Non Executive Directorships

Board Member for Wales and Chair of the Welsh Food Advisory Committee – Food Standards Agency

Location: London and Wales

Date Posted: 16/01/2020

Closing Date: 13/02/2020

Vacancy Description

£14,000 pa

Ministers are seeking to make one appointment to the Board of the Food Standards Agency (FSA): a Non-Executive Member for Wales. The Non-Executive Member for Wales also holds the position as Chair of the Welsh Food Advisory Committee (the WFAC).

The FSA Board gathers six times in the year: four Board meetings and Business committee meetings, each for two days; and two strategic or retreat events, for two days. In addition, Board members are expected to attend FSA’s annual Parliamentary reception, can join ad hoc events such as science symposia, and from time to time may be asked to join short term working groups or review teams on specific subjects (usually alongside external experts). The Audit and Risk Advisory Committee meets in person four times a year, and by teleconference once a year.

The purpose of the Chair of the WFAC is to chair the WFAC and ensure that the Committee fulfils the requirement placed on the Advisory Committees by the Food Standards Act 1999 to give advice or information to the FSA about matters connected with its function (in particular matters affecting or otherwise relating to Wales). The Chair of the WFAC is accountable to the Chair of the FSA.

Roles and Responsibilities

The Member of the FSA Board for Wales has a responsibility to:

  • ensure the FSA discharges its statutory duties in line with the requirement to protect public health and consumer interests in relation to food;
  • set and to reinforce the FSA’s core values through the development and monitoring of strategic objectives, plans and policies;
  • represent the FSA and its values;
  • play an effective part in Board meetings, discussions and decisions;
  • monitor the performance of the Executive in meeting agreed objectives and targets, including: the delivery of services; continuous improvement; financial performance, and risk management;
  • assist with the appointment of the Chief Executive;
  • participate as a member or Chair of one or more of the Board Committees: Business, and Audit and Risk Assurance;
  • act in the public interest at all times, not as a representative of the interests of any particular sector, and without regard to any personal interests;
  • advise the FSA Board on matters relating to Wales; and
  • commit up to 20 days per annum to their FSA responsibilities. This covers Board and Committee meetings; Board awaydays, training and workshops; FSA events; travel to meetings across the UK; and thorough preparation for Board business.

Board members receive advice and support from the Executive in respect of their duties and are provided with background information in order to carry out their responsibilities. There is a dedicated secretariat to support the Board. The FSA Board is a paperless body.

In addition to the responsibilities of a Board member, the Chair of the Welsh Food Advisory Committee’s responsibilities are to:

  • serve as a member of the WFAC and to chair meetings in a manner that facilitates the effective contribution of Committee members by creating an environment in which they can share their knowledge and expertise;
  • plan the business for Committee meetings with the FSA Director in Wales, including pro-actively raising issues for the Committee to discuss;
  • guide the WFAC on the provision of advice or information to the FSA about matters connected with its functions, in particular those relating to Wales;
  • encourage the WFAC to reflect the Wales consumer voice and strengthen the consumer perspective, in relation to key issues that the FSA Board consider;
  • support the FSA in communications with key stakeholders in Wales and to build the relationships necessary for the effective operation of the Committee;
  • undertake a once per term appraisal of the performance of Committee members;
  • assist with the appointment of the FSA Director in Wales
  • act in the public interest at all times, not as a representative of the interests of any particular sector, and without regard to any personal interests; and
  • give approximately 15 days per annum in addition to any time commitment as Board Member, to the FSA and to travel to meetings across Wales.

Person Specification

Essential Criteria

Board members do not represent a particular industry or sector. To be considered for appointment, you must be able to demonstrate that you have the qualities, skills and experience to meet all the essential criteria set out below.

  • Ability to operate on the Board of a major national organisation, with a clear understanding of effective governance, collective responsibility and constructive challenge.
  • Proven strategic thinking and experience, able to help shape the FSA’s strategic direction.
  • Strong analytical and decision-making skills, able to weigh complex evidence and explain the basis for a decision.
  • Commitment to putting the consumer first, with an awareness of consumer interests in relation to food and how the global food system is changing.
  • Understand the stakeholder landscape that relates to food, public health and public administration in Wales.
  • Ability to demonstrate an understanding and commitment to equality and diversity.

and at least one of the following criteria:

  • Senior level expertise in public health.
  • Senior level experience in financial management or audit/assurance, in the public or private sector.
  • Leadership in a technology or data environment.
  • In depth understanding of the food sector, at UK or global level.
  • Welsh language skills.

