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Role details

Non-Executive Board Member – Office of the Public Guardian

Application deadline 1 May 2024


Office of the Public Guardian
Sponsor department
Ministry of Justice
Judicial, Prisons & Policing
Audit and Risk, Change Management, Major Projects, Transformation
Number of vacancies
Time commitment
20 day(s) per annum
£8400 per annum
Length of term
3 years
Application deadline
11am on 1 May 2024

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Timeline for this appointment

  1. Opening date

    10 April 2024

  2. Application deadline

    11am on 1 May 2024

  3. Sifting date

    13 May 2024

  4. Interviews expected to end on

    13 June 2024

Timeline dates are only an estimate and can change

About the role

Role description

The Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) is looking for exceptional candidates to join OPG as a NEBM with knowledge, skills or experience transformation and change management, with a strong people focus, to help OPG with the significant transformation programme it is delivering over the next three years. Experience of working in an operational delivery environment would be welcome.

Additionally, it would be expected that applicants for the role of NEBM could demonstrate: experience of management or governance at a senior level; experience of working effectively in partnership with multiple stakeholders; and strong communication and interpersonal skills.

As a NEBM you will contribute to and participate in the effective running of the agency board.  Using your external knowledge and expertise you will provide constructive and effective challenge in board discussions and to inform decision making.

You will be given regular opportunity to meet with the Chief Executive (or once they are appointed, the Non-Executive Board Chair) to reflect on your role, review performance and evaluate the arrangement between you and the agency. 

Organisation description

The OPG, an  Executive Agency of the MoJ, was established - in 2007 - by  the Mental Capacity Act 2005 and serves to protect people that lack mental capacity. The ‘Office’ supports the Public Guardian in her duties of the registration of Enduring Powers of Attorney (EPA), Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPA) and the supervision of deputies appointed by the Court of Protection. The Public Guardian also has a significant safeguarding role which includes investigating concerns about the actions of registered attorneys and deputies.

Our mission is to support everyone to take the decisions they need to and to protect the interests of those who are unable to make decisions. We do this by putting our customers at the heart of what we do and by enabling people to plan ahead and make decisions for their health and finances while they still can. We safeguard the interests of people when they no longer can, through the supervision of court-appointed deputies and by investigating concerns when they are raised.

The OPG is working with the MoJ provide a digital LPA; essential to enable the agency to deal with the increasing take up of LPAs, whilst providing customer service improvements. This will be a significant transformation for the agency and we’ll need to make sure we have the right skills and capability within the organisation to support the necessary changes.

Person specification

Essential criteria

Candidates will be able to demonstrate the following:

  • Experience and skills in change management and transformation within the operational delivery environment with a particular focus on people;
  • Exceptional communication skills, high level of personal impact and the ability to provide constructive and independent challenge and support to the Board;
  • Independence of judgment, the capacity to bring a fresh, external view to decision- making, and an outstanding track record of board level career achievement;
  • Broad business management experience at board level in a major delivery organisation in the private, public or third sector, and of building and sustaining relationships with key stakeholders including the ability to respond to and reconcile the differing needs of those stakeholders;
  • Ability to analyse complex information and reach practical decisions;
  • The ability to think strategically and see the bigger picture.

Desirable criteria

  • Sound knowledge and experience of good governance at senior levels in a large organisation in either private or public sector, and/or an understanding of working with government and of the justice sector.
  • Experience of working in an operational delivery environment
  • Knowledge, skills or experience in the health, welfare or social care fields dealing with people who lack capacity or relevant experience in the 3rd Sector/Charity Sector.

Application and selection process

How to apply

In order to apply you will need to create an account or sign in on the public appointment website  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) - (maximum two sides of A4) detailing your qualifications, employment history and any appointments or offices you hold. Please also provide your preferred contact number and email address.
  • a supporting statement - (maximum two sides of A4) providing evidence against the role criteria and your suitability for the post, including evidence of leadership qualities and a vision for the organisation. Please consider the role and criteria carefully in preparing your statements. Structuring the statement around the criteria using relevant headings also aids clarity. Guidance on how to write a successful application can be found at Appendix 2.
  • equality information - Information is requested for monitoring purposes only and plays no part in the selection process. It will be kept confidential and will not be seen by the AAP.
  • information relating to any outside interests or reputational issues - If you have any interests that might be relevant to the work of the Office of the Public Guardian and which could lead to a real or perceived conflict of interest if you were to be appointed, please provide details in your supporting documents. Given the nature of public appointments, it is important that those appointed as members of public bodies maintain the confidence of Parliament and the public. If there are any issues in your personal or professional history that could, if you were appointed, be misconstrued, cause embarrassment, or cause public confidence in the appointment to be jeopardised, it is important that you bring them to the attention of the AAP. Please provide details of the issue/s in your supporting letter. In considering whether you wish to declare any issues, you should also reflect on any public statements you have made, including through social media.

The AAP may explore any issues with you before they make a recommendation on the appointment. Failure to disclose such information could result in an appointment either not being made or being terminated. Conflicts might arise from a variety of sources such as financial interests or share ownership, membership of, or association with, particular bodies or the activities of relatives or partners.

·       requests for referees - Please provide names and contact details of two people who may be asked to act as referees for you to (quote PAT170001 in any correspondence). At least one referee must have knowledge of your work relating to your most recent professional and/ or voluntary activity. They will be expected to have authoritative and personal knowledge of your achievements in a professional or public service capacity.

If you have any questions about any aspects of this post, you are welcome to contact the

Please note that this role requires attendance at OPG's Board and Audit, Risk and Assurance Committee.

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.

Advisory Assessment Panel (AAP)

The Panel will be:

  • David West, Head of MoJ Public Bodies Centre of Expertise (chair)
  • Amy Holmes, Chief Executive and Public Guardian
  • Martyn Burke, Non Executive Board Member
  • Paula McDonald, Independent 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. 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 is taxable and subject to Class 1 National Insurance contributions. The role is not pensionable and your remuneration may be abated if you receive a public service pension. Typically, including preparation time, the time commitment required from the successful candidate is not expected to exceed 20 days per annum although this is subject to the needs of the organisation.  It is envisaged that the board will meet up 12 times per year.  You will also be expected to be a member of one of the Agency’s committees – Audit and Risk Committee and Portfolio Change Committee and attend an annual risk workshop.  There may also be particular ad hoc commitments.

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

If you have a complaint about any aspect of the way your application has been handled, we would like to hear from you. In the first instance please write to or e-mail the Public Appointments Team at the address or e-mail address given below quoting the appropriate reference number.

Maggie Garrett, Head of MoJ Public Appointments Team, Public Bodies Centre of Expertise, Ministry of Justice, E-mail address:

Complaints must be received by the Public Appointments Team within 12 calendar months of the issue or the closure of the recruitment competition, whichever is the later.

We will acknowledge your complaint within two working days of receipt and reply within 20 working days of receipt. We will tell you if we cannot meet this deadline for any reason and provide an expected reply date.

Taking it further: If you are still concerned after receiving your reply you can write to:

Office of the Public Guardian, Victoria Square House, 1 Pinfold Street, Birmingham, B2 4PP.

Alternatively, please contact the Public Appointments Team at for a printed copy of the complaints process.

Data protection

The Cabinet Office will use your data in line with our privacy policy.

Contact details

If you require further information on the public appointments process, please contact