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Secretary General | European Chiropractors’ Union

Play a key role in developing the chiropractic profession with the aim of universal coverage across all European nations.

  • Salary: £51,100 (full salary amount, not pro rata)

About the role

The European Chiropractors’ Union (ECU) is a federation of 24 European national chiropractic associations. We exist to promote the chiropractic profession in Europe through support and facilitation of research, education and political representation. Our vision is a Europe where all citizens have access to chiropractic care.

The ECU is administered by a secretariat comprising a Secretary General and an Administrator. The Executive Council is responsible for directing the day-to-day activities of the secretariat, and the 24 members of the General Council who represent all ECU members are the supreme policy making body, including the awarding of financial grants.

The current Secretary General has completed over five years in post and is looking to move on at the end of November after a handover. The ECU is seeking his replacement to manage the affairs of the ECU on a day-to-day basis, to ensure compliance with the Constitution and Bylaws and to carry out the strategic and policy decisions of the Executive and General Councils.

The Secretary General plays a key role in supporting the development of the chiropractic profession in all European nations. Therefore, you must have a high degree of emotional intelligence and maturity to work sensitively and effectively with a diverse range of cultures and contexts.

Who we're looking for

With oversight of governance, you will need experience of managing complex administrative tasks accurately, promptly and to the highest standard, thus exceptional verbal and written communication is key. You will be expected to quickly develop a good working knowledge of the chiropractic profession in Europe and understand the sensitivities around the relationship between officials and elected officers. As a senior postholder you will be expected to demonstrate excellent leadership and team skills, with the ability to build effective relationships with disparate organisational cultures and, for this, it is likely that you’ll bring significant experience of living and/or working in an international context.

The Secretary General position will be a natural fit for someone who combines drive with an open, personable nature, ambassadorial and persuasive style, with the acumen to operate within a political environment and demonstrate a commitment to diversity and inclusion.

More information

The postholder will be required to travel in Europe on Union business and must be prepared to work some unsocial hours. As a contractor, you will work primarily from your own base. The appointment is offered on a consultancy basis for a period of two years (subject to review and can be renewed on an ongoing basis).

If you feel you are right for this role, please get in touch with:

James Hunt | james@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07711 405444

Closing date for formal applications: 9am, Wednesday 15th July 2020

If you would like to know more about this role please contact James Hunt

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Dear Candidate,

Thank you for expressing an interest in joining the executive team of the European Chiropractors’ Union (ECU) in the key role of Secretary General.

The ECU is the only European international body leading the chiropractic profession and these are exciting times with a growing recognition of the importance of maintaining good musculoskeletal health. One in five Europeans suffer chronic pain and the most common source is the back. Back pain affects all ages and cases have more than doubled in the last 25 years. They account for 60% of permanent work incapacity. Poor musculoskeletal health is a threat to sustainable society and threatens the quality-of-life. Chiropractors contribute significantly to preventing unnecessary suffering and the ECU is at the heart of establishing chiropractic in mainstream healthcare.

The ECU currently consists of 24 national associations (representing 4,750 individual members) who elect an Executive Council of three: the President, Vice President and Treasurer – with the Secretary General as an ex-officio member. There is a small team of administrative, marketing, and conference organising staff at the heart of which are the Secretary General and the ECU Administrator. Collectively the 24 member associations comprise the ECU General Council which is the supreme policy setting body.

After 5½ successful years in post, the current Secretary General is stepping down and we are now looking for a successor to build on our success and enable the Union to make significant further progress towards its vision of a Europe where all citizens have access to safe chiropractic care and a profession that is known for its quality.

You will be joining our team as we implement our next five-year strategy focusing on three themes: promoting the value of chiropractic; strengthening the evidence-base and developing the profession. You will be involved in our work to bring alive evidence-based practice, person and patient-centric focus, inter-professional working and a thoroughgoing, collaborative approach in all we do (EPIC for short). Our commitment is to education (both at undergraduate level and as continuing professional development) for all members of the profession. We are proud to invest 25% of our income in research and we seek to bring political influence to bear in the interests of safe treatment and good musculoskeletal health for European citizens.

I work closely with the Secretary General in policy formulation, delivery and representation of the profession. I particularly value the external perspective that a Secretary General can bring and a determination to succeed whilst being sensitive to the requirements of our member associations which come from countries of different cultures and represent national professions of disparate size.

