Board recruitment

The scale of environmental challenge is enormous with a real urgency to act. We have recently closed recruitment to join the Board of the Scottish Environment Protection Agency, to find people that can shape the future of Scotland’s EPA, helping us to reach our climate ambitions and emerge stronger from the challenges of the global pandemic and cyber-crime. 

Our Board make a difference for Scotland – our environment, our communities and our businesses – and lead a future focused and progressive organisation. 

We are committed to having a Board that represents the diversity of Scotland and our people, supporting inclusive growth and equality.  

Applications for the role 

Applications are now closed. Candidates will receive communication from Public Appointments Scotland. 

Scottish Ministers will make up to two appointments, with appointments starting from 1 January 2022.   


Being a SEPA Board member

What does it involve?

You will provide strategic leadership and support our staff as they deliver One Planet Prosperity and flooding services, being an agent of transformational change. As a member of the Board, you will provide support to the Chair and contribute effectively to the setting and monitoring of SEPA’s corporate strategy. You will be able to take a strategic view and contribute to collective leadership, provide appropriate support and challenge to senior staff and have the ability to identify and use evidence and analysis to make well-informed decisions.

What time commitment am I expected to give?

Members of the Board will be expected to commit to between a minimum of 24 days and a maximum of 30 days per year.

Do I need to have experience or knowledge about the environment or science?

SEPA is about more than science and is looking to create a diverse board with different experiences. We are very keen that we have the most capable and diverse pool of candidates to consider - people who can add real value from all walks of life to SEPA's work.

Are there any specific skills or qualifications required?

We are seeking candidates with strategic analytical capability and/or environmental performance. Candidates will also have to demonstrate: 

  • longer term planning/seeing the bigger picture 

  • communication and influencing 

  • constructive and supportive challenge 

  • analysis and decision making. 

A full applicant pack will be available from Monday 21 June on the Public Appointments website

Are Board members paid?

The appointments are remunerated at the rate of £270.90 per day. Travel and subsistence allowances are payable, as described in SEPA’s published scheme for such claims, as are child and carer costs. The appointments are not pensionable.

How long are appointments for?

Appointments are four years with the possibility of reappointment subject to evidence of effective performance and satisfying the skills and knowledge required at the time of reappointment and beyond. Any appointment and subsequent re-appointment will not extend beyond a maximum of eight years.

Application process

What is the application process?

Your application is very important as it is the key document which will determine whether or not you will proceed through the first assessment stage to final assessment stage and ultimately to appointment. You must, therefore, demonstrate clearly the evidence required at the first stage to show how you meet the published essential and desirable criteria. Please do not substitute a CV for the completed application form as this will not be considered on its own. This is to enable us to consider all applications on an equal and transparent basis.

Application form

There are three sections to the application form:

  • application form;
  • declaration;
  • monitoring form.

The application form seeks evidence about the priority skills required for the role and asks for the evidence to be presented as a tailored career history. You should provide clear and succinct evidence about how you have demonstrated the skills that are being sought during your career or from your personal experiences. If providing examples, you should choose the ones which best demonstrate to the selection panel what it is you did and what specifically about your approach affected the outcome. The selection panel will not make assumptions about your examples so it is important you take the time to ensure that the information you are providing in respect of your application fully demonstrates how you meet the required competencies. You may be asked to expand on your answers if you are shortlisted for the final assessment stage so it is a good idea to retain a copy of your application form.

The application form also has a declaration statement, and by virtue of submitting your form, you are declaring the information you have provided is true and complete.

The monitoring form is never seen by the selection panel and the information contained in it is not used to assess your suitability for appointment.

Conflict of interest and oher ministerial public appointments held

You are asked to complete the section in the application form which provides details of any other involvement in public life or potential conflicts of interest, which will be explored further with you at interview or checked as part of the final assessment.

Assessment will happen in two stages. 

  • Firstly the selection panel will assess your application. The applicants who most closely demonstrate the evidence requested will be invited to attend the final stage assessment. You will be advised of the outcome by email whether or not your application is progressing to the final assessment stage.
  • The final stage of assessment will include an interview with the selection panel as well as an additional exercise involving the analysis of a SEPA Board Paper. Full details will be given to those invited. Those invited to the final stage will also be subject to a social media review.

Who decides whether I am suitable for appointment?

The selection panel will comprise of:

  • Katriona Carmichael, Head of Environmental Quality Division, Scottish Government
  • Bob Downes, Chair of the Board, Scottish Environment Protection Agency
  • Jock Encombe, Director of the EC Partnership and former Chair of Mercy Corps Europe

Is there anything that could disqualify me from being appointed?

There is no bar on non-British nationals applying for and being appointed to the board of Non-Departmental Public Bodies.  However, you must be legally entitled to work in the UK.

Applicants will be ineligible to apply for this appointment if they have already served a total of eight years as a Member of the Board.

Applicants are also ineligible to apply if they are:

  • a member of the Scottish Parliament;
  • a member of the House of Commons;
  • a member of the European Parliament.

If you have previously held such office and wish to apply, one year must have elapsed from the day on which this office was last held.

What is the timetable for recruitment?

What happens When
Appointment publicised 25 September 2017
Closing date for completed applications 19 October 2017
Shortlisting meeting to select applicants for next stage 25 October 2017
Outcome of shortlisting meeting will be relayed to applicants 30 October 2017
Final assessment stage 13 and 14 November 2017
Date by which applicants will be informed of the Minister's decision 30 November 2017
Start date 1 January 2018


Who currently serves on SEPA’s Board?

You can find out about who currently serves on our Board on our Board members page.

Can I be a Board member if I am in full-time employment?

Yes. Some positions involve more time than others - from a day every month or two, to a few days every week. As such, some people manage to fit their duties around their full-time jobs (for example, within their holiday entitlement), while others have flexible working agreements with their employers. It is a good idea to discuss this with your employer as early as possible - even before you apply. Most employers are supportive in this case, as you will gain useful experience and skills if you are appointed, but it is best to check with your employer.

What is SEPA's approach to diversity and inclusion?

We are committed to diversity and equality, and value very highly the benefits of having different points of view and experiences on our Board. Accordingly, we hope to receive applications from a wide range of talented people irrespective of their religion or belief, sex, age, gender reassignment, disability, sexual orientation, race, political belief, relationship status or caring responsibilities.

We value very highly the benefits of having different experience and points of view on our Board. We would particularly welcome applications from people with protected characteristics that are currently under-represented, such as women, disabled people, LGBTI+ people, those from black and minority ethnic communities and people aged under 50.

If I have applied previously, can I apply again?

Yes, each application is treated as a fresh application and the selection panel membership changes. You cannot apply if you have already served eight years on the SEPA Board.

Where can I find out more about the SEPA Board and its work?

You can find out more about our Board on our Board webpages.

Where can I find out more about SEPA and its work?

Further information about our work and corporate priorities can be found in: