Appointment of Chair - Royal Commission on the Ancient & Historical Monuments of Wales

Body: Royal Commission on the Ancient & Historic Monuments of Wales
Appointing Department: Welsh Government
Sector: Culture, Media & Sport
Location: Meetings are normally held in Aberystwyth, but may on occasion be held elsewhere in Wales.
Number of Vacancies: 1
Remuneration: £256 per day attended plus travel and other reasonable expenses within the recognised limits. You may also be eligible to claim reimbursement for costs in relation to child care/care of the elderly/assistant carer whilst carrying out work on behalf of the Royal Commission.
Time Requirements: 15 days per year


An announcement has been made on the outcome of this appointment.

The appointment of a chair and 2 commissioners to the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales has been welcomed by Lord Elis-Thomas AM, Deputy Minister for Culture, Tourism and Sport.

Date: 29/03/2019

View Announcement

Campaign Timeline

  • Competition Launched


  • Closed for Applications

    16/09/2018 at 16:00

  • Panel Sift


  • Final Interview Date


  • Announcement

    29/03/2019 at 17:00

Vacancy Description

The Chair of the Royal Commission is the guardian on behalf of the Crown of the spirit of the Commission and ensures that the Commission’s activity conforms to the duties enshrined in the Royal Warrant under which it is constituted. The Chair is assisted in this task by up to ten Commissioners appointed for their expertise in relation to different aspects of the Commission’s historic environment and archival work. The Chair does not have to be a heritage sector specialist, though knowledge in this area would be a distinct advantage.

The Board of Commissioners provides leadership and governance for the organisation, and provides scrutiny and constructive challenge to all of the Royal Commission’s activities. The Board also shapes the future of the organisation. The Royal Commission is keen to appoint an individual who is committed to providing the best possible historic environment service for the benefit of all the people of Wales.

As the Chair, you will:

  • Be the face and voice of the Royal Commission and represent the Commission and its interests in public and government forums;
  • Review the Organisation’s Operational Plan, taking account of work in progress, the directions contained in the Remit Letter from the Welsh Government and initiatives that originate within the Organisation;
  • Ensure that the governance of the Organisation complies with the requirements of the Framework document, and that the Organisation’s activities fall within the terms of the Royal Warrant;
  • Ensure that the performance required of the Organisation by the Welsh Government is attained and that a report is published annually on the Organisation’s activities;
  • Provide guidance and direction to the expert staff of the Organisation, and to monitor their work, in committee or individually; and
  • Be directly involved in, and take responsibility for, the content of the specialist publications of the Organisation.


The Chair is also expected to:

  • Have an understanding of the historic environment and its significance;
  • Have a clear vision on how the Royal Commission can continue to work with key partners to provide the best possible historic environment service for Wales;
  • Lead a high performing Board of Commissioners that carries out strong performance management, displays core team behaviours and values, constructively challenges and supports one another, and that continuously measures the achievements of the team against the Commission’s goals; and
  • Subscribe to and uphold the seven principles of public life (the “Nolan principles”).

Person Specification

To be considered, you must be able to demonstrate that you have the qualities, skills and experience to meet all the essential criteria (divided up in ‘essential expertise’ and ‘essential personal skills’) for appointment.

Essential Criteria

The Royal Commission is committed to strengthening and diversifying its board, and so we are looking for a new Chair who will have significant expertise in the following areas:

  • Strategic guidance: Above all what is needed is the ability to manage meetings in such a way as to give clear strategic guidance to the Secretary (Chief Executive) and the staff to help them make key operational decisions, and to offer advice outside meetings as appropriate.
  • Building positive relationships: The Chair shares with the Secretary the task of building positive relationships with a wide range of stakeholders and ensuring that the work of the Royal Commission is understood and valued. This involves regular meetings with the Minister for Culture, Tourism and Sport, Welsh Assembly Members and senior civil servants. The Chair can be called upon to give evidence at Welsh Assembly select committee enquiries and to respond to relevant consultations, and take a leading role in conferences, events and press activity involving the Royal Commission; the ability to do this through the medium of Welsh would be of great benefit.
  • Recruitment and performance management: The Chair also leads in the recruitment of new Commissioners and senior staff, assesses the performance of Commissioners and the Secretary via regular Performance Management Reviews, and appoints Commissioners to Chair the Commission’s sub-committee meetings.


Essential Personal Skills

Candidates will also need to demonstrate that they have:

  • The leadership skills to manage meetings effectively and draw the best from the other Commissioners;
  • Strong intellectual and analytical skills;
  • The ability to represent the Royal Commission in public and communicate effectively with key stakeholders;
  • An understanding of the diverse communities in Wales and a commitment to sharing the benefits of engagement with Welsh heritage;
  • The ability to collaborate effectively, and work with and through others to achieve objectives; and
  • The ability to bring fresh ideas to discussions on both strategic and practical issues.


