Chief Executive Officer

Full Time

Website Veterinary Medicines Directorate

The Chief Executive (CEO) is responsible to the Defra Minister for the performance of the Agency and the delivery of objectives set by the Defra Minister. The current Agency targets focus on Value for Money (VfM), proportionate regulatory effectiveness, surveillance, international partnerships and influence, improving medicines regulation overseas, and sustainability. The CEO is required to ensure the Minister is informed on policy issues involving veterinary medicines use, maintaining the veterinary medicines regulations, and ensuring effective implementation of the Northern Ireland protocol for veterinary medicines issues.

The post holder therefore plays a significant leading role in ensuring the UK is represented in international fora affecting the regulation of veterinary medicinal products.

The CEO leads, directs and manages the functions of the VMD, establishing proper systems and procedures to ensure effectiveness, efficiency and economic conduct of business (VfM), continually seeking new ways for the Agency to deliver business at lower cost. The Agency’s people are critical to its success and whilst delivering change the CEO must maintain their capability, engagement, and morale. A strong outside focus on service to UK customers and interested parties is necessary to ensure compliance with the regulatory requirements and external acceptance of VfM activities.

The science of veterinary medicines is constantly evolving, requiring adaptive and active change in the regulatory environment. Delivery of proportionate regulation requires an active and responsive attitude to change, and knowledge of other medicines regulation regimes. The CEO should be prepared to actively encourage innovation and take a leading role in developing an international strategic approach to medicines regulation.

The CEO should also be expected to take a leading/supporting role for Defra initiatives as a Senior Responsible Owner (SRO) for programmes.


Key responsibilities include:

  • Lead an organisation of approximately 190 staff to ensure veterinary medicines in the UK are subjected to effective scientific assessment and subject to proportionate and effective regulatory controls and thereby assure the safety of human health, animal health and the environment where this relates to the use of veterinary medicines
  • Ensure that the Agency operates as a fully integrated part of the Defra network as appropriate, especially within the Food Farming and Biosecurity system, and work collaboratively to identify and deliver partnership or collaborative approaches that deliver best VfM for Defra as a whole, as well as the VMD
  • Ensure the VMD establishes liaison and working relationships with other national animal medicines regulators, with the specific aim of improving the regulation of veterinary medicines
  • Use advice and challenge of the VMD’s Non-executives, Management Board and Audit Committee to maximise the benefit of this input for the VMD
  • Agree and ensure implementation of clear operational standards and measures to deliver effective performance management of the VMD, supported by a system of quality management assurance.
  • Ensure that the VMD strategy is clear, understood and implemented
  • Ensure that the VMD is recognised worldwide as a leader in the regulation of veterinary medicines
  • As the accounting officer for the Directorate, the CEO carries personal responsibilities to manage the organisation in line with ‘Managing Public Money’. The CEO needs to ensure the VMD works efficiently and effectively and reports to parliament accurately, meaningfully and without misleading

For further information and person specification, please download the candidate information pack at the bottom of this page.


  • Learning and development tailored to your role
  • An environment with flexible working options
  • A culture encouraging inclusion and diversity
  • A Civil Service pension
Upload your CV/resume or any other relevant file. Max. file size: 2 MB.