Anderson Quigley

Director of Operations – NatCen Social Research (closed)

Director of Operations – NatCen Social Research (closed)

Posted on 20 August 2019

PLEASE NOTE: The closing date for this position has now passed and we can no longer accept any more applications. 

At the National Centre for Social Research, we’re driven by the belief that social research has the power to make life better. Our research influences policy makers, practitioners, academics and the media, shaping our understanding of the world we live in and how it is changing.

The Director of Operations will be a key member of NatCen’s Leadership Team and Head of our Brentwood Site, responsible for setting direction for a large business area of over 700 office based and remote workers.

The successful candidate will have strategic oversight across our operations – data collection, IT/systems and delivery & change functions. Their remit will be to lead and provide high quality and effective operations, including to:

  • Deliver on customer projects and hold and then improve our response rates;
  • Better integrate our operations and deliver process and technological efficiencies;
  • Enable change including mixed mode data collection and new delivery mechanisms; and
  • Plan for future structures and operations, as the market changes further.

Key requirements for the role are:

  • Leadership skills and experience at a senior level.
  • A proven record of operational delivery.
  • Experience of change management programmes and a record of delivery of change, both in processes and in technology.
  • Strong people management and motivational skills.
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills.
  • Commercial awareness and good financial management skills.

We actively encourage flexible working and welcome part-time (minimum of 4 days a week) or job share applications.

For further information on the role, please click here.

About the National Centre for Social Research (NatCen)

NatCen is Britain’s leading independent social research institute.

Our research helps government, charities and public bodies make the right decisions about Britain’s big social issues: we’re passionate about ensuring its widest possible impact on the world around us and, as a charity and non-profit organisation, we are never compromised by commercial or political agendas.

Our portfolio of surveys includes major studies such as the Health Survey for England, the National Travel Survey, the Family Resources Survey and Growing up in Scotland. We are perhaps best known for the annual British Social Attitudes Survey – which has been understanding the beliefs and values of the British public for over 35 years.

As well as our face-to-face, telephone, postal and web surveys, we also conduct secondary analysis, qualitative research, and a variety of mixed-mode and mixed-methods research. Our reputation for delivering relevant and robust research is rooted in our policy sector specialists, survey methodologists, data analysts, expert quantitative and qualitative researchers and our interviewers.

Social research needs careful and sensitive interviewing by specialists and we believe our large interviewing field force (both face-to-face and telephoning) are the very best at what they do. Additionally, we have survey nurses working for us who are able to collect clinical data. Our interviewers and survey nurses are the most passionate in the business – great ambassadors for social research, NatCen, and the individual projects they work on.

Our Strategy “Towards 2025”

You can find a summary of the organisation’s strategy, Towards 2025, on our web site here: And a copy of our latest annual report here:

We’re currently doing well as an organisation, but we strive to do even better for our customers in the future.

Our customers’ needs, and the market place which we operate within, are changing. Customers want our data collection operations, especially in the field, to be effective but also ever more efficient. They will increasingly expect us to be able to run multi-mode surveys and want us to embrace web surveys and panels. In practice, we can already run any combination of data collection modes – postal, web, field or telephoning – individually or together – but we increasingly need to do so seamlessly and more efficiently.

We specialise in high quality and challenging social research (rather than market research), which means that many of our studies involve visiting pre-selected addresses until the maximum response rate possible is achieved. Response rates are a critical success factor in social research – but we also need to manage tightly the costs involved to offer public value.

How to apply

Anderson Quigley is acting as an employment advisor to NatCen. An executive search process is being carried out by Anderson Quigley in addition to the public advertisement.

Applications should consist of:

  • A full CV including your educational and professional qualifications, full employment history and contact details.
  • A covering letter stating how you meet the criteria 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 follow the link to complete an Equal Opportunity Monitoring Form

Completed applications should be uploaded at using the reference AQ755.

The closing date for applications is 22nd September 2019.

Final interviews are expected to be held in late October.

Should you wish to discuss the role in strict confidence, please contact Imogen Wilde on +44 (0)7864 652 633 or