Chair and two Co-optees of the Audit and Risk Committee Job description

Term: Three years, renewable for three years
Remuneration: Expenses
Location: London / remotely

The Royal Society of Medicine is a charity whose mission is to share learning and support innovation across all areas of healthcare. We are a leading provider of continual learning for healthcare professionals and a membership organisation. There are four key pillars of our work. These are:

Education: delivering technical, non-technical and multidisciplinary education;
Learning Resources: providing excellent medical resources (physical and e-resources);
Convening: connecting those involved in and interested in healthcare; and
Innovation: supporting innovators by leveraging expertise across the RSM.

We are governed by our Council which is responsible for our strategic direction, financial health, the probity of our activities and for developing our aims, objectives and goals in accordance with our Royal Charter and legal and regulatory guidelines. To support the work of Council, the RSM has established a range of Council Committees. Council Committees comprise Trustees and co-opted members.

We are now looking to appoint a co-opted Chair as well as a further two co-optees for our Audit and Risk Committee.

Specific responsibilities

Key responsibilities for members of the Audit and Risk Committee are to:

  • Promote the highest standards of probity and encourage proper accountability for the use of the RSM’s charitable funds;
  • Improve the quality of financial reporting by reviewing internal and external financial statements on behalf of Council;
  • Promote a climate of financial discipline and control which will help to reduce any opportunity for financial mismanagement;
  • Promote the development of internal control systems which will help satisfy Council at all levels of management that it will achieve its key objectives and targets;
  • Agree the process of internal audit as required and ensure effective follow up;
  • Agree the programme of external audit, review audit findings and management letters and ensure implementation of recommendations as necessary;
  • Oversee the process of appointment of auditors and make recommendations to Council;
  • Oversee across the RSM all categories of risk and ensure that proper practices are in place to surface, understand, and manage priority risks;
  • Oversee the work of the Safety Committee;
  • Consider and recommend to Council an appropriate Health and Safety Policy and monitor its implementation; and
  • Ensure that Council is informed of all significant issues and risks arising in a timely manner.

In addition, the Chair of the Audit and Risk Committee will also sit on the RSM’s Finance and Investment Committee which gives assurance to Council on the financial position and financial strategies of the RSM. The Chair also attends Council meetings to give an update on key activities of the Audit and Risk Committee.

Experience, skills and understanding

We are keen to ensure a breadth of experience and perspective on the Audit and Risk Committee so that it can inform and challenge how we work.

Candidates for the co-optee positions may come from a range of different areas but must be able to demonstrate a good understanding of the principles of audit and risk management in organisations.

Candidates for the position of Chair will need to have significant up to date audit experience gained from working at a senior level in a professional firm or a significant finance department of an organisation. Knowledge of charity accounting and charity law is desirable and prior experience of chairing or sitting on a charity’s audit and risk committee would be an advantage.

In addition, all candidates should bring:

  • Experience of operating at a senior management/leadership level;
  • An ability to work at a strategic level whilst being strong on detail;
  • Good communication skills;
  • The ability to work well with others to develop consensus whilst bringing a high degree of constructive challenge; and
  • Commitment to the work of the RSM and a willingness to devote the necessary time and effort to the role.

Time commitment and location

The Audit and Risk Committee meets four times a year, with other ad hoc meetings as required. The Chair will also sit on the Finance and Investment Committee which meets four times a year, with other ad hoc meetings as required. The Chair updates Council on key audit and risk issues and attends meetings of Council, which meets four times a year with other ad hoc meetings as required.

It is expected that the selected co-optees will be appointed as soon as practicable. The appointment of the Chair will commence on 1 October 2021, but it is expected that a handover with the retiring Chair will take place ahead of this date.

All meetings will be held at the organisation’s premises at 1 Wimpole Street, London W1G 0AE or by videoconference.

How to apply

Please send a CV and covering letter explaining which role you are interested in and why and how you meet the relevant criteria to Joanna Rose at by 12 noon on Friday 21 May 2021.

Shortlisted candidates will be notified in the week commencing 31 May 2021 and be invited to a meeting with Ms Michele Acton, Chief Executive (either in person or via Zoom), ahead of a Panel Interview on 9 June 2021. If you would like further information about the RSM and the roles, please contact Ms Michele Acton at


The RSM is committed to equal opportunities. Equal opportunities are provided to all applicants for roles without regard to race, religion, colour, age, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic disposition, neurodiversity, disability or any other protected category.

The RSM is also committed to the safeguarding and fair processing of information received from candidates applying for opportunities and fully complies with the spirit and regulations of the GDPR. For a full statement about the type of data that the RSM keeps about role applicants and the purposes for which it is kept, please read our fair processing notice for job applicants.