Health and Safety Executive (HSE) Audit and Risk Assurance Committee – Independent Member

Body: Health and Safety Executive (HSE)
Appointing Department: Department for Work and Pensions
Sector: Regulation
Location: London
Skills required: Audit and Risk
Number of Vacancies: 1
Remuneration: £3,000 per annum plus reasonable out of pocket expenses.
Time Requirements: The Audit and Risk Assurance Committee meets four times per year. It is expected that approximately 8 days per year will be required. This includes Committee attendance and preparation and any advisory work to support the governance of the organisation.

This is not a ministerial appointment.

Campaign Timeline

  • Competition Launched


  • Closed for Applications


  • Panel Sift


  • Final Interview Date


  • Announcement



Assessment Panel

Vacancy Description

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is a Crown Executive Non-Departmental Public Body sponsored by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

We are the independent regulator for work-related health and safety. Our wide ranging activities include overseeing major hazard safety regimes (including offshore oil and gas and onshore chemical processing), workplace inspections, accident investigations, policy development and publishing guidance and research.

We are highly regarded both nationally and internationally. The benefits that our work brings to business, workers and the UK economy are clear. Improved health and safety risk management protects workers and translates into reduced sickness absence, lower healthcare and welfare costs, and better productivity.

Great Britain’s health and safety record is the envy of much of the world. Central to thisis our core purpose to save lives by reducing risk and protecting people and the environment.

We are also working to improve building safety with the establishment of the Building Safety Regulator and extending our environmental protection role with the establishment of several chemicals regulation regimes, such as biocidal products, plant protection and UK REACH.

We currently employ around 2,600 FTE staff, and have an annual expenditure of c£250M. More information about us can be found in the Annual Report, Business Plan and on our website.


The Audit and Risk Committee

The HSE Board is responsible for ensuring that an effective framework of governance, risk management and control is in place.

The Audit and Risk Assurance Committee plays a crucial role in supporting the Board to meet these obligations. The role is a challenging one and needs strong, independent members with an appropriate range of skills and experience. It benefits from a strong collaborative relationship with the organisation but also needs to act as the conscience of the organisation and to provide insight and strong constructive challenge where required, such as on risks arising from fiscal and resource constraints, new service delivery models, information flows on risk and control and the agility of the organisation to respond to emerging risks.

As a sub-committee of the HSE Board, the purpose of the Audit and Risk Assurance Committee is to

  • review the comprehensiveness of assurances on governance, risk management and the
  • control environment in meeting the Board and Accounting Officer’s assurance needs;
  • review the reliability and integrity of these assurances
  • review the integrity of the financial statements; and
  • advise the Board and Accounting Officer about how well assurances support them in

decision-taking and in discharging their accountability obligations


The Audit and Risk Assurance Committee ‘s key activities comprise:

  • Reviewing strategic processes for risk, control and governance and making recommendations for improvement
  • Considering the assurances in relation to the integrity of the financial statements, including adequacy and appropriateness of the accounting policies.
  • Ensuring that financial controls and systems of governance, risk management and internal control are robust.
  • Guiding the development and direction of assurance activity (including but not limited to internal and external audit) through consideration of the integrated assurance plan
  • Consideration of the outcomes from assurance activity, and assessing the impact on the overall control environment, including making any recommendations for improvement as necessary.
  • Reviewing the adequacy and timeliness of the implementation of management actions to address control weaknesses highlighted through assurance reviews. The current Terms of Reference are provided at Annex A.


About The Role

The Committee comprises three non-executive members of the HSE Board, one of whom serves as Chair of the Audit and Risk Assurance Committee, and one independent member. The independent Audit and Risk Committee Member will provide specialist and independent input into the Committee, helping to ensure that HSE is managed in a manner that is risk aware, effective and is a model of good corporate governance.

