Shirley Comerford

A Message from our Chief Executive, Shirley Comerford

“We are committed to delivering high calibre and eminently qualified candidates for a wide range of State Boards, commercial, non-commercial, regulatory, voluntary and other public bodies. We do this by engaging new and diverse audiences, built on our unique position of recruitment for the public sector”

Welcome to the State Boards new website, our access point to information on State Boards, the process, recent appointments and most importantly to register and apply for a State Board.

The experience of the Public Appointments Service in operating under the Guidelines has been positive and the process works well. Public Appointments Service has delivered on the Government commitment to ensure there is open access to potential participation on State Boards, ensuring the numbers registered for State Board alerts have been progressively increasing, and there has been a steady and satisfactory level of interest in individual campaigns. PAS has also been successful in developing a diverse and highly experienced pool of people who are willing to contribute to the assessment process as members of Assessment Panels. Informal feedback from Departments and Chairpersons of State Boards suggests that the process is delivering capable and competent people for consideration by Ministers for appointment to vacancies on State Boards.

An analysis of a selection (50) of recent campaigns shows that 63% of names submitted to Ministers in 2021 were from private sector candidates, 37% were public sector including non-profit/ charity organisations.

In keeping with Government policy on gender balance on State Boards (a minimum of 40% of each gender), Public Appointments Service consistently monitors and reports on the gender balance throughout the appointments process.

Applications from female candidates have increased year on year and account for approximately 35% of applications. There has also been significant improvement in the appointment of female candidates increasing to 57% in 2021.

In order to raise awareness and encourage interest, over the past few years Public Appointments Service has undertaken a wideranging public engagement programme with external stakeholders and attracted a wide pool of highly suitable and eminently appointable candidates.

Public Appointments Service has also used Executive Search services to identify and attract potential candidates. Executive Search is particularly useful when a board is seeking a member with specialist skills/experience or when seeking a Chairperson for a high-profile State body. Our executive search services have proved to be successful in attracting into the process high-calibre candidates who had not previously engaged with the State Board appointments process.