Non-Executive Board Member

Welcome

Welcome to this website and thank you for your interest in the position of non-executive Board Member, Dumfries and Galloway College. We are seeking exceptionally motivated and creative applicants to join our Board of Management, during a time of huge change for both the College itself and for the further and higher education across Scotland. We are looking for up to 5 potential new Board Members to fill current and upcoming vacancies, with a variety of skills and experience.

We are at the start of a Transformation journey as set out in our Ambition 2025. The impact of COVID-19 has created new challenges for the College but has also highlighted opportunities and potential on which we want to build.

The College operates across two Campuses in the beautiful South West of Scotland with the main site in Dumfries on the Crichton Campus and the second in the West of the region in Stranraer, 75 miles away. While much of the curriculum is common across both campuses, responding and delivering to the needs of diverse and dispersed rural communities is a key challenge for our operation. The area we serve covers 2,400 square miles with all the opportunities and challenges that brings. We are the largest provider on the multi institutional Crichton Campus, and have strong partnerships with the University of the West of Scotland, the University of Glasgow, the Open University and Scotland’s Rural College. This unique partnership extends beyond collaborative curriculum planning and effective articulation agreements; the college also hosts a number of shared services in our Dumfries building, including the Campus library.

More recently the College, in collaboration with Borders College, has completed the building stage of our funded project from the new South of Scotland Enterprise This project will develop a South of Scotland Skills and Learning Network that will provide an ICT and digital infrastructure to enable access to education, skills development, research and business connectivity across the South of Scotland and beyond. The funding is also enabling the colleges to develop STEM hubs in key sectors such as Renewables & Engineering, Sustainable Construction, and Care.

Dumfries and Galloway College plays an important part in delivering the region’s and nation’s economic and social strategy and we are a key strategic partner in the region. Our progress to date has been based upon an effective relationship between the Board of Management and the Principal and Executive Leadership Team. We believe this has given us a firm foundation for the future which we hope you can see from the following information.

Please take the time to read through this website and find out more about the role and our College. I hope this provides you with all the information you require and look forward to receiving your application.

Hugh Carr
Interim Chair to the Board of Management

Dumfries and Galloway College

Dumfries and Galloway College is located in beautiful South West Scotland, the gateway to three countries - Scotland, England and Ireland. Our campus sites reflect the commitment of the College in serving the needs of the whole of the Region. The College has an average of 5,000 students per year - 25% full-time and 75% part-time/other attendance. Approximately 10% are west of the Region based.

We are a multi-award winning successful college that delivers professional, technical and vocational education and training across a wide range of sectors from introductory through to advanced level, including Modern and Foundation Apprenticeships.  We also provide a large number of industry-based training courses for businesses in Dumfries and Galloway and beyond.

The main campus is located in the outskirts of Dumfries adjacent to the Crichton campuses of the Universities of Glasgow and the West of Scotland, Scotland’s Rural College and the Open University.  There is a unique collaboration between the College and these institutions that brings a broad range of learning opportunities to Dumfries and Galloway.  In particular, the Campus provides the opportunity of university learning to a region where previously people had to leave in order to access university study. Although the College has two campuses and many learning centre partnerships across the Region, we are a College without walls - creating flexible learning approaches to suit everyone. This means learning opportunities are varied and abundant - from full-time courses to flexible part-time courses, from learning in College to learning at home, work or in the great outdoors of Dumfries and Galloway.

An enhanced learner experience is achieved through shared services with the Universities of Glasgow and the West of Scotland in the form of some shared building space and a single, cohesive library service available to all students from each institution. The Crichton Estate which is open to the public contains stunning parklands and provides a beautiful environment for over 1,000 people to work.

The College also operates a campus in Stranraer, 75 miles to the west of Dumfries.  Although the range of provision offered here is not as great as that in Dumfries, it reflects the skills demands of the West of the Region.

The College's approach to learning is a reflection of the rural locality, the local economy and the changing patterns of lifestyles. As a major employer and a dynamic rural learning institution, we have strongly embraced the digital revolution and its many forms are fast becoming the bedrock of our operations and academic delivery, enhanced even further from delivery changes as a result of Covid-19.

