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Chief Executive PSS

Join the happy team at the vibrant national social care charity, PSS as chief executive to get stuck in, lead by shining example and take us on new adventures. With us, you can.

  • Location: Liverpool (with travel to other PSS sites across England and Wales)
  • Salary: £130,000 FTE
  • Closing date: 9 a.m. Monday 24th June

Hello there!

We’re national social care charity PSS, and we’re on the hunt for someone kind, compassionate and with oodles of heart to come and be our new CEO. We want someone who loves to get to know people, to get stuck in, and lead by shining example. If you’d love to come and join our happy team, walk alongside us and take us on new adventures, have a read of our advert below.

Who we are

First things first, let’s hear from the most important people – the people we support* – and what they want from our new CEO.

*Just so you know, the voice-over bits in this video are from Emma and Gemma, who really wanted to tell you what they think, but don’t want to be identified on the internet.

Sounds like you? Fantastic! Let’s get cracking.

For further information about the role, or to arrange a confidential discussion, please contact our advising consultants at Peridot Partners:

Lucy Mavers | lucy@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07947 935068

Philippa Fabry | philippa@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07772 902071

Lucy Mavers Head of Not-for-Profit Practice Peridot Partners

If you would like to know more about this role please contact Lucy Mavers

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Welcome from the chair

Hello there,

Thanks so much for your interest in becoming the next CEO of PSS. It’s exciting!

Our current CEO has said that after 14 years at our helm, she loves this role just as much as she did on day one, and it’s truly fed her soul.

I might be slightly biased but PSS is a really special organisation, and being here does feed your soul. Our culture is second-to-none — we’ve got a happy team who genuinely care, and we have a fantastic reputation in our field. But we’re not stopping there – we want to keep growing and improving what we do.

We’re looking for someone values-driven, who leads by example with compassion, humility and lots of heart, taking people with them on the journey, instead of leaving them behind. That journey includes the people we support, who have also had a say in what our next CEO should be like (if you haven’t watched the video on our overview page, please do!)

We’re proud to be an organisation that shares the microphone with the people who use PSS services — we do things with them, not to them.

We’re looking for a CEO who will embrace that approach, who isn’t afraid to get out there and listen to people, letting the voices of the people who matter most shape the organisation.

PSS is a creative, ambitious organisation, with a long history of solving problems and inventing new ways to support people. This is an organisation that isn’t scared to do things differently.

We need a new CEO who matches our ambition, and whose commercial mind and big-picture thinking can guide PSS towards the right opportunities that fit with our mission and our values whilst ensuring PSS remains a sustainable organisation that will be around for future generations.

You’ll have an excellent team behind you as you write and deliver our next Big Plan (that’s our five-year strategy).

Becoming a more equitable, diverse and inclusive organisation is very important to us, and we’ve got a clear vision for the even more welcoming organisation we want PSS to be.

We’ve done all the groundwork, and we’re on our way to making lasting change within PSS and in our sector.

We need our next leader to be just as passionate as we are about this – and to share their experience of driving change in this area.

It gives me a huge amount of pride to be chair of PSS – and I can bet that whoever joins us as our next CEO will feel just the same.

We can’t wait to meet you.

Julie Cooke

About us

What PSS does

We’re a national social care charity. Or, as we like to say, a ‘business with a heart’.

We change people’s lives by giving them top-notch support that’s designed for them, with them.

Where we are

Our head office is in the wonderful city of Liverpool, where PSS was born and bred. We’ve got offices across the UK, in Manchester, North Wales, Lincolnshire, North Yorkshire, Staffordshire and Norfolk (and counting!).

Who we support

We work with lots of different people:

  • neurodivergent people and people with learning and physical disabilities;
  • children who have a parent in prison;
  • women who have been in the criminal justice system;
  • new parents who need some support to form healthy bonds with their babies; and
  • people experiencing mental health challenges.

How we support people

Our tagline is ‘with us, you can’, and we reckon that gives you a pretty good insight into the way we do things round here. The people we support call the shots on their own support – they say what they need from us, and we try our best to give that to them.

We do things with people, not to them, sharing the power and the mic when it comes to not only the support people get from us, but how our organisation is run.

