Trustees

November 2019

Background

CRAC (the Careers Research & Advisory Centre) was established in 1964 as a registered charity (No. 313164) with the remit to support the career-related learning of people of all ages. www.crac.org.uk

CRAC provides research, intelligence and innovation services for all those who support the career development of people of all ages and in all sectors

We passionately believe that individuals have the ability to achieve their career goals if they are equipped with the skills and information to do so. We achieve our aims by working in partnership with government agencies, education organisations and providers and employers and professional bodies globally, ensuring that the work we do impacts positively on as many individuals as possible, to achieve CRAC's vision of a world where people can realise their career potential throughout their working lives.

CRAC is the leading expert in the field of the professional development of researchers in higher education and related settings. Through our Vitae programme, we enable over 200 organisations globally to build their capacity to develop excellent researchers, bringing benefits to research outputs, innovation, society and the economy. We strengthen our Vitae members’ institutional provision through research and innovation; training and resources; events and networks; and consultancy. www.vitae.ac.uk

Vitae has four aims:

  • - Influence the development and implementation of effective policy relating to researcher development
  • - Enhance higher education provision to train and develop researchers
  • - Empower researchers to make an impact on their careers
  • - Evidence the impact of professional and career development support for researchers

Appointment of new Trustees

CRAC’s Board of Trustees recently reviewed our governance structure and processes with a view to ensuring that the structure coordinates the development, implementation and delivery of strategy and policy effectively. We seek new Board members (Trustees) who will be appointed through an open recruitment process.

About our Trustees and Chief Executive

The Board currently consists of a Chair and four other Trustees. To see biographies of the existing Trustees and CRAC’s senior staff members please go to http://www.crac.org.uk/home#team

Trustee Role Description

Main Responsibilities of the role 

  • - To ensure that CRAC complies with its governing document, charity law, company law and any other relevant legislation or regulations including equality legislation
  • - To provide leadership to ensure that CRAC pursues its objectives as defined in its governing document
  • - To ensure CRAC applies its resources exclusively in pursuance of its objectives
  • - To determine the overall direction and development of the charity through clear strategic planning
  • - To promote and safeguard the reputation, mission and best interests of CRAC
  • - To ensure the financial stability and sustainability of the organisation
  • - To avoid any personal conflict of interest
  • - To act at all times with objectivity and impartiality 

Main Duties

  • - To attend meetings of the Board of Trustees
  • - To agree the organisation’s business plan and budget, and oversee the delivery of the strategy that has been agreed
  • - To support actively CRAC’s Senior Management Team by developing a clear strategic direction for the organisation, defining goals, setting targets and evaluating  performance against agreed targets
  • - To contribute expertise and guidance to promote and develop the organisation in order for it to grow and maintain its relevance
  • - To monitor the financial management of the organisation’s resources, ensuring expenditure is in line with the organisation’s charitable objectives, and that investment activities meet accepted standards and policies
  • - To support Trustees and Senior Management Team to ensure the effective and efficient administration of the charity and its resources
  • - To act as a ‘critical friend’ to the organisation and its Senior Management Team members
  • - To act as a counter-signatory on any applications for funds, if appropriate.
  • - To maintain absolute confidentiality about all sensitive/confidential information received in the course of a Trustee’s responsibilities to the charity

Knowledge and Experience sought of new Trustees

  • - Substantive experience and/or expertise in a leadership role within higher education or a research-funding organisation

And/or

  • - Professional expertise in human resources, careers or talent management, preferably gained within a research environment or related business sector
  • - Successful experience of operating within a board in a charitable, public sector or commercial organisation
  • - Experience or understanding of training and career and/or professional development activity
  • - Demonstrable experience of building and sustaining relationships with key stakeholders and colleagues to achieve organisational objectives
  • - Some understanding of governance bodies (such as a committee or board) including the roles of chair, Trustees and senior executives)
  • - Some understanding and/or interest in the legal responsibilities of being a Trustee of a charity

Skills and personal attributes sought

  • - Commitment to the organisation including devotion of the necessary personal time and effort
  • - Preparedness to make recommendations to the Board of Trustees, and a willingness to speak openly and frankly
  • - Willingness to be available to staff to give advice and answer their enquiries reasonably quickly if they arise
  • - Independent judgement and strategic vision
  • - The ability to work effectively as a member of a team of Trustees
  • - Sound, reasoned judgement and effective decision-making
  • - Impartiality, fairness and sensitivity
  • - Commitment to promoting equality, diversity and inclusion

Time commitment for a Trustee

The Board meets at least three times a year (usually London or Cambridge) and Trustees are expected also to attend occasional external events where appropriate. Where physical attendance may be difficult, the organisation is committed to making alternative arrangements to participate in meetings remotely where appropriate. Meetings currently usually take place during weekday afternoons.

Terms and remuneration

Members will serve a three-year term and will be eligible for re-appointment for one additional term. The roles are unremunerated although reasonable expenses are paid.

Board diversity

CRAC and its Board are committed to increasing the diversity of those acting as Trustees, in terms both of personal characteristics and diversity of thought and professional experiences. We therefore welcome applications from a wide range of potential applicants who have the commitment and enthusiasm and/or experience to guide, govern and support the organisation. Training in some aspects of governance of a charity will be available. 

Application Process 

To apply for this post, you will need to submit the following by email to ceo@crac.org.uk by Noon on Monday 6th January 2019: 

  • - A CV setting out your career history, with key responsibilities and achievements
  • - A covering letter (no more than two pages of A4) explaining why you would wish to become a Trustee of CRAC and how you consider your personal skills, qualities and experience would help CRAC in such a role, making particular reference to the information given in the Trustee Role Description 

Any postal applications should be sent to Sharon Jackman, Head of Finances and Resources, CRAC, 22 Signet Court, Swanns Road, Cambridge, CB5 8LA. Please quote reference Trustee19 in your correspondence. 

Indicative Timeline

If you are unable to meet these timeframes, please let us know in your application letter. The anticipated timetable is as follows: 

Closing Date: Monday 6th January 2020 Noon 

Final Panel Interviews: Monday 20th and Tuesday 21st January 2020 

Interview Location: London

Download candidate brief