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Role details

Planning Inspectorate - Non-executive Board Members x3

Application deadline 22 February 2023


The Planning Inspectorate
Sponsor department
Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities
South West
Business and Trade
Accountancy, Audit and Risk, Change Management, Technology / Digital, Transformation, Consumer Advocacy
Number of vacancies
Time commitment
2 day(s) per month
£10500 per annum
Length of term
3 years
Application deadline
11am on 22 February 2023

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Timeline for this appointment

  1. Opening date

    5 January 2023

  2. Application deadline

    11am on 22 February 2023

  3. Sifting date

    17 March 2023

  4. Interviews expected to end on

    5 May 2023

Timeline dates are only an estimate and can change

About the role

Introduction from the Chair

Dear Candidate

Thank you for your interest in these vacancies on the Planning Inspectorate Board. The Inspectorate’s purpose is to deal with planning appeals, examinations of local plans and other planning-related and specialist casework.  We share our expertise with our customers, communities, businesses and local and nation governments to enable good planning outcomes.  In dealing with planning and other casework we apply our values to be customer-focussed, fair, impartial and open.

In common with many Government services, the Inspectorate faces the challenge of transforming its operational effectiveness.  We aim to do this through (but not limited to) the development of new digital services for our teams and customers, implementation of our change programme, our central role in supporting the delivery of the and creating a flexible, diverse and inclusive workforce that reflects the communities we serve.

An effective, robust and responsive planning system is at the heart of the country’s aspiration to deliver locally led, sustainable growth and supporting the delivery of the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill.  We are looking to appoint three Non-Executive Directors (NEDs) to our Board.  

We are looking for someone with a good understanding of the role of audit to chair our Audit and Risk Assurance Committee, someone with a customer focus including equality, diversity and inclusion and culture change and transformation, and someone with a data and digital delivery focus.  Full details of the roles, responsibilities and commitments are set out in this document, and I hope you will decide to apply. We want to receive applications from a wide range of individuals, we welcome candidates from under-represented groups including those from an ethnic background. 

Information about the Board can be found on the website 
Trudi Elliott
Chair of the Planning Inspectorate Board

Role description

The Role of the Planning Inspectorate Board

The role of the Planning Inspectorate Board is to provide collective strategic leadership to the organisation.  The Board is an advisory Board and is responsible for ensuring the Inspectorate fulfils the aims and objectives of the Strategic Plan, our work reflects the priorities set by the Secretary of State and complies with the requirements relating to the use of public funds.

Non-Executive Directors are expected to attend meetings of the Board and Audit and Risk Assurance Committee (Committee) or Strategic Assurance Panels (Panels) once a month.  Meetings are held virtually with plans to meet annually in Bristol.  The number of meetings scheduled are:

Seven Board meetings

Five Committee meetings

11 Panel meetings

26 NED briefings with the Chief Executive

Board, Committee and Panel meetings are combined to make these full day commitments of 11 a year.  NED briefings are held bi-weekly on a Friday for an hour (virtually).  NEDs are also invited to attend events such as OnePINS Live (organisation wide event), project show and tells and All Staff Briefings.  The Inspectorate is an evolving organisation and NEDs need to remain flexible in meeting demands on their time.  NEDs should expect to attend all Board, Committee and Panel meetings to fulfil their responsibilities.

Board members are responsible for:

  • Ensuring an effective business planning and performance management framework is in place
  • Ensuring that the Planning Inspectorate's work and priorities reflect the priorities of the Secretary of State and that its affairs are conducted with probity, consistent with Managing Public Money
  • Delivery against its strategic objectives and ensuring sufficient resources are available to achieve those objectives
  • Setting and communicating the Planning Inspectorate values, purpose and objectives to inspectors, other staff and stakeholders whilst protecting and enhancing the Planning Inspectorate's reputation for professionalism, effectiveness, integrity and efficiency
  • Monitoring and continuously improving performance and quality
  • Ensuring an adequate risk management framework is in place and reviewing strategic risks
  • Ensuring best practice accounting procedures are in place, in compliance with the government financial reporting manual (FReM)
  • Providing advice to the Chief Executive on the performance of the Executive Directors, and advice to DLUHC on the performance of the Chief Executive.
  • Through ARAC offer advice, insight and challenge in relation to risk management policies and assurance framework, accounting policies and financial reporting including the annual report and accounts and internal and external audits.

