Chair - Human Tissue Authority (VAC-1663)

Body: Human Tissue Authority
Appointing Department: Department of Health
Sector: Health
Location: London
Number of Vacancies: 1
Remuneration: The role is remunerated at £42,000 per annum
Time Requirements: Two to three days per week

Campaign Timeline

  • Competition Launched


  • Closed for Applications

    10/04/2019 at 12:00

  • Panel Sift


  • Final Interview Date


  • Announcement



Assessment Panel

Vacancy Description

The Chair of the Human Tissue Authority (HTA) will be accountable to the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care and will:

  • Provide leadership, challenge and direction to the organisation, encouraging and enabling the HTA to be a first-class regulator of human tissue;
  • Ensure that the HTA carries out its statutory functions under the Human Tissue Act 2004 and meets the Government’s policies and priorities for the sector, complying with directions and guidance issued by the Secretary of State;
  • In partnership with the Chief Executive, set the tone for excellent working relationships between the HTA and key stakeholders to ensure the confidence in the work of the HTA of those who use services, the wider public, the regulated sector, Government and Parliament;
  • Work with the Authority to set the strategic direction of the HTA and ensure resources are managed effectively with a focus on the development of HTA staff and organisational transformation, reflecting the organisation’s role and values as a first-class regulator; and
  • As Chair, build, develop and improve the Authority providing guidance and support to all Authority members, ensuring their effective induction, support and development and advising the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) on their performance.


Person Specification

The Department of Health and Social Care values and promotes diversity and encourages applications from all sections of the community. The boards of public bodies should reflect the population they are there to serve. Boards also benefit from fresh perspectives, and we are always keen to encourage candidates with private sector experience to consider applying for our roles

Essential Criteria

To be considered, you must be able to demonstrate that you have the qualities, skills and experience to meet all the essential criteria for appointment.

  • Ability to chair a national organisation and lead in organisational improvement and horizon scanning;
  • Ability to collaborate effectively to lead change in a large, complex system;
  • An effective (public) communicator, able to address high-profile, complex and sensitive scientific and ethical issues in a way that maintains public confidence;
  • Ability to set the tone for excellent working relationships between the HTA, DHSC and its stakeholders, and to ensure continued confidence within government and of those who are regulated by the HTA; and
  • An understanding of diversity, equal opportunities and human rights issues and a commitment to applying best practice to the work of the HTA.

 The Chair cannot have or have had a professional interest in any of the kinds of activity within the remit of the Human Tissue Authority.


Additional Information

The HTA’s key priority is to maintain public and professional confidence in the removal, storage and use of human tissue by ensuring that these activities are undertaken safely and ethically, and with proper consent.

The HTA was established as an Executive Non-Departmental Public Body on 1 April 2005 under the Human Tissue Act 2004.  It also acts as a Competent Authority in relation to EU legislation covering tissues and cells used in patient treatment, and organ donation and transplantation.

The HTA licences organisations that remove, store and use human tissue and organs for purposes such as research, transplantation, post mortem examination, anatomical examination and public display, as set out in its governing legislation.  The HTA publishes Codes of Practice and Standards relating to the conduct of activities within its remit, and superintends compliance with standards through a risk-based programme of audit and inspection.  It also plays a regulatory role in living organ donation, ensuring that valid consent is given and no coercion or reward takes place.

The HTA’s remit under the Human Tissue Act extends to England, Wales and Northern Ireland. It also carries out some functions (in relation to EU legislation, regulating living donation, and keeping of registers), on behalf of the Scottish Government.  Since December 2015, the Human Transplantation (Wales) Act 2013 has governed consent for organ and tissue donation in Wales, for which the HTA has produced a Code of Practice and oversees compliance.

The HTA underwent a Triennial Review in 2015, with key findings including:  clear evidence that it performs necessary functions to a high standard, and that it is very highly regarded by the large majority of stakeholders from whom the team received views. The HTA’s actions have been completed and it is preparing an overarching report on all recommendations this autumn.

In addition to its roles in licensing, inspection and approving living organ donations, the HTA has a statutory duty to provide advice and guidance to the public, and professionals, on activities within its remit.  It also has a duty to monitor developments and advise the Secretary of State, and counterparts in devolved administrations, on related issues.

As a regulator, the HTA seeks to work with stakeholders to encourage improvement, remaining accessible and responsive to a changing environment and the needs of the organisations it regulates. It is regarded as being in a unique position to comment and offer guidance on challenging issues which fall on the edge of its regulatory remit.

Recent issues which the HTA has worked with others to provide advice on include;

  • Cryopreservation of bodies;
  • Disposal of foetal remains;
  • Websites seeking to match organ donors and recipients;
  • Plans to develop a taphonomy facility in the UK (a body farm); and
  • Winter capacity and contingency preparations for mortuaries.
  • EU Exit preparedness

The HTA works closely with other regulators and industry to ensure that regulation supports innovation, whilst protecting public confidence.

An example of this is the Regulatory Advice Service for Regenerative Medicine (RASRM), which is a ‘One Stop Shop’ for research and development professionals across academia, industry, and the NHS.

HTA has also been working closely with the Science Research and Evidence team at the Department of Health and Social Care, and using its specialist knowledge and expertise to provide significant input to the Government’s response to the House of Commons Science and Technology Select Committee’s report into Regenerative Medicine.

In the context of Government focus on its industrial strategy and the life sciences, HTA has identified various opportunities for improving the current legislative framework. This will become ever more necessary as the technology and science moves on and regulation will need to remain apace.

The Authority’s Chair and Members are appointed by the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care. The Chair and half of the members are lay, with the remainder being professionals drawn from some of the groups who are affected by the legislation.

This year, the HTA will be holding its public Authority meeting on 9th May 2019.

Link to


HTA_Chair_Candidate Information pack_final
DHSC diversity & monitoring form (PA)
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