One of the themes of our Big Plan (that’s what we call our five-year strategy’ because it’s a plan, and it’s big) is that ‘Only the people we support know what it’s like to be in their shoes’, and we think that’s true. In fact, we’re in the process of recruiting a second Board member who has lived experience of the support we give to people.

The quality of what we do is so, so important to us. We’ve got a team of people dedicated to it. We’re really proud of the services we provide. For us, quality service is about giving people support that touches their lives and gives them that bit of a helping hand when they need it most, without taking away their independence.

When you ask our (completely amazing) teams why they want to give such a wonderful service, you’ll quite often hear them say ‘I’d want this kind of service’, or ‘This is the service I’d want for my mum.’ And that’s the way we look at things.

Here’s a run-down of our services.

Not your average social care organisation

Since Eleanor Rathbone set us up, we’ve always been a little bit feisty, never one to settle for the status quo — and that’s how we like it.

The classic ‘because that’s how we’ve always done it’ excuse can’t be seen or heard, here. We’re ambitious, and we’re always looking for ways to reinvent the support we provide to make it even better for the people who need it.

Since we were founded in 1919, we’ve been pushing ahead with cool, fresh ideas in our sector (check out the ‘our history’ page on our website to see all the firsts we’ve made and you’ll be surprised to see we were forerunners for.

(Spoiler alert: Age UK, Citizen’s Advice, Relate).

There aren’t many charities in our sector with a senior management role dedicated entirely to growth and great ideas, but there is at PSS, because it’s such a big part of who we are.

Our award-winning culture and values

It’s not just about what we do, though, it’s about how we do it. The culture here at PSS is something special. We know, loads of places say that. But honestly, the warm, friendly, welcoming atmosphere is the main thing people comment on when they come and see us, even for five minutes. Oh… and people love our office dogs, which also go down a treat!

Our current CEO is forever being asked how we made PSS culture. Our secret ingredient really isn’t that secret. It’s our values, and how they run through everything we do like the writing in a stick of rock.

Our people really do have the biggest hearts in the business, proven time and time again by the wonderful stories that come from all over the organisation every day and the nominations our staff make for each other in our annual staff Brilliant Awards.

Because we do our recruitment right, the PSS values are what we’ve all got in common.


Feeling like you belong at PSS is so important. When you’re at work, we want to make sure you’re not just accepted but celebrated for being you.

Over the past year, we’ve been collaborating with Social Justice Collective, and we’re on a big journey to become the most equitable, inclusive, and diverse organisation we can be.

We’ve looked closely at how systemic issues like power, privilege and oppression are impacting people at PSS, and we’ve used that knowledge to look at everything we do.

We’ve already made loads of ace changes that we’re really proud of as a result (like introducing networks for LGBTQIA+ and neurodivergent folks, for example), but there’s still a long and interesting road ahead to be the best we can be – and that involves you, as our new leader.

We’ve got a clear vision for the organisation we want to become and a big action plan to help us get there. It’s exciting, it’s challenging, and we need a leader who embraces the chance to lead us as we make brave and bold changes for the better. It’s a really exciting time to be joining us!

When you join PSS, we’re going to give you lots of learning and development opportunities to help you recognise unconscious bias, understand the impact of judgemental and excluding behaviours and help you work as inclusively as possible.

We won’t tolerate discrimination of any kind – and we want PSS to be a place where everyone feels confident and supported to tell someone if they see something that’s not right and know that we’ll take it seriously.

From the get-go, if there’s anything you feel we should know or anything we can do to make you feel better able to go through the application process, let your recruitment team know, or if there’s anything that’s important for you in the role of CEO, please tell us.

If something’s important to you, it’s important to us, and we’ll do whatever we can to make sure you’re in the best environment to thrive in your new role.

In our 2023 staff survey, we had 233 members of staff and 68% of them told us what they think. Of those people:

  • 97% of PSS people said PSS was a friendly place to work
  • 97% of PSS people said their work has special meaning and was more than ‘just a job’
  • 98% of PSS people thought the leadership team were effective and trust them to lead.

‘It’s the people you work with.’

‘I feel lucky to work for an organisation that does so much wonderful work.’

‘I feel valued – I’m not just a number.’

‘The culture is supportive and the people are friendly.’

