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UK Cyber Security Council Calls on Sector to Come Forward for Trustee Nominations

Council news

12:00 Thursday, 07 April 2022

Lisa Ventura

The UK Cyber Security Council is calling for nominations for two Trustees to take office on 1st October 2022. These posts will be subject to a member election and the successful candidates will join the existing Board of eight Trustees for a term of three years.

Please read on to learn about the requirements and responsibilities of this role, what characteristics the Board are seeking to find, and how to nominate yourself or others.

“There has never been a better time to step forward to help shape the cyber security profession in the UK. These early years for the Council are busy – and there is much to do to engage all our stakeholders and set the path forward to a vibrant, cohesive, and attractive profession. We hope you will consider joining us on this wonderful journey.”

Claudia Natanson, Chair, UK Cyber Security Council.

Introduction

This is an exciting time for the UK cyber security profession and the UK Cyber Security Council is forging ahead with its objectives to clarify career paths and qualifications, define and promote professional ethics, encourage diversity and wider engagement in the profession, and establish, maintain and promote professional standards.

The Council is currently progressing its transfer to a Chartered organisation and to becoming the steward of nationally recognised standards for the qualification of cyber security professionals.  In the coming years, it will further establish itself as the voice of the profession and a safe place for stakeholders to work together to define and build a strong and progressive profession.

The UK Government continues to strongly support the Council to work in partnership with them and the National Cyber Security Centre to continue defining objectives for the cyber security profession and the role of the Council as the professional standards-setting body for the sector in the UK.

As the Council grows, both in Members and activities, it is also growing its Board of Trustees to lead the Council, set strategy and drive progress. In 2022, the Board will add a further two Trustees to its existing Board of eight.

Role profile

The role of a Trustee is to ensure that the Council fulfils its duty to its beneficiaries and delivers its vision, mission and values. Working together with the other Trustees – and in collaboration with the CEO – you will be instrumental in ensuring that the Council delivers its charitable objectives, and values equality, diversity and inclusion.

We are looking for individuals who have a strong empathy with our vision and mission combined with an in-depth understanding of our work and ambitions. Previous Trustee experience would be useful, and an understanding of the culture and needs of mission- and values-driven organisation are particularly important.

For all Trustees, the following core skills are essential to undertake their duties:

  • Excellent communication and influencing skills to be a strong ambassador for the Council.
  • A collaborative approach and openness to other views and feedback on own contribution.
  • An ability to think diversely, produce innovative ideas and challenge existing thinking and perspectives.
  • Commitment to the Council’s mission and values.
  • Commitment to delivering public good.
  • Commitment to bringing high standards of ethics and transparency to the Council’s governance.
  • Commitment to inclusion and diversity.

In addition, to complement the existing Board members, this year we are particularly seeking candidates who are:

  • Cyber security professionals, especially those early in their career.
  • Resident or working in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland. (Please note that Board meetings are usually hybrid and that we reimburse reasonable out-of-pocket expenses for travel on Council business.)

Candidates are reminded that the role of Trustee is one of legal liability and responsibility for the compliant running of a charity. Across the Board we seek skills and experience in running a professional organisation, although recognise that not all candidates will have these skills initially.

Trustees are legally required to act in the best interests of the Council and candidates should therefore not seek to influence the Board in terms of representing any other organisation or sector.

For more information on the statutory duties of Trustees please see Support Information – Roles and Responsibilities below.

How to make a nomination

This year, there are two vacancies for Member-elected Trustees (of which there will be four once the Board is fully populated). Individuals wishing to nominate themselves for election should apply in writing, highlighting how they meet the required skills and representation criteria (please see How to Nominate below). All candidates are encouraged to read the Supporting Information below before making a nomination. The deadline for applications is Friday 13 May 2022, 23:59 GMT.

We seek a diversity of skills and, whilst selection will be made by Member election, candidacy is not limited to individuals related to Member organisations. Nominations should be made by the individual candidate and there is no requirement for them to be formally supported.  However, where a nomination is supported by another individual, a Member or other organisation, there is the option for this to be made clear on the election statement.

All nominations will be acknowledged and reviewed by the Governance and Nominations Sub-Committee on behalf of the Board of Trustees. Candidates will be asked to discuss their nomination with a member of the Sub-Committee to share an understanding of the role. Following this, candidates will be asked to prepare a short biography and election statement for presentation to Members during the election.

Elections will be held during June – July and, following completion of an induction and formal sign-up, successful candidates will commence their term of office on 1 October 2022.

Supporting Information

Background

Following publication of the National Cyber Security Strategy (NCSS) in 2016, the Government engaged extensively with industry, professional organisations, students, employers, existing cyber security professionals and academia to better understand the nature of the cyber security skills challenge. This revealed a high demand for cyber security capability with respect to improved levels of digital literacy and skilled cyber security professionals.  An Initial National Cyber Security Skills Strategy was published in December 2018 to being to address strategic outcome 9 of the NCSS, which is to ensure that:

“the UK has a sustainable supply of home-grown cyber skilled professionals to meet the growing demands of an increasingly digital economy, in both the public and private sectors, and defence.”

The creation of a new, independent UK Cyber Security Council (The Council) to co-ordinate the delivery of he required improvements in the UK cyber security community, was identified as an ambition of the Government in the initial Cyber Security Skills Strategy. This has now been delivered and the Council is working in partnership with the Government, industry, academe and other stakeholders to develop and deliver a shared strategy for raising standards in the cyber security profession in the UK, and wider.

