Non-Executive Member of the Food Standards Agency (VAC-1724)

Body: Food Standards Agency
Appointing Department: Department of Health
Sector: Health
Location: London/Various
Number of Vacancies: 3
Remuneration: Members are remunerated at a standard rate of £8,000 per annum
Time Requirements: 20 days per annum.

Campaign Timeline

  • Competition Launched


  • Closed for Applications

    22/01/2021 at midday

  • Panel Sift


  • Final Interview Date


  • Announcement



Assessment Panel

Vacancy Description


Ministers are seeking to make three Non-Executive Member appointments to the board of the Food Standards Agency (FSA).

Role and Responsibilities of a Non-Executive Member

  • To ensure the FSA discharges its statutory duties in line with the requirement to protect public health and consumer interests in relation to food
  • To set and to reinforce the FSA’s core values through the development and monitoring of strategic objectives, plans and policies
  • To represent the FSA and its values in communications with key stakeholders
  • To monitor the performance of the Executive in meeting agreed objectives and targets, including: the delivery of services; continuous improvement; financial performance, and risk management
  • To assist with the appointment of the Chief Executive
  • To play an effective part in Board meetings, discussions and decisions, and work towards shared success
  • To participate as a member or chair of one or more of the Board Committees: Business, and Audit and Risk Assurance
  • To act in the public interest at all times, not as a representative of the interests of any particular sector, and without regard to any personal interests
  • To give approximately 20 days per annum to the FSA and to travel to meetings across the country. In addition, Board members are expected to read widely to develop personal skill and ensure effectiveness in the role.

Board members receive advice and support from the Executive in respect of their duties and are provided with background information in order to carry out their responsibilities. There is a dedicated secretariat to support the Board. The FSA Board operates on a paperless basis.

Person Specification

Qualities required for the role of a Non-Executive 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.

Board members do not represent a particular industry or sector and it is not essential for Board members to have specialist or scientific knowledge of any part of the food chain.


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

  • Awareness of consumer interests in relation to food and how the global food system is changing, with a demonstrable commitment to putting the consumer first
  • Strong decision-making skills, able to assess complex evidence of different kinds, consider risks and benefits and explain the basis for a decision
  • Strong strategic thinker, able to help shape the FSA’s strategic direction, and link specific decision making to the strategy and bigger picture
  • Understanding of how to achieve significant change, operate across complex networks. Able to translate relevant insight into new situations, and anticipate future challenges and opportunities
  • Effective communication and interpersonal skills – able to work as part of a team; champion diversity and difference within the FSA; accept collective responsibility and challenge appropriately; and confidently deal with difficult situations sensitively.


Desirable Criteria

In order to achieve a balanced Board, new members will ideally be able to bring skills and experience in one or more of the following areas:

  • Expertise in innovation which is relevant to food products/processes or delivery routes to the consumer
  • Experience in supporting and delivering a reduction in regulatory burden
  • Expertise in data analytics or technological innovation
  • Understanding of large and small business needs and issues
  • Experience in complex international business or governmental issues
  • Insight into public health in relation to food
  • A senior scientist
  • Veterinary experience

Additional Information

The FSA is an independent non-ministerial government department, set up by an Act of Parliament in 2000 to protect the public’s health and consumer interests in relation to food.

We are concerned with the safety of food right along the food supply chain, from when it is produced, to when it is served on the plate. As the national authority responsible for food safety, we set the regulations that food businesses are obliged to follow, and work with delivery partners across England, Wales and Northern Ireland to make sure those regulations are enforced. We want the public to have trust in the food they eat, and that is why we work in an open and transparent way, making sure that consumer health and interests are at the heart of everything we do.

The FSA is accountable to the UK parliament and assemblies in Wales and Northern Ireland. We work closely with colleagues in Food Standards Scotland to provide a robust and coherent regulatory regime, to make sure that consumers across the UK can have confidence that the highest level of food standards are being set and maintained. To help achieve this aim, the department has offices in London, Cardiff, Belfast, York and Birmingham, and employs over 1,300 staff. We not only work with a range of other government partners, which includes providing advice to Ministers across three governments, but also actively engage internationally. We make sure that we play an important role in supranational standard setting and sharing best practice with other national competent authorities.

As the central authority for food and feed safety in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, we face a large range of complex and time-dependent challenges. Food and Drink is the UK’s biggest manufacturing sector and the Agri-food sector as a whole contributed almost £122bn to national Gross Value Added in 2017. Furthermore, the national and global context in which the FSA operates is changing at great speed, and the FSA needs to continue to evolve in order to meet changing public demands. With dynamic global trade bringing greater choice to UK consumers than ever before, the advent of new purchasing practices and changing dietary preferences, and the need for holistic approaches to health, wellbeing and the environment, the FSA must keep pace with societal expectations. In doing so, the FSA must take advantage of new technologies and data-driven processes to support a risk-based approach to both standard setting and enforcement of over 600,000 businesses.

A major challenge facing the Agri-food sector is an increased potential for illegal and illicit activity through food crime due to the rapidly changing regulatory landscape. The FSA is fully committed to ensuring the authenticity and provenance of food right along the supply chain, with the establishment of the National Food Crime Unit. The department also has a rapid and resilient response to food incidents, investigating 2,323 food, feed and environmental contamination incidents in 2018/19 alone.

The FSA’s ambition is to be recognised at home, and abroad as an Excellent Accountable Modern Regulator. The FSA’s statutory purpose is protecting public health, and the consumers’ wider interests, in relation to food.

To deliver this the FSA applies three core principles:

  • Operating in the consumer interest;
  • With openness and transparency; and
  • Taking decisions and providing advice on the basis of science and evidence.

The FSA’s strategic priorities for 2020/21 are:

  • EU exit
  • Regulatory reform
  • Operations Transformation
  • Hypersensitivities

In all our work the FSA is committed to:

  • Developing scientific capability to ensure that our work is based upon rigorous and up-to-date scientific advice, including continuous assurance of our risk analysis programme
  • Ensure that food safety regulatory activity in the UK is modernised so that it is risk-based, data-driven, and fit-for-purpose
  • Becoming a global leader in food safety regulation, through collaboration and information sharing with likeminded organisations across the globe
  • Persuading UK trading partners as to the quality and effectiveness of the UK’s food safety regulatory regime.

A wide range of information about the FSA’s work can be found on our website at:   and the ‘About us’ brochure:

(English Version)                                                               

(Welsh Version)​

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