How would you like to be a new IHBC ‘LETS’ Liaison Officer? Help us grow the IHBC’s volunteering capacity & standards

The IHBC is investing in an entirely new level of support for our local education and events activities as we establish a full-time equivalent post of IHBC ‘Learning, Education, Training & Standards’ (‘LETS’) Liaison Officer – with job-share offers also welcome from candidates – responsible for helping IHBC volunteers deliver training events to members and colleagues across our networks.

IHBC Chair Mike Brown said: ‘I’m delighted that we’re now in a position to offer this dedicated support to our members and colleagues.  This is a remarkable opportunity for a person – or perhaps persons – to help the IHBC move to the next level of support for our volunteers, members and diverse sector partners.

‘Clearly any successful candidate will have to know volunteering and voluntary needs and pressures when managing events.  They’ll also need to be able to work alongside our members, both as assistant and adviser – in effect as ‘gopher’ and guide.

Our voluntary network is very local too, so our ‘LETS’ support will have to be prepared to travel extensively across our UK constituencies.  That first hand experience is the only way to make sure that our ‘LETS’ support gets to know our members properly, their concerns and their work, and be able to offer the help they need.  So anyone in this new role will need to enjoy working in conservation events, helping alongside real heritage enthusiasts, and being amongst people from all sorts of disciplines that want to know more about how conservation works.’

IHBC Education Secretary David McDonald said: ‘ This new role sits beside both the IHBC’s national educational work and our members’ evolving practice and experience on the ground.  While we are closely tied to day-to-day conservation practice through our volunteers, not least with our trustees and our Branch-led Schools, we lack capacity to manage the overlaps as effectively as we might.  With this new role we can now have that much-needed support’.

We are also committed to train up any post-holder in this work.  This new training is especially important to us as we’ve done so much recently to develop new educational infrastructure in conservation, and no-one could be expected to be up-to-speed with the current situation.  For example, we now have National Occupational Standards (NOS), a British Standard (7913) and an ever-widening training agenda linked to our support for Affiliates to progress to become Full Members.  So while clearly there is no better time to institute this support, there’s no-one who will know all about these new developments.

Any ‘LETS’ Liaison Officer post-holder will have to enjoy learning themselves just as much as they value helping learning by others.  Indeed we’re looking forward to building their skills so that in coming years they will be able offer much more substantial leadership at all levels across our operations.’

Charles Strang, IHBC’s Communications Secretary said: ‘We know that new social and digital media are central to winning the hearts of new volunteers as well as new members, so we’d hope that online social networking and the use of digital media will be an important part of any IHBC LETS Liaison Officer’s life and work.’

We’ve plans to use these new tools to communicate at all levels in the IHBC, from internal performance management to sector-wide promotion, so we’d especially also welcome clear strengths in these areas.’ 

DETAILS OF THE POST (Job share proposals welcome)

IHBC ‘Learning, Education, Training & Standards’ (‘LETS’) Liaison Officer

Job description
Our ‘LETS’ Liaison officer(s) will be both assistant to and adviser on training events that are planned, organised and delivered with the help of IHBC volunteers, with a particular responsibility being to develop networks that will raise the profile of, and cross-sector interest in, the IHBC’s educational activities.

Role overview
The Institute of Historic Building Conservation (IHBC) is a limited company and a registered charity that serves as the UK’s professional body for built and historic environment conservation specialists.  Full details of our operations, services, benefits and structures are posted on our website at

The new role of ‘LETS’ Liaison Officer has been established to support the IHBC’s local voluntary networks that take responsibility for delivering our conservation-related training and events to members and colleagues.

The post may be held as a job-share, depending on applicants’ strengths, needs and circumstances.

The role requires any post-holder to provide support across all our UK-based Branches, volunteers and, where appropriate, partner networks as they deliver educational and related events.

You will need excellent communication skills and to be a confident speaker and ‘networker’, as on occasion you will also be required to promote the IHBC to a range of audiences, including members, non-specialist practitioners, public workshops and at stakeholder events.

This role demands distance working and would suit a highly organised and motivated individual who can operate remotely whilst liaising closely with the wider IHBC team of staff, trustees and officers, themselves based across the UK.  You will work most closely with the IHBC Director, Projects Officer, Chair, Vice-chair, and the Education and Membership Secretaries.

Regular travel across the UK will be required.

The post is funded wholly by the IHBC.

