Public appointments: frequently asked questions

Answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs) on applying for a public appointment.

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How to apply

Each public appointment has its own application process. The supporting application pack will give full details of the role, skills required along with details on how to apply for the position. All vacancies are listed in the vacancies section of this website.

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Age limits

You must be at least 16 years of age. There is no prescribed maximum age limit.

Time commitment

Public appointments are normally part-time, requiring a commitment of between one to three days per month. For some public appointments a greater time commitment may be required. Board Chair positions usually require more time (up to two to three days a week). This time commitment takes into account attending Board meetings, committee meetings, preparation for meetings and attending stakeholder events when required.

Sitting on more than one board

Assuming there is no conflict of interest, it is possible to hold more than one public appointment. This may also depend if there are any restrictions attached to your employment or the public body to which you are applying.

Applying if you work full time

This is dependent both on your current job, if you have one, and the appointment for which you apply. Some positions may involve more time than others. Some people fit their Board duties around their full-time jobs (for example, within their holiday entitlement), or have agreed flexible working agreements with their employer. It is always advisable to check with your employer before considering making an application for a public appointment

I have never held a board role, is this a barrier?

No. We are looking for people who can contribute effectively to the Board. The skills you bring may have been developed in quite different contexts such as voluntary work.

How long public appointments last

Terms of appointment vary from role to role and are usually between one and five years. A non-executive member’s total period of appointment will not exceed eight years.


All newly appointed board members are invited to attend a Board Induction Day. Each board will also provide its own specific induction and training sessions. Board members also have access to the governance portal which is an online induction resource developed by the public bodies unit for Board members.

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