• Chairperson of MG ALBA

    UK-Stornoway and across Scotland
    Salary Details
    Job Type
    Non-Executive Member
    Job Level
    Non Executive Member
    Contract Duration
    The appointment is for a term of four years.
    Closing Date
  • Purpose of the Role

    Gaelic Application Pack

    For a downloadable version of this application pack in Gaelic, please select this link Cathraiche MG ALBA Cathraiche MG ALBA



    • Ofcom (The Office of Communications) is the independent regulator and competition authority for the UK communications industries, with responsibilities across television and radio, fixed-line and mobile telecommunications, plus the airwaves over which wireless devices operate. Everything we do emanates from the primary duty set for us by the UK Parliament in the Communications Act 2003 to further the interests of citizens and consumers.

    Gaelic Duties

    • Ofcom has a statutory duty to appoint board members of MG ALBA. Under the existing arrangements for appointments, the Scottish Government is consulted and appointments are subject to approval by Scottish Ministers. In our approach to recruiting board members, we take into account the Scottish Government’s guidance which states that the majority of MG ALBA’s board members should be proficient in Gaelic and that Gaelic should form the board’s working language. In some situations, translation into English may be offered. Under the 1990 Broadcasting Act, Ofcom must also secure that the majority of the members of the board are persons who appear to represent the Gaelic-speaking community.

    About MG ALBA

    • Seirbheis nam Meadhanan Gàidhlig, the Gaelic Media Service, is a body corporate established by the statute and operating as MG ALBA (Meadhanan Gàidhlig Alba). For further information on the legislative basis and remit see MG ALBA’s website.

    • MG ALBA comprises the Chairperson and up to eleven other members. MG ALBA members are appointed for fixed terms by Ofcom, subject to the approval of Scottish Ministers. Employees are appointed by MG ALBA, subject to the consent of Ofcom as to the numbers and the terms of service.

    • The functions of MG ALBA are to ensure that a wide and diverse range of high quality programmes in Gaelic are broadcast or otherwise transmitted so as to be available to persons in Scotland and to others.

    • MG ALBA is specifically permitted to finance or engage in a) the making of programmes in Gaelic, b) the provision of training in connection with the making of programmes, and c) audience research. MG ALBA delivers this remit primarily through a partnership with the BBC for the funding and operation of BBC ALBA.

    • MG ALBA endeavours to adhere to principles of transparency, integrity and accountability in fulfilling its objectives.

    • MG ALBA’s board members operate to a code of conduct established for the board. They are provided training in line with the Scottish Government’s “On board” guide. Provision is made for the appraisal of the performance of board members.

    • MG ALBA prepares an annual report for Ofcom, and those accounts are laid by Ofcom in the UK and Scottish Parliaments.

    • MG ALBA prepares an Operational Plan for each financial year.

    • The board has established three Committees to ensure efficiency and effectiveness: the Audit and Assurance Committee (see remit on MG ALBA’s website), the Standards Committee (see remit) and the Nominations Committee (to advise on board recruitment).

    • MG ALBA is accredited by Investors in People and Investors in Young People, and was recognised by Broadcast Magazine as one of the best places to work in broadcasting in 2018.

    • MG ALBA is based in Stornoway, with staff presence at the BBC’s offices in Glasgow and Inverness. The Stornoway facilities are part of the Creative Media and Industries Centre in Stornoway, a campus which is leased and managed by MG ALBA and which includes BBC Radio nan Gàidheal, BBC News, independent producers and technology businesses.

    Fullfilling the remit

    • MG ALBA’s five-year vision is set out in Lèirsinn 2021- see http://www.mgalba.com/downloads/reports/leirsinn-2021.pdf?lang=en.

    • MG ALBA’s objectives in this period are:

      • A wider range of content for BBC ALBA.

      • Achieve national impact and create social and cultural value in Scotland through Gaelic content.

      • Contribute to Gaelic language maintenance and development.      

      • Foster active engagement and participation in Gaelic media.

      • Create economic value, including jobs.

      • Ensure Gaelic media content is distributed outside of Scotland and the UK.

    • MG ALBA’s strategic objectives are realised mainly, but not wholly, through BBC ALBA, a dedicated Gaelic language television channel funded and managed by MG ALBA in partnership with the BBC (in practice BBC Scotland). The partnership operates under the terms of a Collaboration Agreement signed in July 2007 and the channel is subject to the BBC Operational Licence issued by Ofcom.

    The role

    As well as chairing and leading the board of MG ALBA, the role has a profile that requires extensive engagement with those with an interest in Gaelic language and broadcasting, including elected representatives and ministers in the Scottish and UK Governments.


    The individual will bring commercial and political acuity, ideally with an interest in or understanding of broadcasting policy and media regulation. They will be at ease with fast moving, high technology environments and understand the audience and consumer interest in such spheres.


    Person specification

    The candidate will be expected to meet the following criteria:

    • Understanding of issues affecting Gaelic language and broadcasting;

    • An awareness of the competition and consumer dynamics of a fast-changing sector;

    • Sound judgement and decision making to ensure successful delivery in a complex organisation;

    • A well-developed understanding of the accountability and scrutiny of publicly funded organisations;

    • Experience of chairing or equivalent corporate leadership and encouraging collaboration within and between organisations;

    • A team player with both non-executive and executive colleagues;

    • Personal integrity of a high order and ability to demonstrate no conflicts from any commercial or political interests.

    How to apply

    • To apply for this role, click on the 'apply for this job only' button at the top of this page. Your application will include:

      • A detailed CV (no more than 3 pages) – this should provide details of your education and qualifications, employment history, directorships, membership of professional bodies and details of any publications or awards;

      • A covering letter (no more than 2 pages) – setting out how you meet the criteria for this role – please make sure you refer to the contents of this document;

      • Please feel free to provide your cv and letter in English or Gaelic

    Appointment Process

    Applications will be acknowledged shortly after receipt and candidates will be informed in writing or by telephone of the progress of their application.

    Applications will be considered by a Selection Panel that will include representatives of Ofcom, the MG ALBA board and an independent assessor. A shortlist of the candidates will be invited to attend for interview around mid-September 2018.  

    Formal approval of the successful candidates will be by the Ofcom board then by the Scottish Ministers.

    We expect the selection interviews to be conducted mostly in English. This is because most of the selection panel are not Gaelic speakers (we expect the panel make up to be confirmed before the application closing date). In fulfilling its role with respect of Gaelic broadcasting, Ofcom would meet any legal requirements which apply to it with regard to the Gaelic language.


    If you are invited for interview your reasonable travel expenses will be reimbursed. Please provide brief details. If you need to travel from outside the UK, please discuss arrangements in advance. If you have a disability, please let us know if you require any assistance in attending for interview.







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