National Citizen Service Trust - Board Members

Body: National Citizen Service Trust
Appointing Department: Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Sectors: Charity & Public Sector, Culture, Media & Sport, Education
Location: London
Skills required: Audit and Risk, Business / Commercial, Change Management, Communication / Media / Marketing, Major Projects, Procurement, Transformation
Number of Vacancies: Up to 10
Remuneration: The role is unpaid but reasonable expenses will be paid.
Time Requirements: There will be four Board meetings each year, plus occasional strategy days. The meetings will be held more frequently during the first year of the new organisation.


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

HM The Queen has appointed Paul Cleal, Dame Sally Coates, Flick Drummond, Ian Livingstone, John Maltby, Tristram Mayhew, Lord Iain McNicol, Ndidi Okezie and Ashley Summerfield as Board Members of the National Citizen Service Trust for terms of three years commencing on 1 December 2018 until 30 of November 2021. HM The Queen has also appointed Dame Julia Cleverdon for a term of two years commencing on 1 December 2018 until 30 of November 2020.

Date: 12/10/2018

View Announcement

Campaign Timeline

  • Competition Launched


  • Closed for Applications

    01/08/2018 at 13:00

  • Panel Sift


  • Final Interview Date


  • Announcement

    12/10/2018 at 14:00

The NCS Trust Board Member campaign was initially opened on 20 July 2017 and was open to applications until 10 January 2018. The decision was taken to pause the campaign as the campaign to appoint the new Chair of the NCS Trust was being re-run. DCMS are now able to progress this campaign and reopen it for 4 weeks until early August.


Assessment Panel

Vacancy Description


National Citizen Service (NCS) is the country’s biggest programme for all 15-17 year olds. NCS supports young people to develop the skills they need for work and life while meeting new friends from different backgrounds and making a difference in their communities. The NCS programme is currently managed by the NCS Trust.

Government is committed to the continued development of the NCS programme, with around £1billion of funding available between 2016/17 and 2019/20. The management of NCS is moving from the existing Community Interest Company to a new Royal Chartered public sector body. This new organisation will be overseen by a new Board. We are seeking a Chair and non-executive directors to join this new Board.

This is an extraordinary opportunity. The successful individual will have the chance to lead NCS through a period of organisational change and beyond, to advocate and communicate with energy and commitment, and to achieve great value for money.

The successful candidate must demonstrate a keen appreciation of the needs of young people and the importance of social cohesion, social mobility and civic engagement. They should be committed to championing diversity and ensuring that the benefits of NCS are available to the widest range of young people.



Through the National Citizen Service programme, young people from all backgrounds come together in diverse teams, building skills for work and life, while taking on exciting new challenges, making new friends, and contributing to their communities. The programme runs outside term time, with most young people taking part in the summer holidays post-GCSEs. NCS Trust commissions provision through a network of over 200 quality-assured youth and community organisations.

NCS’ vision is to build a more cohesive, engaged and mobile society – transforming communities by empowering generations of young people.

Since its launch, NCS has given more than 400,000 young people from all social backgrounds have taken part in NCS and in 2017, one in six eligible teenagers took part in the programme, making NCS the fastest growing youth movement of its kind for a century.

Consecutive, independent evaluations have demonstrated the positive impacts NCS delivers to both its participants and the communities where they live. It continues to do this while providing impressive value for money for the taxpayer. The 2016 evaluation shows that 8 in 10 participants felt more positive about people from different backgrounds after taking part in the programme, and around 9 in 10 felt NCS had helped them develop skills that will be useful in the future.

NCS Trust oversees the delivery of these programmes for 15-17 year olds in England and Northern Ireland. The Trust is currently a Community Interest Company (CIC), but is to be incorporated as a Royal Charter body, as set out in the NCS Act 2017. The CIC’s existing staff and assets will transfer across to the new body, so it retains its expertise and successful brand.

A new Chair and Board will oversee this new organisation. There will initially be some joint working with the existing Board of the CIC, with the new Chair playing a role from appointment in important discussions and decisions that will affect the new organisation, including in the appointment of other board members. Sponsored by DCMS, the organisation will be accountable directly to government and parliament, but its Royal Charter status will afford it independence, stability, and the platform on which to continue delivering NCS across the country.


Person Specification

Role Specification

Collectively, Board members will be responsible for ensuring NCS effectively, efficiently and independently exercises its functions as set out in the NCS Act 2017, the Royal Charter and the new organisation’s management agreement with Government.

Main responsibilities and tasks:

  1. Oversee the organisation’s delivery of key NCS objectives:
  • Provision of high quality and impactful progammes for young people;
  • Sustaining and growing a thriving delivery network;
  • Demonstrating long term impact around social mobility, social cohesion, and civic engagement;
  • Meeting agreed key performance indicators around growth, quality, cost, and broad based support.


  1. Support a successful transition to Royal Charter status:
  • Oversee the success and growth of National Citizen Service, with particular attention on establishing the new organisation on a firm footing during its first year of operation as a Royal Charter Body. Specifically:
  • Approve the new management agreement with Government;
  • Support transition to new provider contract awards (following a procurement exercise already underway);
  • Approve the annual budget, business plan, report and material business decisions.
  • Ensure the new NCS Trust effectively, efficiently and independently exercises its functions as set out in the NCS Trust Royal Charter, NCS Act and its new management agreement with Government, while ensuring that the organisation has the operational freedom to carry out its mission. Scrutinise the Executive to ensure that the appropriate policies, systems and resources are in place to enable the organisation to fulfil its responsibilities.


