Senior Manager, Innovations

Senior Manager, Innovations


ISEAL Alliance ( is seeking to fill the position of Senior Manager, Innovations. ISEAL is the global membership association for many of the leading sustainability standards and certification schemes worldwide. We are internationally recognized for our role in driving consensus about credible practices for sustainability standards, reflected in our Credibility Principles and Codes of Good Practice. 

This is an exciting time in the world of sustainability standards. Standards organisations are adapting rapidly to meet evolving expectations from businesses and governments. They are incorporating new strategies and working to unleash the power of data in their operations. ISEAL is actively supporting standards organisations in this journey, with a new Innovations Fund and communities of practice that catalyse members and partners to test and replicate new approaches.

Role summary

The Senior Manager, Innovations will work closely with ISEAL’s leadership to deliver on two of ISEAL’s strategic priorities in this rapidly changing environment – providing expertise on credible practices and systems and working to catalyse and share learning around systems’ improvement and innovation.

The Senior Manager will be the technical lead, technical advisor, or project/grant manager on multiple projects in ISEAL’s portfolio (which range from researching and testing innovations, to running global consultations, to promoting better management and use of data, to supporting collaborative approaches to advance specific sustainability topics). Examples of the types of projects in which the Senior Manager could be involved initially include the development of guidance for the expanded application of ISEAL’s Credibility Principles, the definition of credible practices for sustainability tools that promote continual improvement and identifying and supporting innovative strategies for rapidly scaling the reach and impact of sustainability standards. The Senior Manager will also play a leading role in ISEAL’s innovations work stream - incubating ambitious projects and synthesizing and communicating the learning emerging from Innovations Fund grants.

For successful delivery of projects, the position works closely with both the Director of Policy and Outreach and the Director of Innovations. Furthermore, the Senior Manager directly manages a team of three staff, providing guidance, development opportunities and performance management, as well as coordinating resources within their own team and across other teams to successfully implement relevant projects.

As a technical manager at ISEAL, the Senior Manager will be looked to internally and in the wider standards community for guidance and expertise on standards system design and development. This role will also be partly responsible for delivering technical training and services to sustainability standards and their users and answering technical queries. This might involve contributing to ISEAL’s Code compliance, Code revision, and membership criteria review processes and leading technical conversations as part of ISEAL’s communities of practice and public events.  

The position will be based in London and will play an important role in providing leadership and supporting ISEAL’s culture and values in the London office.

What we seek

The ideal candidate will be an experienced professional with a substantial level of technical knowledge about sustainability standards systems and how they function, gained through work within standards systems or related organizations. 

Expertise on one or more elements of a standards system (standard-setting, assurance, claims, traceability, etc.) and a well-honed ability to distil, synthesise and communicate knowledge about new and emerging technical areas and innovative practices, are key ingredients.

In order to be considered for this role, candidates will have a track record of developing, planning, and executing client-contracted or grant-funded projects to a high standard, and of managing projects involving multiple staff and external consultants. Solid experience as a line manager and/or team leader, and in facilitating multi-stakeholder conversations, events, or important meetings will round out the profile.

Key Responsibilities

Technical expertise and innovation

  • Lead delivery on selected innovations and credibility-related projects, professionally implementing project activities to achieve desired results
  • Apply technical knowledge about standards systems to delivery of projects; consultation processes; guidance or Code development; technical conversations with members and external stakeholders; training, services and compliance reviews; and responses to technical queries
  • Communicate project insights clearly and concisely to a variety of audiences, whether through practical written guidance, generalist blogs, virtual meetings, or in person. 
  • Support the delivery of ISEAL’s Innovations programme by providing leadership across teams in the capture and sharing of learning from ISEAL’s Innovation Fund grants, and by working with ISEAL staff and members to cultivate and support Innovation Fund proposals
  • Deliver or co-deliver training on relevant technical topics

Project management

  • Manage projects and grants including planning, coordination and oversight of activities and delivery timelines; effective reporting and outcome monitoring; budget management; preparation of contracts and terms of reference; and management of relationships with project partners and stakeholders
  • Feed outcomes and lessons from projects into cross-team and cross-organisational learning, monitoring and evaluation, strategy and planning.

Planning and strategy

  • Contribute to development of ISEAL’s strategy and work plans related to innovations and credibility
  • Participate in project and grant proposal development and annual planning and reporting processes

Leadership and people management

  • Manage performance of direct reports and provide constructive and supportive feedback to aid in the professional development of staff
  • Provide project-related supervision of relevant staff and external resources/consultants, where appropriate
  • Act as role model for ISEAL´s values and foster desired people management culture at ISEAL  in own team and beyond
  • Provide general leadership in ISEAL office, prioritising staff wellbeing, internal communications and general support of a positive working environment


  • Contribute to cross-team efforts to coordinate and improve communication to members, to track and improve member engagement with ISEAL, and to track how members are evolving and improving their systems over time. 
  • Work closely with other staff and teams to ensure alignment and coordination of efforts and activities
  • Contribute to staff meetings, and other internal meetings with appropriate content, views and suggestions
  • Fulfil requirements of internal staff management processes including performance reviews, supervisory meetings, etc.

Experience, Knowledge and Attributes

  • Postgraduate degree in a relevant subject or an equivalent combination of relevant experience and/or education and training
  • Substantial work experience with sustainability standards systems or related organisations
  • Extensive knowledge of at least one component of a standards system (e.g. standard-setting, assurance, traceability, claims, etc), broad experience across a range of technical subjects, and a demonstrable capacity to pick up new technical topics and deepen own knowledge on these areas
  • Excellent writing skills (encompassing guidance papers, reports, blogs, etc) with a proven ability to convey complex concepts and ideas in an accessible way for a range of audiences
  • Proven ability to take independent action, delegate assignments, assume responsibility and provide effective line management and team leadership
  • Strong facilitation, consultation and convening skills and experience
  • Demonstrable project management and delivery experience, including preparing and managing budgets, and management and oversight of internal and external resources.  Familiarity with grant-funded project management.
  • Experience, confidence, and judgement to operate and deliver projects with a high degree of autonomy, while at the same time seeking and accepting constructive input from supervisor, team, and colleagues on the content of the work.
  • Track record in delivering training, with ability to structure material, explain concepts, and lead exercises to deliver an engaging, memorable, and clear training experience.

Additionally desirable

  • A proven ability to lead diverse stakeholder groups to a shared understanding and to foster common ground
  • Experience working on innovations processes and/or the management and use of data

Other relevant information

Term:                                 This is an initial contract of one year with the possibility of extension, starting as soon as possible

Salary:                               £54,000 – 60,000, depending on experience

Working Hours:              Based on a full time equivalent of 37.5 hours per week.

Location:                          Based in ISEAL’s London head office. Applicants need to provide evidence that they are entitled to work in the UK.  For exceptional candidates, ISEAL may provide assistance with visa applications

International Travel:    Post holder will be required to undertake regular intra-European and international travel

Annual Leave:                 25 days / year (including office closure between Christmas and New Year)

Equal Opportunities:    ISEAL strives to be an equal opportunities employer commitment to this process is expected


How to Apply

Interested candidates should submit a current CV and a statement explaining how they meet the selection criteria for the position to Specific enquiries about this role and the application process can be sent to the same email.

Applications will be considered on a rolling basis as they are submitted, with a view to making an appointment as soon as possible. Initial interviews will be scheduled from mid-July, therefore, early submission is strongly encouraged.  We regret that we will only be able to contact short-listed candidates.