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Independent Member of the Audit & Risk Committee | University of Derby

Join a modern university with a progressive outlook where everything they do is driven by delivering excellence and opportunities for students, staff and the region. The University of Derby is looking to engage a qualified finance professional with senior leadership experience within a large and complex business environment to join their Audit and Risk Committee.

  • Location: Derby
  • Salary: Unremunerated with reasonable expenses

About the role

Following the successful launch of the University of Derby’s 2018-2030 strategic framework, and with a desire to improve its governance, the University is looking for candidates to join their Audit & Risk Committee which reports directly into the University Governing Council. The role is non-executive and advisory in its nature, supporting the institutional decision-making process and ensuring appropriate oversight.

Joining the Audit & Risk Committee, the appointed person will contribute to the organisational risk management agenda by applying their professional experience to discussions of the Committee. The Committee has oversight of the effectiveness of the institution’s risk management, control and governance, and economic arrangements, oversight of the financial accounts, as well as significant responsibility in ensuring compliance with external regulation and funding.

It is also the purpose of the Committee to ensure value for money across the University and receive reports from approved audit partners. The Committee will be focused on revising the mapping of institutional business to the Committee agenda in this academic year.

Each year, it is the responsibility of the Audit & Risk Committee to receive the Annual Report and provide scrutiny and challenge to the University leadership and audit partners. Your experience gained in a senior financial leadership role will enable you to offer challenge, support and oversight at an executive level.

Specifically, the University is looking to appoint candidates with:

  • a passion for contributing to the development of education opportunities;
  • the senior leadership experience and insight to steer the University through to its future goals and the commitment to contribute to the success and future potential of students.

The Audit and Risk Committee is a central pillar of effective corporate governance and is responsible for assuring the Governing Council about the adequacy and effectiveness of:

  • Risk management, control and governance;
  • Economy, efficiency and effectiveness;
  • The management and quality assurance of data.

Who we're looking for

The University of Derby are looking to engage people with senior financial leadership experience, preferably from within a large and complex business environment, to join their Audit and Risk Committee as an independent member.

They are especially hoping to attract people who like a challenge and want to become both ambassador and advocate for the University, and indeed the higher education sector as a whole.

Able to contribute to the strategic decision making, and ensuring effective scrutiny and oversight, you will be keen to join a highly experienced non-executive team and willing to develop your understanding of the institution with a view to potentially joining the University Governing Council in the near future.

The expected time commitment for the role of Audit & Risk Committee Member is equivalent to one day per month.

For further information about the role, or to arrange a confidential discussion, please contact our executive search team at Peridot Partners:

Sophie Carney | sophie@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07399 528307

Drew Richardson-Walsh | drew@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07739 364033

Apply by: 12pm, Monday 11th May 2020

If you would like to know more about this role please contact Dr Sophie Carney

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Dear Candidate,

The University of Derby is a successful and highly regarded institution.

We employ around 3,000 people across a number of sites in both the city and the county, where quality teaching facilities enhance the learning experience for students. The University achieved the highest possible Gold rating in the independently assessed Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF), putting it in the top 20% of all UK institutions for teaching quality. Our top 30 position in the Guardian League Table, appearance in the top 1,000 universities in the world and globally in the top 250 of young universities places us in a very strong position from which to achieve our future ambitions.

The University of Derby is a multi-faceted organisation which fulfils many important roles with a wide number of stakeholders. First and foremost, we deliver a great learning experience for our students, equipping them with the key skills and knowledge to help them achieve their life ambitions.

We work extremely closely with industry across a range of initiatives and partnerships and play an important role locally as a core part of the Derby and Derbyshire main ‘infrastructure’. Our activities stretch beyond just the local however, with many exciting developments regionally, nationally and globally promoting high value learning.

The University is also involved in helping influence government policy for the Higher Education (HE) sector to ensure that all universities deliver great outcomes for students, partners and stakeholders with the best possible return on investment. The first of which will now be formally monitored under a new regulatory framework from the recently established Office for Students (OFS).

