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Role details

Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency, Non-Executive Directors x3, including 1x Audit and Risk Assurance Committee Chair

Application deadline 26 June 2023


Driver & Vehicle Licensing Agency
Sponsor department
Department for Transport
Accountancy, Audit and Risk, Change Management, Communication, Regulation, Transformation
Number of vacancies
Time commitment
30 day(s) per annum
£13100 per annum
Length of term
An initial term of three years, with the possibility of re-appointment.
Application deadline
11:59pm on 26 June 2023

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Timeline for this appointment

  1. Opening date

    7 June 2023

  2. Application deadline

    11:59pm on 26 June 2023

  3. Sifting date

    11 August 2023

  4. Interviews expected to end on

    22 September 2023

Timeline dates are only an estimate and can change

About the role


DVLA is seeking Non-Executive Directors (NEDs) to join its Board, one of whom will chair DVLA’s audit and risk committee (ARAC). 

Introduction from the Secretary of State

Welcome note from Mark Harper, Secretary of State for Transport
Dear Applicant
Thank you for your interest in the position of Non-Executive Director (NED) on the Board of the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA).
DVLA plays a vital role in ensuring that the right drivers and vehicles are taxed and on the road. From maintaining more than 49 million driver records and more than 40 million vehicle records, to collecting over £6 billion in Vehicle Excise Duty (VED), DVLA’s work affects a huge number of motorists’ everyday lives.
With rapid progress in the development of new technologies, we expect that the way in which people travel will change substantially in the coming years. DVLA will play a vital role in this revolution as the hub for motoring, ensuring that the agency continues to provide excellent digital services to its customers as the organisation continues to transform its services.
In the role of Non-Executive Director, you would have the opportunity to help guide DVLA through this changing landscape. If you are excited by the opportunity to contribute to the DVLA’s work, I encourage you to apply.
Mark Harper
Secretary of State for Transport

Introduction from the Chair

Welcome note from Lesley Cowley, DVLA Chair
“Thank you for your interest in this role. This is a unique opportunity to help shape the strategic direction for services to DVLA’s 49 million customers.”
DVLA’s role is to get the right drivers and vehicles taxed and on the road, as simply, safely and efficiently as possible and we are a leader in UK government for providing modern, digital services.
You would be joining DVLA at a crucial and exciting time, with the opportunity to help shape the future and contribute to its continued success.
We are part way through an ambitious transformation programme, making our services more flexible and responsive to better meet the needs of our customers, and supporting cross-government strategies such as the reduction in UK air pollution.
You will be a key member of the DVLA board, able to inspire, support and oversee the executive team and the wider organisation in achieving challenging and innovative strategic and business plans, developing best in class digital services, using flexible, scalable, cutting edge technology with exemplar levels of security to protect the data of DVLA customers.
This role provides a unique opportunity to influence digital services at incredible scale and reach. Our services are used by most households and many businesses of all types throughout the UK. We would like to draw on a diverse pool of talent. You will be joining a high calibre and high performing Board team. Whether this will be your first Non-Executive role or whether you are a seasoned Non-Executive, this is your opportunity to play a key role in ensuring DVLA’s continued success by providing both support and challenge to the senior team. Board members will receive a full induction and ongoing training and support. Each Non-Executive also regularly engages with all aspects of DVLA through department visits, stakeholder engagement meetings, attendance at key DVLA events and participation in DfT Non-Executive meetings.
As a member of DVLA’s board, you will be a committed team player and a corporate leader for the whole organisation, including the 6,000 people who make up the DVLA family. This position offers the right candidate a rewarding role in a fast paced, successful and award-winning organisation.
The motoring world is on the cusp of huge change, with big advances in autonomous vehicles on the horizon, and I hope you will consider joining us to help take DVLA forward on the next stage of our transformation.
Best wishes,

Additional introductions

Welcome note from Richard Holden, Minister of Roads and Local Transport
For the boards of our public bodies to effectively serve the public, they should also be representative of the public. We need our public appointments to be open to fresh talent, expertise and perspectives, to help us better understand the needs of the public they serve. That is why the government is committed to making our public appointments as broad as possible.
I want our public appointments to benefit from the strongest possible field of candidates. That means we need more candidates from a variety of backgrounds who can bring their experience and ideas to our boards.
If you are new to the DfT family or to public appointments, I would like to encourage you to apply for our public appointment opportunities and join a department that is forward thinking and transforming Britain’s transport system.
Our dedicated DfT Public Appointments Team would be happy to answer any queries you may have on the process, including how you can improve your application. They can be contacted at
You will also find a candidate guide on public appointment application hints and tips to help you with your application on all DfT roles advertised on the Cabinet Office Public Appointments website.
We look forward to receiving your application.
Richard Holden
Minister of Roads and Local Transport

