Vacancies for Chairmanship of the Surgical Specialty Boards

The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh (RCSEd) is pleased to present several exciting opportunities for suitable individuals to chair some of its Surgical Specialty Boards (SSBs).

The following SSBs are recruiting new Chairs to take office from Autumn 2022:

  • SSB in Cardiothoracic Surgery
  • SSB in Plastic Surgery
  • SSB in Vascular Surgery

Core Functions and Responsibilities of the SSB Chair

Recruitment, appointment and orientation of SSB members

  • Work in consultation with College staff and members of Council to populate SSB membership
  • Orient all new SSB members to the Board and its work

Strategic direction and management of work

  • Set strategic direction for the SSB to fulfil the goals in alignment with an agreed work plan
  • Work with College staff to ensure that SSB members have the information needed to complete actions
  • Delegate and assign work to SSB members as needed and ensure that progress on tasks are being made

Convene the SSB

  • Convene SSB meetings twice annually, or more frequently if needed
  • Work with College staff to develop meeting agendas and ensure that meeting minutes and actions are captured and distributed
  • Meet collectively with the Chairs of the other SSBs twice per annum and once per annum jointly with the RCSEd College Council


  • Serve as a conduit of information between the SSB, College staff and the College Council and President
  • Communicate progress on work plans, decisions and issues
  • Communicate with the President, College staff, other SSB or committee chairs in order to relay information that may impact the work of the SSB or the College
  • Communicate the work of the SSB with College Members and Fellows, as required

Formal reporting

  • Submit written reports or deliver formal presentation to the College Council, as required

Person Specification

Applicants should be able to demonstrate experience of:

  • Supporting assessment, education, professional standards and/or policy work relating to the relevant surgical specialty e.g. through membership of surgical associations, RCSEd committees, working groups or NHS structures and boards
  • Committee work
  • Effectively chairing meetings
  • Leading the development and implementation of projects or work plans to achieve desired objectives

Applicants should be able to demonstrate suitable skills, including the ability to:

  • Inspire, motivate and support other committee members to deliver agreed actions
  • Operate with tact and diplomacy
  • Act impartially and respect confidences
  • Influence colleagues and key stakeholders whilst being respectful of others’ points of view

Term of Office

Chairs are appointed for an initial term of three years and thereafter shall be eligible for reappointment for a further one year, subject to performance and at the discretion of the College Council.

Time Commitment

The average time commitment for this role is approximately 1 – 1.5 hours per week.

The SSBs meet at least twice per annum and participation can be in person in Edinburgh or via digital remote means.

Appointment Process

Applications will be subject to a shortlisting process based on the required skills and experience and SSB Chairs shall be appointed through a panel interview process.  All appointments shall be subject to ratification by the College Council.

Eligibility Criteria

Applicants must: 

  • Be a Fellow of the RCSEd in good standing;
  • Be in good standing with their employer and with the GMC;
  • Be willing and able to commit the time required to undertake this role, including travelling to Edinburgh from time to time to attend meetings; and
  • Provide written confirmation from their CEO or Medical Director that their employing NHS Trust/Board supports their application.

Please note: Experience indicates that applicants who are UK-based are likely to be best able to fulfil the requirements of the role of Chair.

Background and Remit of the SSBs:

The Surgical Specialty Boards (SSBs) are constituted within the internal governance structure of The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh (RCSEd) and exist primarily to support, advise and assist the College and its Council across the breadth of core College activities as they relate to specialty matters and developments. In addition, the SSBs play a critical role in facilitating reciprocal engagement and communication between the College and the surgical specialties across the UK.

As part of its remit, each SSB shall:

  1. Consider specialty-specific issues on behalf of the College and provide relevant advice and guidance to the College Council
  2. Facilitate reciprocal engagement and communication between the College and the surgical specialties across the UK and overseas
  3. Support the College’s specialty examinations, as appropriate, and as agreed with the College’s Convener of Examinations and Examinations Department.
  4. Support the Colleges’ Education activity by reviewing and contributing to its education portfolio in each specialty, including through course and webinar development, and promoting the portfolio to the Surgical Specialty Associations (SSAs)
  5. Support the College’s Professional Standards activity by nominating its members (or other appropriate College Members and Fellows) to:
    1. act as College-appointed Assessors and/or Reviewers in:
    2. undertaking external clinical, service and quality assurance reviews (including Invited Reviews)
    3. accrediting external courses and overseas training facilities
    4. quality assuring both applications and host positions in regard to the International Postgraduate Deanery
    5. participate and represent the College on Advisory Appointment Committees (AACs) for the appointment of NHS Consultants
    6. participate in National Audits
  1. Ensure that its members undertake relevant assessor or examiner training provided by the College in order to appropriately support the College’s Professional Standards, Education and Examinations activity
  1. Provide comments and feedback to the College’s Policy Team on matters relating to the relevant specialty (e.g. public consultations, NICE guidelines, etc.) in order to support the College’s advocacy and external engagement work
  1. Consider and provide feedback to the College Council (or its committees) on Examiner applications and nominations for Fellowships without Examination or Honorary Fellowships
  1. Consider and agree a forward schedule of business and key priorities covering at least a 12-month period, taking account of the College’s strategic aims, and report to the Steering Group and Council on progress

Further Information

These roles are unremunerated but reasonable expenses for travel and subsistence will be reimbursed on production of receipts and appropriate claim forms. As with all travel on College business, SSB members will be expected to travel in accordance with the College Travel Policy.

If you would like to be considered for the position of Chair of the SSB in either Cardiothoracic, Plastic or Vascular Surgery, please  send a covering letter of no more than 500 words, a brief CV, the names and contact details of two suitable referees, and a supporting letter from your Trust CEO or Medical Director, for the attention of Lindsey Lawson, SSB Secretariat, e-mail:

Please also specify clearly which SSB you are applying for. 

Any informal enquiries regarding these vacancies should be directed to: in the first instance.

Closing date for applications: 09:00 on Monday 5 September 2022

The College’s membership is diverse and we aspire to ensure that this diversity is represented through our internal governance and decision-making structures, whether this be via appointed or elected positions. In all cases, we particularly welcome applications or nominations from suitably qualified individuals from protected characteristic groups that are currently underrepresented on College boards, committees or groups, who may bring different experiences, skills and perspectives to our discussions and decision- making. Reasonable adjustments for disability will be implemented for those who require them.

Tagged with: ssb Surgical Specialty Boards RCSEd Council council cardiothoracic plastic surgery vascular surgery surgery

back to top of page