Non-Executive Members - Public Health England

Body: Public Health England
Appointing Department: Department of Health
Sector: Health
Location: London
Number of Vacancies: 4
Remuneration: £7,883 per annum
Time Requirements: Two to three days per month

Campaign Timeline

  • Competition Launched


  • Closed for Applications

    24/10/2019 at 12:00

  • Panel Sift


  • Final Interview Date


  • Announcement



Assessment Panel

Vacancy Description

Ministers are seeking to make four appointments to the board of Public Health England: An Executive Agency of the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC), which is responsible for protecting and promoting the health and wellbeing of the nation and addressing health inequalities.

The role of Public Health England’s Advisory Board is to provide strategic advice on the running of the organisation, including assuring the effectiveness of PHE’s corporate governance arrangements, and for advising the Chief Executive on:

maintaining and promoting PHE’s leadership role as part of the successful operation of the health and care system as an agency of DHSC, and in setting the tone for excellent and constructive working relationships with the DHSC, local government and the wider NHS, and health and social care partners including NHS England, NHS Improvement and NHS Digital, and central government departments;

  • how PHE can best deliver its duties, priorities, and organisational changes, and value for money, and the future move to Harlow as well as on its vision and strategy, ensuring that this supports the wider strategic aims of the government and DHSC;
  • discharging PHE’s accountability to DHSC ministers and senior officials through assuring the effectiveness of PHE’s corporate governance arrangements and providing feedback to the Secretary of State and the DHSC. This includes ensuring that accountability and assurance issues, primarily based on the work of PHE’s Audit and Risk Committee, are considered by the Advisory Board in a timely manner and ensuring compliance with the requirements of the Code of Conduct for Board members of public bodies and the Nolan principles; and
  • how PHE can ensure operational independence and maintain the highest professional and scientific standards in the preparation and publication of advice

The Non-Executive Members of the Advisory Board bring a range of skills and experience which allows them to provide advice, support, and constructive challenge on the running and future development of PHE

Person Specification

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.

Essential Criteria

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:

  • ability to guide the strategic direction of the work of PHE, evidenced through a relevant career record of achievement
  • an understanding of corporate governance and board level financial, risk and performance management
  • sound judgement based on the ability to consider complex issues from an impartial and balanced viewpoint; and
  • ability to work as an individual and as part of a team, with a positive and constructive style and good communication skills.
    and with skills and experience in one or more of the following areas:

    • Data/Digital/Technology: experience of modern digital technology and big data management techniques, and/or experience of large-scale information technology change
    • Mental Health: direct experience and understanding of the issues and challenges, either from the health and care or voluntary sectors.
    • Infectious Disease: a senior clinician / medic with a track record of clinical excellence and leadership in infectious disease in the UK.
    • Behavioural Science and/or Social Science: to bring a perspective to bear on PHE’s health improvement work.

Desirable Criteria

It may be beneficial if candidates have skills and experience in one or more of the following areas:

  • commercial experience, including experience of business development or commercial experience gained in a strong customer focused industry;
  • experience of identifying and tackling health inequality or driving forward equality within an organisation.

Additional Information

“This is an exciting time to join the Advisory Board of one of the world’s leading national public health agencies.  Our new five-year strategic plan sets out our foremost priorities to both protect people and help them to live longer in good health. This includes the transition to a new national science campus with state-of-the-art facilities at PHE Harlow. There are many opportunities ahead of us to which members of the Advisory Board can actively contribute.”

Professor Dame Julia Goodfellow, Chair of PHE Advisory Board


Public Health England (PHE), an Executive Agency of DHSC, is a distinct delivery organisation with operational autonomy.  PHE employs approximately 5,500 scientific, medical, professional and support staff across a number of locations in England, including its scientific campuses at Chilton, Colindale and Porton and nine local centres.

PHE’s duties and functions are set out in a Framework Agreement and annual remit letter from Ministers. In summary, they are to fulfil the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care’s statutory duty to protect the nation’s health and address health inequalities; and execute the Secretary of State’s power to promote the health and wellbeing of the nation.

PHE is responsible for four critical functions:

  • fulfilling the Secretary of State’s duty to protect the public’s health from infectious diseases and other public health hazards, working with the NHS, local government and other partners in England, and also working with the devolved administrations and globally where appropriate. This means providing the national infrastructure for health protection including: an integrated surveillance system; providing specialist services, such as diagnostic and reference microbiology; developing, translating and exploiting public health science, including developing the application of genomic technologies; investigation and management of outbreaks of infectious diseases and environmental hazards; ensuring effective emergency preparedness, resilience and response for health emergencies, including global health security and work on antimicrobial resistance; acting as the focal point for the UK on the International Health Regulations; and evaluating the effectiveness of the immunisation programme and procuring and supplying vaccines;
  • securing improvements to the public’s health, including supporting the system to reduce health inequalities. It should do this through its own actions and by supporting national government, local government, the NHS and the public to secure the greatest gains in physical and mental health, and help achieve a financially sustainable health and care system. PHE will: promote healthy lifestyles; provide evidence-based, professional, scientific and delivery expertise and advice; develop data, information resources and tools (particularly on return on investment and value for money); and support the system to meet legal duties to improve the public’s health and reduce health inequalities;
  • improving population health supporting sustainable health and care services through, for example: promoting the evidence on public health interventions and analysing future demand to help shape future services; working with NHS England on effective preventative strategies and early diagnosis; providing national co-ordination and quality assurance of immunisation and screening programmes, the introduction of new programmes and the extension of existing programmes; running national data collections for a range of conditions, including cancer and rare diseases; contributing to the 100,000 genomes project; and supporting local government and the NHS with access to high quality data and providing data analyses to improve services and outcomes; and
  • ensuring the public health system maintains the capability and capacity to tackle today’s public health challenges and is prepared for the emerging challenges of the future, both nationally and internationally. This will mean: undertaking research and development and working with partners from the public, academic and private sectors to improve the research landscape for public health; supporting and developing a skilled workforce for public health; supporting local government to improve the performance of its functions; providing the professional advice, expertise and public health evidence to support the development of public policies to have the best impact on improving health and reducing health inequalities; and collecting, quality assuring and publishing timely, user-friendly high-quality information on important public health topics and public health outcomes.

