Department for International Trade Lead Non-Executive Board Member and Non-Executive Board Member

Body: Department for International Trade
Appointing Department: Department for International Trade
Sectors: Business, Finance & Skills, International
Location: London (occasional travel in the UK)
Skills required: Business / Commercial, International Experience
Number of Vacancies: 2
Remuneration: £20,000 per annum for Lead NEBM role and £15,000 per annum for NEBM role.
Time Requirements: The time commitments for both roles will be approximately 15-20 days per annum, including at least 4 Departmental Board meetings per annum. The Lead NEBM will be required to Chair the Nominations and Governance Committee and will need to attend around 2 Nominations and Governance meetings per annum. The Non-Executive Board Member will be required to attend around 5 Audit and Risk Assurance Committee per annum.

Campaign Timeline

  • Competition Launched


  • Closed for Applications


  • Panel Sift

    End of June

  • Final Interview Date

    Mid July

  • Announcement

    Early September

Please note following interviews the Secretary of State may wish to meet with all appointable candidates to finalise the appointment. We will provide reasonable notice to all candidates invited to interview stage.


Assessment Panel

  • Antonia Romeo

    Panel Chair

    Permanent Secretary, and Secretary of State representative.

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  • Sue Langley OBE

    Lead Non-Executive Board Member and Home Office Lead Non-Executive Board Member. • Independent Member

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  • Darren Tierney

    Director General (Interim) Global Trade and Investment Policy and Programmes. • Other Panel Member

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Vacancy Description


This is an important time for the Department for International Trade (DIT), a Department at the heart of the UK’s relationship with the global economy. Our role is to promote and enable UK trade globally, enabling businesses to take advantage of the appetite for British goods and services around the world, attracting foreign companies and investment to our shores, and enabling international companies to collaborate with UK suppliers.

Following the UK’s exit from the European Union, the Department has been working hard to establish an independent trade policy and champion free trade around the world. The Department will be a liberalising force, tackling protectionism head-on and defending the rules-based framework that underpins our ability to trade freely. The Department will be striking trade agreements with some of the largest advanced economies, building trade relationships with the economies of the future, and championing the multilateral rules-based trading system with the WTO at its heart. The Department, as part of its levelling up agenda, will be supporting and encouraging UK businesses to grow and attract FDI across the whole of the UK. It will be supporting businesses to trade through trade dialogues and targeting market access barriers. It has a critical role in promoting great innovations, products and skills in our country through our Trade Commissioners, who are strategically placed to champion the UK, trade advisors who help exporters reach new markets, the GREAT campaign and trade shows.

The Department is currently working at pace to respond directly to the global health pandemic, COVID-19.  As the situation unfolds the consequences for businesses and trade are acute and require immediate action to keep trade flowing and supply chains functioning. The Department is focused on immediate activity to provide practical support to businesses and enable trade through the crisis for example working with G20 trade ministers, working with BEIS and HMT to provide support to UK businesses, using our regional and overseas networks and sector teams to unblock supply chains and on international procurement of critical medical supplies.  The Department also has a critical role to play in supporting the economy and British businesses to recover once we are through the worst of the immediate crisis.

The Department had a large regional and overseas presence, with its headquarters based in London. Her Majesty’s Trade Commissioners (HMTCs) lead the overseas regions and are a crucial part in maintaining our strong trading relationships with other countries.

The Role

The Department for International Trade is seeking to fill the position of two Non-Executive Board Members. The Department for International Trade embraces and values diversity in all forms. We welcome and pride ourselves on the positive impact diversity has on the work we do, and we promote equality of opportunity throughout the organisation.

1.The first vacancy is for a Lead Non-Executive Board member position.

