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Public Appointments

This section of our website provides information about current and upcoming opportunities on the boards of Defra sponsored public bodies, alongside guidance on how to make your application.

Defra is the UK government department responsible for policy and regulations on the environment, food and rural affairs. We support and develop British farming and encourage sustainable food production; help to enhance the environment and biodiversity to improve quality of life; and support a strong and sustainable green economy, resilient to climate change.

Public bodies

We are supported by a range of public bodies, which operate, to a greater or lesser extent, at arm's lengths from the government and its Ministers. Most of our public bodies have either executive (administrative, commercial or regulatory) functions, or perform an advisory role.

The board of the public body is responsible for making sure that the body operates effectively, for example; establishing strategy, approving policy direction and reviewing the performance of the organisation. These boards are strongest when they have a mix of talented people from different backgrounds.  Diversity of skills, knowledge and perspective brings creativity and enables boards to effectively challenge, question and scrutinise.

There is more information on the main Civil Service website about public bodies.

People from all walks of life have the skills, knowledge and experience needed to serve as a Chair or a Member on the board of a public body.  These are part time roles that you can fit around your other commitments; and we welcome interest from people who may not have previously considered a public body board appointment.

A public appointment is not a job. It is, however, an opportunity to:

  • tackle some of the UKs biggest issues
  • contribute your skills, expertise and experience for the benefit of society
  • developing your career by gaining board experience in the public sector

So if you are passionate about wanting to make a difference – then we want to hear from you.

Below are some links to organisations that we work with to promote our opportunities to people from all areas of the community. These organisations support best practice in the attraction and selection of our public appointments.

All our appointments are made on the basis of merit following an open, fair and transparent selection process.