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Role details

ARAC Chair and Non-Executive Director

Application deadline 26 June 2023


Defence Business Services
Sponsor department
Ministry of Defence
Accountancy, Audit and Risk, Business, Commercial, Major Projects
Number of vacancies
Time commitment
20 day(s) per annum
£750 per day
Length of term
3 years
Application deadline
Midday on 26 June 2023

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Timeline for this appointment

  1. Opening date

    22 May 2023

  2. Application deadline

    Midday on 26 June 2023

  3. Sifting date

    4 July 2023

  4. Interviews expected to end on

    19 July 2023

Timeline dates are only an estimate and can change

About the role

Additional introductions

Thank you for your interest in becoming an ARAC Chair and Non-Executive Director on the Defence Business Services (DBS) Board.
This is a very exciting time to play a role in supporting the Ministry of Defence. Our purpose is to protect our people, territories, values and interests at home and overseas, through strong armed forces and in partnership with allies, to ensure our security, support our national interests and safeguard our prosperity. 
DBS is in the process of embarking upon a significant transformational journey. This is in the context of tight public sector fiscal constraints and the critical role of delivering the excellent standards of customer service that our Defence and veterans customers expect and deserve.  The successful candidate will therefore need to provide vision and strong strategic leadership, whilst working collaboratively with a wide range of stakeholders and partners. 
Applications are particularly welcome from people with diverse backgrounds and who can bring experience and knowledge to bear in order to help steer the strategic direction of the organisation and assist it to meet challenging priorities.
This is a fantastic opportunity to help shape the future of DBS. If you think that you can take on this challenging yet rewarding role, then I strongly encourage you to apply.
Nina Cope, Chief Operating Officer, Ministry of Defence

Role description

We are looking to appoint a new Non-Executive who will be a member of the Defence Business Services (DBS) Board and have specific responsibility as Chair of the Board’s Audit, Risk and Assurance sub-Committee (ARAC). 
The overall role of a Non-Executive member is to provide external advice and expertise in association with independence of thought which informs the decision-making process. 
The responsibilities of the DBS ARAC Chair are to:
  • Chair and attend the ARAC sub-committees and provide reports and updates from these to the Board;  
  • Support the Board and Chief Executive in their responsibilities for risk control and governance by reviewing DBS’s Risk & Assurance framework for comprehensiveness, reliability and integrity;
  • Report and advance matters of interest, as appropriate, to Defence Audit & Risk Assurance Committee (DARAC) on DBS matters;
  • Lead in providing assurance on DBS’s role in delivering the Armed Forces Pension Scheme (AFPS);
  • Play a leading part in how the ARAC function can support the wider business in diversity and inclusion in identifying potential biases.
The role will be accountable to the Chair, who will conduct an annual effectiveness review of the NED’s performance.  NEDs provide assistance to the Board Chair in challenging and holding the DBS executive team to account in delivering against Corporate Plan and Business Objectives.  The Board provides meaningful oversight ensuring an effective framework for corporate governance is in place within DBS.  The DBS NEDs also play a key role in championing DBS across the wider department whilst fostering closer working with DBS by other MOD officials.   
Working with the Chair and other Board members, DBS NEDs are specifically responsible for: 
  • Endorsement of DBS’s corporate and annual plans, responsibility for corporate performance and holding senior leadership team to account against those plans;
  • Ensuring appropriate processes are in place to monitor and evaluate the implementation of DBS’s strategies, policies, business transformation, corporate plans and performance management (including on current operations/service delivery to customers).  Therefore, ensuring the business delivers value for money and any risks or issues are mitigated and/or reported and raised as necessary;
  • Providing assurance on all major expenditure and transformation programmes exceeding the authority delegated to the DBS CEO;
  • Forming DBS’s future vision and influencing design and delivery of its transformation programme;
  • Understanding and taking into account interests of key partners;  
  • Fostering the value and benefits of DBS within wider Defence; 
  • Ensuring there is a culture of openness and teamwork between DBS and its Defence partners, and that DBS plans align with customer priorities and needs;
  • Participating in Board discussions frankly and constructively, to inform effective discussion;
  • Providing input into Board Effectiveness reviews, making recommendations for improvements on how the Board should operate;
  • Ensuring that the DBS Board is effective in providing challenge and support to the effective leadership of the organisation;
  • Acting in the interest of the "shareholder" (ultimately Ministers) by providing advice on DBS’s strategic direction, performance, risk and governance.
The successful candidate must abide by the Seven Principles of Public Life (Annex A) and the Code of Conduct for Board Members. 
The MOD is currently conducting a review of its business operations and DBS governance framework, which could impact on the scope of the role and therefore time commitment / level of remuneration that the post currently being advertised attracts.
The successful candidates must abide by the Seven Principles of Public Life (Annex A) and the Code of Conduct for Board Members . 

