Non-Executive member of the RPA Audit Risk and Assurance Committee

Body: Rural Payments Agency (RPA)
Appointing Department: Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs
Sector: Environment, Food & Rural Affairs
Location: London & RPA main sites
Number of Vacancies: 1 (to note RPA is also currently recruiting for a Non-Executive Chairs of its Management Board and Audit and Risk Assurance Committee)
Remuneration: £350 per day + reimbursement of travel and subsistence
Time Requirements: 10 days per year

Campaign Timeline

  • Competition Launched


  • Closed for Applications

    12/02/2018 at 12:00

  • Panel Sift

    w/c 12/02/2018

  • Final Interview Date

    w/c 09/04/2018

  • Announcement

    w/c 25/04/2018


Assessment Panel

Vacancy Description

About the Rural Payments Agency (RPA)

The Rural Payments Agency (RPA) is an executive agency of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).

Established in October 2001 as an accredited European Union (EU) Paying Agency, the RPA is responsible for making direct aid and rural development payments to farmers in England. It is also the paying agency for market support measures across the United Kingdom under the authority of the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and as appropriate in agreement with the Scottish Government, Welsh Government and Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs Northern Ireland. The RPA also has responsibility for livestock identification and traceability services within Great Britain.

Following the EU referendum and until exit negotiations are concluded, the UK remains a full member of the European Union. During this time RPA and Defra will continue to negotiate, implement and apply EU legislation. It will be for the Government to begin negotiations to exit the EU. The outcome of these negotiations will determine what arrangements apply in relation to EU legislation and funding in future once the UK has left the EU. The RPA will work with Defra to provide expertise, advice and guidance relevant to the work of the agencies in these future negotiations.

The role and structure of the RPA Audit and Risk Assurance Committee
We are seeking to appoint a Non-Executive member to our Audit and Risk Assurance Committee.
Non-Executive Directors advise, challenge and provide independent advice to RPA’s Audit and Risk Assurance Committee. You will provide a high level of insight into the issues facing the rural economy and will offer a balanced view based on their significant experience of dealing with corporate governance assurance at a board level.

RPA Audit and Risk Assurance Committee (ARAC)

The Audit and Risk Assurance Committee (ARAC) is a committee of the RPA Management Board. It has no executive responsibility and acts solely as an advisory committee to the Management Board and to the Accounting Officer.

Its aim is to support and advise on issues of risk, control and governance within the agency. The role of a Non-Executive Director is to largely provide an effective challenge function to the executive. They have a responsibility to ensure the audit programme is focused on Agency priorities so that they can assure the Accounting Officer that appropriate controls are in place and operating effectively. Non-Executive Directors also play a key role in ensuring high standards of financial probity and corporate governance.

The Audit and Risk Assurance Committee will meet at least four times a year and will be scheduled at key points along the accounts timetable. The Chair of the ARAC may convene additional meetings when they consider it necessary, or at the request of other members.

Membership comprises 3 Non-Executive Directors (including the Chair) and is normally attended by the Finance Director, Head of Internal Audit, Defra Internal Audit and the National Audit Office. Committee members can also meet without others present should the occasion arise.

The role of Non-Executive Director member of the RPA Audit Risk and Assurance Committee

The role of a Non-Executive Director is to:
• Provide scrutiny and constructive challenge on performance, operational issues including operational and delivery implications of policy.

• Attend Board and / or Committee meetings and maintain a high standard of discussion and debate, helping to steer the agency by collective working.

• Ensure compliance with the Corporate Governance Code, Code of Conduct for Board Members of Public Bodies and rules relating to the use of public funds and conflicts of interest. Any deviations from the Codes are adequately explained.

• Support the Lead NED and other NEDs to ensure the right issues are addressed.

• Participate in the recruitment of senior appointments for the agency.

• Contribute to allocated major projects / programmes through influence and advice.

Expected behaviours of individual Committee members
In addition to the Seven Principles of Public Life, Board members are expected to:

• Comply at all times with the Code of Conduct for Board Members of Public Bodies and with the rules relating to the use of public funds and to conflicts of interest;

• Not misuse information gained in the course of their public service for personal gain or for political profit, nor seek to use the opportunity of public service to promote their private interests or those of connected persons or organisations;

• Comply with the board’s rules on the acceptance of gifts and hospitality, and of business appointments; and

• Act in good faith and in the best interests of the RPA.

Person Specification

The vacancy is for a Non-Executive members for the RPA Audit and Risk Assurance Committee (meets 4 times a year).

Essential criteria:
• Business / industry knowledge and experience, particularly farming or related industries

• A good understanding of government and experience of serving on an Audit Committee and / or Board meetings

• Be familiar with current approaches to risk management, internal control and corporate governance

• Experience of dealing with internal and external audit

• Excellent interpersonal skills including the ability to build effective team relationships with the Board and executive, Ministers, delivery partners and stakeholders generally.

• A record of achievement in a Non-Executive role

• Customer focus with experience of operational delivery in analogous sectors

• A commitment to the 7 principles of public life, together with the willingness and availability to devote the necessary time to understand the business dynamics and context

Additional Information

Appointments follow civil service protocol and are for a fixed term of between one to three years. Thereafter, whilst not automatic, an extension period of up to three years may be granted. Appointments beyond six years will only be considered exceptionally.

You will be expected to devote approximately ten days per year to your duties. This allows for attendance at Committee meetings and associated preparation time. Meetings generally take place in Reading or London.

During your appointment as a Non-Executive Director, you must not put yourself in a position of conflict with your duties to the Agency. You are also expected to adhere to the Seven Principles of Public Life

Remuneration will be £350 per day along with reimbursement of travel and subsistence. This appointment is not pensionable with any fees and expenses subject to tax and National Insurance.

We actively encourage applications from individuals from a wide range of backgrounds, especially those from black and minority ethnic backgrounds who are currently underrepresented on the Board.

1_Political Activity and CoI Questionnaire
2_Diversity Questionnaire_
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