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This appointment is closed and is displayed for reference only. 


Remuneration:£348.87 per day 

Location:Glasgow but hearings are also likely to be held in other parts of Scotland.  

Closing date:28 January 2019 at midnight 

The National Confidential Forum (NCF) started hearings in February 2015.  The Forum gives people who were placed in residential care or health service as children the opportunity to share their experiences through a confidential, supportive and non-judgmental process.  The Forum aims to improve the health and wellbeing of people placed in institutional care as children, by offering acknowledgement of their experiences, including experiences of abuse and neglect, including sexual abuse.  The main objectives of the Forum are:

  • to receive and listen to testimony from those who were in care as children with the aim of contributing positively to their current health and wellbeing;

  • to prevent harm to children and young people currently in care by learning lessons from the past;

  • to record the experiences of those who were in care as children – to enhance public knowledge and understanding of an important part of Scotland’s history;

  • to signpost other appropriate services to those who were in care as children – before, during, and after hearings.

The Forum is a key part of the Scottish Government’s overall package of support for survivors and is set up as a committee of the Mental Welfare Commission (Commission).  The Commission has expertise and capacity to support the strategic development of the Forum.  The Commission is not involved in the hearings.  This ensures the Forum is operationally independent.  Hearings of the Forum involve at least two members, are held in private and participants are entitled to be accompanied by one or two companions of their choice; travel and accommodation will be paid for participants and supporters. 

The Role

The Head will have operational responsibility for the work of the Forum) and will be answerable to the Board of the Mental Welfare Commission (Commission) for the effective and efficient running of the Forum and will report to the Chair of the Commission.  The Commission’s principal role, exercised through the Board, is to provide strategic oversight and direction for the Forum.  The Head develops and implements the strategic vision, subject to the requirements of the Victims and Witnesses (Scotland) Act 2014, to the Memorandum of Understanding between the Commission and the Scottish Government concerning the Forum.  The business and financial management arrangements of the Commission will apply to the Forum.

The Head will also

  • ensure the Forum delivers its statutory commitments to identify themes and contribute towards a national record based on what has been heard at the Hearings;

  • lead and manage the team of Forum members and staff through a period of transformational change;

  • ensure that the Forum hears and acknowledges the experience of people who grew up in care, in a trusted, compassionate and professional environment;

  • have overarching responsibility for the operations of the Forum, placing those with lived experience at the core, and overseeing financial management and corporate governance effectively;

  • represent the Forum publicly, fostering organisational trust and overseeing the communication and engagement strategy;

  • oversee an embedded research approach that ensures the Forum is able to identify patterns and trends in relation to institutional child care provision through an evidence based approach and make recommendations for future improvements.


Those applying for the role must demonstrate clear commitment to listen and acknowledge the experiences of people who have come through the care system in Scotland, with compassion and empathy.  They must also demonstrate the following skills in:

  • communication and engagement;

  • leading and managing people;

  • leading the organisation;

  • analysis.

The Scottish Ministers particularly welcome applications from groups currently under-represented on Scotland’s public bodies, such as women, disabled people, those from minority ethnic communities, and people aged under 50. Please do complete our monitoring form when you apply as this helps us to ensure that the appointments process is accessible to everyone.

Appointment Details

A daily rate of £348.87 (non-pensionable) is payable and you will be expected to devote 3-4 days per week, subject to Forum workload.  This commitment will be subject to the demands of the organisation and so could increase or decrease month by month.  The appointment will be for two years with the possibility of reappointment.  The Head of the Forum will be based in the Glasgow office with hearings held in Glasgow and across the UK.

Further information

If you would like to find out more about the role, you are welcome to contact Dr Rachel Happer, current Head of the National Confidential Forum, on 0141 352 2333, or by email to

An application pack and full details on this and other public appointments can be found at the public appointments website  If you experience any difficulties accessing our website, please contact Scottish Government Public Appointments, on Freephone 0300 244 1898 by email at

Closing date for completed applications is 28 January 2019.

Scottish Ministers particularly welcome applications from groups currently under-represented on Scotland’s public bodies, such as women, disabled people, those from minority ethnic communities, and people aged under 50.  The public appointments process promotes, demonstrates and upholds equality of opportunity for all applicants.

Accessibility to public appointments is a fundamental requirement and the public appointments process promotes, demonstrates and upholds equality of opportunity and treatment to all applicants.  The Scottish Government will always give consideration to disability-related reasonable adjustments that an applicant might request to enable them to meet the person specification and participate fully in the selection process.  

Appointed on merit; committed to diversity and equality

Application Information

Please apply online.  If you experience any difficulties accessing our website, or in the event that you require a word version of the application form, please contact the Public Appointments Team on (Freephone) 0300 244 1898, by email at, or by writing to the Public Appointments Team, Scottish Government, Area 3F North, Victoria Quay, Edinburgh EH6 6QQ.

Additional Information

  1. Applicant Information Pack
  2. FAQs