Charity Commission 2x Board Members: Legal and Wales

Closed
Body: The Charity Commission for England and Wales
Appointing Department: Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Sector: Culture, Media & Sport
Location: London or Liverpool
Skills required: Legal / Judicial
Number of Vacancies: 2
Remuneration: Board members will receive £350 per day. Reasonable expenses incurred on official Commission business will be reimbursed. No pension is payable for the appointment.
Time Requirements: Up to 24 days per year, depending on Committee membership.

Campaign Timeline

  • Competition Launched

    17/02/2022

  • Closed for Applications

    14/04/2022

  • Panel Sift

    06/05/2022

  • Final Interview Date

    tbc

  • Announcement

    TBC

 

Assessment Panel

Vacancy Description

Overview 

The Secretary of State for the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, the Rt Hon Nadine Dorries MP, wishes to appoint two Board members to the Charity Commission for England and Wales. These are Public Appointments and will be conducted in compliance with the Governance Code for Public Appointments under the principles of merit, fairness and openness.

The Charity Commission for England and Wales

The Charity Commission is the independent registrar and regulator of charities in England and Wales. Its role is to register and regulate the charities in England and Wales, and to ensure that the public can support charities with confidence. It regulates over 168,000 registered charities and £84.1 billion of charitable income.  A non-Ministerial Department, it is based across four sites, employing approximately 443 staff and in 2020-21 had a budget of £29.2 million. Its current Strategic Plan comes to an end in 2023.

The Secretary of State for the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) appoints the Chair and other Board members, following fair and open competition, regulated by the Office of the Commissioner for Public Appointments.

The appointment is for a term of three years.

As registrar, the Commission is responsible for maintaining an accurate and up-to-date register of charities. This includes deciding whether organisations are charitable and should be registered. It also removes charities that are not considered to be charitable, no longer exist, or do not operate. 

As regulator, the Commission has both compliance and enablement functions.  It is responsible for investigating and monitoring charities’ compliance with charity law and regulation; it takes enforcement action when there is malpractice or misconduct.  It also provides online services and guidance to help charities run as effectively as possible, ensuring charities meet their legal requirements, and makes appropriate information about each registered charity widely available.

Role of the board and its members 

The Board is ultimately responsible and accountable for the Commission. The Chief Executive is responsible for the operational management of the Commission and is the Accounting Officer. The Board reserves some specific high-risk regulatory decisions to itself.

The main tasks of the Board are to ensure that the Commission: 

  • effectively fulfils its statutory objectives, general functions and duties and appropriately exercises its legal powers
  • is accountable to Parliament, the courts, and the general public 
  • regulates independently, proportionately and impartially and acts in good faith and in the public interest
  • delivers its services within its funding agreement 

The Board achieves this by setting the Commission’s strategic direction, approving its budget and business plans, and setting the risk framework and policies within which the Chief Executive and her team operate and/or follow and for which they are held to account.

In doing this, Board members will:

  • give proper time and attention to their roles and responsibilities
  • use their skills, knowledge and experience to inform collective decisions
  • abide by the Commission’s Governance Framework and observe the highest standards of propriety in fulfilling their responsibilities
  • ensure that they operate in accordance with governance best practice and Nolan principles of standards in public life.
  • participate in an annual appraisal of their own performance with the Chair.

The Board is supported by three committees, whose chairs and members are largely Board members, working alongside members of the Executive.  

The Commission’s Governance Framework is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/charity-commission-governance-framework

The Roles 

These two vacancies are senior roles requiring people with the necessary non-executive skills and experience to assist the Chair in providing strategic leadership and oversight of the Charity Commission.  The Commission’s work is highly varied and engages with people and institutions throughout England and Wales: the Board seeks to reflect that diversity in its composition. 

Successful candidates will have strong interpersonal, intellectual and analytical skills and sound judgement and the ability to make high level decisions as a senior non-executive, together with a commitment to and appreciation of good corporate governance. Candidates with previous non-executive director or senior executive experience in the private, public and/or not-for-profit sector are welcome to apply, however this is not essential.

 

Person Specification

Statutory requirements

This round of appointments must meet two statutory obligations on the Board’s composition (as per the Charities Act 2011): 

  • A member ‘who knows about conditions in Wales’

The successful candidate will be familiar with and have an appreciation of the social, economic and cultural conditions in Wales, to inform the collective responsibility of the Board to represent the public interest of people living in Wales. This position will be appointed following a consultation with the Welsh Assembly. 

  • A member who has ‘a 7 year general qualification within the meaning of section 71 of the Courts and Legal Services Act 1990’ 

The successful candidate will hold legal qualifications within the meaning of section 71 of the Courts and Legal Services Act 1990, to inform the collective responsibility of the Board to dispatch its legal duties. 

In addition to the legal qualification, candidates for the Legal Board Member role must be able to demonstrate knowledge of and/or experience in the field of charity law/regulation of charities.

 

Essential Criteria

Candidates across both roles must be able to meet the majority of the following criteria:

  • A career record of achievement and high performance in the private, public and/or not-for-profit sector, with an ability to operate effectively on the Board or senior committee of an established organisation.
  • An ability to guide the Commission’s strategic direction, use sound judgement, and consider and challenge complex issues from an impartial and balanced viewpoint.   
  • Strong intellectual and analytical ability, with excellent listening, influencing and communication skills and a constructive style in challenging management recommendations where necessary.  
  • Experience of holding others to account via effective controls and assurance systems for risk, performance and quality.    
  • An understanding of corporate governance and a commitment to the principles of public service, with the highest standards of personal propriety in relation to governance, accountability, risk and financial management.  
  • An understanding of the charity sector’s value to the public and – as part of that – the importance of its effective, independent, proportionate, and impartial regulation in the public interest.
  • A commitment to ensuring charities remain focused on delivering their core charitable purposes and ensuring that trustees understand their legal duties

 

Desirable knowledge or experience 

  • Management of charities at a senior level, including experience of the changing demands on and operating environment of the charity sector. 
  • Regulatory compliance gained from working within a regulator or in a regulated sector. 
  • An understanding of the Charity Commission’s diverse range of stakeholders and the inter-relationships between the charity sector and the Government/public/private sectors.    

