Chair of the British Pharmacopoeia Commission (BPC) VAC-1711

Body: British Pharmacopoeia Commission (BPC)
Appointing Department: Department of Health and Social Care
Sector: Health and Social Care
Location: London
Number of Vacancies: 1
Remuneration: Remuneration will be £500 per meeting
Time Requirements: There is a time commitment of three BPC meetings per year. The Chair will also attend three 2-day meetings, and two 1-day meetings per year.


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

Professor Kevin Taylor’s appointment as chair of the British Pharmacopoeia Commission (BPC) has been extended for one year from 1 October 2021.

The appointment will involve a time commitment of 3 one-day BPC meetings per year, and attendance at European Pharmacopoeia Commission meetings as required (usually 3 two-day meetings per year). Remuneration for the role will be at a rate of £500 per meeting.

This appointment is made in accordance with the Cabinet Office Code of Governance for Public Appointments. The regulation of public appointments against the requirements of this Code is carried out by the Commissioner for Public Appointments.

The appointment is made on merit and political activity played no part in the decision process. However, in accordance with the Code, there is a requirement for appointees’ political activity (if any declared) to be made public. Professor Taylor has not declared any political activity.

Date: 26/04/2021

View Announcement

Campaign Timeline

  • Competition Launched


  • Closed for Applications

    02/03/2021 at 12:00

  • Panel Sift


  • Final Interview Date


  • Announcement



Assessment Panel

Vacancy Description


Role of the Chair

  • To chair effectively the BPC to ensure that it fulfils its duties under the Human Medicines Regulations with respect to preparation of the British Pharmacopoeia, the British Pharmacopoeia (Veterinary) and British Approved Names;
  • to assist Ministers in discharging their obligations under the Convention on the Elaboration of a European Pharmacopoeia;
  • to chair the meetings of the BPC, both scheduled (usually 3 one-day meetings per year) or unscheduled, act as its spokesperson and ensure that the proceedings of the BPC run smoothly and efficiently so that it can complete its business in a timely manner;
  • to ensure that all the views of the BPC members are captured and explored and that all outcomes of discussions are clearly identified;
  • to ensure that the minutes of meetings, prepared by the Secretariat, accurately record the discussions and decisions taken and to sign, on behalf of the BPC, a copy of the agreed minutes to form a permanent record of the BPC’s business;
  • to conduct annual appraisals of BPC members’ performance;
  • to ensure that all BPC members comply with the Code of Practice on Declaring Interests in the Pharmaceutical Industry and complete the annual declaration of interests form in a timely manner;
  • to assist in the appointment of new members of the Commission;
  • to ensure that new members of the BPC are adequately briefed when appointed;
  • to provide formal and informal advice to Ministers between meetings when required;
  • to attend sessions of the European Pharmacopoeia Commission as part of the United Kingdom delegation; sessions may be scheduled (usually 3 two-day sessions per year) or unscheduled.


Person Specification

Qualities required for the role of the Chair

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.

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.

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.

The successful candidate will:

  • Be recognised by their peers as an eminent member of their profession and have wide and recent experience of and shown capacity in at least one of the following activities:
  • the practice of analytical chemistry
  • the practice of pharmacy
  • the biological sciences
  • herbal medicine
  • academic research and teaching
  • medicines standardisation/control
  • the practice or control of veterinary medicines
  • the hospital service
  • Possess an in-depth understanding of the purpose and function of a pharmacopoeia and its place in the overall regulatory system (UK and Europe).
  • Be aware of the factors that influence international pharmacopoeial activities and their potential impact at national level.
  • Have the ability to Chair a committee/board effectively;
  • Be both impartial and objective.
  • Have no interests in the pharmaceutical industry (i.e. shares, consultancy fees, etc) or will confirm willingness to relinquish all such interests prior to appointment.


Additional Information

BPC’s roles and responsibilities

The British Pharmacopoeia Commission was established in 1970 under Section 4 of the Medicines Act 1968 (superseded by the Human Medicines Regulations 2012). It is an Advisory Non-Departmental Public Body, sponsored by the Department of Health and Social Care. As such, it has no staff but is supported by a Secretariat from the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). It has strong links with the wider MHRA, the National Institute of Biological Standards and Control, the pharmaceutical industry and academia.

The key role of the BPC is the preparation of the annual editions of the British Pharmacopoeia (BP), which is widely recognised as one of the leading global pharmacopoeias. The publicly available and legally enforceable pharmacopoeial standards are designed to complement and assist the licensing and inspection processes and are part of the system for safeguarding purchasers and users of medicinal products.

The BPC has responded to the changing pharmaceutical environment, to changes in priorities for the European Pharmacopoeia Commission and to the changes taking place within the MHRA to ensure that the agency is fit for the future. This includes supporting innovation and ensuring the safe production and supply of medicines. Current strategic priorities for the BPC include the development of appropriate standards for biological medicines, particularly in the area of Advanced Therapy Medicinal Products, a comprehensive review of the BP portfolio, both in terms of written and physical standards, significant improvements to the BP website and the potential application of Analytical Quality by Design principles to the development of national monographs. The BPC plays a significant role in the work of the European Pharmacopoeia, contributing to the development of policies and monographs for that pharmacopoeia, and works closely with other national and international pharmacopoeias.

