Previous PCF Seminars and Events

The future of public bodies and zero emissions

November 26 2020


This event was originally scheduled for March 2020.

Find out what the Government’s commitment to net zero emissions by 2050 will mean for Arm’s Length Bodies.

We regularly hear that the Government’s commitment to net zero emissions by 2050 will require transformation of a magnitude rarely seen before. As a country this will include changes in how we develop policies and regulations in all areas of Government, how we invest in green technologies, and how we adapt as individuals in the way we live and work.

In this seminar we will hear from experts who will provide detail of the impact the net zero policy will have on the country, and public bodies in particular, and insight into how public bodies can adapt and evolve to be ready to meet the opportunities and challenges that the huge reduction in greenhouse gas emissions will bring. Confirmed speakers:

- Tamara Finkelstein, Permanent Secretary of Defra
- Lord Deben, Chair of the Committee on Climate Change
- Tom Delay CBE, CEO, The Carbon Trust
- Emma Howard Boyd, Chair of the Environment Agency

To register, please visit our Eventbrite page, or for any queries please email

PCF Conference

October 13 2020

12:00 to 17:00

Join us to explore Governing Public Bodies of the Future, at the PCF Conference 2020. Our annual conference provides Chairs with the opportunity to share their experiences and insights over an extended session and concludes with a networking drinks reception.

The programme is still taking shape, but here is a flavour of proceedings:

Innovation vs Stability: The Chair’s role in preparing public bodies for change This thought-provoking panel session will consider the balance between innovation and stability in governing a public body, focusing on the impact of governance structures on ALBs and the public they serve, as well as some stimulating best-practice examples.
Professor Simon Gaskell, Chair of Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education
Alison Thorne, Chair of Chwarae Teg and board member at Sports Wales
Dr Nneka Abulokwe OBE, MicroMax Consulting founder

Strategic advantage: why data is make or break This frank and forward-looking panel session will highlight cutting-edge success stories, and discuss why Chairs need to harness the latest strategic developments in the area of digital and data.
Susannah Storey CB, Director General at DCMS
Roger Taylor, Chair of the Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation
Gavin Freeguard, Programme Director at Institute for Government

Closing Session with Loyd Grossman CBE, Chair of the Royal Parks.

The Conference is free for PCF members, and there will be chance to network over lunch and drinks. To register for the conference please email

Private seminar with Sir Mark Sedwill, Cabinet Secretary and Head of the Civil Service (Format TBC)

July 03 2020

09:00 to 10:00

Cabinet Secretary and Head of the Civil Service, Sir Mark Sedwill, will join members for a private seminar, to provide news from the centre about latest developments and government priorities.

Online webinar with Rt Hon Peter Riddell CBE, Public Appointments Commissioner

June 23 2020

10:00 to 11:00

This online webinar will provide an opportunity to hear from Rt Hon Peter Riddell CBE as he comes to the end of his term as the Commissioner for Public Appointments. We will confirm the agenda in due course but the event will likely provide an opportunity for members to discuss:

- Some of the key insights Peter has identified during his time as Commissioner
- Some of the key challenges with the public appointments process, with a focus on what practically can be done to help resolve these
- Key learning and innovations that can be gleaned as the public appointments process has had to adapt to the rapid changes in how we are working nationally.

To register and for more information, please email The webinar will be run using Microsoft Teams and the PCF team will provide details in advance.

Value for Money (Online)

May 11 2020


Come to this event to discuss what Value for Money in public bodies means in this current political climate.

The ongoing political uncertainties are impacting on Government’s ability to make long term financial decisions, including through a comprehensive spending review. Public bodies are operating in an environment of financial uncertainty, and this is having an impact on the long term decisions we are able to make.

Amidst this uncertainty public bodies are rightly having to continue to demonstrate Value for Money. This seminar provides the opportunity to hear about how best to demonstrate financial prudence, and what the future might hold for the finances of public bodies.

We will hear from:

Sir Michael Barber, founder of Delivery Associates and Chair of the Office for Students
Dr Gemma Tetlow, Chief Economist at the Institute for Government

We hope to add more speakers in the new year but will also value your contributions to the discussion. To register please go to our Eventbrite page.

This event will be taking place as an online webinar.

Private seminar with Sir John Manzoni, Head of the Civil Service (Online TBC)

May 01 2020

09:00 to 10:00

We are delighted to welcome the Head of the Civil Service, Sir John Manzoni, for a private seminar this May. This will be an invaluable opportunity for members to hear an update on the current priorities within the civil service, as well as raise any issues that they are facing within their organisations.