The Welsh Government acknowledges the importance of developing and growing bilingual capabilities in public appointments in Wales and welcomes applications from candidates who demonstrate their capability to work in both English and Welsh.  The following list of language requirements represents an objective assessment by the recruiting body of the Welsh language skills required to undertake the duties of this particular post.

Reading –  Can read some basic words and phrases with understanding

Written –  Can write basic messages on everyday topics

Understanding – Can understand parts of a basic conversation

Spoken – Can hold a basic conversation in Welsh

In addition to the above criteria, the Chair of the Wales Food Advisory Committee will need to evidence the ability to:

  • chair high-level Board meetings in any sector;
  • understand the consumers’ interests in relation to food, in Wales; and
  • maintain composure in face of adversity and opposition.

Additional Information

Message from Heather Hancock

I’m delighted that you are considering applying for a non-executive role with the Food Standards Agency (FSA).

The FSA is a regulatory department, charged by law with protecting public health, and the wider interests of consumers, in relation to food. Our overarching aim is to ensure that the public can trust that their food is safe and authentic. We operate openly, in public, to sustain trust and confidence, and we act on the basis of science and evidence. We put public health and the consumer interest first. The Board sets the strategic priorities for fulfilling the FSA’s statutory purposes, agrees measures for the outcomes that we aim to achieve, and sets targets for these outcomes to measure our progress. The Board takes major decisions on public health and regulatory matters and assures the delivery of our programmes and plans. The FSA Board is currently determining its strategic priorities for 2020-2023, with a clear focus on EU Exit, the growing challenge of food hypersensitivity, and modernising the regulatory regime.

We have an unusual status as a non-Ministerial Government Department, serving England, Wales and Northern Ireland. That gives us a high degree of independence, and we operate free from political direction or control. We handle most of our own National Assembly for Wales and Parliamentary business, although legislation and ‘floor of the House’ matters are handled by the relevant Public Health Minister. The FSA works closely with our sister department in Scotland, Food Standards Scotland. We have a modest budget from the HM Treasury and Devolved Administrations in Wales and Northern Ireland, recover some costs from charging for regulatory services to businesses, and directly employ around 1,200 civil servants.

The FSA is the UK competent authority for food safety, and we lead on this for the UK, whilst in the EU. The FSA has worked hard to ensure that a complete, effective regulatory regime for food and feed is in place on exit day. This has included establishing or boosting domestic risk assessment and risk management functions and capacity, to replace those provided at EU level. But important fundamentals will not change: we will remain independent; the FSA and the three Governments we work with are publicly committed to maintaining our current food standards; we will sustain our influential global position on food safety and regulation.

Alongside our EU Exit preparations, we have been working to transform the regulatory regime for the 600,000+ food businesses we cover. The modern, agile and risk-based system we want to create will make more and better use of data and technology, takes greater ownership of standard setting, and enables resources to be better targeted at food businesses and issues that pose the greatest risk to consumers. The next 18 months will see us complete this model and the implementation of key elements is already underway.

My Board is enthused by the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead. The FSA’s ambition is to be regarded as an excellent, accountable, modern regulator. If you join us, your contribution will have an impact on the health and quality of life of everyone across the country.

In this pack you will find additional briefing on the FSA, details of the Board role we wish to fill, and details of how to apply. I look forward to receiving your application.

Location

Board meetings are held around England, though at least once a year a meeting is held in either Northern Ireland or Wales.

Most of the WFAC’s meetings will be held at the FSA’s office in Cardiff. However, Committee meetings may be held elsewhere in Wales.

2020 Board Meeting dates

  • Tuesday 10 and Wednesday 11 March 2020 (Clive House, London)
  • Tuesday 16 and Wednesday 17 June 2020 (England, exact location tbc)
  • Tuesday 15 and Wednesday 16 September 2020 (Wales, exact location tbc)
  • Monday 12 and Tuesday 13 October 2020 (England, exact location tbc)
  • Tuesday 1 and Wednesday 2 December 2020 (England, exact location tbc)

2020 the WFAC Meeting dates

  • 5 March
  • 23 April
  • 11 June
  • 16 July
  • 10 September
  • 22 October
  • 26 November

Tenure of office

Welsh Ministers determine the length of the appointment, which will be up to 3 years.

Pre-appointment

There are three members of the WFAC whose second terms of appointment come to an end on 30 June 2020. As this is the end of their second terms, they cannot be re-appointed.

The Chair of the FSA is keen for the incoming Chair of the WFAC to be involved in the campaign to recruit the three replacement WFAC members.