Some specific details about the post(s):
Term: 3-year appointment initially with a presumption to extend as agreed.

Probation: 6 months from start.

Salary/fee: Starting from £18,000 to £22,000 per annum (or pro rata), though more may be available for a candidate with exceptionally relevant strengths.

Pension: Arrangements, where applicable, will be confirmed following the probationary period.

Employment standards & needs: The IHBC is an equal opportunity employer.  Extensive travel will be required so candidates should be physically able to travel extensively, including to remote sites, and be prepared to stay away from home/office environments for short periods.

Special notes:

    • Candidates should note that the role requires extensive travel, often at irregular hours (including weekends) and so you should be able and prepared to attend meetings outside of the standard working day, including in evenings and over weekends
    • Work environments also may include construction sites and other locations that require considerable physical exertion
    • While there is a substantial Travel & Subsistence allocation, you are encouraged to use our voluntary networks to seek the lowest cost options to deliver maximum benefit for our volunteers, members and partner interests.

Work base: Home or agreed own office-based location, but with extensive work-related travel.

Expectations for performance
With details all to be agreed under the oversight of IHBC’s Director (and with ‘pro rata’ arrangements to be agreed in the case of job-sharing), to include to:

    • Engage with and offer energetic support for c.100 IHBC ‘events’ each year, including:

o    Internal IHBC Branch and related volunteer and national events
o   Committee meetings
o   Partner activities across the IHBC’s geographic remit

  • Raise cross-sector awareness of IHBC events and activities:

o   Build up specific and measurable practice, social and digital networks to ensure the optimum value and benefits from IHBC events

  • Encourage, in line with the IHBC’s criteria and standards and under our guidance:

o   New members to join IHBC
o   Existing members to develop skills
o   Non-members to be aware of our members’ educational activities, support and potential.

Additional expectations, subject to negotiation and personal strengths and capacity:

    • Partner/promotion events, at about 10 each year
    • Membership & member support, at about 5 each year
    • Partner/promotion initiatives (non-events, eg. articles) at about 10 each year
    • Member monitoring and data-gathering jobs, at about 5 each year.

Your personal specifications:

    • An active and enthusiastic traveller who enjoys joining in all aspects of event development, management and, especially, delivery and who must be prepared to stay away overnight reasonably regularly
    • Dynamic, independent and innovative, in particular in your forward planning and use of time and resources
    • Independent and self-motivated
    • Enthusiastic helper
    • Personable with sense of humour
    • Enthusiastic learner
    • Engaging communicator
    • Hard working and adaptable
    • Engaging educator

Qualities you will need to demonstrate (essential)

    • Energetic & self-motivated
    • Enthusiastic about conservation, volunteering & education
    • Appreciative of conservation values and potential
    • Volunteering experience, in any context
    • Awareness & understanding of social and digital media
    • Strong communication skills
    • Strong inter-personal skills

Qualities that will help in the post (recommended)

    • Understanding of events management
    • Understanding of conservation-related learning (any levels/areas/disciplines)
    • Experience of volunteer support or processes
    • Strong IT skills
    • Driving licence

How to apply
Please email attaching your application letter, accompanied by a detailed CV or equivalent, stating why you think you should be appointed in the role of IHBC’s ‘LETS’ Liaison Officer.

Please include in your letter a statement on how you might propose, prefer, or be prepared to carry out that role, whether as a full-time staff member of the IHBC, part-time in a job-share, or in any other preferred capacity, including a shared consultancy role.

If you have any queries about the position please contact Sean O’Reilly, IHBC director, by email only, at

Closing Date: 23 June 2014

Interview & assessment
Interviews will be held in London or Birmingham on 17 July and will take the form of a 30 minute Q&A session, opening with about 5 minutes of ‘role-play’ OR a presentation, as per below:

Option 1: Role-play
A five-minute monologue of ‘role-play’ on how you might help out as LETS Liaison Officer in an imaginary local volunteer group of conservation volunteers who are organising an event.

Option 2: Presentation
A five-minute presentation on what you think you can offer the IHBC in that role, over a 1 and 5 year programme. A powerpoint presentation facility will be available, with other options available on request.

Travel expenses for candidates will be paid based on presentation of receipts (pre-payments may be organised in special circumstances, so please enquire for details).

These above details constitute the formal information relevant to any interviews and appointments.  More details on the IHBC see

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