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This appointment is closed and is displayed for reference only. 


Remuneration:£176.63 per day 

Location:Edinburgh, City of 

Closing date:12 April 2021 at midday 


Chair Appointment

Scottish Ministers want to appoint a Chair to Public Health Scotland.


Public Health Scotland is Scotland’s lead national agency for improving and protecting the health and wellbeing of all Scotland’s people, using the best data, intelligence and research.  It was established to consolidate our public health assets and to drive preventative and innovative, whole system approaches that translate evidence into action that improves healthy life expectancy and tackles persistent health inequalities. Public Health Scotland is jointly sponsored by the Scottish Ministers and COSLA, a unique feature for a Scottish public body.  This means a commitment to shared decision making, planning and performance management in relation to the body.

The organisation has been central to the current Covid-19 pandemic response and its role includes protecting the people of Scotland from infectious disease and environmental hazards through expert advice, coordination, data and analysis activity. 

Public Health Scotland promotes closer, more integrated and mutually supportive working relationships across the whole system, working collaboratively with diverse organisations, partnerships and through the various disciplines of public health.  This recognises that influencing all the determinants of health and wellbeing is crucial to achieving long term improvements. 

The body has local delivery, partnerships and collaboration at its heart, while providing strong leadership and strategic direction.  It delivers services which are person-centred, evidence-based and make the best use of public resources.  It has a key role in helping ensure the public health system maintains the capability, capacity and flexibility to tackle today’s public health challenges and is prepared for the emerging challenges of the future, with a focus on prevention and early intervention.  Strong leadership, robust accountability and a strategic approach to working with all delivery partners is therefore at the forefront of the model.  

The role

You do not need to be an expert in health, wellbeing and/or social care in order to apply for this role.  You will have the senior level leadership experience required for this significant appointment and will be a visible and credible ambassador for Public Health Scotland as it builds its reputation as the expert national public health body in Scotland.  Your role will be to ensure that it commands the confidence of the whole system including the public, Scottish Parliament, Scottish Government, Local Government, Third Sector and the professional and scientific communities related to public health.  If you have what it takes to fulfil this rewarding and challenging role, we would like to hear from you.

An essential requirement of this post is that you have an understanding of the role of Public Health Scotland in responding to the diverse needs of the people of Scotland and the wider determinants of health, including personal circumstances and the environment, which impact upon health and wellbeing. 

You must also be able to demonstrate skills and experience in the following areas:

  • Leadership

  • Governance & Accountability

  • Performance Management

  • Constructive/Supportive Challenge & Influencing

  • Communication

NHS Scotland’s values are at the heart of everything that this organisation does.  These values, as outlined in the NHSScotland Workforce Strategy Everyone Matters: 2020 Workforce Vision, guide the work of the Board in all that it does.  They apply broadly and have support across the system, including from COSLA.  As Chair of this Board, you will not only need to have the right skills, knowledge and experience for the role, but also be able to demonstrate behaviours aligned to these values set out below:

  • care and compassion;

  • dignity and respect;

  • openness, honesty and responsibility; and,

  • quality and teamwork

COSLA is the representative membership organisation for local authorities in Scotland and applicants should be familiar with the COSLA Plan 2017-22 and the principles agreed by its members of:

  • strengthening local democracy;

  • working together locally;

  • delivering outcomes;

  • focusing on communities; and

  • defending local choices.

Applications are invited from a wide range of people who have an interest in public service and are committed to the NHS in Scotland.


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

Scottish Ministers particularly welcome applications from people with protected characteristics who are under-represented at Chair level, such as women, disabled people, LGBTI+ people, those from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities and people aged under 50.

Appointment Information

Applicants for public appointments must be legally entitled to work in the UK.  Please see the Information for Applicants pack for further information.

Remuneration:  A non-pensionable daily rate of £176.63 (under review) is payable.  You will also receive reimbursement for all reasonable travel and subsistence costs, reasonable dependant-carer expenses incurred whilst undertaking Board duties and for support required to help you carry out your duties effectively, subject to Board policy.

Time commitment:  As Chair, you must be able to make a firm commitment to spend around 3 days per week on Board and NHS Scotland and other national level business.  Although we are currently working from home by videoconferencing, it is anticipated that after the Covid-19 pandemic is over, the weekly activities of the Chair are likely to revert to a mix of daytime board meetings, daytime visits and other meetings, reading documents and attending stakeholder events, some of which may be in the evenings or at weekends and may involve you having to travel.

You should also demonstrate an adequate degree of flexibility to attend at a greater frequency subject to the Board’s ongoing business needs.  You will also have the opportunity to engage in national level activities. 

Appointment details:  Appointment will be for a period up to four years, subject to regular performance appraisals, with the possibility of re-appointment.

Location:  The Board  is based in Edinburgh. Board meetings currently take place online and may in future be also held elsewhere across Scotland.  Regular meetings with other NHS Board Chairs and the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport are currently held six times per year, normally in Edinburgh but may also take place online.

Assessment Process:  Assessment will happen in two stages.  The first stage will be the assessment of your written application against the essential requirements being tested at this stage.  The second and final stage will be a values-based assessment, which will involve an observed role play exercise; and a competency-based interview, with presentation.  The role play exercise will be held on 14th and 16th June 2021; with interviews being held on 15th and 17th June 2021.  As part of the interview, you will be asked to undertake a practical exercise, provided to you in advance, which will involve you preparing a verbal presentation for the panel.  We are hoping that both the role play exercise and interview will be held face-to-face in Edinburgh.  However, given the uncertainty of the Covid-19 pandemic and any restrictions which might be in place, we will review this nearer the time.  If Public Health guidance indicates that it is not possible to meet, alternative arrangements will be made to conduct these remotely by video link.    

If you would like to discuss this role informally and confidentially, you are welcome to contact Michael Kellet, Director of Population Health at the Scottish Government:; Jane O’Donnell, Head of Policy at COSLA:;  or Jim McGoldrick, current interim Chair at Public Health Scotland:

Full details of the criteria to be met for the position are contained in the person specification, which forms part of the Information for Applicants pack.  Also included in the pack is more detailed information about Public Health Scotland and its role within NHS Scotland. 

For full information on the appointment, please read the Information for Applicants pack accessed via the link below.

Our website allows you to apply online.  If you experience any difficulties accessing our website, or if you would prefer to apply using a Word version of the application form, please contact the Public Appointments Team on 0300 244 1898, by email at

Completed applications must be received before midday on Monday 12th April 2021.

Appointments to NHS Boards are regulated by the Ethical Standards Commissioner. 

Appointed on merit; committed to diversity and equality.

Application Information

Please apply online via the link below. 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 by calling 0300 244 1898; or by emailing

Additional Information

  1. Applicant Information Pack
  2. FAQs