What is a public appointment?
A public appointment is an appointment of a lay person (eg non-Tynwald Member) to a public body such as a Statutory Board, or a Statutory Body such as an Authority, Commission or Committee.
These bodies all have a role in the functioning of the Isle of Man Government, but are not Government Departments. They provide independent advice and/or deliver some aspect of public service and play a crucial role in shaping and influencing policy and decision-making locally.
Becoming a public appointee
One of the key aspects of taking up a public appointment is being prepared to give your time, skills, knowledge, and commitment. Many appointments require specialist knowledge and expertise, but others do not.
While public appointees are not involved in the day-to-day running of an organisation, they are required to give an ongoing commitment in terms of their time, interest and attention. Demands vary according to the post, from attending a few board meetings each year – plus time to read papers and prepare for meetings – to more substantial duties.
A public appointment gives you the chance to:
- give something back, contribute your expertise for the benefit of the Isle of Man
- meet people from all walks of life who also want to make a difference
- develop your career, gain board experience and extend your skills
- return from a career break
Some appointments are paid, while expenses like travel are usually reimbursed.
Public appointments cover a wide range of responsibilities.
In general, the following qualities are likely to be important:
- commitment to devote the necessary time to prepare and to participate actively in the work of the body
- courage to ask questions or query why a certain approach is being recommended
- commonsense to be able to assess the impact of decisions on all sections of the community and bring an independent view to the debate
- communication skills with the ability to listen and to express your views; to negotiate and influence and to deal with all groups, including specialists and experts
- clarity to assess a situation quickly, accurately and even-handedly; to think strategically and to see the wider picture
This experience could be demonstrated in your career or in a variety of other ways, such as voluntary work. Perhaps you have been a school governor, a chamber of commerce member, or involved in charitable work. You will be asked to complete an application form and provide evidence of how you meet the role profile and person specification.
The appointment process
All appointments are made on merit, based on your experience and skills.
- the criteria for the post - the skills and qualities necessary - will be made clear to you in an information pack
- you will be asked to complete an application form to show how your skills and qualities suit the post you are applying for
- you may wish to submit a CV to accompany your application form
- you will be asked to highlight any potential conflicts of interest
- you must be able to demonstrate the qualities that underpin public life – selflessness, integrity, objectivity, accountability, openness, honesty and leadership
- your application will be assessed and interviews held for those short-listed
- the Council of Ministers will consider the recommendation of the interview panel on the most suitable person(s) for the appointment
- some appointments may also require the approval of Tynwald
- the successful candidate will be sent a letter of appointment and all other applicants informed
Anybody interested in serving as a lay member on a public body can be included on a mailing list for forthcoming appointments by registering their details here