Head of Professional Discipline

Job description

Job title: Head of Professional Discipline

Job purpose:
Providing legal and regulatory advice/assistance to AOP members and internal departments in relation to legal matters affecting individual members and or the profession. Management of a team of professional discipline solicitors and paralegals. 

Reports to: Legal and Regulatory Services Director

Responsible for: 4 Professional Discipline Solicitors and 1-2 Paralegals

Directorate:
This directorate assists, defends and represents members in a variety of forums including but not limited to the GOC, NHSE and High Court proceedings. 

  1. Duties and key responsibilities

    Legal

    • Provide legal and regulatory advice/defence to members of the AOP particularly but not limited to GOC FTP investigations, GOC hearings, NHS disputes and regulatory updates, and consultations 
    • Manage and have conduct of own portfolio of cases; work includes provision of legal advice, drafting of documents, case preparation and management and supervision of the Professional Discipline work stream
    • Report regularly to the Director of Legal and Regulatory Services on the progress of caseload and any issues arising from this.

    Communication

    • Represent the Department and if appropriate the sector at GOC/NHS England regulatory meetings.

    Management

    • Support the Legal and Regulatory Services Director in providing key services to members either directly or indirectly through management; including allocation of new matters and assessing accuracy and consistency of the work by the Professional Discipline team
    • Assist in the design and enable effective communication of the work of the legal team by delivering informative legal seminars to members and lectures to students throughout the UK and at 100% Optical
    • Assist in the provision of regular legal updates by way of article and e communications
    • Prepare and where appropriate take lead on responses to relevant consultations
    • Assist in the design and development of strategic goals for the Department to enable the wider organisational goals to be achieved
    • Assist in the training of the Department’s Trainees.
  2. General responsibilities

    • Be proactive in keeping up to date with developments affecting your work at hand and maintain and improve personal competence through continuous professional development
    • Operate within organisational policies, codes of conduct and practice and work collaboratively with staff across the association
    • Contribute to team meetings, management meetings and organisational priorities, strategic goals and Performance targets
    • Be flexible and carry out other associated duties as may arise, develop or be assigned within the broad remit of the post.
  3. person specification

    Experience

    • Significant experience as a solicitor or barrister in a professional regulatory field
    • Relevant experience in all aspects of the legal workload
    • Demonstrable experience of working at an executive level and contribution to the strategic goals of current and previous employers
    • Experience of managing professional staff, delegating and monitoring the work of others to achieve targets.

    Skills and abilities

    • Clear verbal communication skills including the ability to communicate clearly and assertively with a wide range of people
    • Ability to read complex information, summarise and to present complex information 
    • Clear and precise writing skills with emphasis on accuracy in letters, calculations,  preparing reviews, reports and correspondence
    • Persuasion, negotiation, advocacy and diplomatic skills
    • Ability to represent AOP on a range of issues and in a range of situations which involve dealing with people at all levels
    • Analytical, prioritising and decision-making skills
    • A facilitative approach to management with the capacity to coach and develop professionals
    • Supervise and assist members/team including management priorities and workflows
    • Plan and manage a complex workload, meet deadlines and respond to unplanned demands
    • Proficiency in the use of Microsoft Word, Outlook.

    Knowledge

    • Knowledge of current legal and regulatory legislation applicable to the sector
    • Knowledge of key current employment legislation.

    Education/training

    • A law degree or equivalent 
    • Management training and/or substantial experience.

    Personal attributes and other requirements

    • Self motivated, ability to juggle priorities and work both alone and collaboratively 
    • Work collaboratively within the team  
    • Support the director in providing energy and direction to the team
    • Flexible and adaptable with the ability to work in a changing environment and manage multiple work activities, projects and deadlines 
    • Change focussed to strive to review and improve service delivery where possible
    • Committed to achieving a high quality service with good attention to detail
    • Committed to personal development through actively developing this role and the team as a whole
    • Confident and assertive whilst approachable and client friendly.

    May 2019