We are moving into an exciting stage of our development, building on the successes of the past and driving forward to achieve our aspiration of becoming "an outstanding regional college". We are at the start of a transformation journey as set out in our new strategic plan, Ambition 2025.

More recently the College, in collaboration with Borders College has completed the building stage of our South of Scotland Skills and Learning Network that will provide an ICT and digital infrastructure to enable access to education, skills development, research, and business connectivity across the South of Scotland and beyond. The project was funded by the new South of Scotland Enterprise Agency, and this funding will also enable the Colleges to develop STEM hubs in key sectors such as Renewables & Engineering, Sustainable Construction, and Care.

We are optimistic about our future and feel that through

  • our strong partnership working with our learners, schools, employers and the wider community;
  • our continued investments in staff, facilities and infrastructure,
  • our investment in digital technology to improve access to learning and services and further enhance our commercial options;
  • and the commitment and dedication of our staff, we will achieve our aim of being an ‘outstanding College’ and a sector leader.

Please follow the links below to read more about how we intend to achieve our ambitions:

The Board of Management

The Board of Management is essential to the development and achievement of the strategic aims and objectives of the College. The Board is collectively responsible for overseeing the College’s activities, determining its future direction and fostering an environment in which the College’s 5 year ambition is achieved and the potential of all learners is maximised. The Board must ensure compliance with the relevant legislation and other regulatory requirements, including the use of significant public funds, and, subject to these, take all final decisions on matters of fundamental concern to the College and be accountable for them.

The Board comprises 18 members:

  • The Chair, who is appointed by the Scottish Ministers
  • The Principal, who is appointed by and answerable to the Board
  • 11 Non-Executive members, selected by the existing Board members and ratified by the Scottish Government
  • 2 members of staff elected to the Board (1 from the Teaching staff and 1 from the Support staff)
  • 2 students nominated by the Students Association

The non-executive members are recruited based on their skills, expertise and experience that they can bring to the Board. This is a non-remunerated post however reasonable expenses are paid including appropriate training costs.  The role offers valuable networking and development opportunities and the initial term of office is up to 4 years.

The Board has 5 Committees which meet quarterly, and you would be expected to join 1 or 2 of these.  You would also be expected to participate in an annual Board development day. On average, your time commitment would equate to 1 day per month. Throughout 2020, Board and committee meetings have been conducted remotely; this has been successful and we will continue to welcome remote participation in the future.

Role Description

The main duties of the role of a member of the Board of Management of Dumfries and Galloway College are described below:

  1. Governance:
    1. to lead the College, set its strategic direction and values and ensure effective management and financial controls to support the learner experience within a framework of public accountability and transparency.
    2. to comply with the Code of Good Governance.
  2. Contribute to the fulfilment of the Board’s duties, roles and responsibilities, including those as an employer, which will comprise:
    1. Strategy development: agree the vision, mission and strategic direction of the College. Approval of the College strategic plan, agreeing the outcomes and performance measures for the College;
    2. Leadership: collective role in fostering an environment that enables the College to fulfil its mission for the benefit of learners and the community it serves;
    3. Efficiency and effectiveness: ensuring that resources (staff, finance and premises) are used effectively and responsibly to support local priorities and strategic objectives;
    4. Financial management: setting and monitoring the College budget, expenditure and key financial targets, and ensuring that corrective action is taken where required;
    5. Risk management and control: ensuring that appropriate systems for internal control are in place and that these systems are reviewed; and
    6. Stakeholder relations: developing and maintaining effective relationships with stakeholders.
  3. Participate in the business of the Board, including:
    1. Prepare for and attending Board meetings of the full Board;
    2. Contribute in the making of Board decisions;
    3. Chair or participate in at least one Board sub-committee;
    4. Attend and participate in strategic planning, training and development events;
    5. Chair or participate in various reference groups, discussion forums, programme or project boards and public meetings;
    6. Be linked as a Board contact to a faculty or support area of the College; and
    7. Represent the Board externally where required.

All members should exercise their responsibilities in the interests of the College as a whole rather than as a representative of any constituency.

