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



Historic England 4x Commissioners Role Specification
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