Chair: National Citizen Service Trust

Body: National Citizen Service Trust
Appointing Department: Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Sector: Culture, Media & Sport
Location: London
Number of Vacancies: 1
Remuneration: The role will be paid at a day rate of £400, up to a maximum of £40,000 a year. This is subject to the agreement of the pay policy for the new organisation.
Time Requirements: The Chair is expected to devote up to eight days a month to this role. There will be four Board meetings each year, plus occasional strategy days. The meetings will be held more frequently during the first year of the new organisation. The Chair is expected to keep in regular contact with the Chief Executive with bilateral meetings taking place at least once a month. More information on the time requirements prior to the appointment of the Board can be found in the body of the text below.


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Assessment Panel

Vacancy Description

National Citizen Service (NCS) is the country’s largest programme for all 15-17 year olds. NCS supports young people to develop the skills they need for work and life while meeting new friends from different backgrounds and making a difference in their communities. The NCS programme is currently managed by the NCS Trust.

Government is committed to the continued development of the NCS programme,  with around £1billion of funding available between 2016/17 and 2019/20. The management of NCS is moving from the existing Community Interest Company to a new Royal Chartered public sector body, with an expected launch date of April 2018. This new organisation will be overseen by a new Board. We are seeking a Chair and non-executive directors to join this new Board.

This is an extraordinary opportunity. The successful individual will have the chance to lead NCS through a period of organisational change and beyond, to advocate and communicate with energy and commitment, and to achieve great value for money.

The successful candidate must demonstrate a keen appreciation of the needs of young people and the importance of social cohesion, social mobility and civic engagement. They should be committed to championing diversity and ensuring that the benefits of NCS are available to the widest range of young people.



Person Specification

Essential Criteria:

  • Ability to perform as an effective and authoritative Board Chair and build a positive working relationship with the Chief Executive.
  • Ability to bring a rigorous approach to achieving maximum impact and value for taxpayers’ money.
  • Ability to apply strategic insight and constructive challenge to the Executive team’s plans across wide-ranging strategy, delivery and organisational issues.
  • Ability and willingness to access and influence high level stakeholder networks, be an effective public ambassador for the benefit of National Citizen Service, as a key representative of a complex organisation in the public arena.
  • Ability to operate with the highest levels of Government, excellent diplomatic skills and an affinity for cultivating relationships and facilitating consensus among diverse organisations and individuals.
  • Evidence of senior achievement in the private, public or VCSE sectors, demonstrating the ability to make a strong personal contribution.
  • Ability to demonstrate resilience in the face of pressure.


Skills mix on the Board:

Between nine and eleven Board members, including the Chair, are being recruited at this stage and NCS Trust will require a strong mix of skills and experiences to be successful; candidates with experience in at least one of the following areas are sought:

  • Experience and demonstrable senior leadership in the education, youth and/or social action sectors;
  • Experience in a leadership and/or oversight role within an organisation of similar scale and complexity;
  • Experience in commercial and/or operational management, with a particular focus on strategy development, audit, risk and procurement or supplier/contract management;
  • Experience of large scale programme delivery, managing change and assurance.
  • Management of marketing, stakeholder engagement or customer relationships at a senior level;
  • A leadership role in public policy development and/or operational implementation;
  • Experience of generating revenue through fundraising and/or corporate sponsorship.



Additional Information


Through the National Citizen Service programme, young people from all backgrounds come together in diverse teams, building skills for work and life, while taking on exciting new challenges, making new friends, and contributing to their communities. The programme runs outside term time, with most young people taking part in the summer holidays post-GCSEs. NCS Trust commissions provision through a network of over 200 quality-assured youth and community organisations.

The NCS vision is to build a more cohesive, engaged and mobile society – transforming communities by empowering generations of young people.

Since its launch, more than 300,000 young people from all social backgrounds have taken part in NCS and in 2016, one in six eligible teenagers took part in the programme, making NCS the fastest growing youth movement of its kind for a century.

