Independent Co-Chairs

  • Management Board
  • Sessional
  • Flexible
  • Closing 4th December 2020

  • Advertised from 12th November 2020
  • Roles will be reimbursed at a rate of £280 a day plus reasonable expenses.


Do you believe the best change comes when communities have the power to take action? If you want to help build a Scotland where what communities do can make a real difference, please read on…

Social Action Inquiry Scotland – call for applications for roles of Independent Co-Chairs.

What is the Social Action Inquiry?

The Social Action Inquiry is being set up to find out more about how communities can take action that makes a difference. It will look at what helps, and what gets in the way. It’s hoped that it will help influence how Scotland rebuilds after the coronavirus pandemic.

This independent inquiry will be led by people living and working in Scottish communities. It will:

  • Provide money and power to communities to do things, which they will direct themselves.
  • Support people to find their voices, take action, and use what they learn to help create wider change.
  • Try to make change as it goes along.
  • Build evidence for longer term change in Scotland.
  • Bring together people who hold power and those furthest from it to try to change behaviours that get in the way of people using their voice and power.

In the light of the coronavirus pandemic, this work is more important than ever.

You can find out more about the Social Action Inquiry in the summary ‘founding document’.

Who is involved?

The Inquiry is being set up by a partnership of organisations: Carnegie UK Trust; Corra Foundation; Foundation Scotland; the Royal Society of Edinburgh (RSE); Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO); The National Lottery Community Fund; and The Robertson Trust.

The partners will continue to support the Inquiry and be alongside the people who take it forward, however they will step back and not seek to control it.

Who will lead this work?

The partners are looking to find two people (Co-chairs) to work together to run the Inquiry.

In the next few weeks, the partners will also start recruiting a Social Action Inquiry Panel of up to ten people to help guide, shape and support the Inquiry.

The Co-chairs and Panel will include people with direct, lived experience as part of communities who have felt that they do not hold power over decisions affecting their own lives, but that this has been held by others. This might be, for example, experience of childhood trauma, homelessness, disability, poverty, or coming from a Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic community.

There will also be an Inquiry Lead who will support the Co-chairs and Panel and help deliver the work of the Inquiry.

Role Specification

The two Independent Co-chairs of the inquiry will work together to:

  • Drive the inquiry, be responsible for its overall running and make sure it is shaped by people furthest from power.
  • Uphold the underpinning principles of the inquiry (these are in the ‘founding document’) and make sure its approach is accessible, inclusive and participatory.
  • Be public advocates and representatives for the Inquiry.
  • Support community members to speak publicly, represent the Inquiry’s work and share their stories, insights and expertise.
  • Support and enable the work of the Inquiry Panel, Inquiry Lead and Social Action Support.
  • Line manage the Inquiry lead
  • Report to the funders on a quarterly basis.
  • Report to the partners on a six-monthly basis.

Together, the Co-chairs will need to bring the following skills, experience and characteristics:

  • Strong, demonstrable commitment to the principles of the Inquiry.
  • Facilitative approach, focused on enabling power to be shared, not held by any individual. This includes the ability to give up power.
  • Flexibility in their personal style and ability to lead something that is evolving, co-produced and involves high levels of ambiguity.
  • Experience of people management, and the ability to support and guide a small team.
  • Strong relationship building skills, ability to deal with complex dynamics and capacity to persuade and influence those whose behaviour the Inquiry seeks to change.
  • Ability to chair difficult meetings, including surfacing and helping to articulate problems, even where there are no easy solutions.

The Independent Co-chairs roles are each for three days per month for the duration of the inquiry (due to run until end of 2023).

They will be hosted by SCVO, and will be able to use SCVO’s systems (e.g. database, finance etc.).

The roles will be reimbursed at a rate of £280 a day plus reasonable expenses (if a daily rate does not work for you then other options can be found, for example vouchers or a payment to an organisation).

Application notes

You can apply by filling in the application form included.

If you’re interested and would like to chat about the roles and whether they might be right for you we’d love to hear from you. Please get in touch with:

Closing date: 4th December

Application forms will be shortlisted and interviews held online on 15th December 2020.