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Role details

Office of Rail and Road Non-Executive Directors - up to three

Application deadline 8 March 2024


Office of Rail and Road
Sponsor department
Department for Transport
Audit and Risk, Major Projects, Regulation
Number of vacancies
Time commitment
4 day(s) per month
£20900 per annum
Length of term
5 years
Application deadline
11:59pm on 8 March 2024

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Timeline for this appointment

  1. Opening date

    9 February 2024

  2. Application deadline

    11:59pm on 8 March 2024

  3. Sifting date

    22 March 2024

  4. Interviews expected to end on

    28 May 2024

Timeline dates are only an estimate and can change

About the role

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 role of Non-Executive Director on the Board of the Office of Rail and Road (ORR).

This is an important time for transport in our country. We are investing heavily in infrastructure and public transport to improve journeys, boost connections, level up the country and support economic growth. Central to our mission is delivering transport that works for everyone in our society in all regions of our country. The Government’s transformation plans through Network North are a key part of that.

We are recruiting for up to three Non-Executive Directors to join our team on the Board of the ORR. The ORR is the independent safety and economic regulator for the railways and monitor of National Highways.

ORR works closely with Network Rail and National Highways to secure efficient delivery of significant investment to improve our national rail and road infrastructure so that those networks meet their customers’ needs and contribute to our objectives of long-term economic growth, levelling up and connectivity, environmental sustainability, and financial sustainability. ORR is an important partner in our plans to reform the railways, providing expertise, advice and support. The Government plans to introduce a draft Rail Reform Bill for pre-legislative scrutiny in this session of Parliament – to further improve our railway.

As the rail safety regulator, ORR’s role is to ensure the industry provides services that are safe for passengers and rail workers on the national rail network, London Underground, light railways, trams and heritage railways. ORR is the consumer and competition authority for the railways; its role is to ensure that rail markets are competitive and fair for passengers, freight customers, railway operators and taxpayers. As the Highways Monitor, ORR plays an important role in ensuring National Highways delivers its commitments as set out in the Roads Investment Strategy (RIS), holding National Highways to account for its Licence commitments. ORR advises the government on the appropriate level of funding and performance requirements for future road periods, which is of particular relevance as the Department finalises the third Roads Investment Strategy to commence in 2025.

Up to three exciting non-executive director roles are offered. The successful candidates will contribute to the leadership of the ORR, providing strategic direction and scrutiny. They will challenge in holding the executive to account for delivery of the ORR’s strategy and agreed business plan – and in ensuring strong, effective and, where appropriate, constructively challenging relationships with major regulated transport delivery bodies. 

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 ORR, I would like to encourage you to apply. This is an opportunity to make a real difference.

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

Introduction from the Chair

Welcome Note from Declan Collier, Chair, ORR

Thank you for your interest in the role of Non-Executive Director at the Office of Rail and Road (ORR). ORR is a modern, pragmatic, and principled regulator, acting in the public interest and with a focus on a safer railway; better rail customer service; value for money from the railway; and better strategic highways.

On rail, we are a balancing mechanism at the heart of the industry: providing assurance and oversight, working closely with Network Rail - including through providing constructive challenge, determining fair charges and access for passenger and freight operators, and looking out for the long-term national interest.  

On roads, we protect the public investment in England’s strategic network by monitoring and transparently reporting on National Highways’ work. We also advise the Department for Transport on funding and performance requirements for future road periods to help set challenging but deliverable levels of performance and efficiency.

Our ability to deliver impartial evidence-based advice to government and to take regulatory decisions that balance a wide range of duties in a complex context has helped to build our positive reputation of adding value. We have taken on new responsibilities at the request of government, for example, carrying out an independent review on smart motorways data and monitoring National Highways’ delivery of its smart motorways action plan.

ORR played a key role in the recovery from COVID-19, responding quickly to provide advice and support to government and industry throughout, while protecting the interests of passengers as service levels changed in response to circumstances. There are clear challenges in the coming years, with the impacts of climate change, a difficult financial and economic environment, and issues arising from artificial intelligence to address. Yet there are also opportunities, including new digital technology and improved data analytics, for better and more efficient decision making, as well as improving the service that end users receive.

Our current priorities include driving improvements to train service performance; focusing on the efficiency of Network Rail; working with the rail industry to ensure safe operations; implementing the 2023 Periodic Review (which looks at Network Rail’s funding and delivery from 2024 to 2029); advising on the third Road Investment Strategy (which runs from 2025 to 2030); and supporting the UK Government in the development and delivery of its future rail strategy/programme.

It is important to me, as Chair, to ensure that the ORR Board continues to have the right mix of skills to help guide the organisation to successfully deliver on these priorities. I believe that we have been successful in building a Board with the requisite expertise, but we will need to focus on maintaining this as we deal with a natural renewal cycle where some very experienced members – specialists in health and safety, and rail industry matters – are stepping down as their terms come to an end.

