Message from the Chair, Dr Andrew Reeves
Are you interested in influencing the future of counselling professions? Do you have ideas about how we could develop our work and tackle some of the challenges we face? The Board is responsible for overseeing the strategy of the Association and, as such, is critically important in setting a direction of travel.
When I first stood for the Board, I did not think that governance was naturally for me. I am a counsellor, and this is where my heart lies. However, in November 2019 I will have served on the Board for six years and have had the opportunity to work with so many talented people who are equally committed to the work we do. I quickly realised that governance is the beating heart of development, initiative and change.
This election offers you a fantastic opportunity to share your experience and contribute to our ongoing work. The Board is already made up of a diverse group of people and we are excited about the possibility of further enhancing the different perspectives we hold. Your challenge will be welcomed and your experience critical in helping to take us forward. While the Board, between us, represents a range of different professional skills, we are particularly keen to attract expertise in communication and the use of information technologies – social media and other apps – to support our communication strategy.
I actively encourage you to seriously consider standing for the Board and hope to welcome you as a future Board member.
BACP is a large organisation with approximately 48,870 members, 119 staff, c.294 volunteers and an annual turnover of circa £8.5m. The organisation is complex and consequently the role of Trustee/Company Director is equally complex, involving maintaining a balance between the needs of those who use counselling services, the public reputation of counselling, the needs of members and the needs of the organisation. The Board is the governing body of BACP and, as such, monitors all the activities of BACP to make sure they are properly delivered, with financial probity, and are within our charitable aims, objectives and policies. As a Trustee/Company Director, you’ll not represent any particular faction within membership as you have a responsibility to all our members.
You must be a member of the Association to stand for election.
As a Trustee/Company Director you have an important role as representative and ambassador for BACP and our members. You’ll attend events within and beyond BACP so that you stay in touch with the needs and concerns of our members; and are able to make our policies and achievements known and recognised as widely as possible.
The Board is responsible for the development of overall strategy and policy. Along with BACP’s Chief Executive and staff, Board members make sure that the delivery of all the Association’s activities have met our strategic planning objectives. Each Board member is answerable to the Charity Commission and the members of BACP. Your focus as Trustee/Company Director, as required by law, is on three key areas:
- Achievement of BACP’s mission within its charitable objectives;
- Ensuring probity, particularly financial probity, in the management of BACP’s activities;
- Development of policy and strategy and monitoring implementation.
Ultimate public accountability for BACP’s activities rests with the you as imposed by the Charities Act 2011 as a trustee, and the Companies Act 2006 as a company director. You are under a general duty to act prudently and in good faith and must exercise your powers for the benefit of the charity. The role of Trustee/Company Director is a voluntary one and reasonable out of pocket expenses for travel, accommodation, subsistence and childcare will be reimbursed by the Association.
To understand what it means to be a Trustee, and your legal responsibilities and liabilities, visit the Charity Commission website. Their guide – The essential trustee: what you need to know, what you need to do – is a useful source of information and guidance. To understand what it means to be a Company Director and your legal responsibilities and liabilities, visit the Companies House webpage.
The time commitment
You can routinely expect to give, under current circumstances, an average of two days a month, in addition to attending approximately four meetings a year, (typically March, July, September and December), usually at BACP’s offices in Lutterworth. Each meeting is held over two consecutive days (Thursdays and Fridays). Board dates are typically set 12 months in advance to support attendance. Further, as a Trustee/Company Director you may be asked to sit on other committees/sub-committees, especially those with delegated responsibility from the Board. These committees also meet up to four times per annum.
Your opportunity to shape your profession
There are two Board of Governors vacancies, with a closing date for receipt of completed nominations of 5.00pm, Friday 14 June 2019. Should you choose to stand your nomination requires supporting statements from a proposer and seconder, both of whom must also be a member of the Association. The closing date for their supporting statements is 5.00pm Monday 17 June 2019.