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Role details

Non-Executive Directors, High Speed Two (HS2) Ltd

Application deadline 3 October 2022


HS2 Ltd
Sponsor department
Department for Transport
Commercial, Communication, Technology / Digital, Major Projects
Number of vacancies
Time commitment
2 day(s) per month
£950 per day
Length of term
3 years
Application deadline
Midnight on 3 October 2022

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Timeline for this appointment

  1. Application deadline

    Midnight on 3 October 2022

Timeline dates are only an estimate and can change

About the role

Introduction from the Secretary of State

Welcome Note from Grant Shapps
Secretary of State for Transport
Dear Applicant,
Thank you for your interest applying to be a Non-Executive Director on the board of HS2 Ltd.
This is an exciting time for the Department for Transport (DfT). As people return to the transport network after the COVID pandemic, we are investing heavily in infrastructure and public transport to improve journeys, boost connections, and level up the country. Central to our mission is delivering transport that works for everyone in our society.
We are recruiting for Non-Executive Directors to join the Board of HS2 Ltd. From boosting productivity to driving decarbonisation, HS2 is at the forefront of the Government’s plans to fire up economic growth. Recent announcements about Phase 2 to Manchester and rebuilding Euston Station have cemented this.
The transformational potential of this project is unparalleled. By creating thousands of apprenticeships and tens of thousands of skilled jobs, HS2 is at the heart of our plans to build back better from the pandemic, providing certainty at a time when people need it the most. Ultimately, this railway – and its integration in the national transport network - will bring our biggest cities closer together, providing a low-carbon alternative for transport users.
The positions we are recruiting for require a variety of skills including digital, systems integration, commercial appraisal, audit, large civil engineering or complex commercial arrangements at scale. Experience of corporate finance and looking at environmental factors/issues. We would also expect recent and relevant board experience at either executive or non-executive level. The Non-Executive Directors of HS2 Ltd have the opportunity not only to help lead a project of unprecedented size but also contribute to once-in-a-generation benefits for communities up and down the country.
As part of the Department’s commitment to diversity, we believe our people and those working in our partner bodies should reflect our customers - the travelling public. That means we want to attract candidates from a wide variety of backgrounds. We welcome applications from people irrespective of their disability, ethnicity, or gender, who can bring wide experience and dynamic ideas to our boards. We are open to fresh talent, expertise, and perspectives, to help us better understand the needs of the communities we serve.
If you are interested in the role and work of HS2 Ltd, I would like to encourage you to apply.
Rt Hon Grant Shapps MP
Secretary of State for Transport

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

Non-Executive Directors of HS2 Ltd have the opportunity to have oversight of a project that is unprecedented in terms of scale, complexity, speed and mission. As a Non-Executive Director for HS2 Ltd, you will need recent and relevant executive board or non-executive director experience. We are looking for candidates who can demonstrate the following cross cutting skills:
Ability to apply independent judgement, challenge and support to drive value for money for the taxpayer – drawing on experience to deliver sound, impartial advice on complex infrastructure, environmental, corporate, and technological issues. Strong attention to detail, confidence in challenging opinions and making difficult decisions is also required.
Experience in leading, coaching and supporting in a complex setting – to support HS2 Ltd’s continued performance as an effective organisation and embedding a culture of continued improvement across the organisation.
Excellent communication and stakeholder skills – ability to work, and build confidence with, a range of diverse stakeholders to help support a culture of collaboration, openness and transparency. A clear understanding of the public’s priorities and the ability to reconcile differing perspectives.
In addition, successful candidates should have technical skills in at least one of the following areas:
• Digital and systems integration
• Commercial appraisal/corporate finance
• Audit
• Large civil engineering or complex commercial arrangements at scale
• Environment

Application and selection process

How to apply

Please read the candidate pack for the role. If you wish to apply for these positions, please supply the following by Monday 3 October:
• A CV or equivalent biographical information (maximum two sides A4, minimum 12 font) setting out your career history and including details of any professional qualifications.
• A short supporting statement (maximum two sides A4, minimum 12 font) setting out how you meet the essential criteria – make sure you refer to the contents of this document and provide specific examples.
• In addition, please also complete and return via email the monitoring and supporting evidence form.
• Completed applications should be emailed to or you can apply through this link

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 selection panel for this appointment competition is: 
  • Sir Jonathan Thompson (Deputy Chair, HS2 Ltd)
  • Clive Maxwell (Director General, High Speed Rail Group) 
  • Laura Shoaf (CEO, West Midlands Combined Authority – Independent Panel 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 contact

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

The Department for Transport values and promotes diversity and is committed to equality of opportunity for all and to the appointment of disabled people. As part of the Disability Confident scheme, we will select the disabled candidates who best meet the essential criteria for the role. ‘Best meet’ is defined as providing/ demonstrating strong examples of all essential criteria.
In order to guarantee an interview to all disabled candidates (as defined by the Equality Act 2010) who satisfy all the essential criteria for the role and wish to be considered under the Disability Confident Scheme, we need candidates to declare a disability and that they wish to be considered under the Scheme.
What do we mean by a disability?
To be eligible for consideration under the Scheme, you must be considered disabled under the Equality Act 2010.This means that you must have or have had in the last 12 months, a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial long-term adverse effect on your ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities. This includes those whose disability has lasted, or is likely to last, for 12 months, or if the disability or condition is likely to progress or recur.
You do not have to be registered as a disabled person to apply 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 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

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

• £950 per day for an average commitment of 2 days per month.
• Remuneration is taxable through payroll.
• Board members can claim reimbursement for reasonable travel and subsistence costs necessarily incurred at rates set centrally by the Department for Transport.
• Applicants should note that the successful candidates cannot be remunerated for this role if they are being paid for an existing full-time role from the public purse.

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.
  If you are not completely satisfied with the way your application is handled at any stage of the competition, please raise any complaint in the first instance with:
Via email: DfT Public Appointments
Public Appointments Team
Shareholding and Corporate Sponsorship
Department for Transport
Great Minster House
33 Horseferry Road
We will reply to your complaint within 20 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.
Please see the Monitoring and Supporting Evidence Form for details of how the Department for Transport handles your personal data.

Contact details