Governance

How is the National Trust run? Who makes the fundamental decisions that shape our future? As an influential governance volunteer, it could be you.

A charity, a conservation body, a curator of beautiful places and spaces – and so much more. We’re a major commercial enterprise, a retailer, a restaurant chain, a visitor attraction. There is no other organisation in the UK like the National Trust. And it’s that exceptional breadth of opportunity and challenge that makes working with us so incredibly stimulating.

Working with us in a non-executive capacity is a wonderfully rewarding experience: it’s an opportunity to have a real say in our current and future operations. In return for your time, knowledge and expertise, you’ll have the chance to shape our work as you help to grow the nation’s love of special places.

Whatever your area of interest, you’ll find a range of appealing governance opportunities here. The places we look after are varied and for everyone – we’re keen to reflect this in our governance community. We welcome applications from people of all ages, areas and backgrounds who can positively contribute to our work. The details of our appointment or election processes are clearly outlined in each vacancy.

The principles underlying governance appointments

Openness, transparency and accountability: three values which we pride ourselves on. One of the most important ways for us to uphold these values is through the appointment or election of high calibre non-executives, capable and passionate people who will oversee the governance arrangements of the National Trust, and ensure that we remain focused on achieving our vision efficiently and effectively.

The various Nominations Committees of the Council play key roles in governance appointments, making sure principles and standards are being adhered to. On each of these committees sits an external member to increase the rigour of the procedures.

Before an appointment or election starts for any of the bodies in the governance structure, the relevant committee will take into account:

  • the aims and purposes of the body concerned
  • the knowledge, skills and experience required for the position in question
  • the intention to create a diverse and effective body
  • the intention to meet standards of good governance
  • the intention to avoid conflicts of interest.

The committees will always ensure that appointments or elections are:

  • overseen in a fair, equitable, objective and impartial manner
  • conducted in an open and transparent way
  • designed to be thorough, robust and expeditious
  • managed consistently
  • fully explained and readily comprehensible.

Typical opportunities

Trustee

Our Board of Trustees is the National Trust’s governing body. In many ways, they’re our guardians, our conscience. Their role is to ensure that we have a clear vision and a strategy in place, and that we’re doing everything we say we’ll do. 

Council Member

Providing guidance and perspective, appointing our Trustees and ultimately holding the Board of Trustees to account, the Council is the guardian of our spirit and long-term objectives. 

Member of a Regional Advisory Board

With a real passion for your region, you’ll advise, support and challenge Regional Directors and their teams to help them deliver the Trust’s strategy in their area. 

Meet our volunteers

  • Volunteer Margaret

    Bella Mezger

    Council Member

    Day to day I work as a Management Consultant, focusing on managing change for businesses that are going through transformation. I’m passionate about getting people, particularly families and the young, into the outdoors and experiencing the delights of nature, and also believe in the power of the home, community and beauty in enabling people to understand and fulfil their potential. When I spotted an opportunity to volunteer for the Trust, I was so excited. I knew I wanted to get involved in something I cared deeply about, but wanted to continue to build my skills and experience in Consulting—this was the perfect opportunity to do both.

  • Volunteer Margaret

    Sophie Andreae

    Council Member

    My day job is a Historic Buildings Advisor and I’ve been involved with governance in other heritage sector organisations. So, when the opportunity to volunteer in a governance capacity, I jumped at the chance. People with the right skills set for handling governance-type issues are likely the find the National Trust an interesting, rewarding organisation to volunteer for. The Trust’s work is so important in this country today. It’s good to be a part of it.

  • Volunteer Margaret

    Dylan Williams

    Council Member

    Living in Snowdonia it is difficult not to be familiar with the National Trust and the vast hectares of landscape that the Trust owns and manages. The agricultural, landscape and rural tourism aspect of the Trust’s work are very close to my heart. I believe the Council to be the ‘feel’ of the National Trust, with a diversity of skill, background and geographical representation.  The Council can comment on the ‘feel’ of today and discuss how things may ‘feel’ differently against various strategic propositions. Many describe the Council as the eyes and ears of the Trust, and I agree.

Current governance opportunities

Here you’ll find information on current and future senior governance opportunities.

Please remember, we welcome applications from people of all ages, areas and backgrounds who can positively contribute to our work. If you don’t find the role you are searching for today, we'd still love to hear from you. Please feel free to contact us.

Member of the Commercial Advisory Group - Outdoors Commercial Development/Management Specialist

  • The National Trust is a successful and growing conservation charity with over 4 million members and is one of the UK’s leading heritage organisations. The Trust owns over 28,000 buildings, 200 historic gardens, 100 landscape parks, and 250,000 hectares of land in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. 

