Director Strategy, Legal, Communications and Governance

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02 March 2021
Food Standards Agency
Location: Flexible
Salary: £95,000
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Job Description


Belfast, Cardiff, Birmingham, London or York. Office based, multi-location, or home based in the UK. Please be aware that this role can only be worked within the UK and not overseas.

About the job


The FSA is a non-ministerial government department of over 1300 people, with a big vision “food you can trust”.

January 2021 marked the first time in almost half a century that the UK was in charge of its own food law, and the FSA is at the very centre of defining what that means in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. The Covid-19 pandemic has led to significant changes to the food industry, with high-end restaurants becoming takeaways and small corner-shops turning to delivery services to expand their operations. Whether in e-commerce, with big retailers, or local takeaways, we ensure continued safety for consumers, working closely with local authorities and businesses.

Job description

This is a critical moment in the FSAs history, and its important that our next Director of Strategy, Legal, Communications and Governance is excited for the challenges that lay ahead. As the strategy director, you will have the opportunity to set the strategy for the organisation as a whole, as well as lead our ground-breaking programme of regulatory reform with local authorities and businesses alike. You will be responsible in joining up the collective effort of all parts of the FSA to deliver against our priorities, and will be the key right-hand person for the Chief Executive both in overseeing organisational design and development within the FSA. This is an opportunity to make a lasting impact upon the work of a department that touches everyones lives every day.


With a directorate of around 100 people, youll be responsible for the FSAs strategy, communications and legal teams, as well as the private office, portfolio oversight and newly established Achieving Business Compliance programme team, which is central to our efforts to provide modern regulatory reform in food safety and hygiene controls. You will nurture and use a wide network of senior relationships in Whitehall, liaising with No. 10 and key government departments to enable the Agency to meet and exceed objectives

We are looking for a forward-thinking leader who can implement widespread change across an organisation and a sector that has a broad range of responsibilities. Key to this will be your ability to inspire and influence those around you, be they colleagues within the FSA, external partners, other government departments, local authorities or the private sector. If you can see the challenges and opportunities that the FSA has ahead of it in the coming years, and feel excited at the chance to guide our response to them, whilst always keeping consumer interest at the heart of our endeavours, then we look forward to receiving your application!


We'll assess you against these behaviours during the selection process:


Changing and Improving

Seeing the Big Picture

Working Together

Communicating and Influencing

Delivering at Pace


Our candidate pack details the benefits that the FSA has to offer. Please also refer to the attached Terms and Conditions statement.

Things you need to know


Successful candidates must pass a disclosure and barring security check.

Successful candidates must meet the security requirements before they can be appointed. The level of security needed is security check.

People working with government assets must complete basic personnel security standard checks.

Selection process details

This vacancy is using Success Profiles, and will assess your Behaviours and Experience.

To apply for this post, you will need to complete the online application process accessed via the advertisement listed for this role. This should be completed no later than 2nd March 2021.

You will be asked to upload your CV as a separate document, setting out your career history, with key responsibilities and achievements. Please ensure you have provided reasons for any gaps within the last two years and ideally limit your CV to 3-5 sides

You will also be asked to complete an online Statement of Suitability (1250 words) explaining how you consider your personal skills, qualities and experience provide evidence of your suitability for the role, with particular reference to the criteria in the person specification.

Failure to submit both documents will mean the panel only have limited information on which to assess your application against the criteria in the person specification.


If you are successful at sift, you will be invited to take part in a staff engagement exercise before going on to attend a panel interview which will include a short presentation, you will have time to prepare in advance.

The panel may request two work-based references to be taken for shortlisted candidates prior to the final panel interview.

Shortlisted candidates will be offered the opportunity to meet with the recruiting line manager prior to the final selection panel interview to learn more about the role and the organisation; further details of this will be confirmed with the applicant and an assessment of whether this can take place in person, or virtually, will be made at a later date.

Where possible, we will provide feedback however, depending on the volume of applications, it may not always be possible to provide feedback to all candidates.

Security Clearance

Appointment will be subject to the candidate having, or being able to achieve, National Security Vetting at Security Check level. For full details on the requirement and processes for National Security Vetting, select this link:

Please note that candidates need to be resident in the UK for a minimum of 5 years to be eligible to apply for SC Clearance.

We particularly welcome applications from black and minority ethnic candidates as they are under-represented within our organisation at this level. All appointments are made on merit.

We actively review the deployment of talent on a periodic basis in the interests of optimising personal development and the achievement of business plans.

Our candidate pack details the benefits that the FSA has to offer. Please also refer to the attached terms and conditions statement.

Feedback will only be provided if you attend an interview or assessment.

Nationality requirements

This job is broadly open to the following groups:

UK nationals

nationals of Commonwealth countries who have the right to work in the UKs

nationals of the Republic of Ireland

nationals from the EU, EEA or Switzerland with (or eligible for) status under the European Union Settlement Scheme (EUSS)

relevant EU, EEA, Swiss or Turkish nationals working in the Civil Service

relevant EU, EEA, Swiss or Turkish nationals who have built up the right to work in the Civil Service

certain family members of the relevant EU, EEA, Swiss or Turkish nationals

Work Permit:

All applicants must be based in the UK and confirm that they are able to prove their eligibility to work in the UK.