Role details

Secretary of State Member of the Peak District National Park Authority (NPA)

Application deadline 30 August 2022

Summary

Organisation
National Park Authorities, with the exception of Parish Members
Sponsor department
Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs
Location
North West
Sector
Environment, Food & Rural Affairs
Skills
Number of vacancies
1
Time commitment
Adhoc
Length of term
4 Years
Application deadline
Midday on 30 August 2022

Apply for this role

Timeline for this appointment

  1. Opening date

    2 August 2022

  2. Application deadline

    Midday on 30 August 2022

  3. Sifting date

    16 September 2022

  4. Interviews expected to end on

    28 October 2022

These dates are indicative and may be subject to change

Person specification

Essential criteria

Candidates must be able to demonstrate all of the following essential criteria:

1.    Enthusiasm and a genuine passion for connecting with nature, the work of the Natural Park Authority and its statutory purposes.

2.    An ability to successfully engage with and influence a wide-ranging audience in an ambassador role for an organisation.

3.    A demonstrable commitment to promote and increase equality, diversity, and inclusion.

4.    An ability to think strategically, contribute and scrutinise complex plans and policies.

5.    High standards of integrity and impartiality to ensure transparency, strong governance, and efficiency.

Role description

Introduction from the Secretary of State

Dear Candidate,

Thank you for your interest in becoming a Secretary of State appointed member of the Peak District National Park Authority.

There has never been a more exciting time to be involved with our National Parks and AONBs. The 2019 Landscapes Review set out an inspiring vision for a future in which all parts of society are more connected with a thriving natural environment, improving our public health and accelerating our progress towards net zero. We will see a step change in achieving this vision in the coming years, as we raise our ambitions, boost our delivery, and work collaboratively with a wide range of partners. As a member, you will help to identify new opportunities to achieve the government’s commitment to protect 30% of our land by 2030, and our net zero target. You will also have an important role in championing diversity and inclusion, particularly identifying ways to improve access to our protected landscapes for every part of our society.

Delivering these ambitious goals requires passionate and committed people across the protected landscapes family. In recognition of this need, I am seeking enthusiastic and dedicated strategic thinkers who will proudly serve the protected landscapes to ensure they are conserved and enhanced for future generations. Each protected landscape is unique: we require members who can respect local needs while encouraging a coordinated and collaborative approach to national objectives.

To ensure protected landscapes work for all, we need National Park Authorities and Conservation Boards that reflect our nation. As such, I particularly encourage applications from disabled; Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic; and younger candidates. We are also interested in candidates who can rise to the challenge of widening access to more diverse groups. These landscapes belong to everyone and we must ensure that the joy they bring is felt by all.

If you have the knowledge, skills, and experience required to support our National Parks and AONBs, I look forward to receiving an application from you.

Lord Benyon

Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Minister for Rural Affairs, Access to Nature and Biosecurity)

Role description

The key functions of a member are to:

·         Ensure the National Park Authority furthers its statutory purposes

·         Agree plans that ensure the Park is available to all parts of society, is relevant and is valued as a national asset for its special qualities  

·         Represent the Authority through collaborative working with external stakeholders at a national and local level, including other National Park Authorities

·         Agree appropriate policies to meet statutory duties and participate in collective decision making

·         Encourage a creative, experimental, and innovative culture, where risks are appropriately managed

·         Guide the development of policy and business plans by participating in activities as required including meetings, committees and working groups

·         Scrutinise and monitor performance, including providing constructive challenge and oversight of governance

·         Ensure there is effective and efficient governance and management in place

·         Provide leadership and strategic direction towards national priorities

·         Utilise broad knowledge and skills, to manage local and national interests, ensuring the national interest is taken fully into account

Organisation description

The statutory purposes of National Park Authorities are to:

·         Conserve and enhance the natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage.

·         Promote opportunities for the understanding and enjoyment of the special qualities of National Parks by the public.

·         When National Park authorities carry out these purposes, they also have the duty to seek to foster the economic and social well-being of local communities within the National Parks.

The overall role of a member is to contribute to the leadership, scrutiny, and direction of the National Park Authority and further the statutory purposes.

Members are not representative of any organisation or group and have a duty to act in the best interest of the Authority on which they serve. Certain ineligibility criteria apply to these posts.

Application and selection process

How to apply

Candidates should submit their CV with education, professional qualifications and employment history and the names and contact details for two referees, together with their statement of suitability.

The statement of suitability should give evidence of the strength and depth of your ability to meet the essential criteria for this role. Please provide specific examples to demonstrate how you meet each of the criteria (max two pages please).

Your CV and statement should be returned to the following address by the closing date: 12.00 (midday) on 30 August. Email to publicappts@defra.gov.uk quoting reference APPT03-22.

For further information about the role please email: ruth.crowder@peakdistrict.gov.uk

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 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 names of all appointable candidates are provided to Ministers. 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.

  6. The Panel’s recommendations will be provided to Ministers in a report which details the assessment method used and the outcome of each interview. They will then be asked to agree on the candidate(s) who should be appointed.

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

Advisory Assessment Panel (AAP)

Siôn McGeever, Defra Deputy Director for Access, Landscapes, Peatland and Soil, Panel Chair

Andrew McCloy, Chair, Peak District National Park Authority, Representative of Organisation

Professor Kiran Trehan, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Partnerships and Engagement, University of York, Independent Member

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 email: ruth.crowder@peakdistrict.gov.uk

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 Gov.uk 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 minimum criteria for the role 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

Government departments 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 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 https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-7-principles-of-public-life/the-7-principles-of-public-life--2. 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 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 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

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. If re-appointed, 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

You can claim reimbursement for reasonable travel and subsistence costs necessarily incurred on official business 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 termination 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 due to the volume of applications received, we are only able to offer 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 Defra public appointments team in the first instance if you would like to make a complaint regarding your application at publicappts@defra.gov.uk. 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

Contact details

Guidance Notes: https://papt-candidate-packs-live.s3.eu-west-2.amazonaws.com/4_Public+appointments+guidance+notes.pdf

If you have any questions or require additional assistance to support you in your application, please email

publicappts@defra.gov.uk