Organisation description

The Planning Inspectorate

The Planning Inspectorate (Inspectorate) is an Executive Agency of the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) and has been an Executive Agency since 1992, although our history can be traced back to 1909. The Inspectorate operates within a sponsorship arrangement with the department, which is documented in the Framework Agreement and in accordance with Her Majesty’s Treasury Green Book requirements and Managing Public Money.

The Inspectorate provides an invaluable service in making decisions on behalf of the Secretary of State, or recommendations to Government departments, on schemes ranging from complex, major national infrastructure investments through to local householder appeals, as well as supporting Local Government to put in place effective Local Plans.

Through the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill, the Inspectorate will support the Government’s manifesto to level up the UK and its goals to reverse geographical disparities.  Planning is seen as one of many leavers to enable regeneration and improve socio-economic growth across the UK.

Board composition

The Board members are
  • Chair of the Planning Inspectorate Board – Trudi Elliott
  • Planning Inspectorate Chief Executive – Paul Morrison
  • Non-Executive Directors – Sally Dixon, Stephen Tetlow and Rebecca Driver
  • Interim Director of Corporate Services – Joanne Butcher
  • Director of Strategy – Sean Canavan
  • Director of Operations – Graham Stallwood
  • DLUHC representative – Conrad Smewing

Person specification

Essential criteria

Essential Criteria for all three roles:

  1. Experience of operating in a senior leadership/ Board role or other Board level experience/ equivalent i.e. charity Board, Trustee/ University/ Council.
  2. Excellent communication, interpersonal and engagement skills with the ability to contribute constructively, listening to others and earning the respect of colleagues.
  3. Demonstrable skills in winning the confidence of and delivering for Government Ministers or senior stakeholders;
  4. Experience of collaborating with multiple stakeholders to build relationships and effect whole system change.
  5. Experience of cultural and operational change in a professional environment.
  6. High level of data literacy with ability to absorb complex information, strategically challenge and prioritise and scrutinise management performance;
  7. Sound judgement, high level of integrity and familiarity with data protection legislation.
  8. Familiarity with ‘best in class’ techniques for driving improvements and innovation in operational performance, with a track record of supporting executive teams to raise performance and thereby improve customer experience.
Essential Criteria for Individual Roles:
  1. We are looking for one person to Chair the Audit and Risk Assurance Committee (ARAC) with a financial/ accounting qualification and ARAC Chair/ member experience or senior professional finance/ audit experience e.g. Chief Finance Officer.
  2. We are looking for one person with a digital and data delivery background with a significant track record of leading and delivering digitally-led system transformation and significant expertise in data and its role in shaping the user experience, improving efficiency to speed up operational performance and enabling strategy delivery; and
  3. We are looking for one person with a customer focus with expertise in improving operational performance for the end user to support the levelling up agenda by delivering a quality service that meets the needs of all customers.

Desirable criteria

Desirable Criteria for all 3 roles:

  1. Familiarity of the current planning regimes and the impact on economic growth and communities at both a local and national level;
  2. An understanding of central or local government and government agencies.

Application and selection process

How to apply

Please submit the required documentation listed at 1-3 below to by 11.00 am on 22 February 2023. If not provided, your application will not be taken forward. Late applications will not be considered. 

Please ensure you include ‘Planning Inspectorate’ and the role you are applying for, e.g. ‘ARAC Chair’, ‘Digital and Data Delivery’ or ‘Customer Focus’  as the subject line of your email and your Supporting Letter.

