Reporting to:

Lead Programme Manager


circa £27,500 + benefits

Contract type:


Last updated:

October 2019

About Design Council

Design Council’s purpose is to make life better by design.

We are an independent charity and the government’s advisor on design. Our vision is a world where the role and value of design is recognised as a fundamental creator of value, enabling happier, healthier and safer lives for all. Through the power of design, we make better places, better products, better processes and better performance.

How does this role fit in with the bigger picture?

Design Council Architecture & Built Environment (A&BE) Team’s work seeks to advise private and public sector organisations, communities and voluntary organisations on good design within the built environment. This is achieved through a series of co-ordinated services, Design Advice, Design Review, Support and Training, which are being offered together under a single Places Programme to governments, local authorities, infrastructure providers, trusts, institutions and foundations and developers.

This role will work with expert professionals in the built environment sector to enable local authorities, public sector clients, developers and others to create and deliver better places. The Project Manager will play a key role in the development and delivery of programmes, provide design and planning advice to private and public sector organisations, communities and voluntary organisations in order to champion and promote great design.

The role will require someone with a passion for improving the built environment, combined with strong written and verbal communication skills, with the ability to contribute positively to high profile projects and programmes. They will have the skills to promote Design Council’s values and principles and enable others to do the same.

What does a Project Manager do?

The role includes the following responsibilities:

Programme Support

  • Support the delivery of specified projects and Design Reviews as part of Design Council ’s Places Programme, under the supervision of a Programme Manager or Lead Programme Manager
  • To provide detailed briefing for Members of design advice panels on the development proposals to be considered and their context, both physical and political
  • Liaise closely with the local authority, clients and design teams involved in development proposals, exchanging information and providing the content for Design Reviews to keep them fully appraised in the structure, content, timetables and progress of individual reviews
  • Efficiently and effectively prepare necessary outcome reports to the agreed quality and timescale
  • To maintain awareness of development and planning decisions and local plan work across the country related to design, to inform business development and on-going programmes of activity


  • Support the setting up of individual Design Advice Panels, comprising members of Design Council’s 400 strong network of Built Environment Experts. Ensuring panels are diverse in outlook, experience and representation. To include liaising with and co-ordinating the attendance and input of individual panel members, aligning appropriate skills and knowledge to the type of development being considered, to ensure efficient delivery of a quality design review service   
  • Formulate written reports that represent the views and constructive criticism of the Design Advice Panels, in a manner that allows the client, their professional advisors and local authority officers and their lay members to understand and respond positively to the advice presented
  • Produce all written material, including Design Advice reports and letters to the agreed and expected specified time and quality standards  
  • Represent Design Council at public functions such as seminars, conferences, exhibitions etc., and contribute to web site content and social media in support of communication and business development objectives
  • Support communication activities across our network of BEEs including regular newsletters and social media updates
  • Support the development of A&BE marketing materials, preparation of case studies, project sheets and client references
  • Ensure programme management tools are kept up to date with relevant information from service delivery
  • Provide research and insight to programmes

Stakeholder Management

  • Establish and maintain relationships with outside client organisations including (but not limited to) communities and public, private, or voluntary sector clients, government departments and agencies, local authorities, to ensure we are responsive to their feedback and needs in support of our inclusivity and business development objectives

Other responsibilities

  • Contribute to the dissemination of best practice
  • Support the Lead Programme Managers, Head of Architecture & Built Environment and Director of Architecture & Built Environment as necessary
  • Undertake any other reasonable tasks/duties as required

Corporate Responsibilities

  • Ensure you comply with the Design Council operational policies and procedures including financial and risk management, project management and evaluation processes, brand guide lines and internal health and safety policy
  • To comply with management policy, including GDPR, information security and confidentiality.

This role will involve some evening work and travel as required in accordance with the needs of the projects and programmes.

Does this sound like you?


  • Relevant academic qualifications in architecture, planning, urban design (or associated disciplines)
  • Critical and analytical skills in relation to design issues, and an ability to express ideas clearly and confidently in written and spoken English to a range of people


  • Working knowledge of the statutory planning system
  • An understanding and interest in architecture, urban design and architectural history, in theory and in practice, and of current and emerging built environment issues
  • Understand the principles of people-focused design and the practical detail of inclusive environments, and the ability to convey these through advocacy, training and in critiquing designs and plans.
  • Proven experience in professional practice in either the private or the public sector
  • Knowledge of MS office, including Word, Excel, Outlook and PowerPoint


  • Excellent writing skills, with experience of writing reports and letters to a range of high profile stakeholders
  • Confident communicator with a client focused approach to managing client expectations and project work and its outcomes
  • Excellent personal organisation and interpersonal co-ordination skills
  • Ability to work collaboratively - building creative consensus, and consulting and involving others
  • Ability to work under pressure and to meet demanding and conflicting deadlines
  • Ability to organise own workload, and to work without close supervision
  • The ability to remain calm, responsive and flexible in times of change
  • Tactful, discreet and diplomatic
  • Excellent attention to detail
  • Good team player
  • Proactive, hands on approach

Equality & Diversity

Design Council is committed to providing equal opportunities for all.  Applications are welcomed from all sections of the community.  Appointments are made on merit.

How to apply…

To apply, please email your CV and supporting statement to demonstrate your suitability for the role to

Closing date: 17 November 2019 at 23:59