Head of Animal Collections
37.5 hours per week, Permanent Contract
Salary: £45,000 per annum
Location: Covering both Bristol Zoo Gardens and Wild Place Project
The Head of Animal Collections is responsible for leading and supporting staff, volunteers and students in the Animal Department; leading the team of Curators across Bristol Zoo Gardens and Wild Place in the development and delivery of collection plans with a strong focus on visitor engagement and global species conservation, in line with the Society’s mission and strategy; and ensuring excellent standards of animal husbandry, welfare and display are achieved and maintained at the Society’s two sites.
This is a pivotal leadership role working closely with the Chief Zoological Officer to build, maintain and propagate an animal collection that delivers strongly on the Society’s mission and its developing visitor proposition at both sites.
- Lead on, and develop, the husbandry, welfare and display of the Society’s animal collections at Bristol Zoo Gardens and Wild Place with a strong focus on visitor engagement and global species conservation, in line with the Society’s mission and strategy.
- Act as the leading interface between senior management and the Executive Board on animal husbandry and welfare matters.
- Represent BZS on matters relating to animal husbandry, welfare and propagation.
Key areas of responsibility
- Work with the Chief Zoological Officer, Executive Board and Heads of Department to ensure that Bristol Zoological Society (BZS) works as a coherent and collegiate whole, defining priorities clearly and realistically and pursuing them sensibly and effectively within the financial budgets available.
- Responsible for effective leadership and management of staff in the Animal & Conservation Breeding Department, nurturing talent and developing the teams for high performance.
- Provide effective and timely reporting to the Chief Zoological Officer and Executive Board. The post holder will need to build effective working relationships with the Head of Veterinary Services, Head of Public Engagement, Head of Field Conservation & Science, Head of Marketing and Communications, Head of Commercial Operations and WPP Head of Operations, giving proactive support, advising, updating and responding as appropriate.
Stakeholder management and reputation
- Communicate effectively, gaining respect and being credible with diverse stakeholder groups within BZS and externally, building relationships pro-actively, listening and acting on feedback.
- Ensure that staff and internal stakeholders understand the Society’s collection plans and animal-related policies and procedures, and advocate internally for achieving and maintaining the highest standards in animal husbandry and welfare.
- Keep abreast of industry developments and ensure that these are taken account of in the husbandry, welfare and display of the animals in the Society’s collections.
- Represent the Society in external groups, meetings and forums as appropriate.
Strategic planning and performance
- Develop robust annual strategic plans for the department and its sections, with clear assumptions regarding resource requirements, in liaison with the Chief Zoological Officer and relevant Heads of Department.
- Ensure that the operational and strategic decisions relating to animal husbandry, welfare and display are made based on evidence and appropriate data.
- Provide and analyse strategic and management information, setting out the implications of performance and participating in discussions and solutions to improve performance.
- Work with the Chief Zoological Officer to identify areas to improve operational efficiency and make financial savings.
Management and governance
- Manage the Mammal, Bird, Ectotherm and Registrar teams at Bristol Zoo Gardens and the Animal team at Wild Place to deliver high standards of quality and work, ensuring the teams are appropriately resourced to meet and support the objectives and key performance indicators of the Society.
- Recruit, manage and develop the senior staff/curators in the department, providing supervision, appraisal, guidance and training as required, and ensure they conduct regular performance reviews with their staff, including 1:1 meetings and appraisals.
- Work with senior staff/curators to ensure disciplinary and grievance meetings follow agreed procedures and legislative requirements.
- Ensure team and individual objectives are set in line with those identified for the Society.
- Develop annual departmental budgets. Maintain control of expenditure on staff and non-staff costs.
- Ensure staff rotas are organised to ensure adequate staff cover at all times.
- Ensure that all staff adhere to dress code standards and uniform policies.
- Ensure that excellent standards of animal care and welfare are maintained at all times, in line with the Society’s Animal Welfare Policy.
- Ensure the Chief Zoological Officer is aware of, and fully briefed on, any concerns or potential problems regarding the animal collections at both sites.
- Ensure that the animal collections at both sites have a strong focus on global species conservation, through participation in conservation breeding programmes. Initiate and lead on such programmes where appropriate and agreed with the Chief Zoological Officer, including coordination of accurate studbooks. Contribute to the work of relevant EAZA TAGs and similar groups, and be the main liaison for EEPs and other breeding programmes.
- Work as part of project teams on capital projects to provide input on animal husbandry, welfare and enclosure design. Ensure that excellent standards of animal housing are achieved across the Society. Quality assurance of enclosure design (existing and planned enclosures).
- Maintain, through the Registrars, accurate records of the animal collections at both sites in ZIMS and other relevant software.
- Through the Registrars, ensure that animal transfers are carried out in line with the Society’s Animal Acquisition Policy, Animal Disposition Policy and Animal Transportation Planning Policy.
- Function as liaison for the Field Conservation and Science Department for research projects involving the Society’s animal collections. With the Head of Field Conservation & Science, assess research priorities/need with regard to animal husbandry and related fields. Communicate research results within the Animal Department and facilitate their implementation if appropriate.
- Ensure that all activities for which they are responsible are undertaken in a way which is ethical and sustainable.
- Undertake such other duties as may from time to time be considered necessary for the efficient and proper operation of the Society within the competencies of the post holder.
Health and Safety
- Ensure that the management of Health and Safety is carried out as required by the Society’s Health and Safety Management system, by ensuring safe working practices are adhered to.
- Take a lead role in an emergency situation to ensure the safety of visitors and staff by coordinating appropriate response in line with the Society’s Emergency Procedures.
To download the full job description and person specification, please click here; Head Of Animal Collections Job Description Person Spec.
To apply for this position please email a covering letter and CV using the application form below. All applications must be received by noon on 30th October 2019.