Christopher Marc T.
|Christopher Marc T.|
|Language and Linguistic Science|
|Linguistics, French, Chinese|
|Member of the Confidentiality Advisory Group|
|Health Research Authority|
|Finance and consultancy / Government and civil service / Healthcare / Science and research|
|Medium-size business (50-249 employees)|
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A day in the life of a Member of the Confidentiality Advisory Group in the United Kingdom
Member of the Confidentiality Advisory Group at the Health Research Authority
My career goals when I graduated
I expected to work as a language teacher in East Asia.
My career history
I worked first as a political analyst at the Foreign Office, then became a fast stream administrator of official overseas aid programmes, where I developed expertise in the control of public expenditure. I moved into the Department of Health and spent several years in policy work on health service finance. From 2000 on I led reforms of financial and governance systems for health research. See my LinkedIn profile.
What has helped my career to progress
Flexibility, developing generic administrative skills, keeping focused on the effect of my work on ordinary people. Serving as head of the development section in the British High Commission in India was an important experience.
Courses taken since graduation
Immediately after leaving York, I studied Modern Standard Chinese for a year in London. Several courses at the Civil Service College later helped me widen my understanding of public administration.
How my studies have helped my career
It is hard to relate my studies at York to my career. Learning Chinese got me into the Foreign Office as an analyst.
What surprised me about my career so far
I never expected to do such a wide range of challenging work. I was surprised to find that the NHS has such a blinkered parochial ethos when staff have many international links, and depend on knowledge from worldwide research.
Where I hope to be in 5 years
I shall be 70 in 2020. I hope that my health and mental capacity allow me to continue doing challenging and valuable work, while leaving time for my family and for travel.
My advice to students considering work
Think broadly about your interests and personal qualities. Don't be put off by not having the right qualifications. Build your CV to get where you want to go.
My advice about working in my industry
Be aware that the work is relentless and sometimes very discouraging as well as endlessly challenging and fascinating. Look after your health and relationships.
I am also Chairman of a small company that owns the ISRCTN registry of clinical trials, and Vice Chair of the UK Research Integrity Office.
I am willing to mentor anyone considering a career in health or social care research, or in the administration of development assistance.
What I do
The CAG advises the Secretary of State for Health whether exceptionally to permit the use of confidential patient information without consent.
Skills I use and how I developed them
Expert knowledge of the law and practice in health and social care research, gained during 10 years as a Senior Civil Servant leading the development of systems for health research in the NHS.
What I like most
I like the challenge of considering whether the public interest is strong enough to justify using confidential information without consent and whether the safeguards are sufficient to meet the high standard expected.
What I like least
Applicants submit a large amount of justification. Not all of it is relevant. Some is very hard to understand.
What surprised me most
The membership of the committee is even more diverse than I expected, but we show great respect for each others' knowledge and judgement.
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