Home / Roles / Director of Membership and Growth | Association of Employment and Learning Providers (AELP)

Director of Membership and Growth Association of Employment and Learning Providers (AELP)

Join AELP and lead strategic initiatives to empower and connect training providers, colleges, universities, and employers within the education sector. Drive membership satisfaction, revenue growth, and stakeholder engagement within a dynamic community dedicated to exemplary training programs and sustainable growth.

  • Location: Remote with occasional requirement to visit Bristol office
  • Salary: £80,000 plus OTE £20,000 annual bonus

Who we are.

The Association of Employment and Learning Providers (AELP) is a dynamic and influential organisation dedicated to advancing excellence and sustainability within the education sector. With a rich and diverse membership base made up of training providers, colleges, universities, awarding and end point assessment organisations, and employers, AELP serves as a unifying force, working to develop collaboration and innovation to drive positive change. At the heart of AELP’s mission is a commitment to empower its members to deliver world-class training programs, working in close partnership with employers and other stakeholders to meet the evolving needs of learners, employers and the economy.

Through a range of strategic initiatives, AELP provides invaluable support to its members, equipping them with the resources, knowledge, and networks needed to thrive in today’s competitive landscape. From advocating for member interests on policy matters to providing access to cutting-edge educational resources and facilitating meaningful partnerships, AELP plays a pivotal role in shaping the future of education and training provision.

About the role.

As the Director of Membership and Growth, you will occupy a pivotal position, instrumental in nurturing a dynamic and cohesive community within the education sector. This role entails leading strategic initiatives to bolster membership growth, satisfaction and retention and is directly responsible for revenue targets from membership and sponsors. You will leverage your expertise to drive the strategic expansion of AELP’s membership base through the development of mutually beneficial partnerships and the implementation of targeted growth strategies. Central to your responsibilities is the organisation of impactful events and conferences, serving as platforms for knowledge exchange and networking opportunities among members, as well as revenue-generating opportunities through sponsorships and ticket sales.

Additionally, you will play a critical role in curating and disseminating educational resources tailored to the diverse needs of AELP’s members, ensuring they remain at the forefront of industry trends and best practices.

In addition to membership development, the Director of Membership and Growth is tasked with promoting robust stakeholder engagement and forging strong relationships with key industry players and strategic partners. Through effective advocacy and representation and in collaboration with the AELP Policy Team, you will help to champion the interests of AELP members at various levels, influencing policy decisions and shaping the regulatory landscape to better serve the needs of the education community.

The impact of your efforts will extend beyond AELP and our members, resonating throughout the broader education landscape. By empowering members to thrive in their respective domains, you will contribute to the delivery of world-class training programs and educational experiences for learners nationwide. Through your leadership and strategic foresight, you will play a pivotal role in advancing the overarching goals of AELP, enhancing the organisation’s reputation as a trusted advocate and catalyst for excellence within the education sector.

Who we are looking for.

The ideal candidate will embody an array of qualities, skills, and experiences that are essential for navigating the dynamic landscape of our members’ world. We are seeking a visionary leader with the ability to comprehend and articulate the intricate nuances of our members’ needs, effectively communicating options and strategies to both internal and external stakeholders amidst uncertain and evolving circumstances.

Additionally, you will be a skilled manager, who excels in defining and delegating tasks, providing encouragement and support to your team members while maintaining accountability and alignment with organisational objectives. Through leadership, you will create and maintain a collaborative environment where colleagues are mutually supported through a culture of shared success and achievement.

You will possess a keen aptitude for deciphering complex

landscapes, enabling you to set clear strategic directions and rally individuals around common goals. You will develop a profound understanding of how our organisation creates value for its members, and you will be able to devise strategies to maximise this value for both members and for the organisation as a whole. With a natural, empathetic, and structured communication style and exceptional presentation skills, you will effortlessly engage with stakeholders at all levels, developing meaningful connections and driving impactful outcomes.

Crucially, you will be undaunted by the prospect of failure, viewing challenges as opportunities for growth and success. You should be driven by a relentless passion for achieving positive outcomes and motivated by the thought of making a meaningful impact within the organisation and the broader sector.

A thorough understanding of government funding models, as well as the further education sector and best practices in membership services, is helpful, alongside knowledge of accreditation processes and continuing professional development programs.  If you do not have this knowledge and understanding already, you will be able to develop it quickly.

Your passion for education and supporting learning providers, commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion, sound decision-making skills, and collaborative nature with a focus on strategic priorities will be essential, to ensure a continued drive for positive change and a significant impact within the organisation and the broader education landscape.

For further information about the role, or to arrange a confidential discussion, please contact our advising consultant at Peridot Partners:

Katy Lennon | katy@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07496 885125

If you would like to know more about this role please contact Katy Lennon

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Welcome from the Chief Executive Officer

Dear Candidates,

I am thrilled to extend a warm welcome to you as the new Chief Executive of AELP.

As I settle into my role, I am excited to announce a key leadership opportunity within our organisation: the search for a Director of Membership and Growth. Our members are the lifeblood of AELP, and it is essential that we provide them with a vibrant, purposeful, and continually improving membership experience.

The Director of Membership and Growth will lead on growing and retaining our membership base while overseeing the delivery of core member services. They will also need to work closely with all other parts of AELP, in particular with our Policy team led by Simon Ashworth, to ensure that our members’ views, insights and data are captured and fed via the Policy team to Government and, in return, to ensure that the Policy team’s knowledge and guidance gleaned from the Government is shared effectively with our members.

Currently, AELP is crafting a new three-year strategy with our members at its core. While we have been fortunate to have a part-time interim Director of Membership who has provided stability and leadership, we are now seeking a visionary leader to champion this strategy and drive its implementation for the betterment of our sector, employers, and the economy at large.

