Charity Commission, Board Member

Body: Charity Commission for England and Wales
Appointing Department: Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Sector: Charity & Public Sector
Location: Most of the Board and Committee meetings are held at the Commission’s London office and some travel to its Liverpool office will be required. We are keen to attract applicants from different geographical locations.
Number of Vacancies: 1
Remuneration: Board members will receive £350 per day and reimbursement of reasonable expenses.
Time Requirements: Approximately 24 days per year.


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

Will Lifford has been appointed by the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport as a Board Member of the Charity Commission for three years from 18th January 2021 to 17th January 2024.

View Announcement

Campaign Timeline

  • Competition Launched


  • Closed for Applications


  • Panel Sift

    w/c 12th October

  • Final Interview Date

    w/c 9th November

  • Announcement



Assessment Panel

Vacancy Description

The Charity Commission is the registrar and regulator of charities in England and Wales. It is an independent, non-Ministerial Government Department accountable directly to Parliament. It is based across four sites, employing approximately 420 staff with a budget of £31 million. 

The Charity Commission has a clear purpose: to ensure charity can thrive and inspire trust so that people can improve lives and strengthen society. To help us meet that purpose, fulfil our proud commitment to represent the public interest in charity, and meet the challenges we face, in the autumn of 2018 the Board set an ambitious five-year strategic plan.

The aim of our strategy is to maximise the benefit of charity to society. That is an ambition we share with the charities we regulate. Our collective success also relies on the collective responsibility – of the Commission and all charities – to uphold what charity means in the eyes of the public.

There are approximately 168,000 registered charities in England and Wales, with approximately 800,000 people serving as trustees. While some of these registered charities are household names, the majority – about 80% – have an income below £100,000 a year.

The Secretary of State for the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, the Rt Hon Oliver Dowden MP, wishes to appoint a Board member to the Charity Commission for England and Wales. 

A vacancy for a Non-Executive Director will be created when one member completes their term in October 2020. This is a senior role requiring someone with the necessary experience and non-executive skills to support the Chair in providing strategic leadership and oversight of the Charity Commission. 

This is a public appointment and will be conducted in compliance with the Commissioner for Public Appointments’ Code of Practice for Ministerial Appointments to Public Bodies under the principles of merit, fairness and openness. The appointment is for a term of three years.


Person Specification

The successful candidate will have strong interpersonal, intellectual and analytical skills and sound judgement, together with a commitment to and appreciation of good corporate governance and public service. Candidates with board experience as a non-executive director and/or senior executive experience at Executive Committee level in the private, public and/or not-for-profit sector (including those for whom this would be a first non-executive board appointment) are encouraged to apply. 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. 


Specific Knowledge and Experience:

In this recruitment round we are seeking candidates who are registered Chartered Accountants. Knowledge of charity accounting is desirable but not essential.  All Boards require a range of knowledge and experience to be effective in their scrutiny, challenge and support of the Executive. The Charity Commission Board’s experience currently includes regulation, the law (including charity law), digitisation and big data, operations, charity governance, security, risk management. 


Essential Criteria:

All candidates 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 giving or 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.  
  • A commitment to and 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.
  • 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.


Additional Information

The Chair and eight Non-Executive Directors (NEDs) are ultimately responsible and accountable for ensuring that the Commission fulfils its statutory objectives, general functions, duties and appropriately exercises the legal powers vested in it under the Charities Act and other legislation. 

The Chief Executive is accountable to the Non-Executive members of the Board for the operation and day-to-day management of the Commission: as Accounting Officer, she is directly accountable to Parliament.

In September 2018, a unitary Board of the Commission was established, of which the Chief Executive is a member. Like all corporate unitary boards, its main tasks are to set the vision and long-term strategic direction of the organisation, agree annual budgets and business plans, and set the risk framework and policies within which the Chief Executive and her team operate and for which they are held to account by the Board.

The Commission’s Governance Framework sets out in detail the respective roles and responsibilities of the Commission, Board and the Executive.  The Board is supported by three committees, whose chairs and members are Non-Executive Directors.  


How to Apply

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 bodies and details of any publications or awards;
  • A supporting statement of not more than two sides of A4, setting out how you meet the criteria – please make sure you refer to the contents of this document;
  • The Conflicts of Interest Form and the Diversity monitoring form. The Diversity Form will be kept separately from your application and Conflicts of Interest Form and will not be seen by the selection panel, in order to meet the Cabinet Office’s Governance Code on Public Appointments.


Completed applications should be sent to:, please put ‘Charity Commission’ in the subject title. If you would like a confidential discussion regarding any reasonable adjustments during the process, please also indicate this in the covering email or letter.

Applications should arrive no later than 11pm on September 20th 2020. Please note that applications after this time will not be considered.

For queries about your application, or the application process, please contact the Campaign Manager, Rhianna Bridgewater at


Diversity Monitoring Form
Declaration of Conflicts of Interest Form
Code of Conduct for Board Members of Public Bodies
Public Appointments - Privacy Notice 2020
Charity Commission - Application Pack (September 2020)
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