Role details

Chief Commissioner- Independent Commission for Aid Impact

Application deadline 7 December 2022


Independent Commission for Aid Impact
Sponsor department
Foreign Commonwealth & Development Office
Audit and Risk, International Experience
Number of vacancies
Time commitment
37 hour(s) per week
£93000 per annum
Length of term
4 years
Application deadline
11:59pm on 7 December 2022

Apply for this role

Timeline for this appointment

  1. Opening date

    6 October 2022

  2. Application deadline

    11:59pm on 7 December 2022

Timeline dates are only an estimate and can change

Person specification

Essential criteria

  1. Extensive experience in international development, with the skills to assess an expanding range of ODA instruments and programmes.
  2. Strong senior leadership skills, an ability to set the strategic direction of an organisation and deliver in a complex political and operating environment.
  3. Effective communication skills with experience of building and maintaining constructive, transparent, strategically important relationships and to command the confidence of a range of stakeholders including the UK Parliament, aid beneficiaries and international development practitioners.
  4.  A proven track record of successfully overseeing and leading teams of experts and delivering projects to tight timescales. Specifically, an ability to:
a) clearly articulate direction and scope of projects;
b) ensure schedule and quality standards are maintained across reviews;
c) ensure conclusions and recommendations are relevant, objective and evidence-based.
d) support organisational learning and look across projects to capture broader lessons and best practise.

Desirable criteria

  • Experience of undertaking scrutiny roles (private, public or voluntary sector experience)
  • Experience in one or more of the areas of finance, evaluation or audit

Role description


The Independent Commission for Aid Impact (ICAI) is an advisory Non- Departmental Public Body (aNDPB) of the Foreign Commonwealth and development Office (FCDO). ICAI was established in May 2011 and provides scrutiny of all UK government aid spending. ICAI reports on its work to Parliament through the House of Commons International Development Committee. ICAI’s formal remit is to “provide independent evaluation and scrutiny of the impact and value for money of all UK Government ODA”.
 Its functions are to:
  • carry out a small number of well-prioritised, well-evidenced, credible, thematic reviews on strategic issues faced by the UK Government’s aid spending;
  • inform and support Parliament in its role of holding the UK Government to account; and
  • ensure its work is made available to the public.
The Chief Commissioner will lead a Board of Commissioners to undertake thematic reviews on strategic issues faced by the UK Government’s aid spending, as well as expanding ICAI’s toolkit beyond reviews to include more informal ways of helping organisational learning, and how to capture best practise.
Recent reviews have examined UK aid’s work in education with a focus on girls’ education, safeguarding in the humanitarian sector, the UK Aid response to COVID-19, and tackling Fraud in the Aid sector.
The Board is currently supported by a contracted service provider and a secretariat of civil servants. The future delivery model is yet to be agreed but will likely still include a supplier to support the secretariat.
ICAI’s work programme is developed and agreed by a Sub-Committee of the House of Commons International Development Select Committee. This Sub Committee is focused on the work of ICAI and takes evidence from ICAI and Government departments on ICAI reports.

Role description

The Chief Commissioner will:
  • Represent ICAI effectively to a broad range of domestic and international audiences including the UK Parliament.
  • Lead the ICAI Board, oversee and set direction for the delivery of reviews that provide independent evaluation and scrutiny of the impact and value for money of all UK Government Official Development Assistance.
  • Lead the development of ICAI’s work programme, ensure commissions are strategically focused and prioritised, and focus on the delivery of well-evidenced, high quality, thematic reports.
  • Ensure review consistency and impact through detailed engagement across and within reviews.
  • Establish ICAI’s overall strategic direction within the policy and resource framework determined by Government; ensure its resources are managed effectively reflecting the organisation’s role and values.
  • Inform and support Parliament in its role of holding the UK Government to account, reporting to the International Development Select Committee on ICAI’s work.
  • Contribute to continuous improvement in the impact of UK aid, monitoring implementation of ICAI findings and ensuring their dissemination.
  • Expand ICAI’s toolkit beyond reviews to include more informal ways of helping organisational learning, and how to capture best practise.
  • Provide leadership, challenge and direction to ICAI Commissioners, Secretariat and Contractors, enabling these component parts to operate as one first-class aid scrutiny body.
  • Build effective relationships with key stakeholders, including the International Development Select Committee and government departments providing Official Development Assistance.

Board composition

The Independent Commission for Aid Impact comprises of one chief commissioner and two part time commissioners.

Regulation of appointment

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

Application and selection process

How to apply

To apply, please send:

  • A Curriculum Vitae (maximum two sides of A4) with your education, professional qualifications and full employment history.
  • A supporting statement (maximum two sides of A4), setting out how you meet the eligibility criteria – make sure you refer to the contents of this document; please ensure your full name is clearly noted at the top of your letter.
  • Recruitment Monitoring (here) – If you experience problems accessing the monitoring form please contact the Sponsor Team.
  • Disability Confident – Offering an interview to disabled people declaration (if applicable)
  • Contact details including e-mail addresses for two referees;

Completed applications should be submitted to by 6th November 23:59. For further information please see our candidate pack (here).

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.

If you have any questions about the appointments process, please contact

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. The House of Commons International Development Select Committee will hold a pre-appointment hearing with the successful candidate before a final decision is made. A pre-appointment hearing enables select committees of the House of Commons to take evidence from a preferred candidate for key public appointments. The Foreign Secretary will then consider observations made by the committee before making a decision

  9. 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)

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.
The members of the Advisory Assessment Panel for this campaign are:
  • Representative from sponsoring department (required) and lead of the Panel DG Development and Humanitarian - Nick Dyer
  • Senior Independent panel member (approved by OCPA) - Sir Philip Augar- a former Non-executive member of the Department of Education and the Home Office, with extensive experience in the banking sector.
  • International Development Committee representative: Sarah Champion / Richard Bacon
  • Current head of ICAI secretariat (civil servant) - Ekpe Attah

Pre-appointment scrutiny

Pre-appointment scrutiny by select committees is an important part of the process for some of the most significant public appointments made by Ministers. It is designed to provide an added level of scrutiny to verify that the recruitment meets the principles set out in the Governance Code on Public Appointments. This scrutiny may involve the relevant select committee requesting and reviewing information from the Department and the Minister’s preferred candidate. The select committee may also choose to hold a pre-appointment hearing.
If you are confirmed as the government’s preferred candidate for this role, the department will be in touch to confirm next steps. In most cases your name and CV will be provided to the relevant select committee in advance of the hearing.  Following a date being agreed for a pre-appointment hearing with the committee you will be asked to complete a questionnaire in advance of that. Following the hearing, the government will review and respond to the Committee’s report before confirming the appointment. 
Full information can be found in the Cabinet Office’s guidance here. 

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 Security Check clearance in line with the Civil Service guidelines. 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 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

The Chief Commissioner role is a full time role; Salary is linked to the FCDO Director range which starts from £93,000 per annum. The post is not pensionable.
Remuneration is taxable under Schedule E of the Income and Corporation Taxes Act 1988 (as amended) and subject to Class I National Insurance contributions.
Reasonable standard travel expenses will be payable.

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 public appointments team in the first instance if you would like to make a complaint regarding your application. 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.
Please see the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office's privacy policy in our candidate pack (here).

Contact details

If you would further information about this public appointment, please find our candidate pack. If you have any questions, you can also contact the recruiting team via