Conference Assistant

BMA House, Tavistock Square, London, WC1H 9JP
21 Aug 2017
18 Sep 2017
Full Time
Contract Type

BMA House London

Conference Unit

The BMA's conference unit provides a professional conference service to the association and we`re looking for someone to join our busy team.

Are you that person?

We organise a wide range events over the course of the year - from conferences, seminars, and training courses, through to receptions and dinners.

You will help support us in organising these events and so you will need to be able to multi-task - switching from one project to another during the day - yet at the same time being able to meet tight deadlines, as well as having a great eye for detail.

It`s not a glamorous role and we have a certain way of doing things - but if you think this would suit you, we can offer lots of training and support to start you on your career.

If you have a "can-do" attitude and like working in a small team - we would love to hear from you.

As part of your application, we'd like you to describe very briefly what the difference is between events sales and conference organisation.

Interested? Have a look at our website:

Closing date is Monday 18 September 2017

Diversity monitoring: We need your help to ensure we continue to recruit people in the fairest way. If you could complete the diversity questions when you apply for this role, we'd be very grateful.

Role profile
Role title Conference assistant
Department and directorate Conference Unit, Finance and Corporate Services
Grade 8
Reports to (job title) Head of conference unit
Direct reports (job titles) N/A

Summary – purpose of the role
Describe as concisely as possible the overall purpose of the job and including the core duties/responsibilities required to be performed in the role (eg, to provide a full range of administrative support services to the department including x,y,z)
– To help maintain an effective conference unit, supporting the team in the provision of a professional conference service to the BMA as a whole.
– To provide administrative and secretarial support to the unit for general conferences and the annual representative meeting (ARM), under the direction of the head of the conference unit or conference manager. 
– Under the supervision of the conference lead (head of the conference unit or conference manager), to manage conference registrations on a daily basis for each of the post-holder’s allocated events including entering and updating delegate information on the conference database, processing payments, producing confirmation letters and other associated correspondence.  To ensure the correct processing of registration fees, including cheques, credit cards and invoices, ensuring that all necessary payments are made, and reconciling post-event income analysis on behalf of their manager(s).
– To prepare standard and non-standard conference documentation using a variety of software packages.
– To be responsible for general administration which may include diary management and travel arrangements for the head of conference unit and conference manager, ordering of supplies/stationery etc.
– To deal with telephone, email and personal enquiries within the unit, answering some correspondence and preparing draft replies, judging when to pass to or involve others, and to provide a courteous and effective service. 
– To help to maintain the unit’s webpage. 
– To attend events, as and when required, by their manager(s).  After training, the post-holder will be expected to run the registration desk at many conferences/events, overseeing from 2-4 staff, with guidance readily available.
– Any other duties that are deemed appropriate by the head of conference unit or conference manager.   

Skill (level and breadth of application)
What relevant experience is necessary to undertake this role? What specialist, technical or professional qualifications are required to be able to perform the job?
How far does the role extend out across the organisation, eg confined to own team, involves co-ordination with another department or requires regular negotiation with many other parts of the organisation. Why is this necessary? Describe the range of issues that are involved in this, eg resolving people’s IT problems, collecting information on key research items or advising members on a particular issue.
– Good computer literacy and strong administrative skills through qualification or experience, experience of using databases an advantage. 
– Experience in a similar administrative role an advantage.
– Strong written and oral communication skills.
– Excellent customer service and interpersonal skills to ensure a high level of service is provided both to colleagues/managers and to BMA members.
– Knowledge of the BMA, the benefits of membership, and the work being undertaken within the department.
– Ability to work well as part of a small team. 
– Ability to work under pressure and respond appropriately to changing priorities.
– An eye for detail and ability to work to a consistently high level of accuracy.  

Intellectual demands (complexity and challenge)
What sorts of problems, situations or issues are typically dealt with? Give any illustrative examples. How are the problems, situations or issues dealt with (eg undertaking original research and analysis or seeking specialist advice)?
To what extent are standard procedures and processes followed when undertaking typical tasks, and how is personal initiative used when solving problems? To what extent is creativity used in solving the problems (eg adopting different approaches, trying things that have not been done before within the organisation or improving/changing previous approaches).
– The role includes a certain amount of structure on a daily/weekly basis with tasks that must be performed on a daily/weekly basis, including the processing of registration forms and payments; providing up-dates on registration booking patterns; responding to general enquiries and following up on outstanding queries.  The unit has clearly defined procedures that should be followed.  The unit processes between 7,000-8,000 booking forms over the course of a year and the post-holder will be expected to process 40% of these. 
– The dynamic nature of the department’s work means that the post-holder needs to manage changing priorities and undertake both routine and non-routine tasks in a fast-moving environment.
– An ability to exercise excellent judgement when managing communication related to conferences and events, knowing when to advise and involve others, and when to act independently. 
– The ability to work under pressure is essential, as well as a calm and resilient temperament with the ability to maintain a positive outlook while working under pressure. 
– Will contribute ideas for improvement within own work area.  

