Role details

Non-Executive Directors x 2

Application deadline 27 February 2024


HS2 Ltd
Sponsor department
Department for Transport
Business, Major Projects, Transformation
Number of vacancies
Time commitment
2 day(s) per month
£950 per day
Length of term
Application deadline
11:59pm on 27 February 2024

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Timeline for this appointment

  1. Opening date

    30 January 2024

  2. Application deadline

    11:59pm on 27 February 2024

  3. Sifting date

    20 March 2024

  4. Interviews expected to end on

    19 April 2024

Timeline dates are only an estimate and can change

About the role


The High Speed Two (HS2) programme is delivered by HS2 Ltd, a company limited by guarantee, wholly owned, controlled and funded by the DfT. HS2 Ltd has a single shareholder in the Secretary of State for Transport and is classified as a Non-Departmental Public Body (NDPB) by the Cabinet Office.

The HS2 Ltd Board provides overall leadership of the Company. It is led by Sir Jon Thompson, currently in the capacity as Executive Chair until a permanent Chief Executive Officer is appointed, at which point he will return to his position of Chair.

HS2 Ltd’s responsibilities include developing sustainable proposals for the route. It is also responsible for working with the DfT to secure the necessary Parliamentary approvals and powers to undertake the development, construction and operation of the railway.

As set out in the Department’s November 2023 Parliamentary Report the Government announced a new plan, via the Network North command paper, to improve transport across Great Britain on 4 October 2023. This plan directs spending away from future phases of HS2 towards local and regional transport schemes, whilst committing to the improved delivery of HS2 Phase 1.

The Government remains committed to completing Phase 1 of HS2 between London and the West Midlands. There will be two branches: one to central Birmingham, and one to Handsacre, near Lichfield, meaning passengers will be able to travel on HS2 trains through to Manchester, Liverpool and Scotland, joining the West Coast Main Line for the rest of their journeys. HS2 will bring our biggest cities and economic regions closer together with high-capacity, low-carbon transport, helping build a skilled and productive workforce that will deliver future infrastructure better.

Introduction from the Secretary of State

Dear Applicant,
Thank you for your interest applying to be a Non-Executive Director on the board of HS2 Ltd.
This is an important time for the Department for Transport. 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 Non-Executive Directors to join the Board of HS2 Ltd. The Prime Minister’s Network North announcement set a new direction for transport in the North. HS2 is now strategically centred on delivering Phase 1 of the programme between London and Birmingham, with a renewed focus on cost control, which will be delivered alongside improvements across rail, buses, and roads. HS2’s role is significant; it still remains the largest single investment in our public transport system, which will improve journey times and increase capacity along the West Coast Main Line corridor.
To help deliver this mission, we are looking for exceptional individuals to join the HS2 Ltd Board. If you have a track record of delivering major infrastructure projects and recent and relevant Board experience at either Executive or Non-Executive level, we would like to hear from you.
We strongly welcome applications from all backgrounds. As part of the Department’s commitment to diversity, we believe our public appointments should reflect our customers - the travelling public – who come from all walks of life and have different experiences. We very much welcome fresh talent, expertise, and perspectives, to help us better understand the needs of the communities we serve and support better decision making for all. This includes people who may have never applied for a public appointment – but could bring new ideas, insights and energy.
If you are interested in the role and work of HS2 Ltd, 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.
The Rt Hon Mark Harper MP
Secretary of State for Transport

Role description

NEDs of HS2 Ltd are responsible for pursuing the objectives of HS2 Ltd through:
  • Providing challenge and guidance to the executive team and support HS2 Ltd in the exercise of its responsibilities.
  • Ensuring that the Department for Transport’s requirements (as funder, shareholder and sponsor), are adhered to throughout the development of the project.
  • Ensuring that high standards of corporate governance are observed and high standards of regularity and propriety are maintained in line with best practice and statutory requirements.
  • Ensuring that stakeholder relationships with partner organisations are developed and improved.
  • Sitting on sub-committees of the HS2 Ltd Board as required.

