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Deputy Directors, Health & Safety Department


At the University of Edinburgh, we’ve had an extraordinary influence on the world for more than 400 years. As an organisation underpinned by equality, diversity and inclusion we’ve been influenced ourselves, by lots of other ‘worlds’, different people, places, beliefs and ideas. It makes us who we are.

Today, we’re a wonderfully diverse mix of people of all kinds and minds. While that’s an end in itself, when we put these people together and equip and empower them, they imagine, create, test and develop new ideas in a way that others can’t. It changes lives – sometimes individually, sometimes globally.

We don’t take this for granted. Our exceptional, powerful community is protected through bold and positive action. We’ve embedded our values into our processes and systems so that equality, diversity and inclusion is brought to the mainstream in everything that we do. Ultimately, it’ll be seen in all our touchpoints from catering to a curriculum that celebrates difference, challenges prejudice, and ensures fairness.

The University has always been a unique mix of place, people and practice. The combination creates a magic we actively nurture and embrace wherever we see the need.

Place: Edinburgh is famous for changing the way the world is understood, and for bringing clarity to the deep changes of the times.

People: Our community lives by our shared values, and does so with respect, warmth, empathy and decency.

Practice: Our community, research, teaching, systems, processes, and our hopes, are ambitious. We’ve learned from past mistakes, and we endeavour to stand up for what we know to be right and to do the right thing to make change happen. Often this means focusing on sustainable projects. Other times it means injecting kindness and care into whatever we’re doing.

Our ambition is that the wonderfully diverse characters who choose to join us and grow with us – whether they’re students, staff or partners and whether they’re from Leith, Lisbon or Lilongwe – find that we’re the most welcoming place to study and work. Our goal is that the systemisation of our belief in equality, diversity and inclusion is absorbed into their bones. And so, person-by-person, day-by-day, we make the world a caring, equitable, sustainable place.

The work we do at the University is constantly expanding the depth of human knowledge and improving the lives of ordinary people. Research conducted here led to the discovery of chloroform anaesthesia, the Higgs boson particle and in-vitro fertilisation.

We are: 

  • Consistently ranked one of the top 20 universities in the world. We’re 15th in the 2021 QS World University Rankings.
  • Ranked fourth in the UK for research power (Times Higher Education, Overall Ranking of Institutions.)
  • Associated with 24 Nobel Prize winners.
  • One of the largest providers of online postgraduate programmes in the UK.
  • As part of the City Region Deal, we are working with partners to establish the region as the data capital of Europe, attracting investment, fuelling entrepreneurship and delivering inclusive growth.

Our 21 Schools are spread across 3 Colleges. We offer over 400 undergraduate and 320 postgraduate taught programmes. We are home to around 44,000 students, 15,000 staff and have a turnover of £1.3b (2022).  We have around a dozen wholly owned subsidiaries or quasi subsidiaries as part of the University Group.

The positions

I hope you find the detail in this microsite useful as you consider these opportunities. I am establishing a new leadership team to shape and drive the organisation through a period of transformational change. There will be three new Deputy Directors: Deputy Director Health & Wellbeing, Deputy Director Operational Management & Core Services, and Deputy Director Specialist Services.  We will be responsible for leading change that will build on our existing safety, health and wellbeing management system, deliver continuous improvement and be well supported. Through this change the University will make measurable improvements with an observable positive impact for our staff, students and visitors.

Two of the posts will require to have health and safety experience in their backgrounds and the third post will require a broader scope from several fields in the area of health and wellbeing. The Corporate Health and Safety Department comprises of 32 staff members.

Further information on the University Health & Safety Department can be found by clicking here.  Useful information can also be found via the USHA which is the university health & safety sector’s own standards organisation.

Suzanne Thompson
Director of Health and Safety


Health & Safety Department Chart


University Health and Safety Association (USHA) Strategic Plan


USHA Leadership & Management in Health & Safety

This provides the reasonable and practicable guidance regarding the standard and framework for H&S management systems.