Protecting the Consumer and Servicing
the Trade with Independence and Integrity

Wardens and Guardians



Assay Office Birmingham is not controlled by the trade – unlike the older assay offices and halls which were originally administered by the Guilds – but by a non-exec  board of 6  Wardens who are elected from the 36 Guardians of the Standard of Wrought Plate in Birmingham, of whom not more than nine or less than six may be connected with the trade.

Applications for the role of Guardian, trade and non-trade, may be submitted at any time and will be considered when there are vacancies and according to the Office’s skills and experience requirements. Email us for further information.

Below is a list of Guardians and Wardens of Assay Office Birmingham: 


Carol Brady MBEChairman

Gary WroeWarden

Andrew MortonWarden

Tim ClayWarden

David Clarke DL FCIPRWarden

John Wood DLWarden


Carol Brady MBE Michelle Cartwright James Newman*
Gary Singh Alison Neate Martyn Pugh *
Charles Smith Helen Miles John Wood DL
Tim Clay Alicky Wibaut Simon Dawe
David Clarke DL Frances Anderson Kevin Saunders
Stephen Whittaker*    Peter Stonely David Hendley*
Henry Deakin* Michael Donaldson Russell Jeans
John Henn* Gary Wroe*  
Prof John Heath Simon Rea  
Andrew Lee Simon Meddings  
Julie Langford Alastair Cropp  
Andy Harries Andrew Morton*  

NOTE * Trade Guardian

Names highlighted in bold are Wardens

The role of a Guardian of the Standard of Wrought Plate in Birmingham

The role of ‘Guardian of the Standard of Wrought Plate in Birmingham’ was created by an Act of Parliament in 1773 and was formed to control and protect the Birmingham Assay Office.  There are 36 elected “Guardians of the Standard of Wrought Plate in Birmingham”, of whom not more than nine or less than six may be connected with the jewellery trade. The guardians subsequently elect wardens from amongst their number to serve on a board to which the Chief Executive and Assay Master report.

A Guardian will be required to attend two meetings per year but may be called upon as and when required to provide independent advice, professional guidance and introductions within their field of expertise for the benefit of the Assay Office.

Although the role of a Guardian is voluntary, if and when required, a Guardian may stand as a Warden, which is a remunerated position due to the role being more time-consuming.

In order to be elected, Guardians must have experience, knowledge and professional standing and be actively engaged in one or more the areas listed below.

  • International and/or global business acumen including India
  • General management of multi-divisional small/medium enterprise
  • Financial and or treasury management of service organisations - in the UK and/or internationally
  • General management and/or business development management of chemical analytical laboratory
  • General management of a certification/audit business to recognised international standards
  • Skilled implementer of lean manufacturing methodologies
  • Consumer protection and trading standards expertise

“Being a Guardian for the Birmingham Assay Office is an opportunity to be involved with supporting one of the oldest trading principles in the world - that of providing a reliable and trusted system of quality control and ensure the value of precious metals and other related commodities. 

At its heart, the Birmingham Assay Office is still focused on providing the confidence that items bearing its assay mark are indeed what they say they are.  Over recent years the organisation has expanded this principle to guaranteeing the quality of a wider range of products, giving the public and consumers certainty that what they believe they are purchasing is indeed the case.  I am proud to be a part of upholding the core tradition of assay testing, whilst also helping transfer these principles to the 21st century world of consumer protection”

Alistair Cropp, Guardian

If you would like to be part of this historical organisation, and contribute to its continued success, please email for an application pack.



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