Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner

Body: Office of the Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner
Appointing Department: Home Office
Sectors: Charity & Public Sector, Communities, International, Judicial, Prison & Policing
Location: Expected Central London
Number of Vacancies: 1
Remuneration: £108,000 - £140,000
Time Requirements: Full time


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

Sara Thornton, a police officer with more than 30 years’ experience, will take up the role of the Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner to help spearhead the UK’s response to this devastating crime.
Ms Thornton, who is currently Chair of the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) and formerly Chief Constable at Thames Valley Police until 2015, was selected for the important role by the Home Secretary Sajid Javid following a competitive recruitment process.
The role was created as part of the landmark Modern Slavery Act 2015 and has a UK-wide remit to give independent advice on modern slavery issues and how they should be tackled.
Ms Thornton will be expected to:
encourage good practice to drive an increase in the identification and protection of victims of modern slavery, and to ensure the provision of enhanced support for all victims and survivors in the UK
drive effective prevention of slavery and human trafficking offences
promote an improved law enforcement and criminal justice response to modern slavery across the UK
engage with the private sector and promote policies to ensure that supply chains are free of slavery
foster constructive and targeted international collaboration to combat modern slavery
Tackling Modern Slavery was made a key government priority by Prime Minister Theresa May when she was Home Secretary.
The role is designated for three years with Sara Thornton taking up the role from this May.
Sajid Javid, Home Secretary, said:
The fact that modern slavery still exists in the shadows of our communities is totally unacceptable. We are doing all we can to banish it from society and give victims our full support.
Sara has dedicated her career to protecting people in need and I look forward to the valuable insight and advice she will provide as the new Commissioner.
Ms Thornton said:
The Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner was created to spearhead the UK’s fight against human trafficking and modern slavery and has a key role in preventing these vile crimes and supporting victims.
I am looking forward to bringing my long experience as a chief constable and in national policing to bear in this important role.
Good progress has been made in recent years and I am committed to build on that and do what I can to consign this crime to history.
Frank Field, who is leading an Independent Review of the Modern Slavery Act with Maria Miller MP and Baroness Butler-Sloss, said:
I have met Sara Thornton to discuss our findings on the role of the Commissioner. I look forward to working with her.
Ms Thornton has worked in policing since 1986, when she joined the Metropolitan Police. During her 33 year career within policing she served as Chief Constable of Thames Valley Police from 2007 until 2015 and was appointed the first Chair of the NPCC in 2015. She has also received the Queen’s Police Medal and, in 2011, was awarded a CBE.

Date: 22/02/2019

View Announcement

Campaign Timeline

  • Competition Launched


  • Closed for Applications

    26/09/2018 at 12:00

  • Panel Sift


  • Final Interview Date


  • Announcement



Assessment Panel

  • Colleen Harris MVO Added 15/08/2018

    Panel Chair

    Senior Independent Panel Member

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  • Rebecca Egan Added 15/08/2018

    Interim Director for Tackling Modern Slavery Exploitation, CPFG) • Departmental Official

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  • William Kerr Added 15/08/2018

    Director, Child Exploitation and Online Protection Command, National Crime Agency and Devolved Administration representation • Other Panel Member

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  • Willie Cowan Added 15/08/2018

    Deputy Director, Criminal Justice Division, Scottish Government • Other Panel Member

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  • John Studzinski CBE Added 15/08/2018

    Non-Executive Director of the Home Office • Other Panel Member

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Vacancy Description


The role of the role of Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner (IASC) was established by the Modern Slavery Act 2015.

The IASC has a UK-wide remit to encourage good practice in the prevention, detection, investigation and prosecution of modern slavery offences and the identification of victims.

The role was created to spearhead the UK’s fight against modern slavery.

Key Responsibilities:

• To work closely with key Government delivery partners to drive a strengthened strategic response in their work to tackle modern slavery and the provision of appropriate support for victims.

• Build positive relationships with and amongst the modern slavery leadership community, including Devolved Administrations, business, academia, civil society, international partners (as well as directly with victims of modern slavery) and facilitate the sharing of good practice in tackling modern slavery.

• Provide expert, impartial advice to the Government and the governments of the Devolved Administrations on their work to tackle modern slavery in a domestic and international arena.

• Work alongside Government and its partners in its implementation of the reform of National Referral Mechanism (NRM) to improve UK’s ability to identify and support potential victims of modern slavery.

• Identify international opportunities to showcase UK best practice and make recommendations about opportunities for further international collaboration.

• Commission specific research, studies and inquiries to strengthen the evidence base on modern slavery to support the mobilisation of appropriate responses and the commissioning of interventions. These may include recommendations and policy advice.

• Engage with the Victims’ Commissioner and the Children’s Commissioner to ensure alignment of strategic work priorities.

• Agree a programme of work with the Home Secretary through the development of a strategic plan in line with requirements of the Modern Slavery Act and submit an annual report to the Home Secretary.

• Active participation in annual performance appraisals with the Home Office Director of Tackling Modern Slavery and Exploitation and ensuring the required skills, suitability and sufficiency of expertise is available in your Office to deliver its business, including annual performance appraisals of members of staff.

Person Specification


• Knowledge and experience of working with victims, including an understanding of the vulnerabilities and challenges faced by victims and the support they should receive.

• Proven track record in managing relationships with diverse stakeholders who have differing priorities.

• Knowledge and experience of building relationships with statutory bodies, nationally and internationally, and the capability to conduct challenging conversations.

• An understanding of how to improve strategic delivery and a successful track record in promoting the use of good practice

• Evidence of strategic leadership at senior levels of government, law enforcement, civil society, the public sector or academia.

• Evidence of representing organisations in public, including in the media and with a range of stakeholders.

• Strong communication, negotiating and interpersonal skills to build effective working relationships with Ministers, policy owners, government departments, the media, and other key stakeholders, including the wider public sector, civil society, and local communities.


You should also be able to demonstrate:

• A clear understanding of the role of evidence-based analysis in informing policy in an area of political and public attention and sensitivity.

• Ability to be a highly regarded, credible and confident leader, with the ability to lead effective boards and organisations.

• Ability to provide robust, independent advice, under a high level of public interest and scrutiny, and use a public profile to build consensus.

• Credibility with governments, the sector, industry and the public.

• Experience in one or more sectors related to tackling modern slavery domestically and/ or internationally is desirable.

Additional Information

The successful candidate will be required to have or be willing to obtain security clearance to Security Check (SC) level and Police vetting. Pre-appointment checks will also be undertaken on immigration and criminal convictions. It usually takes between 4-5 weeks to obtain the security clearance. The role will be offered on a conditional basis until the successful candidate has passed all checks. The successful candidate will be encouraged to take up this appointment as soon as possible, subject to the successful completion of all pre-appointment checks.

How to Apply

If you wish to apply for this position, please supply the following by midday on 26 September 2018.

• A comprehensive CV (maximum two pages of A4 setting out your career history and including details of any professional qualifications)

• A short supporting statement (maximum two sides A4, minimum 11 font) giving evidence of the strength and depth of your ability to meet the essential criteria for the role. Please provide specific examples to demonstrate how you meet each of the experience, qualities and skill areas identified in the person specification.

• In addition, please also complete and return via email the forms at Annex B, relating to referees, diversity, nationality, political activity and conflicts of interest.

Completed applications should be emailed to

Annex B - IASC Supporting Documentation
180813 - IASC - Candidate Pack - Final
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