Head of Examinations Business Development, Nigeria

British Council

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The British Council is the world's leading cultural relations organization and creates opportunities for people in the UK and worldwide to understand each other, to work together and learn from one another. We see this as crucial to building secure, more prosperous and sustainable futures for us all. We build trust and understanding between different countries and cultures and develop strong international links that are of benefit to people in Britain and the rest of the world.


Purpose of Job:


  • To support Examination Services in Nigeria in expanding markets for examinations and related programme activity in order drive income growth targets and enhance service offering across exam products. 
  • To develop and promote the value of the exams offering to both internal and external stakeholders. 
  • Develop and execute a clear partner management strategy and work closely with colleagues across British Council Nigeria.      
  • British Council Operating Context




  • Nigeria is one of the largest economies in Africa. It is also the most populous country with over 180 million citizens. The UK is its largest trading partner. Nigeria holds significant political power in the region and internationally and its society retains a positive attitude to the UK. Therefore, there continue to be major opportunities for the UK and BC to build on our strong existing relationships with the Nigerian government, institutions and customers/audiences. However, there are complex and substantial risks to this work i.e. security and compliance.  
  • Nigeria is the British Council’s largest operation in sub-Saharan Africa with offices in 4 cities - Port Harcourt in the south, Kano in the north, Abuja the Federal capital and Lagos the commercial centre. We also have a number of project offices across the country. Our 200 staff work across a range of states delivering large scale contracts, partnership programmes, examinations, projects as well as services in Arts, Education & Society and English & Exams. We are already achieving substantial impact and income (current annual income is £27.2 million) and have plans to grow and develop our impact further. Partners and clients include government, public and private institutions, foundations, private sector organisations and civil society. We work closely with the wider UK mission including DFID and UKTI. 



42% of Nigeria’s population is under 14. The government has recognised that its Vision 2020 must address the aspirations of this young population as part of its drive to achieve peace and prosperity. This has led to unprecedented interest and investment in Education, the Arts and good governance. This alignment with the UK’s priorities creates a growth environment for the British Council. To be successful in this, we are building understanding with our UK stakeholders of Nigeria as an emerging economy with substantial commercial and development opportunities as well as the challenges they may be more familiar with. In this we seek to integrate our approach with that of the wider UK mission.


We are expanding and scaling up our existing programmes, contracts and services in the Arts, Education & Society, English & Examinations and developing offers to fill important gaps such as in Skills. We are also working to ensure that we have a good balance of partnership, customer services and client funded work across all these sectors. To do all this we need to create the right enabling environment. In addition to developing the professional and technical expertise of our staff, we need to support them to build their relationships within Nigeria, the region and the wider global network. This will ensure we develop as well as adopt and use best practice.


We also need rigorous and compliant frameworks to support our work in areas such as finance, tax & status, security, procurement, compliance and quality management. We have new premises in Kano and have a major premises project under development in Abuja. However, there is still more work to be done, especially in Lagos and Port Harcourt to ensure our premises and technology support our brand reputation for integrity, innovation and professionalism.. 


The Exams business in Nigeria has grown significantly in recent years. We doubled our income and volumes between 2011 and 2013. In 2014/15 we delivered 90,000 examinations, this financial year the target is 100,000 exams on a turnover of £8.5m.  Nigeria examinations work encompasses School exams, IELTS, and a wide range of academic and professional qualifications. 


Customer service, operational quality and compliance assurance are critical to the business.  Nigeria’s operating context means that risk management and contingency planning will be ongoing areas of focus. Developing flexible and appropriate delivery models will be critical in responding to the challenges of working across the country. There are a number of initiatives underway to address these needs.  The Global New Operating Model for Exams (GNOME) and Global Financial Change projects are critical to our business plans.


The Head of Business Development role is a new role and the post holder will have the opportunity to help shape the role and business development team. The post holder will also have a working relationship with the new Marketing Manager and Digital Manager roles based in the Exams team.


Responsibilities and Main Duties

Business Development and Marketing:

Business Growth - to develop and support country business growth strategy with Country Examinations Manager.  

To increase the number of examinations across Nigeria.  To identify new markets, customers and channels of promotion

To research, plan and conduct a number of promotional events – physical, digital and print to drive growth targets

To collect and analyse qualitative marketing data in order to contribute to market strategy and support business development

Seek and use customer feedback to identify promotion channels, and new market opportunities

Identify opportunities to maximise sales to existing customer groups

Work closely with the product managers across Schools, IELTS and professional/university exams to identify new opportunities and manage new/existing external partners

Manage a database of clients/customers and create and manage a strategy for its use

Work with colleagues across Nigeria British Council in other SBUs to identify and devise joint promotional and partner events.  Help build external profile of examinations business with universities, government, corporations and other relevant external bodies.

Monitor market intelligence within the industry in terms of market development, new products, competitive activity, new customers, etc.

Budget Management:


Assist Country Examinations Manager and Director of Communications in planning activity and then to assist on monitoring income and expenditure to agreed targets

Team Management and Leadership:


Serve as member of Senior Leadership Team

Represent Country Exams Manager

To contribute to Nigeria Exams team objectives by attending and contributing to staff meeting and working groups

Engage in successful relationship building within the organisation matrix and externally

Formulate and implement business development strategy for Exams across all product lines.

Staff Performance Management and Continuous Professional Development:


Recognise learning gaps and address these with training, coaching or shadowing and address performance issues quickly, effectively and in line with HR policy.

Ensure the continual professional development of staff by putting development plans in place and offering quality induction, training and coaching required

Ensure that own professional development and training is continued

Key Relationships

This list is not exclusive but demonstrates that the range of internal relationships reflects the range of external ones.

Key internal relationships include:


Nigeria Senior Leadership Team

Examinations Managers

SBU leads

Examinations Services staff

Director of Marketing and Communications

Director of Research

Regional Exams Team

Key external relationships include:


Exams Board representatives in the UK and SSA region;

Staff from DFID, FCO

Senior staff from educational institutions

Professional Bodies

Cambridge International Education

Venue staff



Global and regional SBU external stakeholders

Other important features or Requirements of the Job 

(e.g. travel, unsocial/evening hours, restrictions on employment etc)

Travel across Nigeria will be required. Lead on events in areas outside of Abuja/Lagos is required, therefore, out of hours working including overnight and weekend stays is required.     


Person Specification



Working together (more demanding)

Making it happen (more demanding)

Shaping the future (more demanding)

Creating shared purpose (more demanding)

Connecting with others (more demanding)

Being Accountable (more demanding)

Skills and Knowledge



  • Developing Business - Level 4
  • Using Technology - Level 3
  • Communicating and Influencing - Level 4
  • Managing Accounts and Partnerships - Level 4 (Stakeholder Management)
  • Analysing data and problems- Level 3
  • Effective Presentation skills.
  • Negotiating and Influencing
  • English Language proficiency to IELTS band 8.0 in all areas (or equivalent).
  • Experience
  • A minimum of Five years of proven experience in a similar role within an educational context (or corporate sector, public/NGO)
  • Demonstrates ability to understand scope of academic systems in accordance with quality assurance standards.
  • Demonstrable experience of sustaining/and or growing a product/service to meet income and impact targets.
  • Demonstrated experience managing relationships with external clients, partners and stakeholders
  • Desirable:
  • Experience organising promotional events such as roadshows conferences, etc.




  • Education to degree level or equivalent.
  • Desirable:
  • A business-related degree.

This job originally appeared elsewhere.



British Council

Job Level

Manager (Staff Supervisor/Head of Department)





Job Type


Minimum Qualification


Preferred Years of Experience

5 - 7 years