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Role details

Expert Member vacancies for the Secretary of State for Transport’s Honorary Medical Advisory Panel for Driving and psychiatric disorders

Application deadline 27 October 2022

Summary

Organisation
Driver & Vehicle Licensing Agency
Sponsor department
Department for Transport
Location
Various
Sector
Health and Social Care
Skills
Regulation
Number of vacancies
6
Time commitment
4 day(s) per annum
Length of term
5 years
Application deadline
12:59am on 27 October 2022

Timeline for this appointment

  1. Opening date

    26 September 2022

  2. Application deadline

    12:59am on 27 October 2022

Timeline dates are only an estimate and can change

Person specification

Essential criteria

We welcome applications from medical professionals with a broad range of experience in the field of psychiatry. While your professional background and experience is important, what we are most interested in is the way in which you use your experience.

We are looking for engaged and enthusiastic panel members who can support our panel, challenge constructively and robustly, and provide a rich diversity of information and advice that will help DVLA to licence drivers appropriately.

You will be joining us at an exciting time where we have gone through the enormous challenge of managing the COVID-19 pandemic, and changes in relation to the UK’s exit from the European Union. This is a time that continues to bring huge and exciting opportunities. Our organisation has come together and adapted quickly to change, developing new ways of working that ensure we continue to deliver first class services that meet the needs of the country’s drivers.

While we have made a tremendous start on this huge programme of change, there are still ample opportunities to help us continue to learn, adapt, innovate and continuously improve how we do things.

If this sounds like the sort of role that excites you, we would love to hear from you.

The panels and your role

As a panel member you will be expected to:

·       Play an integral part in this by providing advice about the medical standards for fitness to drive that accurately reflects the current understanding of psychiatry and its effect on an individual’s ability to drive

·       Notify the panel of developments in psychiatry, which could have an impact on the standards, guidance or DVLA processes

·       Attend a panel meeting on two separate days a year, plus preparation time beforehand to consider papers ahead of the meeting

·       Make the panel aware of the full range of opinion within the world of psychiatric medicine

·       Challenge assumptions on which advice is formulated and question/comment on information provided

·       Attend joint panel meetings to discuss issues or cases, which cover areas relevant to more than one medical panel

·       Where appropriate, on request, produce written reports for consideration at panel meetings. This would include reports with recommendations on specific issues identified by DVLA or the panel for presentation to and discussion by the panel (eg. identification and evaluation of current research and literature)

·       Provide written advice in a timely manner on individual complex cases, if/when requested by DVLA

·       Identify new areas of research that will/could affect drivers and DVLA policy in the future, and present research findings to the panel

·       Explore and research any identified gaps in the evidence base through panel discussions or working/subgroup work and make proposals for how these are to be addressed eg. recommendations for departmental sponsored research and agreeing relevant terms of reference

·       Contribute to an annual horizon scanning exercise that will be used to inform discussions on a forward work plan at an annual review

·       Apply your knowledge wherever relevant, and share that knowledge in a way that invites further questions

·       Exercise independent judgement and constructively challenge and encourage panel members

·       State and support your own decision whilst able to follow verbal argument/discussions

·       Engage with panel members and stakeholders

·       Draw upon specialist research and present your own findings through written and oral communications

·       Demonstrate excellent listening skills with the ability to be open and honest

·       Read and interpret large quantities of complex information from a range of different sources

·       Use logical reasoning and a structured approach

·       Weigh up evidence, keep to the facts and apply objectivity

·       Offer an alternative perspective based on an ability to consider sensitive issues from an informed and balanced viewpoint

·       Abide by the “Seven Principles of Public Life”, sometimes referred to as the Nolan Principles. Further information can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-7-principles-of-public-life

Role description

Role description

The DVLA is looking for registered/licensed medical practitioners who have an outstanding record of achievement, personal credibility and senior level experience to join the Secretary of State for Transport’s Honorary Medical Advisory Panel on Driving and Psychiatric Disorders.  The DVLA plays a vital role in making Britain’s roads safe. To ensure that every motorist meets the required medical standards for fitness to drive, we actively work with the Panels to set the medical standards and shape policy and guidelines for over 49 million driving licence holders. The Panels help maintain and improve road safety by providing the Secretary of State for Transport, the Department for Transport and the DVLA with expert advice about a wide range of medical conditions and their impact on driving. 

