Human Tissue Authority

The regulator for human tissue and organs

Resources – people and finance

Our people

  Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4
Starting count - payroll 49 49 51 51
Starting count - non-payroll 0 0 0 0
Expected transfers in - payroll 3 2 0 0
Expected transfers out - payroll 3 0 0 0
Changes in non-payroll staff 0 0 0 0
Total at end of quarter 49 51 51 51


As a small, expert regulator, the HTA has long recognised a strategic risk related to staff recruitment and retention – in particular our vulnerability to the loss of experienced staff undertaking our frontline regulatory work. In response to this risk, we implemented our People Strategy, which has made good progress in mitigating our human resource risk through initiatives such as flexible working and a career development scheme. However, the ability to recruit high quality candidates, and retain and develop staff expertise, remain significant areas we need to address to improve our resilience and sustainability.

In line with our strategic vision to be operating in a more sustainable, resilient and agile way by 2021, and as part of our organisational Development Programme, we will introduce changes to our People Strategy in 2019/20. These will include being rigorous in assessing how vacancies should be filled, strengthening our framework to support remote working and taking action to ensure that the well-being of our staff is maintained.

During 2019/20, it is expected that:

  • The HTA will have 3.5 Full Time Equivalents (FTEs) who are classified as executive senior managers, within the total of 51 FTEs;
  • there will be one FTE Human Resources member of staff within the full complement of 51 FTEs;
  • the training budget will equate to around 1.5 per cent of the pay bill; and,
  • any non-payroll staff will be subject to defining programme requirements for the organisational transformation and will likely be limited in their duration of engagement.


The HTA receives funding from two main sources. The majority (80 per cent) comes from licence fees, with the remainder provided as grant-in-aid from our sponsor, the Department of Health and Social Care. We also receive a small amount of income for undertaking activities on behalf of the devolved administrations and from sub-letting part of our office space.

The licence fee income pays for a range of activities associated with our licensed establishments:

  • Evaluating licence applications;
  • making licensing decisions and issuing licences;
  • processing variations to licences;
  • conducting site-visits and following-up shortfalls;
  • taking regulatory action; and,
  • providing advice and guidance to licensed establishments.

Grant-in-aid funds our role in assessing living organ donations and bone marrow / peripheral blood stem cell donation cases and a proportion of our overheads that are not directly associated with our work with licensed establishments.

We place great importance on ensuring that our finances are managed efficiently, effectively and in a way that minimises risk. As a arm’s length body, we continue to monitor developments in the wider public sector financial environment and are committed to implementing best practice. We have robust financial procedures and policies in place and strict controls in relation to authorisation of expenditure.

The high-level budget for 2019/20 is shown below:

Total staff costs 3,383
Estates costs 814
IT & telephony 326
Depreciation and amortisation costs 199
Other costs 538
Total Corporate costs 1,877
Total costs 5,260
Total income 5,260

Efficiency and productivity

We understand the impact that licence fees have on the establishments we regulate.  However, after several years of making efficiencies, holding budgets steady and absorbing new work, in 2019/20 we limited our fees in line with the consumer price index.

As an organisation, we remain committed to seeking benefits from continuous improvement initiatives and delivering value for money for both the public and the establishments who we licence. We also recognise that following many years of making efficiencies, we are a very lean organisation.  We remain committed to delivering our core functions to a high standard, finding further efficiencies in the way we work where possible, and the importance of focusing on outcomes that really matter to the public and professionals.

Fee development work

We will be reviewing the framework under which we charge establishments for the regulation we undertake.  Over recent years we have seen a gradual decline in overall receipts, partly as a result of restructuring by organisations we licence.  We will aim to ensure that the mechanism we use to recover fees is based on the risk and effort required to oversee the sectors and organisation types we regulate.  We expect to conclude the initial phase of this work in the first quarter of the business year in order to consult with stakeholders ahead of our usual fee setting process in quarter three.

Shared services

We continue to operate our resources function as part of a shared directorate with the HFEA. This continues to operate well and we will consider how we might enhance this relationship in the short to medium term.  A significant part of this will be dependent on the expected co-location of both organisations in one of the outer London Government hubs, planned for the end of the 2020/2021 business year. Over this business year, we will be working with the DHSC project team to develop the plans for the new accommodation to ensure it provides for the specific needs of the organisation. In addition we will be engaging staff in an internal project to look at the cultural elements of the move, embracing new technology and new ways of working in keeping with the overarching ethos of the Government hubs programme.

Digital, Data and Technology

In 2018 we set out our new digital, data and technology (DDaT) strategy. Successfully achieving the outcomes of this strategy will contribute significantly towards achieving the HTA’s strategic development and deployment objectives and enable colleagues to achieve the delivery objectives, and is an essential part of our Development Programme.

In 2019/20 our DDaT priorities will include:

  • support for remote working by design and in preparation for an office move by early 2021;
  • better use of information and data, in particular in relation to risk; and,
  • designing better interfaces and digital content for public and professional stakeholders and staff.

These priorities will be balanced alongside a background of continuous improvement to ensure that we continue to capitalise on more efficient and effective ways of working.


Our capital investment plans for 2019/20 are based on our cyclical refresh of Information Technology equipment.  As a result we will limit our expenditure to our normal delegation of Capital Funds from the Department of £100k (which has not yet been confirmed at the time of publication).

Last updated on: 2 Jul 2019