Project Director - Plant Healthy Certification Scheme

Plant Healthy Limited

Home-based, UK
£55,000 FTE

Paid • Full or Part Time • Fixed Term Contract

Sectors: food, farming & horticulture

Closing date: Thursday, 29th February 2024   1 day left

Job Title: Project Director - Plant Healthy Certification Scheme
Reporting to: Chair of the Plant Healthy Limited Board
Location: UK – home-based
Start Date: As soon as possible
Contract Length: Three-year contract with a view to becoming permanent
Salary: Salary range: £55,000 Full-Time-Equivalent – possible part-time role for a suitable candidate
Employment type: Flexible – e.g. self-employed or employed by a host organisation


The Plant Healthy Certification Scheme is an initiative of Plant Healthy Limited which is a charity that was established to represent the interests of the Plant Health Alliance. The Alliance was formed in 2018 at a Plant Health summit at Highgrove. The Alliance is a professional group of leading figures in the ornamental horticulture, landscape, arboriculture, forestry, and general land management sectors. The Alliance’s aim is to protect plant life in the UK and beyond. Plant Healthy Limited owns the Plant Health Management Standard and provides the Governing Body for the Scheme. The scheme is the principal initiative of Plant Healthy Limited and its successful roll out is deemed to be a key mechanism to improve plant biosecurity and raise the profile of the Alliance’s purpose.

Concerns about the environmental damage that can be caused by a range of destructive plant pests and diseases e.g. ash dieback, Phytophthora ramorum and Xylella fastidiosa) have highlighted the need to improve plant health management and biosecurity systems along live plant supply chains. Industry, environmental NGOs, and government have worked together to develop the Plant Health Management Standard and the associated Plant Healthy Certification Scheme, which was launched at Kew Royal Botanic Gardens in February 2020.

In November 2023 Plant Healthy Limited became a registered charity in England and Wales and an Project Director is sought to lead the executive body of the charity and the certification scheme.

Role and Responsibilities

The Plant Healthy Certification Scheme aims to raise plant health and plant biosecurity standards across live-plant supply chains in the UK and beyond. This is to help protect our natural environment as well as trade. Through independent, third-party audits, the scheme’s objective is to certify growers, retailers, public gardens, arboriculturists and landscapers to the Plant Health Management Standard requirements.

The Project Director will be responsible for working with the Chair - Sir Nicholas Bacon Bt - and the Board of trustees, together with compliance, technical, policy and communications personnel to lead the overall strategic direction and delivery of the scheme including successful uptake, review, coordination and maintenance of all aspects of the Plant Health Management Standard and certification processes.

The role will involve:

  • Reporting to the Plant Healthy Limited’s Board of Trustees to communicate progress, and work with the trustees to develop the Standard and the scheme from financial and governance perspectives in order to report to the Charity Commission of England and Wales.
  • Lead a Working Group by:
  • Working with compliance personnel and Certification Bodies to ensure robust and high-quality Certification Scheme that covers small to large enterprises and organisations.
  • Working with technical personnel and the Technical Advisory Group to periodically review and improve the Plant Health Management Standard and associated guidance resources.
  • Working with Government bodies and agencies to ensure that the requirements of the Plant Health Management Standard align effectively with the regulatory framework and other relevant areas relating to Government policy in the UK.
  • Working with the Scheme promotion group, Certification Bodies and stakeholders to drive scheme membership across target sectors.
  • Representing the Plant Health Alliance and promoting the scheme at various industry, government and sector events aimed at raising awareness of the scheme and its benefits.
  • Undertaking other reasonable duties as may from time to time be required to fulfil the role.

Person specification:

Essential skills and qualifications:

  • An understanding and experience of working with quality assurance schemes.
  • Ability to think strategically.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills.
  • Strong administrative, organisational and time management skills.
  • Project and financial management experience.
  • The ability to work proactively and as part of a team.
  • An understanding of: commercial horticulture, landscaping, and /or arboriculture.
  • Attention to detail with the ability to multi-task, work well under pressure.
  • IT literate (Google Workspace, MS Office Word, PowerPoint, and Excel).


  • Compliance experience, e.g. as a scheme manager, within a certification body and / or as an auditor.
  • Knowledge and experience of working with Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) systems.
  • Experience of working with government, trade bodies or membership organisations
  • Educated to HND level or above.
  • Full UK Driving Licence.

If you have the desire to help protect the plants in our gardens, parks and countryside, and have the necessary skills and experience to be successful in this role please email: [email protected], forwarding an up-to-date copy of your CV for consideration in the first instance.

Closing date and time for applications: 29th February 2024 at 5.30pm.

For general information about the scheme please see: