Senior Category Manager

The post holder may be required to work at both Singleton Park and Bay Campus
£41,526 - £49,553 Per Annum (part time pro rata) per annum together with USS pension benefits. The n
12 Sep 2019
12 Oct 2019
Specialist Area
Job Level
Contract Type
Full Time



Job Title:

Senior Category Manager




£41,526 - £49,553 Per Annum (part time pro rata) per annum together with USS pension benefits

Hours of work:

Full Time (35 hours per week). However, flexible working, job share and part-time may be considered.


This is a permanent position.


The post holder may be required to work at both the Singleton Park and Bay Campus.


To maintain its top 30 position Swansea University needs a professional services workforce with the differentiated skills necessary to ensure that it can deliver excellence through efficient and effective systems and processes that harness innovations in technology.

Background information

The post holder will be responsible for leading and advising colleagues in all procurement and contract management activity, ensuring outcomes are aligned to the University’s strategic aims. They will understand the local and organisational business environment, identifying risks, providing insights and flexible, innovative solutions based on a long-term view of the organisation’s direction, shaping and aligning the procurement solutions and contractual arrangements accordingly. 

The post holder will be required to confidently advise, influence and challenge Heads of College, Directors and relevant managers utilising their professional expertise. They will continually evaluate their own impact in order to improve as a professional and drive sustainable performance.

They will play a key role in the planning, implementation and management of the main contracts with own category area of responsibility. This will involve ensuring the efficient and effective delivery of robust contract management. Management and delivery of procurement actions and commercial risk associated with all policy, legislative and grant restrictions / requirements whilst delivering value for money.

The post holder will be required to identify and drive process efficiencies, identify and mitigate against procurement compliance risk, lead on delivering value for money and creating savings opportunities.

Main Purpose of Post


Main Duties:

  1. Be visible, customer centric and develop strong relationships with senior leaders and colleagues to identify gaps and risks to delivering the University’s strategic aims.



  1. Accountable for delivery of commercial outcomes, working in partnership with senior leaders and colleagues to develop a systematic approach to identifying risks and issues and thereby developing innovative solutions. As such, the post holder will agree, develop and deliver effective and flexible procurement category strategies which support College / Professional Service Unit and University wide plans.



  1. Drive a continuous improvement approach, demonstrating excellent strategic and analytical skills to ensure commercial solutions add value, are in line with the University’s vision and drive sustainable performance for the organisation and customers.



  1. The post holder will be responsible for designing and adapting training requirements in order to raise competency and compliance and drive improvements.



  1. Be outward looking and future focussed, horizon scanning and using relevant market research to forecast trends and innovative approaches to commercial category solutions that support the University’s ambitions.



  1. Accountable for providing clarity and direction, creating a culture that motivates others to be innovative and outcome focussed and to perform effectively to maximise the growth of the organisation.



  1. Responsible for working collaboratively with colleagues across the University and more widely to develop shared insights, priorities and activities as part of the organisational plan and strategy.

Specific Duties:

  1. The post holder will take responsibility for the delivery the commercial activity and contract / supplier management across allocated categories of expenditure in compliance with all policy, legislative and grant / externally funded restrictions while driving value.



  1. The post holder will lead the implementation of appropriate systems for the management and prioritisation of procurement category expenditure, developing strategies and managing the full end to end category management process.



  1. The post holder will actively lead engagement, collaboration and build networks with a wide range of internal and external stakeholders, including senior and leaders, external professional bodies and wider organisations. This will require the ability to influence and persuade others and build successful relationships, whilst often having to challenge opinion and decisions at a senior level.



  1. The post holder will be required to research and provide guidance on the latest developments in public sector contracts and commercial management and guidance within their allocated category of expenditure.



  1. The post holder will provide an excellent level of all round professionalism in presentation and communication skills, using strong commercial writing and persuasive skills in order to draft and obtain relevant approval for key and often strategic commercial decisions. This will require explaining matters that are specialist, perhaps technical or legal in nature whilst explaining complicated procedures and policies and persuading colleagues to adopt a viewpoint, where considerable debate may be required.



