Trustee vacancies are advertised externally in the media, on the Working at Tate pages of this website and on the government-sponsored Public Appointments website in order to reach as diverse an audience as possible. All applicants must complete an application form and submit it by a specified date. Each application is then assessed against set criteria.

A shortlist of applicants to be interviewed is drawn up. The interview panel will normally include the Chair of the Board, one or two Trustees and an Independent Assessor who is appointed by the Department for Culture Media and Sport (DCMS)

The responsibility for decisions lies with the selection panel, which makes its recommendations to the Minister for Culture, who in turn makes their own recommendation for appointment to the Prime Minister. The appointment is made and announced by the Prime Minister.

Trustees give their services on an honorary basis and receive no remuneration, except for expenses reasonably incurred in performance of their duties.

Term of appointment

The term of appointment is normally for a period of four years, with the potential for re-appointment for a further four years subject to satisfactory performance and approval from the DCMS. Renewal of appointment is subject to assessment by the Chair of the Board of Trustees. Currently it is the convention that artist trustees serve for one term only.

Code of Practice for appointments

The appointment of Tate trustees follows the Code of Practice for ministerial appointments to public bodies. The principles underpinning the code are:

  • Ministerial responsibility: the ultimate responsibility for appointments is with ministers.
  • Merit: all public appointments should be governed by the overriding principle of selection based on merit by the well-informed choice of individuals who, through their abilities, experience and qualities, match the needs of the public body in question.
  • Independent scrutiny: no appointment will take place without first being scrutinised by an independent panel or group including members who are independent of the department filling the post.
  • Equal opportunities: departments should practice the principles of equal opportunities.
  • Probity: board members of public bodies must be committed to the principles and values of public service and perform their duties with integrity.
  • Openness and transparency: the principles of open government must be applied to the appointments process. Its working must be transparent and information provided about the appointments made.
  • Proportionality: the appointments procedures need to be subject to the principle of proportionality, that is they should be appropriate for the nature of the post and the size and weight of its responsibilities.

If you would like to find out more about becoming a Trustee, please email