Vacancies: DEFRA Departmental Board – Non-Executive Board Members

The Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA) are seeking 3 Non-Executive Board Members (NEBMs).

DEFRA is responsible for improving and protecting the environment. They aim to grow a green economy and sustain thriving rural communities and also support the UK’s world-leading food, farming and fishing industries. The role of a NEBM is an exciting opportunity to be part of this.

Closing date: Midday on 13 March 2023.

The NEBMs are members of the departmental Board on appointment. Departmental boards are advisory bodies that support and challenge ministers and Accounting Officers. Policy will be decided by ministers alone, on the advice of officials.

Non-executives bring external experience and expertise to the decisions and processes of the Defra Board by providing collective strategic leadership to the department. Exercising their role through influence, scrutiny, challenge and advice, they act as a trusted sounding board to the Secretary of State and Permanent Secretary, as appropriate, on any specific agreed specialist areas and other matters more generally.

DEFRA Departmental Board vacancies

Role Description


  • Reviewing business plans and challenging progress; 
  • Scrutinising and challenging departmental performance reporting;
  • Providing advice on issues within their remit;
  • Supporting, scrutinising and challenging departmental projects and how they are prioritised and aligned with ministerial ambition and providing advice to the executive team on delivery;
  • Support the department to deliver its plan by providing independent scrutiny, support and assurance;
  • Providing strong and constructive challenge and supporting the executive team to ensure that they deliver the approved strategy and discharge their leadership responsibilities;
  • Advising on the operational/delivery implications of policy proposals and undertaking deep-dives into potential risks and mitigations, to inform the department’s decision-making process;
  • Advising and supporting ministers and senior officials in influencing cross-government initiatives and policies;
  • Participating in the Board’s annual effectiveness review and ensuring the Board acts on recommendations and builds its own capability;
  • Participating in the recruitment of senior appointments for the department and succession planning, in line with the principles set out by the Civil Service Commission;
  • Attend a minimum of four departmental Board meetings per year, and contribute effectively to its sub-committees, as required;
  • Building and maintaining effective working relationships with a broad range of networks and stakeholders;
  • Attending occasional government-wide meetings for non-executives to share best practice.

For full information and to apply, please visit the GOV.UK website.