Reviewing Committee for the Export of Works of Art (RCEWA) - 2x Committee Members

Body: Reviewing Committee for the Export of Works of Art (RCEWA)
Appointing Department: Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Sector: Culture, Media & Sport
Location: Central London. Due to Covid 19 meetings are currently taking place virtually.
Number of Vacancies: 2
Remuneration: This post is not salaried. However, Committee members’ travel expenses, incurred through attending meetings, are paid.
Time Requirements: Approximately 10 to 12 meetings a year, which may last up to a day. In addition, members will need to put aside time to consider casework and policy issues.

Campaign Timeline

  • Competition Launched


  • Closed for Applications

    21/03/2021 at 11pm

  • Panel Sift

    w/c 19th April

  • Final Interview Date

    w/c 17th May

  • Announcement



Assessment Panel

Vacancy Description

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport seeks applications for two appointments to the Reviewing Committee on the Export of Works of Art and Objects of Cultural Interest.



The Committee is a non-statutory, independent advisory body whose main role is to advise the Secretary of State whether a cultural object which is the subject of an export licence is of national importance under the ‘Waverley criteria’. These are as follows:

History Aesthetics Scholarship
Is it closely connected with our history and national life? Is it of outstanding aesthetic importance? Is it of outstanding significance for the study of some particular branch of art, learning or history?
Waverley 1 Waverley 2 Waverley 3


The Committee reaches a view on the merits of any object which one of the Secretary of State’s expert advisers refers to it. If the Committee finds that an item meets at least one of the Waverley criteria, it will recommend to the Secretary of State that the decision on the export licence should be deferred for a specified period. This will allow institutions and private individuals in the UK a chance to raise the money to purchase the item to enable it to remain in this country.


Membership and terms of reference of the Committee

The Committee consists of eight permanent members, seven of whom have particular expertise in one or more subject areas such as paintings, furniture, and manuscripts, and a Chair. Its terms of reference are as follows:

  • To advise on the principles which should govern the control of export of objects of cultural interest under the Export Control Act 2002 and on the operation of the export control system generally;
  • To advise the Secretary of State on all cases where refusal of an export licence for an object of cultural interest is suggested on grounds of national importance;
  • To advise in cases where a special Exchequer grant is needed towards the purchase of an object that would otherwise be exported.


Person Specification

General qualities sought

Candidates for the two posts will be able to demonstrate the following qualities and expertise:

  • An ability to assess objectively whether cultural objects brought before the Reviewing Committee meet the Waverley criteria. 
  • An interest in the UK’s moveable cultural heritage, a broad understanding of its variety and range and the issues surrounding its protection.
  • An understanding of the need to maintain the confidentiality of Committee meetings.


Essential Expertise

  • An in-depth knowledge and understanding of Works of Art and other cultural objects to complement the expertise currently on the Committee. The outgoing members’ expertise being in Archaeology and early medieval material culture and 20th Century art.
  • Experience of strategic thinking and making decisions at a senior level in order to help the committee to provide policy advice on the export of works of art. 
  • Knowledge of UK collections of fine and decorative arts, and objects of cultural interest. 
  • An acknowledgement of art’s important role in teaching us about our past and the need sometimes to contextualise or reinterpret, but never erase.


Term of Appointment

Committee members are appointed for a term of 4 years.


Diversity and inclusion

DCMS values and cares passionately about the diversity of it’s public appointments. Boards of public bodies should reflect our diverse society in order to ensure the sector has a leadership that draws fully on the different skills and perspectives our country has to offer.

We strongly encourage applications from all candidates and particularly welcome applications from women, those with a disability, and those from a black or ethnic minority background.


Additional Information

Eligibility Criteria 

You cannot be considered for a public appointment if:

  • you become bankrupt or make an arrangement with a creditor
  • your estate has been sequestrated in Scotland or you enter into a debt arrangement programme under Part 1 of the Debt Arrangement and Attachment (Scotland) Act 2002 (asp 17) as the debtor or have, under Scots law, granted a trust deed for creditors;
  • you are disqualified from acting as a company director under the Company Directors Disqualification Act 1986;
  • you have been convicted of a criminal offence, the conviction not being spent for the purposes of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (c. 53);
  • you become subject to a debt relief order or a bankruptcy restrictions order;
  • you fail to declare any conflict of interest.


Conflicts of Interest and Due Diligence

If you have any interests that might be relevant to the work of the RCEWA, and which could lead to a real or perceived conflict of interest if you were to be appointed, please provide details in your application. If you have queries about this and would like to discuss further please contact the Public Appointments Team.

Given the nature of public appointments, it is important that those appointed as members of public bodies maintain the confidence of Parliament and the public. If there are any issues in your personal or professional history that could, if you were appointed, be misconstrued, cause embarrassment, or cause public confidence in the appointment to be jeopardised, it is important that you bring them to the attention of the Advisory Assessment Panel and provide details of the issue(s) in the statement supporting your application. In considering whether you wish to declare any issues, you should also reflect on any public statements you have made, including through social media.

As part of our due diligence checks we will consider anything in the public domain related to your conduct or professional capacity. This will include us undertaking searches of previous public statements and social media, blogs or any other publicly available information. This information may be made available to the Advisory Assessment Panel and they may wish to explore issues with you should you be invited to interview. The information may also be shared with ministers and the Cabinet Office.


Diversity Monitoring Form
Code of Conduct for Board Members of Public Bodies
RCEWA Advert - 2x Trustees
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