Welsh Language

The ability to communicate in Welsh is essential. The successful candidate will be able to represent the Royal Commission to the public, stakeholders and the media with confidence and ease in both Welsh and English. Candidates should also demonstrate an awareness of the importance of the Welsh language in a bilingual Wales with an appreciation of the Royal Commission’s policies and strategies for the language.

Additional Information

The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales is the unique, independent national archive and investigation service for Wales, dedicated to the authoritative recording and interpretation of our rich historic environment. Located within the National Library of Wales building in Aberystwyth, we operate at arm’s length from the Welsh Government, with skilled staff providing professional advice and expert information to the public. We are committed to delivering the best possible service for Wales, fostering greater understanding and care for our historic buildings and landscapes, and recognising the potential for heritage to help improve people’s lives.


The Royal Commission has a long history in Wales. It was established in 1908 by Royal Warrant, which was revised in 2000. The Warrant directs the Royal Commission ‘to provide for the survey and recording of ancient and historical monuments and constructions from the earliest times (including the ancient and historical monuments in, on or under the sea bed) by compiling, maintaining and curating the National Monuments Record of Wales as the basic national record of the archaeological and historical environment’.

The Royal Commission is a Welsh Government Sponsored Body (WGSB) whose role and responsibilities are set out in the Royal Warrant of 2000. Our governance and accountability arrangements are set out in a Framework Document. The Royal Commission’s operational priorities and performance targets are informed by an annual Remit Letter from the Minister for Culture, Tourism and Sport. This letter sets out strategic priorities, specific policies and action plans, and the wider policies and procedures of the Welsh Government.

Board’s Role

The Board of Commissioners provides leadership and governance for the organisation, and provides scrutiny and constructive challenge to all of the Commission’s activities. The Board also shapes the future of the organisation.

The Board of Commissioners comprises a Chair and up to ten other Commissioners. Currently, there are nine Commissioners, including the Chair, Dr Eurwyn Wiliam. The other Commissioners are: Catherine Hardman (Vice-Chair), Thomas Lloyd, Caroline Crewe-Read, Dr Louise Emanuel, Neil Beagrie, Chris Brayne – and Professor Chris Williams and Dr Mark Redknap, both of whom are coming to the end of their terms of office.

Additional Information

Time Commitment:

An average official time commitment of about 15 days a year, though more can be spent in preparation.

A Chair will be expected to be able to attend two meetings each year, usually in October and April. Each meeting is of two- to three-day duration, plus such occasional meetings as Commissioners agree are necessary. As a core member of the Corporate Governance Committee, this includes participating in additional teleconference meetings in January and July.

A Chair will need to be prepared to read background material, to represent the Royal Commission between meetings, to sit on interview panels and in strategic review bodies from time to time and possibly to assess texts for publication.


Tenure of office:

Appointment of 5 years; eligible for reappointment for a further 5 years.


Applicants should note that being a Chair of the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales is a disqualifying post for membership of the National Assembly for Wales under the National Assembly for Wales (Disqualification) order 2015.


Conflict of Interests

You will be asked to declare any private interests which may, or may be perceived to, conflict with the role and responsibilities as Chair of the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales, including any business interests and positions of authority outside of the role in the Royal Commission.

Any conflicts of interest will be explored at interview. If appointed, you will also be required to declare these interests on a register which is available to the public.


Standards in public life

You will be expected to demonstrate high standards of corporate and personal conduct. All successful candidates will be asked to subscribe to the Code of Conduct for Board Members of Public Bodies, you can access this document at: .

How to Apply

To apply for this role, click on the ‘Apply’ button on the Welsh Government Recruitment Centre. The first time you apply for a post, you will need to complete a registration form for the Welsh Government’s online application system.  You will only need to register once, and you will be able to keep yourself updated on the progress of your application, and any other applications you make, via your registered account.

Once you’ve registered, you’ll be able to access the application form.  To apply you will need to submit two supporting documents. The first, a document outlining how your knowledge, skills and experiences meet the criteria for the role as outlined in the information for candidates.  This document should be no more than 2 sides of A4.  Your application may be rejected if you exceed this limit.  The second document is a full, up to date CV.  The two documents should be uploaded to the ‘Reasons for applying’ section of the online application form.

In your application, you will also be asked to provide details of any activities which have helped you to develop skills that would be useful in a public appointment role, and list the organisations for which you undertook these activities.  We also need to know about any political activity that you’ve undertaken over the last 5 years.

It is recommended that you register for an account and access the application form as soon as possible so that you see how the application form is structured, before starting to prepare your evidence.  You don’t have to complete the application form all in one go.  You can save your responses, and log in and out as required, until you’re ready to submit – just follow the guidance in the application form.

If you’d like to apply for this opportunity in Welsh, please use the ‘Newid Iaith / Change Language’ link at the top of this page, to take you to the Welsh version of this advert, from which you can apply in Welsh.

If you need any further assistance in applying for this role, please contact the Welsh Government’s Public Appointments Unit on 03000 616095 or

For further information about Public Appointments in Wales, please visit

Information for Candidates - Welsh
Information for Candidates - English
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