We’d love to hear from you if you have one, or more, of the following skills/areas of expertise:

  • Community Psychiatric Nursing
  • Psychopharmacology

All candidates should be able to demonstrate they are:

  • Fully registered with the General Medical Council with a licence to practice
  • A member or fellow of a relevant Royal College or equivalent body
  • Currently active in clinical practice or in their professional field

Remuneration: In line with DfT policy, these posts are not salaried, but members will be reimbursed for travel and subsistence costs. One-off fees will also be paid to expert members for looking at complex casework outside of panel meetings. 

Time Requirements: Duration of appointment – 5 years in the first instance, renewable up to 10 years.

There is an expectation of a minimum commitment of 2 days per year to attend the bi-annual panel meetings at least one of these meetings will be held face-to-face in London. MS Teams will be used for any online meetings. There is also an additional expectation for you to provide occasional ad-hoc support on request, such as attending any extraordinary meetings, complex casework analysis, and providing advice to DVLA’s team of doctors.

In total, a reasonable estimate of time that you would need to devote to Panel duties is approximately 4 days per year.

Potential applicants are encouraged to discuss with their employer before submitting their application, to ensure they will be able to fulfil the time requirements.

Application and selection process

How to apply

Applicants are advised that this recruitment scheme is undertaken in line with the principles of the Code of Practice for Scientific Advisory Committees and Councils (COPSAC).
For further information about how to apply please see the Application Information and Guidance and the Terms and Conditions for the role.
You will also need to complete the DVLA Diversity Form and Guaranteed Interview Scheme Form.
Applicants should not apply if they are unable to make themselves available during the interview dates stated below.
Feedback can be provided after interview for successful and unsuccessful applicants.
Submit your completed application form to MedicalPanelApplications@dvla.gov.uk by midnight on Wednesday 26 October 2022. Candidates are advised that due to logistical reasons, entries received after the closing date will not be accepted.

Sift/interview dates and location

• Closing date for applications is midnight on Wednesday 26 October 2022. Applicants are advised that due to logistical reasons, late entries will not be accepted.

• Shortlisting will take place between Tuesday 1 November to Friday 4 November 2022.

• Interviews will take place between Monday 21 November to Friday 25 November 2022.

These will be conducted via Microsoft Teams. Applicants should not apply if they are unable to make themselves available during these dates.

• Successful applicants will be recommended to the Minister for appointment and advised of the date they will join their Panel. Candidates should note that this process can take several months, because of due diligence and other clearances that are required.

Documents

DVLA Panel Member Applicant Information

DVLA Panel Member Terms and Conditions

DVLA Diversity Monitoring Form

DVLA Guaranteed Interview Scheme Form

Overview of the application process

Public appointments are made on merit following a fair and open competition process which is conducted in accordance with the principles of the Governance Code for Public Appointments. We will deal with your application as quickly as possible and will keep you informed at key stages. We aim to conclude the appointment process within three months of the deadline for applications – this is in accordance with the Governance Code.

Eligibility criteria

In general, you should have the right to work in the UK to be eligible to apply for a public appointment.

There are a small number of specialist roles that are not open to non-British citizens. Any nationality requirements will be specified in the vacancy details.

The Government expects all holders of public office to work to the highest personal and professional standards. 

