Chief Returning Officer

Location: Flexible Location
Salary: Voluntary

About the role

Do you want to be part of an organisation that makes a difference to students’ lives?

2017 is an exciting year for NUS and a great time to join us as our Chief Returning Officer.

We are looking for dedicated, reliable and innovative individual to oversee our annual election processes, as well as helping us to make our elections more accessible to our membership. NUS is a democratic organisation, led by political leaders elected on an annual basis. The role of the Chief Returning Officer is to oversee and govern these elections.

The Chief Returning Officer is responsible for the good conduct and administration of elections to officer and committee positions within NUS. NUS has 20 full-time officers who are elected to paid positions; however, we also have over 300 elected volunteers who support our work as an organisation.

 Typical tasks:

  • Agree a set of election rules to ensure open and fair election process
  • Making rulings on the elections process such as candidate eligibility and candidate conduct
  • Attending between four and six meetings a year throughout the annual elections cycle
  • Appointing an Elections Committee of up to three deputies
  • Ensuring consistency of decision making across the returning officer team
  • Oversee Charity and Board elections
  • Attending democratic conferences or delegating this role to a member of Elections Committee.  For NUS UK for example there are 6 UK democratic held between February and May and Zone Conference held in October.  There are also the International Conference and Sections Conference (Mature/Part time, Post Graduate and Parents and Carers).  You or your team will also support out Nations democratic conferences.

Chairing candidate debates at democratic conferences 

The time commitment for the role of Chief Returning Officer will vary throughout NUS’ democratic cycle, with the most contact occurring between January and May when the Chief Returning Officer and/or members of their team will be expected to attend a number of democratic conferences and make rulings as elections take place.

Between June and December, most contact will be electronic with one or two meetings taking place to prepare for the opening of nominations.

Where the Chief Returning Officer is not attending an event and has delegated authority to a deputy, they will need to be easily reached by telephone/email should a final ruling be required.

 About NUS

The National Union of Students (NUS) is a voluntary membership organisation which makes a real difference to the lives of students and its member students' unions.

We are a confederation of 600 students' unions, amounting to more than 95 percent of all higher and further education unions in the UK. Through our member students' unions, we represent the interests of more than seven million students.

You can read our strategic plan here.


The chance to work with a variety of different people from different walks of life and make a real difference to students lives.

  • Comprehensive induction and ongoing training
  • A key staff contact to provide day-to-day support
  • A great opportunity to develop your existing skills and to gain new ones
  • Meet like-minded people and work in a team
  • Reimbursement of reasonable out-of-pocket expenses

 How to apply

For more information please read the role profile.

To apply please send your cover letter, CV, Equality and Diversity Form, and a short Biography to us at by Friday 29th September 2017, explaining your motivation for applying and how you feel you meet the above criteria.

Applications close – Friday 29th September 2017 at 12 noon. Following this date the candidates will be shortlisted and then contacted for interview.

Shortlisted candidates invited to interview – Week commencing 9th October 2017

Candidates for this position are required to be ratified by National Conference, which takes place between 27 – 29 March 2018 

If you have any questions please contact Alison Chappell on

NUS is committed to being an inclusive employer and having a diverse workforce.