 

DCMS is committed to equality of opportunity and is committed to ensuring that public appointments better represent the views of the communities which they serve. We particularly encourage applicants from underrepresented groups, those based outside London and the South-East and applicants who have achieved success through non-traditional educational routes. We want to ensure any appointee is committed to promoting diversity, in its broadest possible sense. This will include embedding a commitment to the principles of levelling up and championing opportunity for all across the organisation, helping to ensure that the organisation is one in which a genuinely diverse range of views can be expressed.

Additional Information

Tenure of office 

The term is for three years.

Location

Most of the Board members’ work will be based at the Charity Commission’s London or Liverpool Offices but we are keen to attract applicants from different geographical locations and travel expenses to meetings will be reimbursed, in line with Civil Service policies. In addition, the successful candidates will be expected to undertake some travel in connection with the role, for which reasonable expenses will be reimbursed, in line with the Charity Commission’s policies.

About DCMS
Our department operates at the heart of government on some of the UK’s biggest economic and social issues. Our mission is to drive growth, enrich lives and promote the UK to the world. We champion innovation and creativity. From the Arts to Artificial Intelligence, a quarter of UK businesses are in our sectors, and are among the fastest growing of our economy. Emerging technology is opening up new possibilities for human endeavour and self-expression. But we need to harness it, create new norms for the online world and build a strong civil society so that the benefits are shared by all. Our actions over more than 25 years of DCMS have become woven into the fabric of our nation. Today we continue to shape the world we want to live in – building a future fit for everyone.

DCMS is a ministerial department, supported by 45 agencies and public bodies.

If you are not completely satisfied
We aim to process all applications as quickly as possible and to treat all applicants with courtesy. If you have any complaints about the way your application has been handled, please contact publicappointments@dcms.gov.uk.

 

Supporting information
This appointments process adheres to the Cabinet Office Governance Code on Public Appointments, which is regulated by the Commissioner for Public Appointments. 

All applicants are expected to abide by the Seven Principles of Public Life and the 12 Principles of Governance.

Eligibility Criteria 

You cannot be considered for a public appointment if:

  • you become bankrupt or make an arrangement with a creditor
  • your estate has been sequestrated in Scotland or you enter into a debt arrangement programme under Part 1 of the Debt Arrangement and Attachment (Scotland) Act 2002 (asp 17) as the debtor or have, under Scots law, granted a trust deed for creditors;
  • you are disqualified from acting as a company director under the Company Directors Disqualification Act 1986;
  • you have been convicted of a criminal offence, the conviction not being spent for the purposes of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (c. 53);
  • you become subject to a debt relief order or a bankruptcy restrictions order;
  • you fail to declare any conflict of interest.

 

Due Diligence

Given the nature of public appointments, it is important that those appointed as members of public bodies maintain the confidence of Parliament and the public. If there are any issues in your personal or professional history that could, if you were appointed, be misconstrued, cause embarrassment, or cause public confidence in the appointment to be jeopardised, it is important that you bring them to the attention of the Advisory Assessment Panel and provide details of the issue(s) in your application. In considering whether you wish to declare any issues, you should also reflect on any public statements you have made, including through social media.

As part of our due diligence checks we will consider anything in the public domain related to your conduct or professional capacity. This will include us undertaking searches of previous public statements and social media, blogs or any other publicly available information. This information may be made available to the Advisory Assessment Panel and they may wish to explore issues with you should you be invited to interview. The information may also be shared with ministers and the Cabinet Office.

If you progress to the interview stage, please note that further due diligence checks will be undertaken by the Charity Commission on any charities you have listed in your CV or conflicts of interest form. Before conducting these checks we will ask all candidates to confirm that all charities you are currently affiliated with, or have previously been affiliated with, have been declared. 

 

Conflicts of Interest

Candidates must note the requirement to declare any interests they may have that might cause questions to be raised about their approach to the business of the Charity Commission. They are required to declare any relevant business interests, shareholdings, positions of authority, retainers, consultancy arrangements or other connections with commercial, public or voluntary bodies, both for themselves and for their spouses/partners. The successful candidate will be required to give up any conflicting interests and his/her other business and financial interests may be published.

 

Political Activity

Given the need for the Charity Commission to be, and to be seen to be, impartial and independent in its regulation of charities, engagement in significant political activity (holding office, public speaking, making a recordable donation or candidature for election) is likely to prove a significant conflict of interest for candidates applying for this role.

To allow the panel to explore conflicts of interest, and in particular political activity, with the candidates in the context of their ability to perform in the role, candidates should declare any significant political activity which they have undertaken in the last five years. This information will only be provided to the panel for those applicants selected for interview. 

Details of the successful candidates’ declared political activity will be published when the appointment is announced. 

 

Expenses

Expenses incurred by external candidates during the recruitment process will not be reimbursed, except in exceptional circumstances, and only when agreed in advance.

Attachments
Public-Appointments-Privacy-Notice-2021
Code-of-Conduct-for-Board-Members-of-Public-Bodies
OCPA-Complaints-Procedure
Declaration-of-Conflicts-of-Interest-Form (1)
Charity Commission application pack - 2x Board Members 2022
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