Responsible to: Chief Executive Officer

Salary and benefits: Commensurate with experience

Contract: Full-time

Location UK or Netherlands

Date written: June 2021


About ASC

ASC is an independent, not-for-profit organisation established in 2010 to set and operate global standards for responsible aquaculture. The ASC is a growing organisation. We have around 75 people working from various countries, including the Netherlands, UK, Germany, Spain, Australia, Japan, China, Japan, Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, Brazil and the US. There are four functional Departments covering: Markets and Communication, Standards and Science, Programme Assurance and the Resources and Governance Group. Although staff work primarily from home, we operate offices in Utrecht (NL) and in London (UK).

What we do

We set and operate global standards for aquaculture to identify farms that have met the highest standards for environmentally and socially responsible practices. The ASC traceability controls throughout the supply chain ensure the provenance of ASC certified and labelled products. Certified farmed products are promoted to consumers through the use of our logo.

Why we do it

The aquaculture industry is growing steadily and is already supplying more than half of all seafood consumed worldwide. This growing demand increases the environmental and social footprint associated with this expansion; which we seek to reduce.

How we make a difference

Purchase of ASC certified seafood helps to provide millions of people with cleaner, healthier, and safer farm-raised seafood. It helps to conserve and restore the world’s oceans, coasts and wildlife and improve the lives of seafood farmers and local communities in the developing world.

How we operate

ASC acts in the marketplace to increase the awareness, value, demand, and distribution of ASC certified seafood. We work with aquaculture producers, seafood processors, retail and foodservice companies, scientists, conservation groups and the public globally to promote the best environmental and social choice in farmed seafood. For more information go to

Position Overview

The SDTO will provide leadership and direction to the activities of the Standards and Science Directorate (SaS) and to the Programme Assurance Directorate (PAT), accountable for the outcomes of these two teams each led by a Director. The SaS and PAT directorates form the technical side of the organisation, and currently include approximately 30 people distributed globally but largely centred in the Netherlands. The two directorates work closely together and their functions focus on technical standard systems and certification processes respectively.

The SaS team works to strengthen and develop ASC global standards, certification and improver programmes and related services. It is comprised of three sub-teams: Standards, Impacts, and Research & Innovation. Collectively, these teams cover workstreams that deal with standard development and implementation, conducting research, and assimilating (impacts) data to serve multiple purposes both within and external to the organisation.

The PAT team works to strengthen, defend and promote ASC’s organisational integrity leadership position. It is comprised of two sub-teams: Supply Chain and Certification. Collectively, these teams manage all key processes that interface with accreditation and certification, auditors, verifiers, local implementers to ensure the application of the ASC standards.

The SDTO will spend approximately 75% their time across the two areas supporting and collaborating on work in each area directly as needed to ensure coordination of SaS and PAT functions. In doing so, the SDTO will lead on the development of ASC standards and certification process systems to address key impacts effectively and efficiently, and lead on the ongoing development of innovative ASC services (as major point of differentiation between competitors) to bring increased value to clients. The ASC 2020 Marketing Strategy Review specified global and key market strategies for market development. In a rapidly moving, competitive commercial environment, a key area of focus for this role will be to ensure ASC programme efficiencies, and develop innovations which complement the delivery of the Market Strategy.

The remainder of their time (approximately 25%) will be spent supporting the organisation at the executive level, in administration, working directly with the CEO, the Senior Management Team, and the Board of Trustees to ensure that technical services are coordinated, coherent, innovative and aligned to both strategic and operational plans. This will entail contributing to the development of these plans, and ensuring that the work of the technical services teams is well integrated with the rest of the organisation through collaboration and open communication.

