Imperial War Museums - Business Trustee

Body: Imperial War Museums
Appointing Department: Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Sectors: Business, Finance & Skills, Culture, Media & Sport
Location: Meetings will generally be held in London, but occasionally also at the Museum's other branches.
Skills required: Business / Commercial
Number of Vacancies: 1
Remuneration: Trustees give their services on an honorary basis and receive no remuneration, except for expenses reasonably incurred in performance of their duties.
Time Requirements: All Trustees are expected to allocate sufficient time to the role. Likely total time commitment will be up to one day per month. There are four full Board meetings per year (generally March, July, September and December) and the successful candidate will also be expected to attend four meetings of the IWM Trading Company Directors. Some additional time will be required to study papers as well as to attend events, other committee meetings as appropriate and any representational engagements.


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

The Prime Minister has appointed Guy Weston as Business Trustee of the Imperial War Museum for four years from 4th November 2019 – 3rd November 2023.

Date: 20/01/2020

View Announcement

Campaign Timeline

  • Competition Launched


  • Closed for Applications

    05/06/2019 at 10:00

  • Panel Sift


  • Final Interview Date


  • Announcement



Assessment Panel

Vacancy Description

IWM is seeking to increase the business and commercial skills on its Board of Trustees as the generation of commercial revenue forms a critical part of IWMs income and operating model.

The commercial and learning activities of IWM, including retail, corporate hospitality and the IWM Duxford Air Shows are operated through the IWM Trading Company plc, a wholly owned subsidiary incorporated in 1999. The business trustee will also be Chair of the IWM Trading Company Ltd.


Person Specification

Essential Criteria

Candidates for this particular post will have significant experience in an area of business or commerce. While the e-commerce aspect of business is well covered at Board level, we are looking for a candidate with all round commercial experience, who will possess excellent business skills and commercial acumen, commensurate with driving profit.

Additionally they will be able to:

  • demonstrate a track record of success at Board level with an extensive network of contacts in one of the following areas: commercial, retail, hospitality, attractions or other customer focused industries;
  • contribute to the Board’s and Trading Company’s work on business and commercial development;


As for all Trustee appointments, candidates will also need to demonstrate:

  • a knowledge of and commitment to IWM, and support of the purposes and values of the Museum, including its public educational purpose;
  • a commitment to support the Museum’s fund-raising activities;
  • achievement in the private, public or voluntary sectors;
  • proven ability to take responsibility and demonstrate sound judgement in strategic decision making;
  • excellent representational and communication skills;
  • a clear understanding of the principles of corporate governance in the public sector.


IWM Trading Company Ltd

It is expected that the Trustee appointed to this vacancy will also join the Board of Directors of the IWM Trading Company Ltd. Incorporated in 1999, the IWM Trading Company operates the commercial activities of IWM, except income earned from branch admissions. These comprise retail, catering, corporate hospitality, learning, air days, licensing of collections, image sales and publications. The share capital is wholly owned by the Trustees of the Imperial War Museum, as a body corporate.


Additional Information

The Role of Trustees

Members of the Board have corporate responsibility for the general management and control of the Museum, subject to the terms set out in the Imperial War Museum Acts (1920 and 1955), subsequent amending legislation and other governing documents. It is their responsibility also to ensure that the Museum complies with any statutory or administrative requirements for the use of public funds. Specifically, the Board:

  • Determines the general policy of the Museum;
  • Appoints the Director-General of the Museum, with the approval of the Prime Minister;
  • Monitors and oversees the Director-General’s management of the Museum. The Director-General is the Board’s chief executive and the Accounting Officer of the Museum;
  • Has legal responsibility for the buildings, collections and financial assets of the Museum and their care and management;
  • Approves the Museum’s Strategic Plan;
  • Monitors the process of Risk Management within the Museum;
  • Publishes an annual report and account, audited by the Comptroller and Auditor-General.


Trustees are expected to understand and uphold the Seven Principles of Public Life as defined by the Committee on Standards in Public Life. Individual Trustees should therefore also be aware of their wider responsibility as members of the Board – namely to comply at all times with the Code of Practice for Board Members of Public Bodies as adopted by the IWM; and with the rules relating to the use of public funds and to conflicts of interest; and to act in accordance with the requirements of Charity law where this applies.    

Trustees must be positive advocates for the Museum. They will exercise drive with due tact and discretion as members of a corporate body with a collective and strategic role.

Background to the IWM

The Imperial War Museum (IWM) was founded in 1917 to record the story of the Great War.  Its remit was subsequently extended to cover the Second World War and today, IWM is the world’s leading authority on conflict and its impact focusing on Britain, its former Empire and the Commonwealth, from the First World War to the present.

It is dedicated to recording people’s experiences of modern conflict, exploring the causes of war and its impact on people’s lives. The collections are made up of the everyday and the exceptional, drawn from people of all walks of life. They reflect the total nature of war and reveal stories of people, places, ideas and events.

IWM makes its unique collections relevant to contemporary audiences by creating vivid personal stories and powerful physical experiences that engage visitors of all ages with the issues of war and conflict across our five museums. The Museum reflects the realities of war and challenges people to look at conflict from different perspectives.

IWM is a single institution with a single purpose, fulfilled in different ways at its different branches, both physical and virtual. In addition to its headquarters building, IWM London, in Southwark, the Museum’s branches comprise the Churchill War Rooms and HMS Belfast in London, IWM Duxford in Cambridgeshire, and IWM North in Trafford, Greater Manchester which is housed in a stunning building by Daniel Libeskind. Alongside its conventional rôle as a museum, IWM is also a major national art gallery – it holds the second largest collection of 20th Century British and contemporary art in the UK – a significant national archive of written and audio-visual records, an important specialist reference library and a centre for research.  

The Museum’s strategic objectives, as set out in the Corporate Plan are to:

  • Increase financial sustainability through securing long-term financial viability and creating an entrepreneurial and dynamic working culture.   
  • Prioritise audiences, creating excellent, inspiring and relevant visitor and learning experiences.   
  • Deliver effective stewardship of our collection by developing and caring for our collection through effective management, building expertise, maximising access and improving storage.
  • Build IWM’s brand, developing our reputation as a global authority and our ability to deliver our purpose and vision by providing high quality products, services and experiences.


More information can be found on the Museum’s website Specifically, the IWM Corporate Plan and annual report and accounts are published at

Further details about the role and the IWM can be found in the full role specification, downloadable at the end of the advert. 


How to Apply

To apply, please send:

  • a CV of no more than two sides of A4;
  • a supporting statement of not more than two sides of A4, setting out how you meet the criteria (NB: make sure you refer to the contents of the role specification document which can be downloaded at the end of the advert);
  • the Monitoring Forms concerning your personal information and
  • political activity, and the Declaration of Interests Form.


Completed applications should be emailed to: with the “subject” line Imperial War Museum Business Trustee.


The deadline for applications is 22nd May 2019 at 10am. Please note that applications after this time will not be considered.


Alternatively, if this is not possible, please post a hard copy to Christabel Austen, Public Appointments Team, Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, 100 Parliament Street, London SW1A 2BQ.


Interviews will take place in London on 31st July 2019. DCMS does not reimburse travel expenses for attendance at interview


IWM Ministerial Message
Code of Conduct for Board Members April 2011
COI Guidance - Charitable Museums and Galleries
Conflicts of Interest Form 2018
OCPA Complaints Procedure (2016)
OCPA-July-2018-Monitoring-Form- FINAL
Privacy Notice- Public Appointments 2018 - applicants
2019 Business Trustee Role Spec
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