Chair, Office of Rail and Road

Body: Office of Rail and Road
Appointing Department: Department for Transport
Sectors: Business, Finance & Skills, Transport
Location: Central London, with occasional travel around the UK.
Skills required: Audit and Risk, Business / Commercial, Communication / Media / Marketing, Major Projects
Number of Vacancies: 1
Remuneration: £80,000 per annum
Time Requirements: Two days per week.


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

View Announcement

Campaign Timeline

  • Competition Launched


  • Closed for Applications

    06/09/2017 at 12:00

  • Panel Sift


  • Final Interview Date


  • Announcement



Assessment Panel

Vacancy Description

The Secretary of State for Transport wishes to appoint a Chair to the Office of Rail and Road (ORR) from 1 January 2018.

ORR is the independent economic and safety regulator for Britain’s railways, overseeing an industry that carried over 1.7 billion passengers and 86 million tonnes of freight last year, with a collective annual turnover of £13bn. In April 2015, it also took on important responsibilities as the independent monitor for the Government-owned strategic highways company, Highways England.

As an independent regulator, ORR promotes and protects the interests of users of the rail and road networks, helping to put them at the very centre of industry decision making. It also drives improved performance and efficiency from the infrastructure operators, which have committed to major investment programmes to improve the experience of users. It is also responsible for the critical task of ensuring high standards of safety on Britain’s railways.

The new Chair of ORR will lead a high-performing board to set the ORR’s strategic direction and priorities, effectively challenging the organisation to achieve better outcomes for rail and road users. He/she will be instrumental in developing the regulatory approach to support the future shape of the rail industry with a greater focus on improving the experience of passengers and other end-users through taking forward effective route devolution within Network Rail. Working with the Chief Executive, he/she will visibly represent ORR externally, building relationships with stakeholders within government, the rail and road industries, and their customers.

The new Chair will be an exceptional leader with demonstrable skills in driving high performance in complicated and high-profile organisations. Experience in infrastructure regulation, a network utility, transport, government or the law is desirable, but not essential. Also important are strategic ability, ambassadorial and advocacy skills, the ability to stand up to scrutiny and a passion for challenging consensus and driving improvements, including in the sphere of technology and innovation.

Person Specification

The role of the Chair

The Chair plays a central role in the ORR Board through leading the Board, particularly in:

  • Ensuring that governance and scrutiny arrangements are appropriate and robust;
  • Approving the annual business plan and monitoring delivery against it;
  • Responding to change and to challenge from the industry;
  • Appointing and holding to account the senior executives, including through providing constructive challenge as appropriate;
  • Building effective relationships with senior stakeholders (including: the national and devolved government of the UK, industry leaders, investors, local leaders, etc.) and representing ORR to the wider public;
  • Supporting the Chief Executive to lead and engage the ORR staff; and
  • Identifying and adopting best practice approaches for the board, ensuring its effectiveness as a team and maximising members’ contributions as skilled individuals.

Person Specification:

  • The ability to provide strong and constructive challenge where necessary, seeking answers to difficult questions in difficult situations, is critically important.
  • The ability to lead a complex organisation.
  • The ability to drive improvements in an organisation’s performance, providing constructive challenge where necessary.
  • The ability to build strategic working relationships with stakeholders including Ministers and Government and devolved administrations.
  • The ability to build strategic consensus and to guide strategy development and delivery.
  • Ability to deal effectively with parliamentary, media and public scrutiny and to adopt a public profile as spokesperson for the ORR.
  • The ability to gain an understanding of Government processes and political priorities, including the implications of recent reviews of the industry.
  • Highly developed analytical capabilities, with the ability to effectively identify key issues in often highly complex information and make strong, robust judgments.
  • Commercial awareness, including of mixed private/public sector environments.
  • Also desirable is an understanding of the areas of public policy relevant to ORR, particularly the rail and road sectors, economic regulation and infrastructure management.

Desirable experiences

  • Of delivery as an organisational leader (executive or non-executive) in the following is desirable, but not essential:
    • a national economic or safety regulator,
    • a network utility,
    • infrastructure operations, including major projects.

How to Apply

Saxton Bampfylde Ltd is acting as an employment agency advisor to the Office of Rail and Road on this appointment. For more information, including how to apply, please refer to the website of Saxton Bampfylde at using job reference QORJ.  Alternatively email your application to or telephone +44 (0)20 7227 0880 (during office hours).  Applications should be received by noon on Wednesday 6 September 2017.

Office of Rail and Road Chair candidate pack
Annex A Supporting Documentation
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