Jan 122021
Department for Education (DfE) – Audit and Risk Committee – Independent Member

Independent Member - Department for Education (DfE) - Audit and Risk Committee

Body: Department for Education
Appointing Department: Department for Education
Sectors: Business, Finance & Skills, Education
Location: London
Skills required: Accountancy, Audit and Risk, Business / Commercial, International Experience
Number of Vacancies: 2
Remuneration: Independent members of the Committee will receive a ‘per meeting’ payment of £500 which should cover all costs in relation to attendance of meetings. No other expenses will be paid.
Time Requirements: For the responsibilities above, the normal expectation of commitment for a DfE ARC member will be up to 9 days per year. DfE ARC meetings will take place up to six times per year and independent ARC members are invited to attend an ARC workshop is held on the same day. Together these meeting last approximate 6.5 hours, including time for lunch. Where possible Members are expected to attend each meeting in person. Travel will be required to London to attend committee meetings. Travel to other DfE sites may be required on occasion.
Closed for Applications: 15/01/2021

Vacancy Description

The DfE wishes to recruit an individual to its Audit and Risk Committee who is confident and constructive in their approach, and who can think both broadly and independently. It is essential that they are able to consider issues from a strategic perspective, to support and challenge the executive in its planning and risk management.

We continue to look to improve the diversity of the Committee and would warmly invite applicants from any background to apply, including people who are in the early or mid-part of their careers, disabled, female and minority ethnic applicants.

Members will be expected to participate fully in the DfE Audit and Risk Committee’s business, by:

  • promoting sound corporate governance within the DfE
  • considering the internal audit strategy and plans and reviewing the Head of Internal Audit’s interim and annual reports and assurance on corporate governance, risk management and internal control
  • considering plans, reports, management letters and any other matters, from the National Audit Office (NAO)
  • considering reports on business areas from senior DfE officials to provide the Committee with assurance on the management of major risks to the DfE
  • reviewing both the DfE Group Accounts and the Sector Academy Accounts and advising the Accounting Officer on the appropriateness of the draft governance statements, prior to submission to the NAO.

They will ensure they comply with the code of practice for Board members, and the Cabinet Office Code of Conduct for Board Members of Public Bodies

Person Specification

Essential Criteria

Candidates will be asked to present evidence of the following essential criteria throughout the selection process:

  • experience in financial regulation or operating at a senior level in a business or other organisation (at scale) that is subject to financial and economic regulation.
  • knowledge of governance, risk and control, as well as financial experience to support understanding of good financial management disciplines.
  • experience related to organisational effectiveness and design (covering process design and management, programme & project delivery, systems implementation, customer service, results focus & management information).
  • high-level management and/or board experience in the public, voluntary or private sectors.
  • the ability to think strategically and to contribute to strategic development in different contexts.
  • the ability to build effective relationships at high levels and/or between organisations.

Candidates will have senior level business or operational experience. They will have a track record of success, and a proven ability to influence strategic debates and decisions on a breadth of corporate issues.

Candidates will have the ability to consider issues strategically and with high standards of objectivity and integrity. They will have:

  • an ability to maintain a sense of perspective and to pick out critical issues, and to question intelligently, debate constructively, challenge rigorously and decide independently.
  • effective communication and relationship building skills, including the ability to negotiate, influence, challenge and listen sensitively to the views of others.
  • a commitment to the seven principles of public life, together with the willingness and availability to devote the necessary time to understand the business dynamics and context for the DfE’s work.

Prior experience of the education and skills sector is not essential, but members will have a commitment to promoting education and skills for young people and adults.

These may not apply for applicants early or mid in their career, where we will be looking for evidence of potential to perform at this senior level.

Desirable criteria

Experience as an audit committee member is desirable.

Desirable skills and experience include:

  • financial and accounting
  • commercial/contracting

Additional Information

Length of Term

Independent members of DFE ARC are appointed for a period of three years, with the option to re-appoint for a further three years. Membership may be reviewed at any time.

How to Apply

Suitably qualified candidates are asked to submit

  • a completed personal details form including a completed Diversity Monitoring form, contact details (including email address) for two professional referees available, details of any conflict of interest and political activity. The personal details form is available at Annex 2
  • a comprehensive CV and a separate statement of suitability, of not more than two sides of A4, which outlines how you meet the requirements of the role.


This post is NOT regulated by The Commissioner for Public Appointments.

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