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Role details

Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education (IfATE) Non Executive Board Member

Application deadline 12 June 2023


Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education
Sponsor department
Department for Education
Number of vacancies
Time commitment
2 day(s) per month
£15000 per annum
Length of term
5 years
Application deadline
9am on 12 June 2023

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Timeline for this appointment

  1. Opening date

    9 May 2023

  2. Application deadline

    9am on 12 June 2023

  3. Sifting date

    30 June 2023

  4. Interviews expected to end on

    18 July 2023

Timeline dates are only an estimate and can change

About the role

Introduction from the Secretary of State

Introduction from the Rt Hon Robert Halfon MP, Minister of State for Skills, Apprenticeships and Higher Education:

‘Thank you for your interest in becoming a non-executive member of the Board of the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education (IfATE). This is an important time to join the Board, as IfATE continues to empower employers to develop world leading apprenticeships and technical education.

‘The Government will provide a ladder of opportunity for everyone to get the education and skills they need for job security and prosperity. IfATE’s work is central to achieving this: ensuring that technical qualifications are streamlined, high quality, and lead to good progression outcomes; and championing high-quality and responsive apprenticeships which offer opportunities to train or upskill in the roles employers need.

‘We want to recruit an individual who has exceptional leadership skills, and who can help IfATE drive forward this ambition, champion its work with other employers, and who commands the confidence of businesses of all sizes – including small and medium sized employers.

‘The Department is focused on equality of opportunity and I and the Secretary of State are committed to ensuring that public appointments better represent the views of the communities which they serve. We particularly encourage applicants from under-represented groups, those based outside London and the South East and applicants who have achieved success through non-traditional educational routes.

‘If you want to support IfATE in delivering the Government’s apprenticeship and technical education reforms and have the passion for apprenticeships and technical education and the skills and experience we are seeking, I hope that you will apply.’

Role description

As a Board Member, you will contribute your knowledge and expertise to the Board’s debate and to its collective decision-making, formulating strategy, providing direction and assessing performance. You will act as a critical friend for the Chief Executive and the Executive Team, providing constructive support and offering effective challenge when necessary. You will read reports and seek out information from other sources in preparation for Board and Committee meetings. You will also be expected to attend events, as needed, during the year, representing IfATE in an official capacity

IfATE’s Board ensures that effective arrangements are in place to provide assurance on risk management, governance and internal control. In particular, the Board has collective responsibility for establishing and taking forward the strategic direction of IfATE, having regard to the Strategic Guidance which is issued to IfATE by the Government each year to ensure that IfATE is meeting its objectives effectively.

As an IfATE Board member, you will bring significant knowledge, on a macro scale, of what employers need and want to maximise productivity in their business.

There is an expectation that Board members will serve on at least one Board Committee. Membership of Committees will be proposed by the Chair of the Committee and agreed by the Board.

If you have any questions about the role please email or

Regulation of appointment

This post is regulated by the Commissioner for Public Appointments. For more information, please refer to the Commissioner’s website 

Person specification

Essential criteria

Candidates will be proven strategic thinkers able to contribute across a range of governance and policy matters relating to apprenticeships, skills and technical education.

Board members are required to draw on their knowledge, skills and expertise, to play a full part in the board’s deliberations on issues relating to the skills and employment landscape; and be strong champions and public advocates for IfATE’s role and place in the skills landscape. Where necessary, they will champion specific priorities as needed to drive its work forward.  

IfATE works directly with employers to create products, such as apprenticeships and T Levels, which will give individuals the skills employers need and so it is important that its board membership is supportive of its approach, whilst using their knowledge and experience to challenge the Executive when necessary.

Given its employer-led work, applications are particularly welcome from current senior business or public sector employers whose organisations recruit through a range of entry routes and who employ a significant number of apprentices or students who have undertaken technical qualifications; and  we are particularly interested in hearing from candidates who will command the confidence of a range of employers, including small and medium sized employers.

Candidates will need the personal strength and integrity to maintain IfATE’s independence whilst at the same time setting its strategic direction to ensure it delivers the government’s aims and holding its Executive to account for delivery.

Candidates will have a good understanding of the government’s apprenticeship and technical education reforms and skills agenda, as well as challenges and opportunities faced by businesses of all sizes. Candidates will have a proven commitment to maintaining high standards, as well as being committed to diversity and social mobility and helping people from all backgrounds to get the skills they need.

We particularly welcome applications from under-represented groups, those based outside London and the South-East and applicants who have achieved success through non-traditional educational routes.

Essential criteria:

A successful candidate will meet the following essential criteria: 

    • Exceptional leadership skills, with recent experience as a senior decision maker, bringing independence, external perspectives, skills and challenge to strategy development;
    • A proven track record of commanding respect from employers, both large and small, and an understanding of the challenges that employers face;
    • A sound understanding of the central role apprenticeships and technical education will play as part of the Government’s skills agenda;
    • A good understanding of IfATE’s mission to enable employers to co-create high quality, cost-effective apprenticeship standards and technical qualifications, so that every employer and individual gets the skills they need to succeed; and
    • A strong commitment to ensuring that everyone, no matter what their background, is able to access the education and skills opportunities which lead to good job outcomes.

