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Role details

Forestry & Woodland Advisory Committee (FWAC) Chair for North West

Application deadline 21 June 2023


Forestry Commission
Sponsor department
Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs
North West
Environment, Agriculture & Fishing
Audit and Risk, Business, Change Management, Commercial, Communication, Media, Marketing, Regulation
Number of vacancies
Time commitment
10 day(s) per annum
Length of term
3 Years
Application deadline
Midday on 21 June 2023

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Timeline for this appointment

  1. Opening date

    2 June 2023

  2. Application deadline

    Midday on 21 June 2023

  3. Sifting date

    3 July 2023

  4. Interviews expected to end on

    14 July 2023

Timeline dates are only an estimate and can change

About the role


You will be supporting the Forestry Commission at a challenging time whilst we are working to delivering the Government’s ambitious tree planting programme via the England Trees Action plan and the England Tree Planning Programme to help the fight against climate change and create thriving woodlands for people to enjoy for years to come.  

Role description

Forestry & Woodland Advisory Committees (FWACs) provide strategic advice, expertise and challenge to the Forestry Commission on implementing forestry and woodlands policy in England as well as advocating and championing forestry interests and woodland partnership working. There are currently nine separate regional FWACs across England, each consisting of up to 11 individuals drawn from a range of sector interests. 

We are looking for an independent Chair for our FWAC in North West.  The role will take up to 10 days work per annum, including: 

·        Chairing 3 regional FWAC meetings per year. These meetings will normally take place within North West England, but occasionally in neighbouring FWAC regions when joint meetings are held. 

·         Attending bi-annual meetings as a Chairs’ group with the Forestry Commission senior staff, including Forestry Commissioners, to discuss matters of particular importance. 

·         Liaison meetings with the North West Area Director. Occasional ad hoc meetings of committees, depending on local demands. 

The term of office for FWAC Chairs and members is for a term of three years, although there is the possibility of reappointment for a further term subject to satisfactory performance.  Chairs and members are appointed as individuals and not as representatives of a particular organisation.  While acting as an independent Chair, they will also be allocated to one of three main fields of interest that comprise the expert membership of the Committee: forest industry and land ownership; social, access and environment expertise; and local communities, economy and government interest. 

Person specification

Essential criteria

The successful candidate will have first-hand knowledge of the strategic issues and major stakeholders’ interests in the North West and will be able to identify opportunities where trees, woodlands and forestry can help make a difference in both the urban and rural context. You will have significant experience within your field (whether in the public, private or voluntary sector, or a combination of these) as well as excellent leadership and chairing skills, together with a track record of working with a range of complementary interests and expertise in a structured and outcome focused way. You will have strong and active networks and be able to make connections to forestry and woodlands interests.

Application and selection process

How to apply

To apply you will need to create an account or sign in to Apply for Public Appointment Service by the deadline of 12:00 (midday) on Wednesday 21 June 2023Once logged onto your account, click on ‘apply for this role’ and follow the on-screen instructions quoting reference FWACNW.

All candidates are required to complete the following forms:

  • Monitoring form 1 (Conflicts of interest conduct and advertising Questionnaire)
  • Monitoring form 2 (Diversity Questionnaire)

Candidates should submit their CV with education, professional qualifications and employment history and the names and contact details for two referees, together with their statement of suitability.

The statement of suitability should give evidence of the strength and depth of your ability to meet the essential criteria for this role. Please provide specific examples to demonstrate how you meet each of the criteria (max two pages please).

For further information please email: - quoting reference FWACNW  .

Advisory Assessment Panel (AAP)

Keith Jones - Area Director North West - Departmental Official - Panel Chair

Richard Barker - Secretary to the Commissioners – Representative of Organisation


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. 
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.
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. 

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 Sarah Formosa:  if you would like to make a complaint regarding your application. They will acknowledge your complaint upon receipt and respond within 15 working days.

Data protection

The Cabinet Office will use your data in line with our privacy policy.

Contact details

Please contact the Sarah Formosa: