Senior Head Chef

Durham University

Senior Head Chef  (
Job Number:
Operations Directorate
Grade 6:  £29,605 – £36,024 per annum
Open-Ended/Permanent  Full Time
Contracted Hours per Week: 35
Closing Date
: 24-Sep-2023, 6:59:00 PM
Disclosure and Barring Service Requirement: Not Applicable. 

The University  
At Durham University we are proud of our peopleA globally outstanding centre of educational excellence, a collegiate community of extraordinary people, a unique and historic setting – Durham is a university like no other.   

Across the University we have a huge variety of roles and career opportunities, which together make us a large and successful community, which is a key hub of activity within our region and nationallyWhether you are at the very start, middle or end of your career, there is a role for you. We believe everyone has their own unique skills to offer.   

We would be thrilled if you would consider joining our thriving UniversityFurther information about the University can be found here  
The Role and the Department  
Passionately delivering an outstanding experience” 

We are a team of over 500, providing fresh and exciting catering throughout Durham University. This includes college dining halls, college bars, college cafés, visitor attractions and branded retail catering outlets. 

Our students are extremely important to us, but we also provide catering to University colleagues, commercial guests, and VIPs including royalty. 

 The Senior Head Chef will be responsible for supervising a large kitchen team. The post holder will be responsible for catering for high profile clientele, private dining external functions and banqueting. The Senior Head Chef must be able to develop existing teams to ensure that consistently exceptional standard of food and service is delivered. The Senior Head Chef will also assist the Community Executive Chefs with menu development, production, and implementation. The post holder will also assist with day-to-day cleaning of kitchen and catering equipment, receipt and storage of goods, checking and signing for deliveries 

 Catering team members will be expected to adopt and promote a flexible approach to working, and to undertake any or all the tasks outlined below regardless of their designated shift. 

Successful candidates are expected to always promote a positive image of University Catering and Durham University. 

Working at Durham  
A competitive salary is only one part of the many fantastic benefits you will receive if you join the University: you will also receive access to the following fantastic benefits:   
•    27 Days annual leave per year in addition to 8 public holidays and 4 customary days per year – a total of 39 days per yearThe University closes between Christmas and New Year – please include or delete if not applicable.   
•    No matter how you travel to work, we have you coveredWe have parking across campus, a cycle to work scheme which helps you to buy a bike and discount with local bus and train companies.  
•    Lots of support for health and wellbeing including discounted membership for our state of the art sport and gym facilities and access to a 24-7 Employee Assistance Programme.  
•    On site nursery is available and access to holiday camps for children aged 5-16 throughout the year.  
•    Family friendly policies, including maternity and adoption leave, which are among the most generous in the higher education sector (and likely above and beyond many employers).  
•    There is a genuine commitment to developing our colleagues professionally and personallyThere is a comprehensive range of development courses, apprenticeships and access to qualifications and routes to develop your career in the UniversityAll staff have dedicated annual time to concentrate on their personal development opportunities.   
•    The opportunity to take part in staff volunteering activities to make a difference in the local community  
•    Discounts are available via our benefits portal including; money off at supermarkets, high street retailers, IT products such as Apple, the cinema and days out at various attractions.   
•    We offer generous pension schemes.   

Durham University is committed to equality, diversity and inclusion 

Our collective aim is to create an open and inclusive environment where everyone can reach their full potential and we believe our staff should reflect the diversity of the global community in which we work.   As a University equality, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) are a key part of the University’s Strategy and a central part of everything we doWe also live by our values and our Staff Code of ConductAt Durham we actively work towards providing an environment where our staff and students can study, work and live in a community which is supportive and inclusive. It’s important to us that all of our colleagues are aligned to both our values and commitment to EDI.  
We welcome and encourage applications from members of groups who are under-represented in our work force including people with disabilities, women and black, Asian and minority ethnic communitiesIf you have taken time out of your career, and you feel it relevant, let us know about it in your applicationIf you are a candidate with a disability, we are committed to ensuring fair treatment throughout the recruitment process. We will make adjustments to support the interview process wherever it is reasonable to do so and, where successful, reasonable adjustments will be made to support people within their role. 

What you need to demonstrate when you apply/Person Specification   

When you apply it is important that you let us know what skills/experience you have from a similar role and/or what skills/experience you have which would make you right for this roleFurther information about the role and responsibilities is at the end of this job descriptionWhere a criteria has an asterisk* next to it, it may be given additional weighting when your application is considered.     