2. The second vacancy is for a Non-Executive Board Member and Member of the Audit and Risk Assurance Committee.

The time commitments for both roles will be approximately 15-20 days per annum, including at least 4 Departmental Board meetings per annum. The Lead NEBM will be required to Chair the Nominations and Governance Committee and will need to attend around 2 Nominations and Governance meetings per annum. The Non-Executive Board Member will be required to attend around 5 Audit and Risk Assurance Committee per annum.

Candidates have the option to apply for one or both vacancies. Please make clear in your cover letter, which vacancy you are applying for. If you are applying for both vacancies, please state a preference. The Advisory Assessment Panel will identify which role you will be appointable for based on their assessment of how you meet the criterions for the roles and will discuss this with you. (See ‘How To Apply’ for more details).

Key responsibilities of Non-Executive Board Members 

Both Non-Executive Board Members roles will exercise their role through influence and advice, supporting as well as challenging the executive, and covering such issues as:

  • support, guidance and challenge on the progress and implementation of the Departments Strategy (the single departmental plan)
  • performance (including agreeing key performance indicators), operational issues (including the operational and delivery implications of policy proposals), adherence to relevant standards (e.g. commercial, digital), and on the effective management of the department
  • the recruitment, appraisal and suitable succession planning of senior executives, as appropriate within the principles set out by the Civil Service Commission

Key responsibilities of Lead Non-Executive Board Member  

As Lead Non-Executive Board Member there are additional responsibilities. The successful candidate’s responsibilities will include:

  • supporting the Secretary of State in her role as chair of the Departmental Board, enabling the Board to advise effectively on Departmental strategy and on the operational, commercial and delivery implications of policies;
  • working with the Permanent Secretary, Directors General and senior managers to scrutinise information about the Department’s performance and management, and challenge the Department on how it is delivering its strategic priorities;
  • providing independent scrutiny for the Department, on request;
  • lead the Department’s non-executive team, ensuring that they are able to fulfil their role effectively and meet the other NEBMs regularly, ensuring that their views are given due weight on the Board and the Lead Minister is aware of any concerns;
  • ensuring that the non-executive board members collectively meet the lead minister for 1:1 meetings from time to time;
  • work with the Government Lead NEBM, and non-executives across government, to learn from the experiences of other government Departments and other comparable organisations, including playing an active role in the cross-government network of lead NEBMs and to feedback views to the Prime Minister;
  • Chair the Nominations and Governance Committee.

The two Non-Executive Board Members will become members of the Departmental Board on appointment. Departmental boards are an advisory body to support and challenge ministers and accounting officers. Policy will be decided by Ministers alone, on advice of officials. For more information on Departmental boards and government non-executives please refer to the Corporate Governance Code. The individual appointed in to the second roles as the Non-Executive Board will become a member of the Audit and Risk Assurance Committee on appointment.


Person Specification

Candidates for the role of Lead Non-Executive Board Member should demonstrate the following essential criteria:

  • proven leadership in large and complex organisations in the private, public or voluntary sectors, with main board-level experience as an executive or non-executive; and
  • able to commit to the time requirement for the Lead NEBM role, unless due to unforeseeable circumstances.

Candidates applying for the Non-Executive Board Member role should demonstrate the following essential criteria:

  • experience in crisis management and/or change management;
  • macro-economic expertise, particularly in relation to international trade and free trade agreements; and
  • able to commit to the time requirement of the NEBM role, unless due to unforeseeable circumstance.

The following are also desirable criteria for both roles.  Please share evidence of this experience where relevant:

  • experience in trade policy, driving exports and/or driving foreign direct investment (FDI) decisions;
  • experience of risk, performance and financial management;
  • experience of leading major projects from initiation, through development and to delivery, using sound evidence to inform decisions;
  • the ability to contribute and inspire confidence with a wide range of stakeholders both in formal environments (such as Board meetings) and in less formal environments (such as one-to-one meetings with Executives)
  • an understanding of the key challenges faced by the public sector and the ability to bring their experience to bear on these challenges.
  • sound judgement and a high level of integrity (including when dealing with confidential or sensitive issues);
  • genuine interest in contributing to the effective running of the Department, at the Board, elsewhere in the Department and (as appropriate) across Government.

