Chief Regulator, The Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation (Ofqual)

Body: Ofqual
Appointing Department: Department for Education
Sectors: Charity & Public Sector, Regulation
Location: West Midlands
Number of Vacancies: 1
Remuneration: Up to £135,000
Time Requirements: Full time


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

Dr Jo Saxton has been appointed as Chief Regulator of the Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation (Ofqual). She will serve from 18 September 2021 for a period of 5 years.

Remuneration is £135,000 per annum, plus a £30,000 non-consolidated, non-pensionable allowance for travel and subsistence to and from Coventry. The role is full time.

Dr Saxton has not declared any conflicts of interest or political activity.

The Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation is a non-ministerial government department that regulates qualifications, examinations and assessments in England. The appointment is made by Her Majesty the Queen.

Date: 07/10/2021

View Announcement

Campaign Timeline

  • Competition Launched


  • Closed for Applications

    16/03/2021 at 17:00

  • Panel Sift


  • Final Interview Date

    27 April and 29 April 2021

  • Announcement


Please note that the deadline for applications has been extended to 5pm on 16th March. Interviews will be held virtually. Please ensure you bear the interview dates in mind when planning other commitments - we may not have any flexibility on these.


Assessment Panel

Vacancy Description

As Chief Regulator / Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Ofqual, you will be responsible for delivering on Ofqual’s statutory duties – including to maintain standards and promote confidence in qualifications and assessments – taking account of the extraordinary circumstances created by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Your main responsibilities will be to:

  • Lead Ofqual in acting as the independent regulator of qualifications and assessments in England
  • Represent Ofqual to the public, ministers, Parliament and media
  • Lead public debate in relation to the maintenance of both standards and confidence in examinations, qualifications and assessments
  • Ensure that qualification reform programmes are delivered successfully, working closely with government and awarding organisations
  • Be responsible for the overall leadership, management, organisation and staffing of Ofqual, building capacity and capability to respond to the particular challenges created by the Covid-19 pandemic and restoring confidence in the organisation
  • Be responsible for financial and other practices and procedures including conduct and discipline
  • Promote the values underpinning Ofqual, through personal leadership and example
  • Coordinate and implement policies and actions determined by the Board.


Person Specification

We recommend that applicants familiarise themselves with the role of the Chief Regulator set out in Part 7of the Apprenticeships, Skills, Children and Learning Act 2009 ( and Part 4 of the Education Act 2011 and with the work of Ofqual.

The successful candidate must be able to demonstrate the following essential criteria:

  • proven track record of operating successfully in a senior leadership role, including the delivery of major projects – demonstrating the ability to play a key role in the leadership of the English education system and to provide strong and inspirational leadership to Ofqual and to the qualifications and wider education sector through a challenging period
  • a commitment to ensuring that qualifications and assessments are rigorous, valid and reliable
  • the ability to communicate effectively with, and command the respect and inspire the confidence of, ministers, parliament, awarding organisations and leaders in the education sector and of the Ofqual board and staff, as well as of students, parents and the general public; including the ability to represent Ofqual effectively in the media
  • the ability to skilfully navigate the political landscape, and a good understanding of the government’s educational reform programme, the role of the regulator in implementing the reforms and the particular challenges created by the Covid-19 pandemic
  • demonstrated ability to understand and process statistical information and academic research at speed
  • the resilience and confidence to make difficult decisions under pressure, in conjunction with the Ofqual Board.


The following are desirable criteria:

  • experience in the secondary or further education sector, and in particular an understanding of the role that qualifications play in an effective education and skills system and how they are developed and awarded; and/or
  • experience of working in a regulatory role.


Additional Information

The Department is focused on equality of opportunity and is committed to ensuring that public appointments better represent the views of the communities which we serve. We particularly encourage applicants from under-represented groups, those based outside London and the South-East, along with people who have achieved success through non-traditional educational routes.

How to Apply

The closing date for applications is 5pm on Tuesday 16th March 

Information on the timetable for this campaign, selection process and the Advisory Assessment Panel can be found on the Centre for Public Appointments website:

Please submit the following documents by email to:

  • A personal statement, which demonstrates how you meet the key requirements for the role, as set out in the “who we’re looking for” section. No more than two sides of A4 in Arial font 12.
  • A CV
  • Candidate application form
  • Diversity form

Please include the vacancy title in the subject box and submit each application document as a separate attachment.

We are happy to accept applications in alternative formats from applicants who, for reasons of disability, may find it difficult to fill in our standard form. If you would like to have a chat with us about reasonable adjustments please contact us at:

Please note the following:

  • we cannot accept applications submitted after the closing date
  • applications will be assessed solely on the documentation provided; please refer to the advert and checklist above to ensure you have provided everything requested
  • applications will be acknowledged upon receipt
  • we cannot provide feedback at application stage; feedback will only be given to candidates unsuccessful following interview
  • if a large number of applications is received, your application will be “pre-assessed” before it is passed to the shortlisting Panel for consideration. You should be aware that in this situation, your application might not be considered in full by all the members of the Panel.


This appointment comes under the scrutiny of the Commissioner for Public Appointments, Peter Riddell, and his office. Please note that the successful candidate will be required to attend a pre-appointment hearing with the Education Select Committee.



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