Over the last year the BPC has supported the wider healthcare response to the Covid-19 pandemic by ensuring continued access to BP standards and maintaining the supply of supporting reference substances. Further information can be found on the Covid-19 page of the BP website (The BP and Coronavirus).

Members of the BPC also serve on the Expert Advisory Groups and Panels of Experts responsible for developing national monographs, thereby ensuring that the strategic priorities of the BP Commission are implemented within these groups. All members are required to comply with the Code of Practice on Declaring Interests in the Pharmaceutical Industry.

An annual report, highlighting the work of the BPC, is published each year. The most recent report is for 2019 (Annual Report 2019).

For further information, see the BP website (


Further Information from Professor Kevin Taylor (outgoing Chair)

What does the role of Chair of the BPC involve?

The Chair has significant responsibilities, and is often the figurehead and spokesperson for the BP.

A key role is to provide leadership to the BPC, ensuring the preparation of appropriate new and revised texts for the British Pharmacopoeia, which is published each year. This requires fostering constructive and productive relationships between Commission members, the BP Secretariat, BP Laboratory staff, and members of the BP’s Expert Advisory Groups and Panels of Experts. The Chair will draw upon their own (and others’) knowledge and experience of the international regulatory and pharmacopoeial landscapes, and their understanding of therapeutic and analytical developments, to ensure the strategic positioning of the BP to enhance its international standing.

What have been the highlights of your time on the Commission?

As I near the end of my second term as Chair, I realise how much I have enjoyed the experience. I feel very privileged to have had the opportunity to work with a really committed group of Commissioners and BP staff dedicated to maintaining the BP as an international pharmacopoeia with a reputation for innovation, high quality standards, and for engaging actively with its users.

In thinking about the many changes and developments at the BP during my time as Chair, highlights include the great improvements to the BP website over the years, and the way the BP has forged an international reputation for leading on pharmacopoeial developments in new areas, such as developing standards for biological medicines and analytical quality by design.

How to Apply

To make an application please email your CV, a supporting letter and completed Monitoring form to: – please quote ref: 1711 in the subject field.

If you are unable to apply by email please contact:

Ryan Lloyd

Appointments Team

Tel:  0113 2545929


Applications must be received by midday on 02 March.

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 Advisory Assessment Panel if you can be clear which specific evidence you provide relates to which criteria. Providing separate paragraphs in relation to each criterion is common practice. Please write all acronyms in full first.

Please ensure your full name, the role to which you are applying 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.

Conflicts of interest

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

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

The Chair and members must comply with the BPC Code of Practice on Declaring Interests in the Pharmaceutical Industry (Link) and provide an annual declaration. All members are subject to an annual appraisal.

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 (including any convictions or bankruptcy) that could, if you were appointed, be misconstrued, cause embarrassment to Ministers or the BPC or cause public confidence in the appointment to be jeopardised, it is important that you bring them to the attention of the Advisory Assessment Panel and provide details of the issue/s in your Supporting letter. In considering whether you wish to declare any issues, you should also reflect on any public statements you have made, including through social media and blogs. Due Diligence may be carried out on any publicly available information and shared with the Advisory Assessment Panel.

The panel may explore any issues you declare with you before they make a recommendation on the appointment.

Failure to disclose such information could result in an appointment being terminated, as those who hold public appointments are expected to demonstrate the highest standards of corporate and personal conduct and are required to subscribe to the Code of Conduct for Board Members of Public Bodies, as part of agreeing to the terms and conditions of appointment. You can access this document at:

There are also circumstances in which individuals may not be considered for appointment, due to them not meeting certain eligibility criteria for appointment. For further information, please refer to Section 2.3: Eligibility Criteria

If you wish to discuss any queries on conflicts, please see the contacts section.


Please ensure your CV includes:

  • Your full name, title, home address, personal contact telephone numbers (land line and mobile), personal email address and details of any twitter accounts and LinkedIn accounts including your Twitter handle/username.
  • 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. Monitoring information will not be seen by the Advisory Assessment Panel assessing your application.

Political activity information is primarily for monitoring purposes only, however if you are shortlisted for interview, this information will be shared with the panel. The reason for this is that it is appreciated that such activities may have given you relevant skills, including experience gained from committee work, collective decision-making, resolving conflict and public speaking. If you have had such experience and you consider it relevant to your application for this post, you should also take the opportunity to include it separately in your supporting statement. If possible, you should not, however, identify the relevant political party in your statement.

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.

Disability Confident Scheme

The Department of Health and Social Care values and promotes diversity and is committed to equality of opportunity for all and to the appointment of disabled people. As part of the Disability Confident Scheme, we guarantee an interview to anyone with a disability who applies under the Scheme and whose application meets the essential criteria for the post.

What do we mean by a disability?

To be eligible for the Disability Confident Scheme (DCS) you must have a disability or long-term health condition, which could be physical, sensory or mental and must be expected to last for at least 12 months. You do not have to be registered as a disabled person to apply under this scheme.

If you wish to apply under the DCS please complete section E of the Monitoring form and return it with your application.

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

For further information regarding the role of the BPC and the role of Chair please contact:

Name:  Mr James Pound

Tel:  020 3080 6430



For further information regarding the selection process, please contact

Ryan Lloyd

Appointments Team

Tel:  0113 2545929


Please quote reference VAC-1711 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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