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This appointment is closed and is displayed for reference only. 


Remuneration:£301 per day 

Location:Aberdeen City  

Closing date:13 October 2021 at midnight 


Scottish Ministers want to appoint a Chair to Food Standards Scotland.


Food Standards Scotland’s (FSS) remit is public health protection: focusing on food and animal feed standards and safety including food labelling, and improving diet and nutrition. We are an evidence-based organisation providing policy advice to both consumers and the Scottish Government.

FSS is a non-ministerial office, operating independently within the Scottish Administration alongside, but not as part of, the Scottish Government. The financial memorandum we have in place with the Scottish Government allocates funding for our running costs.  We have an annual budget of over £22 million.  We work closely with the Scottish Government – particularly with officials within the Health Improvement and Food and Drink Divisions – but we are independent from Ministers and are directly accountable to the Scottish Parliament.

The FSS Board, is responsible for setting the strategic direction. The Board meets in public between four and six times per year, and our policy recommendations and decisions are published on our website  Being open and transparent in everything we do is critical to retaining consumer confidence.

FSS is based in Aberdeen with 280.5 FTE staff in total, including field-based operations and veterinary staff. Monitoring and enforcing hygiene and safety standards along the supply chain, as well as monitoring animal welfare at slaughter, are central to the work that we do. We work very closely with Scotland’s 32 local authorities who have a key role in delivering our objectives on the ground, with responsibility for ensuring that food and feed businesses across Scotland are meeting their legal obligations and are producing and selling safe, authentic food. We also work closely with a wide range of stakeholder organisations and with other public bodies in Scotland and beyond.

FSS works with the Food Standards Agency (FSA), Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) and the Department for Health (DH) on many issues, such as dealing with UK-wide food incidents, taking action on Campylobacter, improving health through better diet, European developments and collaborating on research.

The role

You do not need to be a professional expert in food standards and safety.  We are keen to attract people with a wide range of skills and backgrounds and the senior level experience required for this significant appointment.  You will be a visible and credible ambassador for Food Standards Scotland, ensuring that it retains the confidence of consumers.

This will mean collaborating effectively and developing excellent working relationships across organisational boundaries to achieve shared goals to improve public health and consumers’ interests in relation to food.  If you have what it takes to fulfil this rewarding and challenging role, we would like to hear from you.

You must be able to demonstrate skills and experience in the following areas:

  • Understanding of FSS and its strategic context

  • Strategic Leadership

  • Governance & Accountability

  • Performance Oversight

  • Constructive/Supportive Challenge & Influencing

  • Communication

Food Standard Scotland’s values are at the heart of everything that we do.  As Chair of this Board, you will not only need to have the right skills, knowledge and experience for the role, but also be able to demonstrate behaviours aligned to these values set out below:

  • Consumer Focussed

  • Evidence Based

  • Fair and Proportionate

  • Independent

  • Inclusive and Open


We value very highly the benefits of having different experiences and points of view on our Boards.  Accordingly, we hope to receive applications from a wide range of talented people irrespective of their religion or belief, sex, age, gender identity, disability, sexual orientation, ethnic origin, political belief, relationship status or caring responsibilities.

Scottish Ministers particularly welcome applications from people with protected characteristics who are under-represented at Chair level, such as women, disabled people, those from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities and people aged under 50.

Appointment Information

Applicants for public appointments must be legally entitled to work in the UK.  Please see the Applicant Information Pack for further information.

Remuneration:  A non-pensionable daily rate of £301 is payable.  You will also receive reimbursement for all reasonable travel and subsistence costs, reasonable dependant-carer expenses incurred whilst undertaking Board duties and for support required to help you carry out your duties effectively, subject to Board policy.

Time commitment:  As Chair, you must be able to make a firm commitment to spend 8 days per month on Board business.  Exceptionally, and subject to the Board’s ongoing business needs, you may be asked to commit to additional time.  Although we have been working from home by videoconferencing, it is anticipated that after the Covid-19 pandemic is over, the activities of the Chair are likely to revert to a mix of face-to-face board meetings, stakeholder visits, other face-to-face or videoconferencing meetings, reading documents and attending stakeholder events, some of which may be in the evenings or at weekends and may involve you having to travel. 

Appointment details:  Appointment will be for a period up to five years, subject to regular performance appraisals, with the possibility of re-appointment.

Location:  The Board  is based in Aberdeen.  Board meetings are usually held in Aberdeen. Meetings have been held online during the Covid-19 pandemic; but going forward, the expectation is that the work will be a blend of face-to-face and virtual meetings.

Assessment Process:  Assessment will happen in two stages.  The first stage will be the assessment of your written application against the essential requirements being tested at this stage.  The second and final stage will involve a mock media exercise; and an interview, with presentation.  The mock media exercise will be held on 9th and 10th November 2021; with interviews being held on 22nd and 23rd November 2021.  As part of the interview, you will be asked to undertake a practical exercise, provided to you in advance, which will involve you preparing a verbal presentation for the panel.  We anticipate that the mock media exercise will be held remotely, by video link.  We hope that the interview will be held face-to-face in Edinburgh.  However, given the uncertainty of the Covid-19 pandemic and any restrictions which might be in place, we will review this nearer the time.  If Public Health guidance indicates that it is not possible to meet face-to-face, alternative arrangements will be made to conduct these remotely by video link.    

If you would like to discuss this role informally and confidentially with either the current Chair and/or the Chief Executive of FSS in advance of your application, you are welcome to contact Diane Strachan, Head of Private Office at or on 07941 615155, who can make suitable arrangements.  Any such discussions with the Chair and/or Chief Executive will form no part of the assessment.

Full details of the criteria to be met for the position are contained in the person specification, which forms part of the Information for Applicants pack.  Also included in the pack is more detailed information about Food Standards Scotland. 

For full information on the appointment, please read the Information for Applicant Information Pack accessed via the link below.

Completed applications must be received on or before Wednesday 13th October 2021.

Appointments to the FSS Board are regulated by the Ethical Standards Commissioner. 

Appointed on merit; committed to diversity and equality.

Application Information

Our website allows you to apply online, via a link below.  If you experience any difficulties accessing our website, or if you would prefer to apply using a Word version of the application form, please contact the Public Appointments Team on 0300 244 1898 or by email at


Additional Information

  1. Applicant Information Pack
  2. FAQs