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Ford & Stanley Executive

Opportunity Brief:  Head of SHEQ

Ford & Stanley Executive Search (Part of the Ford & Stanley Group) are specialists in Executive Interim and Permanent appointments to the UK, European & North American Rail, Engineering, General Manufacturing & Digital Industries.

We have been exclusively entrusted and appointed on a retained search for a candidate to lead our client’s SHEQ capability (To be titled either Group SHEQ Manager or Head of SHEQ). A recently acquired PE Backed business based in Rotherham with a huge growth trajectory ahead of it.

Below is an ‘opportunity brief’ developed from notes taken during the scoping meeting (Situational Discovery) held between the F&S Business Manager, Research Manager and our Clients C-Suite. This brief is designed to give candidates a deeper insight into the opportunity inherent within the role, the challenges it presents and provide access to the detail that sits behind the job specification.

Client Opportunity Statement: 

“Imperative to our journey is the hiring of a Head of SHEQ. With our exponential growth we are finding ourselves taking on more complex work and as such, It’s of upmost importance that we can give our clients the confidence and comfort that we have our ‘house’ in order and this starts with SHEQ. 

“In addition to managing our SHEQ relationships externally we are also keen for our Head of SHEQ to be the ‘champion’ of SHEQ with our internal stakeholders. Building relationships, educating and motivating internal teams to ensure we continue safely on our steep growth curve”.

The Opportunity

Main Challenges the role presents:

  • Maturing the SHEQ function in line with expectations from tier 1 suppliers.
  • The Head of SHEQ will largely operate as a ‘lone wolf’. Although there are plans to bring in a part-time administrator the incoming Head of SHEQ will be expected to set key deliverables and personally implement them across the business. 
  • The incoming Head of SHEQ will experience a stark contrast in regards to terminology and common practice between ‘bigger businesses’ and SME business reality which will take some adjusting.

Key deliverables within the first 18 months:

  • Implementing an effective reporting process to allow management to quickly access SHEQ information.
  • Empowering the workforce to effectively take ownership of their own SHEQ responsibilities with a focus on prevention.
  • Building relationships with internal and external stakeholders, allowing the business to retain a ‘seat at the table’.

Candidate Essentials Hard Skills:

§  NEBOSH Diploma qualified or working towards – (NEBOSH Certificate minimum)

§  CMIOSH or working/willing to work towards

§  Experience of working in a safety critical environment.


Candidate Essentials Soft Skills:

§  A dynamic individual with experience of empowering work forces.

§  Client facing experience with an engaging personality and capable of building strong relationships with key stakeholders.

§  Ability to articulate themselves well at all levels, from shop floor to board level.

§  Someone with a little ‘dirt under their fingernails’ experience of working on live sites and comfortable with dealing with the challenges this brings.  

§  A pro-active and reactive individual who can be fast on their feet and get tasks done.

Good to know:

  • This assignment is confidential due to the previous incumbent still being in the position. We will be running a fully confidential search including the use of NDA’s for candidates at the interview stage.
  • A unique bespoke heavy engineering solutions business.
  • It is of paramount importance that the business retains a professional ‘image’ with an ever-increasing client base and SHEQ is a vital part of this.
  • The growth potential within the business is massive both domestically and internationally.
  • This individual will be required to chair the SHEQ forums, turn concepts into ways of working, secure current and new accreditations for the business, as well as build a safety culture that allows staff, suppliers and stakeholders to have an open forum to report and discuss any issues that arise.
  • Current management systems are set up running and accredited.
  • Looking for a candidate to take control of the ESG requirements.
  • Reporting is a key part of the role that needs to be done correctly, something that currently could be done better, this is so there is clearer visibility to make changes so the same issues done continue to happen.
  • This individual will be required to set SHEQ agendas and drive them, making sure that site managers are kept up to speed, audits, RAMS and reporting are completed, and site SHEQ is set to a high standard.
  • Looking for someone that has experience of dealing with “live sites”, someone with some ‘dirt under their fingernails’ and someone that will have a ‘seat at the table’ with clients to understand any issues, so that they can apply their experience to the role.
  • The current safety culture is good, the teams are relying on their technical experience to deal with current SHEQ matters, there may be some cultural changes required to change the ways in which people are working this will require the incumbent to be able to manage relationships internally.
  • The role currently has no direct reports and reports into the CEO.
  • Candidates are likely to live within 1-hour commutable distance of site due to the role needing to have a full-time site presence and occasional travel as needed to there satellite site.
  • There will be a 2-stage interview process, remote competency-based for stage 1 (4 candidates) and face-to-face for the final stage (2 candidates) which will include a site tour, presentation, and formal interview.


  • Low £55k / Mid £60k/ Top end £65k
  • Pension
  • Healthcare – Westfield Level 1
  • 25 days Holiday + 8 Statutory
  • Annual Ad hoc salary reviews

Working Arrangements:

Candidates are required to have a full-time site presence and occasional travel as needed to satellite sites.  

Interview Process:

  • 1st Stage Functional Interview – Discussing CV, experience and auditability for the role.
  • 2nd stage Technical Interview – Competing a presentation & directed discussion to elaborate on their experience , site tour will also be included.

Likely Job Titles:

QHSE Manager, Head of HSQE, Group QHSE Manager, HSQE Manager, SHEQ Manager, Head of SHEQ, Group SHEQ Manager, Group HSE Manager, Head of SHE

Executive Search Delivery Team:

  • Emma Barlow – Senior Research Associate
  • Oliver Nunn – Research Manager
  • Ralitsa Kuzeva – Executive Research Associate

About Ford & Stanley Executive Search:

At Ford & Stanley Executive Search we go beyond a recruiting transaction with our core mission being that of every interaction we have with clients and candidates is best in class. We are select in the opportunities we represent, as such, work under strict exclusivity or retained agreements with forward thinking and proactive Rail companies that place their trust in our ability to deliver a winning shortlist at the first time of asking.

Our Search Directors / Search Consultants and in-house research team invest time at the front end of process with our client’s leadership team or stakeholders to consult, understand the opportunity inherent within the role, business need, map and agree timescales with supporting delivery plan well in advance of conducting the search.

All candidates both active and passive (head-hunted) can expect full and professional engagement from the Executive Search team in addition a timely, thorough and engaging recruitment process from a committed employer that seeks to secure ‘cream of the crop’ from a busy and noisy global candidate market.

Ford & Stanley Group Ltd is committed to a policy of equal opportunities for all opportunity seekers and approach all opportunity with a mindset of who is right for the job irrespective sex, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, marital or civil partnership status, age, disability, colour, race, nationality, ethnic or national origin, religion or belief or political beliefs and we place an obligation upon all staff to respect and act in accordance with the policy. We shall adhere to such a policy at all times and will review on an on-going basis all aspects of recruitment to avoid unlawful or undesirable discrimination.




    • Job type: Permanent
    • Location: Rotherham
    • Date posted:
    • Salary:£55000 - £65000

    This opportunity is being managed by:

    consultant photo

    Emma Barlow

    Senior Research Associate