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Role details

Independent Non-Executive Chair HM Courts and Tribunals Service

Application deadline 27 November 2022


Assessor of Compensation for Miscarriages of Justice
Sponsor department
Ministry of Justice
Judicial, Prison & Policing
Business, Change Management, Commercial, Legal, Judicial, Transformation
Number of vacancies
Time commitment
25 day(s) per annum
£25000 per annum
Length of term
3 years
Application deadline
11:59pm on 27 November 2022

Timeline for this appointment

  1. Opening date

    7 November 2022

  2. Application deadline

    11:59pm on 27 November 2022

Timeline dates are only an estimate and can change

Person specification

Essential criteria

The primary duty of the Chair is to lead the Board in the successful performance of its functions. This will include:

  • providing ongoing leadership, vision and direction to the Board and the wider organisation, ensuring that it has the maximum impact possible
  • working effectively with the executive, judicial and non-executive members to ensure that the Board provides strong leadership
  • establishing and maintaining strong relationships with important partners, including Ministers, senior judiciary, legal professionals and other key influencers
  • along with the Chief Executive, engaging with stakeholders and HMCTS staff to communicate HMCTS’ role and priorities
  • ensuring that the Board sets overall strategy and objectives and provides advice, challenge, counsel and support for the Chief Executive and Executive Team in achieving those objectives
  • providing challenge and formal approval to recommendations made by the Executive team on key strategic issues
  • supporting HMCTS in securing the resources it needs to discharge its functions and duties effectively and efficiently
  • scrutinising the Executive and supporting the Accounting Officer in ensuring that the organisation uses its resources efficiently and effectively, delivering value for money for the taxpayer

Desirable criteria

The successful candidate must be able to demonstrate the following essential criteria:

  • experience of leading or sitting as a non-executive on the Board of a major national operational agency, using sound judgement and decision-making to ensure successful delivery in a highly complex organisation
  • ability to support an organisation through a period of significant change and cultural development as demonstrated by experience in either the private or public sector
  • ability to build a positive working relationship with the Chief Executive and the wider Board to drive improvements in the organisation’s performance
  • ability to apply strategic insight and constructive challenge to the Executive team’s plans across wide-ranging strategy, delivery and organisational issues
  • ability to make strategic decisions within a complex and shifting external landscape.
  • ability to access, build strategic working relations with  and influence high level stakeholders and be an effective public ambassador for HMCTS
  • senior level experience in a customer-focussed organisation of comparable scale
  • excellent diplomatic skills and the ability to build strategic consensus and to guide strategy development and delivery
  • evidence of senior achievement in both the private and public sectors, demonstrating the ability to make a strong personal contribution
  • ability to demonstrate resilience in the face of pressure
  • highly developed analytical capabilities, with the ability to effectively identify key issues in often highly complex information and make strong, robust judgments
  • strong commercial awareness, through private or public sector environments
  • personal integrity and resilience, demonstrable independence and other attitudes consistent with the expectations of senior public office in a high-profile role

Role description

Role description

The HMCTS Board is responsible for overseeing the leadership and direction of the agency in delivering the aims and objectives set by the Principals. It plays a vital role in shaping and directing the organisation, ensuring that it is equipped to deliver high quality and cost-effective services to court and tribunal users, that it is able to continue to recover and learn from the experience of the pandemic, and that it finishes delivery of HMCTS’s ambitious programme of reform.
The Board is responsible for:
Advising, providing challenge and scrutiny and, where necessary, giving direction to the Chief Executive in relation to the strategic objectives and performance targets of the agency, as well as the overall delivery of its business plan.
Approving the allocation of the annual budget and any significant in year changes to it
Ensuring that planning, performance and financial management of the agency is carried out efficiently and effectively and with openness and transparency in relation to the Principals.
Supporting the maintenance of a strong working relationship between HMCTS and the judiciary at all levels.
Approving the agency’s corporate governance framework and controls and monitoring their operation.
The Board’s membership comprises, in addition to the independent Non-Executive Chair: three Non-Executive Directors, three senior judicial representatives, a Ministry of Justice representative member, the HMCTS Chief Executive and three additional Executive Directors.
In order for HMCTS to discharge its responsibilities appropriately and effectively, day to day and operational leadership of the agency is delegated to the Chief Executive.

Application and selection process

How to apply

Please read the Candidate Information pack before you begin your application: Click Here

The recruitment process is being undertaken by GatenbySanderson on behalf of HM Courts and Tribunals Service. If you wish to apply for this position, please supply the following:

A comprehensive CV setting out your career history, with responsibilities and achievements.

A covering letter (maximum two sides) highlighting your suitability and setting out how you meet the person specification. Please note that the covering letter is an important part of your application and is as much the means by which you will be assessed as your CV.

Please provide details of two professional referees together with a brief statement of the capacity and over what period of time they have known you. Referees will not be contacted without your prior consent.

Diversity monitoring form – our client for this assignment has asked us to collect diversity monitoring data. Your data will be stored separately from your application and will at no time be connected to you or your application.

To apply please visit: GatenbySanderson or search HM Courts and Tribunal Service on the website:

If you would like further information about the role, or to discuss your suitability in more detail, please contact Rosanne Sarratt at GatenbySanderson on 07872 150270 or via email

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.

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.

Panel Membership

Antonia Romeo, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Justice

Lady Justice Kate Thirlwall

Nick Goodwin, Chief Executive of HMCTS

An 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 or

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. 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 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 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.

Data protection

The Cabinet Office will use your data in line with our privacy policy.

Your personal Information 

In accordance with the Public Appointments Order in Council 2019(4)(5), we will process your application in accordance with the UK General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR), the Data Protection Act 2018 and the Ministry of Justice’s Information Charter, which can be found at 

We will hold your data securely and access will be restricted to those dealing with your application or involved in the recruitment process. We will share your data with the Commissioner for Public Appointments and other relevant government departments, including the Cabinet Office, as part of a complaint investigation or review of the recruitment process. Cabinet Office will handle data in accordance with their Privacy Notice   Your data may also be disclosed as required by law or in connection with legal proceedings. 

We will store your data for up to two years and processed for the purpose of the recruitment process, diversity monitoring and, if successful, your personal record. If appointed, your data will be stored for the duration of your tenure and may be shared with the organisation to which you are appointed, unless you specifically request us not to.  

Should you wish your data to be removed from our records, please contact 

Contact details

Rosanne Sarratt at Gatenbysanderson on 07872 150270 or via email
Peter Buffoni at Gatenbysanderson on 07964 877 654 or via email