About the pcf

Networking at PCF

The Public Chairs’ Forum (PCF) exists to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the delivery of public services in the United Kingdom. It is a member led, exclusive information sharing and networking resource for chairs of public bodies. Through a programme of unique and carefully tailored seminars and events, the PCF facilitates an environment for Chairs to identify best practice and work together to improve the delivery of public services. By drawing on the perspectives of its members, the PCF is able to provide information, advice and guidance to Government on the role of arm’s-length bodies in the delivery and reform of public services.

Recognising the value of the Forum, we are actively supported by Sir Mark Sedwill, Head of the Civil Service and Cabinet Secretary, and John Manzoni, Chief Executive of the Civil Service and Permanent Secretary at the Cabient Office. Sarah Healey CB, Permanent Secretary at the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport is our central government sponsor.

We are politically non-aligned and do not have corporate views. We facilitate important discussions between government and public bodies. We aim to influence, but not to lobby.

Who can join

·       Membership to the Public Chairs’ Forum is open to all chairs of public bodies, regardless of their organisations’ size or remit. If the chair is not able to attend an event, they can delegate their place to one of the organisation’s non-executive directors.

What we offer

·        Membership includes an annual programme of approximately eight of meetings and seminars a year, on subjects of common interest, with other chairs, which are led by senior public figures and key figures in Government, generating challenging debate.

·        Access to invaluable networking opportunities with peers, and opportunities to contribute and benefit from various research projects aimed at supporting chairs of public bodies in their roles.

·        We offer an open environment for the sharing of best practice, contributing to the personal development of chairs.

·        The provision of peer and expert support to the chairs of public bodies, including a mentoring scheme.

·        Our programme of work is driven by the needs and requirements of our members.


·        In the interest of openness and transparency, the Public Chairs’ Forum holds an annual general meeting at which it will provide an annual report which reflects both key activities and performance, and a set of accounts for the previous financial year.

·        The PCF is run by the PCF Manager and is overseen by a Chair and Management Committee.

·        A copy of the Public Chairs’ Forum’s constitution, which came into effect on 1 December 2017, is available here.

·        We operate independently from government and all other organisations.

Roles and Responsibilities

The Public Chairs’ Forum (PCF) exists to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the delivery of public services in the United Kingdom. It does this by:

•  Providing peer and expert support to the Chairs of public bodies, via an annual programme of meetings and
    seminars, on subjects of common interest, which are led by senior public figures and generate a challenging

•  Drawing on the expertise, experience and varied perspectives of members (and where appropriate
    commissioning research and producing short papers) to share best practice and provide information,
    advice and guidance to Government on the role of public bodies in the delivery and reform of public services.

•  Membership is open to all Chairs of public bodies. Further details, including information on subscriptions, can
    be found on the membership page.


The Public Chairs’ Forum was first established in 2003. Initially a partnership with Leeds University Business School (LUBS), the PCF was endorsed by key figures in government who saw the value that such a network could offer. Following a review, a Management Committee was established and a Chair was appointed, which then led to a partnership being formed with the Institute for Government in April 2010.

The start of this partnership marked the appointment of the first full time PCF manager, responsible for the delivery of PCF business. Since this time, the PCF has continued to grow in size and influence and now does an increasing number of research projects to help and support its members, in addition to the wide ranging programme of seminars and events that it runs.

The PCF is valued by Government because it is committed to improving the efficiency and effectiveness of public services and offers help and support to a sector containing many different types of organisations with a wide range of remits.

PCF Mission, Vision and Values


The PCF exists to enable Chairs of public bodies to work together to improve the efficiency and effectiveness with which public services are delivered.


We envisage a network where all chairs of public bodies work together and engage with government through our events, seminars and research projects to effect positive change in their organisations and beyond. 


In all that we do we seek to be:

• Member-led
Our programme of work is driven by the needs and requirements of our members.

• Impartial
We are politically non-aligned and do not have corporate views. We facilitate important discussions between government and public bodies. We aim to influence, but not to lobby.

• Supportive
We enable members to come together and encourage dialogue between members. We offer support, guidance and advice: to members in dealing with the challenges that they face; and to government, both in informing policy development and in ensuring implementation of policy.

• Independent
We operate independently from government and all other organisations.

