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Role details

DWP - Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) - Non-Executive Director x1

Application deadline 16 June 2023


Office for Nuclear Regulation
Sponsor department
Department for Work and Pensions
Business, International Experience, Technology / Digital, Legal, Major Projects, Regulation, Transformation, Cyber Security
Number of vacancies
Time commitment
30 day(s) per annum
£15000 per annum
Length of term
up to 5 Years
Application deadline
5pm on 16 June 2023

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Timeline for this appointment

  1. Opening date

    17 May 2023

  2. Application deadline

    5pm on 16 June 2023

Timeline dates are only an estimate and can change

About the role


The Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) is a Public Corporation, sponsored by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), responsible for the regulation of nuclear safety and security and safeguards across the UK. Its vision is to be a modern, transparent regulator delivering trusted outcomes and value.  

DWP is seeking a Non-Executive Director (NED) with a range of established skills and competences to help set ONR’s strategic direction to 2030 and beyond, drive regulatory excellence and oversee the organisation’s governance arrangements.

We are therefore looking for candidates who can bring experience from other national and/or international organisations with challenges on a similarly large scale to those facing ONR. 

Introduction from the Chair

I am privileged to lead the ONR Board.  Coming from a career in offshore oil and gas, another high hazard industry, I cannot emphasise too much the crucial role that ONR plays in helping to keep society, the public and the environment safe through the robust and efficient regulation of the civil nuclear industry. The environment within which ONR operates is experiencing particularly challenging and changing times as we: support the Government’s Energy Security Strategy; respond to the challenges of civil nuclear new build, including Small Modular Reactors; manage an ageing reactor fleet and legacy issues in particular at Sellafield; and support the defence nuclear sector. The Board is determined that ONR remains a professional and highly-respected regulator while optimising its efficiency so that ONR is fit for the challenges ahead. The UK Government has identified a significant role for nuclear power and the presence of an independent and agile regulator to ensure the safe and secure delivery of these ambitions is crucial.

I continue to be impressed by ONR’s dedication and commitment to ensuring that the nuclear industry is safe and secure and by the strength and breadth of experience of my fellow Board colleagues and the coherent and collegiate way the Board operates to support the organisation to achieve its goals and mission: to protect society by securing safe nuclear operations. It’s clear that ONR is maturing well at all levels since becoming a Public Corporation and GB’s independent nuclear regulator on 1 April 2014 as evidenced by the findings of a recent Post Implementation Review; this independently-led government review noted that ONR is seen domestically and internationally as a strong example of an organisation which follows a modern, enabling regulatory approach, respected for its technical ability and regulatory performance.

We are looking to recruit to the ONR Board a dynamic, enthusiastic, and committed person who will share our vision and direction for ONR and nuclear regulation.  It is not an easy task and there will be challenging times ahead as we respond to an ever-changing nuclear landscape. I believe that time spent as a Board member will be thoroughly rewarding. If you think you have got what it takes to add value to the Board then please apply; there has never been a better time to join us.

I am personally committed to promoting greater diversity on the ONR Board and welcome applications from the widest possible field of candidates.

 If you have questions about the appointment process, you can contact  

Carmela Keogh, DWP Public Appointments Team, on  

Additional introductions

I want DWP and our arms’ length bodies to be places where everyone, whatever their background, feels supported to achieve their potential. By being an inclusive employer, bringing into the organisation and developing talented people from diverse backgrounds, we will be better able to provide the best possible support to those we serve.

That is why we want to reach the widest possible pool of talent for public appointments, and I want to encourage applications from people from all backgrounds.

We know we have a long way to go. As an example, the Lord Holmes Review (December 2018) identified that there are over 6,000 public appointments dealing with all aspects of our lives but just 3% are held by disabled people. I therefore particularly welcome applications from talented applicants with a disability.

If you are looking for an opportunity to use your talents to make a difference to the lives of millions of your fellow citizens, we look forward to hearing from you.

Role description

The successful candidates will contribute to the Board’s role in leading the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) to achieve its vision to be a modern, transparent regulator delivering trusted outcomes and value. Key responsibilities include:  

  • Helping lead the work of ONR by operating effectively as a Board Member and by contributing to Board meetings and discussions;  
  • Ability and availability as required to Chair, or join as a member, one or more of the Board’s standing Committees;  
  • Maintaining effective working relationships with a broad range of networks and stakeholders; 
  • Representing ONR externally, acting collectively in representing its decisions to stakeholders and the general public;  
  • Demonstrating a commitment to the Seven Principles of Public life .

