Vacancy - RPA Development Manager, Exeter Chiefs & Gloucester Rugby

The Rugby Players’ Association (RPA) is the representative body and collective voice of professional rugby players in England which was established in 1998 to look after the interests of all professional players, from Academy players to the superstars of the international game. The RPA offers members Player Welfare and Representation services as well as RPA Gain Line, a comprehensive national personal development programme, to help support their wellbeing and prepare them for life after rugby. The RPA has also acted as the exclusive commercial representative of the England Team since February 2004.

The RPA is looking to appoint a Development Manager (DM) to work with Exeter Chiefs & Gloucester Rugby.

Role Purpose

To manage the delivery and progress of Gain Line – the RPA national personal development and welfare programme - in collaboration with two elite professional clubs, reporting to the Head of Gain Line, with focus on player wellbeing, personal development and career transition. 

Role Context

The Gain Line programme is a personalised support service, backed by investment from Premiership Rugby (PRL), the Rugby Football Union (RFU) and the RPA, to provide a high quality, independent and consistent standard of player care across all elite professional clubs, which recognises that rugby is likely to be the main focus in a player's life whilst they are playing, but that playing rugby represents a relatively short part of a player’s working life.

Gain Line supports players throughout their playing career and key transitions in their lives, provides wellbeing support, facilitates learning and personal development, helps players manage risk and maximise their potential as players, as well as preparing them for life after rugby. Research shows that player engagement in such programmes can benefit on field performance.

Key Responsibilities:
The responsibilities of this role include but are not limited to:

  • Manage and progress the RPA Gain Line Programme in collaboration with the designated clubs.
  • Manage the delivery of the following strategies to players, achieving agreed performance benchmarks including but not limited to:
    • Career and education planning
    • Creation of players’ individual development plans
    • Delivery of personal and professional development workshops
    • Organisation of career insight, networking and work placement opportunities
    • Provision of expert player welfare support and coordination of rugby specific welfare programmes
  • Preparing players for and during their transition into life after rugby
  • Develop and maintain a network of local providers and contributors to Gain Line e.g. colleges, universities, work placement providers, etc.
  • Facilitate the collaboration and integration of Gain Line into the nominated club programmes
  • Maintain a level of independence within the club and ensure all players are fully engaged in Gain Line
  • Observe duty of confidentiality with all player information and in accordance with GDPR requirements
  • Work in conjunction with all other Gain Line Team members to share information, contacts and models of best practice.
  • Assist the Head of Gain Line with the continuing development and implementation of the national Gain Line programme.
  • Deliver mandated programmes as set out by the RFU/PRL/RPA Professional Game Board - Personal Development Group which governs the programme.
  • Assist the wider RPA Team in delivering key organisation objectives

Key Interfaces include but are not limited to RPA Members, RPA staff and Senior Management Team, RPA Player Representatives, RPA Partners and Sponsors, Premiership Club staff, Industry and Recruitment organisations.

Skills & Experience required:

The successful candidate will be able to demonstrate a successful track record in some or all of the following areas:

  • Experience of professional/elite sports environment is preferable but not essential
  • Experience of learning and development programmes   
  • Experience in professional coaching and mentoring
  • Experience of career planning with adults
  • Business development experience, networks and contacts
  • Experience of project management
  • Confident presenting skills and an ability to train groups
  • Experience of performance lifestyle or equivalent programmes within professional/elite sport is preferable

Excellent communication skills, technology literacy and the ability to build relationships quickly with players, club officials and external businesses are essential. Being proactive, resourceful and having a positive and flexible approach is required.  A rugby background is preferable but not essential. 

Salary: Competitive plus company benefits

Location: Remote (primarily at each designated club location), with a requirement to travel to RPA team meetings (varied location).

How to apply:  Please send your CV and covering note, including salary expectations, to:

Application deadline:  Tuesday 10th January 2023. Please assume that you have been unsuccessful on this occasion if you are not contacted within 14 days of the closing date.

Interview dates:  1st round interviews to be held w/c 16th January 2023.