Jonathan Rees

Chair of Board (Lay)

Jonathan is an experienced Non-Executive Director focusing on public policy, regulatory issues and promoting the consumer interest. He is currently Independent Chair of the National Association of Funeral Directors, a Director of the Office of the Independent Adjudicator for Higher Education (resolving student complaints), Chair of the Royal institute of British Architects Standards Committee, and Trustee/Director of the Employers Network on Equality and Inclusion. Previous Non-Executive Director roles include terms as a Trustee of Citizens Advice and as a Director of Ombudsman Services. Prior to this he worked in the Civil Service for 35 years with a strong focus on strategy, regulation, change management and partnership working. His last role was as Director-General of the Government Equalities Office for five years, and previous posts included three years in the No. 10 Policy Unit advising successive Prime Ministers on strategy, seven years in Brussels dealing with European negotiations and spells in the Home Office, Cabinet Office, BEIS (dealing with consumer and competition policy) and the Health and Safety Executive.

Nick Hanning

(Professional) Board Member

Nick is a Chartered Legal Executive member of the Board. He served as CILEx President between 2012 and 2013 and was a Council Member for 10 years. For nearly 30 years Nick has practised in personal injury and employment law specialising in work-related psychiatric injury claims. He currently works as an independent consultant. Nick is a regular lecturer in areas of law affecting Occupational Health, serves on the Civil Justice Council Working Party on Access to Justice for Those Without Means and on the Civil Justice Council. He is a member of the Litigant in Person Judicial Engagement and chairs the South West Legal Support Trust and is a Trustee of Advocate.

Alice Belcher

(Lay) Board Member

Alice is a multi-disciplinary academic holding a personal chair in Law at the University of Dundee. Alice originally qualified as a chartered accountant. She then took a degree in law and Economics at Keele, followed by an MPhil in economics at Cambridge and a PhD in accounting at Manchester. From 2006 to 2014 Alice was a non-executive director of NHS Education for Scotland. She is currently non-executive director of an apprentice-training social enterprise based in her home city of Stoke-on-Trent. Alice writes about corporate governance issues and is author of Directors’ Decisions and the Law: Promoting Success. Alice has also researched sex discrimination issues and has written a company law judgment and accompanying reflection for the Scottish Feminist Judgement’s Project.

Helen Astle

(Professional) Board Member

Helen is a Chartered Legal Executive member of the Board. Helen is also a solicitor, Chartered Governance Professional, and a Fellow of the International Compliance Association. She holds an MBA and Master of Laws in Corporate Governance and Law. Since 2009, Helen has fulfilled executive roles and acted as an adviser to Boards on legal, governance and regulatory compliance matters. She has worked across various sectors; namely, pensions, financial services, healthcare, housing, IT and rail safety, and is currently the Chief Legal and Compliance Officer at the London Pensions Fund Authority. Helen has always taken an interest in having a varied career portfolio and, as part of this, has maintained her registrations as a dual-qualified registered nurse. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Helen supported the NHS by working as a Clinical Contact Case Worker during evenings and weekends.

Douglas Blackstock

(Lay) Board Member

Douglas is the Chief Executive of the UK’s independent Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA), whose role is to ensure academic standards are maintained and that student learning opportunities are of the highest quality. His work has included leading the transformation of QAA and its contribution to changes to the policy, regulatory and quality landscape across the UK, and QAA's role in supporting higher education adapt to the challenges brought by the COVID-19 pandemic, including working with governments and professional statutory and regulatory bodies to support students progression into professions. Douglas has been particularly interested in working to ensure all four nations needs are recognised;, increasing the engagement of students in quality assurance; and building trust and confidence in UK education through international partnerships and networks. Douglas is President of the European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education (ENQA) and a member of the Board of qualifications Wales. After retirement form Chief Executive, Douglas will continue to offer support to QAA as a consultant and adviser on European and international matters.