Organisation description

  • The Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) is the UK’s independent nuclear regulator, with the legal authority to regulate nuclear safety, civil nuclear security and safeguards, and conventional health and safety at the 35 licensed nuclear sites in Great Britain (GB).
  • This includes the existing fleet of operating reactors, fuel cycle facilities, waste management and decommissioning sites, as well as other licensed and, in part, authorised defence sites, together with the regulation of the design and construction of new nuclear facilities. ONR also regulates the transport of civil nuclear and radioactive materials by road, rail and inland waterways.
  • ONR’s nuclear security regulation covers approval of security arrangements within the civil nuclear industry and provides regulatory oversight for the security of transportation of civil nuclear materials and the management of effective arrangements for sensitive nuclear information. Its safeguards regulation serves to ensure that civil nuclear material remains accounted for and controlled to ensure the UK maintains its safeguards obligations as set out under international treaties and agreements.
  • ONR cooperates with other UK and international regulators and agencies on safety and security issues of common concern, including associated research.
  • ONR’s duty is to ensure that the nuclear industry controls its hazards effectively, has a culture of continuous improvement and maintains high standards.
  • ONR’s gross budget for 2022/23 was £97.3 million; the budget for 2023/24 is awaiting Ministerial approval. ONR recovers approximately 98% of its running costs from the nuclear industry it regulates and 2% is funded by Government.
  • ONR has around 670 staff (c 640 full time equivalents) across three locations (Merseyside, Cheltenham and London). Around 400 are technical specialist staff.

Regulation of appointment

This post is regulated by the Commissioner for Public Appointments. For more information, please refer to the Commissioner’s website 

The panel will consist of five members:

  • Panel ChairJackie Oatway, DWP Deputy Director ALB Partnership Division
  • Panel Member - Mark McAllister, ONR Chair,
  • Panel MemberKatrina McLeay, Deputy Director Nuclear Safety, Department for Energy Security & Net Zero,
  • Panel MemberDr Gillian M. Ring OBE, DD Enterprise Safety and Security Strategy, Defence Nuclear Organisation; 
  • Independent Panel MemberMark Addison, Former OCPA Public Appointments Assessor.

Person specification

Essential criteria

We are seeking candidates with the right skills and abilities to complement the existing Board members and who will be able to contribute across the Board’s remit. The successful candidates will need to demonstrate:  

  • Significant delivery experience in the defence sector; 
  • Ability to contribute effectively and strategically to Board activity, challenging and supporting the executive team to lead the organisation; 
  • Ability to influence, build consensus and communicate with a range of stakeholders; and  
  • Ability to test and analyse complex issues, evaluate proposals, and address risk. 

Desirable criteria

It is desirable for candidates to have the ability in one or more of the following areas:   

  • An engineering or scientific background.  
  • Delivery experience in the defence nuclear sector. 
  • Major infrastructure projects and programme delivery. 
  • IT, cyber security, innovation, regulation (not necessarily nuclear) and the wider legal regulatory environment.  
  • Knowledge of the environment within which the public sector operates or a willingness to develop this.

Application and selection process

How to apply

In order to apply you will need to create an account or sign in.

Once you are logged into your account, click on 'apply for this role' and follow the on-screen instructions. To apply, all candidates are required to provide:

  • a Curriculum Vitae (CV)
  • a supporting statement
  • equality information
  • information relating to any outside interests or reputational issues
  • Please ensure you complete the attached diversity form and personal information and follow the instructions at the bottom of the forms to submit.

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.

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 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.

The assessment process

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. The Panel will meet again to interview candidates and determine who is 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.

  6. 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 determine merit and decide who should be appointed. In some circumstances, Ministers may choose not to appoint any candidates and re-run the competition.

  7. Ministers may choose to meet with candidates before deciding the outcome. 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.

  8. 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. Successful candidates will be issued with their Terms & Conditions and a letter of appointment should they agree to take up the position.

Further information about appointments, including tips on applying, can be found on our guidance pages on

Advisory Assessment Panel (AAP)

Panel Chair  Jackie Oatway, DWP Deputy Director ALB Partnership Division

Panel Member - Mark McAllister, ONR Chair,

Panel Member  Katrina McLeay, Deputy Director Nuclear Safety, Department for Energy Security & Net Zero,

Panel Member  Dr Gillian M. Ring OBE, DD Enterprise Safety and Security Strategy, Defence Nuclear Organisation;  

Independent Panel Member Mark Addison, Former OCPA Public Appointments Assessor.

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.

The panel will consist of five members:

Panel ChairJackie Oatway, DWP Deputy Director ALB Partnership Division

Panel Member - Mark McAllister, ONR Chair,

Panel MemberKatrina McLeay, Deputy Director Nuclear Safety, Department for Energy Security & Net Zero,

Panel MemberDr Gillian M. Ring OBE, DD Enterprise Safety and Security Strategy, Defence Nuclear Organisation;  

Independent Panel MemberMark Addison, Former OCPA Public Appointments Assessor.

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

The successful candidate will be required to have SC level security vetting at the Security Check level in order to undertake this role. Information on this can be found in HMG Personnel Security Controls .

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. 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 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 Department of Work and Pensions public appointments team in the first instance if you would like to make a complaint regarding your application at They will acknowledge your complaint upon receipt and respond within 15 working days.

How to complain to Office of the Commissioner for Public Appointments (OCPA)

If you are not content with the appointing department’s response you may wish to further complain to the Commissioner at information on how the Commissioner handles complaints can be found on the Commissioner for Public Appointments’ website

Data protection

The Cabinet Office will use your data in line with our privacy policy.
The Department of Work and Pensions will use your data in line our privacy policy

Contact details

Kwame Sintim-Misa (