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Chairperson & Deputy Chairperson of the Board

Role Description for Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson of the Board 

Sunbeam House Services provides a range of supports to adults with intellectual disabilities.

We aim to empower people with the necessary skills to live full and satisfying lives as equal citizens of their local communities.

The board is responsible for the governance of Sunbeam House Services ensuring the successful delivery of services to adults with intellectual disabilities while ensuring regulatory compliance and fulfilment of its service commitments to the HSE. 

The board now wishes to recruit a Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson.

General duties of Sunbeam House Services Board Directors:

  • Strategic direction: The director will have a clearer or wider view of external factors affecting Sunbeam House Services and its operating environment. The role of the director in strategy formation is to provide a creative and informed contribution and to act as a constructive critic in looking at the objectives and plans devised by the chief executive and his or her executive team
  • Monitoring: The director should take responsibility for monitoring the performance of executive management, especially with regard to the progress made towards achieving the determined company strategy and objectives
  • Communication: The Sunbeam House Services Board’s effectiveness can benefit from outside contacts and opinions. Therefore, it can be an important function of a director to help ‘connect’ business and Board with networks of potentially useful people and organisations. In some cases, the director may be called upon to represent the company externally.
  • Leadership and effective governance:  The director will be willing and able to serve as a member of the Board and share in the leadership and effective governance of the organisation.
  • Act in the best interests of Sunbeam House Services: The Director’s values will be aligned with those of Sunbeam House Services, whose activities are currently distributed in the county of Wicklow and Dun Laoghaire and Rathdown.
  • Act with reasonable care and skill: Be of independent mind, who are familiar with and/or are sensitive to the life experience of people with intellectual disabilities. 

Main Responsibilities of the Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson:

The Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson will work closely with the CEO in a ‘bridge’ role between the Board and the executive management team. In Sunbeam House Services, the expected time contribution to this role is at least one day per week with additional flexibility.

  • Decision-Making: The Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson can only make decisions on matters entrusted to him or her by the Board. However, the Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson should ensure that the decision-making processes of the Board are effective and that the Board challenges sufficiently and effectively major proposals that are put forward by the executive management team, as represented by the CEO and Senior Management. The Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson should encourage every Board member to engage in Board and committee meetings by which strategic decisions are taken. The Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson should be of independent mind, who are familiar with and/or are sensitive to the life experience of people with intellectual disabilities.

  • Strategy: The Chairperson with the support of the Deputy Chairperson sets the agenda for the Board’s deliberations. That agenda should focus on strategy, performance, accountability and the creation of value for the people we support. The issues relevant to these areas should be reserved for decision by the Board exclusively and reserved matters should be identified clearly in writing and made known to the CEO.

  • Communication: The Chairperson with the support of the Deputy Chairperson has a responsibility to ensure effective communication with all stakeholders. In order to make informed decisions, Board members should be given a timely flow of high-quality supporting information.

  • Ethics and Values: The Chairperson with the support of the Deputy Chairperson should set clear expectations concerning Sunbeam House Services’ culture, values and behaviours and the style and tone of Board discussions.

  • Risk Management: The Chairperson with the support of the Deputy Chairperson should ensure that the Board determines the nature, and extent of the risks that Sunbeam House Services is willing to embrace in the implementation of its strategy, and to have in place effective monitoring of compliance (legal and regulatory in particular).

  • Finance: The Chairperson with the support of the Deputy Chairperson should ensure that strategic decisions of Sunbeam House Services are informed by consideration of the financial resources and constraints of Sunbeam House Services.

  • Stakeholder Relationships: Frequently the Chairperson is Sunbeam House Services’ leading representative and presents the organisation’s goals, business and values to Stakeholders, the public and the media. From time to time the Chairperson with the support of the Deputy Chairperson will be involved in negotiation and compliance requirements on behalf of the organisation.

  • Staff: The Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson should, on a regular basis, consider succession planning and the current and future composition of the Board and executive management team. The Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson should take the lead on issues of director development, including through induction programmes for new directors and regular reviews with all directors and of the senior executive management team.

  • Evaluation: The Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson should act on the results of any Board evaluation. He or she should also provide constructive feedback for the CEO from a Board perspective.


Candidates seeking to apply for the Chairperson role should have the following attributes/skills:

  • Extensive experience in a leadership role in a complex organisational setting
  • Previous committee or board level experience

  • Experience of operating with multiple stakeholders and/or involvement in community initiatives.

  • Strategic thinking experience

  • Experience of the Intellectual Disability sector

  • Experience as Chair is desirable

  • A positive, can-do attitude

  • Strong communications skills

  • Some knowledge of the operating environment of charities

The term of appointment is for three years.

Board Meetings are held in the premises of Sunbeam House Services in Bray, Co. Wicklow and on MS Teams (virtually).

Applicants should email a CV and a cover letter that indicates how they believe they fulfill the criteria to: Karen Kelly, Member of the Nominations Committee, Sunbeam House Services 

Chairperson & Deputy Chairperson of the Board

Published on 13.03.2023

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