Board Practice

Starfish Search combines specialist Board Practice with an authentic and proven commitment to appointing, shaping and developing resilient, vibrant and inclusive board cultures where boards are in touch with the populations they serve.

As a team of professionals united through a common aspiration to make a positive difference to society, our consultants use their integrity, insight, skill and practical experience to build and develop diverse and empowered non-executive teams.

We combine the tried and tested with new and emerging thinking. Our firm was created to deploy all of our professional experience in a way that is uniquely forward-thinking: we’re set up to understand the shifting pressures on organisations and their non-executive teams in an uncertain world and to put back into our markets everything we learn from the collective experiences of our clients.

Our trademark approach is nuanced, analytical and insight led. We understand how board culture and organisational heritage can affect the pace and mode of development from board to board, and how a board’s formality, focus and strategic reach can impact on individual suitability.

Our focus is on people and dynamics, achieving results by paying attention to the specifics of every brief and tailoring our approach to suit it. We don’t do formulaic governance reviews. We invest time in understanding an organisation’s strategic cycle, culture and priorities to get to the heart of the brief. And we aren’t afraid to challenge: our high levels of personal and professional credibility mean we can shine a light on the blind spots that hold boards back.

Placement rates for our non-executive Board Practice are 98.4% based on almost 200 appointments. We frequently exceed the brief and we hold high levels of repeat business with a significant proportion of assignments introduced through recommendation.

Thought leadership is coproduced with our client community: our 2022 report The post-pandemic Board: a new collaborative endeavour underlined our commitment to drawing on the wealth of information around us to guide and support boards. Click here to view.

Starfish Search is an accredited supplier under the ESPO Framework Agreement and the Crown Commercial Services Recruitment Services Framework for Non-Executive and Public Appointments.

Stronger Better Boards:
our services

Any of the following services are available standalone or can be purchased in conjunction with others for more substantial programmes of development:

  • Chair search and selection
  • Individual board member search and selection (non-executive director, senior independent director, commissioner, trustee, protector, president)
  • Multiple and whole board recruitment for transition, transformation or start-up, including Committees and co-optees
  • Flexible, longer-range programmes of board development
  • Diversity development, including full or ‘light touch’ diversity audit, advice and appointment plan which can continue through recruitment
  • Board Effectiveness Review
  • Full or ‘light touch’ board skills audit and succession planning
  • Bespoke reviews to address specific issues such as performance, dynamics and leadership or strategy change
  • Individual transition advice for moving to a portfolio career

50 NED Challenge –
breaking into the boardroom

If you are looking for your first Non-Executive/ Trustee role, please see our 50 NEDS page for lots of practical hints and tips!

Find Out More

Latest Board Roles


young minds

Closing date: Monday 23rd September 2024

Think Ahead

young minds

Closing date: Monday 2nd September 2024

Homeless Link

young minds

Closing date: Monday 2nd September 2024


young minds
3 Trustees

Closing date: Monday 15th July 2024

London & Partners

young minds
2 x Non-Executive Directors

Closing date: Friday 5th July 2024

Autism Unlimited

young minds
Chair of Governors

Closing date: Friday 28th June 2024

What People Say


Meet our Team