Role details

Chair of Met Office

Application deadline 11 March 2024

Summary

Organisation
Met Office
Sponsor department
Department for Science, Innovation & Technology
Location
South West
Sectors
Professional, Scientific and Technical
Skills
Technology / Digital
Number of vacancies
1
Time commitment
36 day(s) per annum
Remuneration
£35000 per annum
Length of term
3 years
Application deadline
11pm on 11 March 2024

Apply for this role

Share this page

The following links open in a new tab

Timeline for this appointment

  1. Opening date

    31 January 2024

  2. Application deadline

    11pm on 11 March 2024

  3. Sifting date

    19 April 2024

  4. Interviews expected to end on

    31 May 2024

Timeline dates are only an estimate and can change

About the role

Introduction from the Secretary of State

Dear Candidate

Thank you for your interest in the role of Chair of the Met Office. 

 The Met Office Board has a vital role in advising and supporting the Chief Executive and the Executive Team to deliver the organisation’s strategic priorities and ensuring that resources are allocated effectively for their delivery.  The Board reviews the management and performance of the Met Office and ensures high standards of corporate governance are maintained.  

 As the UK’s national meteorological service, the Met Office operates across most aspects of national life whether that’s ensuring the safe operation of commercial aviation, enabling our armed forces to deploy around the globe to keeping British citizens safe in times of severe weather. Met Office activity spans across all sectors of the economy and the services it provides to the public, government and industry underpin national economic growth.  

It is a transformational time for the Met Office as they take delivery of a new supercomputer provided by Microsoft in 2024. This significant investment will be the world's first cloud-based weather and climate supercomputer. The new supercomputer will be one of the most powerful in the world and will help enhance the Met Office’s position as a world-leading centre of research and innovation in both weather and climate science. This is a tremendous opportunity to be involved in leading an exceptionally talented and visionary organisation and your role will be key to ensuring the organisation exploits this new investment fully.  

If you believe you have the experience and qualities we are seeking to help to lead and support this organisation, we very much look forward to hearing from you. 

The Rt Hon Michelle Donelan MP

Secretary of State for Science, Innovation & Technology

Role description

The Met Office Chair is appointed by the Secretary of State for DSIT and will be responsible for advising the Minister on the organisation’s overall direction and performance . The role of Chair is pivotal and demands effective strategic leadership of the Board and the ability to speak on its behalf. The Chair will work closely with the full-time Chief Executive, who is also the Met Office’s Accounting Officer. The Chair has particular responsibility for providing first-rate strategic leadership on matters including:

  • Leading the Board by facilitating a high standard of discussion and debate, allowing it to provide the appropriate degree of challenge to the executive team.  The Chair must ensure systems are in place to provide Board members with appropriate support and the timely, relevant information required for them to perform their role. 
  • Leading the Board to support and challenge the Executive Team in setting the strategic direction of the organisation, including organisational targets and priorities. This will include holding the Executive Team to account for delivering the Met Office’s Corporate Plan centred on the technology transformation through the delivery of new supercomputing capability.
  • Bringing top-level commercial and strategic insight to the table and using this to challenge and support the Executive Team to ultimately enhance the organisation’s performance as a whole.
  • Leading on the appointment, induction, and assessment of non-Executive Board Members to ensure a strong Board with an effective mix of skills and being actively involved in the appointment (if relevant) and performance assessment of the Chief Executive.
  • Ensuring a formal annual evaluation of the Board’s performance and that of its committees and individual Board members, and that the Met Office fulfils its annual reporting requirements and manages taxpayer money to the highest standards. 
  • Working in partnership with the Chief Executive as an ambassador for the Met Office, to maintain and enhance its stellar world leading reputation. 
  • Providing the Minister and DSIT Sponsor with the Board’s perspective on strategic matters and other relevant issues as required. This includes ensuring that the Board takes proper account of guidance provided by the Minister and Secretary of State for DSIT. 

Organisation description

The Met Office is the national meteorological service for the UK. It provides world-leading weather and climate science and services that help government, industry and the public make better decisions to stay safe and thrive. That means providing the best weather and climate information when it matters most. Its focus is on making a difference and delivering greater benefit to UK citizens.

The Met Office can only make an impact when its trusted data, products, science, services and advice get into the hands of those who use it to shape their lives, and the lives of those around them. They deliver services through a vast technological enterprise including a groundbreaking new supercomputing platform. Behind this is a team of excellent people, working to deliver extraordinary impact, making the Met Office one of the most trusted forecasters in the world. Since its foundation in 1854, the Met Office has pioneered the science of meteorology and its application. To this day, it continues to push the boundaries of science and technology, meeting the demands of today and the future. It is a key part of the weather and climate community, uniting scientific leaders from every corner of the globe, delivering extraordinary impact and benefit to the world around us. Through this it aims to realise its vision of being recognised as global leaders in weather and climate science and services in a changing world.

Further information about The Met Office can be found here

Person specification

Essential criteria

  • Previous experience as a senior chair or senior Non-Executive Director of a substantial company or organisation.
  • Senior (preferably in executive capacity) level experience of oversight and implementation of transformational IT and workforce change programmes at the organisational level – preferably involving IT and workforce elements.
  • Comfortable in an environment of fast-paced technological change.  
  • Demonstrable senior commercial experience, with the ability to accept personal accountability for results. 

Desirable criteria

  • Experience in delivery or oversight at a large organisation that has seen a transformational upgrade in its core technology infrastructure and maximised the exploitation of the investment.
  • Understanding how technological, scientific and/or environmental research can be exploited to deliver socio-economic impact.

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.

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. 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 gov.uk.

Advisory Assessment Panel (AAP)

Departmental Representative & Panel Chair – Alex Jones, Director General Science and Innovation

Independent Panel Member -  Stephen Lake, Chair of Ordnance Survey

Additional Panel Member – Dave Smith, National Technology Adviser

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 partnerships@dsit.gov.uk

Security clearance

The successful candidate/s will be encouraged to take up their appointment as soon as possible, following the successful completion of pre-appointment checks and security clearance at Baseline Personnel Security Standard (BPSS) level (with an expectation of a move to at least Security Check (SC) vetting in due course. Further details can be found 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 ten years in any one post. 

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 DSIT Public Appointments Team in the first instance if you would like to make a complaint regarding your application at partnerships@dsit.gov.uk. 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 partnerships@dsit.gov.uk if you have any questions about the role.

Attachments