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Role details

Chair of the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA)

Application deadline 26 September 2023


Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency
Sponsor department
Department of Health and Social Care
Health and Social Care
Change Management
Number of vacancies
Time commitment
2 day(s) per week
£63000 per annum
Length of term
Ministers determine that the length of the appointment will be up to 3 years.
Application deadline
11:59am on 26 September 2023

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Timeline for this appointment

  1. Opening date

    6 September 2023

  2. Application deadline

    11:59am on 26 September 2023

  3. Sifting date

    27 October 2023

  4. Interviews expected to end on

    8 December 2023

Timeline dates are only an estimate and can change

About the role


This is a tremendously exciting time as we deliver the benefits of Agency transformation to enhance our vital role in the safeguarding of public health.

The Chair will play a key role in driving forward the strategic direction of the Agency to maintain the UK as a global centre of excellence in medical science, in the best interests of patients and the public.

Dr June Raine DBE, CEO of MHRA 

Role description

The Chair of the MHRA is accountable to the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care and will:
  • Provide strong leadership, challenge and direction to the organisation, encouraging and enabling the MHRA to be a first-class regulator of medicines and medical devices, building on its international status and leading the Agency through the changes to come now that we have left the European Union.
  • In partnership with the Executive Team and Board members, ensure that the MHRA drives a major multi-year operational transformation programme, within the agreed financial envelope, delivering significant changes to fundamentally reshape the way the Agency operates, including driving efficiencies throughout the business
  • Ensure high standards of governance and effectiveness, encouraging and enabling non-executive directors to make a full contribution to the Board’s affairs, making best use of their varied skills and diverse backgrounds, and advising the Department of Health and Social Care on their performance.
  • In partnership with the Chief Executive, set the tone for excellent working relationships between the three centres that comprise the MHRA, as well as between the MHRA and key stakeholders. Ensure that policy and operational decisions reflect the needs and views of stakeholders, including patients, the public, NHS and industry to deliver confidence in the work of the Agency during challenging times. 
  • Progress the Agency’s innovation agenda creatively and effectively, seeking new opportunities and delivering on the Agency’s commitments to support the Government’s Strategy for UK Life Sciences.

Organisation description

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency enhances and improves the health of millions of people every day through the effective regulation of medicines and medical devices, underpinned by science and research.

Recognised globally as an authority in its field, the agency plays a leading role in protecting and improving public health and supports innovation through scientific research and development.

The agency is made up of c.1300 staff working across two main centres, in Canary Wharf as part of the Government Hub, and in South Mimms near Potters Bar, where their laboratories are located. There are also staff who work peripatetically across the UK and abroad.

The agency consists of 6 Groups - Corporate, Enablement, Scientific Research & Innovation, Healthcare Quality & Access, Safety & Surveillance and Digital and Technology.

The agency is responsible for:

  • ensuring that medicines, medical devices and blood components for transfusion meet applicable standards of safety, quality and efficacy
  • ensuring that the supply chain for medicines, medical devices and blood components is safe and secure
  • promoting international standardisation and harmonisation to assure the effectiveness and safety of biological medicines
  • helping to educate the public and healthcare professionals about the risks and benefits of medicines, medical devices and blood   components, leading to safer and more effective use
  • supporting innovation and research and development that’s beneficial to public health
  • influencing UK, EU and international regulatory frameworks so that they’re risk-proportionate and effective at protecting public health.

The Delivery Plan 2021-2023 ‘Putting patients first; A new era for our agency’, sets out the agency’s objectives and deliverables across six core themes:

  • Scientific innovation
  • Healthcare access
  • Patient safety
  • Dynamic organisation
  • Collaborative partnerships
  • Financial sustainability

These are underpinned by the priority to develop and improve patient and public involvement. For more information see Our governance - Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency - GOV.UK (

The MHRA Board

The MHRA operates a unitary Board, the role of which is to provide strategic advice on the running of the Agency, ensuring that effective arrangements are in place to:

  • Provide assurance and review the controls needed for effective risk management, governance and internal control.
  • Demonstrate sound financial management and good value for money.
  • Ensure that the Agency has the capability to deliver.

Specifically, the Board is collectively responsible for the following:

  • Agreeing the strategic aims and objectives of the Agency, consistent with its overall strategic direction and within the policy and resources framework determined by the Secretary of State.
  • Endorsing the Agency’s recommendations to Ministers on the Agency’s key financial and performance targets and the Agency’s annual business plan and five-year corporate plan.
  • Agreeing the content of the Agency’s annual report to be proposed to Ministers.
  • Advising on and monitoring: - The implementation of strategies to ensure that the regulatory systems for medicines and medical devices are effective and robust, given developments in science and technology, at a UK and international level;
    • The implementation of strategies for increasing public knowledge and understanding about the safe use of medicines and medical devices
    • The service provided to the manufacturers of medicines and medical devices, to health and social care professionals and to the general public
    • The steps taken by the Agency to protect the interests of the public by ensuring that medicines meet appropriate standards of safety, quality and efficacy and that medical devices meet appropriate standards of safety, quality and performance; and
    • The steps taken by the Agency to support innovation and growth and the impact these have had on public health.

Board composition

  • Board meetings dates are generally arranged for the third Tuesday of every month.

The main office location is at 10 South Colonnade, Canary Wharf, London, E14 4PU.

Our governance - Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency - GOV.UK (

Person specification

Essential criteria

  • A career record of achievement in the life sciences or medical sector, or transferable experience from an alternative regulatory sector, of scale and relevance consistent with being the Chair of MHRA.
  • Ability to support innovation in the sector while safeguarding the independence and rigour of MHRA in protecting public health.
  • Exemplary governance, organisational and transformational leadership skills, able to lead the board of a significant national public body through substantial change within a large, complex system.
  • Excellent communicator, able to gain the confidence of and build successful alliances with a range of stakeholders, both domestic and international, and including Ministers

Application and selection process

How to apply

Guidance on what to include in your CV/Supporting Statement and tips for applying can be found in the corresponding sections below and on the public appointment website: Public appointments - GOV.UK.

We will ask you to check and confirm your personal details to ensure your application is accurate.

You will also have the opportunity to make a reasonable adjustment request or apply under the disability confident scheme before you submit your application.

You will also be required to make any declarations related to standards in public life and ensuring public confidence in your Supporting Statement.  Further information on this can be found in the relevant section below.

If you are unable to create an account and apply online, or if you have any problems submitting your application online, please contact Daniel Clemence on 0113 2545335

The Advisory Assessment Panel reserves the right to only consider applications that contain all of the elements listed above, and that arrive before the published deadline for applications.

In completing an application, please firstly note the following in relation to:

-       Disqualification from appointment

-       Outside interests and reputational issues: Conflicts of interest

-       Outside interests and reputational issues: Political Activity and social media

-       Standards in public life and ensuring public confidence.

Overview of the application process

  • Ministers are responsible and accountable to Parliament for the public appointments made within their department. As a result, they must be consulted at every stage of the appointments process.
  • An Advisory Assessment Panel (“Panel”) is appointed by Ministers to assist them in their decision making. The role of the Panel is to decide, objectively, which candidates meet the eligibility criteria for the role.
  • At the shortlisting meeting the Panel will assess applications against the eligibility criteria and decide which candidates have best met the criteria, who should be recommended for interview. Ministers will then be consulted on the Panel’s recommended shortlist. If you have applied under the Disability Confident Scheme and you meet all the essential criteria, then you will also be invited for an interview. 
  • If you apply under the Disability Confident Scheme and you are not shortlisted for interview, we can provide a summary of the assessment of your written application, if you choose to request feedback. However, we regret that due to the volume of applications received, we are only able to offer feedback to candidates who have been unsuccessful at the interview stage.
  • Once the shortlist has been agreed by Ministers, you will be advised (by e-mail) whether you have been shortlisted. Those shortlisted will be invited to an interview.  Interviews will be conducted either face-to-face, in central London or by video/ teleconference. We will confirm arrangements to shortlisted candidates in due course.
  • If you are invited to interview and are unable to attend on the set date, then an alternative date can only be offered at the discretion of the Panel.
  • The Panel will meet again to interview candidates and determine who meets the essential criteria and is therefore appointable to the role. The Panel may invite you to make a brief presentation at the start of the interview and will go on to question you about your skills and experience, including asking specific questions to assess whether you meet the criteria set out for the post. The Panel will also explore with you any potential conflicts of interest or any other issues arising from your personal and professional history which may impact on an appointment decision (see section 2.1 for further details).
  • Details of the panel’s assessment of interviewed candidates are provided to Ministers, including whether they have judged a candidate to be appointable to the role. It is then for Ministers to decide who should be appointed. In some circumstances, Ministers may choose not to appoint any candidates and re-run the competition.
  • Ministers may choose to meet with candidates before making a decision. Candidates should therefore be prepared for a short time gap between interview and a final appointment decision being made.  Candidates who have been interviewed will be kept informed of progress.
  • Once the decision on the appointment has been made, interviewed candidates will be advised of the outcome of their application, including whom they may approach for feedback, if they wish.  We appreciate it takes a lot of time and effort to apply for roles, and prepare for and attend an interview, and that feedback is a valuable part of the process.