Consecutive, independent evaluations have demonstrated the positive impacts NCS delivers to both its participants and the communities where they live. It continues to do this while providing impressive value for money for the taxpayer. The 2016 evaluation shows that 8 in 10 participants felt more positive about people from different backgrounds after taking part in the programme, and around 9 in 10 felt NCS had helped them develop skills that will be useful in the future.

NCS Trust oversees the delivery of these programmes for 16-17 year olds in England and Northern Ireland. The Trust is currently a Community Interest Company (CIC), but is to be incorporated as a Royal Charter body, as set out in the NCS Act 2017. The CIC’s existing staff and assets will transfer across to the new body, so it retains its expertise and successful brand.

A new Chair and Board will oversee this new organisation. There will initially be some joint working with the existing Board of the CIC, with the new Chair playing a role from appointment in important discussions and decisions that will affect the new organisation, including in the appointment of other board members. Sponsored by DCMS, the organisation will be accountable directly to government and parliament, but its Royal Charter status will afford it independence, stability, and the platform on which to continue delivering NCS across the country.


Supporting Information

The appointments process will be conducted under the Governance Code on Public Appointments, and regulated by the Commissioner for Public Appointments

DCMS promotes an equal opportunities policy.  Appointments are made on merit, following a fair and transparent process.  Applications are welcomed regardless of gender, age, marital status, disability, religion, ethnic origin, political opinion, sexual orientation or whether or not you have dependents.


Who is on the Board?

Nine to eleven members, including the Chair. The Chair is appointed by The Queen-in-Council on the recommendation of the Prime Minister. The Chair makes recommendations for the appointment of non-executive board members to the Prime Minister, who in turn advises the Queen-in-Council.

Political activity and conflicts of interest

The NCS Act requires that the Chair is not a member of the House of Commons when serving on the Board.

As a condition of appointment, all Board members are required to declare publicly any interest, financial or otherwise, direct or indirect in any other business, enterprise or organisation (including any work for other organisations) which might affect the impartiality of the duties that they might be required to undertake for the NCS. Applicants will be required to declare all current interests as part of the application process.

NCS might require a Board member who declares a potential conflict of interest to relinquish that interest if it is incompatible with membership of the Board and it is either not possible, or not appropriate, to put in place arrangements to deal with the potential conflict.


Term of Appointment

The term of appointment is three years.


Time Requirements

During the setup phase of the National Citizen Service’s new organisation up to the estimated “go live” date on 1 April 2018 and potentially for a short time beyond, the Chair will be expected to make sufficient time available to ensure the launch date is met and that all relevant documentation and personnel are in place. Please note, the Chair will be expected to sit on the selection panel for other members of the new Board. This will involve a time commitment of approximately 6 days, which is likely to be during the pre-Christmas period. If the Minister decides that you are the preferred candidate for Chair, you will appear before the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee for a pre-appointment hearing. Prior to the Select Committee hearing, the preferred candidate will be expected to undertake some preparatory work with DCMS and NCS officials.


How to Apply

To apply, please send:

  • A copy of your CV, of no more than three sides.
  • A supporting statement, of no more than three sides, that evidences how you meet all the criteria in the Person Specification. Please provide examples of where your knowledge and experience matches the required criteria. It is important that you provide as much detail as possible, within a limit of three sides.
  • You should also complete the separate disclosure forms providing details of any political activity, conflicts of interest, diversity monitoring form, and details of any public appointments held currently.

Please ensure you include preferred telephone number, as well as a preferred e-mail address, which will be used with discretion.

Applications should be emailed to: Please include ‘NCS Chairin the subject heading.   If you are unable to apply online, please post applications to: Public Appointments, DCMS, 4th Floor, 100 Parliament Street, London, SW1A 2BQ


Further Information and Queries

For queries on NCS and the role, please contact:

Georgia Hutchinson and Helen Tabiner by email on

For queries related to the appointment process, please contact:

Joseph Bondatti on 020 7211 6280 or by email on


Details of appointments to other public bodies are available at:

Conflicts-of-Interest-Form-1 (10) (1)
NCS Chair Ministerial Message to Candidates
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