You cannot be considered for a public appointment if:

  • you are disqualified from acting as a company director  (under the Company Directors Disqualification Act 1986);

  • have an unspent conviction on your criminal record;

  • your estate has been sequestrated in Scotland or you enter into a debt arrangement programme under Part 1 of the Debt Arrangement and Attachment (Scotland) Act 2002 (asp 17) as the debtor or have, under Scots law, granted a trust deed for creditors.

When you apply, you should declare if:

  • you are, or have been, bankrupt or you have made an arrangement with a creditor at any point, including the dates of this. 

  • you are subject to a current police investigation.

You must inform the sponsor department if, during the application process, your circumstances change in respect of any of the above points. 

When you apply you should also declare any relevant interests, highlighting any that you think may call into question your ability to properly discharge the responsibilities of the role you are applying for. You should also declare any other matters which may mean you may not be able to meet the requirements of the Code of Conduct of Board Members (see Outside interests and reputational issues section below)
If you need further advice, please contact DfTPublicAppointments@dft.gov.uk

Additional information for candidates

Equality and diversity

We encourage applications from talented individuals from all backgrounds and across the whole of the United Kingdom. Boards of public bodies are most effective when they reflect the diversity of views of the society they serve and this is an important part of the Government’s levelling up agenda.
We collect data about applicants’ characteristics and backgrounds, including information about people’s educational and professional backgrounds, so that we can make sure we are attracting a broad range of people to these roles and that our selection processes are fair for everyone. Without this information, it makes it difficult to see if our outreach is working, if the application process is having an unfair impact on certain groups and whether changes are making a positive difference.
When you submit your application, your responses are collected by the Cabinet Office and the government department(s) managing your application. The data is used to produce management information about the diversity of applicants. You can select “prefer not to say” to any question you do not wish to answer. The information you provide will not be seen by the Advisory Assessment Panel who review applications against the advertised criteria and conduct interviews.

Disability confident

We are a member of the Government’s Disability Confident scheme. We use the Disability Confident scheme symbol, along with other like-minded employers, to show our commitment to good practice in employing people with a disability. The scheme helps recruit and retain disabled people. 
As part of implementing the scheme, we guarantee an interview for anyone with a disability whose application meets the essential criteria for the role, set out in the advert, and who has asked that their application is considered under the scheme. Indicating that you wish your application to be considered under the scheme will in no way prejudice your application. By ‘minimum criteria,’ we mean that you must provide evidence which demonstrates that you meet the level of competence required under each of the essential criteria, as set out in the job-advert.
When you apply you will have the opportunity to select if you would like your application considered under this scheme.

Reasonable adjustments

We are committed to making reasonable adjustments to make sure applicants with disabilities, physical or mental health conditions, or other needs are not substantially disadvantaged when applying for public appointments. This can include changing the recruitment process to enable people who wish to apply to do so.
Some examples of common changes are:
  • ensuring that application forms are available in different or accessible formats;
  • making adaptations to interview locations;
  • allowing candidates to present their skills and experience in a different way;
  • giving additional detailed information on the selection / interview process in advance to allow candidates time to prepare themselves;
  • allowing support workers, for example sign language interpreters;
  • making provision for support animals to attend.
When you apply you will have the opportunity to request reasonable adjustments to the application process.

Principles of public life

Holders of public office are expected to adhere to and uphold the Seven Principles of Public Life https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-7-principles-of-public-life/the-7-principles-of-public-life--2. These are:

  1. SELFLESSNESS - Holders of public office should act solely in terms of the public interest. They should not do so in order to gain financial or other material benefits for themselves, their family or their friends;
  2. INTEGRITY - Holders of public office should not place themselves under any financial or other obligation to outside individuals or organisations that might seek to influence them in the performance of their official duties;
  3. OBJECTIVITY - In carrying out public business, including making public appointments, awarding contracts, or recommending individuals for rewards and benefits, holders of public office should make choices on merit;
  4. ACCOUNTABILITY - Holders of public office are accountable for their decisions and actions to the public and must submit themselves to whatever scrutiny is appropriate to their office;
  5. OPENNESS - Holders of public office should be as open as possible about all the decisions and actions that they take. They should give reasons for their decisions and restrict information only when the wider public interest clearly demands;
  6. HONESTY - Holders of public office have a duty to declare any private interests relating to their public duties and to take steps to resolve any conflicts arising in a way that protects the public interest;
  7. LEADERSHIP - Holders of public office should promote and support these principles by leadership and example.

