A contract manager oversees the preparation and maintenance of legal documents relating to a project or service being delivered to their employers by external providers.
Often part of a broader procurement team, they work closely with suppliers to monitor the quality of services being delivered.
They also identify and resolve issues with ongoing contracts, ensuring they are delivered on time and meet all key milestones.
This detailed guide provides all the information you need about the role of a contract manager, including duties and responsibilities, salary information and a sample job description.
- Contract manager job description
- How much do contract managers earn?
- What do contract managers do?
- Requirements, skills and qualifications
- Who employs contract managers?
- Which junior jobs progress to contract manager roles?
Contract manager job description
Contract manager | Redfern County Healthcare
About Redfern County Healthcare
Here at Redfern County Healthcare, we work to improve the health of Redfern residents so they can live longer, happier lives. We work closely with the community to ensure we prioritise preventive, acute and allied healthcare.
About the role
We are looking for a contracts manager who can take responsibility for a portfolio of assigned contracts. You will work to our existing contract management framework and ensure all of our contracts are delivered on time, to a high standard and achieve value for money.
- Preparing, negotiating and executing contracts covering a range of commissioning needs
- Building and maintaining solid working relationships with vendors and suppliers
- Developing processes to manage key milestones within each contract, including renewals, termination and key deliverables
- Contributing to policies and the overarching commissioning strategy for Redfern County Healthcare
- Communicating with stakeholders to ensure they are up to speed with contract milestones and deliverables
- Working closely with other teams within the organisation, including finance, legal and marketing
- Preparing and filing correspondence including briefs, letters, emails and reports
- Developing regular reports on the status of all contracts for senior management
Location & commitments
- Permanent, full-time position
- Based in Redfern town centre
- Some travel required when meeting with suppliers
- Experience managing a portfolio of complex contracts within the healthcare sector
- Understanding of current legislation, policy and guidance on commissioning and contracts
- Understanding of UK contract law
- Experience working with a broad range of internal and external stakeholders, including vendors and suppliers
- Strong communication and negotiation skills
- First class degree or equivalent qualifications
- Experience using Microsoft Office Suite
Contact us to apply
If this role matches your experience and you are passionate about helping to improve the lives of Redfern residents, please send your CV and cover letter to Jamie Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org
How much do contract managers earn?
Contract managers earn an average of £57,500 a year, with the opportunity to increase their basic wage with perks such as bonuses and car allowances.
Contract manager salaries in the UK
- Low: £42,500
- Average: £57,500
- High: £67,500
Contract manager salaries can vary based on;
- Industry – e.g. is the role working for a construction company managing major building contracts or within a non-profit organisation?
- Size and type of contracts – e.g. is the role responsible for large, complex multi-million-pound contracts or smaller low budget agreements?
- General salary factors – such as level of candidate experience and location
For example, a senior contracts manager who is responsible for high-value, high-risk contracts and working for a multi-national construction organisation will generally earn more than a more junior contract manager working for a non-profit organisation, on smaller low-risk contracts.
What do contract managers do?
This section breaks down the job description into simple terms, listing the tasks and responsibilities contract managers can expect in an average working week;
- Preparing contracts – Working with suppliers and third parties to negotiate and agree contract terms
- Managing supplier relationships – Establishing and maintaining positive relationships with suppliers throughout the lifetime of the contract
- Maintaining records – Creating and storing all contract-related paperwork and correspondence
- Resolving contract issues – Identifying and negotiating a resolution for any issues that arise within the life of the contract
- Finalising contracts – Ensuring all contracts are appropriately closed-out or extended as needed, with minimal disruption to the project
- Reporting – Keeping all stakeholders and relevant departments up to date with progress of the contract
- People management – Supervising more junior members of the team, providing direction and mentoring
- Monitoring service delivery – Ensuring suppliers are delivering all services to the agreed standards within a contract
What do contract managers need?
Contract managers need to possess a diverse range of soft and technical skills in order to deliver their job effectively.
Some industries may require specialist experience or training, but in general here’s what’s needed.