Role description

The successful candidates, through their membership of the Board, which is an advisory board and as chair of DVLA audit and risk committee, will provide challenge and support to the DVLA Executive Team. They will play a vital role in the effective strategic and operational leadership of the DVLA. The NEDs provide guidance, experience, opinion and governance scrutiny, and support the Chief Executive Officer to deliver DVLA’s strategic and business plans. 
The successful candidate will be expected to:
  • prepare for and make an effective contribution to the DVLA Board and executive/NED meetings
  • be able to dedicate time to stakeholder engagement and specific projects within DVLA
  • maintain appropriate links to the DfT as part of effectively discharging the duties and responsibilities of an NED
  • work proactively with the Board and objectively with government to: 
    • provide sound advice to the Chair and Chief Executive
    • provide strong and constructive challenge to the executive team to ensure that policy delivery follows strategic direction
    • collectively ensure that decisions made by the Board follow proper procedures and are supported by sufficient high-quality information
    • support the Executive Team in discharging their leadership responsibilities to the DVLA
    • ensure high standards of corporate governance and financial management and control are observed at all times
    • work closely with, and hold to account, the executive team for delivery of the Agency’s Business Plan and budget
    • build strong relationships with DVLA Board colleagues
  • chair the DVLA audit and risk committee. The purpose of the committee is:
    • risk, control and governance arrangements and associated assurance activity
    • audit and other review body plans
    • accounting policies, annual reports and accounts and governance statements
    • anti-fraud and whistleblowing arrangements
    • management response to issues identified

Organisation description

We are a multi-award winning executive agency of the Department for Transport (DfT).
We are proud to be based in Birmingham, and in Swansea for over 50 years, between the Brecon Beacons and the Gower Peninsula. We are one of the biggest employers in South Wales with more than 6,000 staff. We are responsible for maintaining over 49 million driver records and more than 40 million vehicle records. Our main purpose is to keep complete, accurate registers of drivers and vehicles and make them as accessible and flexible as possible to those who use them.

These registers are important to DVLA, the police and others and help keep the UK’s roads some of the safest in the world. Our registers are also used to provide many services delivered by other government departments including traffic management and helping reduce carbon emissions.

Last year we handled 3.5 billion digital enquiries and customer applications. Our aim is to provide the most efficient and effective services to meet the needs of a diverse but ever-growing digitally aware customer base, while recognising the needs of the important minority through assisted digital services.

The many digital services we provide are a simpler, better and more secure way of transacting with us. We work hard to make sure our services are quick and easy to use and can be accessed at a time and place that suits our customers.

We are responsible for the collection of Vehicle Excise Duty, with on average over £7 billion collected every year. We also offer personalised registrations or sale and collect more than £140 million every year on behalf of the Treasury.

We are constantly looking for new ways to improve our services and we embrace and encourage the use of the latest developing technologies to allow us to do that.

Board composition

About the DVLA Board
The Chief Executive Officer is the Accounting Officer of DVLA, and the Board is an advisory Board.
As a Non-Executive Director, you will both support and challenge the executive team to achieve its strategic and business plans, and to optimise the performance and efficiency of the agency. You will be part of a network of NEDs across DfT and its agencies, sharing experience and best practice.
Current DVLA Non-Executive Board members
Lesley Cowley OBE, Non-Executive Chair
Matt King, Non-Executive board member
Chris Morson, Non-Executive board member
DVLA Executive Team
Julie Lennard, Chief Executive
Tony Ackroyd, Operations and Customer Service Director
Darren Thompson, Interim Commercial Director
Tracy Nash, Finance Director
Brian Sullivan, Chief Technology Officer
Lynette Rose, Strategy, Policy and Communications Director
Louise White, HR and Estates Director
DVLA Strategic Plan
DVLA has published its three-year strategic plan in April 2021 with the following strategic aims:
  • To be customer-centric in the way services are delivered (via digital and alternative service channels). Customers’ needs will be at the forefront as we develop services for individuals, businesses and wider government.
  • To consolidate our position as a dynamic, digital organisation which provides high quality, innovative and secure by design services that are both scalable and resilient. Services in the future will be more flexible, responsive and fit for a changing future.
  • To be data driven in order to make the best use of the information we hold, while always protecting customers’ personal data and being transparent about how data is used. DVLA will look to improve the way we use data to gain the most benefits for customers.
  • To be a great place to work by investing in our people to provide them with the range of skills and knowledge they will need to adapt to a changing work landscape, particularly as the organisation utilises greater automation.
  • To help build the local digital skills economy, capitalising on our Centre of Digital Excellence which aims to recruit and develop talent, including in software development, cyber security and cloud services. DVLA aims to be the best place in Wales to start or develop a career in digital, data and technology.

Person specification

Essential criteria

For the Non-Executive Director and ARAC Chair positions, the following essential criteria applies:
  • Excellent communication skills, and demonstrable experience of challenging effectively and constructively at a senior level. 
For the ARAC Chair position, there is an additional essential criteria as follows:
  • A financial or accounting qualification, or demonstrable relevant experience.

