Certification Officer

Body: Certification Office
Appointing Department: Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Sectors: Business, Finance & Skills, Regulation
Location: London
Skills required: Legal / Judicial, Regulation
Number of Vacancies: 1
Remuneration: The CO will receive a full time equivalent pay of £125,689 per annum.
Time Requirements: The CO will work 5 days per week, subject to negotiation by the Secretary of State.


An announcement has been made on the outcome of this appointment.

The Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy today (11 December) announced the appointment of Sarah Bedwell as the new Certification Officer.

The Certification Officer is responsible for statutory functions relating to trade unions and employers’ associations.

Sarah Bedwell will take up her role on 1 January 2018, replacing Gerard Walker, who has held the post since June 2016.


Sarah Bedwell has been the Director of Regulation at the Human Tissue Authority since 2011. Prior to this, she was the Deputy Chief Executive and Director of Governance and Registration at the Nursing and Midwifery Council between 2008 and 2011 and Deputy Chief Executive from 2010 to 2011, the Head of Governance at the General Medical Council between 2002 and 2008 and Head of Screening between 1998 and 2002, and Head of Legal and Fiscal Framework at the Charity Commission between 1995 and 1998.

Date: 11/12/2017

View Announcement

Campaign Timeline

  • Competition Launched


  • Closed for Applications


  • Panel Sift


  • Final Interview Date


  • Announcement


announced due on 11 Dec 2017


Assessment Panel

Vacancy Description

The Certification Officer (CO) is an independent statutory authority that is of considerable interest to Government Ministers and stakeholders. The officer has always played a key role in the UK’s industrial relations landscape, by regulating trade unions and employer associations, and ensuring their accountability to their members. The CO also investigates alleged breaches of trade union law; determines complaints from members regarding any breaches; and certifying the independence of trade unions.

The changes in the Trade Union Act 2016 will enhance the role of the CO to ensure robust and effective regulation of trade unions. This modernisation will bring the role up to date and in line with a modern system for industrial relations, a system that will hold unions fully to account to their members. The new functions include the authority to exercise enhanced investigatory powers into potential breaches of trade union law and subsequently issue financial penalties where they are deemed necessary.

The successful candidate for this role will join the Certification Office at a time of important change in the regulation of trade unions. The new CO’s key task will be to implement the Government’s reforms and we are looking for a candidate who can navigate and deliver this fresh new approach.

Person Specification

The postholder must be able to display:

  • Excellent inter-personal and communication skills and an ability to work at a senior level;
  • Demonstrated leadership through a period of significant change together with experience in implementing change and overseeing the management of risk;
  • The ability to analyse and evaluate complex information in order to deliver fair, balanced and proportionate judgments based on evidence and reasoned argument and present them clearly and accurately;
  • Effective leadership in any dispute in a manner that maintains public confidence in the impartiality and independence required of the Certification Officer; and
  • Demonstrate strong leadership ensuring requirements for the control and management of public expenditure are met.

Additional Information

BEIS is committed to providing equal opportunities for all, irrespective of race, age, disability, gender, marital status, religion, sexual orientation, transgender and working patterns and to the principle of public appointments on merit with independent assessments, openness and transparency of process.

BEIS offers professional training courses on public sector finance and governance for those new to the public sector.


How to Apply

The closing date for applications is Thursday 22nd June. Late applications will not be accepted.

Please submit the following documents by email to:


  • A Covering Letter                         ☐
  • A CV                                           ☐
  • Candidates Application Form         ☐

Please ensure that you include “Certification Officer” in the subject box.

Alternatively you can send your application in hard copy to:

Public Appointments Team, 7th Floor, 1 Victoria Street, London, SW1H OET

Applicant packs can be provided in other formats upon request.

Certification Officer - Applicant Pack
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