    The Trust is embarking on an ambitious new phase of its history. Our ten-year strategy commits us to change on many fronts, including the way we manage our digital and outdoors assets. It will be a huge challenge to realise the kind of transformation we aspire to, embracing the breadth of the Trust’s offer whilst remaining true to our values. 

    We are looking for new members to join the Commercial Advisory Group (part of the Trust’s Specialist Advice Network) to share their expertise and act as critical friends. The Commercial Group is one of four new voluntary Advisory Groups in the Trust. The others are: Historic Environment, Natural Environment, and Collections and Interpretation, which cover the other areas where external volunteer advice is greatly valued. 

    We are looking for potential volunteer members to contribute to the work of the Group, with expertise and interest in one or more of the following areas: 

    Outdoors Commercial Development/Management Specialist

    • Have successfully developed products and infrastructure that have optimised outdoors assets 
    • Their experience builds on and complements our current property visitor offer 
    • Have a progressive approach to transformational organisational change 
    • Have worked with organisations to prepare them/help them embed new concepts 
    • Have a view on the part outdoor commercial plays in the realignment of the National Trust’s brand 
    • Bring market insight and benchmarking expertise 
    • Is a visionary individual with a track record of implementing innovation in large organisations  

    Advisory Group members give advice in three main areas; 

    Strategy - supporting strategic leads and other staff in the development of their thinking 

    Major projects and acquisitions - providing input at the concept stage, ensuring staff benefit from advice early on in the process, and throughout the life of the project where appropriate, to enable good decision making in the Trust. 

    Peer review - advising on the overall professional strength of the Trust, and providing guidance on operational ‘business as usual’ issues 

    We are looking for colleagues who have a passion and deep knowledge in these areas, who possess a curious and questing mind, and a collegiate outlook. 

    The role requires a commitment of up to ten days a year, and is for an initial term of three years with the potential for the term to be renewed. The positions are voluntary, but expenses will be paid. 

    Applicants need simply submit a short CV and a covering letter expressing why they feel motivated to join the Commercial Advisory Group. 

    To apply: Email a brief CV and covering letter to Paige Cunningham - paige.cunningham@nationaltrust.org.uk 

    Closing dateSunday 11th September 2016

    Interview date: Tuesday 20th September 2016 

    We are committed to equal opportunities. The National Trust is for everyone and we welcome applications from all sections of the community.

Member of the Commercial Advisory Group - Digital Specialist

  • The Trust is embarking on an ambitious new phase of its history. Our ten-year strategy commits us to change on many fronts, including the way we manage our digital and outdoors assets. It will be a huge challenge to realise the kind of transformation we aspire to, embracing the breadth of the Trust’s offer whilst remaining true to our values. 

    We are looking for new members to join the Commercial Advisory Group (part of the Trust’s Specialist Advice Network) to share their expertise and act as critical friends. The Commercial Group is one of four new voluntary Advisory Groups in the Trust. The others are: Historic Environment, Natural Environment, and Collections and Interpretation, which cover the other areas where external volunteer advice is greatly valued. 

    We are looking for potential volunteer members to contribute to the work of the Group, with expertise and interest in one or more of the following areas: 

    Digital Specialist

    • Have successfully grown a customer-facing digital business in recent years 
    • Have omni-channel experience 
    • Have a progressive approach to transformational organisational change/readiness for digital future 
    • Have a view on what part digital plays in the reinvention of the National Trust brand 
    • Have experience of using data to develop a personalised approach 
    • Is a visionary individual with track record of implementing innovation in large organisations  

    Advisory Group members give advice in three main areas; 

    Strategy - supporting strategic leads and other staff in the development of their thinking 

    Major projects and acquisitions - providing input at the concept stage, ensuring staff benefit from advice early on in the process, and throughout the life of the project where appropriate, to enable good decision making in the Trust. 

    Peer review - advising on the overall professional strength of the Trust, and providing guidance on operational ‘business as usual’ issues 

    We are looking for colleagues who have a passion and deep knowledge in these areas, who possess a curious and questing mind, and a collegiate outlook. 

    The role requires a commitment of up to ten days a year, and is for an initial term of three years with the potential for the term to be renewed. The positions are voluntary, but expenses will be paid. 

    Applicants need simply submit a short CV and a covering letter expressing why they feel motivated to join the Group. 

    To apply: Email a brief CV and covering letter to Paige Cunningham - paige.cunningham@nationaltrust.org.uk 

    Closing date: Sunday 11th September 2016 

    Interview date: Wednesday 14th September 2016 

    We are committed to equal opportunities. The National Trust is for everyone and we welcome applications from all sections of the community.