Head of Activist Learning and Development - RCN02298

Trade Union | Any RCN office with hybrid working | £76,059

Contract type: Permanent

Head of Activist Learning and Development

Any RCN office with hybrid working, 35 hours per week, Permanent £76,059 to £85,395

There is more to the RCN than you might think. We’re a trade union and a professional body, with a membership of over half a million nurses, midwives, nursing support workers and students. We exist to make a positive difference – to the working lives of our members and ultimately to standards in patient care.

Following recent unprecedented levels of industrial action by our members, we are embarking on an ambitious plan to engage more members in activism, equipping them with the skills, knowledge and resources they need to win change in both their workplaces and the nursing profession itself. It’s a critical moment and one we are stepping up to meet.

We're accredited with Investors in People Silver Standard. Our people are our greatest asset, and we want people who can contribute to our purpose in line with our values.

As our Head of Activist Learning and Development, you will:
• Lead the Activist Learning and Development team, supporting staff to design and deliver high quality, effective programmes that enable member activism at all levels, supporting both the trade union and professional body agendas of the organisation
• Be accountable for the creation of accessible and impactful information, advice and guidance for RCN activists
• Collaborate with colleagues and activists across the UK to ensure impactful learning and development for members and consistency in approach and content where appropriate
• Lead the successful delivery of activist learning events including conferences, workshops and online webinars
• Contribute to the development and success of RCN’s overarching activism offer as part of the leadership team of the Activist Academy The work will be fast-paced, varied and rewarding.

We are looking for a strategic leader with experience in learning and development for a social purpose.

You’ll need a track record of leading and motivating teams to deliver projects or improvements to services; the ability to translate strategic mandates into action and impact; and working across organisations to get things done.

Experience of working within a trade union and/ or a professional body context will aid your application, as would time spent encouraging activism from within a volunteer community, or an organisation’s members or supporters. Knowledge of adult, life-long or trade union education, or CPD, and an appreciation of the key issues facing our nursing workforce membership, are both important.

The ability to foster strong professional relationships and encourage close collaboration between departments, especially with members and staff colleagues in the RCN’s country and regional teams, is at the heart of this leadership role.

You will be able to demonstrate that you have put your values into effective practice and that you are driven and inspired by the opportunity to contribute to building the influence of our membership.

To succeed at the Royal College of Nursing all you need to do is think bigger, better and brighter. And with an attitude like that, anything’s possible.

What we offer you

We offer an impressive range of benefits, a broad range of learning development opportunities and an award-winning health and wellbeing programme. We offer annual leave up to 32 days plus bank holidays and three additional days for the Christmas break plus generous maternity, adoption, paternity, and shared parental leave packages.

*We offer a competitive pay structure with annual pay progression until you reach the top of the salary scale.

What we deliver for our members is wide and varied so when it comes to how we work one size doesn’t fit all. We also know that to empower our people to do their best work, they must be able to balance the demands of work and home. We are a diverse organisation and understand everyone has different needs and many of our employees enjoy flexible working enabling them to deliver results whilst having a good work life balance. Departments and directorates have their own hybrid ways of working which put the needs of the service they deliver – whether that’s to members or to colleagues - at their heart, in alignment with our hybrid working core principles. At the RCN it’s unlikely you will work from home for all of your working time. Equally no one is expected to work solely in the office unless your role requires it. You can find out more by having a discussion with the recruiting manager.

Our selection process

Please submit a supporting statement demonstrating how you meet the criteria for this role. You may not be shortlisted if you don’t.

We want your experience applying for a job with us to be the best it can be. We may hold our interviews and assessments in person or by video call. If you foresee any problems, please let us know.

As a proud member of the Disability Confident employer scheme we actively encourage applications from people with disabilities.

Contact details

For more information or for an informal discussion about the role please contact George Woods via email

For more information about the recruitment and selection process please contact

Opening date: 8 November 2023

Closing date: 10 December 2023

Assessment & interview date: 10 and 11 January 2024

Interview date: 10/01/2024

Contracted hours: 35

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