What are Public Appointments?

Public Appointments are typically Ministerial appointments of non-executive Chairs and Board members to the Public Bodies, sometimes known as Arm’s Length Bodies (ALB), sponsored by the Department for Transport (DfT). These bodies play a vital role in delivering public services.

Non-Executive appointees to the boards of DfT’s ALBs play a crucial role in providing leadership, direction, and challenge – this includes setting the organisation’s strategy, holding senior staff to account – this includes holding managers to account, representing the work and views of the body – this might be to ministers, parliamentarians, key stakeholders. 

What we look for in Public Appointees 

Non-Executive Director or Chair roles on one of the DfT’s ALBs require a range of skills depending on the role for example leadership, strategic thinking, governance, financial, communications and for some roles technical knowledge.  

We want to ensure the leadership of our public bodies reflects the communities that they represent.  We are keen to encourage applications from across the UK, from minority ethnic candidates, female candidates, candidates with a disability and candidates with other protected characteristics. 

How to Become a Non-Executive Director

As with all public appointments, our vacancies are advertised on the HM Government Public Appointments Website. Depending on the role the process can vary and take time.

  • Application

    You will usually be required to submit a CV along with a supporting statement, or a similar process, detailing how you meet the advertised criteria.

    At this stage, you will also be asked to complete a form detailing any potential conflict of interest you might have because of other roles and how you propose to manage them.

  • Shortlist

    You will receive an acknowledgement of your application. A selection panel will assess your application against the published criteria and then make a recommendation to ministers.

    The selection panels, generally consist of:

    The Chair of the body, a Senior Civil Servant from DfT
    An Independent Panel Member
    Panel make-up varies depending on the role, e.g., Chair roles will often include an additional independent person and may include a Senior Independent Panel Member)

    Once Ministers make their decision, shortlisted candidates will be invited to interview and those not shortlisted will be informed of the outcome.

  • Due Diligence

    Due diligence is an important part of the public appointments process. The DfT Public Appointments Team performs due diligence checks on candidates, beginning with those who are shortlisted and continuing through the process until an appointment is made.  Despite acting independently, public bodies are still representative of HM Government.

    This means that in order to uphold the reputation of the Public Body, the Department for Transport and HM Government, all appointees must abide by the Code of Conduct for Board Members of Public Bodies and the Seven Principles of Public Life

  • Interview

    You will be invited to attend an interview with the selection panel in order to have a more in-depth discussion of your previous experience and professional competence in relation to the advertised criteria.  The selection panel will then make a recommendation to ministers with all the appointable candidates.

    Ministers will then reach a decision on who they wish to appoint.  Minister may request a meeting with each of the appointable candidates to help inform their final decision. Some appointments require the Prime Minister’s approval and will be sent to officials at No.10 at this stage.

  • Outcome

    All candidates will be notified as soon as possible after the Ministers have made their decision, regardless of the outcome. Feedback is available on request.

Hear from the NEDs

Ready to Apply? View Current DfT Public Appointment Vacancies

To find the latest DfT Public Appointment positions, simply follow the link below and adjust your ‘Sponsor Department’ preference to Department for Transport


Type: Announcement

Body: Crossrail International Board

Transport Secretary, Mark Harper has appointed Jon Loveday as new Shareholder Director to the Crossrail International (CI) Board – effective the 1 March 2024. This will strengthen CI’s leadership and expertise to successfully deliver HM Government’s strategic objectives of increasing exports and boosting the reputation of UK businesses worldwide.

To read the full announcement, please visit:

Type: Appointment announcement

Body: DVLA

DVLA has announced the appointment of David Jones as its non-executive Chair. David will take up his post at the end of January 2024 when Lesley Cowley OBE, the current DVLA Chair, steps down following nine successful years as DVLA Chair.

To read the full announcement, please visit:

Diversity and Inclusion

Public appointments are for everyone.

As part of the Department for Transport’s commitment to diversity, we believe that our public appointments should reflect our customers – the travelling public – who come from all walks of life and have different experiences and backgrounds.

We very much welcome fresh talent, expertise, and perspectives, to help us better understand the needs of the communities and diverse society that we serve and to support better decision-making for all. This includes people who may have never applied for a public appointment before – but could bring a diversity of thought, new ideas, insights, and energy. 

We want to ensure that people are at the heart of our policies and that everyone flourishes in public service. If you are interested in applying for one of our public appointments, we would love to hear from you.

Independent Panel Members

DfT is always looking to expand our Independent Panel Member pool to increase the diversity of panel members for Public Appointments. Watch the video below to get an idea of the skills required to be an IPM.

If you have experience of sitting on an interview panel or similar, please send us some details of your experience in this field initially, along with your CV to the following email address: [email protected].

If you are selected to remain on our list, please can you also confirm your consent for us to hold your details (name, email address and CV) on file. You also have the right to request at any time for your personal data to be deleted from our records. You will be contacted once a year for any update or if you wish to continue for DfT Public Appointments to retain your details on file.

We will be in contact when a campaign where your skills and experience are suitable.

DfT’s Public Bodies

A public body is generally thought of as an organisation that delivers a public service, is not a government department and operates to a greater or lesser extent at arm’s length from Ministers.  

DfT ministers make appointments to 24 public bodies, with all the vacancies advertised on the HM Government Public Appointments Website. Appointments are subject to a fair, open and transparent recruitment process that is overseen and scrutinised by the independent Office for the Commissioner for Public Appointments (Commissioner for Public Appointments), where regulated. 

The role of the Commissioner, as set out in legislation, is to monitor how appointments are made, make sure these comply with the Governance Code for Public Appointments and investigate complaints or issues where these arise.

Our bodies

The Department for Transport works with 24 different agencies and public bodies.

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