About CfPS

Our purpose

The Centre for Public Scrutiny’s (CfPS) purpose is to improve lives and places through effective governance and public scrutiny.

We are a national, independent charity with a long history of providing governance and scrutiny support to local government, alongside other public services and sectors.

CfPS exists to promote and support organisations to be more open to scrutiny and involve others in decision-making. To achieve this, governance frameworks need to work from an external, as well as internal, perspective. 

Now, more than ever, we need trusted decisions. We believe that decisions are better made when they involve others, whether that’s democratically elected representatives, those affected by the decisions or other key stakeholders, including employees and partners.

We work with a wide range of organisations, people and places to support them in developing a culture and ways of working which incorporate challenge, scrutiny and involvement. We also provide consultancy, training and policy support which gives people the skills, knowledge and confidence needed to design and deliver good governance.

CfPS's strategic aims

CfPS will achieve its purpose by:

  1. Making a positive difference by promoting the benefits and value of public scrutiny and good governance.
  2. Supporting organisations and individuals to make their governance and scrutiny arrangements work more effectively from an internal and external perspective.
  3. Working in partnership with others to achieve our purpose and increase our influence and impact.
  4. Innovating in new areas to provide policy and practical support which helps improve governance and scrutiny.
  5. Creating an environment in which our CfPS team (Trustees, staff and associates) can do their best work.
  6. Raising our profile and diversifying our funding so that we can help improve more lives and places through effective governance and public scrutiny.

You can find CfPS's current strategy 'Opening Governance' in full here.

The Centre for Public Scrutiny is a charity (charity number 1136243) and company limited by guarantee (company number 5133443), governed by a Board of Trustees and supported by an Advisory Board. Since becoming a charity in 2010, we have published Annual Trustees Reports on our work.


Our Board of Trustees was set up when we became a charity in 2010. The Trustee Board powers and responsibilities are set out in our Memorandum and Articles of Association. In brief, our Trustee Board agrees strategic direction of the organisation and its financial sustainability by approving the business plan and annual budget. It meets quarterly where it monitors performance and financial information, as well as key policies. The Board is made up of nine members and meets four times a year. Currently there are six independent trustees and three trustees from our founding members (the LGA, CIPFA and LGiU).

Chair: Lord Bob Kerslake

Lord Bob Kerslake is London’s King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust as Chair. Graduating with a first class degree in Mathematics from Warwick University, Lord Kerslake trained as an accountant and worked at the Greater London Council, the Inner London Educational Authority and the London Borough of Hounslow in finance roles before becoming Chief Executive of the London Borough of Hounslow in 1990. In 1997 he moved to take over as Chief Executive of Sheffield City Council – the fourth largest local authority in the UK. From 2008 to 2010 Lord Kerslake was Chief Executive of the Homes and Communities Agency, and in September 2010 he was appointed Permanent Secretary of the Department for Communities and Local Government. He was also Head of the Civil Service from January 2012 until September 2014. He stood down as Permanent Secretary in February 2015.

Vice-chair: Jim Clifford OBE

Partner and Director, BWB

Trustee: Brian Roberts

Director of Corporate Resources and Deputy Chief Executive at Leicestershire County Council

Trustee: Jonathan Carr-West

Chief Executive, Local Government Information Unit (LGiU)

Trustee: Cllr Nick Chard

Local Government Association

Independent trustee: Vicki Lawson-Brown
Independent trustee: Amanda Phillips
Independent trustee: Dr Diana Stirbu
Independent trustee: Dr Catherine Howe


The CfPS Advisory Board was formally established in 2003 to advise on our set up and development. When we became an incorporated company, the Advisory Board continued, alongside the Trustee Board, to ensure stakeholder involvement and engagement in our strategic direction. All members attend by invitation of the Chair of Trustees, who also chairs the Advisory Board. No fewer than two Trustees always attend the Advisory Board meetings to hear the views of the Advisory Board first hand. The Advisory Board meets four times a year. We try and maintain as broad a membership as possible to represent all areas of our work. Our current membership includes:

  • Representatives from organisations with a similar remit e.g. regulators, Ombudsmen, regional or national scrutiny bodies.
  • Individuals with relevant personal expertise or experience such as: governance, scrutiny, accountability, research, policy, charitable sector.
  • Individual from stakeholder groups or sectors that we wish to develop stronger relationships with, for example: government, research or funding foundations, media, and academia.

CfPS has a range of income streams that fund the work that we do, they include:

  • Funding from the Local Government Association to support local authority overview and scrutiny functions to improve their capacity to hold local decision-makers to account.
  • Funding from the Department of Health, NHS England and Public Health to deliver a programme of support for scrutiny of healthcare, social care and health improvement. The funding has supported regional scrutiny networks, innovative scrutiny reviews, a diverse range of events and publications. We also run a successful and influential Health Accountability Forum that brings stakeholders from around the country together with policy makers and commentators on a quarterly basis.
  • Working with individual organisations to provide specific support to review and improve their governance and scrutiny functions. These have included local authorities, government departments, regulators, universities, a private sector organisation, a wide range of NHS trusts and authorities, police authorities and others.
  • We receive funding from a range of organisations to produce practical guides and research publications.
  • CfPS runs regular national training days aimed at improving knowledge and skills on key topics such as questioning skills, safeguarding children, performance management.
  • We run a national conference which brings together key players from local and national government and governance and scrutiny practitioners with the aim of sharing best practise and focusing on the challenges ahead.

Any surplus from our work is re-invested back into the organisation’s activities which supports our charitable aims and delivers more effective decision-making and improved outcomes for people.

Working for CfPS 

We currently have no vacancies. Sign up to our newsletter for updates on recruitment. 


Contact and find us

Centre for Public Scrutiny
77 Mansell Street, London E1 8AN

Tel: 0203 866 5100 | Email: info@cfps.org.uk | Follow us on Twitter: @cfpscrutiny

Click here for how to get there instructions

Map of 77 Mansell St, London E1 8FE