Role details

Non-Executive Chair, Crown Commercial Service

Application deadline 5 June 2023


Crown Commercial Service
Sponsor department
Cabinet Office
Business and Trade
Business, Change Management, Commercial, Procurement, Regulation
Number of vacancies
Time commitment
3 day(s) per month
£20000 per annum
Length of term
Board members are appointed by the Minister of State for up to three years and may be extended for one further term of three years.
Application deadline
11:59pm on 5 June 2023

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Timeline for this appointment

  1. Opening date

    28 April 2023

  2. Application deadline

    11:59pm on 5 June 2023

  3. Sifting date

    20 July 2023

  4. Interviews expected to end on

    27 July 2023

Timeline dates are only an estimate and can change

About the role


The Crown Commercial Service (CCS) provides commercial services to the public sector, bringing together policy, advice, and direct buying expertise to save money for the taxpayer.  CCS is an executive agency, sponsored by the Cabinet Office. 

CCS delivers commercial benefits for UK central government, arm’s length bodies and the wider public sector, with a vision to be the provider of choice for public sector organisations seeking commercial and procurement solutions. CCS will be trusted and admired by buyers and suppliers for our expertise and the quality of the services we offer and the solutions we provide. 

Our purpose is to help the UK public sector get better value for money from its procurement of goods and services. We do this by establishing and managing outstanding customer focused commercial  agreements for common goods and services, bringing to bear our category expertise and procurement  capability so that our customers can buy as effectively and efficiently as possible. 

For 2023/24, our 3 strategic priorities are: 

  • extending our coverage and influence; 

  • deepening the value CCS adds; and

  • enabling better outcomes.

We intend to achieve these goals by significantly increasing the spend through our commercial agreements. To do this we will continuously improve our capabilities through the development of our people, ways of working and use of customer centric digital solutions transforming how buyers and suppliers access and consume our services, through new and innovative channels. 

To enable this journey, the organisation must continue to be supported by a high-performing board of directors, who provide counsel, advice and challenge to the executive team. An opportunity now exists to appoint a new Non-Executive Chair. S/he will replace Tony van Kralingen, who will be stepping down as a Board member in Autumn 2023.

Introduction from the Secretary of State

Dear candidate,
Thank you for showing an interest in the Non-Executive Chair role for the Crown Commercial Service (CCS). You may already have some idea about the important work of CCS and the following pages will tell you more about its purpose and the nature of the Board and this role, as well as the application process.
CCS is the largest procurement organisation in the UK and is also a Trading Fund and Executive Agency of the Cabinet Office. The organisation plays a vital role helping the wider public sector buy common goods and services to deliver maximum value for the taxpayer. CCS uses its commercial expertise to help thousands of public and third sector buyers in the UK to purchase everything from locum doctors and laptops to police cars and electricity. CCS is proud of its contribution to the delivery of effective and efficient frontline services, and you can find details on its website.
CCS works with over 18,000 customer organisations in the public sector and its services are provided by more than 5,000 suppliers. CCS’s ambition is to increase the value that it helps the public sector achieve from procurement, by sustainably increasing the depth of its impact and the breadth of coverage. It aims to influence as much common goods and services public sector procurement spend as possible, and target spend through CCS commercial agreements of at least £30bn by 2024. This volume is already in excess of £24bn today, as CCS continues to deliver outstanding and continuously improved commercial benefits, underpinned by excellent public procurement policy. Underpinning this will be continued investment in CCS’s capability, ensuring fully engaged and motivated staff and driving its digitisation and transformation plans to make it simple and easy for customers to access and consume its products and services.
We are looking for an exceptional individual to lead the CCS Board as Non-Executive Chair to support its ambitious growth plan and vision to be the provider of choice for public sector organisations seeking commercial and procurement solutions. This is an exciting challenge at an incredibly important time both in the organisation’s journey and when significant focus will be given to improving the efficiency and effectiveness of procurement across the entire public sector.
If you believe you have the experience and qualities we are seeking, we very much look forward to hearing from you.
Alex Burghart
Parliamentary Secretary

Role description

As Non-Executive Chair of CCS you will be responsible for leadership of the Board and ensuring its effectiveness in every aspect of its role.  

You will lead and manage the business of the Board to provide clear strategic direction and focus for CCS to deliver the agreed strategy and objectives. You will support the CEO to execute the agreed strategy, and add value by offering independent, constructive challenges towards the strategic direction, performance and management control of CCS. You will bring a successful track record of leadership in complex customer-focused environments by providing scrutiny, governance and strategic leadership grounded in board/executive committee level experience.

Key Responsibilities and Accountabilities 

  • Leading and managing the business of the Board and ensuring that the Board contributes fully in identifying, addressing and agreeing all major strategic and governance issues. 

  • Ensuring there is a clear structure for the effective operations of the Board and its sub-committees. Ensuring such sub-committees are properly chaired, structured and run, so they operate in a way that is consistent with corporate governance best practice.  

