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Role details

Transport Focus Non-Executive Directors

Application deadline 17 September 2023


Transport Focus
Sponsor department
Department for Transport
Audit and Risk, Business, Commercial, Communication, Consumer Advocacy
Number of vacancies
Time commitment
4 day(s) per month
£13243 per annum
Length of term
4 years
Application deadline
11:59pm on 17 September 2023

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Timeline for this appointment

  1. Opening date

    9 August 2023

  2. Application deadline

    11:59pm on 17 September 2023

  3. Sifting date

    13 October 2023

  4. Interviews expected to end on

    27 October 2023

Timeline dates are only an estimate and can change

About the role

Introduction from the Secretary of State

Welcome Note from Huw Merriman MP, Minister of State, Department for Transport                      

Dear Applicant,

Thank you for your interest in becoming a Non-Executive Director on the Board of Transport Focus.

This is an important time for transport in our country – with the Government delivering on major improvements across the sector to improve the experience of transport users. We are reforming our railways, supporting buses and investing heavily in infrastructure and public transport to improve journeys, boost connections, level up the country and support economic growth. Central to our mission is delivering transport that works effectively for its users – delivering on what they need and expect. Transport Focus play a central role in this agenda as the independent, statutory, consumer watchdog for Britain’s rail passengers, England’s bus, coach and tram passengers (outside of London) and users of the Strategic Road Network in England.

We are now recruiting two Non-Executive Directors for the Board of Transport Focus, who will play a key role in ensuring that Transport Focus delivers on its important mission. Both roles will play a role in supporting Transport Focus’s future reform and development, with one particularly focussed on the organisation’s strategic highways remit. We are looking for enthusiastic individuals who are passionate about making a difference.

We strongly welcome applications from all backgrounds. As part of the Department’s commitment to diversity, we believe our public appointments should reflect our customers - the travelling public – who come from all walks of life and have different experiences. We very much welcome fresh talent, expertise, and perspectives, to help us better understand the needs of the communities we serve and support better decision making for all. This includes people who may have never applied for a public appointment – but could bring new ideas, insights and energy.

If you are interested in the role and work of Transport Focus and want to make a real difference to the experience of transport users, I would like to encourage you to apply.

Our dedicated DfT Public Appointments Team would be happy to talk through the process and answer your questions.

Huw Merriman MP

Minister of State, Department for Transport

Introduction from the Chair

Nigel Stevens

Chair, Transport Focus

Thank you for your interest in joining the Transport Focus Board.

Being a non-executive director of Transport Focus is a challenging, interesting and rewarding role. You will play a critical role in shaping the work of the organisation and supporting the executive team in delivery on the agreed work plan. You will be joining the Board at a critical time as we re-shape our organisation and output to support the changing needs of the transport sector. 

Transport Focus is the voice of Britain’s transport users, championing the cause of the transport user today, influencing policy for tomorrow and contributing to the debate on their future needs. We are proud of our objective, evidence-based work and the value it brings to our stakeholders. It is a changing time for those using all modes of transport and therefore the role of Transport Focus is more important than ever in representing the users’ needs.

We need a Board that can really think differently and see issues from alternative perspectives. It’s therefore exceptionally important that we draw our non-executive directors from a wide range of backgrounds and geographies, so please don’t think that your background or viewpoint aren’t right for this role – in fact, that maybe precisely the reason we will be interested in your application!

I really hope that you will feel inspired to apply and would urge you to contact us, if you want to explore the two roles currently on offer in more detail.

Role description

As a member of the Transport Focus Board, you will work collaboratively with staff and key stakeholders across the country. You will help ensure that the voice of the transport user is not only heard but understood and acted upon by those in positions of influence. You will be a proactive person with the capacity to identify the need for, and to promote, transformational change, both within Transport Focus and across the transport network.

