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Communications Consumer Panel and ACOD Member for Scotland

  • Ofcom
  • Edinburgh, UK
  • 30/04/2024

Job Description

Closing Date:

20/05/2024

Group:

Corporate Group

Management Level:

Job Type:

Non-Executive Director (Fixed Term)

Job Description:

Please note that this role will close at 00:01 on Monday 20th May and therefore we advise getting your application in no later than midnight on Sunday 19th May.

We are looking to appoint a new Member for Scotland to the Communications Consumer Panel, who will also act as a Member of the Advisory Committee for Older and Disabled People (ACOD).  The successful applicant will also chair the Panel’s Stakeholder Hub for Scotland and act as an observer on Ofcom’s National Advisory Committee for Scotland. 

How to apply

To apply, your application must include a CV and a covering letter – in written or equivalent accessible format.  Should you require any adjustments to be made, please do contact us directly at ofcomresourcing@omnirms.com or on 0330 912 1378. 

Your application must specifically explain how you meet the key competencies for the role which are detailed in the Essential Competencies section above, have an understanding of the role and demonstrate that you have relevant transferable skills. Covering letters should be no more than four sides of A4 in length.

Purpose of the role

The Communications Consumer Panel ensures the citizen and consumer voice is represented in communications policy development, highlighting the interests of those who may not always be heard by the industry.  Our job is to ensure that the sector works for consumers, citizens and micro businesses - and in particular for people who may be more vulnerable to being excluded from using communications services.

The Panel is a statutory body, established under the Communications Act 2003. Its Members are appointed by Ofcom with the approval of the Secretary of State. The Panel’s remit covers the UK and, by statute, it has strong representation from the devolved nations.

When we anticipate consumer detriment, or identify it occurring, we work with those who can make a difference – Ofcom, communications providers and UK and national governments. Our sector specialism and expertise mean we can challenge in a constructive environment, offer comprehensive advice and influence the development of policy so it delivers for consumers and citizens.

The Panel’s main role is to challenge and advise Ofcom to ensure that the interests of consumers, including micro businesses, are central to regulatory decisions.  We act as a “critical friend” to Ofcom, rather than a campaigning organisation.  We proactively influence decisions by making early, robust, high-quality interventions to ensure that consumer and citizen interests are at the heart of Ofcom’s thinking throughout. 

The Panel works collaboratively with a wide range of stakeholders to inform the advice that it gives and to help protect and promote consumers’ interests across the sector. We give insight to businesses, regulators and Government and encourage them to look at issues through the eyes of people who use – or are excluded from using - communications services. ACOD advises Ofcom about the interests and opinions of older and disabled people living in the UK. 

Essential competencies 

The new Panel/ACOD member will help the Panel to become more aligned than ever with the needs of consumers, citizens and micro businesses in Scotland. To apply to join the Communications Consumer Panel and ACOD you will need to show in your covering letter how you meet the competencies below. No previous experience of being a non-executive member is necessary.

  • The ability to understand and articulate the varied needs and views of citizens and consumers in Scotland, with particular reference to people who may be in more vulnerable circumstances/who have experienced barriers to inclusivity;

  • Good knowledge and understanding of the political and constitutional context in Scotland;

  • Strong communication skills to make an effective contribution to the discussions and formal policy responses of a high-level public body; and

  • The ability to work as part of a committee.

  • Knowledge and understanding of the experience of communications services in Scotland’s rural and remote communities.

We are particularly interested to hear from people who have skills and experience in any of the following areas:

  • fixed and mobile telecoms 

  • telecoms network/power security and resilience

  • online safety

  • spectrum/AV

Please indicate if you have previous experience in advocating for, or working with, consumers or citizens or micro businesses. 

Further Information

Panel Members are part-time and drawn from a range of diverse backgrounds. We are seeking applications from people who can contribute relevant experience and help create a diversity of perspective and background on the Panel. The core time commitment is four days a month, including one day a month at a formal Panel meeting. The successful applicant will also chair the Panel’s Stakeholder Hub for Scotland, which requires an additional six days’ time commitment per year. They will also act as an observer on Ofcom’s National Advisory Committee for Scotland. The Panel operates on a hybrid-working basis but the role will include some travel to Edinburgh or London.  However, we do accommodate individuals’ needs and adjustments.

The combined annual fee for the appointment as a Member of the Panel/ACOD and attendance at the National Advisory Committee is £14,704. This is based on a time commitment of four days per month and an expectation of 11 meetings of the Panel and up to five meetings of the Advisory Committee each year, together with appropriate preparatory work and attendance at some relevant functions.  The role also includes a requirement to contribute an additional six days per year to organize and chair the Panel’s National Hub.

Members must not be directly employed by Ofcom or organizations that Ofcom regulates or licenses or derive the majority of their employment income from such a company even if not so employed.  Members cannot be engaged in active politics.  This includes holding, or being a candidate for, political office at a national, regional or local level, active political campaigning in support of a political party and making a donation or donations to a political party in a calendar year in excess of £7,500.  Working full time for any central government department or as an official in the civil service (including in the devolved nations) or for local government is also not acceptable.

Potential or actual conflicts of interest from a financial or business perspective must be declared and discussed at interview. Applicants must have personal integrity of a high order and ensure that their conduct accords with the 7 principles of public life.

Please note that anonymised, aggregated diversity information will be shared with Department for Science, Innovation and Technology (DSIT) in relation to all candidates.  For those candidates who are interviewed, please note that personal data and evidence relating to your application may be shared with DSIT and the Scottish Government.

Ofcom has a clear mission: to make communications work for everyone.  To be able to deliver on this, we want our organisation to reflect the diversity of background, experience, upbringing and thought that exists across the UK.  We aim to recruit from the widest pool of candidates possible – no matter your social background, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender or disability. 

Where positions are listed as full-time, we remain open to reduced hours, part-time arrangements, job shares, and other flexible working options. From day one, we champion flexible work arrangements to accommodate individual needs.

We also warmly welcome applicants who are returning to the workforce after a break – for whatever reason. If you have taken time away and are ready to rejoin, we look forward to reviewing your application.

Our recruitment processes prioritise accessibility and inclusivity. If you need information in an alternative format or have specific preferences, please contact our recruitment team at resourcing@ofcom.org.uk or call 0330 912 1378.

As a Disability Confident employer, we offer interviews to disabled applicants who meet essential criteria for advertised roles. Learn more about this scheme here. https://www.ofcom.org.uk/about-ofcom/jobs/disability-confident-scheme