Desirable criteria

For the NED/ARAC Chair position
In order to include a broad range of relevant skills on the DVLA Board, we would ask candidates to also provide evidence against three or more of the following desirable criteria:
  • experience of working at board level, either at an executive or non-executive level
  • ability to challenge the DVLA to ensure that it is a truly customer focused organisation, based on proven experience in delivering excellent customer service to external customers including through the use of digital technologies
  • the ability to lead and successfully deliver change: experience of leading change in a complex transformational digital environment using new technologies
  • experience and knowledge of effective governance at a senior level in complex organisations in the private/public/voluntary sectors
  • ability to make sound, open, and impartial decisions and to employ complex problem solving, analysis and evaluation skills
  • a solid commitment to high ethical standards of integrity and honesty, and an understanding of the value and importance of the Seven Principles of Public Life
  • demonstrable interest in the work of the DVLA and the challenges it faces.
For the NED positions
In order to include a broad range of relevant skills on the DVLA Board, we would also ask candidates to provide evidence against three or more of the following desirable criteria:
  • experience of working at board level, either at an executive or non-executive level
  • ability to challenge the DVLA to ensure that it is a truly customer focused organisation, based on proven experience in delivering excellent customer service to external customers
  • understanding and experience of IT leadership in an organisation of a similar scale
  • the ability to lead and successfully deliver change: experience of leading change in a complex transformational digital environment using new technologies
  • experience and knowledge of effective governance at a senior level in complex organisations in the private/public/voluntary sectors
  • ability to make sound, open, and impartial decisions and to employ complex problem solving, analysis and evaluation skills
  • a solid commitment to high ethical standards of integrity and honesty, and an understanding of the value and importance of the Seven Principles of Public Life
  • demonstrable interest in the work of the DVLA and the challenges it faces
  • understanding of the car industry and potential for change in this sector due to technological advances
  • understanding and experience of operational leadership and Human Resources management and leadership

Application and selection process

How to apply

For further information on how to apply for the NED and ARAC Chair position, visit: Miles Advisory - NED/ARAC How to Apply (

For further information on how to apply for the NED positions only, visit: Miles Advisory - NED How to Apply (

Overview of the application process

Public appointments are made on merit following a fair and open competition process. This appointment is not regulated under the Governance Code for Public Appointments, however we nevertheless will seek to conduct the recruitment in the spirit of the Code. We will deal with your application as quickly as possible and will keep you informed at key stages.

The assessment process

  1. Ministers are responsible and accountable to Parliament for the public appointments made within their department. As a result, they must be consulted at every stage of the appointments process.

  2. An Advisory Assessment Panel (“Panel”) is appointed by Ministers to assist them in their decision making. The role of the Panel is to decide, objectively, which candidates meet the eligibility criteria for the role.

  3. At the shortlisting meeting the Panel will assess applications against the eligibility criteria and decide which candidates have best met the criteria, who should be recommended for interview. Ministers will then be consulted on the Panel’s recommended shortlist. If you have applied under the Disability Confident Scheme and you meet all the essential criteria, then you will also be invited for an interview.

  4. Once the shortlist has been agreed by Ministers, you will be advised (by e-mail) whether you have been shortlisted. Those shortlisted will be invited to an interview.

  5. The Panel will meet again to interview candidates and determine who is appointable to the role. The Panel may invite you to make a brief presentation at the start of the interview and will go on to question you about your skills and experience, including asking specific questions to assess whether you meet the criteria set out for the post. The Panel will also explore with you any potential conflicts of interest or any other issues arising from your personal and professional history which may impact on an appointment decision.

  6. Details of the panel’s assessment of interviewed candidates are provided to Ministers, including whether they have judged a candidate to be appointable to the role. It is then for Ministers to determine merit and decide who should be appointed. In some circumstances, Ministers may choose not to appoint any candidates and re-run the competition.

  7. Ministers may choose to meet with candidates before deciding the outcome. Candidates should therefore be prepared for a short time gap between interview and a final appointment decision being made. Candidates who have been interviewed will be kept informed of progress.

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

Further information about appointments, including tips on applying, can be found on our guidance pages on

Advisory Assessment Panel (AAP)

The selection Panel will consist of:
  • Lesley Cowley (Chair) – Non-Executive Chair, Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA)
  • Mike Dunn – Chair and Senior Non-Executive Director of LCR Property
  • Rosalind Wall – Co-director, Roads Safety, Standards and Services, Department for Transport
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)

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.
  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

We aim to process all applications as quickly as possible and to treat all applicants with courtesy.
Please contact the DFT public appointments team in the first instance if you would like to make a complaint regarding your application at 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.
The Department for Transport will use your data in line with our privacy policy

Contact details