Non-Executive Director, Royal Navy

The Royal Navy is seeking to recruit one Non-Executive Director to bring an independent perspective and valuable skills to strategy formulation, risk management and decision making to the Navy Board.

The Defence Purpose is to protect the people of the United Kingdom, prevent conflict, and be ready to fight our enemies:

• To Mobilise to make the most of existing capabilities;
• Modernise to embrace new technologies to assure our competitive position;
• Transform to radically improve the way Defence does business.

In support of the Defence Purpose, the First Sea Lord’s (1SL) ambition is to develop the Royal Navy (RN) to be a world class, global Navy, with inspired and inspiring people, working as one team to be highly efficient, innovative, productive, to play our part for the people of the United Kingdom, protecting them, preventing conflict and ready to fight our enemies whenever and wherever needed.

At its simplest, the RN – in partnership with the Ministry of Defence (MOD) – will Mobilise, Modernise and Transform to deliver programmes over the next 10 years which will:

• Invest in the North Atlantic to maintain freedom of manoeuvre;
• Become a Carrier Task Group Navy;
• Establish and Future Commando Force;
• Establish increased Forward Presence;
• Embrace Technology and Innovation.

  • Background
    The Navy Board is the body responsible for running the Royal Navy, assisting the First Sea Lord in discharging his responsibilities as Head of Service and RN Top Level Budget Holder. Principal among these is to ensure that the Navy is fit to fight and can deliver the military capability required to defend the UK and its interests. Further information on the RN and its structure can be obtained by visiting the website at

    As a RN Non-Executive Director, you will contribute to the strategic direction of the RN at the highest levels. You will assist 1SL in discharging his responsibilities for the delivery against the RN Command Plan, reviewing Navy Executive committee progress and achievements against Naval Service Outputs. You will bring with you valuable skills, as well as objectivity and an independent perspective – not compromised by close previous involvement in the MOD. Primarily your role is to provide an effective “challenge” function in the conduct of Board business. You will constructively challenge and scrutinise the performance of the executive in meeting agreed goals and objectives. You will have the skills and experience to broaden the horizons within which the RN determines strategy. By applying the benefits of your wider general experience in influential positions, you will add value to Board discussions and ensure rigour in decision making. You will seek continually to develop and refresh your knowledge, skills and understanding of the RN to ensure that your contributions remain informed and relevant.
  • Conflicts of Interest
    The RN actively encourages and welcomes applications from people across all sectors of our communities and from all backgrounds. Applicants must disclose information on personal connections, which if they were appointed, could lead to a conflict of interest or be perceived as such. It is very important that all applicants provide appropriate details in their supporting letter of any interests which might be construed as conflicting with the appointment. If it appears, from the information provided, that a possible conflict might exists, or arise in the future, this will be fully explored with the applicant with a view to establishing whether it is sufficiently significant to prevent the individual from carrying out the duties of the post. The appointment panel will do this at interview stage.
  • Person Specification

    With this appointment the specific focus will be on the following skills, knowledge and experience. Candidates must be able to demonstrate the following essential criteria:

    Essential criteria

    • The ability to lead significant (in value, impact or reputational terms) change programmes;
    • A wide knowledge of commercial and financial business practice and management; and an ability to grasp how these issues affect the Board and the RN/Defence’s accountability to Parliament;
    • The ability to provide an independent view and effective challenge to the Board – raising issues which merit further investigation – and helping to ensure the Board operates with an awareness of wider business standards;
    • Proven experience of dealing with issues involving the strategic direction of organisations;
    • An understanding of diversity issues, and the challenges in securing a balanced and representative workforce; 
    • Be capable of widening horizons within which the Board determines strategy and drive performance.

    Desirable criteria

    In addition to the role specification and essential criteria, the following personal attributes are desired:

    • Proven experience at a senior level, ideally with a FTSE 350 company or equivalent (including top tier advisory firms);
    • Independence of mind;
    • Sound judgement;
    • An ability to listen sensitively to the views of others, inside and outside the Board and gain the trust and respect of other Board members;
    • Sufficient strength of character to seek and obtain full and satisfactory answers within the environment of the Board; 
    • Experience and understanding of how Technology and Innovation can be used to drive forward large change programmes.

    In addition, the successful candidate will be expected to uphold:

    The 7 principles of public life (;
    Code of Conduct for Board members of public bodies (

    The Ministry of Defence operates a Guaranteed Interview Scheme (GIS) for disabled people. The Equality Act 2010 defines a person as disabled if they have a physical or mental impairment and the impairment has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on their ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities. Under the GIS a disabled candidate will be selected for interview if they meet the minimum criteria for the role decided by the appointing panel at sift. To ensure fairness, the panel will not be informed of who has applied under the GIS until they have set the minimum criteria at the start of the sift meeting.  If you wish to be considered under the scheme, please indicate when you apply.

    These posts are classed as “Reserved”, and as such are only open to British Nationals. If successful, you will also be expected to undergo MOD security vetting prior to appointment.

  • Additional Information, Remuneration and Time Requirements

    The initial appointment length will be 3 years, with the potential to extend for a further 3-year period if both parties agree, and subject to a satisfactory performance appraisal. You should note that this is a public appointment and not an offer of employment. Such appointments are not normally subject to the provisions of employment law.

    The MOD is committed to providing equal opportunities for all, irrespective of race, age, disability, gender, marital status, religion, sexual orientation, transgender and working patterns. It is also committed to the principles of public appointments on merit, with independent assessments, openness and transparency of process. You are therefore invited to submit your CV with a covering letter detailing your evidence and experience against the person specification above on which selection will be based.

    Remuneration is £15,000 per annum maximum. In addition, actual travel and subsistence expenses incurred on official business will be reimbursed in line with Ministry of Defence rules and guidance.

    The core commitment will involve an estimated time commitment of up to 14 days per year, including preparation and attendance at Navy Board meetings which are principally held in MOD Main Building, London and Navy Command in Portsmouth. You will be expected to maintain and continue to develop your familiarisation with the business, aims and objectives of the Royal Navy via an appropriate visit programme in the UK and office calls to senior Navy Command and civilian personnel in MOD Main Building, London and Navy Command Headquarters at Whale Island, Portsmouth.

  • Application Process

    Please submit the following:

    • A copy of your CV;
    • A suitability statement (of no more than two A4 pages each);
    • Diversity Monitoring Form (downloadable below).

    Please send documentation to: [email protected] 

    If you would like to discuss the role/and or recruitment process, please contact Emma Clarke, Board Secretary to the Navy Board on 0207 218 7875 or by e-mail: [email protected]

    • This post is NOT regulated by The Commissioner for Public Appointments. 
    • The deadline for applications is Midnight, Sunday 1 December 2019
    • The panel sift will take place w/c Monday 9 December 2019.
    • Panel interviews will be held on Wednesday 18 December 2019 in London. 
    Diversity Monitoring Form.docx Royal Navy Non-Executive Director WIG Recruitment Pack November 2019.pdf