Contract managers are usually mid-level roles so it’s essential that candidates have some experience before stepping into the role. They should have managed smaller contracts from start to finish, or supported a more senior member of the contract management team through the full contract management process. They should also have experience building and managing supplier relationships within a procurement environment.
Contract manager skills
To be successful in their roles, contract managers need to possess both soft skills and technical knowledge.
- Interpersonal skills: Building and maintaining relationships with a range of different suppliers and stakeholders
- Negotiation: The ability to identify the best possible outcomes for the organisation and ensure the contract is written to effectively reflect that
- Problem solving: Resolving issues and conflicts that arise through the lifetime of the contract
- Multi-tasking: Overseeing multiple contracts and projects at any given time
- Legal and financial knowledge: Understanding contract law and how legal contracts should be drawn up, including relevant delivery, performance and pricing models
- Business acumen: Knowing how the industry and the organisation operates, and how the contracted services should support company growth
- Procurement expertise: Procuring high standard services for businesses and ensuring favourable terms for their employers
Contract manager qualifications
An undergraduate degree is beneficial for a career as a contract manager, ideally in a business or finance-related field – but this is not essential.
There are also post-graduate courses available if a person is working in a different industry and would like to re-train as a contract manager
Bachelor of Business
Universities across the UK offer undergraduate degrees in business and management. These courses will provide an introduction to the business world, and cover topics including finance, marketing and corporate strategy.
CIPFA Diploma in Contract Management
The Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accounting (CIPFA) offers a course focused on partnerships between public sector organisations and private and non-profit organisations. The course lasts around nine months, comprising both classroom study and assessments. Modules include specification writing, service level agreements and negotiation skills.
Advanced Diploma in Professional Practice in Contract Management
The College of Contract Management specialises in the construction industry and provides training across a range of areas including contract management, commercial management and site management. The Advanced Diploma in Professional Practice in Contract Management is aimed at post-graduates working in the construction industry who wish to start a career in contract management.
What is expected of contract managers?
Typically, contract manager will be expected to commit to the following;
- Full time work – Standard 35-40 hours per week
- Some overtime and evening work – During peak times or when contracts are being finalised or extended
- Location – Normally office-based with the requirement to travel to meetings with suppliers. If the role is in the construction industry, the role may be based at a building site.
Contract manager benefits
Contract managers receive a number of benefits in addition to their base salary including things like:
- Car allowance
- Mobile phone allowance
- Performance-based bonuses
- Training and development
Who employs contract managers?
Contract managers are hired across a range of industries, where organisations contract or outsource different services out to external providers, and their performance needs to be monitored. This may range from large multi-nationals to smaller, independent organisations.
Industries that hire contract managers include:
- Facilities management
- Public sector
Which junior jobs progress to contract manager roles?
Apart from graduate schemes or apprenticeships, it’s likely that a contract manager will step into the role after gaining experience from a more junior position within the team.
Contract assistants support the contract management team by performing duties such as setting up supplier meetings, maintaining contract files and preparing documentation. This role is the ideal stepping stone for a contract manager because of its exposure to the end-to-end contract management process. It’s likely that further formal training will be required before stepping into a contract manager role.
Which senior jobs do contract managers progress to?
The career pathway for a contract manager is fairly linear, and there are a number of additional steps on the career ladder for them to progress to.
Contract directors supervise a portfolio of contracts and a team of people. Their level of experience means they can provide advice on complex contracts and also support in difficult negotiations. Contract directors will have worked as contract managers for several years and gained experience managing people.
Chief procurement officer
In this role, a chief procurement officer will lead and set the strategic direction for a purchasing department. They will develop and implement the organisation’s purchasing and contract management policies, manage organisational budgets and deal with critical suppliers.
Contract manager job description – conclusion
The role of a contract manager suits someone with excellent communication and interpersonal skills, but also a keen eye for detail.
With a broad range of industries available to work in, the role is varied and provides the opportunity to gain valuable experience in different work environments.