We are seeking someone with a unique blend of attributes and capabilities to excel in this role. The ideal candidate will be a dynamic leader who can navigate uncertain landscapes, a skilled manager who can empower and support their team, and a collaborative team player who values the contributions of others.

They must possess, or be able to quickly acquire, a deep understanding of our industry’s complexities and the ability to effectively communicate and innovate.

This role presents a unique opportunity to innovate, lead, and truly serve our sector. We are building something special at AELP and are looking for the next person to join us to help make it happen I eagerly await your applications and look forward to welcoming our new Director of Membership and Growth, who will play a pivotal role in advancing our mission and serving our members.

Warm regards,

Ben Rowland
Chief Executive Officer

About AELP

AELP is the member body and voice of independent training providers who deliver skills and capability programmes on behalf of the Government.

AELP is not only the home of hundreds of independent training providers, but we also count as valued members dozens of universities and colleges, awarding organisations and employers who are also committed to flexible and employer-focused capability programmes. We are a trusted voice with the Government and employers as well as our members, and we make a difference every day directly and indirectly to hundreds of providers, thousands of employers and hundreds of thousands of learners.

For the benefit of our members, AELP provides:

  • Expert lobbying of decision-makers across Government departments, public bodies and Combined Authorities, based on the issues that matter to learners, providers and employers.
  • Up-to-date, relevant, and accessible policy information, analysis, and guidance.
  • Specialist research, developed in collaboration with a range of sector experts.
  • Live news and information pertinent to the sector.
  • Events, roundtables, conferences, webinars, and workshops
  • Regional and sector-specific support, information, lobbying and engagement.
  • Networking and collaboration opportunities.
  • Support and encouragement, by having our members’ “back”

AELP is one of the leading policy experts in the further education sector. We fundamentally believe that skills, training, and employment policy should focus on giving employers and learners greater choice. Learners should have equal access to support and provision, regardless of their age, location, or background. There should be no difference in funding, contracting and accountability arrangements, whether the provider is a college, independent training provider, employer provider, local authority, or third-sector organisation

There should be skills and employment programmes available for all ages and at every level of study. However, increasing opportunities for 16-24-year-olds and those from disadvantaged backgrounds should always be a priority.

There should be a more joined-up approach to skills and employment policy and programmes across different government departments, to avoid duplication and ensure there is a seamless offer of support to learners and the unemployed.

Careers advice should be accessible for all ages, in every area, with good links between schools and training providers. Vocational and work-based routes into employment should have the same parity of esteem as traditional academic routes.

Accessibility information

AELP has been working closely with the National Centre for Diversity (NCfD) to develop an action plan to embed the principles of fairness, respect, equality, diversity, inclusion and engagement (FREDIE) across the organisation.

We understand that different members of the community have different access needs and have made some modifications to the way we do business to accommodate people from diverse communities and abilities. We offer the following amenities:

  • Accessibility dogs are welcome
  • Papers and materials can be presented in different formats
  • A sign language interpreter can be accessed for interview
  • Working patterns and locations can be adjusted

We have been issued with the Investors in Diversity Award and NCFD has confirmed that AELP is in the top 50 inclusive employers to work for and has won the best membership organisation (under 1000 members) for the last 2 years.

We offer hybrid working and are happy to make any adjustments that are needed.

Applicants with a disability are invited to contact us in confidence at any point during the recruitment process to discuss steps that could be taken to overcome operational difficulties presented by the role, or if any adjustments or support are required regarding the recruitment process.

For further information about the role, or to arrange a confidential discussion, please contact our advising consultant at Peridot Partners:

Katy Lennon | katy@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07496 885125

    To access a full job description and application details,
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    Thank you for your interest in this role. Please download the Job Description and Person Specification.

    To formally apply, please submit a CV and supporting statement (ideally maximum 2 sides of A4 each) that clearly outlines your suitability for the role against the criteria provided in the person specification, including your interest and motivation in applying for this position.

    Please ensure that your application is emailed to response@peridotpartners.co.uk inserting “AELP – Director of Membership and Growth” into the subject field.

    For further information about the role, or to arrange a confidential discussion, please contact our advising consultant at Peridot Partners:

    Katy Lennon | katy@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07496 885125

    As a sector-leading executive search consultancy, we know the importance of creating recruitment processes which are fair, inclusive and free from bias. We are committed to promoting equality and diversity and developing a process that values differences.

    If you have a disability that meets the definition set out in the Equality Act 2010, and you can show that you meet the ‘essential’ criteria described in the person specification, please let us know.

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    Recruitment selection processes are based on evidence of competence stated in the person specification and in relation to our values.


    Closing date: 10 a.m. Tuesday 23rd April 2024
    Candidates informed of outcome: Friday 26th April 2024
    First Stage Interviews: Wednesday 1st or Thursday 2nd May 2024 (online)
    Psychometric testing: w/c 6th May 2024 (remotely)
    Second Stage Interviews: Tuesday 14th May 2024 (in-person)

    Equal Opportunities Monitoring

    Peridot and AELP are committed to promoting equality and diversity. To help us raise awareness and support a culture that is diverse and recognises and develops the potential of all, we need to appreciate the profile of candidates who apply for positions. We will send you an equality monitoring survey at the point of receiving your application, in the interview phase and at the time of placement. This ensures that our processes remain inclusive and equitable throughout, and provides us with important data to help us showcase our impact. The information will be treated confidentially and anonymously and will help us to support our commitment to fair recruitment practices. All information provided will be held in the strictest confidence and will not be shared with anyone, in line with the Data Protection Act 2018. The information provided does not form part of the decision-making process and will not affect your application.

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