  • Ensuring that the performance of the Board, its sub-committees and individual Non-Executive Directors is formally evaluated on an annual basis. 

  • Initiating change to the Board and planning succession on Non-Executive Director appointments.  

  • Ensure that the Board maintains compliance with the ‘Corporate governance in central government departments: Code of good practice’, and that personal compliance with the ‘Code of Conduct for Board Members of Public Bodies’ is maintained. 

  • Supporting the Chief Executive and leadership team in the development of strategy and ensuring the leadership team is capable of executing the strategy. More broadly, to support and advise the Chief Executive to develop the organisation’s capacity and capabilities to meet its future  challenges and responsibilities. 

  • Leading the Board in assessing the overall performance of the organisation and in monitoring and reviewing the Chief Executive’s performance.  

  • Promoting effective relationships and communications between Non-Executive Directors and the leadership team.  

  • Ensuring effective communication with stakeholders and that their views are communicated to and understood by the Board. 

  • Supporting the Chief Executive to further strengthen the relationship with potential partners to champion CCS’s ambitious growth objectives. 

The time commitment for a Board member is approximately 2-3 days a month. 

Organisation description

Crown Commercial Service (CCS) is a Trading Fund and Executive Agency of the Cabinet Office. Our offices are in Liverpool, Norwich, Newport, London and Birmingham.

Board composition

The Board currently comprises eight members. Members of the Board are listed below and biographical information for each Board Member can be found on GOV.UK

  • Tony van Kralingen (Chair) 

  • Dr Manuela Gazzard (Non-Executive Director) 

  • Sara Halton (Non-Executive Director)

  • Steve McCrystal (Non-Executive Director) 

  • Gareth Rhys Williams (Non-Executive Director) 

  • Steve Weiner (Non-Executive Director) 

  • Simon Tse (Chief Executive) 

  • Paul Coombs (Finance Director) 

Further information on CCS and its activities can be found on its website: 

Person specification

Essential criteria

  • Comprehensive experience at senior Board/executive committee level. 

  • Strong commercial experience with an understanding of procurement best practice. 

  • The ability to provide leadership, strong corporate governance and constructive challenge to the executive. 

  • The ability to think strategically, set clear direction, communicate effectively, challenge assumptions and decision-making as appropriate. 

  • The ability to engage effectively with diverse and high-profile stakeholders, championing the organisation accordingly. 

  • Excellent judgement and the ability to assimilate a range of evidence and perspectives. 

  • Strong communications and stakeholder management skills, including the ability to mentor senior executives. 

Desirable criteria

  • An understanding of the public sector context. 

  • Experience of driving organisational improvement through the use of technology. 

  • A focus on providing challenge and guidance to ensure that CCS is organised to succeed as a customer-focused, digitally enabled and commercially driven organisation.

Application and selection process

How to apply

Please submit your full application by email to Please quote the role title and assignment code P2304-059L in the subject heading of the email. All applications will be acknowledged. All applications must include the following: 

  1. A Curriculum Vitae with your education, professional qualifications and full employment history. 

  2. An accompanying Supporting Letter (maximum 2 A4 pages) – setting out your suitability for the role and how you meet the essential and desirable criteria set out in the person specification –  please ensure your full name is clearly noted at the top of your letter. 

  3. Recruitment monitoring form. Information to help answer these questions can be found on the Public Appointments website. If you experience problems accessing the monitoring form, please contact 

  4. Names and contact details of two referees who may be contacted if you are shortlisted for an interview. 

Overview of the application 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 assembled to assist Ministers in their decision making. The role of the Panel is to decide, objectively, which candidates meet the eligibility criteria for the role.
  3. Your application may be “longlisted”, subject to the volume of applications received, before it is passed to the Panel for consideration. You should be aware that in this situation, your application might not be considered in full by the Panel.
  4. At the shortlisting meeting the Panel will assess applications against the eligibility criteria and decide which candidates should be recommended for interview. Ministers will then be consulted on the Panel’s recommended shortlist.
  5. Once the shortlist has been agreed by Ministers, you will be advised of the outcome of your application. If successful, you will be invited to an interview.
  6. The Panel will meet again to interview candidates. Following the interviews, the panel will agree which candidates should be recommended as appointable to the Minister.
  7. The Panel’s recommendations will be provided to Ministers in a report which details the assessment method used and the outcome of each interview. They will then be asked to agree on the candidate(s) who should be appointed.
  8. In certain cases, the Prime Minister or His Majesty the King may be the designated appointing authority for a particular appointment. In these circumstances, they will need to be consulted once an appointable candidate(s) has been agreed by Ministers. You will be advised on whether this applies to the vacancy that you have applied for during the recruitment process.
  9. Once the appointable candidate(s) have been approved by the relevant appointing authorities, you will be advised of the outcome of your application. Successful candidates will be issued with their Terms & Conditions and letter of appointment should they agree to take up the position.
  10. If your application is unsuccessful and you would like feedback, please write to the email address to which you sent your application. We regret that we are only able to offer detailed feedback to candidates who have been unsuccessful at interview stage.

