NIAS Appointments of Non-Executive Chair and a Non-Executive Director announced

Date published: 06 April 2018

The Department of Health today announces the Appointment of a Non-Executive Chair and a Non-Executive Director of the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service (NIAS).

Public Appointments Image

The Non-Executive appointment of Nicole Lappin as Chair of the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service (NIAS), will start on 1 July 2018, and the appointment of Dale Ashford as a Non-Executive Director will start on 16 April 2018. Both appointments will run for a maximum period of four years.

The role of Chair carries a time commitment of 2.5 - 3 days per week and an annual remuneration of £22,997. The role of Non-Executive Director carries an annual remuneration of £5,962 and a time commitment of 3 days per month.

These appointments are made in accordance with the Code of Practice issued by the Commissioner for Public Appointments for NI.

The Board of NIAS is made up of five Executive and five Non-Executive Directors plus a Non-Executive Chair. 

The role of the NIAS Board is to:

  • Set the strategic direction of NIAS within the overall policies and priorities of the Health and Personal Social Services , define its annual and longer term objectives, and agree plans to achieve them;
  • Oversee the delivery of planned results by monitoring performance against objectives and ensuring corrective action is taken where necessary;
  • Ensure effective financial stewardship through value for money , budgetary control, planning and strategy;
  • Ensure high standards of corporate governance and personal behaviour are maintained in the conduct of the business of the whole organisation;
  • Appoint, appraise and remunerate Senior Executives; and
  • Ensure that there is effective dialogue and communications between NIAS and the local community on its plans and performance, and that these are responsive to the community’s needs.

Notes to editors: 

  1. Nicole Lappin was awarded a law degree and qualified as a barrister. As an inaugural member of the Education Authority she is experienced in corporate governance. Along with her colleagues on the board Nicole oversaw the transition of the five Education and Library Boards into a single organisation without loss of or reduction to services. She contributed to the 2017/2027 Strategic Plan which outlines the continuing process of transforming how education services are delivered.  In 2017 Nicole was appointed as an independent non-executive board member of the Northern Ireland Courts and Tribunals Service and currently chairs its audit and risk committee. She is a non-executive Director of the Irish Auditing and Accounting Supervisory Authority and is a member of its audit committee.  In addition to her board work, Nicole is a communications consultant and tutors at the Institute of Professional Legal Studies.
  2. Dale Ashford retired from Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service (NIFRS) in 2017 after serving the public of Northern Ireland for 30 years and having reached the level of Interim Chief Fire Officer/Chief Executive.  During his time in NIFRS Dale served as head of Health & Safety as well as Learning and Development, before becoming a member of the Corporate Management team.  As Director of Community Protection Dale worked closely with a range of strategic partners regionally and nationally to improve community engagement and road safety as part of the wider public safety agenda. 

    Dale has a Masters Degree and is a graduate of the Executive Leadership Programme with Warwick Business School.  Dale was awarded the Queen’s Fire Service Medal in 2015.
  3. All appointments are made on merit and political activity plays no part in the selection process. However, the Commissioner for Public Appointments for Northern Ireland requires the political activity of appointees to be published. Mrs Lappin canvassed on behalf of, and held office with, the Democratic Unionist Party until 2017. She is no longer a member of the party. Mr Ashford declared he canvassed on behalf of the Alliance Party in both the 2017 elections. He is no longer a member of the party.
  4. For media enquiries please contact DoH Press Office on 028 9052 0575 or email For out of office hours please contact the Duty Press Officer via pager number 07623 974383 and your call will be returned. Follow us on Twitter @healthdpt.

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