Geoffrey Podger joins Shield Safety Group

Shield Safety Group has appointed another industry heavyweight to join their Strategic Advisory Board. Geoffrey Podger CB joins Sterling Crew and John Barnes as an esteemed Strategic Advisor bringing invaluable expertise across regulation to the company.

Geoffrey joins us following an extensive public service career in high profile public protection and regulatory issues. He has operated at the highest levels of Government, gathering during this time extensive Ministerial, Parliamentary, overseas and media engagement experience

Notably, within our industry he has held Chief Executive roles at the Food Standards Agency (FSA), the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

Early career

Geoffrey started his career as a fast stream entrant to the Civil Service in 1974 working within the Ministry of Defence. From here he spent 15 years within the Department of Health before settling within the food safety discipline within the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food.


Geoffrey was the first Chief Executive of the FSA from 2000 to 2003, where he was charged with restoring public confidence in food regulation post DSE. His success was reported during Baroness Dean’s 2005 independent report on FSA, which found ‘most stakeholders agreed that the Agency has made significant progress towards improving food safety, gaining public confidence in food safety and creating a modern culture…’


After two years as First Director for the EFSA, Geoffrey joined the HSE and Chief Executive where he led the organisation during a period of great change. During the year 2005 – 2013, whilst responsible for the Policy and Communications areas, he led the HSE to successive Government reviews of its regulations. Martin Temple’s 2014 independent Triennial Review found “near universal praise” for HSE from both sides of industry – no mean feat.

Geoffrey’s time with the HSE marked an impressive 39 years in the British Civil Service before setting up the equivalent organisation in New Zealand, Worksafe.


Today, Geoffrey holds many positions including Senior Visiting Research Fellow at the Centre for Risk Management Kings College, Lay member of the Council and of the Radiology Faculty Board of the Royal College of Radiologists, Chair of the Board of the Government Actuary’s Department and Senior Independent Director, Independent Office for Police Conduct to name but a few.

On joining Shield Safety Group, Geoffrey comments:

‘It’s a real pleasure joining Shield Safety Group. Perhaps surprisingly for an ex- regulator I have always believed that the key players in preserving food safety and health and safety are the people who run the individual businesses and the commercial firms which provide vital help to them in doing this. Regulators can really only operate at the margins of day to day safety activities and indeed their relationship with well-motivated commercial companies is key to running practical and successful safety systems. From everything I’ve seen, Shield Safety Group is a highly responsible enterprise and I look forward to a dialogue with them, and through them, with their clients.’

Our Founder and CEO, Mark Flanagan, adds

‘It is tremendous to have such a noteworthy individual from our industry join Shield Safety Group. The extensive work he has done with regulatory bodies, in addition to his influential posts he currently holds, meant he was an obvious fit to join us. The vision he has for regulation is exactly what the business needs as we continue our rapid growth as a leading provider of Food, Fire and Health & Safety Software as a Service (SaaS), supported by consultancy services delivered by the UK’s largest team of Environmental Health Practitioners.’

For a preview of the expertise Geoffrey will be bringing to Shield Safety Group, take a look at some of his compliance advice for businesses in this helpful video.

Look out for his first ‘Geoffrey Podger on’ blog coming next month!

The information contained in this blog article has been created for marketing purposes and is not official guidance and should not be used as a substitute for official Food Safety, Fire Safety and Health & Safety advice. Shield Safety take no responsibility if the information in the blog article is used to form part of a safety management system or used to form part of any legal or regulatory compliance for your business. For official guidance and to engage with Shield Safety services please do call our team on 020 3740 3744 or email

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