‘The best thing about working for PSS is the people. Both my manager and director have a genuine interest in me (and my well-being) and encourage me to be the best I can.’

‘The high level of support. If, for any reason, I’m struggling at work or at home, I know I can talk to my manager. No matter what else is going on in the team, I’ll be encouraged to do what I need to do to look after myself. There’s a real recognition in PSS that people do a better job when they are looked after and I think that’s a rare culture in organisations across all sectors.’

‘I love that I can help the people I support and see them grow their independent skills and achieve their goals.’

‘Everything – the people, the culture and its embedded values.  I feel really proud to be part of PSS.’


*Nobody was paid to say any of these lovely things.

Our Shared Lives carers

You’ll also have a big network of 720 incredible self-employed Shared Lives carers up and down the UK as part of your wider team.

Shared Lives is a really special service that was invented back in 1978.

It’s since become a national model of care. It’s a little bit like fostering, but with the big difference that it’s for adults with some support needs who want to live as independently as possible.

Our carers bring someone we support into their home to live with them and their family, for either a short time or a long time.

They’re amazing but ordinary people from a whole load of different backgrounds, and we’re super proud of the work they do.


PSS wouldn’t exist without the volunteers who set us up back in 1919, and they’re still such an important part of our team. Our 110 volunteers do amazing work in many of our different services, and we’re mega grateful that they give us their time and their talents.

Team well-being

We’re not going to lie, in social care, it can be tough: some days (a lot of days) lift you up, but some days break your heart. Our team are strong, resilient, lovely people who are here for the right reason: to make a difference. But with that, we need to ensure we’re looking after their well-being.

At PSS, we acknowledge that you can’t pour from an empty cup, so we have lots of well-being initiatives in place and a big focus on looking after our mental health and being big-hearted towards each other and ourselves, letting our people know that it’s okay not to be okay, and we’re here to support them.

We need our new CEO to be fully on board with that and to help us make sure our team know they can bring their whole selves to work.


At PSS, we understand that we share a big responsibility to better (and save!) our world for future generations.

PSS is committed to being an environmentally, socially, and economically sustainable organisation for our employees, the people we support and the planet. We’ve got our very own planet pledge, a working group of sustainability warriors who are passionate about making a difference, and we have a green guide for our teammates to help them live and work more sustainably.

We believe it’s everyone’s job to invest in our planet. This doesn’t mean spending lots of money; investing in our planet can be as simple as making a small but really valuable change to how we do things — like using a refillable water bottle rather than a single-use plastic cup.

More information can be found here.

Our current CEO is retiring after 14 wonderful years of being captain of the good ship PSS.

We’ve loved working along side her and she’s been truly amazing, but now we’re on the hunt for someone new to come along and take the wheel, plot their course and take us on some new and exciting adventures.

What you'll do

Make stuff happen

As our big boss, working alongside the Board of Trustees, people we support, the PSS team, Shared Lives carers, volunteers and senior managers, you’ll be in charge of developing and putting our Big Plan into action, making sure we’ve got clear sight of what’s important and that we’re moving in the right direction.

You’ll spread the word about what our plan is across the organisation in a way that everyone understands and can get behind, helping people feel part of something special.

Listen closely

The people we support are our reason for doing what we do, and they’re the only ones who know what it’s like to be them, so it’ll be your job to make sure we’re really listening to what they have to say, letting their voices guide the development of new services and the way we do things round here.

You’ll support our fab director of operations, Harriet, to make sure what we do is the best it can be, and if it’s not, work to change that.

Dot our Is and cross our Ts

You’ll need to work closely with our brilliant Board, keeping them in-the-know about all things PSS so that they can make important decisions based on info that’s accurate and timely. You’ll support our trustees so that PSS does everything in line with good governance, charity law and other statutory responsibilities.

We have some services in Wales, so you’ll also be our Responsible Individual for Care Institute Wales.

Lead by example

We need you to lead by example, living all the PSS values day in, day out, and encouraging others to do that, too.

You’ll be an approachable, down-to-earth leader who gets behind people and celebrates their individuality.

Make sure PSS is a great place to work

You’ll work with our managers to make sure PSS’s culture is going strong, and that people continue to love what they do and feel part of our big team.

