VACANCY: Chair of Trustees

June 10, 2024

PLEASE NOTE: CLAPA is committed to safeguarding and ensuring the welfare of children, young people and vulnerable adults and will assess all prospective employees in line with this commitment. See the recruitment pack below for more details.


The Cleft Lip and Palate Association (CLAPA) is the national charity for people affected by cleft lip and palate in the United Kingdom.

CLAPA supports people affected by cleft to take control of their journey, connect with others, and use their voices to impact the future of care. Our vision is that no one affected by cleft lip and palate in the United Kingdom will go through their journey alone. Find out more.

Chair of Trustees (Part Time, Volunteer)

Role Description

The Board of Trustees is responsible for the overall governance and strategic direction of the charity, developing the CLAPA’s aims, objectives and goals in accordance with the governing document, legal and regulatory guidelines.
You would be joining our board at an exciting time, as we create and implement our new 5 year strategy for 2025-2030.
The Chair has the overall purpose of leading the Board, ensuring systems are in place to provide trustees with the support they need to carry out their role effectively and enabling trustees to fulfil their responsibilities for the overall governance and strategic direction of the charity. This will be done in accordance with the relevant legal and regulatory guidelines/requirements.

Key Tasks

The Chair of Trustees will be expected to:

• Work collaboratively with the CEO, staff and volunteers to achieve our strategy and optimise the relationship between the Board and CLAPA’s staff and volunteers.
• Provide leadership within the Board ensuring that it fulfils its responsibilities for the governance of the organisation and promoting good governance among fellow Trustees.
• Contribute actively to the board of trustees’ role in giving firm strategic direction to the organisation, setting overall policy, defining goals and setting targets and evaluating performance against agreed targets.
• Ensure that trustees are fully engaged and that decisions are taken in the best, long-term interests of the Charity and that the Board takes collective ownership.
• Lead 8 meetings annually.
• Support and supervise the Chief Executive and act as a channel of communication between the board and the Chief Executive.
• Act as a figurehead for the charity e.g. representing the organisation at events, meetings or in the press.
• Lead on the development of the board, making sure that its decisions are carried out.
• Liaise with the CEO and the Board to keep an overview of the charity’s affairs.
• Protect and manage the property of the charity and to ensure the proper investment of the charity’s funds.
• Take urgent action (but not decision-making unless authorized) between board meetings when it isn’t possible or practical to hold a meeting.
• Sit on appointment and disciplinary panels as required and liaise with the CEO to develop the board of trustees.
• Safeguard the good name and values of the charity.
• Ensure the effective and efficient administration.
• Ensure the financial stability of the charity.
• A willingness to devote necessary time and effort to your duties as Chair and be available and responsive to trustees and others for contact between meetings.

The duties of a Trustee are to:

• Ensure that CLAPA complies with its constitution/memorandum and articles of association, charity law, company law and any other relevant legislation or regulations
• Ensure that CLAPA pursues its objects as defined in its governing document
• Ensure CLAPA applies its resources exclusively in pursuance of its objects, i.e. it must not spend money on activities which are not included in its own objects, no matter how worthwhile or charitable those organisations are
• Contribute actively to the board in giving firm strategic direction to CLAPA, setting overall policy, defining goals, setting targets and evaluating performance
• Attend Board meetings, adequately prepared to contribute to discussions and adhere to the Trustee Code of Conduct. Use independent judgment, acting legally and in good faith to promote and protect.
• Safeguard the good name and values of CLAPA
• Ensure the effective and efficient administration of CLAPA
• Protect and manage the property of CLAPA and ensure the proper investment of CLAPA’s funds
• Contribute to the broader promotion of CLAPA’s objects, aims and reputation by applying your skills, expertise, knowledge and contacts.
• Appoint the Chief Executive and monitor their performance
• Willingness and ability to understand and accept their responsibilities and liabilities as Trustees and to act in the best interests of the organisation.
• Ability to think creatively and strategically, exercise good, independent judgement and work effectively as a board member.
• Effective communication skills and willingness to participate actively in discussion.
• A strong personal commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion.
• Personal empathy for our vision and mission.

Person Specification


• Experience of Chairing a Charity Board of Trustees (or similar equivalent) and an understanding of the legal responsibilities and liabilities of a Trustee/director.
• Strong communication skills and excellent leadership skills along with a willingness to challenge the status quo.
• Strong leadership skills able to foster and promote a collaborative team environment and an inclusive and collaborative leadership style.
• Bring impartiality and objectivity to decision-making.
• Ability to work effectively as a member of a team as well as independently.
• Integrity, good independent judgment and analytical/ evaluation skills.
• A commitment to CLAPA and willingness to devote the necessary time and effort to the charity, and to act as the charity’s ambassador to external bodies, charities and companies.
• Competent use of IT skills
• Understanding and acceptance of the legal duties, responsibilities and liabilities of trusteeship.
• Previous experience of influencing & developing people and organisational strategy.
• Ability to handle and resolve sensitive issues that could potentially jeopardise the reputation of the charity


• A willingness to speak their mind
• Strategic vision
• Knowledge and understanding of cleft lip and palate and its impact on people born with a cleft and their families

Terms of Office

1. Trustees will normally hold office for two three year terms.
2. Usually a maximum of two terms can be served.
3. This is a voluntary position.

How to Apply

Please complete the online Application Form

Chair of Trustees Recruitment Pack (PDF) 

Application Form

Applications close: Tuesday 2nd July

First Stage Interviews: Friday 5th July

Start date: As soon as possible

If the interview or start dates will be an issue for you because of religious festivals or other key dates, we will make every effort to accommodate this. Please get in touch to discuss your requirements.

If you have not heard from us by Thursday 4th July please assume your application has been unsuccessful. We regret that due to our small team, we are unable to give feedback on unsuccessful applications.

We request no contact from agencies about this listing.

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