Members of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority

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: 3 days per month


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

Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA)

The following people have been appointed as members of the HFEA for 3 years:
•Rachel Cutting – from 18 July 2018
•Professor Jonathan Herring – from 18 July 2018
•Professor Gudrun Moore – from 18 July 2018
•Professor Emma Cave – from 1 October 2018

The appointments will involve a time commitment of 3 days per month. Remuneration for the roles will be at a rate of £7,883 per 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 of the candidates have declared any political activity and none have made loans or donations to a political party of a size that are reported to the Electoral Commission, in line with a central party’s reporting threshold.

Date: 10/09/2018

View Announcement

Campaign Timeline

  • Competition Launched


  • Closed for Applications


  • Panel Sift


  • Final Interview Date


  • Announcement



Assessment Panel

Vacancy Description

Role and responsibilities of Members

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 development 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 requirements.


Person Specification

Qualities required for the role of a HFEA Member

We have vacancies for four members of the HFEA. [One professional, three lay]

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 professional cannot apply for a lay post.

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.

 Essential Criteria

  • 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 professional member role:

  • clinical embryology

For the lay member roles:

  • research in developmental biology, molecular genetics and embryology (but not human embryos); or
  • work within a relevant academic legal field; or
  • work within the field of statistics or research in a relevant discipline; or
  • work within a faith community.


Additional Information

HFEA role and responsibilities

The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) was established by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990 (1990 Act) and came into operation on 1 August 1991. Its regulatory remit extends to the whole of the United Kingdom.

Licensing and regulation

The 1990 Act empowers the HFEA to grant licences to Health and Social Care establishments to carry out fertility treatments and related services involving:

  • creation of a human embryo outside the body, e.g. in vitro fertilisation (IVF)
  •  non-medical fertility services[1]
  •  donation, procurement, testing, processing, storage and distribution human gametes or embryos
  •  using human embryos for training others in embryological techniques

As part of its licensing function, the HFEA also assesses applications from establishments to use novel or adjusted treatment techniques.

The HFEA also licenses research centres to conduct research projects involving the use of human embryos, provided their use is necessary or desirable for one or more of the following purposes:

  • 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

It is an offence under the 1990 Act to carry out these activities without a licence from the HFEA.

Linked to its regulatory functions, the 1990 Act enables the HFEA to issue directions and requires it to maintain a code of practice setting out appropriate standards of practice for the delivery of fertility treatments, related services and embryo research that all clinics and research centres are required to observe.

Currently, there are approximately 125 HFEA licensed establishments providing treatments and/or related services or carrying out embryo research[2]. Every licence designates an individual who has the responsibility, under the 1990 Act, for the proper operation of the establishment and its compliance with the 1990 Act, all licence conditions and the HFEA’s code of practice. This individual is described as the Person Responsible.


The 1990 Act requires the HFEA to carry out an on-site inspection of all licensed establishments a minimum of once every two years. The HFEA inspection teams evaluate and monitor:

  • premises, equipment and facilities
  • clinical and laboratory processes
  •  documentation, including standard patient information
  •  the ability of the establishment to provide the services it offers
  •  the suitability of the Person Responsible and staff providing the services

The 1990 Act also contains a number of ethical safeguards. Key among these is the principle of informed consent, in that gametes and embryos can only be used for treatment or research purposes with the informed, written consent of the person(s) who provided them. Where such consent cannot be given, in a very limited number of circumstances, use of the tissue can take place if strict conditions can be met. Another key principle of the Act is that clinics are required to make a mandatory assessment of the welfare of any child that might be born as a result of treatment, or any existing child that may be affected, as part of the process of determining a patient’s suitability for treatment. HFEA inspection teams will assess an establishment’s compliance with such requirements.

Key non-licensing functions

There are a number of functions carried out by the HFEA that are not part of the licensing process but are integral to fulfilling its statutory duties as set out in the 1990 Act:

Maintaining Registers: The 1990 Act requires the HFEA to keep registers, notably one that records every treatment cycle, patient, gamete/embryo donor and all resulting offspring. The Act also sets out the circumstances in which identifying information held on this register may be disclosed to third parties.

Sharing research information: The administration of a scheme for researchers to apply to receive access to identifying information held on the treatment register where it is not practicable to obtain consent to the disclosure from the persons to whom the information relates[3].

Providing information: The HFEA also has a statutory duty to provide a range of information to stakeholders, including patients and licensed establishments. Currently, the HFEA does this by:

  • publishing advice and information for patients and the public about fertility treatments and services, including the online Choose a Fertility Clinic guide
  •  providing information and guidance for licensed establishments and Health and Social Care care professionals on topical issues via bulletins and also Chair’s letters
  •  responding to individual queries, verbally and in writing, from the fertility and wider Health and Social Care care sectors and the public

Further information on the HFEA and what it does can be found at:

[1] Non-medical fertility services are those where donated sperm is provided for home insemination, usually via the internet, but no other treatment related service is provided.

[2] In the case of treatment and other fertility related services the licence authorises the establishment to carry out that treatment or service. In the case of research licences, the licence relates to a specific project, so a research centre conducting a number of projects involving the use of embryos will have two or more licences.

[3] A scheme established by section 33D of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990 and The Human Fertilisation and Embryology (Disclosure of Information for Research Purposes) Regulations 2010.

How to Apply

Making an application

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: E17-15 in the subject field.

If you are unable to apply by email you may send your application by post to:

Julia Peters Department of Health and Social Care, Room 1N09, Quarry House, Quarry Hill, Leeds, LS2 7UE


Applications must be received by midday on 8th March 2018.


Please refer to the candidate information pack for additional information.



Monitoring form
Information Pack - final
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