Trustee with a policing background

Help us build a fairer justice system for children and vulnerable people

police trustee

Please click on the headings below for information, and to find out how to express your interest in the position.

The role

NAAN is seeking to appoint a trustee with a policing background.

Like every charity, NAAN has a Board of Trustees (a group of unpaid non-executive directors) who ensure that the charity is effective in carrying out the purpose for which it was set up. Trustees have responsibility for overseeing the work of the charity, ensuring it is financially stable, well-run and fulfilling its charitable obligations. The day-to-day running is delegated to the executive team.

Independence from policing is a legal requirement of the appropriate adult role. However, appropriate adults work with police every day, in police environments. As the national body for the appropriate adult role, it is critical that we draw on this expertise and experience. For this reason, NAAN has always sought to include a police officer within its governance.

The appointee would take over from Sergeant Andy Ward (formerly the Deputy General Secretary of the Police Federation), who has served on the board since 2016. Andy replaced Superintendent Alan Green (Staff Officer to the National Custody Lead for Custody). We welcome applications from current or recently retired police officers of any rank.

All new trustees will be offered the opportunity to undertake NCVO training on the trustee role.


Providing a policing perspective

In addition to the general duties of a trustee (below), the person appointed will:

  • Provide the charity with insight into policing perspectives
  • Support effective working with police at the strategic and practical level.

Statutory duties

The following are shared duties of the trustee board, as required by law:

  • To ensure compliance with the governing document, charity law, company law and any other relevant legislation or regulations
  • To ensure pursuance of the objects as defined in the governing document
  • To ensure resources are used exclusively in pursuance of the objects
  • To contribute actively to the Board’s role in giving strategic direction to the organisation, setting overall policy, defining goals and setting targets and evaluating performance
  • To safeguard the good name and values of the organisation
  • To ensure the effective and efficient administration of the organisation
  • To ensure financial stability
  • To protect and manage the property of the charity and ensure the proper investment of the charity's funds
  • To appoint the Chief Executive Officer and monitor their performance.

Other duties

In addition to the above statutory duties, each Board member should use any specific skills, knowledge or experience they have to help the Board reach sound decisions. This may involve:

  • Scrutinising Board papers
  • Assisting with other issues in which the Board member has special expertise
  • Providing guidance on new or proposed activities
  • Involvement in working groups, developing and delivering events and training
  • Representing NAAN to external stakeholders and the media
  • Regular attendance at, and active participation in Board meetings and the AGM is expected (see time commitment)
Read more about the role and legal responsibilities of trustees by clicking this link:

What we do

Appropriate adults
  • Appropriate adults (AAs) safeguard the interests of children and vulnerable people in police custody and voluntary interviews, including effective participation, fair treatment and the exercise of rights.
  • Vulnerable people include, for example, those with mental ill health, learning disabilities, or social and communication difficulties
  • Many AAs are parents and carers; NAAN member organisations provide a service where this is not possible
  • Local authorities have a statutory duty to ensure the provision of AAs for children when a parent is not available. 
  • There is no statutory duty to ensure the provision of AAs for vulnerable adults
  • Click here for more information about AAs, including a 6 minute video

The National Appropriate Adult Network

  • We are a membership organisation, open to organisations and individuals providing Appropriate Adult services in the UK. NAAN itself doesn’t provide appropriate adults but many of our member organisations do.

  • The National Appropriate Adult Network (NAAN) was established in 1995 by Appropriate Adult (AA) practitioners, together with Mind, Mencap, and the Revolving Doors Agency, to develop and share best practice.
  • NAAN has been a registered charity since 2004

  • As the national centre of expertise, NAAN's mission is to maximise the effectiveness of AAs
  • We are a small national charity with a focus on England and Wales (we do not cover Scotland which is a separate jurisdiction)
  • NAAN is funded via grants from the Home Office and charitable foundations, membership fees, and earned income from the provision of training, qualifications and events.

Our vision and mission

We want every child and mentally vulnerable person detained or interviewed as a suspect by the police to:

  • Be treated fairly and with respect for their physical and mental welfare;
  • Be fully able to exercise their rights and entitlements, and to participate effectively in the process;
  • Be safeguarded by an appropriate adult.

Our mission is to maximise the effectiveness of the appropriate adult (AA) safeguard.

Our strategic objectives

We have recently developed a new strategy, which identifies four strands to our work:

  • Strengthening local provision (better provision and commissioning)
  • Informing the public 
  • Contributing to a fairer system
  • Increased impact

Our activities

Our activities include standards, training, qualifications, online and physical events, resources, e-updates, advice, research, policy and strategic advocacy

  • We work with practitioners, providers, commissioners, academics and policymakers
  • We provide leadership and support to a network of over 100 member organisations (who have around 2,500 AAs).

Our achievements and impact


In recent years, NAAN has demonstrated that, despite being a small organisation, it can achieve significant impact on national and local policy and practice.

This was made particularly clear through our role in the response to the Covid-19 pandemic. NAAN played a key role, exerting significant influence to ensure that children and vulnerable people were not disadvantaged by the response. We are aiming to build on our achievements in this area.

