You cannot apply for this role

The application deadline has passed or the role has been closed for applications.

Role details

Non-Executive Directors - Office for Place

Application deadline 7 June 2024


Office for Place
Sponsor department
Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities
West Midlands
Public Administration
Audit and Risk, Communication, Technology / Digital, Transformation
Number of vacancies
Time commitment
2 day(s) per month
£400 per day
Length of term
Up to 4 years
Application deadline
11am on 7 June 2024

Share this page

The following links open in a new tab

Timeline for this appointment

  1. Opening date

    24 April 2024

  2. Application deadline

    11am on 7 June 2024

  3. Sifting date

    21 June 2024

  4. Interviews expected to end on

    19 July 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 joining the Board of the Office for Place. I am seeking to appoint the first permanent Non-Executive Directors to the Board, who will play a crucial role supporting the incoming Chair to take forward its aims to help support the creation and stewardship of popular, healthy, beautiful and sustainable places. ​
The Office for Place has been established to help deliver the Department’s long-term vision for building new homes, a more effective planning system and the stewardship of places which enable people to live healthy and fulfilling lives. It is seeking to catalyse a fundamental change within and across all levels of government, communities and the development, planning and design industries to de-risk new development and promote provably popular design. The Office for Place will help neighbourhoods and communities to ask for and deliver new places that foster a sense of local pride and belonging. ​
The challenge to improve the quality of the built environment is clear. But so are the benefits. Improving the design of our homes, neighbourhoods and communities will deliver better health, happiness, prosperity and productivity. You can therefore expect a high level of interest from all stakeholders. ​
Office for Place Non-Executive Directors have both the corporate responsibility for ensuring that the Office for Place fulfils its objectives, and ensuring that it complies with statutory and administrative requirements. As a recently established government company, you will be joining at a key time in the organisation's development and will be expected to ensure that it meets the highest standards of corporate and public governance. ​
I hope that you will be inspired by this exciting opportunity to make a real difference to the standard of design in the built environment and to help deliver the benefits that this brings. If you believe you have the experience and qualities that we are seeking, we look forward to receiving your application. ​
We are looking to appoint up to eight new Non-Executive Directors to establish the first permanent Board of the organisation. We are particularly seeking candidates with senior experience in audit and risk management. We hope to receive applications from a diverse range of individuals. ​
Thank you for bringing your skills and energy to this important role. ​
The Rt Hon Michael Gove MP
Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities and Minister for Intergovernmental Relations

Role description

The Non-Executive Directors have responsibilities for:
  • Taking forward the strategic aims and objectives of the Office for Place within the policy and resources framework determined by the Secretary of State.
  • Holding the Executive team to account for the effective and efficient delivery of the annual business plan and for the day-to-day management, delivery and performance of the Office for Place.
  • Acting as a champion for the work and role of the Office for Place.
  • Ensuring that effective arrangements are in place to provide assurance on risk management, governance and control and demonstrate high standards of corporate governance.
  • Ensure that the financial and human resources are in place for the Office for Place to meet its objectives.
  • Working effectively with a wide range of stakeholders and use their skills to understand sector issues.
  • Providing knowledge and independent advice according to their areas of expertise, based on their wider experience.
  • Ensuring that any statutory or administrative requirements for the use of public funds are complied with; that the Board operates within the limits of its statutory authority and any delegated authority agreed with the shareholder department, and in accordance with any other conditions relating to the use of public funds; and that, in reaching decisions, the Board takes into account guidance issued by the Department for Levelling Up Housing and Communities. 

Organisation description

The Office for Place is a new non departmental public body, sponsored by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities to help create beautiful, successful and enduring places that foster a sense of community, local pride and belonging. ​
It supports local authorities and communities to implement government policy and legislation by enabling them to set standards of design that all new development should meet. This will be achieved through the provision of independent, technical expertise and the publication of tools, templates, training events, best practice and research. In turn, it also provides expert, independent advice to government to raise the standard of design in the built environment across the country. ​
The Office for Place is in its first year as a new non departmental public body and will be looking to grow and expand delivery over the coming years. It will build on its successes of delivering online training and masterclasses to over 200 local planning authorities, commissioning research and holding the first Office for Place conference in Stoke-on-Trent that was attended by over 180 people. ​
You can find out more about our work and publications here:​

Board composition

The role of the board is to deliver the aims and objectives of the Office for Place, as agreed with the Department for Levelling Up, Homes and Communities. Board members have statutory, regulatory and common law duties, and should ensure that the highest standards of governance are met.​
Both the Chair and the Board members are expected to abide by the Nolan values of public office, the Cabinet Office’s Code of Practice on Corporate Governance in Central Government Departments and planning propriety guidance throughout their terms.​
An interim Chair and board of six interim non-executive directors (including a Department senior official) are currently in post, pending the recruitment of the permanent Chair and board. 

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

  • Prior non-executive experience is not a requisite but you must bring a demonstrable track record at a senior level, where there has been exposure to a non-executive board.
  • An excellent understanding of governance particularly in relation to the role of the Board in overseeing the performance of organisations, and holding the executive to account for meeting its objectives.
  • Demonstrable experience of or an interest in one or more of the following areas: urban design; design-coding; architecture; urban intensification; planning; urbanism; or heritage.
  • A commitment to working with Government to shape and inform planning reform.
If applying for the ARAC Chair role, you will also be required to demonstrate experience of:
  • Financial and risk management, including familiarity with public sector governance, preferably as an ARAC chair, Internal Audit Director or Chief Risk Officer. 

Desirable criteria

The campaign will seek to appoint candidates with skills or a significant track record in at least one of the following areas:
  • Demonstrable passion and enthusiasm for working with local and national government, communities and the wider development/ planning sector.
  • Experience of leading organisational development and managing change.
  • Significant experience of working in planning, planning law (including appeals, at a national or local level), company law, building and development or building regulations.
  • Demonstrable research and analytical skills, with a particular understanding of the benefits of place including for well-being, health, prosperity and sustainable living patterns.
  • Demonstrable experience of using digital data and process reengineering to improve efficiency and outcomes, in planning or in comparable fields. 

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.

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)

Panel Chair: Cathy Francis (DLUHC Director for Housing Delivery);
ALB representative: newly appointed Chair of the Office for Place (TBC); and
Independent Panel Member: Baroness Simone Finn. Baroness Finn is a Conservative member of the House of Lords and previously served as Downing Street Deputy Chief of Staff. ​
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. 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 ‘essential 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

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. 

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 Levelling Up 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

The Cabinet Office will use your data in line with our privacy policy.
DLUHC's Privacy Notice is attached to this vacancy.

Contact details

If you have any queries, please contact the Public Appointments Team at