A role on the ORR Board provides the opportunity to use your skills and experience to contribute to the development of rail and road as well as the delivery of a strategy that will help shape the future of transport in the UK.  I hope you will feel encouraged to bring your experience and skills to our work at this interesting time.  Playing your part as a Non-Executive Director of the ORR is your opportunity to make a real difference to customers, taxpayers, and the wider economy.  I look forward to hearing from you.

Declan Collier

Chair, ORR

Role description

Our Board sets our strategic direction and approves policy approaches to support that direction.  Within that, non-executive directors play a particularly important scrutiny and challenge role in holding our executive to account for delivery against the strategy and agreed business plan.  The Board also takes important regulatory decisions.  It works through sub-committees, to which all members are expected to contribute, to supply particular expertise or focus when that is necessary.  

Our Board meetings and committee meetings are structured around a two-day programme once a month.  Time commitment overall is an average of 3.5 days a month.  

The Chair undertakes formal appraisal of members’ contributions each year. 

Organisation description

About the Office of Rail and Road

Who we are and what we do

The Office of Rail and Road (ORR) is an independent, non-ministerial UK government department, established by, and accountable directly to Parliament. We protect the interests of current and future rail and road users, overseeing the safety, value and performance of the railways and monitoring the performance and efficiency of England’s strategic road network. Detailed information on our functions can be found here.

We regulate Network Rail, including setting the targets it has to achieve, and report regularly on its performance. We regulate health and safety standards and compliance across the whole rail industry. We oversee competition and consumer rights issues – driving a better deal for rail passengers and taxpayers. We also regulate the High Speed 1 link to the Channel Tunnel.

We hold National Highways to account on its commitments to improve the performance and efficiency of England’s strategic road network.

As an independent regulator, we operate within the framework set by UK legislation and are accountable through Parliament and the courts.

ORR comprises a governing board appointed by the Secretary of State for Transport and over 360 professionals, spanning engineering, railway safety, economics, competition, statistical analysis and management, operating from six offices across the country.

Our strategic objectives

Our business plan summarises what we aim to achieve each year to meet our four strategic objectives:

·       A safer railway;

·       Better rail customer service;

·       Value for money from the railway;

·       Better highways.

The Board

We are governed by a board responsible for setting our strategy and overseeing its delivery. Our board has oversight of safety regulation, economic regulatory delivery and is the competition and consumer authority for the industry, in line with our legal duties. Members are appointed by the Secretary of State for Transport for a fixed term of up to 5 years.

Further information on our Board membership is available here.

The Board Committees

The board has four standing committees, and their terms of reference are included in the board's rules of procedure:

Audit and Risk Committee

ORR's audit and risk committee has a key role in corporate governance supporting the board and the accounting officer in reviewing the adequacy of ORR's risk, control and governance processes.

Health and Safety Regulation Committee

ORR's safety regulation committee helps to develop, maintain, review and update ORR's health and safety regulatory strategy and oversee the overall adequacy of arrangements to meet ORR's statutory duties. It provides guidance and advice on the need for major accident inquiries and reviews the safety policy approach.

Highways Committee

ORR's highways committee oversees the work of the highways monitoring team; it advises the ORR board in developing an appropriate and effective monitoring framework and internal decision making framework for roads; and acts as a forum for policy development with senior staff.

Remuneration and Nominations Committee

ORR's remuneration and nominations committee has strategic oversight of ORR’s people strategy under Civil Service terms. It receives reports on diversity and inclusion, pay strategy and staff sentiment. It reviews senior staff performance and, with the Chief Executive makes recommendations to the board for reward in line with Cabinet office guidance for ORR's senior civil servant staff. The committee also advises on induction and training for non-executive members.

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

While two upcoming vacancies are to be filled, we would be open to appointing a third should there be a highly suitable person be identified following interview. You will need:

·       Experience in and knowledge of health and safety management, including operational safety; experience of cost analysis of safety initiatives would be a particular advantage; and/or 

·       Transport operations and delivery (particularly in the rail sector), including significant knowledge of capacity allocation; and/or

·       Significant experience in and knowledge of regulation and/or regulatory strategy.

Successful candidates may have the opportunity for selection to chair of the Health and Safety Regulation Committee or Audit and Risk Committee, subject to relevant experience.

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 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)

Declan Collier, Chair, ORR; 
Justin McCracken, Non-Executive Director, ORR; 
Abi Hayes, Director, Rail Strategy and Analysis DfT;
Jayam Dalal, 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 Jessica Hall via email at

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

The Seven Principles of Public Life (also known as the Nolan Principles) apply to anyone who works as a public office-holder.
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

Notwithstanding the general requirement to declare any potential conflicts of interest below, if you are currently or have in the last 12 months been employed by or had business connections with a UK rail or road body, if you were appointed, you may be required to serve an appropriate “cooling off” period before taking up your role on Board. If this applies to you, we will discuss this with you further as necessary.
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 Department for Transport 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.

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

Contact details

If you have any queries about this role, please contact Jessica Hall via email