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Independent Member of the Audit & Finance Committee
Country / Territory
Based in UK: Location negotiable
Based in UK: Location negotiable
Board of Trustees
Job Category
Corporate Affairs
Pay Band
Vacancy Description
Requirements: Candidates must have the right to work in the UK Salary: Unremunerated committee member post with reasonable expenses reimbursed Term: 3 year term with potential for a further 3 year extension

Please note that in September 2020, the British Council will relocate its new global headquarters to: International Quarter, Stratford, London E20.



Our current independent member, Fiona Salzen, has now been appointed as a Trustee on our Board, so we are recruiting for a new independent member to replace her.


About the British Council


We are the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities.  We build connections, understanding and trust between people in the UK and other countries through arts and culture, education and the English language.  We build connections through showcasing, research collaborations, policy dialogues and exchanges.

We are governed by a Board of Trustees whose members bring varied backgrounds and experience to the world’s leading authority in cultural relations. The Board’s work is supported by its committees, bringing together trustees and independent committee members.   

Committee members contribute their insights and advice to the many issues we face as an organisation with over £1bn turnover and 12,000 staff in 110 countries worldwide, running programmes that reach 80 million people a year face-to-face and connect the UK with over 700 million people in total.


The organisation you will be joining


The British Council plays a leading role in creating trust and attraction for the UK. In education, for example, one in five people choosing to study in the UK from overseas say that we influenced their choice. Our staff are networked up to ministerial level in ministries of education and culture in most of the countries where we operate. We use those connections to grow international engagement for many thousands of people and organisations in communities, city regions and countries across the whole of the UK. And to continue building trust and relationships for the UK in countries where government to government relations may be constrained.


In a fast-changing world, our organisation, too, must change, embracing the opportunities presented by technology to connect with millions more people in widely dispersed networks of influence, helping to build trust between people, communities and nations working together to solve big shared problems. Increasingly we are using well produced digital content in our social media channels and in our blended English teaching and testing offers to reach young people who see us as a global trust brand. Millions of people in the Middle East and South Asia, for example, are learning English with us on Facebook. Our Five Films for Freedom to raise awareness of LGBT+ issues were streamed in over 200 countries. Our Selector compilation of UK music is broadcast all over the world – and is the only foreign broadcast content allowed in Cuba.


In everything we do we draw on excellence in education and culture from the whole of the UK and we represent what the UK stands for as a force for good in the world.


We are offering you the opportunity to help us shape the British Council to stay relevant and competitive at an exciting time of change and opportunity and to ensure that the UK maintains and grows its international connections and trust in ways which support both shared prosperity and international cooperation, trust and understanding.


Your opportunity to help shape our financial risk and control environment


The Audit and Finance Committee reviews financial plans, performance and controls and oversees internal and external audit arrangements. It holds the executive to account for the maintenance of the organisation’s financial risk and control environment. The committee meets four times a year and committee members provide support outside of meetings, for example on ad hoc projects.

We’re looking for an independent committee member who will bring expertise in the areas of financial systems and processes and change management.


What you will bring to the role


You will bring professional skills and experience which are relevant to your role on the Committee, with appropriate professional qualifications.


You will have significant and extensive leadership experience at a senior level (e.g. board level financial management experience and/or partner or former partner of an accountancy firm). And you will have experience of financial systems development and improvement (ERP, best of breed and legacy), shared services centres, financial governance and finance transformation, together with proven ability to provide strategic direction and a knowledge of organisational change.


Our financial governance issues are uniquely challenging. We are a charity, a major business and a non-departmental public body. This means we are constantly in the public eye and our corporate governance must be of the highest standard.


As an independent committee member you will not only bring a passionate belief in our mission and a commitment to teamwork, curiosity and positivity, but you will also possess the highest standards of personal integrity and the ability to live our values. You will be comfortable with – and able to add value to – our mixed economy model of commercial and charitable activities.


But most of all, you will share our desire to help people all over the world realise their potential by forging relationships which help to create a connected and trusted UK in a more connected and trusting world.   


Would you like to apply for the role?


If you would like to learn more about this post, then please see the documents below:


Role Profile - Member AFC.docx


If you are interested in the post and feel that you are suitable for the role, then we would really like to hear from you. Please apply by Friday 3rd April by emailing your CV and a cover letter to donald.macdonald@britshcouncil.orgindicating Independent Member AFC in subject field. Selection for this role will be by Panel interview. The Panel will be held on Monday 20th April/continuing Tuesday 21st April, in London.


Our Equality commitment


Valuing diversity is essential to the British Council’s work. We aim to abide by and promote equality legislation by following both the letter and the spirit of it to avoid unjustified discrimination, recognising discrimination as a barrier to equality of opportunity, inclusion and human rights. All staff worldwide are required to ensure their behaviour is consistent with our policies. 


The British Council is committed to a policy of equal opportunity and is keen to reflect the diversity of UK society at every level within the organisation. We welcome applications from all sections of the community. In line with the British Council's Child Protection policy, any appointment is contingent on thorough checks. In the UK, and in other countries where appropriate systems exist, these include criminal records checks.