Chair of the National Museum of the Royal Navy

Body: National Museum of the Royal Navy
Appointing Department: Ministry of Defence
Sectors: Business, Finance & Skills, Charity & Public Sector, Communities, Culture, Media & Sport, Defence, Education
Location: Portsmouth but may, on occasion, be required to visit any of the National Museum's sites
Number of Vacancies: 1
Remuneration: The posts are unpaid but reasonable travel expenses can be claimed.
Time Requirements: Successful candidates will need to spend time familiarising themselves with the Museum and its workings and keeping knowledge up-to-date. All trustees are expected to attend each of the four Board meetings a year, with most meetings and associated activities lasting half a day. Additional time will be required to study papers, to attend museum events including fundraising events, and to represent the Museum at other functions.

This is not a ministerial appointment.

Campaign Timeline

  • Competition Launched


  • Closed for Applications

    02/08/2019 at 16:00

  • Panel Sift


  • Final Interview Date


  • Announcement


Vacancy Description


The National Museum of the Royal Navy’s vision is to become the world’s most inspiring Naval Museum, enabling people to learn, enjoy and engage with the epic story of the Royal Navy and its impact in shaping the modern world.


The National Museum, with its headquarters in Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, includes: the Royal Navy Submarine Museum (Gosport); Explosion, the Museum of Naval Firepower (Gosport); and the Fleet Air Arm Museum (Yeovilton). Our fleet of historic naval ships includes HMS Victory; HMS Warrior 1860; HMS M33; HMS Alliance; HMS Caroline (Belfast); and, HMS Trincomalee (Hartlepool).


The National Museum is looking to appoint a new Chair upon the retirement of the current Chair, Sir Jonathon Band, in January 2020. You will be joining at a very exciting time as we embark on our next major capital programme, to deliver a new Royal Marines Museum.  If you want to make a difference, share a passion for change and excellence and possess the leadership qualities to help us achieve this we want to hear from you.


The National Museum of the Royal Navy was established in 2008 and is a registered charity, a company limited by guarantee and a Non-Departmental Public Body, sponsored by the Ministry of Defence. The day-to-day operation of the National Museum is delegated to the Director General (also the Accounting Officer) and to the Executive Directors with 350 staff and over 300 volunteers. The National Museum attracted 1.24 million visitors to its sites in 2018/19.

Further information about the National Museum of the Royal Navy can be found on its website


The National Museum’s Articles of Association make provision for up to 16 Trustees, who are also the Members and Directors of the National Museum of the Royal Navy for the purposes of company law, and who collectively form the Board.

The role of the Board of the National Museum of the Royal Navy includes responsibility for: ensuring the distinct legal obligations and charitable objectives are fulfilled within an overall policy and strategy framework; the provision of overall leadership and development of strategy; and ensuring high standards of corporate governance are maintained, with effective control systems and decision-making processes in place. In addition to the Board of Trustees, there is a separate NMRN Operations Board, charged with responsibility for the operational delivery of the corporate priorities. One trustee from the Main Board is also an NMRN Operations trustee.

The Board of Trustees meets four times a year to set the long-term strategic objectives of the National Museum, agree corporate priorities and review performance. The Chair will also be expected to act as ambassador for the National Museum, attending fundraising events, the opening of new exhibitions and meetings with the Royal Navy/MOD or other key partners and stakeholders.

There are also four committees covering the key areas of operations and include:

Audit and Governance Committee

Nomination and Remuneration Committee

Collections, Research, Access and Learning Committee

Fundraising Committee

Person Specification

Essential criteria

The successful candidate will demonstrate:

  • An understanding of and commitment to the objectives of the National Museum of the Royal Navy and the issues and challenges it faces in delivering them
  • Recently retired or soon to be retired senior naval officer (three star or above)
  • Excellent communication, influencing and representational skills to act as an ambassador for the museum with networking and relationship building skills
  • Experience of Chairing meetings that involve a wide range of opinions with members of different experiences and ability levels, directing meetings to form a consensus view whenever possible
  • Ability to apply strategic insight, innovative advice and constructive challenge to the Executive team’s plans
  • Extensive experience in working with government departments including elected politicians and senior Civil Service personnel with particular emphasis on the MOD and an understanding of its structure and workings
  • A shared commitment to diversity and equality

Desirable Criteria

  • Experience of Charity Governance or Company Law
  • Managing relationships between Executive teams and NED’s

Additional Information

The Seven Principles of Public Life (the Nolan Principles) defines the ethical standards expected of the National Museum of the Royal Navy’s Trustees and Committee Members.

The National Museum of the Royal Navy promotes an equal opportunities policy. Appointments are made on merit, following a fair and transparent process.  We particularly welcome applications from female, young people and black and ethnic minority candidates, who are currently under-represented. The appointment is not remunerated but reasonable expenses will be paid.

The Chair’s roles and responsibilities are available with this advert.

How to Apply

Please send:

  • A CV of no more than two sides of A4: this should provide details of your education and qualifications, employment history, directorships, membership of professional bodes and details of any publications or awards.
  • A supporting statement of not more than two sides of A4, clearly setting out how you meet the criteria and skills as set out above.
  • The completed Declaration Form, the Conflicts of Interest Form and the Diversity Form. The Diversity Form will be kept separately from your application and will not be seen by the selection panel in order to meet the Cabinet Office’s Governance Code on Public Appointments.

Questions and completed applications should be sent to:


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

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