Additional Information

Important information to consider

 All candidates are expected to the adhere to the Principles of Public Life and the Code of Conduct for Board members.

The successful candidate will be required to undertake security checks in line with the Civil Service guidelines, which we would envisage to be at SC (Security Check) level. For more information regarding security clearance please see the UK National security vetting: advice for vetting subjects.

Due diligence will be carried out at the shortlisting stage, which will include character references and background checks. 

How to Apply

The Department for International Trade embraces and values diversity in all forms. We welcome and pride ourselves on the positive impact diversity has on the work we do, and we promote equality of opportunity throughout the organisation. To make an application please email us your CV, covering letter, Candidate Declaration form and Diversity monitoring form (attached below) and send to

*Applications must be received by [23:59 on 14/06/ 2020]

Guidance on CV Format

Please ensure you CV includes:

  • Your full name, title, contact number and your personal email address.
  • Maximum two sides A4, minimum 11 Arial black font, setting out your career history in chronological order, and including the dates you occupied these roles.

Guidance on Cover Letter Format

  • The supporting letter is your opportunity to demonstrate to the Advisory Assessment the Panel how you can demonstrate the skills and experience outlined in the role and person specification
  • Please use a heading to state clearly which role you are applying for. If you are applying for both the Lead NEBM and NEBM vacancies, please make this clear as well as your preferred role e.g. Applying for Lead Non-Executive Board Member and Non-Executive Board Member role and my first preference is Non-Executive Board Member.
  • Please provide subheadings and separate paragraphs describing how you meet essential and any desired criteria.
  • Write all acronyms in full when first used.
  • Ensure your full name and the title of the post are clearly noted at the top of your letter.
  • The maximum page limit for your letter is two sides A4, minimum 11 Arial black font.

Candidate Declaration Form

It is a requirement of the appointments process that we ask interested applicants to declare the below activity as part of our due diligence. These comprise:

  • Declaration of: conflicts of interest or perceived conflicts of interest; previous conduct which could bring the reputation of the Department into disrepute; political activity;
  • Requests for references;

As such, please complete and return the attached Candidate Declaration Form as part of your application.

Please note, this form will be shared with the Panel as part of your application.  We will only contact the referees of candidates invited to interview and will also carry out the following searches; financial probity, public statements, and publicly available social media profiles on all candidates invited to interview.

Diversity Monitoring Form

We are committed to recruiting candidates that reflect the diverse communities we serve. To do this we ask candidates to fill out a diversity monitoring form. Candidates should complete the hard copy signposted below at the end of this information page and submit the form as part of their application. The information you provide will help support us ensure that our recruitment processes are fair to all and allow us to attract diverse and talented candidates.

Diversity monitoring information will not be seen by the Assessment Panel assessing your application. However, you should note that political activity detailed in this form will be provided separately to the panel and may, if appropriate, be discussed with you during your interview.

Disability Confidence Scheme

The Department for International Trade is committed to providing equality of opportunity for all candidates during the selection process, so that appointments are selected from the widest pool of talent available.

We are signed up to the disability confidence scheme and as part of that commitment is that we guarantee an interview to any candidate who:

  • has disclosed a disability as defined under the Equality Act 2010 (see definition below); and
  • meets the essential criteria for the post(s) in question, as set out in the role advertisement.

The Equality Act 2010 defines a person as disabled if they have a physical or mental impairment and the impairment has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on their ability to carry out normal day to day activities.

If you wish to apply under the disability confident scheme, please complete the disability

confidence form (attached) and return it with your application.

All applications will be acknowledged by email after the closing date.


diversity-monitoring-form-accessible (5)
Disability-Confidence-Form- 24042020
DIT Candidate Declaration Form NEBM recuritment 14042020 - template

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

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