If you have the required motivational fit to our needs and a track record of deploying the necessary skills, I shall very much look forward to receiving your application.

Vasileios Gkolfinopoulos

Chiropractic is a health profession concerned with the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of mechanical disorders of the musculoskeletal system, and the effects of these disorders on the function of the nervous system and general health. There is an emphasis on manual treatments including spinal adjustment and other joint and soft-tissue manipulation.

Who we are

The ECU is a federation of 24 European national chiropractic associations (including both EU members and non-members). It exists to promote the chiropractic profession in Europe through research, education and political representation and requires member associations to admit only properly qualified chiropractors graduating from courses recognised by the European Council of Chiropractic Education.

The ECU was founded in 1932 in London by the national associations of Great Britain, Belgium, Sweden and Switzerland. Throughout the twentieth century, chiropractic became increasingly popular and numbers of chiropractors increased significantly.

Now, the ECU has a total of 24 national association members representing 4,750 chiropractors and a turnover of €750,000. It invests 25% of its income in research and supports the founding and development of undergraduate chiropractic education programmes. It continues to work in developing the profession with an ambition to achieve access to chiropractic care for all citizens in Europe.

It is registered in the Netherlands and currently has a Secretary General and Administrator based in the UK. A General Council with one member for each member association is the ultimate policy body of the Union. An elected Executive Council is responsible for directing day-to-day activities and takes the lead in policy formulation. It meets as circumstances require.

What we do

It is a fundamental ECU belief that the status quo is never an option: healthcare is no exception. It is changing fast. People are living longer and MSK problems are growing.  Throughout Europe there are pressures on healthcare budgets and burdens on family doctors. There is an opioid crisis in many countries. Despite growing focus on evidence-based care, there is too often a growing distrust of experts. Failure to develop and keep up would lead to decline and eventual demise.

The ECU partners with national associations and others, it brings together chiropractors from across the continent, allowing for collaborative working, shared experiences and a shared identity.

Over the coming years we seek:

  • A high profile for MSK health
  • Robust scientific and evidence underpinning for prevention and care
  • To be recognised as respected colleagues in the healthcare community
  • An even wider range of high quality university-based chiropractic courses
  • Regulation throughout Europe
  • To lower economic barriers to care.

More information:

European Chiropractors’ Union website or visit the ECU App (download free of charge from the App store (IOS) or https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=uk.co.piota.europeanchiropractorsunion&hl=en_GB (Android).


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please fill out the form below.


Please download the Job Pack which includes the Role Description and Person Specification and fill out this Equality Monitoring Form

If you would like to have an informal conversation about this opportunity you can contact our advising consultants at Peridot Partners:

James Hunt | james@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07711 405444

To formally apply, please submit a CV and supporting statement that clearly outlines your suitability for the role by addressing the criteria focused on experience within the person specification. We kindly ask that your CV and supporting statement should be no more than two pages each and should be sent in Word format in one document (thus no more than four pages total).

Please ensure that your application is emailed to response@peridotpartners.co.uk inserting “Secretary General, European Chiropractors’ Union” into the subject field.

We will send an acknowledgement email within three working days from receipt. If you have not received a response, please contact Oliver Gardner on oliver@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07807 014772 or Kerry-Ann Charles on kerryann@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07399 398905.

Disabled applicants 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 job, or if any adjustments or support are required regarding the recruitment process.

We wish to encourage applications regardless of race, colour, nationality, ethnic or national origins, sex, disability, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, marital or civil partner status, pregnancy or maternity, age or religion or belief.

All applications will be considered solely on merit.


Closing date: 9am, Wednesday 15th July 2020
Longlisting: Wednesday 22nd July
First interviews: Tuesday 28th July
Final interviews: Wednesday 5th August

Equal Opportunities Monitoring

Peridot and European Chiropractors’ Union 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 would therefore be most grateful if you would complete this equality monitoring form.

The information will be treated confidentially and anonymously and will help us to support our commitment to fair recruitment practice. All information provided will be held in the strictest confidence and will not be shared with anyone, in line with the new Data Protection Act 2018 launched on 25 May 2018.

The information provided does not form part of the decision-making process and will not affect your application.

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