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

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


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

Tim Child, Jason Kasraie, Catharine Seddon and Alison Marsden have been appointed as members of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) for 3 years. Tim, Jason and Catharine are appointed from 18 January 2021 and Alison from 1 April 2021. From 1 January 2022 Catharine will be appointed as the Audit and Governance Committee Chair.

In addition, the following members have been re-appointed from 1 April 2021 to 31 December 2021:
• Anita Bharucha (Audit and Governance Committee Chair)
• Margaret Gilmore
• Yacoub Khalaf

The appointments will involve a time commitment of 3 days per month.

Remuneration for the member roles at the HFEA are at a rate of £7,883 per year, with an additional allowance for the Audit and Governance Committee Chair, bringing this total remuneration to £13,137 a year.
These appointments are made in accordance with the Cabinet Office Code of Governance for Public Appointments. The regulation of public appointments against the requirements of this Code is carried out by the Commissioner for Public Appointments.

The appointments are made on merit and political activity played no part in the decision process. However, in accordance with the Code, there is a requirement for appointees’ political activity (if any declared) to be made public. None have declared any political activity.

View Announcement

Campaign Timeline

  • Competition Launched


  • Closed for Applications

    21/07/2020 at 12:00

  • Panel Sift


  • Final Interview Date


  • Announcement

    22/01/2021 at 10:00


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.


How to Apply


Thank you for your interest in the appointment of a Member to the HFEA.

To make an application please email your CV, a supporting letter and completed monitoring forms to: – please quote ref: number VAC-1701 in the subject field.

Applications must be received by midday on 21st July 2020.

In making an application please note the following:


Supporting letter

The supporting letter is your opportunity to demonstrate how you meet each of the criteria set out in the person specification. It will benefit the Advisory Assessment Panel if you can be clear which specific evidence you provide relates to which criteria. Providing separate paragraphs in relation to each criterion is common practice. Please write all acronyms in full first.

Please ensure your full name, the role to which you are applying and the corresponding reference number for the post are clearly noted at the top of your letter.

Please limit your letter to two pages, and type or write clearly in black ink.

Conflicts of interest

If you have any business or personal interests that might be relevant to the work of HFEA, and which could lead to a real or perceived conflict of interest if you were to be appointed, please provide details in your Supporting letter.

If appointed, you will also be required to declare these interests on appointment and they will be entered on a register which is available to the public.

Standards in public life and ensuring public confidence

Given the nature of public appointments, it is important that those appointed as members of public bodies maintain the confidence of the public and Government. If there are any issues in your personal or professional history (including any convictions or bankruptcy) that could, if you were appointed, be misconstrued, cause embarrassment to Ministers or HFEA or cause public confidence in the appointment to be jeopardised, it is important that you bring them to the attention of the Assessment Panel and provide details of the issue/s in your Supporting letter. In considering whether you wish to declare any issues, you should also reflect on any public statements you have made, including through social media and blogs. Due Diligence may be carried out on any publicly available information and shared with the Advisory Assessment Panel.

The panel may explore any issues you declare with you before they make a recommendation on the appointment.

Failure to disclose such information could result in an appointment being terminated, as those who hold public appointments are expected to demonstrate the highest standards of corporate and personal conduct and are required to subscribe to the Code of Conduct for Board Members of Public Bodies, as part of agreeing to the terms and conditions of appointment. You can access this document at:

There are also circumstances in which individuals may not be considered for appointment, due to them not meeting certain eligibility criteria for appointment. For further information, please refer to Section 2.3: Eligibility Criteria

If you wish to discuss any queries on conflicts, please see the contacts section.


Please ensure your CV includes:

  • Your full name, title, home address, personal contact telephone numbers (land line and mobile), personal email address and details of any twitter accounts and LinkedIn accounts including your twitter handle/username
  • Similar contact details for two referees who will support your application. One referee should be the person to whom you are/were accountable in your current/most recent appointment or position of employment. Please indicate the relationship of each referee to you. References will be requested for short-listed candidates prior to interview
  • Brief details of your current or most recent post and the dates you occupied this role. Please identify any past or present Ministerial appointments

Monitoring form

Please complete the monitoring form. Diversity monitoring information will not be seen by the Advisory Assessment Panel assessing your application.

Political activity information is primarily for monitoring purposes only, however if you are shortlisted for interview, this information will be shared with the selection panel. The reason for this is that it is appreciated that such activities may have given you relevant skills, including experience gained from committee work, collective decision-making, resolving conflict and public speaking. If you have had such experience and you consider it relevant to your application for this post, you should also take the opportunity to include it separately in your supporting statement. If possible, you should not, however, identify the relevant political party in your statement.

If you are appointed to this role, please note that any political activity you declare will be published in accordance with the Governance Code on Public Appointments.

Guaranteed Interview Scheme

The Department of Health and Social Care operates a Guaranteed Interview Scheme (GIS) for disabled people. The Equality Act 2010 defines a person as disabled if they have a physical or mental impairment and the impairment has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on their ability to carry out normal day to day activities. Under the GIS a disabled candidate will be selected for interview if they meet the essential criteria for the post.

If you wish to apply under the GIS please complete the GIS form and return it with your application.

All applications will be acknowledged by email after the closing date.


For further information regarding the selection process, please contact

Kully Kanda

Appointments Team

Tel:  0113 2546769


For further information regarding the role of HFEA and the role of a Member please contact:

Name:  Steve Pugh

Tel:  0207 2104350


Please quote reference VAC-1701 on all correspondence.

If you choose to apply, we would like to thank you in advance for your time and effort in making an application.

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