Role details

Non Executive Chair - Sheffield Forgemasters International Ltd

Application deadline 7 October 2022


Sheffield Forgemasters International Ltd
Sponsor department
Ministry of Defence
Business, Change Management, Commercial
Number of vacancies
Time commitment
6 day(s) per month
£90000 per annum
Length of term
3 years
Application deadline
11:59pm on 7 October 2022

Apply for this role

Timeline for this appointment

  1. Opening date

    5 September 2022

  2. Application deadline

    11:59pm on 7 October 2022

  3. Sifting date

    14 November 2022

  4. Interviews expected to end on

    28 November 2022

These dates are indicative and may be subject to change

Person specification

Essential criteria

  • Experience at Board level as a Chairperson or Non-Executive Director in supporting, challenging, and holding to account a strong executive team
  • The ability to think strategically, set clear direction and effectively command the confidence of a range of audiences
  • Change oriented, with a track record of supporting complex transformation within organisations, including operational, organisational and cultural change
  • Experience in supporting organisations to develop a high quality, high performing, diverse and inclusive workforce at all levels of the organisation
  • Excellent inter-personal skills, including experience of building networks, managing complex relationships and effectively influencing senior stakeholders

Desirable criteria

  • Experience of working in a capital-intensive industry and / or engineering or manufacturing, with the delivery of high-integrity, tightly specified products.
  • A record of supporting companies to deliver commercial growth and diversify into new markets.
  • Experience of working with the public sector

Role description


The Ministry of Defence (MOD) is seeking to appoint a new Chairperson for the Board of Directors of Sheffield Forgemasters which is wholly-owned by the MOD. Sheffield Forgemasters is a heavy engineering company specialising in technically complex large-scale castings, forgings, and related advanced engineering technologies. It designs and manufactures high integrity forgings and castings offering end-to-end manufacture for steel production from a single site in the UK. Tracing its origins back over 200 years, Sheffield Forgemasters has consistently been a market leader in the UK steel industry, bringing innovation to complex manufacturing and forging processes in areas that are key to the UK’s Defence and National Security as well as global markets, including Defence, Civil Nuclear, Oil & Gas, Power Generation, Renewables and Steel Processing.
The Company also offers design, project management, steel melting, forging, casting, machining, testing and delivery. In addition, a number of specialist services are available onsite and through an extensive supplier network. Some of the largest bespoke engineered steel products in the world are produced at its 64-acre site in Sheffield with capacity for castings of up to 350 tonnes and forgings of up to 175 tonnes finished weight. The business employs c.600 employees, the majority of whom are based in Sheffield. The group also has a small number of agents and representatives in Europe and North America.
Further information can be found at:

Role description

The Chair of Sheffield Forgemasters is a vital role for the successful delivery of the strategic objectives for the organisation: providing effective leadership and direction to the Sheffield Forgemasters Board; shaping the organisation’s strategy; and providing robust challenge and support to the Executive Team. The Chair will also build effective relationships with stakeholders and represent Sheffield Forgemasters externally.
Appointed by the Secretary of State for Defence, the Chair will lead Sheffield Forgemasters as it embarks on a major recapitalisation programme and through a period of significant capital investment. The investment and requisite transformation will deliver operationally effective, modernised manufacturing facilities producing reliably high quality and on-time components for its Defence and commercial customers, through a motivated, skilled and culturally-inclusive workforce.
The Chair’s main responsibilities will be:
Board Leadership
  •  Providing strategic leadership to and managing the Sheffield Forgemasters’ Board, as the Company embarks on its major recapitalisation programme;
  • Developing the Board as a whole: increasing its breadth of skills and overall effectiveness; ensuring its continuing progress and its composition; and assessing skills against requirements;
  • Ensuring the Board operates in line with good corporate governance, including the Government Code of Good Practice for Corporate Governance and the Cabinet Office Code of Conduct for Board Members of Public Bodies;
  • Directing the frequency, agenda, content and conduct of board meetings, and ensuring that members are provided with suitably high-quality papers to enable the Board to consider properly all relevant matters
Strategic Leadership and Business Development
  • Providing clear direction and focus, ensuring Sheffield Forgemasters’ strategy, conduct and incentives are aligned with its strategic objectives, and those of the Department;
  • Establishing an effective working relationship with the Sheffield Forgemasters’ Chief Executive and the Executive Team and being available to provide them with advice and support as required;
  • Playing a leading role in Sheffield Forgemasters’ engagement with its key stakeholders, supporting the company to deliver commercial growth and diversify into new markets.
Advice to the Shareholder (Departmental Sponsor)
  • Providing advice to the MOD on the Sheffield Forgemasters’ strategic direction, objectives and risks, business performance and governance;
  • Advising MOD on the performance of the Chief Executive and the Board, reinforcing the principles of accountability which apply to organisations within the public sector;
  • Agreeing the composition of the Board with the Shareholder. This includes considering succession planning, taking into account its diversity and ensuring the right balance of expertise and experience;
  • On behalf of the Board, the Chair will be responsible for escalating to the shareholder material matters where agreement between the Sheffield Forgemasters’ Chief Executive and a majority of the Board’s Non-Executive Directors cannot be reached.

