About the Role

NPL is the UK's National Metrology Institute, developing and maintaining the national primary measurement standards. It is a Public Corporation owned by the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and it has a partnering agreement with BEIS and the University of Strathclyde and the University of Surrey. NPL is part of the National Measurement System (NMS) which provides the UK with a national measurement infrastructure and delivers the UK Measurement Strategy on behalf of BEIS.

We undertake excellent science and engineering to deliver extraordinary impact for the UK and provide the measurement capability that underpins the UK's prosperity and quality of life. From accelerating new antibiotics and more effective cancer treatments to developing unhackable quantum communications and superfast 5G, our expertise is crucial in researching, developing and testing new products and processes. 

The NPL Board takes collective responsibility for supporting and scrutinising the work of NPL and meets five times per year.

The Board currently consists of three executive members (the Chief Executive Officer, The Deputy Chief Executive Officer, and the Chief Finance Officer); a BEIS Shareholder representative; a senior independent director and two further Non-Executive Directors. The Board also includes representation from each of NPL’s strategic university partners: the University of Surrey and the University of Strathclyde.

We are seeking up to two new Non-Executive Directors, one to replace a Non-Executive Director at the end of their term and one new addition to the NPLML Board. The successful candidates may bring experience and insight from industry, government, and/or digital sectors.

Alongside regular non-executive responsibilities there is, for interested and suitable candidates, the opportunity to chair NPL’s Science and Technology Advisory Council (STAC).

Key Responsibilities of a Non-Executive Director

Non-Executive Directors have an important contribution to make to the effective and proper running of NPL and should bring an independent and objective perspective to issues of strategy and performance. The key responsibilities of the NED roles(s) include:

  • To provide constructive, creative and informed challenge to support the executive management of NPL.
  • To take responsibility for monitoring and providing oversight over the delivery of the agreed Corporate Plan and NPL’s mission by the executive team.
  • To participate actively in the decision-taking processes of the Board and to attend Board meetings.
  • To allow sufficient time to prepare for and follow up from Board meeting, and to keep informed of the business itself and the wider sector.
  • To take a broad view on all subjects; NEDs should not confine themselves to areas of personal interest but use wide external experience for the benefit of NPL and be proactive in applying intellectual curiosity.
  • To meet and engage with a range of staff and stakeholders, both internal and external to NPL, and to support NPL’s science and engineering profile.
  • To seek satisfaction in the integrity of financial information and in the robustness of financial controls and systems of risk management.
  • To be sufficiently conscientious, with utmost integrity and probity.
  • To model and promote NPL’s values, working individually and collectively as part of the Board to embed the values across NPL.
  • To have a role in the succession planning of executive directors and determining appropriate levels of remuneration.
  • To comply with the general duties of a Director, as set out in the Companies Act (Sections 170 – 181) and other statutory obligations, standards and codes of best practice.

Key responsibilities of the Chair of SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY ADVISORY COUNCIL (STAC):

The Chair of STAC is a critical role, assumed by a Non-Executive Director, that brings together the contributions of independent world-leading Scientific and Engineering minds. It requires strong and sensitive leadership, adept at balancing ideas and creating consensus around future NPL direction and ambition. It is a high profile and influential role, requiring outstanding communication skills and integrity.

  • The Chair will be responsible for the proper running of the STAC. They will guide and influence the organisation at a strategic Scientific and Engineering level, providing clear and consistent leadership and scrutiny over NPL’s scientific performance.
  • They will convene and engage in a large group of independent Science and Engineering experts on topics of strategic imperative for the UK and NPL.
  • They will manage a diverse group of stakeholders with different styles and contributions to ensure optimal value for NPL.
  • They will steer the group to a consensus or majority view.
  • They will oversee the management of the International Science Review, ensuring high quality feedback about NPL’s scientific performance.
  • They will conduct regular reviews of NPL’s science and engineering capability to ensure ongoing excellence.
  • They will provide personal input and contribution but never at the expense of facilitating and extracting contributions from others.
  • The STAC Chair will act as an ambassador for NPL, helping to build and develop relationships and profile, nationally and internationally, that further NPL’s strategic objectives.
About You

The typical characteristics and experience required for the NED and Chair of STAC roles include:

  • Experience of leadership within organisations of at least comparable scale and complexity.
  • Genuine passion for creating an inclusive environment that fosters diversity by encouraging collaborative contribution.
  • A passion and enthusiasm for working with a mission-led organisation.
  • Ability to show evidence of excellent judgement and analytical ability to assimilate a range of perspectives and evidence and absorb complex information to reach reasoned and robust conclusions.
  • Risk management experience and focus
  • An understanding of the machinery of government and the government policy context within which the NPL operates and is owned.
  • The ability to steer through challenges and achieve outcomes reflective of input from diverse contributions.
  • Strong self-awareness.
  • The ability to listen actively with consultative skills - referring to other perspectives where there is expertise.
  • The ability to carefully manage dynamics and build consensus.
  • The ability to motivate and inspire.


  • Time commitment: 18-20 days per year.
  • Term: Three-year term with the potential for reappointment.
  • Location: Board meetings are held in Teddington at the NPL site near Bushy Park. During the current Covid-19 emergency, Board meetings have been attended virtually using Microsoft Teams.
  • The closing date for applications is 9th July 2020.
  • Interviews are expected to take place on 20th July 2020.
About The Company

NPL and BEIS have strong commitments to diversity and equality of opportunity, and welcome applications from candidates irrespective of their background, gender, race, sexual orientation, religion, or age, providing they meet the required criteria. Applications from women, disabled and BAME candidates in particular are encouraged. All disabled candidates (as defined by the Equality Act 2010) who satisfy the minimum criteria for the role will be guaranteed an interview under the Disability Confident Scheme.

We’re transforming. As a national laboratory, we’re exploring even more commercial routes to market and that’s presenting us with greater opportunity – for you and us. Our success relies on the diversity and talent of our people, we strive to nurture and respect individuals to ensure everyone feels valued and supported to excel in their chosen field. This value is at the core of our organisation.
At NPL we are committed to the health and well-being of our employees. Flexible working and social activities are embedded in our culture to create a positive work-life balance, along with a broad range of benefitsNPL’s values are at the heart of what we do and they shape the way we interact, develop our people and celebrate success.

As part of our commitment to diversity & inclusion, we signed up to the Institute of Physics' Project Juno in 2015 as a Juno Supporter. NPL were proud to be awarded Juno Practitioner status in 2018. NPL also joined Stonewall as a Diversity champion in 2015, participating in their annual Workplace Equality Index for the equality of LGBT+ community at NPL. In 2018, NPL became a member of the Business Disability Forum and joined the disability confident scheme as level 1 committed employer.

To ensure everyone has an equal chance, we’re always willing to make reasonable adjustments to the recruitment process. If you would like to discuss, please contact us.