Chief Executive Officer recruitment process

The Council of Governors approve the appointment of our Chief Executive. This is a rule of the NHS Act 2006 and the Trust constitution.

To ensure this happens we follow a procedure that sets out the approach for involving Governors. The procedure also gives the approach for Non-Executive Directors to make the appointment.

Involvement of the Council of Governors in the appointment of the Chief Executive for the Trust

Selection process

Under the NHS Act 2006 it is for the Non-Executive Directors (NEDs) to appoint (or remove) the Chief Executive (CEO)

The NED’s, Trust Chair and Human Resources develop a process and timetable for appointing a new CEO.

The Council informs and updates the process for appointing a new CEO as part of its normal schedule of meetings. This includes Council of Governor meetings and at the Council’s Nominations and Conduct Committee meetings.

Person specification interviews, testing and stakeholder panels

The Trust contacts staff, service users, carers and other stakeholders. This is to gain their views about the qualities, values and characteristics of a successful CEO. The Trust will also ask what they regard as the main challenges the successful candidate and the Trust will face. Key themes from this feedback feed into the person specification. This in turn will help shape the stakeholder panel topic and questions at interview. 

The recruitment process includes: 

  • A first stage interview to arrive at a shortlist of candidates
  • Stakeholder groups to focus on a specific element(s) of the person specification
  • Psychometric and other agreed testing 
  • A formal interview.

We present feedback after formal interview from each element. We give this to the final interview panel to enable an informed and evidenced decision. We keep notes for the reasons for the decision. 

The interview panel will consist of Non-Executive Directors and the Trust Chair. They are responsible for making the appointment decision. The panel also includes: 

  • The Lead Governor
  • An expert by experience
  • An ICS representative 
  • A representative for NHS England/Improvement.

These panel members are participating advisors to the non-executive and chair Board members.

The stakeholder panels include representatives from:

  • Staff
  • Experts by experience
  • Carers
  • Governors
  • External stakeholders. 

We schedule these panels one week before the interviews to allow the collation of feedback.


The Chair will present the recommended Candidate to a specific all NEDs meeting for their agreement.

The recommended candidate will complete a Fit and Proper Persons Test. The Nominations and Conduct Committee then discusses the process outcome. This is then placed before the full Council for approval. 

This approval is on the basis of the robust process informed by the Council. An explanation of adherence to that process along with a summary of the background of the recommended candidate is then given to the Council. 

A formal letter of appointment is then sent to the successful candidate following Council approval.

Appointment of the successful candidate

A discussion is then held at the Renumeration and Culture Committee. This covers the outcome of the interview (including feedback from stakeholder groups). The appointment of the new CEO is then approved, to required Human Resources due diligence and Fit and Proper Persons Test checks.

A presentation is then given at a general meeting of the Council. This covers an overview of the process and the name of the successful candidate appointed by the Renumeration Committee.
The Lead Governor and wider Nominations and Conduct Committee (who will hold a meeting in advance of the Council of Governors meeting) then provide assurance that the process followed has been rigorous and fair. Based on this overview and assurance, the Council are then asked to approve the appointment of the CEO.

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