  1. Your Curriculum Vitae (maximum 2 pages). Include your education, professional qualifications and full employment history.
  2. An accompanying Supporting Letter (maximum 2 pages). Please tailor setting out your suitability for the role(s) and how you meet the Selection Criteria. We suggest you use specific examples to demonstrate how you meet the Criteria. If you can offer the experience in more than one of the areas referenced above, there is no need to submit more than one supporting letter against the criteria - just clearly reference and example those Criteria in a single supporting letter.
  3. Application and Diversity Information Form. This is an online form at . You should declare any potential issues including conflicts of interest (perceived, potential or actual), this includes your personal or professional history that could, if you were appointed, be misconstrued, cause embarrassment to the Planning Inspectorate, DLUHC or HM Government, or cause public confidence in the appointment to be jeopardised. The Panel will explore your declarations during the interview process.  Failure to disclose such information could result in an appointment either not being made or being terminated.

Candidates should note that ‘due diligence’ will be carried out as part of the assessment process if you are called to interview and will be shared with the Panel and Ministers, this will include searches on social media, blogs and/or other publicly available information.

Diversity data will be treated in confidence and is used for data gathering information only and will not affect your application. Please complete the Disability Confident section if relevant.

Overview of the application process

Public appointments are made on merit following a fair and open competition process which is conducted in accordance with the principles of the Governance Code for Public Appointments. We will deal with your application as quickly as possible and will keep you informed at key stages.

The assessment process

  1. Ministers are responsible and accountable to Parliament for the public appointments made within their department. As a result, they must be consulted at every stage of the appointments process.

  2. An Advisory Assessment Panel (“Panel”) is appointed by Ministers to assist them in their decision making. The role of the Panel is to decide, objectively, which candidates meet the eligibility criteria for the role.

  3. At the shortlisting meeting the Panel will assess applications against the eligibility criteria and decide which candidates have best met the criteria, who should be recommended for interview. Ministers will then be consulted on the Panel’s recommended shortlist.

  4. Once the shortlist has been agreed by Ministers, you will be advised (by e-mail) whether you have been shortlisted. Those shortlisted will be invited to an interview.

  5. The Panel will meet again to interview candidates and determine who is appointable to the role. The Panel may invite you to make a brief presentation at the start of the interview and will go on to question you about your skills and experience, including asking specific questions to assess whether you meet the criteria set out for the post. The Panel will also explore with you any potential conflicts of interest or any other issues arising from your personal and professional history which may impact on an appointment decision.

  6. Details of the panel’s assessment of interviewed candidates are provided to Ministers, including whether they have judged a candidate to be appointable to the role. It is then for Ministers to determine merit and decide who should be appointed. In some circumstances, Ministers may choose not to appoint any candidates and re-run the competition.

  7. Ministers may choose to meet with candidates before deciding the outcome. Candidates should therefore be prepared for a short time gap between interview and a final appointment decision being made. Candidates who have been interviewed will be kept informed of progress.

  8. Once the decision on the appointment has been made, interviewed candidates will be advised of the outcome of their application, including whom they may approach for feedback. Successful candidates will be issued with their Terms & Conditions and a letter of appointment should they agree to take up the position.

Further information about appointments, including tips on applying, can be found on our guidance pages on

Advisory Assessment Panel (AAP)

Conrad Smewing, Planning Director, DLUHC/Departmental Official
Councillor Baroness Teresa O’Neill of Bexley OBE, Non-executive Board Member, Homes England. 
Trudi Elliott, Chair of the Planning Inspectorate
Advisory Assessment Panels (AAP) are chosen by ministers to assist them in their decision-making. These include a departmental official and an independent member. For competitions recruiting non-executive members of a board (apart from the Chair), the panel will usually include a representative from the public body concerned.
AAP’s perform a number of functions, including agreeing an assessment strategy with ministers, undertaking sifting, carrying out interviews in line with the advertised criteria and deciding objectively who meets the published selection criteria for the role before recommending to ministers which candidates they find appointable. It is then for the minister to decide who to appoint to the role.

Eligibility criteria

In general, you should have the right to work in the UK to be eligible to apply for a public appointment.

There are a small number of specialist roles that are not open to non-British citizens. Any nationality requirements will be specified in the vacancy details.

The Government expects all holders of public office to work to the highest personal and professional standards. 

You cannot be considered for a public appointment if:

  • you are disqualified from acting as a company director  (under the Company Directors Disqualification Act 1986);

  • have an unspent conviction on your criminal record;

  • 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.

When you apply, you should declare if:

  • you are, or have been, bankrupt or you have made an arrangement with a creditor at any point, including the dates of this. 

  • you are subject to a current police investigation.

You must inform the sponsor department if, during the application process, your circumstances change in respect of any of the above points. 

When you apply you should also declare any relevant interests, highlighting any that you think may call into question your ability to properly discharge the responsibilities of the role you are applying for. You should also declare any other matters which may mean you may not be able to meet the requirements of the Code of Conduct of Board Members (see Outside interests and reputational issues section below)
If you need further advice, please contact the DLUHC Public appointments Team at

Security clearance

The successful candidate will be required to undertake Baseline Personnel Security Standard checks in line with the Civil Service guidelines. Additional Security Clearance may also be required for certain roles. However, where this applies, candidates will be notified during the appointment process. Further information on National Security Vetting can be found on the website here.

Additional information for candidates

Equality and diversity

We encourage applications from talented individuals from all backgrounds and across the whole of the United Kingdom. Boards of public bodies are most effective when they reflect the diversity of views of the society they serve and this is an important part of the Government’s levelling up agenda.
We collect data about applicants’ characteristics and backgrounds, including information about people’s educational and professional backgrounds, so that we can make sure we are attracting a broad range of people to these roles and that our selection processes are fair for everyone. Without this information, it makes it difficult to see if our outreach is working, if the application process is having an unfair impact on certain groups and whether changes are making a positive difference.
When you submit your application, your responses are collected by the Cabinet Office and the government department(s) managing your application. The data is used to produce management information about the diversity of applicants. You can select “prefer not to say” to any question you do not wish to answer. The information you provide will not be seen by the Advisory Assessment Panel who review applications against the advertised criteria and conduct interviews.

Disability confident

We are a member of the Government’s Disability Confident scheme. We use the Disability Confident scheme symbol, along with other like-minded employers, to show our commitment to good practice in employing people with a disability. The scheme helps recruit and retain disabled people. 
As part of implementing the scheme, we will ensure that a fair and proportionate number of disabled applicants that meet the minimum criteria for this position will be offered an interview. Indicating that you wish your application to be considered under the scheme will in no way prejudice your application. By ‘minimum criteria,’ we mean that you must provide evidence which demonstrates that you meet the level of competence required under each of the essential criteria, as set out in the job-advert.
When you apply you will have the opportunity to select if you would like your application considered under this scheme.

Reasonable adjustments

We are committed to making reasonable adjustments to make sure applicants with disabilities, physical or mental health conditions, or other needs are not substantially disadvantaged when applying for public appointments. This can include changing the recruitment process to enable people who wish to apply to do so.
Some examples of common changes are:
  • ensuring that application forms are available in different or accessible formats;
  • making adaptations to interview locations;
  • allowing candidates to present their skills and experience in a different way;
  • giving additional detailed information on the selection / interview process in advance to allow candidates time to prepare themselves;
  • allowing support workers, for example sign language interpreters;
  • making provision for support animals to attend.
When you apply you will have the opportunity to request reasonable adjustments to the application process.

Principles of public life

Holders of public office are expected to adhere to and uphold the Seven Principles of Public Life. These are:
  1. Selflessness - Holders of public office should act solely in terms of the public interest.
  2. Integrity - Holders of public office must avoid placing themselves under any obligation to people or organisations that might try inappropriately to influence them in their work. They should not act or take decisions in order to gain financial or other material benefits for themselves, their family, or their friends. They must declare and resolve any interests and relationships.
  3. Objectivity - Holders of public office must act and take decisions impartially, fairly and on merit, using the best evidence and without discrimination or bias.
  4. Accountability - Holders of public office are accountable to the public for their decisions and actions and must submit themselves to the scrutiny necessary to ensure this.
  5. Openness - Holders of public office should act and take decisions in an open and transparent manner. Information should not be withheld from the public unless there are clear and lawful reasons for so doing.
  6. Honesty - Holders of public office should be truthful.
  7. Leadership - Holders of public office should exhibit these principles in their own behaviour and treat others with respect. They should actively promote and robustly support the principles and challenge poor behaviour wherever it occurs.

Code of conduct for board members

The Government expects all holders of public office to work to the highest personal and professional standards. In support of this, all non-executive board members of UK public bodies must abide by the principles set out in the Code of Conduct for Board Members of Public Bodies. The Code sets out the standards expected from those who serve on the boards of UK public bodies and will form part of your terms and conditions of appointment.

Management of outside interests and consideration of reputational issues

Holders of public office are expected to adhere and uphold the Seven Principles of Public Life and the Code of Conduct for Board Members of Public Bodies. Before you apply you should consider carefully: 
  • any outside interests that you may have, such as shares you may hold in a company providing services to government; 
  • any possible reputational issues arising from your past actions or public statements that you have made; 
  • and/or - any political roles you hold or political campaigns you have supported; 
which may call into question your ability to do the role you are applying for.
You will need to answer relevant questions in relation to these points when making an application. Many conflicts of interest can be satisfactorily resolved and declaring a potential conflict does not prevent you from being interviewed. If you are shortlisted for an interview, the panel will discuss any potential conflicts with you during that interview, including any proposals you may have to mitigate them and record that in their advice to ministers. Alongside your own declaration, we will conduct appropriate checks, as part of which we will consider anything in the public domain related to your conduct or professional capacity. This may include searches of previous public statements and social media, blogs or any other publicly available information. The successful candidate(s) may be required to give up any conflicting interests and their other business and financial interests may be published in line with organisational policies. 
Details of declared political activity will be published when the appointment is announced, as required by the Governance Code (political activity is not a bar to appointment, but must be declared).

Status of appointment

As this is an office holder appointment, you will not become a member of the Civil Service. You will not be subject to the provisions of employment law.

Appointment and tenure of office

Appointments are for the term set out in this advert, with the possibility of re-appointment for a further term, at the discretion of Ministers.  Any re-appointment is subject to satisfactory annual appraisals of performance during the first term in the post. There is no automatic presumption of reappointment; each case should be considered on its own merits, taking into account a number of factors including, but not restricted to, the diversity of the current board and its balance of skills and experience. In most cases, the total time served in post will not exceed more than two terms or serve in any one post for more than ten years

Remuneration, allowances and abatement

Remuneration for this role is treated as employment income and will be subject to tax and National Insurance contributions, both of which will be deducted at source under PAYE before you are paid. 
You can claim reimbursement for reasonable travel and subsistence costs which are properly and necessarily incurred on official business, in line with the travel and subsistence policy and rates for the organisation to which you are applying. However these payments are taxable as earnings and will be subject to tax and national insurance, both of which will be deducted at source under PAYE before you are paid.  

Pension and redundancy

This is an office holder appointment and does not attract any benefits under any Civil Service Pension Scheme. You will not be eligible for redundancy pay as you are not an employee. No other arrangements have been made for compensation upon the end of your term of appointment because an office holder who is appointed for a limited duration would have no expectation of serving beyond that period.

Application feedback

We will notify you of the status of your application. We regret that we are only able to offer detailed feedback to candidates who have been unsuccessful at the interview stage.

How to complain

We aim to process all applications as quickly as possible and to treat all applicants with courtesy.
Please contact the DLUHC public appointments team in the first instance if you would like to make a complaint regarding your application at They will acknowledge your complaint upon receipt and respond within 15 working days.

Data protection

The Cabinet Office will use your data in line with our privacy policy.
DLUHC's Privacy Notice is included in this advert.

Contact details

For further details and links to Planning Inspectorate corporate documents, please see the candidate pack included in this advert.  
Contact the Public Appointments Team at for any queries