  1. Support the Chief Executive Officer and wider executive team:
  • Provide challenge and formal approval to recommendations made by the Executive team on key strategic issues.
  • Set overall strategy and policy objectives and provide advice, challenge, counsel and support for the Chief Executive and Executive Team in achieving NCS’ objectives.
  • Scrutinise the Executive and support the Accounting Officer in ensuring the organisation uses its resources efficiently and effectively.


  1. Build strong relationships with important stakeholders:
  • Work with the CEO and Board colleagues to develop and maintain a healthy relationship between NCS Trust and key stakeholders, including Government.
  • Ensure that the views of stakeholders are taken into account in Board discussions and decisions.


  1. Oversee the organisation’s response to any extraordinary incidents:  
  • Support the organisation throughout any period of crisis.
  • Be approachable and available to any employee who wishes to report any information or activity deemed illegal, unethical, or otherwise in violation of NCS’ values.


All members of the Board are required to understand and embrace the seven principles of public life as defined by the Nolan Principles. These are selflessness, integrity, objectivity, accountability, openness, honesty and leadership.


Person Specification

Essential Criteria:

  • Ability to perform as an effective and authoritative Board member, working collegiately with other Board Members and the Chair, and taking collective responsibility for Board decisions.
  • Ability to bring a rigorous approach to achieving maximum impact and value for taxpayers’ money.
  • Ability to apply strategic insight and constructive challenge to the Executive team’s plans across wide-ranging strategy, delivery and organisational issues.
  • Ability and willingness to access and influence high level stakeholder networks and be an effective public ambassador for the benefit of National Citizen Service.
  • Excellent diplomatic skills and an affinity for cultivating relationships and facilitating consensus among diverse organisations and individuals.
  • Evidence of senior achievement in the private, public or VCSE sectors, including ability to make a strong personal contribution.
  • Willingness to contribute to Board sub-committees.


Skills mix on the Board

Between nine and eleven Board members, including the Chair, are being recruited at this stage and the NCS Trust will require a strong mix of skills and experiences to be successful; candidates with experience in at least one of the following areas are sought:

  • Experience and demonstrable senior leadership in the education, youth and/or social action sectors.
  • Experience in a leadership and/or oversight role within an organisation of similar scale and complexity.
  • Experience in commercial and/or operational management, with a particular focus on strategy development, audit, risk and procurement or supplier/contract management.
  • Experience of large scale programme delivery, managing change and assurance.
  • Management of marketing, stakeholder engagement or customer relationships at a senior level.
  • A leadership role in public policy development and/or operational implementation.
  • Experience of generating revenue through fundraising and/or corporate sponsorship.


Current members of the NCS Trust Board are welcome to apply alongside other candidates.


Additional Information

Supporting Information

The appointments process will be conducted under the Governance Code on Public Appointments, and regulated by the Commissioner for Public Appointments, which is based on three core principles of merit, openness and fairness.

DCMS promotes an equal opportunities policy.  Appointments are made on merit, following a fair and transparent process.  Applications are welcomed regardless of gender, age, marital status, disability, religion, ethnic origin, political opinion, sexual orientation or whether or not you have dependents.


Who is on the Board?

Nine to eleven members, including the Chair. The Chair makes recommendations for the appointment of non-executive board members to the Prime Minister, who in turn advises the Queen-in-Council.

Political activity and conflicts of interest

The NCS Act requires that the Chair is not a member of the House of Commons when serving on the Board.

As a condition of appointment, all Board members are required to declare publicly any interest, financial or otherwise, direct or indirect in any other business, enterprise or organisation (including any work for other organisations) which might affect the impartiality of the duties that they might be required to undertake for the NCS. Applicants will be required to declare all current interests as part of the application process.

NCS might require a Board member who declares a potential conflict of interest to relinquish that interest if it is incompatible with membership of the Board and it is either not possible, or not appropriate, to put in place arrangements to deal with the potential conflict.


Term of Appointment

The term of appointment is between two to three years.

How to Apply

To apply, please send:

  • A copy of your CV, of no more than two sides
  • A supporting statement, of no more than two sides, that evidences how you meet all the criteria in the Person Specification. Please provide examples of where your knowledge and experience matches the required criteria. It is important that you provide as much detail as possible, within a limit of two sides.
  • You should also complete the separate disclosure forms providing details of any political activity, conflicts of interest, diversity monitoring form, and details of any public appointments held currently.


Please ensure you include preferred telephone number, as well as a preferred e-mail address, which will be used with discretion.

Applications should be emailed to: Please include ‘NCS’ in the subject heading.   If you are unable to apply online, please post applications to:

Public Appointments, DCMS, 4th Floor, 100 Parliament Street, London, SW1A 2BQ


Recruitment Timetable

The closing date for applications is 1pm on Wednesday 1 August 2018. Once you have submitted your application, its receipt will be acknowledged.

The sift of applications is expected to take place on 29 August 2018.  Interviews are expected to take place:

  • 12th September 2018 (am and pm);
  • 13th September 2018 (pm); and
  • 18th September 2018 (9am – 3pm)

Where a candidate is unable to attend an interview on the dates above then an alternative date will only be offered at the discretion of the panel.


Further Information and Queries

For queries on NCS and the role, please contact:

Jamie Graves by email on


For queries related to the appointment process, please contact:

Elizabeth Mankelow (Head of Public Appointments) by email on

Details of appointments to other public bodies are available at:

OCPA-complaints-procedure-2012-1 (1)
NCS Board Members - Ministerial Message to Candidates
Conflicts-of-Interest-Form-1 (10) (1)
OCPA Diversity Monitoring Form - June 2018
Privacy Notice- Public Appointments 2018 - applicants
National-Citizen-Service-Trust-Board-Member-Role-Specification -updated
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