How Trustees are appointed

BBC Trustees are appointed by the Queen on advice from DCMS (Department for Culture, Media and Sport) ministers through the Prime Minister. When new Trustees are needed the posts are publicly advertised. Trustees are chosen on merit and the process is regulated by the Office of the Commissioner for Public Appointments.


Some Trustees are chosen partly because they bring particular expertise – for example, in finance or editorial matters. But all Trustees share:

  • A commitment to the objectives of the BBC and an understanding of the key challenges facing public service broadcasting in the United Kingdom
  • Support for the remit of the Trust and an understanding of the role of the Trust
  • An appreciation of the BBC's accountability to licence fee payers and the ability to represent licence fee payers' views
  • The ability to contribute to corporate decision making and to think strategically, independently and imaginatively
  • The ability to work effectively at senior board level or its equivalent in the public, private or voluntary sector
  • Excellent communication skills and the ability to represent the Trust to a wide range of stakeholder groups
  • A commitment to equal opportunities and diversity.

The Trustees for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland must have a home or business in the nation concerned and bring a knowledge of the culture, characteristics and affairs of the people of that nation, as well as a knowledge and understanding of the public broadcasting issues and key stakeholders there, or the ability to acquire it.

Selection process

Those who apply to be Trustees are shortlisted and interviewed. The interview panel is chaired by a senior civil servant from DCMS and also includes an independent assessor and the BBC Chairman. Their recommendation goes to the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, then to the Prime Minister, and finally to the Queen.

Pay and time commitment

Trustees' fees are set by the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport. The Chairman's fee is set at £110,000 a year and the Vice Chairman's at £77,005 a year. Fees for the Trustees for the UK nations are set at £41,070 a year and for other Trustees at £35,935 a year.

The Chairman's fee was reduced from £142,800 to £110,000 (23 per cent) at the start of Lord Patten's term. Other Trustees are taking a voluntary reduction equivalent to a month's salary off their fees. The reduced rates are therefore currently £70,610 for the Vice Chairman, £37,660 for the National Trustees and £32,952 for other Trustees.

The Chairman is expected to spend a minimum of three days a week on Trust business, and the Vice Chairman up to two days a week. Other Trustees are expected to spend 1-2 days a week on Trust business.