Help us build a fairer justice system for children and vulnerable people
Please note that we are now closed for applications for this post.
Please click on the headings below for summary information, then download a job information pack for more details.
NAAN is looking for a Chairperson to guide the Board of Trustees, coordinating and complimenting their skills and experience.
NAAN, like every charity, has a Board of Trustees - a group of volunteers who ensure that the charity is effective in carrying out the purpose for which it was set up. Trustees have responsibility for overseeing the work of the charity, ensuring it is financially stable, well-run and fulfilling its charitable obligations. The day-to-day running is delegated to the executive team.
We want the Chair to maximise Board involvement, and to encourage and support its subgroups.
As Chair, you can expect to:
- Act as an ambassador, represent and advocate for NAAN where appropriate
- Attend regular board meetings
- Support the strategic development of the organisation
- Coordinate subgroups on specific issues (e.g. Fundraising, Diversity & Inclusion, Finance)
- Keep as up to date as possible with the business of the company
- Offer timely feedback and responses for the business in hand
- Attend conferences and events where possible
The position of Chair is voluntary (unpaid) and non-executive.
What we do
- Appropriate adults (AAs) safeguard the interests of children and vulnerable people in police custody and voluntary interviews, including effective participation, fair treatment and the exercise of rights.
- Vulnerable people include, for example, those with mental ill health, learning disabilities, or social and communication difficulties
- Many AAs are parents and carers; NAAN member organisations provide a service where this is not possible
- Local authorities have a statutory duty to ensure the provision of AAs for children when a parent is not available.
- There is no statutory duty to ensure the provision of AAs for vulnerable adults
- Click here for more information about AAs, including a 6 minute video.
The National Appropriate Adult Network
We are a membership organisation, open to organisations and individuals providing Appropriate Adult services in the UK. NAAN itself doesn’t provide appropriate adults but many of our member organisations do.
- The National Appropriate Adult Network (NAAN) was established in 1995 by Appropriate Adult (AA) practitioners, together with Mind, Mencap, and the Revolving Doors Agency, to develop and share best practice.
NAAN has been a registered charity since 2004
- As the national centre of expertise, NAAN's mission is to maximise the effectiveness of AAs
- We are a small national charity with a focus on England and Wales (we do not cover Scotland which is a separate jurisdiction)
- NAAN is funded via grants from the Home Office and charitable foundations, membership fees, and earned income from the provision of training, qualifications and events.
Our vision and mission
We want every child and mentally vulnerable person detained or interviewed as a suspect by the police to:
- Be treated fairly and with respect for their physical and mental welfare;
- Be fully able to exercise their rights and entitlements, and to participate effectively in the process;
- Be safeguarded by an appropriate adult.
Our mission is to maximise the effectiveness of the appropriate adult (AA) safeguard.
Our strategic objectives
We have recently developed a new strategy, which identifies four strands to our work:
- Strengthening local provision (better provision and commissioning)
- Informing the public
- Contributing to a fairer system
- Increased impact
Our activities include standards, training, qualifications, online and physical events, resources, e-updates, advice, research, policy and strategic advocacy
- We work with practitioners, providers, commissioners, academics and policymakers
- We provide leadership and support to a network of over 100 member organisations (who have around 2,500 AAs).
Our achievements and impact
In recent years, NAAN has demonstrated that, despite being a small organisation, it can achieve significant impact on national and local policy and practice.
This was made particularly clear through our role in the response to the Covid-19 pandemic. NAAN played a key role, exerting significant influence to ensure that children and vulnerable people were not disadvantaged by the response. We are aiming to build on our achievements in this area.Below you'll find some key achievements from the past few years. Detailed information on our work is also available in our annual reports.
- In 2013, NAAN contributed to a successful campaign to have 17-year-old suspects legally recognised as children.
- In 2015, NAAN published the first report in our There to Help series, based on an original Freedom of Information (FOI) request and survey data. This gained significant media coverage, and led to distinct improvements in statutory guidance for police, including:
- a requirement to consider proactively whether a suspect is vulnerable
- a clearer definition of the AA’s role
- clearer safeguards for children and vulnerable adults attending suspect interviews voluntarily (rather than after arrest)
- There have since been two further reports, and the percentage of adult detainees recognised by police as requiring AA support has doubled.
- In 2018, our National Standards were approved by the Association of Directors of Social Services, Association of Police and Crime Commissioners, and the Youth Justice Board.
- In 2019, the new Standards for children in the youth justice system (2019), set by the Secretary of State for Justice, required AA provision for children to be in line with NAAN national standards.
- In 2020, our intervention at the start of the Covid pandemic resulted in swift changes to the emergency protocol which allowed lawyers to provide legal advice by telephone or video conferencing in suspect interviews, adding safeguards for children and vulnerable people.
- In 2021, our research and policy work, including our report with Transform Justice and Fair Trials International, and based on a survey of our member AAs in all police force areas, resulted in an agreement to remove children and vulnerable adults from remote legal advice, having demonstrated the negative impact on these groups.
