Director of Risk and Assurance

This job has now expired
Westminster, London

The National Church Institutions (NCIs) work to support the mission and ministry of the Church of England.  The NCIs are separate and distinct charities which work together to resource parishes, church schools, chaplaincies, cathedrals, dioceses and Bishops.  Together, the NCIs cover a vast range of activities from policy advice to safeguarding; investment management to supporting the House of Lords; pensions administration to quasi-judicial processes for church buildings; etc. 

The Risk Management and Internal Audit function works across the three major NCIs, supporting their trustee boards and Chief Officers in risk management, assurance and good governance.  The Director of Risk & Assurance leads and manages a small team covering risk management and internal audit.  Internal Audit activities are currently undertaken by the team and an external provider (currently RSM).    

There is a key relationship between the Director and the chairs of the Audit Committees for each NCI.  The work programme is agreed with the Chief Officers and the Audit Committees.  In 2019 the NCIs adopted an Internal Audit Charter setting out the responsibilities and duties of the function.

On a personal level, the Director is particularly supported by the Pensions Board Chief Executive (as line manager) and the Chief Financial & Operations Officer.  Through membership of the Pensions Board Exec, the Director is rooted in a team outside of the audit function. 

The Director of Risk & Assurance will serve the National Church Institutions (NCIs) by ensuring that they have an effective risk management culture and appropriate control processes and practices in place, promoting good governance and continuous improvement across the organisations.

This is a vital role which requires a strong candidate who will offer culturally sensitive, business-facing risk and audit leadership for the NCIs of the Church of England.  It is vital that the individual understands the scope, complexity and scale of the organisations and is in sympathy with their work and objectives.

For further information and to apply, please contact our retained search partner Barclay Simpson via Steven Driver  quoting reference SD 170819

In return we offer a unique environment with opportunities for continuous learning, generous annual leave for work life balance, season ticket loans and a range of benefits including discounted entry to attractions and what we feel is a market leading package when it comes to our pension scheme.

The Role:

Risk Management

  1. Own the NCIs’ Risk Management Policy; ensure and enable its implementation through guidance and training; and ensure that risk management strategies and processes are effective and appropriate to the business functions and compliant with ISO 31000 and Charity Commission requirements.
  2. Facilitate sharing of learning on risks and risk management within the NCIs and other church bodies such as dioceses; hold the Church of England strategic risk register.

Assurance and Internal Audit

  1. Ensure that the Chief Officers and the Audit Committees are provided with an independent and objective opinion on whether the control environment and systems of internal control are sufficiently robust to ensure the effective delivery of all relevant objectives and goals.
  2. Prepare the annual audit plan and agree this with the Chief Officers and Audit Committees.
  3. Deliver the audit plan, ensure appropriate resourcing and reconciliation of competing priorities, and ensure that appropriate standards of quality are achieved.
  4. Manage the selection of and relationship with third party internal audit provider(s).


  1. Understand the Church landscape and draw together insights from across the NCIs and wider church to help the NCIs identify and manage risks and opportunities.
  2. Advise, and as necessary challenge, Chief Officers and their teams; advise the various trustee bodies and their Audit Committees.
  3. Assist all levels of management and staff in the effective discharge of their duties via provision of advice, completion of internal audit reviews and consultancy services.  
  4. Demonstrate the added value of the function, particularly in business activities that don’t naturally lend themselves to pure compliance auditing.

Leadership and Management

  1. Manage the agreed budget (c£400k pa) staff, contractors and service providers.  Take responsibility for personal and team professional development.
  2. Prepare agenda and papers for all Audit Committees; contribute appropriately to these committees, trustee meetings as required, and various executive management meetings.
  3. Contribute to the NCI senior leadership team, act as an ambassador for culture change in the NCIs and play an active and committed role in embedding the people strategy for the NCIs.

Continuous improvement

  1. Benchmark the effectiveness of the function against relevant third parties on an appropriate frequency.
  2. Ensure that the Risk and Audit function continues to evolve, adapt and keep pace with the demands of the organisations as a true business partner, enabling the NCIs to improve performance and supporting future service innovation.

The Requirements:



  1. Demonstrates high levels of intelligence and strong analytical skills.
  2. Able to learn and navigate both complex structures, and the nuances of inter-relationships, between the different organisations that together form the Church of England.  Comfortable working in an environment with features of complexity and ambiguity.
  3. Excellent influencing and communication skills, with the ability to tailor strategies and messages to fit the needs and expectations of different clients and support the delivery of their business objectives.
  4. Business acumen combined with interpersonal skills sufficient to develop a constructive partnership with the executive leadership teams and Audit Committees.
  5. Ability to be comfortable with change, understanding what it takes to make it happen and how to work with others to achieve it.  Able to win over those nervous about change.


  1. Hold a professional qualification (ACA, ACCA, CIMA, CMIIA, or equivalent) or be able to demonstrate substantial equivalent experience. 


  1. Substantial experience of implementing, delivering and embedding risk management in a financial, commercial or public sector environment at both the strategic and operational level.
  2. Substantial experience of providing or overseeing internal audit services in a complex organisation, whether in the private, public or third sectors.
  3. Experience of overseeing specialist (e.g. IT, Investment, Safeguarding) audit work either directly or by a third party.
  4. Experience of line managing a small team and/or contractors, and having responsibility for a departmental budget.

Personal Attributes:

  1. Excellent interpersonal skills.
  2. Demonstrates sound judgement.
  3. Sets high personal standards, invites feedback and takes responsibility for personal and team professional development.
  4. Naturally curious.
  5. Ability to maintain professional independence while also contributing as part of a leadership team.
  6. Comfortable with the mission and goals of the Church of England and the work of the NCIs.


  1. Knowledge or awareness of the Church of England 
  2. Experience of working successfully with charity trustees or non-executive boards.

We in the National Church Institutions support the mission and ministries of the Church all over England. We work with parishes, dioceses (regional offices), schools, other ministries and our partners at a national and international level.

Excellence, Respect, Integrity

We follow these three values in everything we do, whether we are of Christian faith, another faith or no faith. To learn more about working for National Church Institutions and our benefits, please click here

As we are a member of the Armed Forces Covenant, we welcome all applications from those you have served in our Armed Forces and their families

We are committed to building a culturally diverse workforce. As part of this commitment, we welcome applications from people, regardless of their background. As a Disability Confident committed employer, it is important to note that there may be occasions where it is not practical or appropriate to interview all disabled applicants who meet the minimum criteria* due to high volume. We limit the amount of interviews conducted to five applicants per open post we advertise. 

*Where applicable depending on post requirements.