Lord Bichard was made a life peer in 2010 and sits on the cross benches, following a long career in local and central government. Having served as Chief Executive of Brent Council and Gloucestershire County Council, he began a succession of senior government roles in 1990 when he was appointed Chief Executive of the Benefits Agency. In 1995, he was appointed as Permanent Secretary at the Department for Education and Employment.
In 2001, Lord Bichard served as Rector of the University of Arts London and Chairman of the Design Council. In 2004, he was asked to lead a government inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the murder of two 10-year-old girls in Soham. He was subsequently appointed Chairman of the Legal Services Commission before becoming Director of the Institute for Government in 2008 and Chair of the Social Care Institute for Excellence in 2013. He most recently served as Chair of the National Audit Office.