Deputy Chair - Security Vetting Appeals Panel

Body: Security Vetting Appeals Panel
Appointing Department: Cabinet Office
Sectors: Charity & Public Sector, Defence
Location: London
Number of Vacancies: 2 Deputy Chair's
Remuneration: £240.00 (or the applicable judicial fee) on a per diem basis + reasonable travel and subsistence.
Time Requirements: 5-10 days per year


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

Sir Anthony Edwards-Stuart was appointed as Deputy Chair of the Security Vetting Appeals Panel for a period of 4 years from 01/04/2018.

Date: 22/06/2020

Campaign Timeline

  • Competition Launched


  • Closed for Applications

    23:59 12/11/2017

  • Panel Sift


  • Final Interview Date

    Week Commencing 29/01/2018

  • Announcement

    Week Commencing 26/03/2018


Assessment Panel

Vacancy Description

The Security Vetting Appeals Panel is an advisory non-departmental public body, sponsored by the Cabinet Office, established in July 1997. It hears appeals against the refusal or withdrawal of national security vetting clearance and is available to all those in the public and private sectors and in the Armed Forces who have exhausted internal appeal processes and remain dissatisfied with the outcome.

The Panel is a quasi-judicial body and comprises a Chair, a Deputy Chair and eight lay members. It is also carrying a vacancy for a second Deputy Chair. Due to the nature of the Panel’s work, the Chair and Deputy Chair positions require them to have current or recent senior judicial experience (High Court judges as a minimum). Also, given the possible draw on their time, it is preferable for the post-holders to be retired.

The Panel conducts hearings and makes non-binding recommendations to Heads of Organisations (or equivalent). Cases are normally heard by a panel of three, consisting of the Chair or a Deputy Chair supported by two lay Members. The Panel is supported by a small secretariat in the Cabinet Office.

The Panel sets out to examine the information upon which a national security vetting clearance decision has been based and the reasoning behind it. It can recommend that the decision to refuse or withdraw security clearance should stand or that security clearance should be granted or restored. It may also comment on the organisation’s security vetting procedures and the adequacy of their internal appeals process, and make recommendations. Its reports are not published, but copies are provided to the Head of the Organisation and to the appellant.

Person Specification

Successful applicants will need to be able to demonstrate:


  • Experience of presiding over hearings which require complex legal arguments to be assessed and authoritative rulings made, which might be subject to further legal challenge.
  • The ability to question witnesses and manage legal representatives in order to conduct a hearing involving conflicting arguments and evidence effectively.
  • The ability to manage the contribution of lay Members in an authoritative but open way.
  • The ability to examine and analyse complex issues in an impartial way.
  • A commitment to consensual decision-making.
  • Good communication and team-working skills.
  • The ability to draft reports of case hearings.


  • The ability to put forward balanced recommendations to Heads of Organisations in individual cases which may be highly critical of the action of those organisations or specific individuals within them.
  • The ability to discuss policy issues and put forward proposals for change to Permanent Secretaries and, if necessary, Ministers.
  • The ability to command the confidence of Ministers, Parliament and the public.

Additional Information

These are Prime Ministerial appointments, for a period of up to four years, and are regulated by the Commissioner for Public Appointments. Most Panel hearings take place in London, but the Panel occasionally hears cases in Belfast. Applicants should consider whether any other roles they hold might present a conflict with possible parties to appeal proceedings.

Owing to the nature of the work, these posts are designated ‘Reserved’ for UK nationals only and appointments are made subject to the granting of Developed Vetting (DV) security clearance. Successful candidates will therefore be required to hold DV or be willing to undergo the DV process before any appointment can be confirmed. Successful candidates should be available to take up post from 1 April 2018.

For more information about the national security vetting process, please see

How to Apply

These appointments are governed by the principles of public appointments based on merit after an open and fair process. The Cabinet Office is committed to a policy of equal opportunities. Applications are particularly welcome from women, people with a disability and those from a black or ethnic minority background who are all under-represented at this level in public life. The balance of the Panel will ideally bring an overall mix of experience and expertise.

Applications must include the following documentation (submitting a CV alone will not be sufficient):

• a full CV, with your education, professional qualifications and full employment history;
• a supporting letter (maximum 2xA4 pages) setting out your suitability for the role and how you meet the person specification; and
• a completed ‘Public Appointments Monitoring Form’ (attached).

All requests and submissions should be made as follows:

By email to:


By post to: SVAP Secretariat
Cabinet Office
Room 335
70 Whitehall
London SW1A 2AS

A ‘Candidate Information Pack’ is also attached. Anyone wishing to discuss the vacancies should contact the SVAP Secretary, Martin Sterling on 0207 276 5645.

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