Role details

Commissioner, Independent Commission for Aid Impact

Application deadline 1 March 2023


Independent Commission for Aid Impact
Sponsor department
Foreign Commonwealth & Development Office
Audit and Risk, Business, Change Management, International Experience
Number of vacancies
Time commitment
£390 per day
Length of term
single 4 year term
Application deadline
11:59pm on 1 March 2023

Apply for this role

Timeline for this appointment

  1. Opening date

    20 January 2023

  2. Application deadline

    11:59pm on 1 March 2023

  3. Sifting date

    31 March 2023

  4. Interviews expected to end on

    28 April 2023

Timeline dates are only an estimate and can change

Person specification

Essential criteria

  • Successful leadership experience of international development in the public, private or voluntary sectors.
  • 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. Whilst maintaining independence and objectivity.
  • Effective team working at Board level, and the ability to work collaboratively with their fellow Commissioners, ICAI secretariat staff and contracted suppliers. The role is a ‘hands on’ one and you will be expected to work as part of a team at all stages of producing a review.
  • Experience of successfully overseeing and leading teams of technical 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
  • In addition, successful candidates will need to be IT literate and administratively self-sufficient

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


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.  

Additional introductions

Dear Candidate
Thank you for your interest in this vacancy for two part time Commissioners for the Independent Commission for Aid Impact (ICAI)
You may already have some idea about the important work of ICAI. ICAI is led by a Board of three Commissioners. The recruitment process for the Chief Commissioner is currently underway and we are now looking to recruit the two part time Commissioners to complete the leadership team. The following pages will tell you more about ICAI’s purpose and the Commissioners’ roles, as well as the application process. Please do also view ICAI’s website to understand their work: Home - ICAI (
If, after reading the material, you have further questions about any aspect of this post you are welcome to speak to Shirley Cameron via
If you believe you have the experience and qualities we are seeking, we very much look forward to hearing from you.
Juliette Prodhan
Deputy Director- Development Policy Department

Role description

The Commissioners will:
  • Represent ICAI effectively to a broad range of domestic and international audiences including the UK Parliament, which includes giving evidence to the International Development Committee (IDC) and its ICAI Sub-Committee.
  • Report to the Chief Commissioner and support their leadership of ICAI, including through the development of a programme of scrutiny of UK Government Official Development Assistance.
  • Form the membership of the ICAI Board, which is responsible for setting ICAI’s strategic direction and reviewing its performance.
  • Working with the Chief Commissioner, lead and oversee reviews of UK Government’s aid spending and the production of high quality, well-evidenced and impartial reports by the service provider, supported by the secretariat.
  • 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.
  • Build effective relationships with key stakeholders, including the IDC and government departments providing Official Development Assistance.

Organisation description

This is an exciting opportunity in an organisation that is at the heart of the UK international development effort, providing independent scrutiny of the effectiveness of all UK government aid which was more than £11 billion in aid in 2021.
The Independent Commission for Aid Impact (ICAI) sets its own work programme, examining key strategic issues facing UK Aid programmes, and supports Parliament to hold the Government to account for the impact and value for money of those programmes.
ICAI’s work is high profile. ICAI reviews span the breadth of the UK’s aid priorities, from Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict, Tackling Fraud, UK Aid to Afghanistan, and Refugees in the UK.
They examine key international development challenges and their findings inform public and parliamentary debate. In addition to providing independent scrutiny, ICAI reviews contribute to improving the effectiveness and impact of UK aid. The Board of Commissioners work independently of Government and bring considerable international development and leadership experience to the role.
The part time Commissioners will support the Chief Commissioner 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 capturing best practice.
Further information on ICAI and its activities, including its most recent annual report, can be found on ICAI’s website: Home - ICAI (
FCDO’s review of the Independent Commission for Aid Impact may also be of interest as would the Cabinet Office mandated review of ICAI, published in December 2017: ICAI Tailored Review.
The roles are based in London with short periods of international travel required to undertake reviews.

Board composition

The Advisory Assessment Panel will consist of:
  • 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 Sub-Committee on the work of ICAI representative: Richard Bacon or Theo Clarke
  • New ICAI Chief Commissioner (tbc – currently being recruited) or Head of ICAI secretariat (civil servant) - Ekpe Attah

Application and selection process

How to apply

In order to apply you will need to provide:

  1. A  Curriculum Vitae (maximum two sides of A4) with your education, professional qualifications and full employment history.

