Musselburgh, East Lothian Council
Job description

Job Title:                      Chair of the Board of Trustees

Remuneration:                        The role of Chair is not accompanied by any financial remuneration, although expenses for travel may be claimed

Location:                                 Musselburgh, East Lothian & Remote

Time commitment:                  4-5 Board meetings per year. The Chair is also expected to have regular meetings with the Chief Officer and represent the Charity at various events and meetings with key stakeholders.

Reporting to                        Board of Trustees


Job Description


The Chair will hold the Board and the Bureau Management Team to account for the Charity’s mission and vision, providing inclusive leadership to the Board of Trustees, ensuring that each Trustee fulfils their duties and responsibilities for the effective governance of the charity. The Chair will also support, and, where appropriate, challenge the Chief Officer and ensure that the Board functions as a unit and works closely with the entire management of the charity to achieve agreed objectives. He or she will act as an ambassador and the public face of the charity in partnership with the Chief Officer.

Principal responsibilities

Strategic leadership

  • Provide leadership to the charity and its Board, ensuring that the Charity has maximum impact for its beneficiaries
  • Ensure that Trustees fulfil their duties and responsibilities for the effective governance of the Charity
  • Ensure that the Board operates within its charitable objectives, and provides a clear strategic direction for the Charity
  • Ensure that the Board is able to regularly review major risks and associated opportunities, and satisfy itself that systems are in place to take advantage of opportunities, and manage and mitigate the risks
  • Ensure that the Board fulfils its duties to ensure sound financial health of the Charity, with systems in place to ensure financial accountability


  • Ensure that the governance arrangements are working in the most effective way for the Charity
  • Develop the knowledge and capability of the Board of Trustees
  • Encourage positive change where appropriate. Address and resolve any conflicts within the Board or the Charity when required
  • Work within any agreed policies adopted by the Charity

External Relations

  • Act as an ambassador for the cause and the Charity
  • Maintain close relationships with key influences
  • Act as a spokesperson for the organisation when appropriate
  • Represent the Charity at external functions, meetings and events
  • Facilitate change and address any potential conflict with external stakeholders

Efficiency and effectiveness

  • Chair meetings of the Board of Trustees effectively and efficiently, bringing impartiality and objectivity to the decision-making process
  • Ensure that Trustees are fully engaged and that decisions are taken in the best, long-term interests of the Charity and that the Board takes collective ownership
  • Foster, maintain and ensure that constructive relationships exist with and between the Trustees
  • Work closely with the Chief Officer to give direction to Board policymaking and to ensure that meetings are well planned, meaningful and reflect the responsibilities of trustees
  • Monitor that decisions taken at meetings are implemented.

Relationship with the Chief Officer and the wider management team

  • Establish and build a strong, effective and a constructive working relationship with the Chief Officer, ensuring s/he is held to account for achieving agreed strategic objectives
  • Support the Chief Officer, whilst respecting the boundaries which exist between the two roles
  • Ensure regular contact with the Chief Officer and develop and maintain an open and supportive relationship within which each can speak openly about concerns, worries and challenges
  • Liaise with the Chief Officer to maintain an overview of the Charity’s affairs, providing      support as necessary
  • Conduct regular appraisal and remuneration review for the Chief Officer in consultation with other Trustees
  • Ensure that the Chief Officer has the opportunity for professional development and has appropriate external professional support

Additional information

The Vice-Chair acts for the Chair when the Chair is not available and undertakes assignments at the request of the Chair.

The above list is indicative only and not exhaustive. The Chair will be expected to perform all such additional duties as are reasonably commensurate with the role.


Person Specification

In addition to the qualities required of a Trustee of the charity, the Chair must also meet the following requirements:

Personal Qualities

  • Demonstrate a strong and visible passion and commitment to the Charity, its strategic objectives and cause
  • Personal gravitas to lead a significant national organisation
  • Exhibit strong inter-personal and relationship building abilities and be comfortable in an ambassadorial role
  • Demonstrate tact and diplomacy, with the ability to listen and engage effectively
  • Strong networking capabilities that can be utilised for the benefit of the Charity
  • Ability to foster and promote a collaborative team environment
  • Ability to commit time to conduct the role well, including travel and attending events out of office hours


  • Experience of operating at a senior strategic leadership level within an organisation
  • Successful track record of achievement through their career
  • Experience of external representation, delivering presentations and managing stakeholders
  • Significant experience of chairing meetings and events

Knowledge and skills

  • Broad knowledge and understanding of the third sector and current issues affecting it
  • Strong leadership skills, ability to motivate staff and volunteers and bring people together
  • Financial management expertise and a broad understanding of charity finance issues
  • Good understanding of charity governance issues
Additional documents
Details on the Role and Application Process (.docx)
Job Description (.doc)
Check commute
Starting Address
Mode of transport
Posted on: 25 September 2020
Closing date: 24 December 2020
Tags: Management, Trustees
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