Member of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority - VAC-1701

Body: Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority
Appointing Department: Department of Health
Sector: Health
Location: London
Number of Vacancies: 4
Remuneration: £7,883 per annum
Time Requirements: Three days per month

Campaign Timeline

  • Competition Launched


  • Closed for Applications

    21/07/2020 at 12:00

  • Panel Sift


  • Final Interview Date


  • Announcement



Assessment Panel

Vacancy Description

Ministers are seeking to make four appointments to the board of Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA). Two lay appointments and two professional appointments.


Role and Responsibilities of a Member

To build and retain public and professional confidence in the regulation of fertility treatment and embryo research and to play a key part in the effective and successful governance of the HFEA.


Specifically, to:

  • support the Chair and the Executive in setting the strategic direction of the HFEA, and review this on a regular basis in light of developments in the external and internal environments
  • support the Chair and the Executive in developing the HFEA in-line with the organisation’s strategic aims while maintaining a positive, constructive and appropriate relationship with its stakeholders in both the public and private sector
  • provide an independent view, a substantive contribution, and constructive challenge at Authority meetings and sub committees
  • monitor the performance of the HFEA’s Executive, holding it to account for the delivery of the HFEA’s business plan, HM Treasury and Department of Health and Social Care requirements


We have vacancies for four members of the HFEA. Two posts are for professional members and two are for lay members.


To be classified as professional a member you must fulfil one of the following categories:

  • is/has been a registered medial practitioner.
  • is/has been concerned with the keeping or using of sperm, eggs or embryos outside the body.
  • is/has been directly concerned with commissioning or funding research involving the keeping or use of sperm, eggs or embryos or who has actively participated in any decision to do so.


A person who would be recognised as a professional cannot apply for a lay post.


Person Specification

Qualities required for the role of a Member

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.

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.


For all 4 roles:

  • ability to provide effective scrutiny and challenge to the Executive and to hold them to account for the delivery of performance and the delivery of its strategy
  • ability to think strategically and to exercise sound judgement on complex and sensitive issues
  • have the highest standards of personal propriety in relation to governance, accountability, risk and financial management


and have a background or expertise in one of the following areas:


For the 2 professional member roles:

  • senior level experience in a fertility field, such as a HFEA Person Responsible, or in a field closely related to fertility, and a background in medicine, nursing or clinical reproductive science.


For the lay member roles:

  • senior level experience (board level or equivalent) in finance or another area of corporate governance in the either the private or public sectors, with an ability to Chair the Audit and Governance Committee;


  • a Patient perspective, able to draw on their knowledge or experience to inform Board discussions and Authority decisions.


Additional Information


The HFEA was established by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990 and came into operation on 1 August 1991.


The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990 sets out prohibitions relating to the creation, use and storage of human embryos and human admixed embryos, and the use and storage of human gametes. Some of these prohibitions are absolute – for example, a human embryo can never be placed in an animal or vice versa. Other activities can be carried out provided that a licence has been granted by the HFEA. Licences can be granted to any person – including those working in the NHS and those working in independent establishments.


In 2007, as a result of the implementation of three EU Directives setting quality and safety standards for human tissue and cells intended for human application, the HFEA’s remit was extended to cover the licensing and regulation of the donation, procurement, testing, processing, preservation and distribution of gametes and embryos. The HFEA also became one of two competent authorities for the Directives. The UK’s Exit from the EU mean that this relationship will change going forward, although the UK’s high standards will remain.


The HFEA has the power to license the following activities in the course of providing fertility treatment (for example, in vitro fertilisation (IVF):


  • bringing about the creation of a human embryo outside the body
  • procuring, keeping, testing, processing or distributing human embryos
  • procuring, keeping, testing, processing or distributing gametes
  • using human embryos for training others in embryological techniques
  • ensuring human embryos are in a suitable condition to be used in treatment
  • placing human embryos in a woman
  • carrying out testing of sperm
  • other activities specified in regulations


In addition, the HFEA can license activities as part of a project of research involving human embryos (and human admixed embryos), provided they are necessary or desirable for:


  • increasing knowledge about serious disease or other serious medical conditions
  • developing treatments for serious disease or other serious medical conditions
  • increasing knowledge about the causes of congenital disease or congenital medical conditions
  • promoting advances in the treatment of infertility
  • increasing knowledge about the causes of miscarriage
  • developing more effective techniques of contraception
  • developing methods for detecting the presence of gene, chromosome or mitochondrion abnormalities in embryos before implantation
  • increasing knowledge about the development of embryos so long as the use of an embryo is necessary


The HFEA can also grant licences for the procurement and distribution of sperm in the course of providing non-medical fertility services and for the storage of gametes, embryos and human admixed embryos.


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