Social Security Advisory Committee - Committee Member

Body: Social Security Advisory Committee
Appointing Department: Department for Work and Pensions
Sector: Charity & Public Sector
Location: Nationwide
Number of Vacancies: 2
Remuneration: The daily fee payable is £256.80
Time Requirements: Members are required to commit to 2-3 days work per month. The flexibility to work more than this on occasion would be helpful

Campaign Timeline

  • Competition Launched


  • Closed for Applications

    17/05/2019 at 18:00

  • Panel Sift


  • Final Interview Date


  • Announcement



Assessment Panel

Vacancy Description


The Social Security Advisory Committee (SSAC) is an independent statutory body, funded by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). It is the UK Government’s advisory body on social security matters. In addition to providing advice and assistance to the Secretary of State, it performs mandatory scrutiny of most secondary legislation laid before Parliament that underpin the welfare system. Thus, much of the Department’s policy and service delivery activity, including the welfare reform agenda, comes before the Committee.

In addition to the scrutiny of proposals for secondary legislation, the Committee’s general advisory functions are deployed to:

  • inform the Committee’s work, improving members’ ability to scrutinise regulations and provide independent advice to Ministers;
  • add value to the debate on a topic that is of current interest to Government and stakeholders; and
  • stimulate debate of a specific topic within the Committee and amongst stakeholders.

The Committee responds to the Department’s public consultation exercises where appropriate, and Ministers may also seek views on specific issues. The Committee may also select issues itself which it wishes to research and report upon. The Chair and Committee members meet regularly with Ministers and senior officials to discuss topical issues and also meet front-line staff and customers in the course of their visits to operational sites.

The Committee is independent of Government, the Department and sectional interests. It has a strong track record in offering informed, expert advice. Members come from a variety of backgrounds, but collectively they have a considerable depth of knowledge and expertise in social security policy, law and the wider social policy agenda.


The role of Committee Members

  • Members are expected to:
  • Maintain and continuously develop an understanding of complex social security and welfare reform issues, taking into account Government policies, the financing of the welfare system and the broader economic social context;
  • Fully prepare for all meetings by reading papers in advance and carrying out any other necessary preparatory work;
  • Attend Committee meetings and make an effective personal contribution;
  • Work constructively and collaboratively with the Chair and members of the Committee on all aspects of the Committee’s work; including its independent work programme and broader activities; and
  • Represent the Committee at external events on occasion.



SSAC meets ten times every year at Caxton House, Tothill Street, London, SW1H 9NA. Members also have an opportunity to visit other locations, for example visits to operational sites.


Person Specification


Essential Criteria

Candidates should demonstrate the following skills and experience (essential requirements for all candidates):

  • a strong understanding of the objectives of, current thinking on, and issues affecting the benefit system;
  • a deep understanding of the political and financial context in which the social security system operates and of the Committee’s advisory role;
  • an ability to understand and analyse the details of complex proposals and evaluate and advise objectively on the basis of that analysis;
  • understanding of the impact of social security regulations and implementation on claimants and families;
  • the ability to work effectively as part of a team, and to operate constructively and collaboratively with a diverse range of colleagues;
  • the ability to deal appropriately with confidential material shared with the Committee, and manage potential conflicts of interest (or perceived conflicts of interest) in a responsible manner.

In addition, candidates must also demonstrate one or more of the following areas of experience:

  • Detailed knowledge of social security law: primary legislation, regulations and implications for implementation;
  • Current and detailed insight of issues relating to the benefits system in Scotland, including those aspects that have been devolved to the Scottish Government and able to represent credibly a wide range of communities and stakeholders in Scotland.

Desirable Criteria

  • Expertise in addressing the challenges of effective communication with large and diverse customer groups and/or the media.
  • In-depth knowledge of the experience of different groups of claimants, especially those who may face particular disadvantage.
  • Experience of large scale organisational strategic change



SSAC Member Candidate Pack - April 2019 FINAL
SSAC Members PIF
SSAC Members DIV
SSAC Members GIS
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