Head of Quality Assurance


Wine & Spirit Education Trust

Job Title:                            Head of Quality Assurance

Responsible to:                 Chief Academic Programmes Officer (CAPO)

Responsible for:                Quality Assurance Team

Location:                           London, SE1. Temporary working from home during Covid.


Overall responsibility
WSET is the world’s leading provider of qualifications in wines, spirits and sake, delivering over 100,000 exams each year to candidates in over 70 countries via our network of Approved Programme Providers (APPs). As the head of WSET’s global quality assurance (QA) team you will set the strategic direction for the quality and compliance activities that ensure the integrity of our qualifications and uphold the interests of our students around the world. You will lead a team that is based across WSET’s three regions (Americas, Asia Pacific, Europe Middle East and Africa) to ensure continual improvement, manage quality and risk, and implement the operational framework that enables WSET to deliver qualifications to the highest standards.


Strategy, Governance and Regulation
·         Responsible for the development, implementation and maintenance of WSET’s Quality and Compliance Strategy, in line with WSET’s Strategic Plan

·         Work with the CAPO to ensure that WSET meets its regulatory obligations as an awarding organisation delivering Ofqual-regulated qualifications

·         Contribute as a member of the Academic Programmes Management Team to the overall success of WSET in meeting its strategic and operational goals

·         Work with the WSET Awards Supervisory Board (the subcommittee of WSET’s Board of Trustees that oversees our awarding activities) to set and monitor quality objectives

·         Responsible for WSET’s Quality Management System including certification under ISO 9001:2015

·         Ownership of the Awards Risk Register

·         Continually review operating procedures to ensure that WSET demonstrates best practice as an awarding body, making recommendations for process improvements as necessary.

·         Performance-manage the QA team, providing leadership, coaching and mentoring to develop and upskill the team to achieve agreed objectives and deliver exceptional customer service

·         Provide functional management and leadership for the QA operations in WSET Asia-Pacific and Wine & Spirit Education Trust America Inc, ensuring WSET’s Quality and Compliance Strategy is embedded in each organisation

·         Manage change from QA perspective as WSET undertakes transformative projects in information management and from paper-based to digital assessment

Quality Assurance
APP Approvals, Renewals and Controls
·         Develop and manage the WSET APP application and approval process, ensuring due diligence in application review and liaising with the WSET Business Development teams as required

·         Responsibility for the Centre Agreement and Data Transfer Agreement and any other contractual documents as required between WSET and APPs, ensuring these are updated and enforced as needed

·         Develop and manage post-approval processes for monitoring APPs to ensure maintenance of quality standards and compliance with WSET policies and procedures

·         Administer the APP renewals process ensuring that appropriate checks and balances are inbuilt to ensure that APPs meet requirements in order to renew their approval to offer qualifications

·         Monitor and report APP compliance, recommending/implementing mitigation, corrective and preventative measures in accordance with WSET Awards policy and regulatory requirements

·         Develop, update, and maintain APP documentation which reflects WSET policies and procedures, including the APP Handbook and Diploma Guidelines

APP Visits
Manage a sustainable and effective programme of APP visits to include:

·         A strategic approach that prioritises visits and differentiates visit types to reflect QA strategy and risk management

·         Strategies to ensure best practice in all aspects of qualification delivery at APPs

·         Auditing APP activities against WSET requirements

·         Maximising opportunities to add value for both WSET and APPs

o   Multidisciplinary visits including representation from different WSET departments

o   Training opportunities

·         Adoption of remote technologies to maximise efficacy and efficiency


·         Ensure that the QA team has the appropriate resources and tools to carry out their roles effectively

·         Consistent and effective use of QA processes and tools such as:

o   Low results procedures

o   APP risk rating

·         Set and manage QA budget within organisational parameters, managing team expenditure and expenses accordingly

·         Manage APP communications, including the bi-monthly APP Update and annual APP Survey

·         Manage APP records and data, producing reports as required

·         Contribute to the successful overall operation of the Trust by undertaking such other tasks as may from time to time be requested


Person Specification
Experience and Skills
·         Experience leading and managing a team

·         Experience working in a quality and/or compliance setting

·         Experience working in a regulated industry

·         The ability to set policies and maintain compliance to policy

·         Experience working with contractual documentation

·         Customer Oriented with excellent written and verbal communication skills

·         Experience of managing a risk management process

·         Collaborative and team oriented

To apply for this job email your details to WorkWithUs@wsetglobal.com