Your application should cover the following criteria:   

Essential Criteria 

1.    Five GCSE’s at least Grade C or level four (or equivalent) including English Language and Mathematics or a Post-16 qualification or equivalent experience. 
2.    Experience and expertise in the development and delivery of services.  
3.    Experience of providing advice and guidance to a range of customers and colleagues.    
4.    Experience of implementing policies and procedures. 
5.    Experience of supervising/managing a team and/or a line management qualification. 


6.    Excellent spoken and written communication skills including the ability to develop effective working relationships, both internally and externally. 

7.    Strong digital competence across a range of digital devices and apps including digital communication tools and Microsoft 365 applications, with knowledge of online procurement systems, and digital event booking systems. 

8.    Committed to continuing professional development. 

9.    Ability to plan and organise events and activities involving the service. 

10.    Ability to solve problems as part of a team and decide on and plan appropriate solutions. 

11.    Ability to participate in networks to share and discuss good practice and exchange information. 

12.    Ability to contribute to operational planning activities. 

13.  Relevant industry and professional recognition and certification of achievement of skills and knowledge.   

14.  Experience of working to a given budget. 

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 aboveWhere there are desirable criteria we would also urge you to provide any relevant evidencePlease don’t forget to check if there is any weighted criteria (see above).  
While some criteria will be considered at the shortlisting stage, other criteria may be considered later in the assessment process, such as questions at interview.    
Submitting your application   
We prefer to receive applications onlineWe will update you about your application at various points during the process, via automated emails from our e-recruitment system. Please check your spam/junk folder periodically to ensure you receive all emails   
What you are required to submit:  
•    A CV   
•    A covering letter or statement which shows examples of how you meet all of the criteria within the Person Specification    

Contact details   
If you would like to have a chat or ask any questions about the role, Dave Walker would be happy to speak to you. 

Typical Role Requirements   

Service Delivery 

•    Show a commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion and the University’s values. 

•    Ensure that any procedures and expectations that apply throughout the University are reflected in all aspects of the service provided by the team and adapt ways of working where this is not evident. 

•    Manage, maintain and monitor designated [equipment, facilities, and systems] to ensure safety, security and compliance. 

•    Provide the best possible service to [staff, students and others who you work with] by reviewing and making suggestions to improve the service. 

•    Collect, organise and analyse data and information (such as customer feedback) accurately to provide reports. 

•    Ensure that public areas are safe and secure and respond to and report any incidents. 

  • Maintain wash up and food production areas and equipment to an exceptional standard of cleanliness  

Planning and Organisation 

•    Plan and organise operational activities carried out by the [specified services] which you are responsible for. 

•    Manage frontline services in a variety of different outlets and buildings across the University. 

•    Plan, manage and deliver assigned projects, activities and events [e.g. example] in accordance with agreed objectives. 

•    Manage budgets and expenditure including buying (and returning) goods and services. 

Team Development 

•    Supervise team members and manage any other people/resources that are assigned to you and provide an initial response to any related HR issues. 

•    Explain systems and procedures to induct new starters into the team and provide specialist advice and guidance including any training (including customer service excellence). 

•    Contribute to performance review processes by providing feedback on individual and team objectives and expectations and considering any development needs. 


•    Develop and improve services by taking part in meetings, working groups and committees. 

•    Liaise with other service areas to ensure the most diverse and accessible delivery and promotion of [projects, events and initiatives]. 

•    Create good working relationships, including internal and external networks which allow you to increase your knowledge and skills, while swapping information with peers. 

•    Act as a key point of contact between the University and internal and external stakeholders, including donors and employers. 

•    Build relationships with [contractors and third-party suppliers] to share good practice, exchange information and work together on joint initiatives. 

•    Contribute to internal and external presentations and public relations events promoting the Durham University reputation and encouraging participation and income generation. 

•    Any other reasonable duties. 

Please note that in submitting your application Durham University will be processing your data. We would ask you to consider the relevant University Privacy Statement Privacy Notices – Durham University which provides information on the collation, storing and use of data.    

When appointing to this role the University must ensure that it meets any applicable immigration requirements, including salary thresholds which are applicable to some visas. 


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