Regulation of appointment

This post is regulated by the Commissioner for Public Appointments. For more information, please refer to the Commissioner’s website 

Person specification

Essential criteria

As a NED for HS2 Ltd, you will need recent and relevant Executive Board or Non-Executive Director experience. We are looking for exceptional candidates to help lead HS2 Ltd to deliver its new mission on behalf of the Government. We are looking for candidates that can demonstrate the following skills: 

  • Ability to apply independent judgement, challenge and support to drive value for money for the taxpayer – drawing on experience to deliver sound, impartial advice on complex infrastructure issues. Attention to detail, confidence in challenging opinions and making difficult decisions is essential.
  • Experience in leading, coaching and supporting through change  ability to support and advise HS2 Ltd as it resets to deliver its updated mission on behalf of the Government and embedding of a culture of continued improvement across the organisation.
  • Excellent communication and stakeholder skills – ability to work, and build confidence with, a range of diverse stakeholders to help support a culture of collaboration, openness and transparency. A clear understanding of the public’s priorities and the ability to reconcile differing perspectives. 

 In addition, successful candidates should have skills in at least one of the following areas: 

  • A proven track record of infrastructure delivery in a complex setting ability to advise, support and challenge HS2 Ltd in its delivery. Understanding of what constitutes an effective infrastructure delivery organisation, complex commercial structures and systems integration are essential.
  • Experience of achieving health and safety outcomes – ideally via relevant leadership experience on large and complex programmes. 

 Candidates’ suitability for the role will be assessed against the essential criteria listed above.

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.please apply by 23:59 on Tuesday 20 February 2024.

Any applications submitted after the closing date, or that are missing any of the following documents, will not be accepted.

  • A CV or equivalent biographical information (maximum two sides A4, minimum 12 font) setting out your career history and including details of any professional qualifications. 
  • Provide a summary of why you are interested in the role and how you meet the specification and essential criteria. This can be in a form that allows you most ably to present your interest and credentials, for example a supporting letter (no more than two A4 pages, minimum 12 font), a short, bullet-point slide presentation, or a short video (no more than 2 mins). Make sure you refer to the contents of this document and provide specific examples. If you wish to provide your supporting summary in video format, please contact in advance of the closing date.
  • You will also be asked to provide diversity data, and to declare any potential conflicts of interest or reputational issues.

We will ask you to check and confirm your personal details to ensure your application is accurate.

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. We will deal with your application as quickly as possible and will keep you informed at key stages. We aim to conclude the appointment process within three months of the deadline for applications – this is in accordance with the Governance Code.

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)

  • Sir Jon Thompson (panel chair) – Executive Chair, HS2 Ltd
  • Alan Over – Director General, High Speed Rail Group, Department for Transport
  • Jon Loveday – Director of Infrastructure, Enterprise & Growth, Infrastructure Projects Authority
  • Sarah Philbrick – 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. 

The Department for Transport values and promotes diversity and is committed to equality of opportunity for all and to the appointment of disabled people.

We will select the disabled candidates who best meet the essential criteria for the role. ‘Best meet’ is defined as demonstrating strong examples of all essential criteria.

In order to guarantee an interview to all disabled candidates (as defined by the Equality Act 2010) who satisfy all the essential criteria for the role and wish to be considered under the Disability Confident Scheme, we need candidates to declare a disability and that they wish to be considered under the Scheme.

What do we mean by a disability?

To be eligible for consideration under the Scheme, you must be considered disabled under the Equality Act 2010. This means that you must have or have had in the last 12 months, a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial long-term adverse effect on your ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities. This includes those whose disability has lasted, or is likely to last, for 12 months, or if the disability or condition is likely to progress or recur.

You do not have to be registered as a disabled person to apply 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

  • The HS2 Ltd NEDs will receive £950 per day.
  • Remuneration is taxable through payroll, but the appointment is not pensionable.
  • The NEDs can claim reimbursement for reasonable travel and subsistence costs necessarily incurred at rates set centrally by the Department for Transport and included in the HS2 Ltd Expenses Policy.
  • Applicants should note that the successful candidate cannot be remunerated for this role if they are being paid for an existing full-time public sector role from the public purse. Please get in contact with the Public Appointments Team if you have any questions about this specifically.

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 20 working days.

How to complain to Office of the Commissioner for Public Appointments (OCPA)

If you are not content with the appointing department’s response you may wish to further complain to the Commissioner at information on how the Commissioner handles complaints can be found on the Commissioner for Public Appointments’ website

Data protection

The Cabinet Office will use your data in line with our privacy policy.
DfT’s privacy policy has more information about your rights in relation to your personal data, how to complain and how to contact the Data Protection Officer. You can view it at
To receive this information by telephone or post, contact us on 0300 330 3000 or write to Data Protection Officer, Department for Transport, 3rd Floor, One Priory Square, Hastings, East Sussex, TN34 1EA.

Contact details