Chair of the Joint Nature Conservation Committee

Body: Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC)
Appointing Department: Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs
Sector: Environment, Food & Rural Affairs
Location: Various
Skills required: Transformation
Number of Vacancies: 1
Remuneration: £40,059 per annum
Time Requirements: 2.5 days per week, which will include four committee meetings per calendar year (in March, June, September and November/December).

Campaign Timeline

  • Competition Launched


  • Closed for Applications

    03/09/2020 at 13:00

  • Panel Sift


  • Final Interview Date


  • Announcement



Assessment Panel

Vacancy Description

Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC) Framework Document provides the legal, administrative and financial framework within which the Joint Committee operates and the specific functions of the Committee and the Chair.

As Chair you will be responsible to the Defra Secretary of State for the leadership, direction and effectiveness of JNCC in line with strategies and plans agreed with Defra and the Devolved Administrations. You will be the primary contact with Ministers for the Committee.

You will provide visible leadership and vision for JNCC, setting strategic and operational direction, ensuring good governance and, together with the Joint Committee, holding the executive to account.

In addition, you will have the following responsibilities:


• ensuring that the Committee has the right balance of skills to deliver its functions and JNCC’s business;

• reviewing the work of the Committee and its members’ performance annually, and driving forward any necessary change;

• ensuring that the Committee, in reaching decisions, takes account of guidance provided by Ministers, Defra or Devolved Administrations;

• ensuring collaborative working between JNCC, the country conservation bodies, Defra and Devolved Administration bodies, and with other government departments, to make the best use of resources and maximise outcomes and benefits.


• Appointing a Chief Executive should the post become vacant;

• setting the Chief Executive’s performance objectives;

• setting the direction for the executive team and the tone and pace needed to deliver agreed strategies and plans, and responding to changes in the policy landscape; and

• promoting the efficient and effective use of staff and other resources to deliver priorities.

Person Specification

Candidates must be able to demonstrate all of the following essential criteria:

• Knowledge and expertise in a field relevant to the work of JNCC such as international or domestic environmental science, policy or operations and the ability to relate this to the wider social and economic context and to the ambitions of the four governments of the UK.

• The ability to provide strategic leadership of a complex organisation. This includes providing impartial advice and constructive challenge, alone and with Committee members, to ensure that JNCC provides high-quality, cost-effective evidence and advice to government and other customers; achieving reforms in response to a changing policy landscape; steering a strategy that extends funding opportunities; and visibly leading and representing JNCC, clearly communicating its strategic direction and purpose.

• The ability to provide strong engagement, partnership and relationship management, especially in an environment of multiple evolving positions, building productive and collaborative working relationships with a diverse group of senior stakeholders and partners within the UK and internationally.

• The ability to build an effective team culture and create consensus on strategic direction and practical solutions both within the Committee and in the way the wider organisation does business.

Additional Information

We actively encourage applications from individuals from a wide range of backgrounds. Defra is a Disability Confident employer.

1_ JNCC Candidate pack.doc
2_Monitoring form 1 (Conflicts of Interest and Conduct)
3_Monitoring form 2 (Diversity and political activity form)
4_Public appointments guidance notes
5_Public appointments privacy notice
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