Financial Trustee

Job Title: Financial Trustee
Location: Milton Keynes
Salary: n/a
Reference: n/a
Contact Name: Rob Avann
Contact Email:
Job Published: December 16, 2019 16:21

Job Description


The Open University Students Association is a company limited by guarantee (number 12031028) and a registered charity (number 1183837 and SC049546). We are a Students Union within the definition of the Education Act 1994. Our mission is to make a positive difference for all Open University students.

Our charitable objects are the advancement of education of students of the Open University for the public benefit by:

  • defending the principles of equal opportunity and of open access to the University regardless of academic qualifications or financial circumstances;
  • promoting the interests and welfare of students at the Open University during their period of study and representing and supporting students;
  • being the recognised representative channel between students and the Open University and any other external bodies;
  • asserting that all students studying with the Open University have the right to have their views heard and acknowledged by the University;
  • providing social, cultural and recreational activities and forums for discussions and debate for the personal development of its students.

The Board of Trustees acts to safeguard the Students Association, leading on the management and administration of its strategy, governance, finances and staffing.

Trustees have recently approved our new strategy to take us through to 2022/23. This exciting and ambitious new strategy focuses on three core strategic objectives for the period which are to:

  • Inform and Support: we want to increase awareness of the Students Association and improve the relevance of our services
  • Engage and Involve: we want to increase student engagement and improve opportunities
  • Influence and Transform: we want to increase our influence and improve our impact

Our organisational values are Integrity; Equality and Inclusivity; Openness; and Collaboration. More details of our new strategy can be viewed on our website.

Vacancy for an External Trustee with financial skills

We currently have a vacancy for an External Trustee and following a skills audit, the Board has agreed to seek to fill the role with someone with financial management experience. This vacancy has arisen due to the retirement of our previous post-holder after five years’ service. We seek to make an appointment until 31 July 2021 initially in line with our two other External Trustees, with potential future extension on two-year terms by agreement between both parties. All Trustees may serve up to a maximum of 8 years in line with our Articles of Association.

The information pack (available by emailing us) details the role description and person specification for the role. We anticipate the time commitment to be an average of around 2 hours a week.

Person Specification

✓ Financial management experience and preferably CCAB qualified status or equivalent experience
✓ Experience of senior committee work and decision making
✓ Previous experience as a Trustee and/or Company Director (desirable)

✓ Can evidence a good understanding and appreciation of the role and context
✓ Working knowledge of the UK Charity Sector and Charity Governance Code (desirable)
✓ Knowledge of the Charity SORP (desirable)

✓ Good leadership skills
✓ Able to exercise good governance, e.g. scrutinising Board papers, contributing positively to discussions, offering own expertise
✓ Effective working as part of a team
✓ Excellent communication and interpersonal skills, including diplomacy and tact
✓ IT skills including Microsoft Office

Personal qualities
✓ Meets the eligibility criteria
✓ A considered professional approach
✓ Strong interest in performing the role and supporting the OU Students Association
✓ High integrity, with a strong commitment to fairness and ethical decision making
✓ Willingness to devote the time and effort to successfully perform this role, including developing an understanding of the issues at hand and undertaking relevant training
✓ Confident and assertive, willing to make decisions that are in the best interests of the organisation
✓ Commitment to the Nolan principles
✓ Commitment to equality and diversity
✓ Willing to learn and develop in the role
✓ Able and willing to travel to Milton Keynes for Board meetings

Applicants must not be disqualified from serving as a Charity Trustee or Company Director. Applicants must also not be an employee or student of the Open University.

Why join us?

This is a fantastic opportunity to bring your skills and experience to help the growth, decision making and effective governance of a growing charity working at the forefront of supporting part-time and distance-learning students. Working as part of an engaged Board of Trustees, the successful candidate will have real scope to get involved in helping to shape our work and our development in delivering our exciting new strategy.

Our Board meetings are not just about effective governance, they also provide opportunities to get involved in detailed and interesting conversations on solving problems and inputting new ideas and initiatives to take us forward. In return for your time, commitment and input across our range of activities you will gain access to ongoing training and support and networking opportunities as well as the chance to develop your skills and experience in our context. You will be making a huge contribution to the organisation which will be valued and appreciated by your fellow Trustees and senior staff.

The OU Students Association holds equality and inclusivity as one of our core values and seeks to have a diverse Board capable of representing the community that we serve. We therefore welcome applications from all sections of the community.

Please email us for the information pack for fuller details of the role and our organisation.

To apply, submit a CV and a covering letter by the deadline which is Thursday 30 January 2020 at 12pm (noon).