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This appointment is closed and is displayed for reference only. 


Remuneration:£317.22 per day 


Closing date:11 January 2021 at midnight 

Scottish Ministers are looking to make up to six appointments to the Board of NatureScot from 1 April 2021.  NatureScot is an Executive Non Departmental Public Body which advises the Scottish Government on all aspects of nature and landscape across Scotland.  NatureScot’s role is to help secure the sustainable management of Scotland’s natural heritage for the benefit of all.


At a time of global climate crisis and biodiversity loss, the work of NatureScot is more vital than ever.  In 2019, Scotland was the first nation to declare a climate emergency.  Scotland should show similar leadership through a green recovery, putting nature-based solutions at the heart of our recovery.  It’s not just about our natural world, it’s also about our people, communities and economy.  As a member of the Board, you will be integral to helping form the strategic direction of NatureScot and overseeing the delivery of our high level aims.  NatureScot is committed to ensuring a prosperous and sustainable future for all and our Board has a significant role to play in making this happen.

Scotland’s nature and landscapes are a superb inheritance and internationally renowned. Through their life-giving processes they sustain all our lives and wellbeing: a healthy natural environment not only provides food and water, minerals and energy, flood protection and climate regulation, it also sustains our mental and physical wellbeing. 

NatureScot believes that a nature-rich future, where everyone is involved, will make us all happier, healthier, wealthier and more equal.  That means that as Scotland recovers from Covid-19, our natural world will be at the heart of the nation’s well-being.

NatureScot will focus on connecting people and nature to tackle the climate emergency and biodiversity loss through large and small scale nature based solutions.  Working in partnership, these solutions must be bold, innovative, for everyone, built on sound science, entirely ethical and drivers of green economic growth.

NatureScot delivers its purpose by providing advice to Scottish Ministers and Local Authorities, promoting good practice, and by working in partnership with others in the public, private and voluntary sectors to help secure the enhancement of, and benefits from, our natural assets for society.

About the roles

Specific functions may vary but, Members of the NatureScot Board will:

  • take forward the strategic aims and objectives expressed through the Corporate Plan for the body as approved by the Scottish Ministers;

  • demonstrate high standards of corporate governance at all times, including openness and transparency in its decision making;

  • determine the steps needed to deal with changes which are likely to impact on the strategic aims and objectives of NatureScot or on the attainability of its operational targets and keeping the Scottish Ministers informed accordingly;

  • promote the efficient, economic and effective use of staff and other resources by NatureScot consistent with the principles of Best Value, including where appropriate, participation in shared services arrangements;

  • ensure that effective arrangements are in place so that NatureScot acts corporately in accordance with the priorities set out by the Scottish Government;

  • ensure that effective arrangements are in place to provide assurance on risk management, governance and internal control (the Board must set up an audit committee chaired by a non-executive member to provide independent advice to the Board and Accountable Officer);

  • take into account relevant policy guidance issued by the Scottish Ministers when formulating advice and in reaching decisions and ensuring openness and transparency in its decision making;

  • ensure that the Board receives and reviews regular financial information concerning the management and performance of NatureScot, especially through its key indicators and is informed in a timely manner about any concerns regarding the activities of NatureScot;

  • through the Chair, appoint, with the approval of the Scottish Ministers, NatureScot’s chief executive and, in consultation with the Scottish Government, set appropriate performance objectives and remuneration terms linked to these objectives which give due weight to the proper management and use of resources within the stewardship of NatureScot and the delivery of outcomes;

  • represent NatureScot in dealings with the public, communities, through national and local stakeholder interests and the media; and

  • carry out other tasks that may reasonably be required.  For example, there are a number of advisory committees - Audit and Risk Committee, Protected Committee, Scientific Advisory Committee which we would expect Board members to serve on in addition to attendance at Board meetings.


In this appointment round we are aiming to appoint six new Board Members, each of whom will bring different areas of expertise.  Applicants have the opportunity to demonstrate evidence of a number of different areas of expertise.  These are split into three separate parts of the person specification; the priority criteria, the general criteria and the essential criteria.

Priority Criteria

There are two areas of expertise which are considered as a priority for the NatureScot Board.  These are called the priority criteria and the experience required is detailed on page 8 of the applicant pack.  We are aiming to appoint at least two new Board members who can demonstrate evidence of the priority criteria:

  • experience of environmental science and research;

  • experience of land and/or natural heritage management and stewardship (e.g. practical experience of farming, forestry, upland management, crofting) at a small or large scale.

General Criteria

There are seven other areas of expertise which the NatureScot Board needs.  Whilst not a priority, they are of high value to the NatureScot Board.  These are called the general criteria and the experience required is detailed on pages 9-10 of the applicant pack:

  • sustainable management of marine and freshwater environments;

  • application of emerging technologies or media to deliver more effective approaches to our work;

  • community ownership and engagement;

  • recognition of the biodiversity and climate emergencies and NatureScot’s role in responding to these;

  • improving organisational effectiveness through organisational development, transformation and repositioning;

  • promoting equality, diversity and inclusion (young people, black and minority ethnic groups, disability and other protected characteristics);

  • financial sector experience and understanding.

You can provide evidence for at least one of the priority criteria and/or one of the general criteria.  There is no expectation from the selection panel that you will demonstrate evidence of all of the priority criteria and all of the general criteria.  You should, therefore, provide evidence of the criteria where you feel you can demonstrate the strongest evidence.  If you are shortlisted for interview, the selection panel will test you further on your strongest areas.

Essential Criteria

Finally, there are three essential criteria.  All applicants must demonstrate evidence of all three throughout the application process.  These are detailed at page 11 of the applicant pack:

  • passion for the contribution of nature to social, economic and environmental development;

  • the ability to engage strategically with Board colleagues and the Senior Leadership Team, and challenge constructively in order to develop medium and long term strategy;

  • the ability to represent NatureScot and engage effectively and influence a range of customers and stakeholders, often with competing perspectives.

Time Commitment and Remuneration

Members of the NatureScot Board receive £317.22 per day for a time commitment of 30 days per year.  The daily fee is generally reviewed annually.  Reasonable expenses incurred will be reimbursed.  The appointments are non-pensionable.

Length of Term

The appointments are for four years from 1 April 2021.  Reappointment is not automatic and is subject to performance and the individual continuing to satisfy the requirements of the role.

How to apply

Application will be by a tailored career history setting out evidence of the criteria being tested.  This will be supported by a short application form that captures your personal details, declarations and equalities monitoring information.

What you put in the tailored career history will be the evidence that determines whether or not you will be shortlisted for the assessment stage.  You must, therefore, demonstrate clearly the evidence required to show how you meet the criteria being tested.  Please do not substitute a CV for the tailored career history.

An application pack with full details can be found via the link below. 

The closing date for completed applications is 11 January 2021.

Accessibility to public appointments is a fundamental requirement and the public appointments process promotes, demonstrates and upholds equality of opportunity for all applicants.  The Scottish Government will always give consideration to disability-related reasonable adjustments that an applicant might request to enable them to demonstrate their merit and participate fully in the selection process.  If you require any of the application pack documentation in an alternative format, please contact 0300 244 1898 or

Scottish Ministers particularly welcome applications from people with protected characteristics that are under-represented, such as disabled people, those from minority ethnic communities and people aged under 50.

Appointed on merit; committed to diversity and equality

Application Information

Please return your completed application to by 11 January 2021.

If you experience any difficulties accessing our website, please contact the Public Appointments Team by calling 0300 244 1898; or by emailing


Additional Information

  1. Applicant Information Pack
  2. FAQs