This is an exciting and important time in NAAN’s development as we aim to build on our previous achievements, expand our activities and look for new opportunities for the future.
With a strong financial foundation and a new strategy in place, we have plans to grow our impact through both grant and earned income.
Our key goals for the next few years include:
- increasing our delivery of training and qualifications
- redeveloping our training for AAs, including developing an e-learning platform
- improving the identification of vulnerability amongst police suspects
- securing a statutory duty for AAs for vulnerable people
- increasing lived experience participation
NAAN has two highly motivated, professional and creative employees, Chris Bath (Chief Executive) and Grev Wallington (Effective Practice Manager), both of whom who have a friendly and productive working relationship with the Board.
NAAN has recently secured further funding and we are currently hiring our third employee in the role of Operations Manager.
The board is made up of people:
- elected by our membership from within our membership; and
- coopted by the board to broaden its skills and experience.
Our Constitution states that Trustees are appointed for a term of three years.
This can be repeated once (to a maximum of six years). A minimum of one year break must then be taken before any final three year term. No further terms may be served.
As Chair you will be taking a leading role in the charity.
The specific time commitments will depend on your choices and approach to the position. However, the role will certainly involve:
- 4 half days per year for board meetings , usually between 1-4pm on a weekday
- 3 days total per year for planning, preparation, contacting the board and reviews
- 1 day per year for the AGM
- Ad hoc availability for supporting the CEO, board members when necessary.
Please note that meetings have previously been held in London. However, these were successfully moved online due to Covid-19.
Like many organisations, we are currently considering how to capture the positive aspects of these changes (notably efficiency of time and money), while being mindful of the benefits of in-person discussions.
NAAN is a:
- Registered Charity (no. 1104765) regulated by the Charity Commission (view our entry in the charity register).
- Company Limited by Guarantee (no. 04680035) regulated by Companies House.
Members of the Board are both Trustees and Company Directors.
The personal liability of Trustees in the event of winding up is limited to £1. NAAN also purchases trustee indemnity insurance on an annual basis.
What we value most in a prospective Chair is:
- your unique perspective
- a commitment to justice and fairness,
- competence in managing meetings
- ability to get people involved.
We would expect the Chair to:
- have some experience of governance
- understand strategic thinking
- have first-hand knowledge of at least one the main sectors that NAAN is engaged with (the youth and adult criminal justice systems; social services and/or mental health provision; adult education, training or professional development).
Useful skills and expertise could include:
- Knowledge of the working of boards and charities in principle
- The ability to generate ideas and proposals
- Knowledge of fundraising and income generation
- Experience of working with underrepresented or underserved communities in the UK
- Experience of long-term planning
Equality, diversity and inclusion
We strongly recognise that our Board has some way to go to better represent the diversity of modern Britain.
The agencies and the people that NAAN deals with are diverse, and we want to get the best results for them. Having a Board that is diverse will help us to achieve the maximum impact for the young people and vulnerable adults that appropriate adults represent.
We are conscious of the role of privilege and power in people's experience of the criminal justice system, in the AA role, and in our organisation - including in the selection and development of our people.
We welcome trustees regardless of age, gender, sexuality, socio-economic background, ethnic background or disability and people with lived experience of the criminal justice system.
We are actively seeking expressions of interest from people in disadvantaged or under represented groups, including but not limited to:
- People who are Black, Asian or from another racialised community
- People with a lived experience of disability, whether current or not
- People from the LGBTQIA+ community
No person will be discriminated against.. However, we are keen to widen the pool of board members, and you are particularly encouraged to apply if you are from any of these backgrounds.
You do not need to have been a Trustee before to express your interest.
Every effort will be made to accommodate any needs to enable participation, such as covering reasonable travel and out-of-pocket expenses.
Where more than one person is equally well qualified, we will apply positive action in relation to groups that experience disadvantage or are under-represented
Our equalities monitoring form is anonymous and can be completed at any time before the deadline.
If you require reasonable adjustments for this process, please let us know.
Express an interest
We are committed to making the application process as accessible as possible and are happy to provide further information and to answer any other questions regarding this opportunity.
Express an interest
In your email, we would be grateful if you could tell us a little about:
- the reasons for your interest in the role of Chair of NAAN; and
- your relevant background (please feel free to attach a CV if you prefer).
The closing date for expressions of interest is 30th September 2021.
Thank you for your interest; we look forward to hearing from you.
We would also be very grateful if you could spare the time to complete our online equalities monitoring form. This is intended to be anonymous and will be treated as such. It does not have to be done at the same time as your expression of interest. It does not request your name. However, please be aware that as there will not be a large volume of expressions of interest, it may be possible to identify you from the
All expressions of interest will be reviewed by the Board.
For those taken forward, the Board will arrange a time to meet you for a meeting with board members either in person or online.
The Board will be happy to provide more detailed internal information, including NAAN's financials and risk assessment before any appointment.