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Role details

Driver & Vehicle Standards Agency, Non-Executive Director (NED) & Chair of the DVSA Audit and Risk Committee (ARAC)

Application deadline 26 June 2023


Sponsor department
Department for Transport
South West
Accountancy, Audit and Risk, Change Management, Communication, Regulation
Number of vacancies
Time commitment
36 day(s) per annum
£15000 per annum
Length of term
The appointment will be for an initial term of between 2 and 3 years, with the option of re-appointment for a second term by mutual agreement.
Application deadline
11:59pm on 26 June 2023

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Timeline for this appointment

  1. Opening date

    26 May 2023

  2. Application deadline

    11:59pm on 26 June 2023

  3. Sifting date

    10 July 2023

  4. Interviews expected to end on

    1 September 2023

Timeline dates are only an estimate and can change

About the role


Who DVSA are
DVSA help you stay safe on Great Britain’s roads by:
  • helping you through a lifetime of safe driving
  • helping you keep your vehicle safe to drive
  • protecting you from unsafe drivers and vehicles
DVSA employ around 4,600 people across Great Britain to do this. They include:
  • driving examiners
  • vehicle standards assessors
  • vehicle examiners
  • traffic examiners
  • customer service agents
  • registration and licensing officers
  • digital services and technology experts
  • corporate services experts, such as communications, finance and HR

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 Non-Executive Director position on the Board of the Driver & Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA).
This is an exciting time for the Department for Transport. As people return to the transport network after the COVID pandemic, we are investing heavily in infrastructure and public transport to improve journeys, boost connections, and level up the country. Central to our mission is delivering transport that works for everyone in our society.
We are recruiting for a Non-Executive Director who will also chair the Audit and Risk Committee, to join our team on the Board. DVSA carry out driving tests, approve people to be driving instructors and MOT testers, carry out tests to make sure lorries and buses are safe to drive, carry out roadside checks on drivers and vehicles, and monitor vehicle recalls. DVSA is an executive agency, sponsored by the Department for Transport.
The successful candidate, through their membership of the Board, which is an advisory board, and as chair of the DVSA Audit and Risk Committee, will provide challenge and support to the DVSA Executive Team. They will play a vital role in the effective strategic and operational leadership of DVSA. The NEDs provide guidance, experience, opinion and governance scrutiny, and support the Chief Executive Officer to deliver DVSA’s strategic and business plans.
The successful candidate will be expected to:
  • Prepare for and make an effective contribution to the DVSA Board and executive/NED meetings
  • Be able to dedicate time to specific projects within DVSA
  • Proactively challenge DVSA and provide external insight to support its journey to becoming a digital organisation based on experience of large-scale IT transformation
  • Provide external insight and experience to support the delivery of the DVSA vision
  • 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
    • 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 the DVSA Board
  • Chair the DVSA 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
As part of the Department’s commitment to diversity, we believe our staff should reflect our customers - the travelling public. That means we want to attract candidates from a wide variety of backgrounds. We welcome applications from people irrespective of their disability, ethnicity, or gender, who can bring wide experience and dynamic ideas to our boards. We are open to fresh talent, expertise, and perspectives, to help us better understand the needs of the communities we serve.
If you are interested in the role and work of DVSA, I would like to encourage you to apply. Our dedicated DfT Public Appointments Team would be happy to talk through the process and answer your questions.
Rt Hon Mark Harper MP
Secretary of State for Transport

Role description

Title: Non-Executive Director (NED)/Audit and Risk Committee Chair.
Reports to: Nick Bitel, Non-Executive Chair of DVSA Directing Board
Duration: An initial term of between 2 and 3 years, with the possibility of re-appointment
Remuneration: £15,000 per annum for up to 36 days attendance. The ARAC Chair role requires a greater time commitment, for which an extra £3,000 per annum will be paid.
Person Specification:
The successful candidate will possess a good appreciation of the role of a Non-Executive Director, and they will understand and be committed to the pivotal role that the Board plays in the effective and efficient delivery of DVSA services.
They will clearly demonstrate independence of judgement and an ability to communicate with impact to provide constructive support and challenge. The essential and desirable criteria for the role are listed below.

Organisation description

For further details see: 

Board composition

DVSA Directing Board
The Directing Board sets DVSA’s strategic direction. Every month, the Board meets to discuss the most important issues for the agency. The Board is made up of a Non-Executive Chair, the Chief Executive, the Chief Financial Officer, and a number of Directors and Non-Executive Directors.

Person specification

Essential criteria

  • Experience and knowledge of effective governance at a senior level in complex organisations in the private / public / voluntary sectors, e.g. a board or Ministerial decision-making position
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills, and the ability to challenge effectively and constructively
  • Ability to make sound, open, and impartial decisions and to employ complex problem solving, analysis and evaluation skills
  • Deep knowledge and experience of finance leadership in a complex and diversified business
  • Strong track record of confidently engaging and working with senior stakeholders.

Desirable criteria

  • Experience of working at board level in non-executive roles
  • Interest in the work of DVSA and the challenges it faces
  • Experience of transforming a digital environment using new technologies
  • Qualified accountant with evidence of continued professional development.

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
  • 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.

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. Whilst this appointment is not a regulated appointment, we aim to conduct the recruitment in the spirit of the Code. We will conduct the recruitment as quickly as possible, and keep you updated 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 for this appointment competition is: Nick Bitel (Non-Executive Chair of the DVSA Directing Board), a DfT Deputy Director, and an Independent Panel Member. 
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

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

  • £15,000 per annum for up to 36 days attendance,
  • An additional £3,000 will be paid for the role of ARAC Chair
  • Remuneration is taxable through payroll, but the appointment is not pensionable.
  • Members can claim reimbursement for reasonable travel and subsistence costs necessarily incurred at rates set centrally by the Department for Transport.
  • Applicants should note that the successful candidates cannot be remunerated for this role if they are being paid for an existing full-time role from the public purse.

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