Judgement (independence and level and impact limitations)
What are the typical decisions that are made in the job without reference to any higher authority? What informs/constrains the decisions (eg expenditure limits, have to follow clearly laid down procedures or working within broad objectives). What influence upon policy, procedures or resources is there (eg giving advice to others)?
Who (or what) is next to be affected by the decisions that are made – for example, supervisor sees them before they leave the team or the whole department sees and has to respond to the change that is made. Give typical example(s) of the consequences of the decisions (eg what impact does the decision-making have on the performance of the team/section/department/organisation)?
– The post-holder has limited authority for decision making, but is expected to assess incoming work pro-actively, and exercise judgement in informing and involving colleagues.  The unit has clearly defined procedures that need to be followed. 
– Ability to prioritise own workload to meet deadlines, and to work on several projects at once.
– Will seek guidance from managers where new or non-standard queries arise or advice is required. Use of resources (supervision of resources and influence)
What responsibility is there for managing people, equipment, budgets, resources, customer’s welfare or confidential information?  If this is a staff management role describe what is involved, eg staff reporting, staff development, appraisal, leading a department or the allocation of work.
How does the role fit within the organisation, eg support role, team member, team leader, specialist policy adviser, or leading major areas of core business?
– Works as part of a team or on an individual basis, providing administrative support to managers.
– The post-holder is expected to handle confidential data (credit card details) and to take accountability for processing payments accurately. 
– The post-holder will purchase conference supplies as and when required, as directed by senior colleagues  

Communication (level, internal and external demands and significance)
What people are typically contacted (regardless of the medium) inside the Association, eg immediate colleagues, senior managers or administrators? Committee members are the only members classed as internal communication. Normal non-committee membership and doctors are external (see below)
Who is in regularly contact with the role holder outside of the Association, eg members who are not committee members, suppliers, members of the public? Approximately what percentage of the time is spent on external communications?

What is the purpose of these contacts, eg conveying information, gathering data?
– The unit is a customer focused department and the post-holder will require good people and communication skills to deal with members, non-members, colleagues and conference delegates on a daily basis. 
– Direct contact with members, non-members and conference delegates providing them with information on the unit’s events, confirming their conference bookings and answering general enquiries. 
– Regular daily contact with manager(s) to progress work or to seek advice on work matters.  

Physical demands & coordination (physical effort and mental strain)

Are there any unusual physical or mental demands of the role; for example, lifting heavy objects, standing for long periods, using VDUs extensively or high levels of concentration?
– The majority of the post-holder’s working day is based in a normal office environment.  When preparing for a conference/event they will be required to move conference crates/boxes etc, possibly assist with the set-up of rooms (moving tables/chairs) and they are likely to spend long hours on their feet whilst at an event.  

Working conditions and emotional demands)
What are the environmental conditions in which the work is conducted, the social and emotional demands faced by the role and the pressures resulting from these?
– Although the majority of the post-holder’s working day is conducted in a normal office environment they will assist on-site at conferences and may have to deal with difficult and demanding conference delegates whilst maintaining a polite and professional approach.  They will be expected to work anti-social hours in the run up to, and during, an event (weekend and evening work is not uncommon)  

Values and behaviours The post-holder is expected to execute their role in line with our five organisational values. The following examples illustrate how we are using our values to inform how we act: We are leaders because:
– We strive to always improve
– We take responsibility for our actions
– We collaborate with each other and work as one BMA for the good of our members
– We are proactive and prepared to guide our members and each other We are experts because:
– We understand our members
– We draw on our collective experience and knowledge to solve problems
– We use our insights and research to make decisions
– We provide accurate, credible, relevant and engaging information
– We recognise our strengths and act upon them We are committed because:
– We listen to our members and put them at the heart of everything we do
– We are respectful, inclusive, open and honest with our members and each other
– We approach everything we do with confidence and sensitivity We are reliable because:
– We deliver on what we say we will do
– We are accessible and approachable
– We build trust by being consistent and supportive
– We are positive and decisive whatever the situation We are challenging because:
– We fight, ethically and fearlessly, for the interests of all our members
– We work as a brave, assertive and effective champion for high quality health services and the advancement of the profession  

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