BBC Member for Northern Ireland

Body: British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC)
Appointing Department: Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Sector: Culture, Media & Sport
Location: The majority of BBC Board meetings will be held in London or via videoconference, although meetings of the Board (including committee meetings) can be held at any of the BBC’s sites across the UK.
Number of Vacancies: 1
Remuneration: The base fee for all non-executive directors is £33,000 per annum. A committee chair fee of £5,000 is paid on top of the base fee for chairing one of the permanent committees of the Board, reflecting the additional time and responsibility required. The successful candidate will be required to Chair the Northern Ireland Committee and serve on other committees of the Board.
Time Requirements: The core time commitment for non-executive directors, including Nations members will be on average up to 2 days per week.

Campaign Timeline

  • Competition Launched


  • Closed for Applications

    19/03/2021 at 23:00

  • Panel Sift


  • Final Interview Date


  • Announcement



Assessment Panel

Vacancy Description

About the BBC

The BBC’s mission is defined by Royal Charter: to act in the public interest, serving all audiences through the provision of impartial, high-quality and distinctive output and services which inform, educate and entertain.

The BBC is required to do this through delivering five public purposes:

  1. To provide impartial news and information to help people understand and engage with the world around them;
  2. To support learning for people of all ages;
  3. To show the most creative, highest quality and distinctive output and services;
  4. To reflect, represent and serve the diverse communities of all of the United Kingdom’s nations and regions and, in doing so, support the creative economy across the United Kingdom; and,
  5. To reflect the United Kingdom, its culture and values to the world.

The BBC is a public corporation, independent in all matters concerning the fulfilment of its mission and the promotion of the public purposes. It is funded primarily by the licence fee and has a subsidiary commercial operation, which supports the delivery of the Corporation’s mission and public purposes.

Each year the BBC is required to publish an Annual Plan, setting out details of its creative remit for the forthcoming year, and an Annual Report and Accounts, reporting back on performance in the previous year. Copies of these can be found here and here.

The BBC’s activities and services

The BBC Board is responsible for the operation of the entirety of the BBC Group, which includes both the public service broadcasting responsibilities as well as its commercial operations, both in the UK and around the world.

The BBC Board is responsible for ensuring the delivery of the BBC’s mission and public purposes. The Member for Scotland is one of 14 members who oversee this work, ensuring that the Corporation delivers its services and activities in the public interest.

The current public service broadcasting services delivered by the BBC are:

  •  a portfolio of television channels and services across the UK (with variants across the four Nations of the United Kingdom) providing mixed-genre services aiming for universal appeal; plus a dedicated television channel in Scotland;
  • ten UK-wide radio networks, providing speech and music broadcasting across the UK, catering to all audiences;
  • two national radio services in each of Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, catering to both English and local language audiences, as well as a network of local radio stations across England and the Channel Islands, providing a unique and local/regional service to listeners;
  • a range of digital services including iPlayer, BBC Sounds, and apps for News, Sport and Weather, among other online services;
  • education services, primarily for children, including homework support and campaigns with wider educational benefit; and
  • a global network of news and information services delivered through television, radio and online in over 40 languages through the BBC World Service.

In addition to this, the BBC operates a number of commercial subsidiaries, including: the producer and distributor, BBC Studios; the operator of the BBC’s global news channel, Global News Ltd; and the physical studio operations business, BBC Studioworks.  These subsidiaries provide vital services to the BBC Group and an important, secondary, revenue source to support the Corporation’s public service broadcasting activities.

The BBC employs around 20,000 permanent staff and works with hundreds of contractors and freelancers across the industry.  It has bases in all four Nations of the United Kingdom, along with bureaux and offices across the globe.

More information on the responsibilities of the Board can be found here.

The BBC Board has established its own Code of Practice which all directors must follow; this document can be found here.

The role

The Charter requires the BBC to ensure that it provides output and services that reflect, represent and serve the diverse communities of all of the United Kingdom’s nations and regions.  To help the BBC deliver this duty the Board includes non-executive Board members representing Northern Ireland, Scotland, England and Wales.  Nations members of the BBC Board are appointed by the UK Government with the agreement of the respective devolved Parliament or Assembly.


Person Specification

The Nation Member for Northern Ireland will be expected to:

  • Support the Mission and Public Purposes of the BBC, which is to act in the public interest, serving all audiences and all sections of the population through the provision of impartial, high-quality and distinctive output and services which inform, educate and entertain;
  • Support the Chair and the Chief Executive (Director General) to deliver the BBC’s strategic and business plans and effectively discharge its statutory and Charter responsibilities in line with corporate governance best practice;
  • Provide leadership ensuring the BBC is up to the challenge of keeping pace with enormous technological changes, and promoting the BBC’s status as a globally-recognised British institution; and
  • Be a senior representative and ambassador of the BBC to its various stakeholders, including the United Kingdom Government and Parliament and the devolved national Assembly in Northern Ireland.

