The SUMS Group (SUMS) is a dynamic and values-focused organisation dedicated to supporting the UK’s Higher Education sector across our three divisions – SUMS Consulting, the Southern Universities Purchasing Consortium (SUPC) and the Procurement Shared Service (PSS).

As a charity and not-for-profit, we are part of the community we serve. Our vision is to be the expert partner of choice for universities, delivering tangible, sustainable impact through high-quality consulting and procurement services. In a recent survey, 95% of SUMS staff felt positive or very positive about working for SUMS. We strive to be a responsible and supportive employer that provides team members with the autonomy and support to bring new ideas to the table for the benefit of our members, clients and our wider communities.

SUMS is an equal opportunities employer and we recognise the value that diverse backgrounds and experiences bring to our work and our organisation. Some identities are still typically under-represented in the workplace and we particularly encourage you to apply if that might be you.


Current Opportunities:

Consultant (Sustainability)

Grade/Salary: £60,000 – £70,000 + benefits
Responsible to: Managing Consultant

The SUMS Group

The SUMS Group is made up of three divisions: SUMS Consulting (SUMS), Southern Universities Purchasing Consortium (SUPC) and the Procurement Shared Services (PSS). With over 150 subscribing institutions, we offer universities world-leading services at a price point that reflects both our commitment to the sector and our values as a not-for-profit company and registered charity.

SUMS Consulting

SUMS Consulting is a specialist Higher Education management consultancy. We are passionate about the sector and proud of the creativity and expertise that our staff bring to our clients.

Our members represent more than half the UK’s student and staff population by FTE, ranging from large research-intensive universities like Oxford, Cambridge and UCL to a host of modern and specialist providers. We have an active portfolio of projects in the European Union and Asia, and we have recently taken a strategic decision to grow our international work.

Our members and client institutions expect us to have the capabilities, strength in depth, and the objectivity to support and advise them to continued success and meaningful impacts in the wider world.

Our own continued impact has been reflected in a sustained period of growth, and with a growing assignment portfolio spanning UK and overseas markets we wish to strengthen further.

Who we are looking for

We are seeking to recruit a Consultant as part of our core team. If you thrive on complex problem-solving, if you share our passion for the sector and if you have outstanding people skills then we want to hear from you!

The Consultant will have a primary focus on our rapidly developing services in sustainability, but will also support other areas of our work.

Working both individually and on team assignments, the Consultant will deliver a range of projects that bring insight, benefits and impact to our clients. We want all clients who work with us to look back on their engagements and feel confident that the value they achieved would not have been possible without us.

We are looking for energetic, creative thinkers with excellent interpersonal skills, an ability to work at pace and a commitment to excellence.

This role requires some experience in sustainability but we are open to what that might look like and where it has been gained. As the topic is wide and fast moving, we expect the successful candidate to be able to rapidly develop their knowledge and upskill in new and developing areas.

Our consultants come from a range of professional backgrounds, but they need to be able to understand the nuances and complexities inherent within the Higher Education sector and be comfortable facilitating sessions and building positive relationships with stakeholders from boards of governors, vice-chancellors and executive teams to professional service functions, academic departments and sometimes students.

Expectation levels are high but the SUMS Group promotes a healthy work-life balance. We have an agile workforce and offer flexible working arrangements. We place great importance on the continued professional development of our team. The successful candidate will have many opportunities to grow their skillset. Whilst the Consultant role is a senior appointment in its own right, there will also be a clear progression route mapped out to more senior roles, and we’ll invest in making sure you reach your potential.

Benefits:

  • Flexible working

  • Generous holiday allowance of 38 days, including bank holidays and closure days

  • Participation in a company pension plan

  • A dynamic work environment where new ideas and innovations are welcomed

  • Investment in the development of your competencies, with guidance and support

  • The opportunity to support a values-focused sector

  • Outstanding contributions recognised through a bonus scheme.

Further information and how to apply

Click here to view the full Consultant (Sustainability) job description

If you would like an informal discussion about the role, please contact Helen Baird at h.m.baird@reading.ac.uk

Please submit a brief CV and one-page cover letter to sums@reading.ac.uk by 13:00 on Monday 15 May 2024.

We aim to shortlist within one week and anticipate holding interviews on 30/31 May. Alternative arrangements can be accommodated.


SUMS Group Associates

SUMS’ network of expert consultants thrives on complex problem-solving that supports university improvement.  We regularly add to our associate pool.  If you would like to join our team, please read more about our approach below. 

Find out more

SUMS is growing our team of specialists to provide universities with strategic advice and guidance in the areas of Estates and Finance. We’re looking for exceptional consultants or exceptional people considering a move into consultancy in either of these areas.

  • From a Finance perspective the variety of projects you could get involved in is vast, ranging from restructures of finance departments through to finance function benchmarking, leadership development, resource allocation models, and advice on the merits (and pitfalls) of zero-based budgeting.  We’re looking for people who are financially literate with good commercial experience.
  • For Estates professionals, a similar portfolio of work awaits: Estates Strategy and Planning including performance monitoring, Target Operating Model (TOM) Development, Capital Projects including Property Business Case and Feasibility Study Development, Space Utilisation (teaching and non-teaching space), the Campus Experience (Accessibility and Inclusivity), Service Area Reviews, Policy and Systems reviews.

Core consulting skills, including relationship management, are an essential. If this sounds like you then come and join us on our journey. Contact us at sums@reading.ac.uk today.