Chair of the Arts and Media Honours Committee

Body: Independent Honours Committees
Appointing Department: Cabinet Office
Sector: Culture, Media & Sport
Location: London / Remotely
Number of Vacancies: 1
Remuneration: Members can claim reimbursement for reasonable travel and subsistence costs necessarily incurred on Committee business. This post is not pensionable.
Time Requirements: This is a part-time post. Chairs of committees are expected to attend six meetings per year – four formal assessment meetings and two pipeline meetings - as well as maintain regular contact with the Honours and Appointments Secretariat and participate in outreach from time to time.

This is not a ministerial appointment.

Campaign Timeline

  • Competition Launched


  • Closed for Applications


  • Panel Sift


  • Final Interview Date


  • Announcement


Vacancy Description

There are ten specialist honours committees which assess honours nominations put forward by members of the public, government departments and professional bodies. All are chaired by independent members who are experts in their fields. Committees recommend nominees to the Prime Minister and The Queen for inclusion in the New Year and Birthday Honours Lists. Committees consider candidates for honours who give service across all aspects of the UK public life and economy. Full details of the honours system, membership of the Honours Committees can be found at

We are currently seeking an Independent Chair for the Arts and Media Committee. The Arts and Media Committee’s remit is to consider nominees put forward for their work in the following sectors: Architecture (both Architects and officials), Art (including artists; sculptors; art gallery staff; art historians; calligraphers; potters; stained glass artists; craftsmen and women; curators; photographers; fashion designers etc), Dance (including choreographers; dancers of all kinds; teachers of dance; administrators in dance organisations, etc), Drama (including actors; designers; directors; producers; entertainers; administrators; teachers etc), Literature (including authors and writers of all genres; critics; editors of literary magazines; librarians; playwrights; poets, etc), Media (including journalists; broadcasters; press photographers; trade and specialist magazine journalists; editors; freelance writers; presenters; sports broadcasters; light entertainers; etc), and Music (including composers; conductors; instrumentalists; musicians; choir leaders; singers; administrators, etc).

All committee members, including the Chair, are asked to:

  • attend each honours committee meeting whenever possible;
  • read and develop views the honours committee papers in advance of the meeting;
  • play a role in supporting Government departments to build pipelines of possible future nominees in your area of expertise;
  • act as an ambassador for the honours system in outreach activities, particularly by promoting the honours system through your professional networks.

Person Specification

Due to the nature and high profile of the honours system, the work and outcomes often attract considerable public and media interest. The candidate should therefore be someone of outstanding integrity and be open to promoting the honours system within their sector or region.

The successful candidate should be an expert in one or more of the areas covered by the Arts and Media Committee’s work. They must be able to command the confidence of other experts in the sector and will be persons of distinction in their own fields who are well qualified to judge the relative merits of different candidates for honours.

They will be able to act judgement and be individuals of the highest standards of probity and discretion. Experience of operating as Chair in a Committee environment is desirable, but not essential. They will need to be sympathetic with the aims of the honours system and have an awareness of the importance of diversity in the honours process. We would particularly welcome applications from those with a proven track record of championing and improving diversity in their field. 

As Chair, the postholder will be responsible for setting the Committee’s strategy on pipeline development, and would be expected to undertake some promotional and outreach activity.

Essential criteria

The successful candidate will need to demonstrate the following skills:

  • Ability to manage a diverse team of influential people, and a personal style that demonstrates authority and inspires trust and confidence;  
  • Excellent judgement, together with the ability to command the confidence of those in the sector;
  • Ability to consider all the information presented, identify key issues and make objective and balanced decisions;
  • Excellent communication skills (written and oral); and
  • Personal integrity and strength of character. 

For this post, a person cannot be appointed as a Committee Member if he or she is employed in the civil service of the state, has unspent criminal convictions, is subject to bankruptcy, or disqualification as a company director. There must be no employment restrictions, or limit on your permitted stay in the UK.

Additional Information

Chairs are expected to set the expectations of their committees and work with members, government departments and Devolved Administrations to ensure the strongest candidates are considered for honours.

In addition, they will be invited to engage with diversity and outreach activity, and particularly in their area of personal expertise. This may involve speaking at events or promoting honours to networks. The post is unpaid but reasonable travel expenses will be paid. Meetings take place in London in usual circumstances, but are currently online. No additional travelling is required. Successful applicants will need to be available for meetings scheduled in September and October 2021.

How to Apply

If you wish to apply, please submit the following documentation:

  • A copy of your CV (maximum of 2 A4 pages)
  • An accompanying supporting letter (maximum 2 A4 pages) setting out why you are interested in the post and how you meet the skills in the person specification
  • Diversity monitoring form
  • Disability Confident Scheme declaration (if applicable)

Please email all documentation to We can not currently accept paper applications.

The Cabinet Office is committed to a policy of equal opportunities. Applications are particularly welcome from women, minority ethnic and disabled candidates who are under-represented at this level in public life.

Further information about the honours system can be found at

Disability Confident scheme declaration form
2021 12 22 Candidate Pack - Arts and Media Committee Chair V1
Honours Committee_ Diversity questionnaire

This post is NOT regulated by The Commissioner for Public Appointments.

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