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

Body: Food Standards Agency
Appointing Department: Department of Health and Social Care
Sector: Environment, Food & Rural Affairs
Location: London and Wales
Number of Vacancies: 1
Remuneration: Remuneration for the role totalling £14,000 will be paid per annum for working approximately 35 days per annum. This is made up of as follows: The Non-Executive Member for Wales will receive remuneration of £8,000 per annum for working approximately 20 days per annum. The Chair of the WFAC will receive a remuneration of £6,000 per annum for working approximately 15 days per annum.
Time Requirements: The time commitment for the Non-Executive Member for Wales is 20 days per annum. The Board and Committee meetings are on fixed dates and take place over two consecutive days and include overnight stays and attendance at Board working dinners. In the first few months there will be a requirement to participate in the structured induction programme and this will require a commitment of a further number of days. The time commitment for the Chair of the WFAC is 15 days per annum. the WFAC gathers eleven times in the year for a variety of themed open meetings, planning sessions and closed Skype meetings. In addition, Committee members are expected to attend the annual Royal Welsh show and ad hoc events.

Campaign Timeline

  • Competition Launched


  • Closed for Applications

    13/02/2020 at 12:00

  • Panel Sift


  • Final Interview Date


  • Announcement



Assessment Panel

Vacancy Description

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.


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.


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.


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.

Advert - Wales and WFAC - Jan 2020 CYMRAEG
Advert - Wales and WFAC - Jan 2020
Candidate pack for Wales 2020 - Jan 2020 CYMRAEG
Candidate pack for Wales 2020 - Jan 2020
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