Make a difference to public life and apply for a public appointment. Many board level roles in public bodies could use your knowledge and skills to thrive. You could help to transform and enhance some of the most important institutions in the United Kingdom.

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 the society they serve – this is an important part of our levelling-up agenda.

Here’s how you can find out how you can make a huge difference to public services:


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What is a Public Appointment?

A public appointment has no exact definition –  typically it could be a chair or non executive director, for a board of a public body, a member of an advisory committee or an office holder.

Public appointees – the numbers

  • there are currently around 5,000 public appointees across the UK
  • ministers make around 900 new appointments every year and reappoint another 800 to their roles 
  • the public bodies which these appointees steer and govern collectively spend over £200bn a year across the UK

There is a wide variety of public appointments, from those at local levels, monitoring the operation of local prisons, national parks or flood defences, to others that help steer the direction of well-known national institutions like the NHS and some of the country’s largest museums.

Rachel Onikosi, non executive director, Consumer Council for Water

Rachel Onikosi, non executive director, Consumer Council for Water

“As a non executive director, I’m proud of my huge contributions that shape the strategic and financial direction of my organisations. Cultural, visual and thought diversity really does matter. I reflect a proportion of the population that my organisations serve, thus my views are highly important to the progress of diverse, inclusive, and equitable strategic objectives, visions and values of my organisations.”

What are the benefits of becoming a public appointee?

There are a wealth of benefits to becoming a public appointee.

It will give you a unique opportunity to:

  • get more involved in the community
  • help improve public services
  • make a difference to society
  • work with a broad network of people

And you’ll also:

  • develop your skills
  • gain experience
  • build on your contacts

In this video, Kate Bright explains her role as a non executive director of the Security Industry Authority. She tells us about a typical day, the time required and the benefits she’s gained from being a public appointee.

There are around 5000 Public Appointees across the UK

You can help oversee delivery of vital public services, for example in:

  • museums and galleries
  • the NHS
  • prisons
  • national parks
  • flood defences
  • national regulators e.g. Ofgem

What might my role entail?

Public appointees provide leadership and guidance based on their skills and experience. While responsibilities can vary, they may include:

  • setting the organisation’s strategy
  • agreeing business plans
  • recruiting key staff
  • holding senior staff to account on how the body is managed
  • scrutinising the delivery of business plans 
  • monitoring how budgets are spent
  • representing the work and views of the body to ministers, parliamentarians, stakeholders and the wider public

You can read further details about the role of public body non executive directors

Appointments vary in time commitment and remuneration and are normally held for a period of three to five years.

 Aman Sharma, Deputy Chair of the Building Regulations Advisory Committee

Aman Sharma, Deputy Chair of the Building Regulations Advisory Committee

“I know that, together with my colleagues, we are helping to create a safer built environment for everyone to feel safe in – now, and in the future.”

What skills do I need?

Roles often focus on your existing transferable skills. These could be:

  • providing strategic leadership and direction
  • financial and risk management
  • providing independent scrutiny and challenge
  • working as a part of a team
  • having an awareness or experience of good governance

Some roles will require specialists or specialist skills. Requirements for each role will be set out in its advertisement – whatever your interests, background and experience, there is an opportunity for you to get involved.

 Lynda Shillaw, previously non executive director of the Crown Estate

Lynda Shillaw, previously non executive director of the Crown Estate

“I have found being a non executive director incredibly rewarding, from learning from the broad experience for my fellow non executive directors, to the exposure to the diversity of the businesses and people that I am on the boards of. As I gained board experience I also became a member of the Audit and Treasury Committees, again broadening my learning and development as a board member.”

Recording whether or not you have a disability

In this video, Dr Tamsyn Barton, Chief Commissioner of the Independent Commission for Aid Impact, talks about why we ask you to share diversity information when you apply for a public appointment and why this is important, how to request reasonable adjustments when you apply, and what the government’s Disability Confident scheme is and what is means when you apply. This video has subtitles.

Ready to take the next step?