- 1997–2004 Chief Executive, Stonham Housing Association
- 1992–1997 Chief Executive, Phoenix House Housing Association (now known as Phoenix Futures)
- 1989–1992 Director, Riverpoint Single Homeless
- 1986–1989 Deputy Director, Centrepoint (charity) Soho
- 1982–1984 Assistant Warden, Avon Probation Service
As Chief Executive of Action for Children since January 2005, Tickell is responsible for one of the UK’s largest charities She has promoted Action for Children's work externally and influences the development of policies that affect the lives of the most vulnerable and neglected children, young people and families and their communities across the United Kingdom.
In July 2010, it was announced that Tickell would be conducting a review for the UK government in the Early Years Foundation Stage Framework which sets learning and welfare standards for the under fives. The Review,was published in 2011 and it's recommendations implemented in 2012.
- Board of the Guinness Trust
- Chair Help the Hospices Independent Commission
- February 2009 - July 2010 Member of the Commission on 2020 Public Services sponsored by the RSA
- 2004 - 2009 Member of the Howard League Commission on English Prisons
- 2007 - April 2010 Member of the Management Board – Information Commission the Commission with responsibility for the Data Protection Act and Freedom of Information Act.
- Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) in the 2010 New Year Honours for services to young people.
- Fellow of the City and Guilds Institute
- Honorary Doctorate of Laws, University of Bristol
She grew up and lives in west London with her husband; the couple have two sons.
- Third Sector. "Most Admired Chief Executive: Clare Tickell, winner". Retrieved July 15, 2010.
- Homegroup. "Our history". Retrieved July 15, 2010.[dead link]
- BBC News (July 6, 2010). "'Toddler targets' guidance to be reviewed". Retrieved July 16, 2010.