the Animal and Plant Health Agency
The Animal and Plant
Health Agency (APHA) is tasked with a simple but powerful mission…
animal and plant health for the benefit of people, the environment and the
The Agency’s creation saw
the former Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency merge with Plant
Health, GM Inspectorate, the Plant Varieties and Seeds Office and then in 2018
the Horticultural Marketing Inspectorate also joined APHA. This powerful join
up of science with field, technical, border and trade expertise ensure the
Agency is in a position to deliver the bold ambitions of the UK government and
devolved administrations of Scotland and Wales.
Since then, we have
carried out that mission with pride and professionalism, establishing world leading
services delivered by world-class people. But the world today is very different
from the one back then. We have left the EU, emerged from a global pandemic,
and seen how our food security and affordability can be affected overnight by
events in faraway parts of the world. This highlights that a potential threat
could exist around any corner and arrive at any time and without warning. That
uncertainty has reinvigorated the importance of our role in protecting the UK.
It has also reinforced that our role in protecting UK animal and plant life
also places us on the frontline of safeguarding human life, all the while
creating the conditions for UK trade to grow and thrive.
The Agency is growing fast - our role in international
trade continues to be enhanced as a result of the UK leaving the EU. Policy in
this area is extremely complex and requires expert advice and understanding. We
currently have just over 3000 employees spread across more than 60 sites in
Great Britain. We have secured significant new investment in our main
scientific campus at Weybridge in Surrey, which will equip our scientists with the
facilities they need to place the UK at the forefront of global scientific
endeavour in this arena. We are proud of the national and international
reputation which APHA has for the quality of our science and our services to
May 2023, the Agency launched a new strategy which sets out how we aim to shape
the future of APHA. The strategy is focused around our five pillars
of innovate, protect, promote, people and place. Our new strategy will not solve all our
challenges, but it will give us clear ambitions and outcomes to aim for. It
showcases how critical we are to UK biosecurity, food security and mitigating
some of the biggest challenges we and society face. It will take working
together to bring it to life and unleash our potential, so this is an exciting
time to join the Agency.
from Lord Benyon, Minister for Biosecurity, Marine and Rural Affairs
Animal and Plant Health Agency is a vital part of the DEFRA family. Its work
keeps the country safe from disease, protects taxpayers from the burdens of
dealing with outbreaks and is a vital link to ministers in policy creation and
implementation. Ministers are looking for a leader for APHA who understands the
challenges for the organisation now and in the years to come. We are also
looking or someone who will work well with ministers on a day to day basis”.
The vacancy is for APHA’s Lead Non-Executive Director, who
will Chair the APHA Steering Board. They will be well organised and have proven
business experience at either Chief Executive or Managing Director level.
Alongside externally recognised credentials, we are particularly interested in
individuals who are able to offer skills and experience in delivery of cultural
change, particularly the ability to drive innovation.
The Chair is responsible for ensuring that effective
arrangements are in place to provide assurance on risk management, governance
and internal control. They will make sure that the Steering Board are provided
advice on strategy and the deliverability of policies and key objectives
(agreed annually) achieving value for money, scrutinise performance and provide
support and challenge in the delivery of APHA responsibilities and the exercise
of the Chief Executives responsibilities as Accounting Officer.
The Chair will make sure that the Steering Board takes
into account guidance issued by the Department (Defra) and will receive and
review regular financial information concerning the management of the APHA; and
provides positive assurance to the department that appropriate action has been
taken when concerns are raised.
The structure of the APHA Steering Board is agreed with
Defra by the Director General of Food Farming and Biosecurity and the APHA
Chief Executive. The Steering Board is chaired by a Lead Non-Executive (‘the
APHA Chair’) who is responsible to the sponsor minister and will report through
the Chief Executive and Defra Director General as appropriate. The Board comprises of four other
Non-Executive Directors, the Chief Plant Health Officer (CPHO), the Chief
Veterinary Officer (CVO), and seven Executive Directors (Including the Chief
To ensure the Steering
Board operates effectively providing appropriate influence, expert advice,
support and constructive challenge, bringing external experience and expertise
to the Steering Board discussions in strategic and operational matters.
Chair Steering Board
meetings and maintain a high level of discussion and debate, helping steer the
Agency by collective working.
To ensure an
annual Steering Board effectiveness review is performed with consideration of
an independent input at least every two years, and that results from that
review are acted upon.
the Corporate Governance Code, Code of Conduct for Steering Board Members and
rules relating to the use of public funds and conflicts of interest.
- Ensure that the governance arrangements for the Agency are
working in the most effective way
- Contribute to
the delivery of the Annual Report and Accounts and Action Plans.
- To meet
regularly with other Non-Executive Directors to ensure their views are
understood and concerns escalated.
- To lead and
provide the effective engagement of all Non-Executive Directors with the work
of the Steering Board.
- Act as a
spokesperson for the Agency when appropriate.
change and address any potential conflict with stakeholders when required.
- Work with the
Chief Executive to give direction to the members of the Steering Board and to
ensure meetings are well planned, meaningful and reflect the responsibilities
of the Agency.
- Monitor that
decisions taken at meetings are implemented.
- Establish and
build a strong relationship with the Chief Executive, while ensuring they are
held to account for achieving agreed objectives.