You will use your skills and experience to make a difference for transport users. Specifically, you will:

·       Help ensure our work represents good value for money for the taxpayer

·       Contribute to the development of strategy, and provide guidance and challenge to the work of the management and staff teams

·       Lead/participate in work streams as discussed and agreed with the Chair

·       Represent the organisation on other bodies; and/or chair or speak at public meetings and conferences

·       Participate at monthly meetings of the Board, work collectively and collaboratively with other Board colleagues and staff, promote good governance, sound decision-making and best practice across the organisation

·       Expect to be nominated to or chair at least one committee of the board

Organisation description

About Transport Focus

Our changing role and structure

·       Transport Focus has existed in some form since 1947. Today, it is structured as an executive non-departmental public body, sponsored by the Department for Transport.  The Scottish and Welsh Governments and the London Assembly each appoint a member to the Board.  The remaining appointments, including the Chair, are made by the Secretary of State for Transport through an appointments process regulated by the Commissioner for Public Appointments.

·       Current board member and management profiles can be found on our website. The Board meets approximately three times per year in public, and monthly in private. The Board meets in London, Manchester and other places across Great Britain. Transport Focus is proud of its insight and research, all of which is published on our website.

·       Since the autumn of 2022, Transport Focus has embarked upon a fundamental review of the way it works and, consequently, how it is structured - partly as a response to the Government’s plans for rail reform. This journey is continuing; new Board members will find this is an exciting time to be joining Transport Focus as we implement our new vision for serving transport users today, tomorrow and in the future.

What does Transport Focus do?

As the voice for Britain’s transport users, we:

·       Champion the needs of the transport user today

·       Ensure the transport user is at the centre of policy making and decisions for tomorrow

·       Inspire future transport thinking

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

We welcome applications from candidates who will add value to the important role the Board plays. There is no ‘model’ Board member, but you must be able to demonstrate in your application, and at interview, you have the time to devote to these roles, and:

For role one: an ability and professional experience that will allow you to be the NED lead for our strategic highways remit. This could be a professional background in road haulage, strategic highways management or from a representative body of the motorist.

For role two: a background in business operations which includes demonstrable experience of commercial acumen and the management of risk, this could include a number of background disciplines including commercial law, commercial governance, general management or finance.

For both roles:

       i.          A clear interest in the issues facing transport users with a capacity to quickly grasp the detail.

      ii.          A capacity for strategic thinking so that issues can be identified, and solutions developed.

    iii.          Strong people skills with the ability to build and maintain constructive relationships with staff and stakeholders.

    iv.          A keen understanding of the political environment and how this interfaces with the provision of public services in general and public transport in particular.

     v.          An ability to constructively challenge to support change and drive improvements.

Candidates’ suitability for the role will be assessed against the requirements for role one or role two, plus criteria i-v above.

Desirable criteria


Application and selection process

How to apply

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

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)
  • a summary of why you are interested in the role and how you meet the specification and essential criteria. This can be in any form that allows you most ably to present your interest and credentials, for example a short, bullet-point slide presentation, a short video (no more than 2 mins) or supporting letter (no more than two A4 pages, minimum 12 font). Make sure you refer to the contents of this document and provide specific examples. If you wish to provide your supporting summary in video format, please contact Jessica Hall in advance of the closing date by email at 
  • 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.

The Advisory Assessment Panel reserves the right to only consider applications that contain all of the elements listed above, and that arrive before the published deadline for applications.

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)

·       Oliver Mulvey (Deputy Director, Rail Markets Strategy, DfT)

·       Nigel Stevens (Chair, Transport Focus)

·       Emma Moir (Independent Panel Member)

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

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.
  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 Department for Transport 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.

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.

DfT’s privacy policy has more information about your rights in relation to your personal data, how to complain and how to contact the Data Protection Officer. You can view it at

To receive this information by telephone or post, contact us on 0300 330 3000 or write to Data Protection Officer, Department for Transport, 3rd Floor, One Priory Square, Hastings, East Sussex, TN34 1EA.

Contact details

Jessica Hall