Tips for making your candidate statement stand out

The role of a Governor is crucially important in the running of any successful NHS Foundation Trust, as Trusts would not be able to function effectively without representative Governorship. Governors are ambassadors for the Trust and are elected to represent members and their interests and ensure that the Trust is accountable to local people. Therefore, it’s essential for NHS Governor Elections to attract a wide selection of engaged and enthusiastic candidates, drawn from a representative cross-section of the local community.

If you think you have the necessary qualities to become a Governor and are considering standing for this position within your NHS Foundation Trust, you will be asked to provide a written election statement explaining why you are interested in the position. What you write in that statement is up to you, but ideally you should outline why you are interested in the role of Governor, what aspects of the Trust’s work you are especially interested in and summarise the specific knowledge, experience, skills and enthusiasm you have that makes you think you are suitable for the role.

What it means to be a Governor

Before you begin to write your candidate election statement you should be satisfied that you fully understand the duties and responsibilities of the role of an NHS Foundation Trust Governor. NHS Governors are principally responsible for communication, recruitment and governance. They help NHS Trusts plan for the future and ensure that Trust is accountable to local people. They are also responsible for recruiting and developing members, and appointing and removing the Chairman and Non-Executive Directors. If candidates are elected they will have to be prepared to donate their time voluntarily and be fully committed to carrying out their duties for the good of the Trust and the local community in which it operates.

How do you write a good election statement?

There are no hard or fast rules for writing election statements nor any definitive structure to which you obliged to adhere, other than the word limits. Candidates can write whatever they feel is most appropriate. However, analysis carried out by UK Engage on over 250 past candidate statements highlighted some interesting conclusions.  Successful candidates used more positive language, were more supportive towards the Trust in general and were more specific about their skills and experience.

When writing a good candidate statement, UK Engage recommends the following:

Structure:

To get your message across succinctly, it is advisable to break down your candidate statement into subsections which address the following key points:

  • Why you want the job of Governor
  • What skills and talents you feel you could bring to the role
  • Why the electorate should vote for you

All candidate statements will have strictly-applied word limits, so it’s important to keep your answers short and to the point.

Style:

  • Use simple plain language and write legibly.
  • Avoid overly complicated sentences and write naturally. Make sure your statement is enthusiastic and positive.
  • Express your individuality as much you can, but remember that the position you are putting yourself forward for is serious. Humour, therefore, is probably best avoided.
  • Make sure the grammar, spelling and punctuation are correct.
  • Redraft your statement until you’re completely satisfied with it.
  • Proof read your final statement and get others to offer an objective assessment about its content.

Format:

  • You will be working with a limited word count, so it’s important to keep to the point.
  • UK Engage recommends that candidates should only make a hard copy statement when you are happy with the content.

Content:

Express your message in your own words. It’s fine to take inspiration from what others may have written in other personal statements, but plagiarism is definitely not recommended. Your candidate statement is meant to be original, so you should be expressing your own personal opinions. Emphasise all your key qualities that make you the right candidate for the role.  Build on positive experiences and make sure enthusiasm for the role is displayed in your answers. Within your candidate statement explain clearly why you are the best person for the role of Governor.

Making your Governor elections more engaging

UK Engage has years of experience working with NHS Foundation Trusts and managing Governor elections. We provide the sort of tailored and comprehensive election support services that can boost election turnout. It’s what we do best. Our tailored election services help to engage members by educating and informing them about the role of a Governor. UK Engage also encourages and supports potential candidates from the moment they request a nomination form to the moment the election result is announced.

UK Engage is continually improving service levels and looking for new and innovative ways to help clients achieve their election and engagement goals. If your organisation would like any further information about the services from UK Engage:

Call UK Engage on 0161 209 4808 or email enquiries@uk-engage.org

 

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