Head of Standards and Regulation

£60,000 yearly
  • The Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO)
  • Hybrid (London, UK)
  • Feb 12, 2024
Full time Regulatory Affairs

Job Description

Title Head of Standards and Regulation

Department Standards

Reports to Chief Executive Officer

Job Purpose

The Head of Standards and Regulation leads the standards function of IPSO, which monitors editorial standards at publishers regulated by IPSO; supports good journalism and high editorial standards; and takes targeted action where it identifies shortcomings. The role is responsible for delivering IPSO’s engagement on standards issues with a range of stakeholders, including journalists, editors, and groups concerned with press standards. This work lies at the heart of IPSO’s role as a regulator.

The standards function is well established. The incoming Head of Standards and Regulation will be expected to refine and develop the work of the department, including identifying opportunities to increase its reach and impact. Standards work is highly thematic and responsive to current issues, and therefore the focus and shape of the work of the Head of Standards and Regulation will continue to develop over time.

About IPSO

The Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO) is the independent regulator of the newspaper, magazine and digital news industry in the UK. We uphold the highest editorial standards to protect the public and freedom of expression. Our aim, as set out in our 2023-2028 strategy, is that regulation by IPSO is a mark of credible and accountable journalism.

At the core of IPSO’s work is the Editors’ Code of Practice. It sets the benchmark for editorial standards, balancing freedom of expression with protection of other individual rights. The Code enshrines the industry’s commitment to the highest professional and ethical standards, to which it has made a binding commitment.

IPSO carries out its role in upholding the Editors’ Code in a number of ways, including by adjudicating on complaints which raise potential breaches of the Code; by providing pre-publication and anti-harassment assistance to the public; operating a compliance function to monitor members’ adherence to the Code; offering training to journalists and journalism students on the Editors’ Code; and communicating with the public and journalists about ethical journalism and editorial standards.

Principal Roles and Responsibilities

Leading IPSO’s standards and regulation function:

· Design and implement a strategy for the Standards function to achieve its purpose: to monitor, maintain and uphold editorial standards;

· Conduct regulator monitoring of publishers’ compliance processes, including through the annual statement process;

· Undertake standards interventions where required, either at an individual publication or publisher level, or cross-industry (for example through the publication of editorial guidance);

· Oversee IPSO’s training programme for regulated publishers, including personally delivering training sessions and arranging for training to be delivered by other IPSO staff;

· Maintain IPSO’s preparedness to investigate any potential serious and systemic standards failure, and oversee such an investigation should it be necessary;

· Serve as the key point of contact for the confidential whistleblowing hotline for individuals who have been requested by a publisher to act contrary to the Editors’ Code of Practice.

Line management:

· Undertake the day-to-day management of the performance, development and wellbeing of the standards staff;

· Carry out regular performance reviews, including appraisals, for direct reports.

Senior management:

· As a member of IPSO’s senior management team, contribute to the development of IPSO’s strategy and operations;

· As a member of IPSO’s senior management team, work cooperatively with other team members to promote the effectiveness of IPSO as a whole and the wellbeing and personal development of its staff;

· Report to IPSO’s Board and other internal stakeholders on matters relating to the Standards function.

External communication and engagement:

· Undertake an effective programme of engagement with external stakeholders who have an interest in editorial standards issues, including journalists, editors, and community groups;

· Communicate and engage in public dialogue about standards issues on behalf of IPSO to a range of internal and external audiences;

· Oversee the effective running of the Journalists’ and Readers’ Advisory Panels and feed the perspectives of those groups into the wider organisation.


· Comply with IPSO’s Health & Safety requirements;

· Comply with IPSO’s Equal Opportunity Policy;

· Fulfil obligations as set out in the contract of employment and follow IPSO’s policies as set out in the Staff Handbook;

· Undertake any reasonable activity as required by the Chief Executive Officer.