The Governing Council and its Committees play a key role in supporting and challenging in equal measure a highly capable senior team to deliver the University’s strategic plan – a comprehensive current and future framework covering academic quality, research output, financial sustainability, estates, planning, risk management, student recruitment, business development and international partnerships.

Governors and Committee Members have a varied range of skills and experience and we are looking to complement the current membership of our Audit & Risk Committee with the addition of an experienced finance and audit expert.

I am privileged and proud to have been on the Governing Council for around five years and have found it an immensely rewarding experience which I would highly recommend. I am constantly impressed by the drive, determination and passion of the team and have learnt a lot myself in that time as well as making my own contribution to the success of the University.

Please take time to read through the information about the University, the role of Audit & Risk Committee Member and, if you feel this could be for you, we would be delighted to receive your application and discuss further.

Mr Stephen Smith
Chair of Governing Council

The University of Derby

The University of Derby is a modern UK university located in the East Midlands, rated Gold in the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) and positioned 26th in The Guardian’s Top 30 University Guide 2020. The University has campuses in: Derby, Buxton, Leek and Chesterfield where students can study for a foundation, undergraduate, postgraduate or research course across a wide range of subjects.

It is a relatively large higher education provider with a total of c.27,000 students:

  • At undergraduate level: c.15,000 full-time, 2,800 part-time and 2,000 online students
  • For postgraduate taught provision: 1,550 full-time, 2,100 part-time and 1,600 online students
  • For postgraduate research provision: 166 full-time and 200 part-time students

In addition, the University has around 2,500 students studying further education at its Buxton & Leek College and 1,500 apprentices working towards their qualification across the University. The number of apprentices and higher apprentices studying with the university is growing steadily across sectors including: health and social care, policing, leadership and management, quarrying and minerals.

The University of Derby is an innovative education provider that achieved its university status in 1992. Teaching at the Derby site actually dates back to 1851, when it was a diocesan institution for training teachers, so they have over 160 years of expertise in education.

The University has since become a first choice for students who want a caring, aspirational environment where they can equip themselves for the career they choose. The significant investment in world-class facilities is building on their reputation for providing social mobility through student-focused real-world learning, in an increasingly competitive sector.

Through the past few years, the University has invested over £150 million in facilities designed to give students the very best possible learning environment. They have further investment planned and continue to develop teaching to be innovative, stimulating and engaging.

Recent investments in the facilities include:

  • A £12 million STEM Centre, including facilities for mechanical testing, robotics and an anechoic chamber;
  • A state of the art £10.8 million sports centre;
  • An immersive interactive simulations suite, the only one of its kind in a university outside London;
  • A forensic training facility, with a dedicated crime scene house;
  • A dedicated fashion and textiles facility;
  • An industry standard Bloomberg Financial Markets Lab.

The University of Derby is the university for now and in the future – they plan to sustain their hold on the sector, whilst developing their provision, resources, people, estate and most importantly their students’ success for the future.

    To access a full job description and application details,
    please fill out the form below.


    Thank you for your interest in this role.

    Please download the Role Description and Person Specification and fill out the Equality Monitoring Form

    If you would like to have an informal conversation about the role you can contact our advising consultants at Peridot Partners:

    Sophie Carney | sophie@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07399 528307

    Drew Richardson-Walsh | drew@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07739 364033

    To apply: Please submit a CV and supporting statement (maximum two sides of A4) that clearly outlines your suitability for the role against the criteria provided in the person specification. Please include your interest and motivation in applying for this position. Please also complete this equality monitoring form.

    Please ensure that your application and Equality Monitoring Form is emailed to response@peridotpartners.co.uk inserting “Audit & Risk Committee Member (Finance), University of Derby” into the subject field.

    Disabled applicants are invited to contact us in confidence at any point during the recruitment process to discuss steps that could be taken to overcome operational difficulties presented by the job, or if any adjustments or support are required regarding the recruitment process.

    We wish to encourage applications regardless of race, colour, nationality, ethnic or national origins, sex, disability, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, marital or civil partner status, pregnancy or maternity, age or religion or belief.

    All applications will be considered solely on merit.


    Closing date for applications: 12pm, Monday 11th May 2020
    Interviews: TBC

    Equal Opportunities Monitoring

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