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New Chair sought for the Advisory Committee on the Microbiological Safety of Food (ACMSF)

The Food Standards Agency Chair, Heather Hancock, is inviting applications to fill the post of Chair of the Advisory Committee on the Microbiological Safety of Food (ACMSF). The ACMSF is the independent expert committee which advises the FSA on microbiological food safety.

About the vacancy

The ACMSF Chair will be an expert of national or, ideally, international standing, preferably in the field of medicine or science.  The successful candidate will lead the formulation and delivery of independent, expert risk assessment advice on the microbiological safety of food to the Food Standards Agency and Food Standards Scotland. 

Our priority as the UK prepares to leave the EU is to ensure there remains a robust and effective regulatory regime for maintaining the safety of food for the benefit of UK consumers and of the UK food industry. The successful candidate will work with the FSA to anticipate, plan for and deliver the consequences of exiting the EU in relation to microbiological risk assessment.  Our EU Exit planning allows for a significant increase in our existing scientific and other capacities in relation to public health and food safety risk assessment.

The ACMSF Chair will also need to work effectively with the FSA Science Council which provides strategic advice and challenge to the FSA on FSA’s use of science, including the work of the Scientific Advisory Committees and FSA’s high-level approach to assessing risk.

The Chair of the ACMSF has a vital role in guiding and communicating the Committee’s discussion and his or her independence must be beyond question.  The Food Standards Agency has therefore decided that the Chair of the ACMSF (and similar committees advising the Agency) should not be employed by, or receive personal remuneration from, industrial organisations or pressure groups during his or her term of appointment.

Candidates must be strong team motivators with common sense and good analytical skills.  Putting consumers first and being able to recognise the impact of ACMSF advice on the FSA and the public are extremely important requirements.

Appointments to the ACMSF are made strictly on merit by a fair and open process in accordance with the Commissioner for Public Appointments’ Code of Practice, taking account of equality and diversity.  The FSA operates a Guaranteed Interview Scheme for people with disabilities who meet the essential published criteria.

Committee members and the Chair do not receive a salary but they do receive remuneration for attendance at meetings and reimbursement of reasonable expenses.

How to apply

If you are interested in being considered for this post, you can get an information pack and application form from:

Ms Sarah Butler
ACMSF Secretariat
Floors 6 and 7 Clive House
70 Petty France
London SW1H 9EX

Tel: 0207 276 8947
Fax: 0207 276 8910


The closing date for receipt of completed applications is: Monday 18 June 2018

Interviews for shortlisted applicants will take place on 27 September 2018

More information can be found on the ACMSF website