Essential skills and experience

Prospective candidates for the role need to be able to demonstrate a commitment to the independence, mission and public purposes of the BBC, as well as demonstrating that they meet a majority of the following criteria to a high degree:

  • Experience working at a high level of public or commercial life in the UK with experience of senior leadership roles or board roles or equivalent;
  • An understanding of the key challenges and opportunities facing the media and broadcasters market and/or the creative industries in the UK, and globally;
  • A proven ability to think through complex issues strategically, independently and imaginatively;
  • Excellent communication and relationship management skills, and the ability to represent the BBC to a wide range of stakeholder groups, including audiences, parliamentarians and the media; and,
  • Ability to challenge and vigorously scrutinise in the public interest, the operation of the BBC, including delivery of impartiality and global reach.

Desirable Criteria:

  • Experience of financial management and a good understanding of audit, governance, risk management and control.

Northern Ireland Board Member

In addition to the essential skills and experience listed above, applicants for the role of Northern Ireland Board member must be able to demonstrate the following attributes:

  • A strong knowledge of the culture, characteristics and affairs of the people, and broadcasting issues, in Northern Ireland; and
  • An understanding of views of audiences and public opinion in Northern Ireland.

The Nation member for Northern Ireland will be required to Chair the Northern Ireland Committee. The remit of the Committee is to require that the BBC provides output and services that meet the needs of Northern Ireland and that the BBC fulfils its public purpose in relation to the Nations and Regions of the United Kingdom.  It meets at least three times a year.


Additional Information

Independence of members

In accordance with best practice in corporate governance the Chair and the majority of non-executive directors of the BBC Board will be required to be demonstrably independent of the Corporation. Independence will be assessed at the point of appointment and also annually by the Board itself. The criteria by which independence will be assessed will include whether a candidate:

  • has been an employee of the BBC, or BBC Group within the last five years;
  • has or has had within the last three years a material business relationship with the BBC either directly, or as a partner, shareholder, director or senior employee of a body that has such a relationship with the BBC;
  • has received or receives additional remuneration from the BBC apart from a Director’s fee; or
  • has close family ties with any of the BBC’s advisers, directors or senior employees.

Operating openly and transparently

As a public entity, the BBC is subject to the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA), and the Board is required to carry out its work openly and transparently, for example publishing its meeting minutes.

Disclosure or publication of certain information about Board members, and the work of the Board, may be required by FOIA or the Charter and Agreement. This may include the fees/salary, expenses, hospitality and external interests of non-executive directors.

Diversity and inclusion

DCMS values and cares passionately about the diversity of it’s public appointments. Boards of public bodies should reflect our diverse society in order to ensure the sector has a leadership that draws fully on the different skills and perspectives our country has to offer.

We strongly encourage applications from all candidates and particularly welcome applications from women, those with a disability, and those from a black or ethnic minority background.

We ask all applicants to complete a diversity monitoring form. We hope you will help us by providing this information. Your data is not disclosed to the panel, but allows us to constantly evaluate any potential barriers to becoming a public appointee and whether there are any changes we could make to encourage a more diverse field to apply.

Disability Confident 

We guarantee to interview anyone with a disability whose application meets the minimum criteria for the role. By ‘minimum criteria,’ we mean that you must provide evidence in your application, which demonstrates that you meet the level of competence required under each of the essential criteria. If you want to apply under this scheme, simply state this in the covering email or letter when submitting your application.

If you would like a confidential discussion regarding any reasonable adjustments during the process, please also indicate this in the covering email or letter.

Conflicts of Interest

Candidates must note the requirement to declare any interests they may have that might cause questions to be raised about their approach to the business of the BBC. They are required to declare any relevant business interests, shareholdings, positions of authority, retainers, consultancy arrangements or other connections with commercial, public or voluntary bodies, both for themselves and for their spouses/partners. The successful candidate will be required to give up any conflicting interests and his/her other business and financial interests may be published.

Political Activity

To allow the panel to explore conflicts of interest, and in particular political activity, with the candidates in the context of their ability to perform in the role, candidates should declare any significant political activity which they have undertaken in the last five years. This information will only be provided to the panel for those applicants selected for interview. Details of the successful candidate’s declared political activity will be published when the appointment is announced.

Due Diligence

As part of our due diligence checks we will consider anything in the public domain related to your conduct or professional capacity. This will include us undertaking searches of previous public statements and social media, blogs or any other publicly available information. This information may be made available to the Advisory Assessment Panel and they may wish to explore issues with you should you be invited to interview. The information may also be shared with Ministers and Cabinet Office.


BBC Northern Ireland role spec
Code of Conduct for Board Members of Public Bodies
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