Help us grow and get better at what we do

We’ll need you to work with Sarah, our head of growth and great ideas, to ensure that PSS is always thinking bigger – whether that’s about making mighty changes or tiny tweaks that make a big difference.

You’ll also need lots of ambition for PSS, working with our ace business development team to put your vision carefully into the right opportunities for growth.

You’ll develop great networks to raise PSS’s profile and to make sure that the organisation is in a good place to take advantage of opportunities.

Making sure PSS is somewhere everyone feels like they belong is a big part of what we want to do. We’ll need you to drive change wherever it’s needed, making PSS a more equitable, diverse and inclusive organisation.

Help us spread the word – and protect our rep

Working closely with Lisa, our head of communications, you’ll be the spokesperson for PSS, helping to protect our reputation. You’ll also be our cheerleader in the media, not afraid to take the spotlight to spread the word about the ace work we do, and why it’s important.

Stories are mega important. You’ll work with the communications team to make storytelling a priority in the organisation, so we can make sure we’re able to show the impact we’ve made.

You’ll embrace our brand and house style, making sure everyone across PSS understands its importance and sticks to it.

Stand up for what we believe in

You’ll be a leader in our sector, working with others to influence the wider social care and criminal justice agendas.

Be a top-tier line manager

With kindness, patience and compassion, you’ll give the four people you line manage high support but also high challenge, helping them grow and stretch to be the best version of themselves. You’ll do this in line with PSS’s performance management framework, our Be Brilliant competency and values framework, and other important PSS policies.

Build brilliant relationships

Our current structure and culture means our CEO is super visible right across PSS, and building great relationships – and trust – with people we support, the Board, the PSS team, Shared Lives carers and volunteers is a really important part of the role.

You’ll make sure everyone knows their value, and that they have an important role to play.

Get in amongst it

You’ll take time to go and see what’s happening in our services, taking an interest in the work of our teams and what the people we support are up to.

Look after our pennies

We’ll need you to work with Sharon, our director of finance and people, to oversee budget setting and the review of financial performance, so that PSS is financially secure and is spending its money on the right things.

You’ll make sure that every penny counts, so that PSS is cost-effective and provides the best value for money.

What we’re looking for

If you didn’t watch it before, now’s the time to watch our video of the people we support telling you what they expect from our next CEO:

The people we support have a say in how PSS is run, so we included some of their thoughts in our person specification.

Here are some other things you’ll need to succeed:

Your qualifications and training

You’ll need:

  • A degree, or comparable experience
  • A management qualification or comparable experience
  • Evidence of continuing professional development

Your approach

We’re looking for someone who’s:

  • collaborative, good at working with people and through people;
  • a real role model when it comes to what a fabulous leader looks like;
  • able to take the rough with the smooth, and deal with the ups and downs of leading an organisation like ours;
  • big-hearted;
  • open-minded;
  • genuine

Your skills

This one’s for you if you:

  • see how the little things make a bigger picture;
  • are a diplomat (you don’t have to work for the foreign office, but be able to have difficult conversations in a tactful way);
  • are brilliantly organised so that you can work calmly under pressure and meet tight deadlines;
  • are a bit creative;
  • have ace communication skills and be able to explain complex things simply, to people at all levels, so that they understand and get on board;
  • can bring people with you using your influencing skills;
  • have top-notch management skills, motivating and developing your teammates through high challenge and high support;
  • think commercially (we’re a business with a heart), taking a business approach to risks and opportunities in the third sector
  • be switched on when it comes to politics (with a big P and a little p);
  • are super professional, particularly when working with external partners and customers; and
  • able to deal effectively with difficult situations of all shapes and sizes.

Your knowledge

You might be for us if you:

  • understand person-centred support and are committed to this type of working;
  • know about the important challenges and opportunities within the health, social care and criminal justice sectors;
  • are up-to-date on what’s happening in social care commissioning and monitoring
  • know what’s needed when working in a regulated environment;
  • understand equity, diversity and inclusion: the challenges and the opportunities.

Your experiences

It’s important that you’ve:

  • created growing, thriving organisations;
  • been successful while in an influential role in a complex organisation (bonus points if it was in social care, health or criminal justice, but it’s ok if not);
  • lots of experience in leading, developing and delivering cross-organisational plans that make change happen;
  • given advice and exercised judgement at Board or senior manager level;
  • got a great track record of building partnerships through developing great, effective relationships (a network in one or more of our geographical areas would be a good thing);
  • got successful experience of developing teams where people are achieving fantastic things in a positive, values-led and inclusive culture.

