Aug 302019

Non-Executive Board member - Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS)

Location: London
Date Posted: 27/08/2019
Closing Date: 13/09/2019

Vacancy Description

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has a vision to drive growth, enrich lives and promote Britain to the world. We protect and promote our cultural and artistic heritage, helping businesses and communities to grow by investing in innovation and highlighting the UK as a fantastic place to visit and invest.

We help to give the UK a unique advantage on the global stage, striving for economic success. Additionally, the lives of citizens in the 21st century are increasingly shaped by the transformational developments we are witnessing in the digital sphere. The work that DCMS is doing now on digital policy will have a tangible benefit to citizens long into the future. Our vision is an economy that works for everyone – with great places in every part of the UK for people to work and for businesses to invest, innovate and grow.

DCMS is seeking to recruit a Non-Executive Board Member (NEBM), who will also serve as the Chair of the Department’s Audit and Risk Committee (ARC). The successful candidate will exercise their role through influence and advice, supporting as well as challenging the Executive team and Ministers. NEBMs are appointed by the Secretary of State of each Department. NEBMs give advice and support on the operational implications and effectiveness of policy proposals, focusing on getting policy translated into results. Ministers alone will decide policy, with advice from officials.

Key areas of responsibility include:

  • Sitting on the Departmental Board, chaired by the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport;
  • Chairing the Department’s Audit and Risk Committee;
  • Advising on performance, operational issues and the effective management of the Department;
  • Providing independent scrutiny for the Department upon request;
  • Advising on cross-government initiatives and policies;
  • Working with executives and their offices to continue to improve the performance of the Department;
  • Mentoring Executive Team members as required.

Person Specification

Successful candidates will demonstrate the following qualities or skills:

  • Proven senior leadership in large and complex organisations in the private, public or voluntary sectors, with main board-level experience as an executive or non-executive
  • Strong experience of risk, performance and financial management
  • Leadership of major projects from initiation, through development to delivery, using sound evidence to inform decisions
  • Understanding of the key challenges faced by the public sector and the ability to bring their experience to bear on these challenges
  • Genuine interest in contributing to the effective running of the Department, at the Board, elsewhere in the
  • Department and (as appropriate) across Government
  • Sound judgement and a high level of integrity (including when dealing with confidential or sensitive issues)
  • Ability to contribute and inspire confidence with a wide range of stakeholders both in formal environments (such as Board meetings) and in less formal environments (such as one-to-one meetings with Executives).

Essential criteria

As Chair of the Audit and Risk Committee, the successful candidate will have more detailed expertise in two or more of the following areas, at a minimum, to include financial scrutiny or risk management.

  • Financial scrutiny: Board-level experience of sound financial, risk and performance management, approving and scrutinising the allocation of resources to achieve plans using clear, consistent, comparable performance information. Good understanding of the role of audit and other controls in the financial sphere.
  • Risk management: Significant experience of assessing and managing risks, including high risk and high value projects and risks with a public interest element.
  • Human resource management: Significant experience of talent management, succession planning and staff engagement, including experience of embedding change across multiple cultures within a single organisation.
  • Delivering change: experience of transforming business processes to improve efficiency and effectiveness at significantly lower cost and/or experience in managing large scale and complex projects and programmes. Board-level experience of involving stakeholders in change would be a distinct advantage.

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 seven principles of public life set out in this Code are: selflessness, integrity, objectivity, accountability, openness, honesty and leadership (detailed in full at the end of this pack).

Additional Information

The DCMS Departmental Board

The Departmental Board forms the collective strategic and operational leadership of the Department, bringing together the Ministerial and Civil Service leaders with senior non-executives from outside government.

It provides advice and challenge to the department and its Ministers on strategic and operational issues. It has an advisory rather than a decision-making role. The Board is governed by the Corporate Governance Code.

The scope of the Board is performance and delivery, providing the strategic leadership of the department, advising and supporting on the operational implications and effectiveness of policy proposals, and focusing on getting policy translated into results.

The Board is responsible for ensuring the department has strategic clarity, for oversight of commercial decision making, keeping the department focused on results and scrutinising management information.

The DCMS Audit and Risk Committee

The Audit and Risk Committee is a sub-committee of the Departmental Board, and supports the Board and the Departmental Accounting Officer in their responsibilities for governance, risk management and control (including audit and assurance). It has no delegated powers but acts on behalf of the Board and reports to the Board, which takes decisions on the advice received. The Audit and Risk Committee responsibilities are:

  • To take a view on the nature and adequacy of assurances provided to the Accounting Officer on governance, risk management and control;
  • To consider how well the system of internal control is embedded in DCMS planning, operational, monitoring and review activities;
  • To take a view on the adequacy of assurances provided by senior managers at mid-year and end of the financial year;
  • To review the adequacy of the risk management framework;
  • To maintain oversight of governance arrangements in DCMS arm’s length bodies, including assurance of management of risks and adequacy of control;
  • To lead on the assessment of the annual Governance Statement for the Accounting Officer and Board;
  • To consider whether the DCMS’s internal audit service meets Government standards, agreed levels of service and is adequately resourced;
  • To review the planned activity and results of external audit work by the National Audit Office;
  • For both internal and external audit, to review all reports (including PAC ones) and adequacy of management responses to audit findings.
  • Responsible for advising the Accounting Officer on the signing of both the group and National Lottery Distribution Fund Accounts.


The appointment will be for a term of three years from January 2020 with the possibility of re-appointment.

Time required

Approximately 20 days per annum, including a minimum of four Departmental Board meetings, five Audit and Risk Committee meetings and two network events with Audit Chairs from DCMS ALBs. All meetings are held at 100 Parliament Street, London. All non-executives are invited to one non-executive conference per year, co-ordinated by the Cabinet Office and the Government Lead Non-Executive.


The role of DCMS NEBM and ARC Chair is remunerated at £20,000 per annum. Approximately one third of current Government NEBMs waive their remuneration or donate all/ part to charity. NEBMs on departmental boards are not employees and they do not benefit from temporary civil service status.

Conflicts of Interest

All candidates will be asked to disclose any actual, potential or perceived conflict of interest, and these must be discussed with the candidate to establish whether and what action is needed to avoid a conflict, or the perception of a conflict, taking account of advice received from the Cabinet Office Propriety and Ethics team as appropriate.

Previous or current political activity should not be an automatic bar to appointment. However, non-executives will need to exercise proper discretion and avoid engaging in political activity or making political statements on matters directly related to the work of the Department. Serving as a DCMS NEBM will also impose restrictions on taking up new appointments and/or employment while in post which could give rise to a conflict – and for a period after leaving office. All such matters should be discussed in advance with the Permanent Secretary

If you would like to discuss the post in further detail please contact

How to Apply

The closing date for applications is Friday 13 September at 11pm.

Please submit the following documents by email to

  1. A Covering Letter
  2. A CV
  3. Candidate Application Form (see separate attachment at bottom of advert)
  4. Diversity form (see separate attachment at bottom of advert)

Please ensure you use ‘DCMS NEBM and ARC Chair recruitment’ in the subject box. Alternatively, you can send your application in hard copy to: DCMS Governance Team, 4th Floor (4E13), 100 Parliament Street, London SW1A 2BQ

Applications will be acknowledged upon receipt


This post is NOT regulated by The Commissioner for Public Appointments.

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