Protecting the Consumer and Servicing
the Trade with Independence and Integrity

Wardens and Guardians

 

WARDENS AND GUARDIANS

The Birmingham Assay Office is not controlled by the trade – unlike the older assay offices and halls which were originally administered by the Guilds – but by a non-exec  board of 6  Wardens who are elected from the 36 Guardians of the Standard of Wrought Plate in Birmingham, of whom not more than nine or less than six may be connected with the trade.

Applications for the role of Guardian, trade and non-trade, may be submitted at any time and will be considered when there are vacancies and according to the Office’s skills and experience requirements. Email us for further information.

Below is a list of Guardians and Wardens of Assay Office Birmingham: 

Wardens

Carol Brady MBEChairman

Gary WroeWarden

Russell JeansWarden

Andrew LeeWarden

 

Rachel Eade Michelle Cartwright Nicola McGowan
Gary Singh Alison Neate David Hendley*
Charles Smith Andy Moss Simon Dawe
Russell Jeans Alicky Wibaut Lauren Hartigan-Pritchard
Tracy Carlton Frances Anderson Carla Goodfellow
Stephen Whittaker*    Charles Barwell Petro Nicolaides
Henry Deakin* Kate Canty  
John Henn* Gary Wroe*  
Prof John Heath Gordon Hamme  
Andrew Lee Simon Meddings  
Julie Langford Gervase Lancaster  
Peter Crump* Andrew Morton*  

NOTE * Trade Guardian

Names highlighted in bold are Wardens

Birmingham Assay Office seeks new Guardians

Birmingham Assay Office is a diverse forward-looking enterprise with an entrepreneurial approach that reflects the vision of the man responsible for lobbying Parliament for its creation, Matthew Boulton.

Applications to become a Guardian of Birmingham Assay Office are now being invited.

Birmingham Assay Office is particularly seeking applications form those with experience in:

  • UK and/or International Marketing encompassing: Branding, Social Media, Market Research, Indirect sales, Reputation Management, Communications
  • Commercial experience of developing service businesses in international markets
  • IT encompassing: Systems Analysis, Information Security Management, Software Development
  • Politics encompassing: Political appointment (local, regional and national), Lobbying and Campaigning

 

Applications are invited for both Non-trade and Trade (i.e., connected to the precious metals trade) roles.

 

About Birmingham Assay Office

Birmingham Assay Office is a progressive and developing business that has followed a programme of innovation and diversification. It comprises five operational divisions:

  • Hallmarking: the assaying (testing) and marking of precious metals. It has the largest share of the UK market
  • Analytical Laboratory: internationally respected as an authority in the testing of precious and non-precious metals such as nickel, lead, cadmium and other elements regulated by REACH, RoHS and other international standards and legislation. The Laboratory has also developed AnchorCert Pro, a unique UKAS-accredited testing methodology to identify and measure a suite of metallic elements that may cause Allergic Contact Dermatitis and provide regulatory compliance
  • AnchorCert Gem Lab: one of the UK’s best resourced gemmological facilities
  • SafeGuard: a leading valuation service for jewellery, watches and silverware
  • The Academy: specialist educational training to businesses and individuals

Its modern custom-designed three-storey, 5,000 sq. m building - that acts as a gateway to Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter - is also home to a small number of academic and commercial tenants, thereby maximising use of the premises and providing an additional income-stream.

Its Vision is to be The Global Choice for Assurance and its Mission is to develop a compliance and testing centre of excellence across the jewellery industry, ensuring a growing and balanced portfolio of business activities to achieve its objectives, minimise risk and ensure a positive nett cash flow.

The Office is deeply committed to equality and promotes a culture of creativity, innovation and collaboration with staff, customers, supporters and the community with whom it works. It is particularly keen to be representative of all of the communities of Birmingham and the West Midlands and we would particularly like to encourage applications from candidates across a broad range of backgrounds and interests, including from groups currently under-represented amongst our Wardens and Guardians.

The aim of its Equality, Inclusion and Diversity Policy is to ensure no job applicant, employee or worker is discriminated against either directly or indirectly on the grounds of age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy or maternity, race, religion or belief, sex or sexual orientation.

The role: Guardians of the Standard of Wrought Plate in Birmingham

Founded by an Act of Parliament in 1773, the unique corporate structure of the company - which trades as Birmingham Assay Office - is controlled by a group of 36 elected Guardians of the Standard of Wrought Plate in Birmingham (of whom not more than nine nor less than six should be connected with the precious metals trade; this was a departure from the older assay offices that were administered by the Guilds). The Act requires Birmingham Assay Office to be self-supporting with all its revenues coming from commercial activities – originally solely assaying or marking.

Guardians elect Wardens from amongst their number to serve on a non-exec board to which the Chief Executive and Assay Master reports.  This is a more timeā€consuming, non-executive role and is remunerated.

The Guardians’ fundamental role is to preserve and protect the Office. Specific duties include:

  • To attend the AGM and Interim meetings (normally two a year). (Nonattendance at two out of any three consecutive meetings could result in a Guardian being asked to resign the position).
  • To appoint Wardens to ensure that the company meets its statutory obligations.
  • To appoint Wardens to oversee the management of the company.
  • To approve the remuneration of the Wardens.
  • To monitor the effectiveness of the Wardens’ committee and the Sub-Committees in accordance with the approved Corporate Governance Policy.
  • To satisfy themselves that the company remains viable and operates ethically.
  • To approve the appointment of Auditors.
  • To support and promote the Office.

A Guardian can be called upon as required to provide independent advice, professional guidance and introductions within their field of expertise for the benefit of the Assay Office.

Guardians may also be called upon to support specific functional committees (currently Remuneration and Appointments; Audit and Finance, and Investment).

A Voluntary Code exists to limit the maximum service period for all Guardians to 15-years. If appointed as a Warden during the 15 years, the Wardenship shall be limited to a maximum period of 9 years from appointment date subject to re-election every three years with the expectation that the total of any continuous period in office of a Warden will be six years unless there are exceptional circumstances.

Guardians stand for re-election every four-years and, specified by statute, must retire at the age of 70. Details of the Voluntary Code are included in the Corporate Governance Policy.

Requirements

We are seeking experienced individuals to serve as Guardians.

Personal qualities that we look for in a Guardian include:

  • Creditable and verifiable strong expertise in their specialised field
  • Experience of a non-executive role in commercial scenario
  • Excellent communication skills i.e. good balance as listener v talker
  • Strong altruistic drive without personal agenda
  • Complementary interpersonal skills to support the Wardens’ team
  • Constructive approach and attitude
  • Capacity and desire to provide required input
  • Strong supporting network
  • Understanding and appreciation of unique business structure and ability to quickly assimilate facts and drill down to the right level of detail
  • Questioner and challenger, not a preacher

As stated above, the skills and expertise we currently seek are:

  • UK and/or International Marketing encompassing: Branding, Social Media, Market Research, Indirect sales, Reputation Management, Communications
  • Commercial experience of developing service businesses in international markets
  • IT encompassing: Systems Analysis, Information Security Management, Software Development
  • Politics encompassing: Political appointment (local, regional and national), Lobbying and Campaigning

If you feel that you are suitably qualified and would like to be considered for the role of a Guardian, please request an application form from Emma Wathen at emma.wathen@theassayoffice.co.uk.

 

 

 

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