Applying for a State Board Position?
stateboards.ie is the dedicated portal responsible for managing applications for available positions on over 200 State boards in Ireland. Prospective State board members can register their interest in serving on a State board and apply for open positions. The Public Appointment Service, which is responsible for operating the stateboards.ie appointment process, shortlists applications to be presented to the relevant Minister for final decision.
If you are considering applying for a position on a State board, it is worthwhile thinking about the following:
First and foremost, critically ask yourself if you have the skills required by the board and the right experience as set out in the specification for the role. While you may be a highly experienced executive or board member, does that experience fit with the expectations for the particular position you are applying for? Make sure to take the time to tailor your application to the requirements of the role, highlighting the areas of your career history that are most relevant.
Conflict and challenge
As is the case with any board position and in the interests of transparency, you should not be conflicted. If appointed, your fiduciary responsibility as a board member is to the State body, including the Government as a shareholder and principally, the Irish taxpayer.
State board members are collectively responsible for the long-term sustainability of State bodies and non-executive board members should provide independent challenge to strategy, performance, resources, key appointments and standards of conduct.
Ask yourself if you are willing to voice your views, to constructively challenge executive management and to robustly debate board decisions.
Prior to applying for, or accepting, a board position, it is important to consider whether you have sufficient time to devote to the role. Serving on a State board, often for a relatively low level of remuneration, can be demanding of your time, particularly in the event of a crisis whereby the board may have an active role. Attendance at board meetings is only one aspect of the role, with advance preparation, committee meetings, stakeholder engagement and so on, all expected.
While many people on State boards are there out of public duty, it is critical that you have the time to expedite that duty effectively.
Responsibility and scrutiny
All directors must act honestly and responsibly, with a high degree of integrity. The responsibilities of State board members are wide and varied and subject to a high level of scrutiny. It is important to assess your ability to meet those responsibilities in the interests of your personal reputation and that of the State body.
Further information on the role of State board members is available in the IoD and Mazars publication, Governance for Directors on State Boards.