The Advisory Board, led by the Chair, is responsible for providing strategic advice on the running of PHE.  It also supports the Chief Executive in PHE’s accountability to DH Ministers and senior officials through assuring the effectiveness of the organisation’s corporate governance arrangements. This is primarily based on the work of its Audit and Risk Committee, chaired by Sir Derek Myers.

In addition to the Cabinet Office Code of Conduct for Board Members of Public Bodies and the Nolan Principles, Advisory Board Members are required to comply with the PHE Code of Conduct:

How to Apply

Thank you for your interest in the appointment of a Member to Public Health England.

To make an application please email your CV, a supporting letter and completed monitoring forms to: – please quote VAC-1576 in the subject field.

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

Sally Brough-Hirst Department of Health and Social Care, Room 1N09, Quarry House, Quarry Hill, Leeds, LS2 7UE

Applications must be received by midday on 24 October 2019.

In making an application please note the following:

Supporting letter

The supporting letter is your opportunity to demonstrate how you meet each of the criteria set out in the person specification. It will benefit the Advisory Assessment Panel if you can be clear which specific evidence you provide relates to which criteria. Providing separate paragraphs in relation to each criterion is common practice. Please write all acronyms in full first.

Please ensure your full name, the role to which you are applying and the corresponding reference number for the post are clearly noted at the top of your letter.

Please limit your letter to two pages, and type or write clearly in black ink.

Conflicts of interest

If you have any business or personal interests that might be relevant to the work of PHE, and which could lead to a real or perceived conflict of interest if you were to be appointed, please provide details in your Supporting letter.

If appointed, you will also be required to declare these interests on appointment and they will be entered on a register which is available to the public.

Standards in public life and ensuring public confidence

Given the nature of public appointments, it is important that those appointed as members of public bodies maintain the confidence of the public and Government. If there are any issues in your personal or professional history (including any convictions or bankruptcy) that could, if you were appointed, be misconstrued, cause embarrassment to Ministers or PHE or cause public confidence in the appointment to be jeopardised, it is important that you bring them to the attention of the Assessment Panel and provide details of the issue/s in your Supporting letter. In considering whether you wish to declare any issues, you should also reflect on any public statements you have made, including through social media and blogs. Due Diligence may be carried out on any publicly available information and shared with the Advisory Assessment Panel.

The panel may explore any issues you declare with you before they make a recommendation on the appointment.

Failure to disclose such information could result in an appointment being terminated, as those who hold public appointments are expected to demonstrate the highest standards of corporate and personal conduct and are required to subscribe to the Code of Conduct for Board Members of Public Bodies, as part of agreeing to the terms and conditions of appointment. You can access this document at:

There are also circumstances in which individuals may not be considered for appointment, due to them not meeting certain eligibility criteria for appointment. For further information, please refer to Section 2.3: Eligibility Criteria

If you wish to discuss any queries on conflicts, please see the contacts section.


Please ensure your CV includes:

  • Your full name, title, home address, personal contact telephone numbers (land line and mobile), personal email address and details of any twitter accounts and LinkedIn accounts including your twitter handle/username.
  • Similar contact details for two referees who will support your application. One referee should be the person to whom you are/were accountable in your current/most recent appointment or position of employment. Please indicate the relationship of each referee to you. References will be requested for short-listed candidates prior to interview
  • Brief details of your current or most recent post and the dates you occupied this role. Please identify any past or present Ministerial appointments.

Monitoring form

Please complete the monitoring form. Diversity monitoring information will not be seen by the Advisory Assessment Panel assessing your application.

Political activity information is primarily for monitoring purposes only, however if you are shortlisted for interview, this information will be shared with the selection panel. The reason for this is that it is appreciated that such activities may have given you relevant skills, including experience gained from committee work, collective decision-making, resolving conflict and public speaking. If you have had such experience and you consider it relevant to your application for this post, you should also take the opportunity to include it separately in your supporting statement. If possible, you should not, however, identify the relevant political party in your statement.

Guaranteed Interview Scheme

The Department of Health and Social Care operates a Guaranteed Interview Scheme (GIS) for disabled people. The Equality Act 2010 defines a person as disabled if they have a physical or mental impairment and the impairment has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on their ability to carry out normal day to day activities. Under the GIS a disabled candidate will be selected for interview if they meet the essential criteria for the post.

If you wish to apply under the GIS please complete the GIS form and return it with your application.

All applications will be acknowledged by email after the closing date.

For further information regarding the selection process, please contact

Sally Brough-Hirst

Appointments Team

Tel:  0113 2546138



For further information regarding the role of Public Health England and the role of a Member please contact:

Alex Sienkiewicz, Director of Corporate Affairs

Tel:  01980 612228


Please quote reference VAC-1576 on all correspondence.

If you choose to apply, we would like to thank you in advance for your time and effort in making an application.

VAC-1576 PHE NEM Candidate Pack
DHSC diversity & monitoring form (PA)
12.1 DHSC_Privacy-notice-v03
VAC-1576 PHE NEMs Advert

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

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