Application and selection process

How to apply

Please see further information in the Candidate Pack using this link. 
If you wish to apply for this position, please supply the following:
  •  A CV setting out your career history and including details of any professional qualifications (maximum two sides A4, minimum font 12)
  • A short supporting statement giving evidence of the strength and depth of your ability to meet the criteria of the role and required specialism(s). Please provide specific examples (maximum two sides A4, minimum 12 font)
  • In addition, you are expected to complete the expression of interest form and provide contact details for two referees (by providing their details you are giving consent for us to contact them should you be successful at the shortlisting stage) and identifying any conflict of interest
  • Completed applications should be emailed to by the closing date of 23:59 PM 7th October 2022.
  • Korn Ferry will acknowledge receipt of your application and keep you updated on the progress of the competition. All candidates will be notified of the outcome of their application
  • After long-listing, The Assessment Advisory Panel (AAP) will sift and assess each application against the criteria, to produce a shortlist to invite to interview
  • Shortlisted candidates will be invited to ‘one-to-one discussions’ with key stakeholders. Further details will be provided to you in advance
  • The AAP will then conduct interviews to ascertain which candidates are appointable to the role
  • Interviews are expected to take place in Korn Ferry’s Offices, Ryder Court, 14 Ryder St London, SW1Y 6QB. Further details about the format will be provided to you in advance. A subsequent visit to Sheffield Forgemasters’ site may be required
  • The decision to appoint to this role rests with the Secretary of State
  • Candidates considered appointable by the AAP may be invited to meet with the Secretary of State or Minister for Defence Procurement before a final decision is made. As a result, there may be a delay in informing candidates of the outcome of the competition
  • The successful applicant will be required to sign the Official Secrets Act and go through the appropriate security checks for this position


Advisory Assessment Panel (AAP)

Chair: Lorna Gratton - Government Shareholder Representative
Member: Ian Kenyon - Defence Nuclear Organisation, Finance and Programmes Director
Independent: Janet Ashdown - Nuclear Decommissioning Authority – Non Executive Director

Eligibility criteria

    This is a Reserved post. Only UK nationals may be appointed in such posts.

    The candidate is expected to inform the Secretary of State if they intend to accept a prominent position in any political party and to understand that the appointment may be terminated if it is felt that the position is incompatible.

    There are circumstances in which an individual may not be considered for appointment. If:

    • You have received a prison sentence or suspended sentence of 3 months or more in the last 5 years;
    • You are the subject of a bankruptcy restrictions order or interim order, or a debt relief order or interim debt relief order under Schedule 4ZB to the Insolvency Act 1986;
    • You are disqualified from acting as a company director under the Company Directors Disqualification Act 1986;
    • You have been removed from trusteeship of a charity.

    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

    MOD gathers diversity evidence on MOD’s public appointments. This data is collected in the public interest for statistical monitoring and to inform MOD’s recruitment policies in accordance with the Department’s public sector equality duties. If your answers contain any information that allows you to be identified, MOD will, under data protection law, be the controller for this information.

    Once you have completed your application, you will be sent an automatically generated email asking you to complete a Diversity Monitoring Form.  Your Diversity Monitoring Form will be stored separately from your application and will play no part in the selection process. Anonymised statistical breakdowns may be shared with the Cabinet Office and the Office of the Commissioner for Public Appointments for the purpose of informing public policy on equal opportunities in public appointments.Diversity information retained in personalised form will be deleted after the regular statistical returns to the Cabinet Office have been completed.

    Disability confident

    Disability Confident Scheme for Disabled Persons
    As a member of the Employers Forum on Disability, we are committed to actively encouraging applications from people with disabilities. Applicants with a disability are guaranteed an interview if they meet the minimum criteria for the appointment, as outlined in the relevant role description. Declaring a disability for the purposes of a guaranteed interview is your decision and is entirely voluntary.
    Whether you choose to apply under the Disability Confident Scheme or not you can still ask us to make particular arrangements for you when attending an interview. You can also contact us if you want to discuss the criteria for the role or have questions regarding your application.
    If you cannot apply online, please post application marked for the attention of Alex Robinson, Korn Ferry, Ryder Court, 14 Ryder Street, London, SW1Y 6QB

    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

    The principles of public life apply to anyone who works as a public office-holder. This includes all those who are elected or appointed to public office, nationally and locally, and all people appointed to work in the civil service, local government, the police, courts and probation services, NDPBs, and in the health, education, social and care services. All public office-holders are both servants of the public and stewards of public resources. The principles also have application to all those in other sectors delivering public services.


    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.


    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.


    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.


    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.


    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 public interest clearly demands.


    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.


    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).

    Application feedback

    We aim to process all applications as quickly as possible and to treat all applicants with courtesy. If you feel that you have any complaints about the way your application has been handled, please contact: Tel: 030 679 85048 or 030 679 88997. 

    How to complain

    We aim to process all applications as quickly as possible and to treat all applicants with courtesy. If you feel that you have any complaints about the way your application has been handled, please contact: Tel: +44 7720 296 237

    Data protection

    The Ministry of Defence is the controller for any personal data which you provide to us in your application.
    Information provided as part of your application will be kept securely within MOD and destroyed within 24 months after the conclusion of the recruitment campaign.
    To understand how UK Government Investments will use your personal data for the purpose of this recruitment campaign and to understand your rights under the General Data Protection Regulation please access this link.

    Contact details

    If you have any queries about this role, please contact