  2. 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.

  3. Recruitment monitoring form - If you experience problems accessing the monitoring form please contact the Sponsor Team.

  4. Disability Confident Offering an interview to disabled people declaration (if applicable)

  5. Contact details including e-mail addresses for two referees

If you have any questions about the appointments process please contact 

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. We will acknowledge receipt of your application via email in 2 working days. If you do not receive this acknowledgement, please contact Shirley Cameron via the contact details provided above.

Completed applications should be emailed to by 1st March 2023, 23:59

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 shortlist meeting the Panel will assess each application against the eligibility criteria and decide who to invite for final interview.

  4. Interviews are expected to take place in King Charles Street, London and will last for approximately 45 minutes. Further details about the format will be provided to you in advance.

  5. These are Ministerial appointments and candidates who are deemed appointable may be invited to meet with Ministers before a final decision is made.

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 Advisory Assessment Panel will consist of:
• 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.
• New ICAI Chief Commissioner (currently being recruited). If the individual is not in post at the time the representative will be Head of ICAI secretariat (civil servant) - Ekpe Attah

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 (SC) clearance in line with the Civil Service guidelines. Further information on National Security Vetting can be found on the

Additional information for candidates

Equality and diversity

Public Appointees play an important role in public life on the board of public bodies and in statutory offices. For this reason, it is of great importance that these boards reflect the diversity of the UK as a whole. We welcome applications from all candidates regardless of ethnicity, religion or belief, gender, sexual orientation, age, disability and gender identity.
We ask all applicants to public appointments to complete a diversity monitoring form. This is not provided to the Advisory Assessment Panel and plays no role in the appointment decision. We hope you will help us by providing this information. This will allow us to see if there are any unfair barriers to becoming a public appointee and whether there are any changes we could make to encourage a more diverse field to apply. Please find the link in the how to apply section below.

Disability confident

Disability Confident is a voluntary scheme which replaced the Guaranteed Interview Scheme or Two Ticks Scheme that was widely used in Britain. Disability Confident supports the Government’s commitment to halve the employment gap between candidates who have disabilities and those who do not by encouraging employers to think about disability and to take positive action to improve how they attract, recruit and retain workers with disabilities.
As a Disability Confident employer, we are committed to ensuring that candidates with disabilities are provided with the adjustments that they require as part of the recruitment process. If you require any reasonable adjustments, please contact the Sponsor Team to discuss your requirements.
We will also offer an interview to a fair and proportionate number of disabled applicants that meet the minimum criteria for the job - by minimum criteria you must be able to provide sufficient evidence to demonstrate relevant skills and experience for each of the selection criterion set out in the Person Specification section. This does not mean that all candidates who have a disability are entitled to an interview.
The aim of this commitment is to encourage positive action for candidates with disabilities, encouraging them to apply for positions in public life by offering them the assurance that, should they meet the minimum criteria as advertised for the position, they will be given the opportunity to demonstrate their skills, talent and abilities at the interview stage.
It is important to note that if we receive a higher volume of applications that far exceeds the number of those expected then we may need to limit the overall numbers of interviews offered. This will include the number of interviews offered to Disability Confident candidates that meet the minimum criteria for the role.

Reasonable adjustments

As a Disability Confident employer we are committed to ensuring that candidates with disabilities are provided with the adjustments that they require as part of the recruitment process. We are able to facilitate a range of different reasonable adjustments; for example, large print recruitment documents or British Sign Language interpretation at interview.
If you require any reasonable adjustments as part of the recruitment process, please contact to discuss your requirements in moe detail.

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

  • Appointment is for a single 4 year term from July 2023 until June 2027.
  • The successful candidates will take up post in July 2023, with induction days planned in June 2023. The working arrangements for the induction days will be confirmed once the successful candidates have been appointed
  • It will be important that a Member's other commitments do not cast any doubt on their ability to act independently and impartially in discharging the role; any potential conflict of interest must be declared and will be discussed at interview 

Remuneration, allowances and abatement

  • The two Commissioner roles are part time with a total time commitment for each role of up to 80 days per annum. Final working arrangements will be agreed with the successful candidates but the number of working days is likely to vary by month. Experience to date is approximately 80% of days are spent working on reviews and 20% are spent on governance, such as board meetings. The remuneration is £390 per day (up to £31,200 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 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.
Please see the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office's privacy policy in our candidate pack at Annex B.

Contact details

If you have any questions about the appointments process please contact