Aug 052020

3 Senior Board posts - Environmental Standards Scotland

Reference: 2781
Remuneration: £300 per day for Chair, £200 per day for Members
Location: Central Belt - some meetings will be held virtually
Closing date: 07 September 2020 at midnight

Scottish Ministers are looking to appoint the first Chair and Members to the Board of Environmental Standards Scotland.

Environmental Standards Scotland

Environmental Standards Scotland will be a new, independent public body established to help uphold Scotland’s high environmental standards.

It is being created in direct response to EU Exit.  At the end of the transition period, the European Commission will no longer have a role in scrutinising public authorities’ environmental performance and compliance with environmental law, including that of the Scottish Government and regulators. Environmental Standards Scotland will fill this governance gap and ensure our high standards of environmental governance are maintained.  It will be responsible for making sure that public authorities in Scotland correctly apply environmental law, and that environmental law in Scotland is effective in protecting nature and our wellbeing.

Environmental Standards Scotland will form an integral part of Scotland’s strategic approach to environmental policy, following EU Exit.  It will be established through legislation, introduced to the Scottish Parliament in June 2020: The UK Withdrawal from the European Union (Continuity) (Scotland) Bill.

The Board

Environmental Standards Scotland will be established, initially, on a non-statutory basis from January 2021.  It will transition to a statutory, independent body over the course of 2021.

The Board will initially comprise of the Chair and two other members.  Once Environmental Standards Scotland becomes established as a statutory organisation, further board appointments are expected.

Members of the Board of Environmental Standards Scotland will shape how the Board performs its role, including by exercising judgement on what information to monitor; selecting environmental concerns for initial review and for detailed investigation; resolving these through agreement with public authorities, where possible; and, highlighting any significant issues to Ministers.

Once the organisation is established on a statutory basis, the Board will be responsible for the development of the organisation’s strategy to set out how it will exercise its functions and powers including appropriate use of its enforcement powers.

The Board will function as the organisation’s governing board, leading it and making decisions about its direction and allocation of resources; priorities for gathering information and monitoring; commissioning research; and operating practices.  It will be supported by an executive team which will include a chief executive; secretariat and investigative resources.  It will also have access to independent advice.

Chair’s role and responsibilities

The Chair will be the first leader of Environmental Standards Scotland and will play the key role in establishing and shaping the organisation and setting the tone of its future relationship with the Scottish Parliament, public institutions and the people of Scotland. The Chair will provide leadership and help the development of how Environmental Standards Scotland operates and transitions from a non-statutory to a statutory body.  It will be an exciting and challenging role. It requires strong strategic leadership skills and ambassadorial qualities including the ability to develop positive relationships and influence at very senior levels. It is likely that you will already have a reputation for leading the set-up of a new organisation or board, with a strong understanding of corporate governance needs and a track record of leading strategic investigations.

The person specification, outlining the essential and desirable criteria, can be found in the Chair application pack in the Additional Information section below.

Members’ role and responsibilities

Members will play a key role in shaping the approach that Environmental Standards Scotland takes to its monitoring, investigation, research and enforcement roles. They will have a unique opportunity to influence the future direction of environmental governance in Scotland. Members will bring their knowledge of environmental law or policy and their abilities to evaluate complex sources of information and deliver sound judgements to the core work of Environmental Standards Scotland. These roles require strong analysis and influencing skills. It is likely that you will already have a reputation for your capacity to take a holistic view of strategic environmental issues, based on a strong evidence base, and effectively promote your views to others.

The person specification, outlining the essential and desirable criteria, can be found in the Member application pack in the Additional Information section below.


Eligibility criteria are set out in the application packs.

Time commitment

In initial months, the Chair may spend up to 8-10 days a month on Environmental Standards Scotland business. As the organisation becomes established, this is expected to reduce to up to 4 days per month.

Members are expected to devote about 2 days per month to Environmental Standards Scotland business although, in the early stages, more time may be required.

It is expected that the Board will convene for the first time in late November or early December 2020.

Length of term

Appointments are expected to last between two and four years, with the possibility of extension. The term of initial appointments will be discussed with successful candidates, taking into account personal preferences and the needs of the Board.  The combined length of terms cannot exceed eight years.

Both appointments and reappointments to Environmental Standards Scotland are subject to Parliamentary approval.

How to apply

To apply, please send:

  1. A letter, of not more than 1000 words, providing evidence to demonstrate how you meet the essential criteria and skill requirements for the role, as described in the Application Packs.
  2. A  CV (not longer than two sides of A4), detailing roles and experience relevant to this appointment
  3. A completed application form with your personal details, declaration, three referees and interview date preferences.
  4. A completed equalities monitoring form. All information will be treated in the strictest confidence, in line with the principles GDPR Articles 6(1) (c) and (e), which are the lawful bases for processing, and GDPR Article 9 (2) (b) so we can comply with a legal obligation which is the condition for processing.

You must demonstrate clearly the evidence required to show how you meet the essential criteria, as the content of the letter and your CV will be the evidence that determines whether or not you are shortlisted for the interview stage.

Further information is provided in the relevant application pack.

To complete your application, all four documents (Letter of application; CV; application form, and Equalities Monitoring form) should be submitted to: [email protected].

The closing date is 7 September 2020.


Accessibility to public appointments is a fundamental requirement and the public appointments process promotes, demonstrates and upholds equality of opportunity for all applicants. The Scottish Government will always give consideration to disability-related reasonable adjustments that an applicant might request to enable them to demonstrate their merit and participate fully in the selection process. If you require any of the application pack documentation in an alternative format, please contact Freephone 0300 244 1898 or [email protected].

Scottish Ministers appoint on merit and are committed to diversity and equality, and, value very highly the benefits of having different points of view and experiences on our Boards.  Accordingly, we hope to receive applications from a wide range of talented people irrespective of their religion or belief, gender, age, gender identity, disability, sexual orientation, ethnic origin, political belief, relationship status or caring responsibilities. The Scottish Ministers particularly welcome applications from groups currently underrepresented on the Boards of Scotland’s public bodies, such as women, disabled people, ethnic minorities and people aged under 50.

Additional information

All applications will be acknowledged on receipt

It is expected that all interviews will be held virtually, using a suitable technology platform.

Application Information

Please note that this is not a regulated public appointment, therefore the Public Appointments Team are unable to answer any queries in relation to this vacancy*, please contact [email protected]

* If you require any of the application pack documentation in an alternative format, please contact Freephone 0300 244 1898 or [email protected]

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