• Trusted
We offer an open environment for the sharing of best practice, contributing to the personal development of Chairs.


David Eriya

David Ereira OBE, Honorary Member

David Ereira OBE was Chair of the Insolvency Service and stepped down from that role in 2017. He remains an Honorary member of the Public Chairs Forum. He has been a trustee and Chair of Marie Curie. He is a solicitor. He is a partner in the London office of Paul Hastings (Europe) LLP having previously been a partner for over 25 years in City “Magic Circle” law firms.  

David Is a member of the Finance Law Committee of the City of London Law Society, the Insolvency Lawyers Association, INSOL and the International Insolvency Institute. He has worked with the Financial Markets Law Committee and its predecessor the Financial Law Panel on issues of legal certainty.

Management Committee

PCF is governed by a management committee consisting of a Chair, a Secretary and a Treasurer plus three to eight other members. Members of the management committee are elected by ballot annually, by the PCF members, at the annual general meeting.

Caroline Corby, Chair, Parole Board

Caroline Corby worked in the City specialising in private equity. During this time she served on a number of private sector boards across a range of industries. In 2007 she joined the board of London Probation Trust (LPT) and she served as Chair of LPT from 2012 to 2014 when all trusts were wound up under the Transforming Rehabilitation programme. In 2018 Caroline was appointed Chair of the Parole Board for England and Wales. In addition to this role she is a Non-Executive Director of Cafcass (which represents the interests of children going through the Family Courts in England), One Housing (a housing association based in the South East) and JML (a consumer products business). She also chairs Fitness to Practice panels for the Nursing and Midwifery Council.

Stephen Dingle, Chair, Coal Authority

Stephen was appointed as Chair of the Coal Authority in 2013 having been a Non-Executive Director since 2008.

Stephen spent all of his executive career in the City of London. The major part of his career was 17 years at Rothschilds where he specialised in mining, property and higher education ending as an Executive Director. His executive final role was as a Partner at Ernst & Young LLP.

Since leaving the City in 2006, Stephen has pursued a plural Non-Executive Career. Major roles have been as a Trustee and Honorary Treasurer at Shakespeare’s Globe (2000-2012), Non-Executive Director at Registers of Scotland (2007-2015) and Non-Executive Director at Disclosure Scotland (2011-2015).

Vic Emery OBE, Chair, Civil Nuclear Police Authority

Vic Emery joined as Chair of the CNPA Board in September 2016. In the public sector, Vic has served three terms of public service to policing in Scotland - as Chair of the Scottish Police Services Authority (SPSA) and more recently of the Scottish Police Authority (SPA). Vic also played a major governance and advisory role in bringing the Edinburgh Trams Project back on track for successful completion and also Chaired the New Campus Glasgow Project, merging 4-city centre further education colleges into a single super college. In Private Sector, Vic was formally Group Managing Director of BAE Systems warship building and sustainment business for over 10 years, across 5 operational facilities in the UK with a turnover of £800 million and a workforce of 7500. Vic sat on the Operational Board of BAE Systems Plc from 2003 until 2008 and was awarded an OBE in May 2008 for services to warship building.

Vic is currently the Chair of Zero Waste Scotland (ZWS) and holds a number of other Non-Executive posts including Past President and Board Member of the Glasgow Chamber of Commerce, Chair of the Scottish Maritime Museum, Board Member of the Scottish Regional Advisory Board and Chair of Thoughthive Limited, a private cyber security software company.

Mark McAllister, Chair, Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR)

Mark McAllister was appointed as Chair of ONR in April 2019. He is an engineer by profession and has worked in the international oil industry since 1979. Mark has held Chief Executive positions at several companies including Acorn Oil & Gas, Fairfield Energy and most recently Shandong Twin Marine Limited where he continues as CEO.

He served as Chairman of Oil Spill Response and Prevention Advisory Group (OSPRAG) which formulated the joint response of the North Sea oil industry, trade unions and government to the Macondo blowout in the Gulf of Mexico. He has helped pioneer a new marine heavy-lift technology aimed at ensuring the safe and efficient removal of large offshore oil and gas platforms. In 2009, he was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Technology from Robert Gordon’s University in recognition of services to the oil industry. Mark is currently a non-executive director for the Oasis Charitable Trust, a multi-national charity employing over 4,000 staff.

