure the governance and deployment of resources for Learning and Development activities effectively deliver outcome across RBL’s workforce, membership and volunteers.

Customer Focus

  • Ensure that strong leadership, people management and HR practice is built into decision making, business planning and risk management at every level of the RBL.
  • Ensure that each individual and team understands and executes a strong customer focus which will target stronger, leaner processes and a shift to supporting a self-service provision.
  • Role model of inclusive behaviours ensuring that this remains front of mind in all decisions made across Directorate of People and OD operations.
  • Demonstrate and instil in others a customer orientated high performance culture.
This job description reflects the proposed scope of duties and responsibilities of the role. The postholder may be asked, and is expected, to undertake any other duties commensurate to the grade of the post. As duties and responsibilities change and develop, this job description will be reviewed and may be subject to amendment.


  • To work in accordance with The Royal British Legion’s shared values of Service; Collaboration; Passion; Excellence; Valuing our people which underpins the fundamental beliefs and qualities of who we are and what we do.
  • To implement the Equal Opportunities Policy into your daily activities.
  • To be responsible for your own health and safety and that of your colleagues, in accordance with the Health & Safety at Work Act (1974) and relevant EC Directives, including reporting any health and safety hazard immediately you become aware of it.
  • To work in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulations and Data Protection Act 2018; to ensure the correct reporting of data breaches, any changes to the processing of personal data which require a Privacy Impact Assessment and any requests under the Individual Rights provisions are reported to the Legion Data Protection Officer.
  • Due to the nature of the role, the postholder will have access to material which is confidential. It is a condition of their contract of employment that they ensure that no confidential material is leaked from the department to unauthorised members of staff.
  • Royal British Legion is an equal opportunities employer and positively encourages applications from suitably qualified and eligible candidates regardless of sex, race, disability, age, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, religion or belief, marital status, or pregnancy and maternity. Any hire is to work in accordance with the Equality Act (2010).

Person Specification

PERSON SECIFICATION  – ESSENTIAL CRITERIA (Assessed as appropriate by: Application, Interview, Assessment or Presentation)
Qualifications Degree or equivalent qualification
Chartered Member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (Chartered MCIPD / FCIPD) or Equivalent.
Experience Extensive experience of providing strong OD expertise and leadership, particularly in situations where there is significant ambiguity, acting decisively in leading an HR function to a new success.
Experience of leading the following functions, across a complex / multisite environment: Talent Management (Planning & Acquisition, Deployment, Development, Retention);Learning & Development; Employee Experience; Diversity & Inclusion
Experience of developing and leading an ambitious and successful culture alignment programme which strives for inclusivity and exceptional employee experience.
Significant experience of creating an environment that encourages innovation across the employee lifecycle from a compelling EVP through to employee experience and succession and transition planning; helping to advance the overall contribution of RBL. Significant experience of leading the development and delivery of EDI strategies within organisations.
Extensive experience of applying a pragmatic, flexible and resilient style to change management
ESSENTIAL SHARED VALUES AND BEHAVIOURS (Assessed as appropriate by: Application, Interview, Assessment or Presentation)
Service We support and serve. We are compassionate. We provide great customer care to all the people who come into contact with us. We are accountable and act with integrity.
Valuing People We support, encourage and provide opportunities for all our people – ensuring we recognise and value everyone’s contribution.
Respecting People Champion RBLs commitment to diversity and inclusion across RBL as an employer and service provide.
Collaboration We value working together and with partners to achieve shared goals. Through strong communication and support, we build trust with each other and treat everyone with respect and honesty.
Passion We are passionate about our role and contribution. With a positive outlook we are resilient and committed to our work.
Excellence We strive to be the best we can. We are effective and efficient. We are bold. We are open to new ideas and approaches, challenge each constructively and are willing to learn.


Assistant Director Core Skills
Planning and Organising Leads business and operational planning, organising, prioritising and overseeing activities in own area to deliver business objectives.
Performance Management Enables, supports and coaches team members to deliver results in line with RBL strategy.
Managing Upwards Keeps the organisation informed of developments, communicating proportionately with senior leaders and ensuring there are no surprises.
Organisation Design and Development Ensures RBL develops and maintains the culture, values and design it needs to reach its objectives.
Verbal Communication Uses clear and effective verbal communication to express ideas, request actions and formulate plans.
Builds Networks Creates, maintains and develops networks across and outside the organisation, to break down silos and enable consistent delivery of strategy.
Adaptive Mindset Balances application of expertise around tried-and-tested methods with innovation and flexibility, as circumstances require.
Customer-driven performance Develops a comprehensive understanding of customer needs and delivering against it.
Financial Management Effectively manages budgets and analysis financial information to enable efficient and effective use of resource and financial planning.


Assistant Director Behavioural Competencies
Cultural Alignment Espousing RBL’s the vison and values and culture.
Customer Focused Building strong customer relationships and delivering customer-centric solutions.
Drives Results Consistently achieving results, even under tough circumstances
Manages Ambiguity Operating effectively, even when things are not certain, or the way forward is not clear.
Manages Conflict Handling conflict situations effectively, with a minimum of noise.
Builds effective Teams Building teams with a clear sense of purpose, who apply their diverse skills and perspectives to achieve common goals.
Decision Quality Making good and timely decisions that keep RBL moving forward.
Planning & Alignment Planning and prioritising work to meet commitments aligned with RBL goals.
Action Orientated Taking on new opportunities and tough challenges with a sense of urgency, high energy, and enthusiasm.
Strategic Mindset Seeing ahead to future possibilities and translates them into breakthrough strategies.
Personal Resilience Rebounding from setbacks and adversity when facing difficult situations.


Terms of appointment

Salary: c£75k

Pension: Up to 10% employer contribution

Holiday entitlement: 28 days (+ 8 bank holidays)

For more information about The Royal British Legion’s benefits packages, please see here.

How to apply

Anderson Quigley is acting as an advisor to The Royal British Legion. 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 28 February.

Applications should consist of:

  • A full CV including the names and addresses of two referees. Referees will not be approached until the final stages and not without prior permission from candidates
  • Please complete a covering letter of no more than 2 sides of A4 which answers the following questions:
    • What motivates you to join The Royal British Legion and why will you be successful?
    • What will you bring of yourself, your life experience and your perspective to the organisation?
  • Please complete the following online Equal Opportunity Monitoring Form.

Completed applications should be uploaded at using the AQ reference number AQ1323.

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 28 February
Longlisting: Monday 7 March
Preliminary interviews with AQ: Wednesday 9 March – Wednesday 16 March
Shortlisting: Thursday 17 March
Final Panel Interviews: Tuesday 29 March (in person)