Vacancy: Chief Executive Officer - British Hydropower Association

Posted on 17th July 2022 | Vacancies

Sherrington are pleased to be the retained search partners for the British Hydropower Association. Having successfully recruited for this position eight years ago, Rob McKay is the retained search partner once again for the BHA in their quest to appoint a new Chief Executive Officer.


The British Hydropower Association [BHA] is the leading trade membership association solely representing the interests of the UK hydropower industry (from micro to large scale) and tidal range energy, and its associated stakeholders at local, regional and national levels.

The BHA Mission Statement is translated into a number of key objectives which include: 

  • Effective lobbying of and liaison with national and devolved governments, regulatory bodies and a wide range of industry stakeholder groups
  • Providing a technical, regulatory and political information source
  • Supporting and providing guidance and expertise to members
  • Promoting hydropower and increasing awareness of its quality and scope 
  • Organising a wide range of events and networking opportunities
  • Promoting innovation and sustainability


Reporting to the Chair, the CEO, will be tasked by the Board with the planning, communicating and execution of the organisational strategy, operations and association objectives in line with the mission, vision and values of the association. 

The CEO will lead, manage, support, inspire and ensure the welfare of 2 employees -

Operations Officer - Finance and Systems and Operations Officer - Marketing and Communications

The CEO will lead and encourage volunteer support, including directing and supporting the work of the Tidal Range Alliance, a working group within the association.


The main responsibilities of the role include but are not limited to:

General management

The CEO, will at all times promote and represent the best interests of the association’s membership

  • Oversee all aspects of the association’s activities, ensuring they conform to best practice in respect of Statutory Regulations, Corporate Governance and Health and Safety.
  • Provide strong leadership promoting a participative approach and instil a positive culture throughout the staff team, board, membership and volunteers.
  • Protect and develop the reputation of the association by ensuring that all operational, marketing, financial and regulatory standards are met while delivering a broad range of services to the membership.
  • Ensure there is clear definition and promotion of the association’s key objectives across the organisation, the membership and the wider hydropower industry.
  • Manage key internal and external stakeholder relationships, including with other kindred associations
  • To ensure proactive participation and involvement in all industry working and liaison groups that influence the hydropower industry.

Management and leadership

  • Provide leadership to the organisation during a period of continued industry change.
  • Facilitate the increased effectiveness of the BHA Board and staff team through helping develop skills such as leadership and management, ensuring a culture that puts people at the core of the association.
  • Engender an environment which encourages staff to achieve their maximum potential within the organisation.
  • Continue to build on the reputation ofthe association as the leader within the hydropower industry by developing, nurturing and maximising internal and external relationships.

Funding and finance

  • Ensure that budgets are prepared for the Board and that the necessary management information is made available to ensure the efficient operation of the association.
  • Monitor the financial performance of the association, ensuring reports are prepared in a timely fashion for quarterly Board meetings.
  • Oversee the development and maintenance of the association’s Information Technology Systems, including development of a new association web site.
  • Ensure that the affairs of the association are managed in line with best practice in the areas of taxation and insurance.


  • Lead the staff team in the active recruitment of new members and the retention of existing members
  • Lead the association’s membership engagement through a wide variety of channels including conferences, virtual events, working groups and the associations committees.
  • Take responsibility for the production of the BHA magazine, Spotlight, currently published 3 times a year [April, July and November]. This includes sourcing content within and outwith membership, deciding the layout and liaison with the contracted magazine designer.
  • Take responsibility for the production of the BHA members newsletter, Spotlight Plus, currently published 9 times a year except April, July and November].  This includes sourcing all the news content and liaising with the Operations Officer – Marketing and Communications in its production.
  • Working with the Operations Officer – Marketing and Communications in the delivery of the fortnightly News Bulletin
  • Take the lead in the event management of the BHA Annual Conference and Exhibition and the BHA Hydro Network. This includes sourcing speakers, session chairs, exhibitors and sponsors.
  • Lead the work of the Tidal range Alliance [TRA]. The TRA is a formal Working Group within the BHA, bringing together developers, companies, supply chain businesses and individuals involved in, or with an interest in tidal range energy projects, mainly in the UK.
  • Take the lead in representing the BHA and the wider hydropower industry in key working groups, including with the Scottish Government Hydro Task and Finish Group, the Scottish Environment and Protection Agency, Natural Resources Wales, the Environment Agency and Northern Ireland Environment Agency
  • Ensure that the resources available are utilised to maximum efficiency to achieve the best outcomes for the association and its members.

Culture / Innovation

  • Ensure that the organisation operates to best practice standards in meeting the needs of the membership.
  • Be forward thinking and innovative in approach ensuring that existing membership services are continually evaluated and assessed, and that new services are continually enhanced
  • The responsibilities outlined in this job description should not be regarded as comprehensive in scope and may be added to or altered as required.

Experience and personal qualities required for the post of chief executive:

Essential requirements

The successful candidate must be able to demonstrate:

  • Evidence of experience in a senior management or leadership role..
  • Evidence of a professional qualification, in a relevant discipline would be advantageous.
  • Evidence of experience representing organisations to governments, key stakeholders and regulatory bodies will be essential.
  • Evidence of proven ability of managing, motivating and developing staff teams.
  • Evidence of ability to evaluate organisational strengths and weaknesses.
  • Evidence of proven Project Management in relation to events, lobbying and co-ordinated responses to consultations.
  • Evidence of a proven track record in effectively and efficiently managing financial (including budgetary responsibility) and operational service delivery.

Desirable requirements

The successful candidate should also be able to demonstrate:

  • Evidence of leadership with a reputation for tenacity, determination, energy and professionalism while accommodating compromise.
  • Proven track-record of being a dedicated professional, committed to delivering membership representation, superior service with the ability to listen and learn.
  • Evidence of proven ability for innovation, creativity and originality.
  • Evidence of contract management

Reporting and working relationships The Chief Executive is accountable to BHA Chair and Board

To apply in confidence, please contact our Resourcer for an initial conversation:

Joe Onions, Executive Search Resourcer -

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