Non-Executive Member of the Rural Payments Agency - Audit Risk and Assurance Committee (ARAC)

Body: Rural Payments Agency (RPA)
Appointing Department: Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs
Sector: Environment, Food & Rural Affairs
Location: Flexible, with ARAC meetings usually held in Reading and London
Skills required: Audit and Risk
Number of Vacancies: 1
Remuneration: £350 per day plus reimbursement of travel and subsistence
Time Requirements: 10 days per year

Campaign Timeline

  • Competition Launched


  • Closed for Applications

    25/07/2022 at 12:00

  • Panel Sift


  • Final Interview Date


  • Announcement

    Week commencing 26 September 2022


Assessment Panel

Vacancy Description

About the Rural Payments Agency (RPA)

The Rural Payments Agency (RPA) is an executive agency of the UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), delivering over £2 billion in payments to farmers, traders and land owners each year.

We are an Operational Delivery Profession organisation, with the majority of our people delivering day to day services to our customers and stakeholders. We make excellent delivery happen, empowering agricultural and rural communities to create a better place to live.

We manage over 40 schemes, and also make payments on behalf of Natural England, to ensure we have a healthy rural economy, strong and sustainable rural communities, and to protect and enhance the natural environment. Our vision is to create a great place for living for people in this country.

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 members advise, challenge and provide independent advice to RPA’s Audit and Risk Assurance Committee.

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 assurance, risk, control and governance within the agency. The role of a Non-Executive member is to provide an effective challenge function to the executive. They have a responsibility to ensure programmes of assurance work are focused on Agency priorities so that they can assure the Accounting Officer that appropriate controls are in place and operating effectively. Non-Executive members 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 of 3 Non-Executive members (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 member of the RPA Audit Risk and Assurance Committee

The role of a Non-Executive member is to:

• Provide scrutiny and constructive challenge on a range of performance and operational issues including:

o Operational and delivery implications of policy

o Regularity and propriety

o Audit risk and assurance

o Specialist risk topics e.g. security, fraud, health and safety and whistleblowing

• Attend 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 Non-Executive and other Non-Executive’s 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.

Person Specification

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

Essential criteria:

• 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, integrated assurance mechanisms, their development and practical application

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

Desirable criteria:

• A record of achievement in a Non-Executive role

• Farming or related industries knowledge and experience

Personal Attributes
• Integrity, probity and high ethical standards, with a comprehensive understanding of the principles of governance and systems of control, and how to apply them appropriately

• An ability to maintain a sense of perspective and to pick out critical issues, and to question intelligently, debate constructively, challenge rigorously and decide dispassionately

• Independence of mind and sound judgement, together with the ability to provide impartial, objective and pragmatic advice

• Sufficient strength of character to seek and obtain full and satisfactory answers within the environment of the Committee, and to influence effectively outside of RPA

• A good communicator, able to represent the RPA and articulate its purpose clearly, with well-developed influencing skills and personal credibility

Additional Information

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.

Remuneration will be £350 per day along with reimbursement of travel and subsistence. Fees and expenses are subject to tax and National Insurance

How to Apply

All candidates are required to complete the following forms:

Monitoring form 1 (Conflicts of interest conduct and advertising Questionnaire)

Monitoring form 2 (Diversity Questionnaire)

Candidates should submit their CV with education, professional qualifications and employment history and the names and contact details for two referees, together with their statement of suitability.

The statement of suitability should give evidence of the strength and depth of your ability to meet the essential criteria for this role. Please provide specific examples to demonstrate how you meet each of the criteria (max two pages please).

Your CV and statement should be returned to the following address by the closing date: 12.00 (midday) on 25 July 2022. Email to quoting reference RPANED.

Short-listing will determine which candidates best demonstrate the specified qualities and experience, who will then be invited for interview to be held on week commencing 5 September 2022. Please could you advise if you know if your availability on these dates will be an issue.

Any enquiries can be directed to Alison Morgan on 07554 437271 or at the above email address.

References may be taken up prior to appointment.

Monitoring form 1 (Conflicts of interest conduct and advertising Questionnaire)
Monitoring form 2 (Diversity Questionnaire)

This post is NOT regulated by The Commissioner for Public Appointments.

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