Governance & Risk Manager (Fixed Term Appointment)

About us

The Physiological Society (‘The Society), a registered charity, brings together over 3,500 members from over 60 countries. Since its foundation in 1876, our members have made significant contributions to our knowledge of biological systems and the treatment of disease. The Society promotes physiology and supports those working in the field by organising world-class scientific meetings, offering grants for research, collaboration and international travel, and by publishing the latest developments in its leading scientific journals. 

Job purpose and background 

To provide a complete service to support The Society’s Board, Committees and Working Groups; a high quality and confidential service that is responsive and efficient. A full range of administrative capabilities is required. 

To support The Society’s governance and compliance obligations. 

This role will be directly reporting into the Chief Executive. 

Please note, this is a fixed-term appointment to cover a maternity absence.

Main tasks and responsibilities 

Board, Committees and Working Groups 

To ensure the following: 

  • Prepare the forward meetings schedule to ensure that there is a coordinated approach and alignment between the relevant meetings.  This includes; sourcing and setting dates for meetings, booking committee rooms, arranging room set up and catering through the Office Administrator, booking AV, facilitating arrangements for committee members, e.g. travel and accommodation booking (where necessary).
  • Coordinate and provide all-committee leadership on best practise, templates for agendas, minutes and meeting papers and reporting to the Board. Maintaining the committee information recorded in the CRM and website including maintenance of lists of committee members, notification of expiry of tenure and coordination of appointments.
  • Organise, with the Chief Executive, Council dinners.
  • Administer ‘academic support’ payments to relevant Trustee’s institutions.
  • Provide administrative support for Board Meetings, Finance Committee and Nomination Committee and other committees as required. 

Board, Governance Committees and Working Groups  

  • In conjunction with the Chief Executive, outsourced Director of Finance, Chairs and relevant staff prepare and distribute agendas and packs of papers, draft minutes and distribute final meeting minutes and coordinate follow-up actions.  Governance 

Assist the Chief Executive with corporate governance issues and current best practice. 

  • Maintain and proactively manage a schedule of governance activities throughout the year.
  • Organisation of Trustee and committee member training programmes and production of relevant induction literature.
  • Organise ongoing training for all Trustees to ensure relevant knowledge gaps and skills are updated. Administer the performance assessment process for the Trustees. 
  • Manage the appointment and elections process for Trustees including; oversight of turnover, developing relevant job descriptions and application forms, effective marketing of positions and working with relevant SMT member to ensure appropriate skill selection.
  • Interpret and advise on the Articles and Regulations, including election and voting rules and procedures.  Administer returns and similar updates to the Charity Commission and Companies House; 
  • Maintain the register of Trustees’/Directors’ interests.
  • Maintain and proactively manage the risk management register in collaboration with stakeholders. 
  • Assist relevant members of staff with the production of the Trustees’ Annual Report.
  • Administer the annual Honorary Membership nominations and invitations process.
  • Administer the Fellowship nominations.
  • Oversee the Policy Register and manage the review cycle, including reviewing and redrafting relevant Board level policies for Board approval.  

Risk Management  

  • Lead on the development and review of The Society Risk Management Policy to ensure compliance with best practice.
  • Advise of innovative approaches to risk management to integrate risk assessment across all Society activities.
  • Facilitate Board level risk profiling.
  • Manage the central risk register review cycle including:  - maintenance and management of the risk register; - providing assistance and advice to the Senior Management Team;   - ensuring completion within adequate timescales in accordance with the governance schedule.  

Executive Assistant 

  • To ensure the following as a priority each day.
  • Be responsible for the co-ordination of the monthly Senior Management Team meeting schedule and secretariat rota.  
  • Acting as Executive Assistant to the Chief Executive, may include but are not limited to: 
  • Manage and schedule the Chief Executive’s diary as required. 
  • Travel and expense management. Meeting and teleconference facilitation. 


  • Manage the governance budget.
  • Where required provide support to the President, President-elect and Honorary Treasurer.
  • Ensure that any other duties as required as directed by the Chief Executive to ensure the effective function of The Society office and secretariat are undertaken.
  • Able to work occasional weekends and evenings as required and occasional travel within the UK.
  • Time off in lieu will be granted for weekend working. 

Note that it may be difficult to take significant periods of leave during busy periods such as around the Board meetings or Members Forum.  

Key attributes: 

  • Educated to degree level or equivalent experience
  • . A detailed understanding of charity governance preferably gained from the membership or the learned society sectors.
  • Ability to meet deadlines and prioritise, with successful experience of working on a range of simultaneous responsibilities.
  • Excellent working skills in time management and communication skills.
  • Ability to collaborate effectively as part of a team and to improve processes to increase efficiency.
  • Experience of organising travel arrangements and events.
  • Experience of managing a budget and getting value for money. Proficient IT literacy, including spreadsheets, databases, email, word processing and PowerPoint. Excellent oral and written skills and able to deal with senior academics, members and external contacts. Administrative and organisational skills, particularly the effective management of meetings.
  • Demonstrated ability to take clear, concise and accurate minutes and prepare agendas. 
  • Ability to draft accurately and succinctly. Diplomacy and tact. An outgoing and positive personality with a pro‐active can‐do attitude. 


We offer a competitive salary alongside generous benefits which includes: 27 days annual leave; 8-10% pension contribution; life assurance; worldwide travel insurance and an employee assistance programme.

How to apply:

Please send a supporting letter alongside your CV to Closing date for candidates is currently 20 February 2020, however, depending on the number of good candidates, we may decide to close this at an earlier date.

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