  1. The post holder will be responsible for the leading, motivating and supporting immediate their team; they will be responsible for supervising, delegating duties and responsibilities whilst considering how this will enhance an individual’s knowledge and experience. The post holder should have the ability to Line Manage and as such support the University’s PDR process.



  1. The post holder must ensure their skills are utilised in the management and development of staff. This will include identifying training requirements, coaching, mentoring and supporting staff in the roles.



  1. The post holder will be responsible for designing and adapting training requirements considering staff development and wider stakeholder training in supporting the University’s strategic aims, local objectives and risk mitigation. The post holder must be able to confidently and clearly deliver training, be aware of the audience and its differing needs.



  1. The post holder must be capable of initiating and managing change, being able to identify the need for change ensuring a sustainable, efficient, lean and effective service delivery. The post holder must seek to continually improve service, actively seeking feedback and adapt to meet the needs of the University and wider stakeholders. 



  1. Keep up-to-date on procurement best practise, policy, legislative and grant restrictions / requirements to inform internal policies and procedures.



  1. The post holder will work with minimum supervision; being supportive and encouraging of others.    Build co-operation by setting an example and showing a flexible approach to delivering team results across the University. Contribute to building team morale as an active participant in team discussions.



  1. The post will be required to lead negotiations on behalf of the university, review and negotiate contract terms and conditions, lead on price negotiations and any number of supplier contract negotiations.



  1. Responsible for authorising procurement expenditure - up to the value of £500,000.



General Duties

  1. To fully engage with the University’s Performance Enabling and Welsh language policies
  2. To promote equality and diversity in working practices and to maintain positive working relationships.
  3. To lead on the continual improvement of health and safety performance through a good understanding of the risk profile and the development of a positive health and safety culture.
  4. Any other duties as directed by the Head of College / Department or their nominated representative expected within the grade definition.
  5. To ensure that risk management is an integral part of any decision making process, by ensuring compliance with the University’s Risk Management Policy Grades 7 and above.

Professional Services Values

All Professional Services areas at Swansea University operate to a defined set of Core Values -Professional Services Values and it is an expectation that everyone is able to demonstrate a commitment to these values from the point of application through to the day to day delivery of their roles. Commitment to our values at Swansea University supports us in promoting equality and valuing diversity to utilise all the talent that we have. 

We are Professional
We take pride in applying our knowledge, skills, creativity, integrity and judgement to deliver innovative, effective, efficient services and solutions of excellent quality

We Work Together        
We take pride in working in a proactive, collaborative environment of equality, trust, respect, co-operation and challenge to deliver services that strive to exceed the needs and expectations of customers.

We Care
We take responsibility for listening, understanding and responding flexibly to our students, colleagues, external partners and the public so that every contact they have with us is a personalised and positive experience.

Commitment to our values at Swansea University supports us in promoting equality and valuing diversity to utilise all the talent that we have.


Person Specification


Essential Criteria:


  1. Demonstrable evidence of taking pride in delivering professional services and solutions
  2. Ability to work together in an environment of equality, trust and respect to deliver services that strive to exceed the needs and expectations of customers
  3. Demonstrable evidence of providing a caring approach to all of your customers ensuring a personalised and positive experience


MCIPS qualified or equivalent relevant experience.

Knowledge , Skills and Experience:

  1. Knowledge / experience of Public Contracts Regulations and procurement subject to grant / externally funded conditions with demonstrable experience of innovative approaches and solutions. Proven ability of leading or working within a commercial environment to deliver successful outcomes at pace and within a changing environment. An experienced commercial/category manager with a track record of procurement activity from identifying route to markets to creating and managing supplier relationships, performance and commercial risk across a number of commercial areas to improve value through service and cost. Experience of building and maintaining customer relationships within in a commercial environment. The ability to develop a degree of relevant market awareness; sufficient to act as an intelligent customer in dealings with suppliers and sufficient to engage in meaningful, challenging conversations with stakeholders.

Desirable Criteria:

  1. Ability to communicate in Welsh



Additional Information

Informal enquiries:

Shortlisting Date:

Interview Date: