Chair of Transport Focus

Body: Transport Focus
Appointing Department: Department for Transport
Sector: Transport
Location: The Board meets approximately three times per year in public, and monthly informally. The Board meets in London, Manchester and other places across Great Britain.
Number of Vacancies: 1
Remuneration: £35,000 per annum
Time Requirements: Two days per week


An announcement has been made on the outcome of this appointment.

Nigel Stevens will take on the role of Transport Focus’ Chair during the rollout of the biggest reform on Britain’s railways in 25 years, and Great British Railways (GBR). Nigel will be responsible for overseeing and inspiring the change needed to ensure Transport Focus works effectively with GBR as the passenger champion over the coming years. This is an important step in transforming the rail industry to deliver for its passengers.

Date: 16/05/2022

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Campaign Timeline

  • Competition Launched


  • Closed for Applications


  • Panel Sift


  • Final Interview Date


  • Announcement


  • TBC

Vacancy Description

As Chair, you will be expected to work in partnership with staff and key stakeholders across the country. You will ensure that the user voice is not only heard but understood and acted upon by those in positions of influence. This is a role for a true leader, a proactive person with the capacity and passion to identify the need for, and promote, change, and communicate superbly.

You will chair monthly meetings of the Transport Focus board. Good boards are created and sustained by good Chairs. The Chair creates the conditions for overall board and individual effectiveness. The Chair, with the help of the executive directors and head of board and governance, sets the agenda for the board’s deliberations. Among your key responsibilities will be:

  • setting a forward board agenda which is focused on the transport user, current performance and future strategy;
  • keeping Ministers informed of activities and outcomes, issues and concerns, through regular dialogue ensuring Transport Focus’s Board has access to high‐quality financial and management information, enabling it to carry out its core responsibilities of good governance;
  • making certain that the board determines the nature and extent of the significant risks the organisation is willing to embrace in the implementation of its strategy and work plans;
  • making certain that the board has effective decision‐making processes in place and applies sufficient challenge to major proposals by encouraging all board members to draw on their skills, experience, knowledge and, where appropriate, independence;
  • developing productive, open, working relationships with the management team – and the Chief Executive in particular – by providing support and advice while respecting executive responsibility.
  • Becoming a Director of, and Chairing, our subsidiary companies Transport Focus Wales Limited and Transport Focus Scotland Limited

Person Specification

We would like to hear from candidates who are regular users of a variety of transport modes, and who can demonstrate in their application, and at interview, the following essential criteria:

  • An insight into the dynamics and issues surrounding the transport user, as well as customer facing businesses and consumer affairs more generally.
  • An ability to drive forward change and improve performance, particularly through constructively challenging decision making, resourcing structures and processes across Transport Focus and its subsidiaries, particularly in the context of the reforms to its role following the Williams-Shapps Plan for Rail.
  • Strong and visible leadership skills (including experience of being on a board) which, combined with an ability to harness the skills of others, results in the delivery of clear outcomes.
  • Proven ability to negotiate and persuade partners to come up with positive results for consumers.
  • A strong communicator who, as well as being able to engage with the public, is able to establish personal credibility with a complex range of stakeholders, including those operating in Government across Great Britain, and in broader political and commercial environments.
  • A demonstrable commitment to an equal opportunities and diversity agenda.

Desirable skills, knowledge and experience

In addition to the above, candidates should ideally be able to demonstrate further experience covering:

  • Transport industry structure
  • Regulatory, central or local government affairs
  • Influencing in a political environment

How to Apply

To apply for this post you must provide:

  • A supporting statement of no more than 2 sides of A4 paper (no smaller than 10-point font) which clearly sets out how you meet both the essential and desirable criteria for the role. Decisions about shortlisting will be based on this information.
  • Full curriculum vitae of no more than 3 sides of A4 paper (no smaller than 10- point font) with your educational and professional qualifications and full employment history.
  • A completed Supporting Information Form. Part A of this form – regarding diversity – is not part of the selection process and will be treated in confidence and used only for statistical purposes. It will be kept separate from the application and will not be seen by the selection panel until after a shortlist has been generated. Part B – political activity – will be provided to the Panel only for those applicants selected for interview; it will enable the Panel to explore such activity with the candidates in the context of their ability to perform their role. Referees nominated may be contacted prior to interview for shortlisted candidates.

You should send all of the above by email to Jon Carter, Head of Board and Governance at Transport Focus, to:

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