Chief Executive Officer

Animal and Plant Health Agency

Apply before 11:55 pm on Sunday 16th May 2021


Reference number



Cira, £125,000 for an external candidate. Existing Civil Servants will be appointed in line with the Civil Service pay rules in place on the date of their appointment.


SCS Pay Band 2

Contract type


Type of role

Operational Delivery
Senior leadership

Working pattern

Flexible working, Full-time, Job share

Number of posts



The role can be based at any APHA office location (England, Wales, Scotland) and will require some travel to London and significant time in Weybridge.

About the job


We are seeking an exceptional leader to be the next Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Animal and Plant Health Agency. This is a crucial and rewarding role, at the heart of the UK’s Food, Farming and Biosecurity system.

The Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) works to safeguard animal and plant health for the benefit of people, the environment, and the economy. Our 2600 staff span veterinary, scientific, technical, and administrative roles, maintaining essential disease investigation and response capability, supporting trade through certification, audit, and licensing, and helping protect our borders through effective import controls. We are an Executive Agency of the Department for the Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs and also work on behalf of the Scottish Government and the Welsh Government.

The successful candidate will be an inspiring and inclusive leader, able to set APHA’s strategic direction and engage and develop diverse teams in more than 60 locations. With a track record of excellent operational delivery, the appointee will be a highly effective communicator, able to lead and manage a complex agenda at the board level and to work successfully with stakeholders across government, industry, and academia.

Job description

As the CEO, your role stretches across four broad areas of leadership and management, delivery, financial stewardship and stakeholder management.

Main Duties

Leadership and Management:

• Work with the APHA Board and with Defra to define the organisation’s strategy, aims, and objectives;

• Ensure that the organisation has the resources, skills, and capability to enable it to deliver its aims and objectives;

• Lead, manage and motivate the Executive Team in their delivery of performance outcomes.

• Be an inspirational role model to staff, exhibiting the behaviours we expect of all our people; and

• Demonstrate an ability to make difficult decisions and justify them at the highest level.

• Ensure that issues of health and safety are managed effectively

• Act as the Senior User in the multi-year development of the Weybridge site


It is essential that you provide evidence and proven examples in your application against each of the selection criteria.

Essential Criteria

• Excellent visible leadership skills, able to inspire and engage staff at all levels in APHA, with proven success in building high-performing, diverse and inclusive teams, leading change and the development of organisational capability in a large, complex, multidisciplinary body

• Excellent operational delivery skills, with a determination to deliver agreed on targets, excellent management of business performance and judgment of risk

• Highly effective communication and influencing skills, with the personal credibility to gain the trust of senior stakeholders, including within government, industry, and academia

• Demonstrable ability to set the strategic direction for an organisation and to lead and manage a complex agenda

• An understanding of the working of government and a track record of working in genuine partnership across organisational boundaries and the ability to work effectively with a range of global partners to deliver mutual objectives

• As Accounting Officer for the organisation, you will require significant experience of managing and delivering against a substantial and complex budget and the personal resilience to operate in a high profile and highly scrutinised environment


• Experience in leading in an area where science plays an important role, with an ability to converse with and inspire scientists, promote science, and articulate scientific perspectives.


• Learning and development tailored to your role
•An environment with flexible working options
• A culture encouraging inclusion and diversity
• A Civil Service pension

Things you need to know


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

See our vetting charter.
People working with government assets must complete basic personnel security standard checks.

Selection process details

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 23:55 on Sunday 16th May 2021 and will involve uploading the two documents outlined below:

1. A CV setting out your career history, with key responsibilities and achievements. Please ensure you have provided reasons for any gaps within the last two years
Please include details of two referees that can be contacted prior to the interview should you be selected.

2. A Statement of Suitability (no longer than two pages) using examples to explain 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.

Please ensure that both documents contain your full name.

As part of the online application process, you will be asked a number of diversity-related questions. If you do not wish to provide a declaration on any of the particular characteristics, you will have the option to select 'prefer not to say'. The information you provide when submitting your application is mandatory and will help us monitor our progress towards the Civil Service becoming the most inclusive employer. See the Civil Service Diversity and Inclusion Strategy for more information.

Should you encounter any issues with your online application please get in touch with us via:

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 UK
  • 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
Further information on nationality requirements

Working for the Civil Service

The Civil Service Code sets out the standards of behaviour expected of civil servants.

We recruit by merit on the basis of fair and open competition, as outlined in the Civil Service Commission's recruitment principles.
The Civil Service embraces diversity and promotes equal opportunities. As such, we run a Disability Confident Scheme (DCS) for candidates with disabilities who meet the minimum selection criteria.

Apply and further information

Once this job has closed, the job advert will no longer be available. You may want to save a copy for your records.

Contact point for applicants

Job contact :
Name :  Patrick Rogers
Email :
Recruitment team :
Email :

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