Offer of appointment

If you are successful, you will be contacted by Officials to inform you of the offer and to confirm if you would be willing to accept. If you would, then the next step will be to ask you to complete a Declaration of Interests form, which will be required to be signed-off by you and a senior official.

Advisory Assessment Panel (AAP)

The panel will include:
  •         Matthew Style, Director General, NHS Policy and Performance Group as the Panel Chair
  •         Gila Sacks, DHSC Director, Public Health Reform as a panel member
  •         Dr William Warr, Senior Vice President of Global Health Strategy at BioNTech as a panel member
  •         Sir John Bell, Regius Professor of Medicine at Oxford University as an Independent Panel Member
Advisory Assessment Panels (AAP) are chosen by ministers to assist them in their decision-making. These include a departmental official and an independent member. For competitions recruiting non-executive members of a board (apart from the Chair), the panel will usually include a representative from the public body concerned.
AAP’s perform a number of functions, including agreeing an assessment strategy with ministers, undertaking sifting, carrying out interviews in line with the advertised criteria and deciding objectively who meets the published selection criteria for the role before recommending to ministers which candidates they find appointable. It is then for the minister to decide who to appoint to the role.

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

Security clearance

In line with Civil Service guidelines, we are required to undertake Baseline Personnel Security Standard checks for the successful candidates. Additional Security Clearance may also be required for certain roles. However, where this applies, candidates will be notified during the appointment process. Further information on National Security Vetting can be found on the website here.

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. These are:
  1. Selflessness - Holders of public office should act solely in terms of the public interest.
  2. Integrity - Holders of public office must avoid placing themselves under any obligation to people or organisations that might try inappropriately to influence them in their work. They should not act or take decisions in order to gain financial or other material benefits for themselves, their family, or their friends. They must declare and resolve any interests and relationships.
  3. Objectivity - Holders of public office must act and take decisions impartially, fairly and on merit, using the best evidence and without discrimination or bias.
  4. Accountability - Holders of public office are accountable to the public for their decisions and actions and must submit themselves to the scrutiny necessary to ensure this.
  5. Openness - Holders of public office should act and take decisions in an open and transparent manner. Information should not be withheld from the public unless there are clear and lawful reasons for so doing.
  6. Honesty - Holders of public office should be truthful.
  7. Leadership - Holders of public office should exhibit these principles in their own behaviour and treat others with respect. They should actively promote and robustly support the principles and challenge poor behaviour wherever it occurs.

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 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

Remuneration for this role is treated as employment income and will be subject to tax and National Insurance contributions, both of which will be deducted at source under PAYE before you are paid. 
You can claim reimbursement for reasonable travel and subsistence costs which are properly and necessarily incurred on official business, in line with the travel and subsistence policy and rates for the organisation to which you are applying. However these payments are taxable as earnings and will be subject to tax and national insurance, both of which will be deducted at source under PAYE before you are paid. 

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 DHSC public appointments team in the first instance if you would like to make a complaint regarding your application at who 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.
The DHSC privacy notice can be found at DHSC privacy notice - GOV.UK.

Contact details

For further information regarding the role of the MHRA and the role of the Chair please contact:

Name: Elizabeth Woodeson via Ty Vuong:


For any queries about your application status or the selection process, please contact Daniel Clemence in DHSC’s Honours and ALB Public Appointments Unit:


The closing date for applications is midday on Tuesday 26 September 2023