CAMRA Job Opportunities

Thank you for your interest in working for CAMRA.

The Campaign for Real Ale is an independent, volunteer-led not for profit consumer group with 190,200 members. We are a powerful champion for beer drinkers and pub-goers on issues as diverse as tax on beer, competition in the beer and pub industry and protecting the future of pubs as essential community amenities and part of the British way of life. We have thousands of volunteers within 200 local branches who work tirelessly to further our aims. Our dedicated volunteers run 200 beer festivals every year, including our flagship event, the Great British Beer Festival in London and we publish various leading books about beer and pubs including the market-leading Good Beer Guide.


Chief Support Officer


Full Time

Closing Date: 13 Apr 2018

Location: St Albans, Hertfordshire – 18 minutes by train from London, St Pancras

Salary: To be negotiated

Benefits: Contributory pension scheme, 32 days annual leave incl. statutory days, Health and Staff Reward schemes

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About CAMRA:

CAMRA is a not-for-profit consumer group with over 190,000 members that has been operating since 1971. Our vision is to have quality real ale and thriving pubs in every community. We are a volunteer-led organisation, with a small, enthusiastic and committed staff team of almost 50 people working at our head office in St. Albans where this role will be based.

  • We are independent and our policies and campaigning objectives are set by our membership.
  • CAMRA's decision-making process is wholly independent of any commercial companies or other organisations.
  • We are not-for-profit and all proceeds are put back into achieving our campaigning objectives.
  • We are consumers. We have no commercial interests in pub or brewery ownership or management.
  • We are non-party political.

Job Details:


The CSO is a member of CAMRA's Senior Staff Team, which leads work of the professional staff employed to support the organisation's volunteer leadership. The role, equivalent to a Commercial Services Director appointment in some other organisations, is both comprehensive and demanding in nature and requires an individual with the experience and maturity to be able to lead and manage a diverse group of subject-matter experts. In addition, the incumbent will be the principal interlocutor for a number of senior CAMRA stakeholders, each with overall responsibility for the oversight of different functions: IT, Finance, Events and Volunteer Support etc. Finally, the CSO plays a key role in enabling the delivery of CAMRA's two core operational functions: campaigning and commercial activities.


  • Leadership of the Support Division, comprised of 19 individuals
  • Development of CAMRA's financial strategy, annual budget and business plans, ensuring effective management systems are in place to track delivery
  • Coordination of corporate support functions; IT, Facilities, Logistics, Health & Safety, Financial Management, Management Information
  • Coordination, integrating and improvement of volunteer and branch (including beer festival) support activities, delivered from the CAMRA Office
  • Oversight of the organisation's risk management strategy and processes
  • Provision of Company Secretarial support to the National Executive

Key Responsibilities:
  • Lead the production of the five-year financial strategy, annual budgets and business plans
  • Provide CAMRA's support function, delivering objectives through effective delegation to and management of direct reports, developing the capabilities of individuals and teams
  • Ensure that effective risk and performance reporting processes are in place to track plans and budgets
  • Provide effective financial reporting and control systems to meet audit and regulatory requirements, VAT and Corporation Tax compliance, and to enable performance management
  • As Company Secretary, provide guidance and support to the National Executive to ensure that CAMRA meets its core obligations established by Company Law, CAMRA's Articles of Association and the Internal Policy Document. Co-ordinate the procurement of external legal advice and support when required
  • Establish excellence in commercial analysis and the provision of management information to support strategic development and decision-making
  • Ensure effective procurement and contract management procedures; embed best practice in this area
  • Oversee the provision of HR advice, support and administration by both in-house and external resources
  • Ensure CAMRA Office premises remain fit for purpose and accommodate staff growth plans
  • Have lead responsibility for the review and development of Health & Safety policies and plans, ensuring that effective risk and reporting procedures are in place to manage and track H&S issues. Maintain the continuing provision of H&S support, training and advice to volunteers
  • Oversee and ensure a co-ordinated, integrated approach to volunteer support including support for beer festivals and other events, training, guidance and provision of regulatory and compliance advice, including that relating to data protection
  • Exercise leadership responsibility for the IT function, in respect of both the development of strategy and the provision of support

Person Specification:


  • Qualified Accountant (ACA, CIMA, ACCA or equivalent)
  • Leadership management experience, having led or been part of a senior/executive leadership team; accustomed to leading a variety of  functions simultaneously
  • Effective as a leader who can demonstrate personal development of self and others, as well as managing and effecting performance improvements
  • Excellent and demonstrable understanding of how volunteer and membership organisations operate
  • Strong and extensive strategic leadership and change management skills
  • The confidence, capability and personal approach to be able to influence stakeholders at every level
  • Experience of managing large budgets, cost control, planning and forecasting
  • Possessing a results-oriented approach to work


  • Experience as a Company Secretary
  • Understanding of the Pubs and Brewing industries
  • Experience as an active volunteer in another organisation, and/or of working within a volunteer-centric organisation and with a volunteer board
  • Experience of working in a charity/not-for-profit setting
  • Understanding of Health & Safety requirements, and willingness to acquire relevant qualifications (NEBOSH General Certificate)
  • Understanding of best practice project management disciplines
  • Understanding/experience of managing IT environments and development programmes
  • Proven experience of leading change in areas of activity outside the core finance function


  • Leads by example
  • Has a clear grasp of issues to be communicated and achieves this with confidence
  • Conveys complex issues with clarity, brevity and confidence
  • Relishes leading and does not shirk from personal responsibility
  • Removes barriers and constraints to ensure that plans are achieved
  • Models absolute integrity
  • Makes changes to improve performance as a result of information received
  • Gives current, direct and actionable feedback where and when required
  • Focuses on outcomes and delivers solutions on time
  • Identifies and manages risk
  • Pushes self and others
  • Acts to improve performance and evaluate effectiveness


How to apply:
Please submit your CV and supporting letter of interest to;