Head of Operations

at Charity Challenge (view profile)
Location Finchley, United Kingdom
Date Posted 7th June 2018
Category In the office
Job Type Full-time



Charity Challenge - has been in business since 1999 and is currently 15 people strong. We work exclusively for the charity sector, raising funds for worthwhile causes. We operate treks, bike rides, mountain climbs and other adventure travel itineraries, whereby our clients raise money for charity through their participation. We operate 130+ challenges a year and have raised over £50m for 1600+ UK, Irish and Canadian registered charities to date. We also operate out of Toronto, Canada.


We are best known for organising the very successful BT Red Nose Day Climb for Gary Barlow, Cheryl Cole, Kimberley Walsh, Chris Moyles, Denise Van Outen, and Fearne Cotton which raised over £3.35million for Comic Relief, and the Zambezi River Challenge with Mel C, Jack Dee, Dara O’Briain.



We are looking for a Head of Operations to form part of our Senior Management Team, with your primary focus being managing the Operations Managers and Flight Team and you will be responsible for their day to day performance. You will report to the Managing Director.  You will work closely with the Safety, Compliance and Commercial Director and be responsible for implementing these elements within the team. This is a busy, varied role that requires huge amounts of organisational skill, and a passion for what you do.



  • Manage the operations and flights teams (currently six people, with plans for growth in 2018)
  • Responsible for a wide range of travel products and business ventures
  • Responsible for implementing safety and risk management in line with Challenge Safe policy
  • Responsible for overseeing two key strategic new business developments
  • Support and develop strategy for improving customer service and feedback
  • Improve efficiency within the team



Team Management

  • Leadership, management and motivation of team members working on a diverse range of products and portfolios
  • Support the planning, delivery and problem solving for all operations
  • Objective setting and performance monitoring


Welfare, Safety & Compliance

  • Work closely with Safety and Compliance Director
  • Implement the safety management system, Challenge Safe
  • Manage the Duty On Call system in line with Incident Management policy set by the Safety and Compliance Director
  • On call for escalation of serious incidents managed through the 24 hour emergency duty system
  • Overall responsibility for ongoing review and development of internal processes


Customer Service

  • Responsible for high quality customer service to internal departments who themselves service charities, corporates and other external clients
  • Responsible for high quality customer service to individual participants



  • Review and driving forward process improvements to increase efficiency
  • Lead the team in finding ways to increase greater efficiency in work flow by improving internal communications


Contracting and Purchasing

  • Responsible for contracting and purchasing third party services, including UK and overseas leaders, doctors and ground handler (GH) services
  • Ensure a robust tendering process for new product
  • Review, and renegotiate where appropriate, existing contracts
  • Contract new suppliers and ensuring they receive a full induction into CC ideology
  • Set up, develop and strengthen constructive relationships with all third parties



  • Work closely with the Commercial Director and Implement the commercial strategy across the operations portfolio
  • Work closely with Financial Controller and be responsible for operational spend and cost spending visibility and process


Product Development

  • Work alongside the Managing Director and the Sales and Marketing Team to develop new products
  • Lead the Operations Team in reviewing and improving existing product
  • Act as key decision-maker in new product set up
  • Drive market research into new product



  • Responsible for customer airport meet and greet
  • Responsible for management of kit and equipment, including team medical bags, satellite phones, clothing and event material structures



  • A minimum of 2 years working in group tour operation, preferably in the adventure travel market.
  • A minimum of 2 years tour leading within the adventure travel market.
  • A proven track record of managing projects and people, and bringing out the best in their performance.
  • A sound understanding of the principles of risk management and experience of implementing them within an operational role.
  • A confident communicator, both verbally and in writing, with experience in handling a wide variety of customer concerns.
  • A self-starter who can manage his/her own time efficiently, and who is not fazed by balancing a workload of wide-ranging tasks. You should be able to competently project manage many tasks, with a high level of care to all at the same time.
  • Expert use of Word, Excel, Powerpoint and Microsoft Outlook as well as our in-house database.



  • We are a small, friendly, office with a huge amount of experience and passion for what we do. We welcome new ideas and innovations, and are looking for someone to contribute to our mission of providing challenges and customer service of exceptional quality, with no compromise on safety.
  • The job may include some international travel as dictated by the needs of the business
  • Office based Mon – Fri 0900 – 1730 hrs. On call 24/7 for escalated operational incidents
  • 24 days a year holiday, plus an extra day for each year worked up to 27 days
  • Salary £30,000 - £36,000 depending on experience


To apply please email your CV and Covering Letter outlining your relevant experience, skills, qualifications and training to [email protected] by Thursday 21st June.  Applications without Covering Letter will not be considered.




We are particularly keen to hear from members of the Explorers Connect community so please mention Explorers Connect in your application.