The Code of Governance for NHS Provider Trusts: length of service

The Code of Governance for NHS Provider Trusts

The new Code of Governance for NHS Provider Trusts (the Code) came into force on 1 April 2023. NHS England has issued the Code to help NHS Providers deliver effective corporate governance, contribute to better organisational and system performance and improvement, and ultimately discharge their duties in the best interests of patients, service users and the public.

Length of Service (see section 4.3 in the Code)

The Code states that Chairs or Non-executive Directors should not remain in post beyond nine years from the date of their first appointment to the board of directors and any decision to extend a term beyond six years should be subject to rigorous review. To facilitate effective succession planning and the development of a diverse board, this period of nine years can be extended for a limited time, particularly where on appointment a Chair was an existing Non-executive Director. The need for all extensions should be clearly explained and should have been agreed with NHS England. A Non-executive Director becoming Chair after a three-year term as a Non-executive Director would not trigger a review after three years in post as Chair.

Cases to extend Chairs and Non-executive Directors beyond 6 years for NHS Trust Providers

The NHSE proforma is designed to provide a consistent structure to support systems in ensuring that rigorous review is applied when considering extending Chairs and Non-executive Directors beyond six years. For any queries and/or completed proformas please contact