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Role details

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

Application deadline 4 December 2023


Forestry Commission
Sponsor department
Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs
North East
Environment, Agriculture & Fishing
Audit and Risk, Business, Change Management, Communication, Media, Marketing, Regulation
Number of vacancies
Time commitment
10 day(s) per annum
£2701 per annum
Length of term
3 Years
Application deadline
Midday on 4 December 2023

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Timeline for this appointment

  1. Opening date

    6 November 2023

  2. Application deadline

    Midday on 4 December 2023

  3. Sifting date

    13 December 2023

  4. Interviews expected to end on

    20 December 2023

Timeline dates are only an estimate and can change

About the role


You will be supporting the work of the Forestry Commission at an exciting time as we focus our actions with urgency for the next five years under our new strategy Thriving for the Future.  We also have a key role in delivering the England Trees Action plan using support from Government through the Nature for Climate Fund. This programme aims to help the fight against climate change and to create thriving woodlands for the future which deliver for people, nature and the economy.

Role description

Forestry & Woodland Advisory Committees (FWACs) provide strategic advice, expertise and challenge to the Forestry Commission on implementing forestry and woodlands policy across England as well as championing forestry interests and woodland partnership working. There are currently nine 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 the North East.  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 the North East, 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. 
  • Liaison meetings with the North East Area Director. Occasional ad hoc meetings of committees, depending on local demands.
The term of office for FWAC Chairs and members is 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 interests. 

Person specification

Essential criteria

The successful candidate will have first-hand knowledge of the strategic issues and major stakeholders’ interests in the North East 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 across forestry and woodlands interests. 

Application and selection process

How to apply

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).  

Your CV and statement should be returned to the following address by the closing date: 11:59 (midnight) on Sunday 03 December 2023. Email to quoting reference FWACNE.  

For further information please email:

Advisory Assessment Panel (AAP)

Crispin Thorn - Area Director North East - Departmental Official – Panel Chair

Richard Barker -- Secretary to the Commissioners - Departmental Official

tbc - Other panel member

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 Sarah Formosa –

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.

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 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

Sarah Formosa –