Club Manager

Scottish Ornithologists' Club

Aberlady, East Lothian (or hybrid/remote)
£34,700 - £36,800 pa

Paid • Full or Part Time • Permanent

Sectors: conservation & wildlife

Closing date: Not specified, apply soon!

Established in 1936 and one of Scotland’s leading wildlife bodies, the Scottish Ornithologists’ Club is a registered Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation (SCIO) with some 3500 members. Its purpose is to advance the study and appreciation of birds in Scotland by promoting their documentation, promoting interest in them, promoting their conservation, providing a focus for information about them and encouraging the appreciation of relevant creative arts.

The Club’s headquarters, which also feature a renowned ornithology library, wildlife art gallery and sales outlet, are in Aberlady, East Lothian. Fifteen nationwide Branches are led by members who organise events, outings and projects in their areas. Staff contribute a national series of events, conferences and training activities for members of all ages. Publications include the highly regarded quarterly journal Scottish Birds, mobile app (Where to Watch Birds in Scotland), regional bird reports, e-newsletters and other online media.


The Club Manager will lead and oversee all aspects of running the Club, including its small team of staff, volunteers, an annual turnover of about £350,000 and assets which include built property (HQ). They will champion and drive forward the Club’s vision and goals. There will be emphasis on strong leadership to manage and support staff, volunteers and trustees; ensuring the highest standard of services to members; planning and reporting on the annual programme of Club-wide events and developing future priorities. The post holder can be based either at our HQ or work remotely, or both. However, frequent time at Aberlady and travel to meetings will be required. Travel expenses are reimbursed. Benefits we offer are flexible working; 29 days' annual leave (increasing to 34 days after one year of service); a dedicated, friendly team of staff and hands-on, supportive trustees; and bird ID skills development. 


  • To provide strong leadership and management in relation to staff and the provision of all aspects of the Club's delivery of services and support to its members, in line with its status and responsibilities as a SCIO.
  • To liaise and work closely with the SOC’s Council and committees in their work, regularly reporting to and advising Council and Management Committee.
  • To support and drive forward the continuous improvement of the Club.
  • To oversee the effective running and maintenance of the Club’s headquarters in Aberlady.
  • To support the Club’s network of local branches throughout Scotland.


  • Lead, direct and manage our staff team (nine employees), and provide guidance and direction for volunteers and contract workers as appropriate. Includes staff work plans and annual appraisals, oversight of all HR functions and support of staff in line with good professional practice.
  • Ensure the legal requirements of the SCIO are met, including preparation and submission of an Annual Report and Statement of Accounts to the Scottish charity regulator (OSCR)
  • Oversee the planning and organisation of the Club’s autumn annual conference and AGM, and the joint SOC/BTO spring conference.
  • Work with SOC Secretary to support the Club’s volunteer-led Council and committees, including timely production of papers, reports and minutes, as required.
  • Review and update as necessary staff support for Club Branches.
  • Together with relevant committees, develop and monitor forward planning for the Club.
  • Ensure implementation of all H&S, safeguarding and risk management responsibilities, in line with external and internal policy and Risk Register needs. Ensure regular review of policies, advising Management Committee and ensuring awareness of them wherever necessary among Council and Committee members, staff, contractors and volunteer leaders.
  • Work with the Office Manager to ensure compliance with all necessary measures for the maintenance and management of Waterston House and its users.
  • Ensure appropriate insurance cover for all relevant Club needs, including property, people, events and activities.
  • Oversee the staff role in contributing to preparation and monitoring of our annual budget, reporting regularly to relevant committees.
  • Oversee and support as appropriate all Club publications and media activities, including its website, Scottish Birds, newsletters and other communications.
  • Ensure that statutory Data Protection requirements and obligations are met.
  • Ensure that the Club’s IT infrastructure is adequate, robust and up to date.
  • Explore additional avenues for Club funding, make recommendations to the Club office bearers and Council.
  • Contribute to the Club’s approach to national Equality, Diversity & Inclusion policies and Net Zero targets.


The successful candidate may be expected to demonstrate:

  • An understanding of the needs and responsibilities of charities and volunteer-led membership bodies.
  • Demonstrable team management, leadership and problem-solving skills.
  • Ability to both plan and report on organisational work programmes.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills.
  • Event (e.g. conference) management skills.
  • Confidence with IT systems, including proficiency with Microsoft Office 365. Experience of CRM software would be advantageous.
  • A general understanding of priorities for ornithology in Scotland.

If you wish to discuss any aspects of this vacancy, please contact either the Club Administrator, Wendy Hicks ([email protected]), or SOC President Ruth Briggs ([email protected]).

Applications comprising CV and covering letter and indicating how you meet the criteria listed in the person specification above should be submitted to [email protected]. As we wish to make an appointment as soon as possible, we will be conducting interviews as and when we receive good applications.

Find out more & apply