What's the plan?

The Big Plan happens to be the name of our five-year strategy because, well, it’s a big plan of what we want to achieve in five years (why call it anything else?).

Our Big Plan is a result of lots of great ideas thought up by our team members and the people we support – and we work together to make it happen, making sure everyone knows their part. For us it’s not just achieving our goals that’s important, it’s how we achieve them too – it’s about weaving that golden thread of PSS values through everything we do.

When we found out that we were going to be recruiting a new CEO, we decided to extend our current Big Plan (which was due to run from 2020-2025) by one year, to become a one-off six-year plan instead.

We did that to let you come in and really take ownership of writing our next plan with us, so it’s all nice and fresh at the start of your new chapter. That means you’ll lead us in writing The Big Plan 2026 – 2031. Exciting!

Want to know what we’re aiming for right now? Read our Big Plan 2020-2026.

Accessibility information

At PSS, we want to be as accessible and accommodating as possible to all. We understand that different members of the community have different access needs and have an ongoing commitment to support people from diverse communities and abilities.

Applicants with a disability are invited to contact our advising consultants at Peridot in confidence at any point during the recruitment process to discuss steps that could be taken to overcome operational difficulties presented by the role, or if any adjustments or support are required regarding the recruitment process.

Click here to view our equality and diversity policy.

For further information about the role, or to arrange a confidential discussion, please contact our advising consultants at Peridot Partners:

Lucy Mavers | lucy@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07947 935068

Philippa Fabry | philippa@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07772 902071

    To access a full job description and application details,
    please fill out the form below.


    Thank you for your interest in this role. Please download the Job Description and Person Specification.

    To formally apply, please submit a CV and supporting statement (ideally maximum 2 sides of A4 each) that clearly outlines your suitability for the role against the criteria provided in the person specification, including your interest and motivation in applying for this position.

    Please ensure that your application is emailed to response@peridotpartners.co.uk inserting “Application: PSS – Chief Executive” into the subject field. You will receive an acknowledgement on receipt of your application within 2-3 days. If you do not receive an acknowledgement, please make contact with our admin team.

    For further information about the role, or to arrange a confidential discussion, please contact our advising consultants at Peridot Partners:

    Lucy Mavers | lucy@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07947 935068

    Philippa Fabry | philippa@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07772 902071

    As a sector-leading executive search consultancy, we know the importance of creating recruitment processes which are fair, inclusive and free from bias. We are committed to promoting equality and diversity and developing a process that values differences.

    If you have a disability that meets the definition set out in the Equality Act 2010, and you can show that you meet the ‘essential’ criteria described in the person specification, please let us know.

    If you experience any technical or accessibility difficulties, need help making an application, or have any additional support that needs to be considered as part of the interview and selection process, please let us know.

    Recruitment selection processes are based on evidence of competence stated in the person specification and in relation to our values.


    Closing date: 9 a.m. Monday 24th June 2024
    Candidates informed of outcome: Friday 28th June 2024
    First stage interviews (in person): Tuesday 2nd and Wednesday 3rd July 2024
    Candidates informed of outcome: By end of day Wednesday 3rd July
    Informal SLT, staff and service user discussions: Thursday 4th July or Friday 5th July 2024
    Final stage interviews and tour (in person): Thursday 11th July 2024

    We can’t wait to meet you!

    Equal Opportunities Monitoring

    Peridot and PSS are committed to promoting equality and diversity. To help us raise awareness and support a culture that is diverse and recognises and develops the potential of all, we need to appreciate the profile of candidates who apply for positions. We will send you an equality monitoring survey at the point of receiving your application, in the interview phase and at the time of placement. This ensures that our processes remain inclusive and equitable throughout, and provides us with important data to help us showcase our impact. The information will be treated confidentially and anonymously and will help us to support our commitment to fair recruitment practices. All information provided will be held in the strictest confidence and will not be shared with anyone, in line with the Data Protection Act 2018. The information provided does not form part of the decision-making process and will not affect your application.

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