Code of conduct for board members

The Government expects all holders of public office to work to the highest personal and professional standards. In support of this, all non-executive board members of UK public bodies must abide by the principles set out in the Code of Conduct for Board Members of Public Bodies. The Code sets out the standards expected from those who serve on the boards of UK public bodies and will form part of your terms and conditions of appointment.

Management of outside interests and consideration of reputational issues

Holders of public office are expected to adhere and uphold the Seven Principles of Public Life and the Code of Conduct for Board Members of Public Bodies. Before you apply you should consider carefully: 
  • any outside interests that you may have, such as shares you may hold in a company providing services to government; 
  • any possible reputational issues arising from your past actions or or public statements that you have made; 
  • and/or - any political roles you hold or political campaigns you have supported; 
which may call into question your ability to do the role you are applying for.
You will need to answer relevant questions in relation to these points when making an application. Many conflicts of interest can be satisfactorily resolved and declaring a potential conflict does not prevent you from being interviewed. If you are shortlisted for an interview, the panel will discuss any potential conflicts with you during that interview, including any proposals you may have to mitigate them and record that in their advice to ministers. Alongside your own declaration, we will conduct appropriate checks, as part of which we will consider anything in the public domain related to your conduct or professional capacity. This may include searches of previous public statements and social media, blogs or any other publicly available information. The successful candidate(s) may be required to give up any conflicting interests and their other business and financial interests may be published in line with organisational policies. 
Details of declared political activity will be published when the appointment is announced, as required by the Governance Code (political activity is not a bar to appointment, but must be declared).

Status of appointment

As this is an office holder appointment, you will not become a member of the Civil Service. You will not be subject to the provisions of employment law.

Appointment and tenure of office

Appointments are for the term set out in this advert, with the possibility of re-appointment for a further term, at the discretion of Ministers.  Any re-appointment is subject to satisfactory annual appraisals of performance during the first term in the post. There is no automatic presumption of reappointment; each case should be considered on its own merits, taking into account a number of factors including, but not restricted to, the diversity of the current board and its balance of skills and experience. In most cases, the total time served in post will not exceed more than two terms or serve in any one post for more than ten years

Remuneration, allowances and abatement

In line with DfT policy, these posts are not salaried, but members will be reimbursed for travel and subsistence costs. One-off fees will also be paid to expert members for looking at complex casework outside of panel meetings.  

Pension and redundancy

This is an office holder appointment and does not attract any benefits under any Civil Service Pension Scheme. You will not be eligible for redundancy pay as you are not an employee. No other arrangements have been made for compensation upon the end of your term of appointment because an office holder who is appointed for a limited duration would have no expectation of serving beyond that period.

Application feedback

We will notify you of the status of your application. We regret that we are only able to offer detailed feedback to candidates who have been unsuccessful at the interview stage.

How to complain

We aim to process all applications as quickly as possible and to treat all applicants with courtesy.
Please contact the DfT public appointments team in the first instance if you would like to make a complaint regarding your application at DfTPublicAppointments@dft.gov.uk. They will acknowledge your complaint upon receipt and respond within 15 working days.

Data protection

The Cabinet Office will use your data in line with our privacy policy.

Contact details

• For further information on the roles and responsibilities for these vacancies, please contact Dr Nick Jenkins, DVLA senior doctor:
• For queries about the status of your application, or any technical problems submitting it, please contact MedicalPanelApplications@dvla.gov.uk