Natural England Board Member - Audit and Risk Assurance Committee Chair

Body: Natural England (NE)
Appointing Department: Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs
Sectors: Business, Finance & Skills, Environment, Food & Rural Affairs
Location: No set location (work from home with attendance at meetings in various locations)
Skills required: Accountancy, Audit and Risk, Business / Commercial
Number of Vacancies: 1
Remuneration: £328 per day (up to £14,760 per annum for a time commitment of 45 days).
Time Requirements: 45 days per annum


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

Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Michael Gove, has appointed Catherine Dugmore as Chair of the Audit, Risk, Assurance Committee and Lord Blencathra, Professor Sue Hartley, Henry Robinson and Marian Spain to the Board of Natural England. The appointments will take effect from 12 March 2018 for three years.

Date: 15/03/2018

View Announcement

Campaign Timeline

  • Competition Launched


  • Closed for Applications

    23/10/2017 at 12:00

  • Panel Sift


  • Final Interview Date


  • Announcement


  • Ministerial meetings

    All candidates deemed appointable by the panel following the interviews will meet the Secretary of State before he makes a final decision on the appointment

  • TBC


Assessment Panel

Vacancy Description

The Secretary of State wishes to appoint a new member to the Board of Natural England to replace the outgoing Audit and Risk Assurance Committee Chair.

Board members play an important role in supporting and encouraging the executive team in improving Natural England’s delivery for the natural environment by driving forward substantial change to deliver value for money, excellent customer service and better collaboration with key partners while maintaining a clear overview, and ensuring business continuity, across the range of its functions.

Leadership is characterised by the combination of an evidence-based approach, a practical knowledge of delivery and delivery tools, and an understanding of policy making. Your experience will be vital in helping the Board make the right decisions for current and future policy.

Natural England is going through a period of substantial reform including significant funding pressures and restructuring. It is fully committed to the consolidation of Government support services (Estates, Finance, and HR).

Board members are expected to encourage and support innovation as Natural England fully develops its income generation capacities and explores new relationships with businesses in the future.

The Secretary of State is seeking high-calibre applicants from diverse backgrounds who can demonstrate they can contribute to the strategic leadership of Natural England, discharge a full range of non-executive responsibilities and provide professional insight into key corporate issues – in particular audit, governance and risk assurance. As Chair of the Audit and Risk Assurance Committee (ARAC) you will effectively chair four ARAC meetings a year and ensure delivery of the Committees work. You will oversee the governance and accountability, and have a clear insight on the risks and assurance of Natural England’s business.

The Audit and Risk Assurance Committee (ARAC) is a standing committee of the Board. Its role is to advise the Board and Accounting Officer on matters of financial accountability, risk, control, assurance and governance.

The successful candidate must abide by the Nolan principles of public service.

Another recruitment exercise is also underway for two other Natural England Board member vacancies. A separate briefing pack is available for these positions.

Person Specification

You should demonstrate all of the following:

• Significant expertise in audit, governance, risk assurance and financial reporting and must be a qualified accountant.

• An ability to analyse issues at a strategic level in ways which are impartial, creative and focused on finding solutions.

• An ability to question, challenge constructively and influence decision making within a Board setting in a large and complex organisation.

• A proven ability to influence and engage a strong and diverse network of people and organisations and the ability to inspire confidence in stakeholders at all levels.

• An enthusiasm for and genuine interest in the work delivered by Natural England and how it can contribute to Government priorities, including Defra’s long-term vision for a more integrated approach to working across the Defra group.

Additional Information

We actively encourage applications from individuals from a wide range of backgrounds. Defra operates a Guaranteed Interview Scheme for disabled people.

How to Apply

To apply, please email the following to by the deadline of 12 noon on 23 October: a CV of no more than two sides of A4 quoting reference APPT12-17

• a supporting statement of not more than two sides of A4, setting out how you meet the essential criteria – make sure you refer to the contents of this document

• Diversity monitoring form
• Conflicts of interest and political activity monitoring form
• Contact details (including email address) for two referees.

If you have any questions about the appointments process please contact Andrew Morris, Public Appointments Team on 020 8026 6562;

For an informal discussion about the role please contact Mick Oliver, Natural England on 07768 291 446;

1_NE Advert
3_Public Appointments Guidance notes
4_Monitoring form 1
5_Monitoring form 2
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