Below you'll find some key achievements from the past few years.  Detailed information on our work is also available in our annual reports.
  • In 2013, NAAN contributed to a successful campaign to have 17-year-old suspects legally recognised as children.
  • In 2015, NAAN published the first report in our There to Help series, based on an original Freedom of Information (FOI) request and survey data. This gained significant media coverage, and led to distinct improvements in statutory guidance for police, including:
    • a requirement to consider proactively whether a suspect is vulnerable
    • a clearer definition of the AA’s role
    • clearer safeguards for children and vulnerable adults attending suspect interviews voluntarily (rather than after arrest)
  • There have since been two further reports, and the percentage of adult detainees             recognised by police as requiring AA support has doubled.
  • In 2018, our National Standards were approved by the Association of Directors of Social Services, Association of Police and Crime Commissioners, and the Youth Justice Board.
  • In 2019, the new Standards for children in the youth justice system (2019), set by the Secretary of State for Justice, required AA provision for children to be in line with NAAN national standards.
  • In 2020, our intervention at the start of the Covid pandemic resulted in swift changes to the emergency protocol which allowed lawyers to provide legal advice by telephone or video conferencing in suspect interviews, adding safeguards for children and vulnerable people.
  • In 2021, our research and policy work, including our report with Transform Justice and Fair Trials International, and based on a survey of our member AAs in all police force areas, resulted in an agreement to remove children and vulnerable adults from remote legal advice, having demonstrated the negative impact on these groups.

Our aspirations

This is an exciting and important time in NAAN’s development as we aim to build on our previous achievements, expand our activities and look for new opportunities for the future. 

With a strong financial foundation and a new strategy in place, we have plans to grow our impact through both grant and earned income.

Our key goals for the next few years include:

  • increasing our delivery of training and qualifications
  • redeveloping our training for AAs, including developing an e-learning platform
  • improving the identification of vulnerability amongst police suspects
  • securing a statutory duty for AAs for vulnerable people
  • increasing lived experience participation

Our people


NAAN has three highly motivated, professional and creative employees, Chris Bath (Chief Executive), Grev Wallington (Effective Practice Manager), and Kate Tokley (Operations Manager), all of whom have a friendly and productive working relationship with the Board.


The board is made up of people:

  • elected by our membership from within our membership; and
  • coopted by the board to broaden its skills and experience.

Click here for more information about the current board members.


Term limits

Our Constitution states that Trustees are appointed for a term of three years.

This can be repeated once (to a maximum of six years). A minimum of one year break must then be taken before any final three year term. No further terms may be served. 


The specific time commitments will depend on your choices and approach to the position. However, the role will certainly involve:

  • 8 meetings per year (board and subcommittees), usually between 1-4pm on a weekday 
  • 1 day per year for the AGM
  • Ad hoc availability for supporting the CEO, board members when necessary.


Please note that meetings have previously been held in London. However, these were successfully moved online due to Covid-19. Like many organisations, we are considering how to capture the positive aspects of these changes (notably efficiency of time and money), while being mindful of the benefits of in-person discussions. We are currently alternating between online meetings via Teams and in-person meetings. 

We are a national organisation and we have set aside funds to reimburse reasonable travel expenses. 

Legal status

NAAN is a:

Members of the Board are both Trustees and Company Directors.

The personal liability of Trustees in the event of winding up is limited to £1. NAAN also purchases trustee indemnity insurance on an annual basis. 

About you

We are seeking a current or recently retired police officer of any rank.

In particular, we value:

  • A commitment to justice and fairness
  • Recognition of the need for a distinct approach for children and vulnerable people
  • The desire and ability to contribute at the national level
  • Independence of mind
  • Ability to work constructively and collaboratively with people from different professional backgrounds and perspectives in the interests of children and vulnerable people
  • Practical and/or strategic policing experience in one or more of: custody, investigations, children, mental vulnerability (e.g. mental health, learning disability, neurodiversity, brain injury)

Useful skills and expertise could include:

  • Experience developing equality, diversity and inclusion strategies and plans
  • Experience of working with underrepresented or underserved communities in the UK
  • Knowledge of the working of boards and/or charities
  • The ability to generate ideas and proposals
  • Knowledge of fundraising and income generation
  • Experience of long-term planning

Equality, diversity and inclusion

We strongly recognise that our Board has some way to go to better represent the diversity of modern Britain.

The agencies and the people that NAAN deals with are diverse, and we want to get the best results for them. Having a Board that is diverse will help us to achieve the maximum impact for the young people and vulnerable adults that appropriate adults represent.

We are conscious of the role of privilege and power in people's experience of the criminal justice system, in the AA role, and in our organisation - including in the selection and development of our people.

We welcome trustees regardless of age, gender, sexuality, socio-economic background, ethnic background or disability and people with lived experience of the criminal justice system.

We are actively seeking expressions of interest from people in disadvantaged or under represented groups, including but not limited to:

  • Women
  • People who are Black, Asian or from another racialised community
  • People with a lived experience of disability, whether current or not
  • People from the LGBTQIA+ community

No person will be discriminated against. However, we are keen to widen the pool of board members, and you are particularly encouraged to apply if you are from any of these backgrounds. 

You do not need to have been a Trustee before to express your interest.

Every effort will be made to accommodate any needs to enable participation, such as covering reasonable travel and out-of-pocket expenses.

Where more than one person is equally well qualified, we will apply positive action in relation to groups that experience disadvantage or are under-represented

Our equalities monitoring form is anonymous and can be completed at any time before the deadline.

If you require reasonable adjustments for this process, please let us know.

Express an interest

Informal discussion

We are committed to making the application process as accessible as possible and are happy to provide further information and to answer any other questions regarding this opportunity. If you’d like an informal chat about the role beforehand, or have any questions, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to arrange this.

Express an interest

To express an interest, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with all your contact details. 

The closing date for expressions of interest is 9am on Monday 6th June 2022.

Equalities monitoring

We would also be very grateful if you could spare the time to complete our online equalities monitoring form. This is intended to be anonymous and will be treated as such. It does not have to be done at the same time as your expression of interest. It does not request your name. However, please be aware that as there will not be a large volume of expressions of interest, it may be possible to identify you from the details you provide.

Next steps

All expressions of interest will be reviewed by the Board.

For those taken forward, the Board will arrange a time for you to meet with board members online.

The Board will be happy to provide more detailed internal information, including NAAN's financials and risk assessment before any appointment.

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