Frequently Asked Questions
- Do you have placements for part qualified accountants?
- Can I take my family on assignment?
- How flexible are placements in terms of timing and duration?
- Are there any opportunities to try this sort of work before leaving my current job?
- What advice can you offer on gaining release from my employer?
- What degree of choice would I have about where the placement would be?
- To what degree can I restrict the kind of placements I am interested in?
- I am not based in the UK - are there any restrictions on applying to Mango?
- Are there any age restrictions on applying to Mango?
- What training does Mango offer to its register members before departure on a placement?
- Will I be paid a salary or are the positions voluntary?
- Do you also recruit for head office positions?
- How can I gain relevant experience?
- How else can I approach NGOs if the Mango register isn’t for me?
- Do you recruit consultants to work on a short-term basis with NGOs?
- If I join the register and get a job, would my contract be with Mango or with the NGO?
We do have a few part qualified applicants on the register who are effective and active register members due to the experience and expertise that they already have. NGO's selection criteria often specifies the need for qualified accountants as an essential requirement. Mango has to satisfy these requirements. If you are thinking of applying and are part qualified with no NGO experience, we would encourage you to delay your application until you can apply as a qualified accountant. This will improve your chances of being selected for the register and for a subsequent placement with an NGO.
In general accompanied positions are not considered for short to medium term placements of under 12 months. Many of the roles we handle have unaccompanied status and for longer-term placements there are sometimes opportunities to be accompanied by family. Many of the locations where relief and development NGOs are working are often unsuitable for families due to accommodation, security, visas or cost of living.
For an on-going programme the recruitment may be planned in advance and allow for a notice period of a couple of months. However for emergency programmes or where the need is more urgent, a month’s notice or less may be required. It is therefore advisable to discuss release with your employer and prepare as much in advance as possible.
The duration of placements is very flexible. Most contracts we handle are 6-12 months in length. The work undertaken, the overall programme length, funding and security issues can all affect both the initial contract term on offer and lead to the possibility of contract extension. Six months can easily turn into a year or even two!
Many larger employers run a secondment or sabbatical programme. This would enable you to undertake a placement and continue your employment contract on your return. Employers are often keen to support their staff in this way. The benefits for personal and professional development gained on an NGO assignment can be far reaching. See section below on gaining release from your employer.
If your employer does not have such a programme, you may need to leave your current employment. There are steps that you can take to inform yourself about what might be expected of you move in to the NGO sector and there is plenty of advice available to help you prepare for a placement whilst you are on the register. You may even consider volunteering in the field for a short period of time.
First have a look at your contract and staff handbook to check if there is a standard policy. Also talk to your line manager and Human Resources department. Then put a considered case across about how a secondment could benefit your development in your job. A successful field placement can enable professional and personal growth that could assist you in becoming capable of a more demanding role when you return to your employer. Feel free to contact the Recruitment Team to discuss this further.
When an NGO approaches us to help them recruit for a vacancy we search our database for candidates who match their needs. If you match the NGOs needs, we will email you with the job description to see if you would like to be put forward for the vacancy. If you do not want to be considered, just say no.
Everybody has different personal circumstances and interests and we welcome an open discussion with our register members about the kind of placements they would and would not consider. However, the more you limit the opportunities you would consider, the less chance there is that we will be able to find you a suitable placement. We encourage members of our register to make themselves available for as wide a range of placements as possible.
On the issue of security please be reassured that most NGOs are used to working in places where security is an issue. Some NGOs provide security training prior to departure and ongoing support to staff during a field assignment. It is a good idea to ask about security management at interview and prepare yourself by attending security awareness courses. (See Training FAQ #9)
We are very keen to recieve applications from around the world. All suitable applicants will be asked to attend a selection interview. These are generally face to face interivews with a panel of 2 interviewers. Where technology allows, we can arrange skype/telepone interviews but where there is a possibility to meet, we find this is much better for assessment purposes and for building positive long term relationships with sucessful applicants.
There are no age restrictions on membership. All we ask is that you are medically fit and capable of working in difficult physical environments, where access to medical and social facilities may be limited.
10 What training does Mango offer to its register members before departure on a placement?
On becoming a Mango register member you will be notified of suitable training courses that may be suitable to you. In particular Mango's two day FM4 course may be of interest: Introduction to Field Finance. This course is an introduction to field level NGO financial management for accountants new to the NGO sector or based in head office. It explores the specific issues that NGOs face in their fieldwork and helps accountants to adapt their skills to this environment. A discount is available for register members. Please email our Training Team as we are currently keeping a waiting list of interested participants in order to run the next course.
For the majority of placements, remuneration will be at market rates for the UK voluntary sector. Flights, insurance and accommodation and living costs while overseas will usually also be covered. Salary information for specific vacancies will be confirmed with potential candidates. Salaries for head office positions can range from circa £23,000 to £55,000. Salaries for field positions can range from circa £10,000 to £28,000. Some NGOs require people who have no previous NGO experience to work for expenses only for the first 12 months.
Mango recruit sstaff for field and head office positions. If your profile fits the requirements of a specific vacancy we will contact you with the job details so you can assess your suitability.
There are plenty of ways you can gain relevant qualifications and experience to strengthen your application to join Mango’s register and increase your chance of employment by an NGO. Here are a few ideas:
- If you are a part qualified accountant, then we recommend that you finish your studies before applying.
- Do a Mango training course such as our Introduction to Financial Managment in the Field (FM4) to explore how to transfer your existing skills to the NGO sector.
- If you lack NGO experience, you could get involved as a treasurer of a local charity near you in your spare time.
- Learn another language. Language skills will help reinforce your application and can be invaluable in the field. Consider French, Spanish, Portuguese, Arabic or Swahili. An ability to work in a second language is highly desirable.
- Gain an insight into different cultures by doing some independent travel in your annual leave rather than a package holiday. You could even use your holiday to volunteer for an NGO.
- Involvement in local multi cultural community projects or events can improve your cultural awareness and appreciation.
- Read Mango's Guide to Financial Management, section on context for an overview of what it is like working with NGOs.
- Find out more about what NGOs do - join their membership schemes, read their literature.
Every week Mango receives emails and phone calls from people from professional backgrounds other than accountancy who are keen to work in the NGO sector. Unfortunately, we cannot help here. However, these websites might be useful if you are looking for other ways to approach NGOs:
- Charity work in the UK www.charityjob.co.uk
- Jobs in Africa www.findajobinafrica.com
- Longer term placements with VSO www.vso.org.u k
- Positions with NGOs www.redr.org
- Skillshare International www.skillshare.org
- Aid Workers Network has some good advice www.aidworkers.net/
It is also well worth looking at individual charity’s own websites. Find out more about UK NGOs here: www.bond.org.uk
Mango's register includes financial management consultants - those people who have significant experience and specialist skills who are available for short-term assignments. If you are looking specifically for this kind of work, then go to the Consultants section of these pages to test your suitability. If you feel you are suitable, then follow the instructions in that section to apply online.
It is possible for some register members to be notified of consultancies as they arise. This will be possible if you have several years' NGO experience as well as experience operating as a consultant. If you are interested in this kind of work, as well as other kinds of work (such as field roles and head office roles) then we encourage you to apply to join the register.
If you are offered a position by an NGO, your contract will be with them, not with Mango.