Therefore prior to the successful candidate starting as Board member for Wales and WFAC Chair on 1 July 2020, he or she will serve as a WFAC member for a short period until 30 June 2020. This will enable the outgoing Chair of the WFAC and the incoming Chair of WFAC to sit on the Selection Panel which will be required to appoint the new WFAC members.

During the period of appointment until 30 June 2020 renumeration will be as a WFAC member. WFAC members receive an honorarium of £3,885.00 for 21 days per annum. This will be paid pro-rata for the period of appointment until 30 June 2020.  As from 1 July 2020, remuneration will be as the FSA Board member for Wales and Chair of the WFAC.

Accountability

The FSA Board is accountable, through Health Ministers to: the Westminster Parliament; the Welsh Government; and the Northern Ireland Assembly. Communications to the Parliaments and Ministers will normally be through the Chair of the FSA. The formal appraisal reporting line for Board members is to the Chair of the FSA.

The FSA Board is an open and transparent decision-making body. Board meetings are held in public, are live streamed and recorded, and policy making and decisions take place in open session. The FSA Board operates in a paperless environment.

How to Apply

Thank you for your interest in the appointment of the Non-Executive Member to the Food Standards Agency for Wales and the Chair of the Welsh Food Advisory Committee.

To make an application please email us your CV, a supporting letter and completed diversity monitoring form. The email to send your application is as follows:Board.Sec@food.gov.uk  Please quote ref: VAC 2020 Wales.

If you are unable to apply by email you may send your application by post to:

Board Secretariat, Food Standards Agency, 7th Floor, Clive House, 70 Petty France, London SW1H 9EX

Applications must be received by midday on Thursday 13 February 2020.

In making an application please note the following:

Supporting letter

The supporting letter is your opportunity to demonstrate how you meet each of the criteria set out in the person specification. It will benefit the Assessment Panel if you can relate the particular evidence you provide to the role criteria. Providing separate paragraphs in relation to each criterion is common practice. Please write all acronyms in full first.

Please ensure your full name and the corresponding reference number for the post are clearly noted at the top of your letter.

Please limit your letter to two pages, and type or write clearly in black ink.

Declaration of interests and ensuring public confidence

If you have any business or personal interests that might be relevant to the work of the FSA and which could lead to a real or perceived conflict of interest were you to be appointed, please provide details in your supporting letter.

If appointed, you will also be required to declare these interests on appointment which will be entered into a register which is available to the public.

Standards in public life and ensuring public confidence

Given the nature of public appointments, it is important that those appointed as members of public bodies maintain the confidence of the public and Government. If there are any issues in your personal or professional history that could be misconstrued, cause embarrassment to Ministers or FSA or cause wider public confidence to be jeopardised, it is important that candidates bring them to the attention of the Assessment Panel. The panel may explore any such issues with you before they make a recommendation on the appointment.

Failure to disclose such information could result in an appointment being terminated. Also, please refer to the Eligibility Criteria for appointment section in Section 2.3 

CV

Please ensure your CV includes:

  • Your full name, title, home address, personal contact telephone numbers (land line and mobile) and personal email address
  • Similar contact details for two referees who will support your application. One referee should be the person to whom you are/were accountable in your current/most recent appointment or position of employment. Please indicate the relationship of each referee to you. References will be requested for short-listed candidates prior to interview
  • Brief details of your current or most recent post and the dates you occupied this role. Please identify any past or present Ministerial appointments.

 

Monitoring form

Please complete the monitoring form. Diversity monitoring information will not be seen by the Advisory Assessment Panel assessing your application.

If you are appointed to this role, please note that any political activity you declare will be published in accordance with the Governance Code on Public Appointments.

 

Guaranteed Interview Scheme

The Food Standards Agency operates a Guaranteed Interview Scheme (GIS) for disabled people. The Equality Act 2010 defines a person as disabled if they have a physical or mental impairment and the impairment has a substantial and long term adverse effect on their ability to carry out normal day to day activities. Under the GIS a disabled candidate will be selected for interview if they meet the essential criteria for the post.

If you wish to apply under the GIS please complete the GIS form and return it with your application.

All applications will be acknowledged by email after the closing date.

Contacts:

For further information regarding the selection process, please contact:

Name: Nicola Jenkins

Tel:  07855 514603

Email:  nicola.jenkins@food.gov.uk

 

For further information regarding the role of Member for Wales and the Chair of the WFAC as well as the role of the Food Standards Agency please contact:

Name: Ann Stirling

Tel: 07970 401448

Email: ann.stirling@food.gov.uk

Please quote reference VAC 2020 Wales on all correspondence.

If you choose to apply, we would like to thank you in advance for your time and effort in making an application.

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