Chris Nicholson, Chair, Animal and Plant Health Agency

Chris Nicholson was appointed Chair of the Animal and Plant Health Agency, an Executive Agency of DEFRA, in May 2018.

Chris spent most of his career as a Partner at KPMG, primarily in the Corporate Finance Practice where he advised on regulation, public/private partnerships and infrastructure finance. He was successively Head of the Central Government practice and then the Public sector practice at KPMG.

After leaving KPMG he was the Chief Executive of a Westminster public policy think tank followed by three years as policy Special Adviser to the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change during the Coalition Government. Since then he has been project director of a review of UK regulators and an interim director of the East West Railway Company. Chris has also been a trustee of a number of charities.

Helen Pitcher OBE

Helen is an experienced Chairman, Board member, Board facilitator Coach and Mentor. She works across the range of FTSE, Professional Service, Private Equity and Family firms, where she has led some of the biggest Board Evaluations. Helen is also a coach to many leading CEOs, Chairman and NED's. She was awarded an OBE for services to Business in 2015.

In addition to her Criminal Cases Review Commission role Helen holds the following high-profile Board roles: Chairman of Advanced Boardroom Excellence Ltd., a Non-Executive Director at UB UK, C&C Group Plc and Chairman of their Remuneration Committee and the SID and Remuneration Committee Chair at One Health Group Ltd.  Helen is the President of KidsOut (a National Children's Charity) and INSEAD Directors Network Board (IDN).  Helen sits on the Advisory Board for Leeds University Law Faculty.

Caroline Sheppard OBE, Chief Adjudicator, Traffic Penalty Tribunal

Caroline has been Chief Adjudicator of the Traffic Penalty Tribunal since 1999. She and her team of independent lawyers comprise the Tribunal that decides appeals against penalties for parking, bus-lane and road-user-charging enforcement, issued by over 300 local authorities in England and Wales.

She has been instrumental in driving the user-centric approach that typifies the Traffic Penalty Tribunal’s operations and she is a digital champion, taking a leading role in the development of the Tribunal’s award-winning online appeals management system – a platform that has facilitated increased workload and accelerated outcomes, while significantly reducing costs.

Caroline was awarded an OBE in the summer of 2017 for services to motorists, having received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the parking industry earlier in the year. Caroline is also Chair of the Directors of the Whitefield Multi-Academy Trust, the largest special educational needs provider in Europe, specialising in education for children and students with autism and visual impairment. The schools champion an innovative programme with Barts Hospital Trust for employing young people with the special skills needed for particular types of jobs.

PCF Secretariat

Rafe Smallman

Rafe is responsible for managing all aspects of PCF business and works closely with the PCF board to engage new members and implement a successful programme of seminars and events. Rafe joined PCF in July 2019 on secondment from the Quality Assurance Agency, where he has worked for five years. His role included leading teams undertaking reviews of higher education providers, as well as having wider engagement with universities and colleges both in the UK and overseas. Prior to this Rafe worked at the British Council, in local government and as a Maths teacher.

Lucinda McDade

Lucinda is responsible for the communications, membership, stakeholder and research workstreams of PCF and is responsible for supporting the Manager of PCF in all aspects of business. This includes developing the annual programme of events, contributing to research projects on public service delivery and promoting the work of PCF within our membership and to the wider public sector through social media and engaging with key stakeholders. Lucinda joined the PCF in 2019 from the Inspectorate of Probation, where she specialised in strategic communications and evaluation. An English Literature Graduate of Hatfield College, Durham, Lucinda was previously Lead Copywriter for an international digital agency. She is soon to pursue a part-time MA in policy, to fulfil a lifelong personal and professional interest.

The Secretariat are also employed by the Association of Chief Executives and are based at the Institute for Government’s offices in Carlton Gardens.

If you are interested in finding out about the PCF,
contact get in touch via email or call on 0207 747 0491.

Contact Details

The Public Chairs' Forum is based at the Institute for Government's offices in Carlton Gardens.

postal address:
Public Chairs' Forum
2 Carlton Gardens

If you are interested in finding out about the PCF, get in touch via email or call on 0207 747 0491.


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