Our seminars with Sir John are always immensely popular and instructive, therefore we recommend members register their interest as soon as possible.

This event is being hosted jointly with the Association of Chief Executives.

CEO Skillset Research event, with NOUS (POSTPONED)

April 20 2020

16:00 to 17:30

Our ACE colleagues are undertaking research exploring the skillset of public bodies CEOs, working with management consultants NOUS. The research will consider how best to aid succession planning and recruitment, how to improve development of CEOs within the role, and highlight available expertise within the ALB CEO community. ACE would greatly value the input of ALB chairs into this research.

To kick off the research, they are undertaking a survey that seeks the views of ALB CEO’s, Chairs and government department colleagues including sponsorship teams. The survey can be found at this link and the deadline for completion is Monday 23 March 2020. The survey should take about 15 minutes to complete.

To further support the research, they will be hosting an event on 20 April 2020 from 16:00 to 17:30 to further explore the topic, and Chairs are welcome to attend. The event will be led by NOUS colleagues and will provide an opportunity to hear the survey results and further share views on this key topic. The event is open to CEOs, senior managers and Chairs of arm’s length bodies, as well as relevant colleagues within government departments.

To register for this event, or for any questions about the research or survey, please email

Commerciality and the public sector

March 06 2020


Exploring the link between public bodies and commerciality, including how we can work most effectively with UK Government Investments.

Commerciality is an increasingly important consideration for public bodies. Further to this, UKGI’s work with other public bodies has frequently been mentioned in Public Chairs’ Forum events. This seminar brings together individuals who will speak about commerciality in public bodies, working effectively with UKGI and the oversight role it plays as a UK centre of expertise in corporate finance and corporate governance. Members will have the opportunity to hear from:

- Robert Swannell CBE, Chair, UKGI

- Sarah Harrison MBE, Director General of Corporate Services, Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

- Kieran Murphy, Chair, Ordnance Survey

- Gareth Rhys Williams, Government Chief Commercial Officer, Cabinet Office.

To register, please click here to visit Eventbrite and contact with any queries.

Planning for the Future: People and Places

February 03 2020


Find out about the key government policy decisions that will impact on your organisation’s strategic planning.

Getting your staffing and premises right is crucial to running efficient and effective organisations. Further to this, the government has significant ambitions to transform the civil service in order to improve efficiency and effectiveness, including a focus on making the most of human resources and property.

In this joint ACE and PCF seminar we will hear from key people who have been tasked by the Government with running expert services and delivering solutions in these crucial areas. We will hear about what we can expect in the future in regards to policy about staffing and premises, and consider how these issues are interlinked. The seminar will also provide an opportunity to hear from and share organisations’ experiences of these issues.

Scheduled to speak are:

- Steven Boyd, Government Property Agency
- Dr Paul Feldman, Jisc
- Rupert McNeil, Civil Service HR

To book your place at this event please go to Eventbrite.

Managing a Crisis

January 10 2020

10:00 to 12:00

In times of crisis, public bodies are often required to deliver relief - and public confidence - on the front lines. We will hear from speakers with experience in both planning for extreme situations and reacting to crises in the moment.

As well as providing insight into the nature of high-pressure decision-making that has immediate consequences, this seminar will reflect on the importance of robust strategic planning and its wider application to Chairs of public bodies.

This seminar provides an opportunity to hear from:

- Robin Herringshaw, Head of Resilience, Highways England

- Lisa Pinney MBE, Chief Executive, Coal Authority

- Dr Fiona Twycross, Chair, London Resilience Forum and Deputy Mayor for Fire and Resilience

Please register for this event here.

All meetings will take place in our offices in Carlton Gardens, London. Visit the contact us page for full location details.

Adhoc seminars will be arranged around fixed date seminars as necessary, in order to be as responsive as possible to the current environment and requirements of PCF members.

Existing PCF members are encouraged to get in touch and share their thoughts on useful, topical and interesting idea for future speakers and events.

If you are a Chair of a Public Body but are not yet a member of the PCF, and are interested in finding out more, please contact us. We offer your first meeting free of charge, with no obligation to join.

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March 23 2020


Firstly, we wish all members well during these unprecedented times.

We have taken the difficult decision to postpone our next event, and we…  more »


March 12 2020


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