The intention for the Council is that it will “embolden the profession to structure and develop itself in a way that meets current and future demands.”

The Council is now starting its second year of independent operation and continues to grow its Board as it builds an effective governance.

Vision

The Council’s overriding vision is to be the independent, self-regulatory standards membership body that promotes and develops the Cyber Security Profession to meet the current and future skills need.  It will create an open, inclusive and objective culture to inspire, inform and advance public cyber security awareness and knowledge and be the reference point for cyber security professional standards, competence and commitment to influence cyber security best practices and defences for public benefit in the UK and beyond.

  • Governing voice for the cyber security profession.
  • Gold standard for expertise, excellence and professional conduct in cyber security professionals.
  • Publicly trusted and an exemplar for cyber security standards, practices and guidance.

Values

The Council will promote high standards of practice the cyber security profession, by advancing education in the subject of cyber security and through the development, promotion and stewardship of nationally recognised standards for cyber security.

The Trustees will be instrumental in ensuring that the Council values equality, diversity and inclusion, acts with integrity, fairness and impartiality, and is informed, collaborative and accountable in all its dealings, decisions and actions.  Initial priorities are to embed organisational excellence, attract diverse and wide spanning membership, and deliver world renowned professional standards that collectively establishes the Council as the respected and credible self-regulating body for the cyber security profession.

Roles and responsibilities

The statutory duties of a Trustee are:

  • To ensure the organisation complies with its governing document.
  • To ensure that the organisation pursues its objectives as defined in its governing document.
  • To ensure the delivery of public benefit.
  • To ensure the organisation applies its resources exclusively in pursuance of its objectives – the charity must not spend money on activities which are not included it its own objectives, no matter how ‘charitable’ and ‘worthwhile’ those activities are.
  • To contribute actively to the Board’s role in giving firm strategic direction to the organisation, setting overall policy, defining goals and setting targets and evaluating performance against agreed targets.
  • To safeguard the good name and values of the organisation.
  • To ensure the effective and efficient administration of the organisation.
  • To ensure the financial stability of the organisation.
  • To protect and manage the property of the organisation and ensure the proper investment of the organisation’s funds.
  • If the organisation employs staff, to appoint the Chief Executive Officer and monitor his or her performance.

In addition, with other Trustees to hold the charity ‘in trust’ for current and future beneficiaries by:

  • Ensuring that the charity has a clear vision, mission and strategic direction and is focused on achieving these.
  • Being responsible for the performance of the charity and for its ‘corporate’ behaviour; ensuring that the charity complies with all legal and regulatory requirements.
  • Acting as guardians of the charity’s assets, both tangible and intangible, taking all due care over their security, deployment and proper application.
  • Ensuring that the charity’s governance is of the highest possible standard.

All Trustees should also be aware of, and understand, their individual and collective responsibilities, and should not be overly reliant on one of more individual trustees in any particular aspect of the governance of the charity.

As well as the various statutory duties, any Trustee should make full use of any specific skills, knowledge or experience to help the Board make good decisions.

The above list of duties is indicative only and not exhaustive.  The trustee will be expected to perform all such additional duties as are reasonably commensurate with the role.

Screening of nominations

Whilst the successful nominees will be selected by Member election, the Trustees reserve the right to reject nominations where it would be in the best interests of the Council to do so, for example where a clear and substantial conflict of interest would exist and the management of such would prevent the individual from fully participating in the governance of the charity.

To support the Board in this, it is the intention that Trustees will discuss their nomination with the individuals concerned.

Additional information

Term of office – The charity’s Trustees will serve a term of three years with terms starting on 1 October. All Trustees will be eligible to stand for re-appointment once their term is complete subject to a maximum of three consecutive terms of office.

Time commitment – In order to deliver your role as Trustee you will need to commit to approximately 4 Board meetings per year, with preparation time and additional work (ad hoc) between.  This can vary between 1 - 4 days per month, depending upon whether you are also willing to represent the Council at events.

This time includes Board meetings, meeting preparation and follow-ups, supporting the executive staff team, and other relevant activities as required. Trustees are encouraged to support specific sub-committees relevant to their skills, such as Finance and Risk or Governance.

Remuneration – This role is unremunerated but reasonable expenses with be covered.

Timetable – Deadline for receipt of nominations is Friday 13 May 2022, 23:59 GMT.

Our commitment to diversity and inclusion

The Council is committed to developing and maintaining a Board of Trustees that is truly representative. The Council is committed to ensuring its Board membership includes the depth and breadth of both professional and personal experience required to provide the organisation with the strategic direction and scrutiny required for it to succeed.

We are committed to inclusive working practices, and during the recruitment process we commit to making any reasonable adjustments required as part of the process.

If there is anything else you are concerned about or think we could provide, please let us know.

How to make a nomination

If you wish to make a nomination to be taken forward for Member election, please use our nominations platform here.  You will be required to supply the following:

  • A detailed CV setting out your career history, with relevant responsibilities and achievements, ideally no more than 2 pages.
  • A covering letter (maximum two sides) highlighting your suitability for the role and how you meet the role requirements. Please note that the covering letter is an important part of the nomination.
  • Details of two professional referees together with a brief statement of their relationship to you and over what period of time they have known you. Referees will not be contacted without prior consent.
  • A completed diversity monitoring form.

For any queries, please contact: csc-governance@ukcybersecuritycouncil.org.uk