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Case Study – Professional Standards Authority

Through open competition Veredus were retained by the Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care to conduct an executive search campaign to recruit the new Chair

The Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care oversees statutory bodies that regulate health and social care professionals in the UK. The Authority assesses their performance, conducts audits, scrutinises their decisions, including appealing their decisions to the High Court and reports to Parliament. It also sets standards for organisations holding voluntary registers for health and social care occupations and accredits those that meet them. 

Following the retirement of Baroness Jill Pitkeathley, the Authority was looking to appoint a new Chair who will play a key part in continuing the effective and successful governance of the Authority, and help it build and retain public and professional confidence in the effective regulation of health and social care professionals.

Candidates would be expected to demonstrate high standards of corporate and personal conduct including impartiality, integrity and objectivity, and would ideally bring experience in regulation, health or social care, a successful track record of operating strategically at Board level and demonstrable capability of chairing a Board. They would also have experience of addressing high profile, complex issues and balancing sensitive professional considerations with wider public interest, and have outstanding interpersonal and stakeholder management skills, and a commitment to public service and the protection of patients and the public.

The remuneration on offer was £33,688, and the time commitment up to 2 days per week, which proved to be a barrier for many prospective candidates who either did not have capacity to take on such a big commitment or thought that the remuneration was not commensurate with the importance and seniority of the post. A further complicating factor was the requirement that candidates were not be or ever have been a member of a health or social care profession which is subject to statutory regulation, which meant that a large number of prospective candidates were disqualified from this competition.

We conducted a small composite on-line advertising campaign, and a vigorous, thorough executive search campaign that was targeted in terms of the expertise areas sought, but wide-ranging in terms of sectors and organisations, encompassing central and local government, regulatory bodies, health, and not-for-profit sectors, as well as regulated industries. 

As a result of our search activity, we were successful in attracting a diverse pool of candidates to these posts, eliciting 16 applications, 6 of which were progresses to the longlist. These were then reduced to a shortlist of 2 who were presented to the selection panel, which identified a “preferred” candidate for the appointment. After gaining approval of The Privy Council, the new Chair was offered posts and accepted.  Both shortlisted candidates were identified through the executive search and approached by Veredus, and this was also the case for the appointed candidate, George Jenkins, the Chair of Dover Harbor Board.

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