Office Manager

Grade 5: – £25,742 – £28,759 (Discretionary up to £30,487)  per annum

Permanent – Full Time – 52 weeks

Contracted Hours per Week: 35

30 Days annual leave per year (to be taken outside of University term-time), in addition to 8 public holidays and 4 customary days per year – (between Christmas and New Year)

We offer generous pension schemes

Job Description

1. The post involves the management of two linked organisations, the Durham Union Society (DUS) and the North Bailey Club (NBC). 

The Union Society is a student debating society; the North Bailey Club consists of a bar, reading room, kitchen, and eight student bedrooms. There are separate student management committees, and a single body of trustees, for the two organisations. 

The office is situated in the Pemberton Building on Palace Green; it is shared with the student officers. North Bailey Club is situated at 24 North Bailey.

There are currently 1200 student members;  annual turnover is in the region of £100,000 for each organisation.

2. Line management. 

The Office Manager supervises three part-time members of staff (an Administrative Assistant, a Bar Manager, and a Housekeeper).

3. Student Officers

Guide, advise and provide relevant training for the student officers of the society on the good running of DUS and NBC (student officers are elected and there is a rapid turnover).

4. Finance. 

  • Payment of purchase invoices 
  • Reimburse of debaters/speakers travel 
  • Set up standing orders
  • Input sales and purchase invoices for DUS and NBC using SAGE software
  • Generate and distribute Sales invoices
  • Receive and record payments from customers 
  • Calculate student bar staff wages and pay accordingly (monthly)
  • Prepare finance reports for termly Trustees meetings
  • Prepare year-end accounts for DUS and NBC
  • Process quarterly VAT return for NBC and pay HMRC accordingly
  • Bar stocktake at the end of each term
  • Banking for both DUS and NBC
  • Monitor overdue debts and chase accordingly

5. Procurement. 

  • Negotiate contracts with suppliers for both DUS and NBC (utilities, phone, photocopier, card machines etc)
  • Purchase weekly bar supplies 
  • Order replacement furniture and fittings for DUS and NBC

6. Buildings

  • Negotiate with the University Estates and Buildings department for repairs and maintenance of the DUS premises and NBC
  • Organise redecoration as and when needed
  • Prepare and sign as landlord, contracts for residents of NBC
  • Assist with housekeeping duties at the end of tenancy periods 
  • Responsible for Health and Safety and attending relevant university meetings
  • Take room bookings, e.g. hiring of the Debating  Chamber and Bar

7. Debating, addresses, social events etc

  • Make reservations for speakers’ accommodation and dinners
  • Assist/advise student officers organising social events, such as balls, garden party etc. 

8. Membership

  • Process new memberships. 

9. Trustees

  • Attend trustees meetings (at least one per term) 
  • Maintain records of trustees  and communicate  with them as necessary

10. North Bailey Club 

  • Recruit bar staff
  • Induct new bar staff (in the absence of a Bar Manager)
  • Organise bar rota

11.  Complaints

  • Chair Complaints Panel

12. General office duties

  • Deal with post, telephone and email enquiries etc. 
  • Undertake such other tasks as are needed


The role requires the following attributes:

  • Close attention to detail and accuracy, whilst working in a student based office, that on occasions can be quite chaotic
  • The ability to use initiative when carrying out day to day activities
  • A commitment to providing excellent customer service
  • A flexible team-worker
  • Knowledge of basic accounting practices: Trial Balance, Profit and Loss and VAT
  • Ability to show initiative, work under pressure and meet tight deadlines without compromising on quality
  • Ability to anticipate and analyse problems and propose/apply workable solutions
  • Excellent organisational skills, combined with the ability to act calmly and complete tasks when working under pressure

Due to the operational needs of the office, holiday entitlement must be taken outside of term-time

Person specification


  • Experience in office management
  • Five GCSE’s at least Grade C or level four (or equivalent) including English Language and Mathematics 
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills, highly numerate and the ability to develop excellent working relationships both internally and externally.
  • Knowledge and experience in processing financial transactions and ensuring financial compliance with regulatory and organisational policies and guidelines
  • Working knowledge of MS Windows and Microsoft Office 


  • Accountancy qualification, e.g. AAT qualified (Level 4)
  • Experience in using SAGE accounting software
  • Knowledge and experience of University environment
  • Experience of working with young people

How to Apply

To progress to the assessment stage, candidates must evidence each of the essential criteria required for the role in the person specification above.  Where there are desirable criteria we would also urge you to provide any relevant evidence.

Submitting your application

We prefer to receive applications online.   Please check your spam/junk folder periodically to ensure you receive all emails

What you are required to submit:

•    A CV 
•    A covering letter, which includes:

  • examples of how you satisfy each of the essential criteria above (plus desirable if applicable). Please ensure you give relevant examples of how you meet these criteria (maximum of 200 words per criterion)
  • a brief outline of why you are interested in this role.

Contact details 

Please send CV and covering letter to: 
If you would like to have a chat or ask any questions about the role, Sharon Turnbull – Office Manager would be happy to speak to you on 0191 3843724