Advisory Assessment Panel (AAP)

Panel Chair: 
Alex Chisholm, Civil Service Chief Operating Officer and Cabinet Office Permanent Secretary.

Organisation panel members: 
Steve Weiner, Non-Executive Director
Sara Halton, Non-Executive Director

Independent Panel Member:
Samantha Ulyatt, Chief Commercial Officer Home Office
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.

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 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

Applications are encouraged from all candidates regardless of ethnicity, religion or belief, gender, sexual
orientation, age, disability, gender identity. We particularly welcome applications from women, those with a disability and those from a black or ethnic minority background. We would also particularly welcome applications from those currently working in, or with experience of, the private sector, and those who have not previously held public appointments. We want to explore the widest possible pool of talent for this important appointment. We ask all applicants to public appointments to complete a recruitment monitoring form. 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.

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 will ensure that a fair and proportionate number of disabled applicants who meet the minimum criteria for this position will be offered an interview. The Equality Act 2010 defines a person as disabled if they have a physical or mental impairment and the impairment has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on their ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities. For more information please visit the Public Appointments website. If you wish to indicate that you are disabled or have a long term health condition and you wish to apply under the Disability Confident Scheme, please complete question 6 in the recruitment monitoring form.

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 note your requirements on the recruitment monitoring form.

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.
  2. Integrity - Holders of public office must avoid placing themselves under any obligation to people or organisations that might try inappropriately to influence them in their work. They should not act or take decisions in order to gain financial or other material benefits for themselves, their family, or their friends. They must declare and resolve any interests and relationships.
  3. Objectivity - Holders of public office must act and take decisions impartially, fairly and on merit, using the best evidence and without discrimination or bias.
  4. Accountability - Holders of public office are accountable to the public for their decisions and actions and must submit themselves to the scrutiny necessary to ensure this.
  5. Openness - Holders of public office should act and take decisions in an open and transparent manner. Information should not be withheld from the public unless there are clear and lawful reasons for so doing.
  6. Honesty - Holders of public office should be truthful.
  7. Leadership - Holders of public office should exhibit these principles in their own behaviour and treat others with respect. They should actively promote and robustly support the principles and challenge poor behaviour wherever it occurs.

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

The Crown Commercial Service’s recruitment processes are underpinned by the principle of selection for appointment on merit on the basis of fair and open competition as outlined in the Civil Service Commissioners’ Recruitment Principles.

If you feel your application has not been treated in accordance with the principles and you wish to make a complaint, you should contact the Resourcing Manager in the first instance by emailing

Data protection

The Cabinet Office will use your data in line with our privacy policy.
Russell Reynolds Associates 
Russell Reynolds Associates, Inc. and its group companies around the world (collectively “RRA,” “we,” or  “our”) take data privacy seriously. This Privacy Notice (“Notice”) explains who we are, how we collect,  share, and use personal information, and how you can exercise your privacy rights. 
This Notice covers personal information we collect (capitalized terms are defined under Section 1, Key Terms):
a) in connection with our search, assessment, leadership advisory, CEO succession, board  evaluation, and other services (the “Services”), whether we are in the process of recruiting you  as a Candidate for a role with a Client, assessing you as an employee of a Client, identifying  exceptional Candidates for you as a Client, retaining you as a Vendor, or engaging with you as a  Source or Referee in relation to one of our Candidates (see Section 2); and 
b) when you visit our website ( (the “Website”) and in the usual course  of our business, such as in connection with our events and marketing activities (see Section 3). 
This Notice does not cover any other data collection or processing, including, without limitation, data  collection practices of other web pages to which we provide links on our website. For full information on  RRA Privacy Notice.
Crown Commercial Service 
Your personal information will be held in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulations and the  Employee Privacy Notice. You will not receive unsolicited paper or electronic mail as a result of sending us  any personal information. No personal information will be passed on to third parties for commercial purposes.
Crown Commercial Service’s protection policy is in line with the General Data Protection Regulation and  the requirements of the Commissioner’s Code of Practice. The Commissioner’s requirements relating to  the information we collect about applicants are set out below: 
  • Your initial contact details, including your name and address will be held by the Crown  Commercial Service for a period of at least 2 years. 

  • If you submit an application form, the form and any supporting documentation will be retained  for at least 2 years. 

  • Information held electronically, including your contact details and the monitoring  information which you provide will also be held for at least 2 years. 

If you would like these details to be removed from CCS’s or Russell Reynolds Associates’ records as soon as this recruitment exercise is complete,  please inform the Russell Reynolds Associates’ team via the email address

Contact details

Vicky Byrne,, 07894708865