BBC Trust

Getting the best out of the BBC for licence fee payers

How Trustees are appointed

BBC Trustees are appointed by the Queen on advice from ministers. When new Trustees are needed the posts are advertised. Trustees are chosen on merit. The process is regulated by the independent Commissioner for Public Appointments.


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

  • A commitment to the BBC and an understanding of the challenges facing public service broadcasting
  • The ability to represent licence fee payers' views
  • A willingness to engage with the public and to represent the public interest
  • The ability to work effectively at board level or its equivalent

The Trustees for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland must have a home or business in the nation concerned and bring an understanding of the public broadcasting issues there, or the ability to acquire it.


Trustees bring a wide range of experience. Knowledge of particular value includes:

  • Broadcasting, communications and new media
  • Competition, legal, corporate or regulatory aspects of running large organisations
  • Expertise in areas covered by the BBC's public purposes as set out in the Charter
  • Making the idea of accountability work

Selection process

Those who apply to be Trustees are shortlisted and interviewed. The interview panel is chaired by a senior civil servant from DCMS (Department for Culture, Media and Sport). The panel 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' pay is set by the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport. The Chairman is paid £142,800 a year and The Vice-Chairman £77,005 a year. The Trustees for the UK nations are paid £41,070 a year, and other Trustees £35,935 a year.

The Chairman is expected to spend 3-4 days a week on Trust business, and the Vice-Chairman about 2.5 days. Other Trustees are expected to spend about 2 days a week.

Trustees can serve for up to two terms, each of up to five years.

Explore the BBC

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