You should declare anything in either your professional or personal history which may affect your eligibility for appointment, cause embarrassment or bring the organisation into disrepute, should you be appointed.

Residency: Preference will usually be given to candidates who live in, or have strong connections with the area served by the trust. We may sometimes accept applications from those with the appropriate experience living in the surrounding areas. You should always check the person specification specific to the vacancy. 

Conflicts of interest: You should note the requirement to declare any business or personal interests that might be relevant to the work of the trust for which you have applied and which could lead to a real or perceived conflict of interests.  

The ‘fit and proper persons’ requirement plays a major part in ensuring that the people who have director-level responsibility for the quality and safety of care and for meeting the fundamental standards are suitable to carry out these important roles. Under the regulations, NHS providers must be able to provide evidence that appropriate systems and processes are in place to ensure that all new directors and existing directors are, and continue to be, fit for purpose and that no appointments meet any of the ‘unfitness’ criteria set out in the regulations. Further information about our approach, including the checks we will undertake to ensure that the chairs and non-executives we appoint meet these requirements is also available on our website.

Disqualification for appointment

Not everybody is eligible: the following people are disqualified from appointment as chairs or non-executive directors:

  • employees of NHS trust with the vacancy 
  • serving MPs: including MEPs and candidates for election as MP or MEP
  • chairs and members of the governing bodies of clinical commissioning groups, or employees of such groups
  • people who have received a prison sentence or suspended sentence of three months or more in the last five years
  • people who are the subject of a bankruptcy restriction order or interim order
  • anyone who has been dismissed (except by redundancy) by any NHS body
  • in certain circumstances, those who have had an earlier term of appointment terminated
  • anyone who is under a disqualification order under the Company Directors Disqualification Act 1986
  • anyone who has been removed from trusteeship of a charity.

In most circumstances, we would not appoint civil servants in the Department of Health or members/employees of the Care Quality Commission to these roles. 

All the disqualifications above apply to both chair and non-executive director posts. For chair roles the following additional criteria apply:

  • people who perform or provide primary dental services, primary medical services or primary ophthalmic services under the National Health Service Act 2006
  • people who are partners or are in a partnership, or are legal and beneficial owners of shares in a company, or a director of a body corporate, that provides primary dental services, primary medical services or primary ophthalmic services
  • employees of any of the above.

Terms and conditions of NHS trust chair and non-executive director appointments

These posts are public appointments and not jobs, and are therefore not subject to the provisions of employment law.

Period of appointment: New appointments will usually be made for an initial period of between two to four years, after which individuals may be considered for further terms of office, subject to the needs of the organisation and a good performance.

Time commitment: These are part-time roles with considerable flexibility for how individuals decide to spend their time, including some evening engagements and preparation time away from the trust. We estimate that as a minimum these roles require the equivalent to:

  • three days a week for chairs
  • two to three days a month for non-executive directors. 

Standards in public life: You will be expected to demonstrate high standards of corporate and personal conduct. The seven principles of public life apply to anyone who works as a public office-holder:  

  • selflessness
  • integrity
  • objectivity
  • accountability
  • openness
  • honesty
  • leadership

Public service values are at the heart of the NHS and chairs and non-executives are expected to subscribe, understand and commit to the personal behaviours, values, technical competence and business practices outlined in the standards for members of NHS boards and clinical commissioning group governing bodies in England produced by the Professional Standards Authority.

The NHS Leadership Model describes nine behaviours that together are characteristic of strong and effective NHS leaders. Chairs and non-executive directors will need to demonstrate this range of behaviours and the highest standards of conduct required to contribute effectively in this board level role.  

Declarations of Interests

We have an obligation under the Code of Conduct and Accountability for NHS boards to compile and maintain a register of interests of directors, which might influence their role. The register is available to the public, in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act.

View the Deceleration of Interests