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PKD Charity - Chair of Trustees - Role Description

PKDC Trustees

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The role

The Polycystic Kidney Disease Charity is seeking to appoint a new Chair of Trustees to lead a dedicated and friendly Board and support our Chief Executive in delivering the Charity’s strategic aims. We need someone who shares our outward looking ethos and our commitment to collaborative working and is able to support this by representing us at appropriate events, meetings and functions.

A general background in strategy, governance, finance, HR or fundraising would be welcome, as would previous experience as a Chair or trustee.

About Us

The Polycystic Kidney Disease Charity is the only UK charity solely dedicated to the concerns of people affected by PKD - Polycystic Kidney Disease - a range of incurable, inherited, long-term, chronic conditions that can cause kidney failure and affect other organs in the body. We support those affected, their families and carers. We raise awareness and fund research.

We are a growing charity with an income of £204,000 in the last financial year to 31 March 2016. We have reserves of over £280,000, of which approximately 40% is restricted or designated for research. You can view our latest report and accounts at the link below.

The Charity is presently supported by a board of nine trustees and three professional contractors: one primary contractor provides chief executive services, acting as Chief Executive Officer (CEO), plus administrative and company secretarial services; the two others provide fundraising and support services, reporting to the CEO. The Charity additionally contracts out some ad hoc project work, for example medical writing and bookkeeping.

We are in the final stages of reviewing our Strategic Plan, based on information obtained via a survey of our supporters and stakeholders carried out in 2016. This will set out the Charity’s priorities for delivery over the next three years.

Role Profile

Overall Purpose of Role:

  • Provide leadership and direction to the Board of Trustees, including planning and chairing trustee meetings, and enable the Board to fulfil its responsibilities for the overall governance and strategic direction of the charity.
  • Ensure that the charity pursues its objects as defined in its governing document, charity law, company law and other relevant legislation/regulations.
  • Manage primary contractor providing Chief Executive services.
  • Represent the Charity at appropriate events, meetings and functions.


In relation to the Board

  • In conjunction with the Board of Trustees and CEO, formulate strategic plans and regular review of long-term strategic aims of the charity.
  • In conjunction with the Board of Trustees and CEO, develop organisational policies, define goals, targets and evaluate performance against agreed targets.
  • Approve the annual cycle of the board meetings, meeting agendas, chair and facilitate meetings, monitor decisions taken at meetings and ensure they are implemented.
  • Liaise regularly with the Treasurer to maintain a clear grasp of the charity’s financial position and to ensure full and timely financial transparency and information disclosure to the Board.
  • Lead and mentor other Board members to fulfil their responsibilities and enable access to training/coaching/information to enhance the overall contribution of the board.
  • Review as necessary the Board structure, role, contractor agreements and ensure implementation of agreed changes/developments.
  • Encourage team working among Board members and encourage them to identify and recruit new trustees as required.
  • Create an effective working relationship with trustees through review and evaluation of contributions and effectiveness of the Board.

In relation to the CEO

  • With the Board, manage the CEO and lead the process of appraising the outcomes of this service.
  • Assume guardianship of the legal and financial integrity of the Charity.
  • Consult with CEO on matters of strategy, governance, finance and resourcing.
  • Oversee the CEO’s activities in the context of the implementation of the Board’s strategy and policies.
  • Maintain careful oversight of any risk to reputation and/or financial standing of the Charity.
  • Receive regular informal progress reports of the organisation’s work and financial performance through the CEO.

Other responsibilities

  • Represent the Charity as a spokesperson at appropriate events, meetings or functions.
  • Lead the Board in fostering relations with supporters, potential beneficiaries and potential funders/donors.
  • Act as final stage adjudicator for disciplinary and grievance procedures if required.
  • Facilitate change and address conflict within the Board of Trustees, within the Charity and liaise with the CEO to achieve this.
  • Undertake review of external complaints as defined by the Charity’s complaints procedure.
  • Ensure adherence and compliance in relation to key policies e.g. Equal Opportunities, Health & Safety and in all decisions and discussions of the Board and any committees.
  • Attend and be a member of other committees or working groups when appropriate in role as Chair.

Person specification:


  • Understanding and acceptance of the legal duties, responsibilities and liabilities of Trusteeship and adhering to Nolan’s seven principles of public life: selflessness, integrity, objectivity, accountability, openness, honesty and leadership.
  • Commitment to the Charity’s objects, aims and values and willingness to devote time to carry out responsibilities.
  • Strategic and forward looking vision in relation to the Charity’s objects and aims.
  • Good, independent judgement, political impartiality and the ability to think creatively in the context of the organisation and external environment.
  • Good communication and interpersonal skills and the ability to respect the confidences of colleagues.
  • Balancing tact and diplomacy with willingness to challenge and constructively criticise.


  • Prior experience of committee/trustee work.
  • Knowledge of the type of work undertaken by the organisation.
  • A wider involvement with the voluntary sector.
  • Experience of chairing meetings, committee work, some experience of charity finance, charity fundraising.
  • Leadership skills.

Term and Time commitment:

The time commitment from the Chair of Trustees at the individual’s discretion, bearing in mind the following:

  • 3 Year term of Appointment
  • 2 face to face trustee meetings a year
  • 8 to 9 monthly phone conference meetings per annum
  • Regular meetings (face to face and by telephone) with CEO
  • Attendance at appropriate events, meetings and functions


All PKD Charity trustees are encouraged and supported to take advantage of relevant training and development opportunities.


This role is voluntary and unpaid; however reasonable expenses will be reimbursed in accordance with the Charity’s policies.

To find out more about the charity please visit our website

If you have any questions or would like to have an informal chat with someone about the role, then please call Tess Harris on 020 7387 0543.

 To apply for this role please send a C.V and a covering letter by email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 All appointments are subject to satisfactory references.

  • Closing date for all applications: 15 July 2017
  • Shortlisted candidates will be asked to attend an interview in a convenient location on a date to be confirmed by the panel

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PKD Charity is a Member of

  • Fundraising Regulator Website
  • Visit The Information Standard website
  • Visit PKD International website
  • Visit Ciliopathy Alliance website
  • Visit the Genetic Alliance UK website
  • Rare Disease UK Website
  • National Voices Website
  • Specialised Healthcare Alliance Website
  • FEDERG Website
  • Visit EURORDIS website