Applicants will be assessed against these criteria in their application form and at any subsequent interview.

In the event that we receive a large number of applications, those which do not clearly demonstrate the first two of the essential criteria(replicated below) will be rejected at the first stage:

    • Exceptional leadership skills, with recent experience as a senior decision maker, bringing independence, external perspectives, skills and challenge to strategy development; and
    • A proven track record of commanding respect from employers, both large and small, and an understanding of the challenges that employers face.

Application and selection process

How to apply

The closing date for applications is Monday 12th June at 09.00am.

In order to apply you will need to create an account or sign in to the website.

To create an account please follow the instructions in the following link: Create an account – Apply for a public appointment – GOV.UK (

If you already have an account, please sign in using the link provided: Sign in – Apply for a public appointment – GOV.UK (

Once you are logged into your account, click on 'apply for this role' and follow the on-screen instructions.

To apply, all candidates are required to provide:

·       a Curriculum Vitae (CV)

·       candidate evidence template: please complete the evidence form attached at the bottom of this advert to provide your evidence against the essential criteria. When you are asked to upload your supporting statement please upload the completed form. In the event of a significant number of applications, an initial sift will be undertaken against the Lead Criteria, which are:

  1. Exceptional leadership skills, with recent experience as a senior decision maker, bringing independence, external perspectives, skills and challenge to strategy development;
  2. A proven track record of commanding respect from employers, both large and small, and an understanding of the challenges that employers face.
  • equality information
  • information relating to any outside interests or reputational issues.

We will ask you to check and confirm your personal details to ensure your application is accurate. 

You will also have the opportunity to make a reasonable adjustment request or apply under the disability confident scheme before you submit your application.

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 Governance Code for Public Appointments. We will deal with your application as quickly as possible and will keep you informed at key stages. We aim to conclude the appointment process within three months of the deadline for applications – this is in accordance with the Governance Code.

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. If you have applied under the Disability Confident Scheme and you meet all the essential criteria, then you will also be invited for an interview.

  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)

The Advisory Assessment Panel for this role comprises:

Panel Chair and Representative of Department – Peter Mucklow, Director, Apprenticeships and Skills Bootcamps.

Representative of IfATE - Baroness Ruby McGregor-Smith CBE, Chair of the board of the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education.

Baroness Ruby McGregor-Smith CBE has declared the following political activity. Public speaking, stood for election – London Mayor election for 2020, was not shortlisted for the role.  Ruby is also a member of the House of Lords (Conservative life peer). The Register of Interests for Baroness McGregor-Smith - MPs and Lords - UK Parliament records Baroness McGregor-Smith’s  interests. She is vice chair of both the Artificial Intelligence and Cleaning & Hygiene Industry All Party Parliamentary Groups, and an officer of the Women & Work All Party Parliamentary Group. She also  sits on the Lords Industry & Regulators Select Committee.

Independent Panel Member - Ian Pryce CBE - Council member of the Chartered Institution for FE which is chaired by Lord Lingfield, and a national leader of FE and member of the Commissioner’s Principals Reference Group.

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 ( or

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 guarantee an interview for anyone with a disability whose application meets the essential criteria for the role, set out in the advert, and who has asked that their application is considered under the scheme. 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. They should not do so in order to gain financial or other material benefits for themselves, their family or their friends;
  2. INTEGRITY - Holders of public office should not place themselves under any financial or other obligation to outside individuals or organisations that might seek to influence them in the performance of their official duties;
  3. OBJECTIVITY - In carrying out public business, including making public appointments, awarding contracts, or recommending individuals for rewards and benefits, holders of public office should make choices on merit;
  4. ACCOUNTABILITY - Holders of public office are accountable for their decisions and actions to the public and must submit themselves to whatever scrutiny is appropriate to their office;
  5. OPENNESS - Holders of public office should be as open as possible about all the decisions and actions that they take. They should give reasons for their decisions and restrict information only when the wider public interest clearly demands;
  6. HONESTY - Holders of public office have a duty to declare any private interests relating to their public duties and to take steps to resolve any conflicts arising in a way that protects the public interest;
  7. LEADERSHIP - Holders of public office should promote and support these principles by leadership and example.

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 to 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 IfATE Sponsorship Team in the first instance if you would like to make a complaint regarding your application at ( or They will acknowledge your complaint upon receipt and respond within 15 working days.

How to complain to Office of the Commissioner for Public Appointments (OCPA)

If you are not content with the appointing department’s response you may wish to further complain to the Commissioner at information on how the Commissioner handles complaints can be found on the Commissioner for Public Appointments’ website

Data protection

The Cabinet Office will use your data in line with our privacy policy.

The Department for Education follows GDPR guidelines on the handling and retention of your private data; the Department's privacy notice is attached.

Contact details

if you have any queries about the role, please contact: or