As an independent ARAC member you are expected to:

  • Engage with relevant Executives to achieve a full understanding of the HSE’s functions and provide advice outside the confines of the Audit and Risk Assurance Committee.
  • Prepare, attend and actively contribute to quarterly Audit and Risk Assurance Committee meetings
  • Contribute impartial advice on the adequacies of assurances provided on financial and risk management, internal controls, the outcomes of assurance activity and on any implications for corporate governance.
  • Constructively challenge the assurances provided and draw on ways in which those assurances could be developed from your own professional background, while respecting executive responsibility.
  • Maintain familiarity with the HSE internal and external landscape to enable appropriate challenge and relevant assurance.
  • Maintain an open and professional line of communication and relationship with all key stakeholders including the Accounting Officer, Director of Finance, Head of Business Assurance and external and internal auditors.
  • Promote a culture of ethical awareness, integrity and accountability.
  • Respect confidentiality and declare conflicts of interest.
  • Take part in corporate initiatives and training as required, to support the continuous improvement of HSE.
  • Act in accordance with accepted standards of behaviour in public life

Ensure that the ARAC acts as an effective body which adds value to HSE and acts in best interests of wider public


Person Specification

Essential Criteria:

Skills and Expertise

  • Accountant holding a current professional accounting qualification recognised for practice in the UK
  • Board level [or equivalent] experience of ensuring effective financial and risk management, with sufficient financial experience to support understanding of good financial discipline.
  • Senior level business or operational experience – leading and operating within complex, multi-disciplinary organisations with a track record of delivering organisational change, and a proven ability to influence strategic debates and decisions on a breadth of corporate issues.
  • An ability to analyse complex information, maintain a sense of perspective and to pick out critical issues, and to question intelligently, debate constructively, challenge rigorously and decide independently, while respecting executive responsibilities.
  • Effective communication and relationship building skills, including the ability to negotiate, influence, challenge and listen sensitively to the views of others.
  • Commercially and politically aware with the ability to understand and translate the impact of external factors in the context of HSE.
  • An understanding of the three lines of defence assurance model and its role in effective governance in the context of significant organisational growth and change.


Other Attributes

  • Willing to share expertise with the Board, Committee members and Executives and support others to build related skills where possible.
  • High levels of integrity and probity, and the ability to act fairly and impartially, and always in the best interests of HSE.
  • An interest in the health and safety agenda and a broad commitment to the goals of HSE.



  • Broad understanding of the public sector environment, specifically in relation to effective corporate governance.
  • Experience of public sector accounting preferably including exposure to governmental arm’s length bodies.
  • Previous experience of chairing or sitting on an Audit and Risk Assurance Committee


How to Apply

To apply for this role please supply the following materials by 23:00 on 18 June 2021.

Part 1: Curriculum Vitaemaximum 2 pages

Part 2: Covering Letter – Explaining how you meet the essential criteria – max 3 pages

Please Note:

You will be sent an Online Monitoring Form – Candidate equality information form to complete once your application has been received.

Please email your CV and Covering Letter to Dawn Hepworth by 23:00 on 18 June 2021. Please include the reference “Independent HSE ARAC Member” in the subject of your email.

We are unable to accept any applications submitted after the closing date.

An Assessment Panel will consider your suitability for the role against the selection criteria, using initially only the evidence you have provided in your covering letter and CV, and then should you be invited, the information that you provide at interview.



The Equality Act 2010 legally protects people from discrimination in the workplace and in wider society. DWP is committed to implementing the Act in all recruitment and selection activity.

HSE is committed to providing services which embrace and value diversity and promote equality of opportunity. Our goal is to ensure that these commitments, reinforced by our Values, are embedded in our day-to-day working practices with all our customers, colleagues and partners. We do not discriminate on the basis of age, disability, gender, marital status, sexual orientation, religion or belief, race, colour, nationality, ethnic or national origin, or (in Northern Ireland) community background, working pattern, employment status, gender identity (transgender), caring responsibility, trade union membership.

Disability Confident Scheme

The Disability Confident scheme has replaced the Guaranteed Interview Scheme. DWP and its Arms-Length Bodies, are accredited users of the Disability Confident symbol, which signifies organisations that have a positive attitude towards applicants who have a disability.

All Disability Confident Employers will offer interviews to disabled candidates who meet the minimum requirements for a job or role. If you wish to apply for consideration under this scheme, please complete the declaration in the Diversity Monitoring Form provided. It is not necessary to state the nature of your disability.

Whether you choose to apply under the Disability Confident scheme or not, you can still ask us to make particular adjustments for you when attending an interview. You can also contact us if you want to discuss the criteria for the role or have questions regarding your application.

Reasonable Adjustments

If you have a disability and require reasonable adjustments to enable you to attend for interview, please advise us when you return your application.

Please email your application to:

ARAC Independent Member Recruitment Pack - June 2021 v4

This post is NOT regulated by The Commissioner for Public Appointments.

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