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Board Trustee - Chair of the Audit & Risk Committee

Salary: Unpaid

Location: London

Closes: 23 April 2021

ABRSM Board Trustees

Voluntary (unpaid)

The recruitment of a new Trustee comes at an exciting time of growth and transformation for ABRSM.

We are looking for a Trustee to contribute to the overall strategic direction and governance of this charity in its role as an international leader in music education. You will also become the Chair of the Audit & Risk Committee of ABRSM’s Governing Body. You will have an appropriate financial qualification and good experience in financial reporting, audit process, internal controls and risk management systems. You will be able to demonstrate strong international commercial experience, which can contribute to our growing digital strategy and have a collegiate and supporting style.

Who we are
ABRSM is one of the UK's leading music education organisations and one of its largest music publishers. It sets the internationally recognised standard in high quality music achievement and is the world's market leader in the provision of music exams, delivering around 650,000 assessments in more than 90 countries every year. In October 2020 ABRSM designed and launched a brand new online qualification, and by March 2021 it had recorded 100,000 exam bookings for this new Performance Grade.
ABRSM is a registered charity, whose members are the four Royal Schools of Music - the Royal Academy of Music, the Royal College of Music, the Royal Northern College of Music and the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. As members of ABRSM, these respected institutions share and support a common purpose to enable ABRSM to deliver its charitable purpose.

ABRSM supports music education globally. We believe that everyone, regardless of background or circumstance, should be supported to realise their full musical potential. We provide individual scholarships and support national ensembles and community projects both in the UK and internationally. We also contribute to the body of research that provides insight into music teaching and learning, the barriers to musical progress and changes that are happening over time. We at ABRSM believe that working together with others brings the best value for everyone involved in learning, teaching and performing music. We collaborate with our partners to develop skills, resources and leadership in the sector, to open up access and opportunity to progress, to drive diversity and inclusion, and to be champions for music learning in all its forms. Most important of our partners are the Royal Schools of Music. The extensive work these institutions do to support music education in schools and the wider community through their junior conservatoires, access and participation projects and outreach activities plays a vital part in ABRSM achieving its goal of supporting progression and inspiring and enabling the next generation of musicians.

Over the last three years there has been extensive change at ABRSM. We have introduced new business operating systems, launched a self-service booking, payment and account management portal for customers and latterly designed new qualifications and formats for assessment. As a significant commissioner of new music, we have an ever-growing library of musically diverse and stimulating syllabus listings and newly-commissioned repertoire, an asset that we are committed to protecting.

Our commitment to inclusion

Our diversity and inclusion agenda will see us embed sustainable change at all levels in the organisation and through all our activities. Our aim is for our workforce, examiners and senior leadership to reflect the diversity of contemporary Britain. Our employee diversity and inclusion group will drive strategies to improve in-work mentoring opportunities for staff from protected groups and make progression and training opportunities more transparent and objective. We are a registered Disability Confident Committed employer.

Senior levels of leadership and governing committees are gender diverse and we are now committed to focussing on increasing representation from protected groups at these levels, including a talent development programme to support the careers of our junior staff and prepare them for senior roles.
We are committed to supporting the progression of all learners, everywhere. We aim to maximise our appeal and impact by increasing the variety and attractiveness and relevance of assessment and educational repertoire we offer, by funding individual scholarships, by sponsoring local and national programmes around the world, and by commissioning and publishing research in order to better understand the barriers to, and effective interventions that support, musical progression.
As a significant commissioner of new music, we will broaden the network of composers we work with and whose talent we will draw on to commission works for our syllabus and publications. We will also support emerging young composers and arrangers to develop skills in writing for the music education market, with an emphasis on increasing proportion from under-represented groups.

Time Commitment

The Trustees currently meet four times a year for half a day and for an Away Day every January. Committee meetings and informal support to the Executive require similar time so in total about 10 equivalent days per year. The majority of meetings are held at the office in London, near Moorgate Tube Station. The role is unpaid but expenses will be reimbursed.

We particularly encourage and welcome applications from all sections of society as we value the different perspectives this brings. It is also important to us that we reflect the society in which we work.

Application Process

To apply, please email your CV and covering letter to Tony Hales, ABRSM Chair at and using the subject title ‘Trustee application’

Applications must be submitted by midday on Friday 23 April 2021.

Interviews will take place in the week commencing 3 May.

The appointment will be approved by the Nominations Committee in May and you will be invited to attend Governing Body and Audit & Risk Committee meetings in June, taking over as chair in November 2021.

For enquiries please contact Rachael Casstles (

Please do not follow the below link to apply through the portal.  Applicants must be submitted to the above recruitment email address.

ABRSM is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people and we expect everyone we work with to share this commitment.

Applying for this role