Position Outcomes

The following outcomes are expected to be delivered:

Strategy and Planning

  • contribution to organisation-wide integrated strategic planning, ensuring standards and assurance insights are brought to the table in informing development of the ASC’s value proposition, communication and market development strategies and tactics;
  • implementation of the integrity and assurance components of the ASC strategic plan, and associated operational plans, including participation in prioritisation and resource allocation planning with Senior Management colleagues
  • in conjunction with communications, markets and governance colleagues ensure that new standards and assurance developments pass through the ASC governance system in a coherent, integrated and efficient manner
  • ensure that all current and new work aligns to the ASC Mission & Vision, and is consistent with the ASC Theory of Change

Stakeholder Engagement

  • engage successfully, and build trusted relationships with ASC governance bodies, at which the SDTO will represent the standards and assurance functions in discussions on strategy
  • represent the ASC externally to its stakeholder community as a trusted, authoritative voice on standards and assurance. In doing so, the SDTO will maintain and engage good relationships with friendly, neutral and critical stakeholders across conservation, social issues, business, government, and civil society
  • alongside the CEO and other senior colleagues, build the ASC’S position as a thought-leader within the social and environmental sustainability arena and in the broader ‘beyond certification’ space


  • oversee the continuous improvement of current systems and the development of new cost-effective tools, services, efficiencies and offerings to farmers, business, and supply chain actors, in order to enhance the ASC’s value proposition
  • In conjunction with colleagues across the organisation, evolve and develop the ASC as a data focussed organisation, developing data resources and capabilities, to serve both internal and external needs
  • evolve the ASC’s research capability (within both SaS and PAT Directorates) to inform development of new tools and services, strengthen our impacts monitoring and to help support colleagues across the organisation

Leading Change Management

  • capacity, skills and output of Directorates for Standards and Assurance improved over time to deliver ASC Strategy

Background, Skills and Experience Required


Graduate and post graduate qualifications relevant for position (e.g. supply chain assurance, certification, business management)

Strategy and Planning

Strong knowledge of strategy development, marketing and business planning and decision making and how to lead effective execution through experience gained from:

  • Research and insight development to inform high level strategies
  • Global programme strategy development
  • Extensive experience of strategic planning based on insights gathered from research and stakeholder relations

Extensive senior management experience leading the supply chain management, environmental management or social compliance functions of a medium or large-sized organisation with international-scope undergoing change.

Stakeholder Engagement

Strong leader and communicator with track record of building relationships and instilling

confidence in senior management, ASC governance, the organisation and with external stakeholders, with a demonstrable ability to engage understand and address the diverse interest and priorities of multiple stakeholders.


Strong leadership experience of fostering a culture of creative innovation within teams, with regard to both generating efficiencies for current systems and fresh innovation development. A  demonstrable track record in steering strategically focussed innovations from conception through to successful implementation, and in engaging stakeholders through the process.   

Leading Change Management

  • Inspirational leadership of teams and individuals with a willingness to lead, create new ideas and to manage change
  • International perspective, understanding and appreciation of differences in culture, business, and regulation across countries
  • Skilled in resource planning and allocation and delegation of activity prioritisation, budgeting, and project management.
  • Experienced in leading and developing high performing, agile teams
  • Able to negotiate and influence skilfully, promote and sell ideas persuasively and close transactions with mutually beneficial results.
  • Very strong communication skills, both verbal and written, demonstrating accuracy and attention to detail
  • Excellent interpersonal skills across communication channels and in meetings with ability to influence and handle sensitive situations


The successful candidate will combine a variety of key experiences. ASC’s work is focussed on the aquaculture sector, it uses standards to set performance levels for producers, feed mills and supply chain companies and it verifies certified products as they move through the supply chain. It provides additional value to clients though the provision of services that are driven by the information our certification processes generate or value is derived by tools and services that are additional but complimentary to these processes. It is essential that the candidates can demonstrate how their experiences provide knowledge of these technical areas, that they understand the role of certification in driving production performance that reduces environmental and social impacts and how to build trust that supply chains deliver certified products to consumers. Successful candidates must be able to demonstrate how they can lead technical teams to deliver effective, efficient and commercially valued services for clients (and ultimately consumers) that are linked to our certification and assurances processes.

Application and selection process

Please e-mail your cover letter and CV (in English) via:

Your CV and cover letter will be reviewed and a short list of candidates will be invited to take part in initial interviews. Successful candidates might be asked to prepare additional written materials and / or a presentation.

Application closing date:  open ended date. 

ASC take data protection very seriously. We will only use any personal information you may choose to give us in connection with your application for this position. In the event that your application is unsuccessful we will keep your personal information for 6 months, in case any other vacancies arise for which we think you may be suitable. For more information please read our privacy policy, which can be found here;

We want to be an inclusive and diverse employer of first choice reflecting the global community

What we do

Confidental Infomation