Victoria and Albert Museum - 2x Trustees

Body: Victoria and Albert Museum
Appointing Department: Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Sector: Culture, Media & Sport
Location: Board meetings are usually held at the V&A in South Kensington, however there is an annual away day for Trustees which may be held outside London.
Number of Vacancies: 2
Remuneration: No
Time Requirements: The role involves attending six Board meetings per year, typically 2.5 hours long, and an annual away day. Trustees usually serve on Sub Committees of the Board, which meet between four and eight times a year. Additional time would be required to study papers and attend events at the Museum. From time to time, Trustees may be called upon to provide ad hoc advice.

Campaign Timeline

  • Competition Launched


  • Closed for Applications

    20/12/2021 at 23.00

  • Panel Sift

    w/c 24/01/2022

  • Final Interview Date

    w/c 28/02/2022

  • Announcement



Assessment Panel

Vacancy Description

The  Prime Minister wishes to appoint two new Trustees to the Victoria and Museum (V&A).  This is an exciting opportunity to use your skills to benefit the world’s leading museum of art, design and performance.


About the Victoria & Albert Museum

The V&A houses a permanent collection of over 2.3 million objects which span over 5,000 years of human creativity. The Museum holds many of the UK’s national collections and houses some of the greatest resources for the study of architecture, furniture, fashion, textiles, photography, sculpture, painting, jewellery, glass, ceramics, book arts, Asian art and design, theatre and performance.

The V&A is a non-departmental public body (NDPB) sponsored by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), and is a charity exempt from registration under the Charities Act of 1993. It operates at arm’s length from the Government and is governed by a Board of Trustees appointed by the Prime Minister. 

The V&A receives Grant-In-Aid funding from Parliament, provided through DCMS, but also generates a significant proportion of its own income. However, since Spring 2020, the V&A has, like all museums and galleries, been heavily affected by the Covid-19 pandemic and is currently adapting to circumstances of reduced visitors and income. 

Further information about the V&A can be found on its website and additional details, including the Annual Report & Accounts and the Annual Reviews, within the Reports, Strategic Plans and Policies section of the website.


Vacancy Description 

The V&A wishes to appoint two new Trustees who can drive forward the ongoing transformation of the museum into a truly diverse and multi-site organisation. 

DCMS and the V&A are committed to ensuring that its public appointments are diverse and benefit from a broad range of skills and outlooks. The V&A and DCMS encourage applications from those whose experiences and perspectives are currently under-represented on the Board and in the museum sector, and with specific skills and expertise in the following areas:

  • Academic (1 Trustee)
  • International (1 Trustee)


The Role of Trustees

The Board of Trustees of the V&A is the statutory body which is responsible for the Museum and its collections under the terms of the National Heritage Act 1983. The main functions of the Board are:

  • To care for, preserve and add to the objects in the collections;
  • To secure that the objects are exhibited to the public;
  • To secure that the objects are available to persons seeking to inspect them in connection with study or research;
  • To generally promote the public’s enjoyment and understanding of art, craft and design, both by means of the Board’s collections and by such means as they consider appropriate.

Further information about the V&A Board can be found on the website: V&A Trustees – Link

Person Specification

Essential Criteria

Candidates should be able to demonstrate the following abilities and attributes:

  • An understanding of and an enthusiasm for the objectives and work of the V&A;
  • The ability to contribute at Board level regarding current and future initiatives, within the context of the V&A’s overall strategy;
  • A commitment to preserving cultural heritage, and improving education and understanding of British and World history;
  • A strong commitment to engaging communities outside of London, and factoring UK-wide strategies into all decision making;
  • The ability to work constructively with others in a governance or committee role;
  • Excellent communication and ambassadorial skills.


Additional Criteria

In addition to the essential criteria outlined above, candidates for individual trustee roles should also be able to demonstrate the following criteria:

Academic – 1 Trustee

  • Particular regard will be attached to candidates with a strong academic record and scholarly expertise in history, art history, design or decorative arts, and an ability to assist the V&A in its relationship with research bodies, such as AHRC and UKRI, universities, and international academic partners.

International – 1 Trustee

  • Particular regard will be attached to candidates able to marshal international expertise and networks, with a capacity to connect the V&A to global creative and philanthropic partners, together with diasporic communities in the UK.

Additional Information

Diversity and inclusion
We want to ensure any appointee is committed to promoting diversity, in its broadest possible sense. This will include embedding a commitment to the principles of levelling up and championing opportunity for all across the organisation, helping to ensure that the organisation is one in which a genuinely diverse range of views can be expressed, without fear or favour. We ask all applicants to complete a diversity monitoring form. We hope you will help us by providing this information. Your data is not disclosed to the panel, but allows us to constantly evaluate any potential barriers to becoming a public appointee and what we can do to encourage a more diverse field to apply.

Disability Confident
We guarantee to interview anyone with a disability whose application meets the minimum criteria for the role. By ‘minimum criteria,’ we mean that you must provide evidence in your application, which demonstrates that you meet the level of competence required under the majority of the essential criteria.

If you wish to apply under this scheme, state this in the covering email or letter when submitting your application. This will in no way prejudice your application.

Reasonable adjustments
If you would like a confidential discussion regarding any reasonable adjustments ahead of making your application or during the process, please contact us.


About DCMS

Our department operates at the heart of government on some of the UK’s biggest economic and social issues. Our mission is to drive growth, enrich lives and promote the UK to the world. We champion innovation and creativity. From the Arts to Artificial Intelligence, a quarter of UK businesses are in our sectors, and are among the fastest growing of our economy. Emerging technology is opening up new possibilities for human endeavour and self-expression. But we need to harness it, create new norms for the online world and build a strong civil society so that the benefits are shared by all. Our actions over more than 25 years of DCMS have become woven into the fabric of our nation. Today we continue to shape the world we want to live in – building a future fit for everyone.

DCMS is a ministerial department, supported by 45 agencies and public bodies.

If you are not completely satisfied

We aim to process all applications as quickly as possible and to treat all applicants with courtesy. If you have any complaints about the way your application has been handled, please contact

Supporting information
This appointments process adheres to the Cabinet Office Governance Code on Public Appointments, which is regulated by the Commissioner for Public Appointments.

All applicants are expected to abide by the Seven Principles of Public Life and the 12 Principles of Governance.

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 Ofcom, 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 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.


Expenses incurred by external candidates during the recruitment process will not be reimbursed, except in exceptional circumstances, and only when agreed in advance.

Code of Conduct for Board Members of Public Bodies
Declaration of Conflicts of Interest Form
OCPA Complaints Procedure
Public Appointments Privacy Notice 2021
V&A Trustee Role Specification - Academic & International
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