Governance

If appointed as a Board Member you will be required to abide by the Code of Good Governance for Scotland’s Colleges which can be found at http://www.dumgal.ac.uk/dumgalcontent/uploads/2016/11/Code_of_Good_Governance_August_2016.pdf

Code of Conduct

The Scottish public has high expectations of those who serve on the boards of public bodies. The Ethical Standards in Public Life etc. (Scotland) Act 2000 provided for a new Code of Conduct. As a member of the Board, it is your responsibility to make sure that your actions comply with this Code of Conduct. The general principles upon which the Code of Conduct is based are: public service; selflessness; integrity; objectivity; accountability and stewardship; openness; honesty; leadership and respect. Members must register and declare all interests as required by the Standards Commission for Scotland and these are published on the College website and in the annual accounts.

The Board is looking for members with a range of skills and expertise including the following:

Skills

  • Leadership
  • Thinking strategically
  • Building relationships
  • Influencing
  • Human Resources
  • Understanding
  • Listening
  • Innovation thinking

Expertise

  • Governance
  • Finance / Accountancy
  • Audit / Risk
  • Economic Development/Recovery
  • Human Resources / employee relations
  • Strategic Planning
  • Education
  • Customer Care

However, we would particularly like to hear from those people with expertise in Financial Management, Law, Economic Development & Recovery, Human Resources, and Further and Higher Education.

All Board members need to have specific general skills and personal qualities which will enable them to make a good contribution to the Board, but these do not have to have been gained by working at a management post or at a senior/strategic level. You may have gained these skills through being active in your community, in a voluntary capacity or through your personal experience. We are looking for people with enquiring minds who can communicate ideas and thoughts to others, and then influence and lead organisations through change, innovation and improvement.

The criteria below describes the skills, knowledge and experience a Member of the Board of Management will require to perform that role.

CRITERIA SOUGHT WILL BE TESTED AT
Application Interview
Essential Skills & Experience
Analytical Skills
1. Ability to analyse complex material and to reach sound conclusions based on this analysis.
Question
2. Ability to question constructively within a team environment.
Communication Skills
3. Ability to communicate effectively with a diverse range of stakeholders and build effective networks.
Strategic Planning
4. Ability to contribute to the board’s strategic thinking.
Education landscape
5. A clear understanding and interest in learning and education.
Desirable
Public Service Reform
1. Good understanding of the Scottish Government’s policy ambitions for public services in general and post 16 education in particular.
Corporate Governance
2. An understanding of corporate governance in public, private or charity sectors and of risk management (prior Board experience is not required).
Context
3. Good understanding of the needs of the economy, employers, communities and learners, and the challenges of a political environment, at a national and regional level.
Specific Skills or Experience
4. One of the following areas would be particularly welcome:
  a) A good understanding of Further Education/Higher Education
  b) Experience in Finance/accountancy
  c) Economic Recovery/Development/Income generation
  d) Human Resources
  e) Individuals from a legal background

Further detailed information is available as follows:

Enquiries

If you have any queries or would like a confidential discussion about the role, please contact Debbie Shields or Donogh O’Brien, of Aspen People, on 0141 212 7555.

Application

To apply please email your CV and supporting letter together with the following completed forms to Katy Gall – kgall@aspenpeople.co.uk

You will receive an acknowledgement of your application within 48 hours - if you do not receive this please contact Katy Gall on 0141 212 7555 to ensure it has been received.

Additional information concerning your application is available here:

The College is committed to equal opportunities in recruitment therefore no applicant will receive less favourable treatment on the grounds of any protected characteristic or be disadvantaged by conditions or requirements which cannot be shown to be justifiable.

Please help us to monitor the effectiveness of our policy by completing all parts of the Equal Opportunities Form. This section of the application form will not be circulated to those involved in the recruitment process and will not be used to assess your suitability for appointment but will used as part of our monitoring records.

Proposed Dates

Shortlisted candidates will be invited to meet a selection panel of existing Board members, and candidates recommended by the panel and selected by the Board, will be submitted to the Scottish Government for approval and formal appointment.

Closing date: Monday 23rd November 2020

Candidates will be updated on the outcome of their application 26th / 27th November 2020

Interviews: 1st / 2nd December 2020