Historic England - 4x Commissioners

Body: Historic England
Appointing Department: Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Sector: Culture, Media & Sport
Location: Meetings are generally held in London with some visits required to other locations. Due to Covid-19 restrictions, meetings are currently being held virtually.
Skills required: Business / Commercial, Communication / Media / Marketing, HR, IT / Digital, Major Projects, Regulation
Number of Vacancies: 1
Remuneration: £4,133 per year. Reasonable expenses will also be repaid.
Time Requirements: Around 12 days per year. There are six half-day Commission meetings per year, plus two regional overnight site visits. Commissioners are generally expected to sit on at least one sub-committee.

Campaign Timeline

  • Competition Launched


  • Closed for Applications


  • Panel Sift


  • Final Interview Date


  • Announcement



Assessment Panel

Vacancy Description


The Role of Historic England


Historic England is the public body that helps people care for, enjoy and celebrate England’s spectacular historic environment.  Our vision is for a heritage that is valued, celebrated and shared by everyone.  A historic environment that people connect with and learn from and that we are proud to pass on to future generations.

By protecting and caring for our historic environment, and through our research, listing, grant-aiding, planning and technical advice, we help our heritage have a positive impact on the world around us.

Our work is varied and diverse:

  • We delivered over £80million in grants in 2020-21 to help protect the historic environment and sustain organisations, places and craftspeople through the Covid-19 pandemic, and give them the best possible chance of recovery.
  • We target our resources and expertise through national programmes, such as our award-winning Heritage Schools programme, and our Heritage Action Zone (HAZ) and High Street HAZ schemes, which support over 90 places across the country to use the historic environment as a catalyst for economic and social recovery and growth.
  • Our campaigns and public programming work engages communities, broadens our reach, and helps even more audiences discover why the historic environment matters to everyone.
  • We are digitising even more of the 12 million photographs, plans and drawings in the Historic England Archive to make even more of this incredible resource available online.
  • We maintain and publish the Heritage at Risk register, which helps draw attention to places most at risk of being lost forever through neglect, decay or inappropriate development.
  • We make over 1,000 recommendations a year to the Secretary of State on new and existing designations on the National Heritage List for England.
  • We commission and produce research, guidance and training on a huge range of subjects, and publish Heritage Counts, an annual overview of the state of England’s historic environment.
  • We are responsible to Government for the care and operation of the National Heritage Collection – over 400 historic sites and monuments that are under the nation’s ownership or protection – which are managed on our behalf by the English Heritage Trust, and we support and monitor English Heritage in its care and maintenance of the Collection and toward its goal of financial self-sufficiency.
  • We work closely with MHCLG and DCMS on planning reforms, and our research and advice continues to support the successful development and implementation of the new planning system.
  • We work with planning authorities, owners and developers at the local plan and pre-application stages to provide advice, support and – where necessary – challenge on internationally significant and potentially contentious proposals, including those within World Heritage Sites.  On average, we are consulted on over 20,000 applications for planning permission and listed building consent each year.

We have recently published our Future Strategy 2021 – Championing Heritage, Improving Lives and our Corporate Plan 2020-21, which set out how now, more than ever, Historic England can support the historic environment and our communities through the Covid-19 recovery and beyond.


The Role of the Commission


The Commission is the governing body of Historic England and provides expert advice and guidance to the Executive.  It has corporate responsibility for establishing the overall strategic direction of the organisation and for monitoring its performance against strategic objectives and targets.  

Commissioners ensure that the organisation carries out its statutory responsibilities, maintaining high standards of probity in the administration of public funds and the effective use of resources.


Person Specification

We are seeking to appoint up to four new Commissioners, with a range of skills. We would expect candidates to have good knowledge and experience of the minimum criteria in one or more of the following areas:


Community Engagement / Outreach 

  • Knowledge and experience of community engagement 
  • Knowledge and experience of reaching broader and more diverse audiences, and engagement with underrepresented communities

Information Technology / Digital Engagement

  • Knowledge and experience of how information systems, digital technology and engagement can help to reach broader and more diverse audiences
  • An understanding of information governance in relation to quality, safety, security and integrity and effective use of information

Architectural History

  • Experience of the discipline of architectural history 
  • Knowledge of preservation and the conservation of buildings and monuments, including in the context of the National Heritage Collection


The Planning System

  • Knowledge and experience of the planning system
  • Understanding of the historic environment
  • Experience of dealing with / working for local authorities


Human Resources / Organisational Development

  • Knowledge of HR and/or OD in a public sector environment
  • An understanding of change management 
  • Implementing a D&I strategy to make a workforce a diverse and inclusive environment reflecting the wider population


Finance / Risk

  • Knowledge and understanding of public sector finances 
  • Managing risk in a large and complex organisation


Historic Properties

  • Experience of managing a major historic property or portfolio of properties


The skills and experiences outlined above are only intended to be examples and are by no means exhaustive.  All candidates are expected to demonstrate a commitment to preserving cultural heritage, and improving education and understanding of British and World history.


These appointments are made by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS). The DCMS is committed to eliminating discrimination and advancing equality of opportunity in its public appointments. 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. This ensures that boards of public bodies benefit from a full range of diverse perspectives and are representative of the people they serve.



Additional Information

Further information is available from the General Counsel and Corporate Secretary Andrew Wiseman: andrew.wiseman@historicengland.org.uk



How to Apply

To apply, please send the following four documents:

  • 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;
  • The Monitoring Form which must be completed by clicking this link before submitting your application.

Completed applications should be sent to: publicappointments@dcms.gov.uk, please put ‘Historic England Commissioner’ and the name of the specific role(s) you wish to apply for in the subject title.

For queries about your application, or the application process, please contact the Campaign Manager: anders.eriksen@dcms.gov.uk

We guarantee to interview anyone with a disability whose application meets the minimum criteria for the role. By ‘minimum criteria,’ we mean that you must provide evidence in your application, which demonstrates that you meet the level of competence required under each of the outlined potential roles. If you want to apply under this scheme, simply state this in the covering email or letter when submitting your application.

If you would like a confidential discussion regarding any reasonable adjustments during the process, please also indicate this in the covering email or letter. The closing date for applications is 11.00pm on Monday 4th October.

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.


Diversity and inclusion

DCMS values and cares passionately about the diversity of it’s public appointments. Boards of public bodies should reflect our diverse society in order to ensure the sector has a leadership that draws fully on the different skills and perspectives our country has to offer.

We particularly welcome applications from women, those with a disability, and those from a black or ethnic minority background. We encourage applications from people who live outside London, from any professional background, and of any age group.

We ask all applicants to complete a diversity monitoring form. We hope you will help us by providing this information. Your data is not disclosed to the panel, but allows us to constantly evaluate any potential barriers to becoming a public appointee and whether there are any changes we could make to encourage a more diverse field to apply.

Supporting information

This process is regulated by the Office of the Commissioner for Public Appointments’ (OCPA‘s) Code of Practice. All applicants are expected to have adhered to the Seven Principles of Public Life. 

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 Historic England. 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

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 candidate’s declared political activity will be published when the appointment is announced.

Due Diligence

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 Cabinet Office.

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.
Historic England 4x Commissioners Role Specification
Code of Conduct for Board Members of Public Bodies
Declaration of Conflicts of Interest Form
OCPA Complaints Procedure
Public Appointments Privacy Notice 2021
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