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Centre Operations Manager (Permanent)

Dublin, Country: Ireland
Job Type:
Job Description

Job Summary


Permanent. A panel may be formed from which future similar vacancies may be filled; such a panel will remain active for a maximum period of 12 months.

Basic Function of the Role:

To take the strategic lead in developing and managing the Ashtown Centre and for ensuring the smooth running of daily operations and the efficient utilization of resources on site, in co-operation with the Assistant Director of Research. The role will include responsibility for leading large and small capital projects and for planning, budgeting, and preservation of the Ashtown Centre grounds and buildings. It will also have responsibility for leading and for developing an effective administrative, central services, and facilities function resulting in the delivery of high quality and timely support services on site and to the wider organization as appropriate.

Background to the Role:

The Teagasc Ashtown Research Centre has expanded significantly over the last numbers of years, following the relocation of staff, offices and resources from the Teagasc campus in Kinsealy, Dublin. There are over 200 personnel on site, as well as multiple industry users, and the Centre is now an integrated facility, covering Food Research, Horticultural Development, Forestry Development, Horticultural Education and Food Industry training. The expansion of the Centre includes a state-of-the-art Conference Centre (which to date has hosted many events including Gateways, the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), and others), a 116-seater lecture theatre, a teaching laboratory, new dining facilities, glasshouses, a mushroom unit and an ICT hub. The Food Research programme has also expanded over this time and now includes Meat Technology Ireland, the Prepared Consumer Foods Centre (PCF), and other multiple large projects. It is also the hub for the Horticultural Development Department and the Spatial Analysis, Food Marketing and Agri-Innovation Research Department. Teagasc staff based on site interact widely with stakeholders both nationally and internationally including small and large food companies, government departments, funders, and educational institutes.

Job Objectives

  • Develop and implement a strategic five-year Ashtown Centre Plan covering grounds, buildings (incl. Conference Centre), security, maintenance, centralized administration, waste management and energy optimization (in conjunction with the Corporate Services Department, as appropriate).
  • Develop and implement an Annual Operating Plan for the Centre aligned to individual Level 2 Business Plans, and the organisation’s Level 1 Business Plan.
  • Enable the delivery of the Research and KT programmes through pro-active engagement with the Assistant Director of Research and Heads of Programmes/Departments in relation to the use of the Centre’s resources to deliver their programmes.
  • Take a lead role at the Ashtown Centre Leadership Committee meetings (formerly known as the Campus Management Group) in consultation with the Assistant Director of Research.
  • Act as point of contact, co-ordinate and manage relationships with companies/organisations who have, or may have in the future, a short or long term presence within the Centre.
  • Initiate, lead and/or project manage large and small capital projects.
  • Develop, establish and maintain effective communications with management and staff in the Centre and act as the central point of contact for Centre-related issues and relevant communications from Head Office.
  • Draft the annual Enterprise budget in collaboration with the Assistant Director of Research (budget-holder) and take a proactive role in managing the budget including review of monthly outcomes (i.e. income/expenditure accruals, fixed asset returns etc.) and end of year reviews.
  • Lead and direct all procurement requirements relevant to the role of the Centre Operations Manager including tendering, supplier and service contract management, insurance, and fleet management.
  • Ensure compliance with good corporate governance and internal control requirements and respond in a timely manner to information requests.
  • Co-ordinate responses to internal and external audit queries as they relate to the Ashtown Centre.
  • Lead and direct, in close collaboration with the Conference and Administration Manager, an effective administrative, facilities and conference support service within the Centre.
  • Organise, develop, and manage staff assigned, delegating as appropriate, in consultation with local management and the Human Resources Department where necessary.
  • Manage team and individual accountabilities and challenge under-performance in a constructive and timely manner using the established Performance Management System (PMDS) providing relevant guidance, feedback, support, coaching and/or development opportunities as appropriate.
  • Champion mental health and well-being initiatives for staff and students on site in consultation with the HR Department and aligned to the Teagasc People Strategy.
  • Actively participate in Teagasc-wide Campus Administration meetings (generally held in Head Office).
  • Lead/proactively engage and participate in the annual business planning and risk management processes and contribute to the implementation of the business plan to meet organizational goals and objectives.
  • Assist Teagasc in meeting the commitments of the Quality Customer Service Charter and Action Plan.
  • Take responsibility for health and safety as outlined in the SMS plan for the site, including ensuring the health, safety and welfare of oneself, fellow staff and non-Teagasc staff and co-operate with management in enabling Teagasc to comply with legal obligations. This includes full compliance with the responsibilities outlined in the Safety Statement.
  • Take responsibility for own on-going personal and professional development.
  • Such other duties as may be assigned from time to time.
  • This job specification is intended as a guide to the general range of duties and is intended to be neither definitive nor restrictive. It will be reviewed from time to time with the post holder.

Skills Required




  • Relevant QQI Level 8 Degree in business, accountancy, or an alternative discipline relevant to this post.
  • A minimum of five years relevant work experience operating at a similar level to this post.
  • MBA, MSc, or other post-graduate qualification in a relevant discipline.


  • Knowledge and experience of project management, including small and large capital expenditure projects.
  • Strategic awareness, innovation and change management skills.
  • Business acumen with strong financial management and business planning skills.
  • Engaging and consultative leadership skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to lead and implement organizational change.
  • Strong interpersonal skills with demonstrated ability to manage people and resources.
  • Excellent organization, delegation, and time management skills.
  • Computer literate with strong IT skills.
  • Awareness of Teagasc’s organizational structure, policies and procedures.
  • Thorough understanding of the public sector and, in particular, Public Sector governance and procurement procedures and regulations.

  • Knowledge and experience of managing a medium to large site or facility is highly desirable.

Behavioural Competencies

  • An inspiring leader who engages others to achieve strong business results.
  • Strong strategic and operational decision-making capacity.
  • Ability to work on own initiative and collaboratively as part of a team.
  • Self-disciplined, organized and methodical.
  • Works to maximize synergies between functional areas of the business.
  • Acts as a role model for flexibility, adaptability, creativity and innovation.
  • Operates with a high degree of integrity in all aspects of work.
  • Strong focus on goal-setting, performance management and accountability.
  • Resilient and resourceful with an ability to maintain poise, concentration and performance levels under high demand.
  • Ability to set clear standards and take a quality customer service approach to work.
  • Flexible with an ability to adapt to changing requirements/priorities.
  • A proactive, solutions-focused approach to work.
  • A commitment to on-going personal and professional development.


As this role will involved driving vehicles, candidates must satisfy and continue to satisfy during employment with Teagasc, legal requirements to drive a car unaccompanied on Irish public roads.

Note: The ‘essential’ qualifications, knowledge, skills and behavioural competencies outlined above are ‘must-have’ which will be used in the selection process.

Job Settings
Number of jobs: 1 hires
Information about the advertiser
Company: Teagasc
Company size: 1-49
Contact: NA