National Physical Laboratory - Chair

Body: National Physical Laboratory
Appointing Department: Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Sector: Science & Technology
Location: London
Number of Vacancies: 1
Remuneration: The Chair will receive a renumeration package of £20,500 per annum for this commitment.
Time Requirements: The NPL Chair will be appointed for a term of 3 years and be expected to work 20 days per annum.

Campaign Timeline

  • Competition Launched


  • Closed for Applications


  • Panel Sift


  • Final Interview Date


  • Announcement



Assessment Panel

Vacancy Description

Key responsibilities of the Chair will be:

  • The effective organisation and leadership of the NPL Board. They will guide and influence the organisation at a strategic level providing clear and consistent leadership and scrutiny over the strategy, plans, finances and performance of NPL.
  • Strengthening the Board’s oversight of the organisation and holding the Executive to account for organisational performance.
  • Acting as an ambassador for the Board and for NPL, helping to build and develop collaborative strategic partnerships that support and promote NPL’s core mission and further NPL’s strategic objective and reputation.
  • Operating within the relevant standards and duties, including the principles of the Corporate Governance Code for Central Government Departments, Managing Public Money and other relevant Cabinet Office guidance. These represent relevant benchmarks for good practice in corporate governance.
  • Supporting the role of NPL’s science and engineering profile, both nationally and internationally.
  • Continuing to build capacity and capability at the Board and Executive level to ensure NPL has the required experience and expertise to fulfil its mission, deliver its Corporate Plan and remain sustainable.
  • Operating within organisation-specific governance documents to embed effective working relationships, including the Framework Document with BEIS.


Person Specification

Essential criteria

The specific essential requirements for this role which you must demonstrate in your application are:

  • A proven track record, as a Chair or Non-Executive Director of an organisation with comparable scale and complexity, of leading, supporting, challenging and holding to account a strong Executive team and conveying confidence in the organisation’s capability to deliver on its objectives.
  • Ability to show evidence of excellent judgement and analytical ability, to assimilate a range of perspectives and evidence and absorb complex information to reach reasoned and robust conclusions.
  • Genuine passion for creating an inclusive environment that fosters diversity by encouraging varied but collaborative contribution.
  • Strong commercial experience, along with notable financial and risk management acumen.
  • Extensive experience of stakeholder engagement in public facing positions, with proven influencing and networking abilities across diverse and high-profile key decision makers.


Desirable criteria

  • Understanding and evidence of leading transformational change programmes.
  • Experience working in, or in partnership with, research and technology organisations and Higher Education.
  • Experience in the STEM sectors and relevant industry leadership.
  • An appreciation of the political context within which the NPL operates and its public sector responsibility. The Board’s governance and conduct must exhibit the highest standards of governance, propriety and transparency.
  • The ability to maintain discretion and engender trust in staff, peers and stakeholders.


Additional Information

Please tailor your application to show how you meet the criteria listed. You should set out your suitability for the role and how you meet the criteria set out in the person specification.

If you are shortlisted for the role, due diligence will be carried out and your referees are likely to be contacted.

You will be asked to prepare some identification documents if you are invited to an interview – further information will be provided at that stage.

Interviews are likely to be held remotely through Microsoft Teams.

Please note: feedback will only be provided to candidates who attend an interview.


NPL Chair applicant pack 2021--
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