Organisation description

The DBS Board provides strategic direction and holds the DBS executive to account on behalf of the MOD Chief Operating Officer for the efficient and effective delivery of its strategic objectives.  It provides an important oversight and assurance role, ensuring that an effective framework for corporate governance is in place within DBS, as well as playing a critical role in supporting and endorsing the development of annual and corporate plans and significant business cases. 
The Board’s functions specifically include: 
On behalf of the Sponsor, act as the primary corporate oversight body for DBS, providing assurance to the Sponsor and wider Department that there is: 
  • Clarity on DBS’s current and future outputs; 
  • A robust strategy for development/delivery of future DBS outputs; 
  • A 5-year DBS Corporate Plan and associated strategic KPIs by; 
  • A 1-year DBS Business Plan 
  • Oversight of the implementation of DBS corporate/business plans; 
  • Properly assured business controls and risk management
  • Assurance of business cases that exceed the delegated authority of the Chief Executive. 
On behalf of the DBS Chief Executive and Executive team, provide:
  • Challenge, support and advice on activities and proposals brought by the Executive team, working in partnership with DBS for the benefit of DBS and wider Defence; 
  • Champion and support of DBS’s purpose and objectives across Defence, Government and beyond. 
As DBS is legally part of MOD, the DBS Board is not a fiduciary board. However, it acts as if the Board were fiduciary to the fullest possible degree. 
The DBS Audit and Risk Assurance Committee (ARAC) is a sub-committee of the DBS Board. The ARAC Chair is responsible for advising the DBS Board and Chief Executive on: 
  • The strategic processes for risk, control and governance;
  • The accounting policies and other DBS issues relevant to the MOD departmental accounts and annual report;
  • The planned activity and results of both internal and external audit work, 
  • Adequacy of management response to issues identified by audit activity, including external audit’s management letter; 
  • Assurances relating to the management of risks (including financial, operational themes such as business continuity and health & safety, transformation related) corporate governance requirements for the organisation and the Armed Forces Pension Scheme;
  • Anti-fraud policies, whistle-blowing processes, and arrangements for special investigations;  
  • The DBS ARAC will also periodically review its own effectiveness and report the results of that review to the Board. 

Person specification

Essential criteria

  • Expertise in accounting, audit and pensions schemes; 
  • Experience of the operation and actuarial valuation of Public Sector pension schemes and the requirements of IAS19; and awareness of the Hutton report and its implications for Public Sector Pension schemes;
  • Proficiency in chairing a Board committee or sub-committee;
  • Excellent analytical and intellectual capability, with the ability to analyse and assimilate complex information/ policy proposals and reach sound strategic judgements;
  • Experience of delivering or working with large-scale transformational delivery programmes;
  • Outstanding communication and interpersonal skills with the ability to conduct and develop diverse partner relationships at all levels and challenge constructively;
  • The ability to think strategically and operate at the top levels of an organisation to set direction whilst articulating the vision;

Desirable criteria

  • Experience of being a senior executive in an operational delivery organisation with a broad and challenging customer base, with a focus on developing business transformation whilst sustaining coherent organisational efficiency.

Application and selection process

How to apply

In order to apply you will need to create an account or sign in.

Once you are logged into your account, click on 'apply for this role' and follow the on-screen instructions. To apply, all candidates are required to provide:

  • a Curriculum Vitae (CV)
  • a supporting statement
  • an Expression of Interest form
  • equality information
  • information relating to any outside interests or reputational issues

We will ask you to check and confirm your personal details to ensure your application is accurate.

You will also have the opportunity to make a reasonable adjustment request or apply under the disability confident scheme before you submit your application.

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.

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.

The assessment process

1.           The Approving Authority 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 Approving Authority 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 should be recommended for interview. The Approving Authority will then be consulted on the Panel’s recommended shortlist.

4.           Once the shortlist has been agreed by Approving Authority, 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 names of all appointable candidates are provided to the Approving Authority. It is then for the Approving Authority to determine merit and decide who should be appointed. In some circumstances, the Approving Authority may choose not to appoint any candidates and re-run the competition.

6.           The Panel’s recommendations will be provided to the Approving Authority 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.

7.           Once the decision on the appointment has been made, interviewed candidates will be advised of the outcome of their application. Successful candidates will be issued with their Terms & Conditions and a letter of appointment should they agree to take up the position

Advisory Assessment Panel (AAP)

Panel Chair:
Richard Cornish, DBS CEO
Departmental Official:
Fay Sandford, Deputy Director, Enabling Organisation Sponsorship
Independent Panel Member:
Phil Eskdale-Lord, Deputy Director, Finance Operations and Specialist Services
Advisory Assessment Panels (AAP) are chosen by the Approving Authority 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 the Approving Authority, 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 the Approving Authority which candidates they find appointable. It is then for the Approving Authority to decide who to appoint to the role.

Eligibility criteria

To be eligible for consideration the candidate will need to be a UK National.

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. This will be specified in the vacancy details. Further information on National Security Vetting can be found on the website here

Additional information for candidates

Equality and diversity

The Ministry of Defence value and welcome diversity.  The appointment will be governed by the Principle of Public Appointment based on merit with independent assessment and transparency of process. Successful candidate will need to demonstrate that they meet the criteria for this appointment.
We encourage applications from talented individuals from all backgrounds and experience across the whole of the United Kingdom.  Boards of public bodies/Advisory Committees 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.

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

Government departments 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 reasonable adjustments 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 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.
  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 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 the Approving Authority. 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 the Approving Authority.  Any re-appointment is subject to satisfactory annual appraisals of performance during the first term in the post. If re-appointed, 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.  If you feel that you have a complaint about the way in which your application has been handled, please contact in the first instance Defence Business Service (DBS) Civilian Personnel Public Appointments Team If you are not completely satisfied with the response, please contact the MOD Public Appointments Team at 
We will acknowledge your complaint upon receipt and aim to provide a response within 5 working days.

Data protection

The Cabinet Office will use your data in line with our privacy policy.
The Ministry of Defence privacy notice can be found here

Contact details

Josephine Washington
Fay Sandford 
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