IHBC launches consultation on draft new constitutional ‘Articles’: First responses encouraged by end Feb and after

The IHBC has launched its membership consultation on a revised draft set of ‘Articles of Association’ to serve as the new constitutional framework for the institute in line with our ‘Proposal for future Governance…’, as approved at the 2019 AGM, which includes a formal Briefing Note, with individual responses encouraged by 29/02 and Branch or collective responses by 20/03.

David McDonald said: ‘Following the decision at last year’s AGM to develop our draft governance proposals, I am pleased that IHBC’s National Office and solicitors have made substantial progress.’

‘The proposed new Constitution and Articles of Association meet all my expectations, but at the same time we’re keen to get feedback from our membership. Are we going in the right direction? Are there improvements to be made?’

IHBC Director Seán O’Reilly said: ‘The informed and guiding hand of our legal advisers, as they re-interpreted the AGM’s ‘Proposal’ into a suitable modern legal framework for both the IHBC charity and the company, seemed to the IHBC’s Board and officers to have been very sound.  We think they have drafted a strong reflection of our ambitions, though there are always issues to raise and address.’

‘Whatever text the institute finally adopts, we appreciate that it will need further refinement.  This core principle is built into the whole process of modernising transparency and supporting member participation and services.  Even the protocols and Byelaws to underpin the Articles will be developed only in future years, all to be made fit for purpose but working from current practice!’

‘But we do especially need to be sure that the new structures can achieve what our 2019 ‘Proposals’ agreed.’

‘So please do all feel free to contact us informally or officially as suits, on any matters of information, understanding or concern.  We need to know that members understand why these changes are being proposed, and if this draft is the best working response to the model conceived for, and adopted by, our AGM in 2019’.

The IHBC’s Briefing Note reports:

This briefing introduces the IHBC’s membership consultation on a revised draft set of ‘Articles of Association’, to serve as the new constitutional framework for the institute.  These have been drafted in line with the IHBC’s ‘Proposal for future Governance…’, previously the subject of extensive consultation, and approved at the 2019 AGM.

The ‘Proposal’ document ‘draws on experience from Council+, comparison with other organisations, 14 years of consideration and legal advice’ to establish ‘the framework for reshaping the governance of the IHBC for the future’.  The overarching conclusion is that the IHBC should establish a ‘constitutional framework… familiar to the wider public’.  The consultation draft ‘Articles’ addresses that ambition, and others agreed in the AGM’s proposal, by adopting a ‘charter friendly’ model structure, detailed below.

Following the draft of the new ‘Articles’ by the IHBC’s legal advisers, Knights, overseen by the IHBC’s Board, trustees now seek member comments, contributions and input to ensure that the draft addresses the aspirations of the adopted ‘Proposal for future Governance…’.

Trustees hope that, subject to ongoing regulatory approval and membership support, this consultation can be concluded in time to allow for the adoption of the ‘Articles’ at the AGM in Brighton on 19 June 2020.  Should that process be successful, the IHBC will simply continue its current status as a charity and limited company, but operate under structures that members, stakeholders and external interests will more easily comprehend and, consequently, respect.

This Briefing Note does not detail the wider background to the preparation, development and implementation of the draft Articles.  However much of that is covered in a briefing paper to trustees from December 2019, with the discussions arising from it noted in the relevant parts of the Board minutes.  These are available to members on application to Lydia Porter at admin@ihbc.org.uk.

Interim queries or points of information – including requests for discussions in committee by officers and trustees – may be raised informally with the IHBC’s Director at director@ihbc.org.uk, or via trustees or Branch representatives.  While voting at the 2020 AGM will be restricted to Full Members, contributions to this consultation from all member categories is encouraged.

To allow for timely revisions, initial individual responses should be sent to articles2020@ihbc.org.uk by 29 February 2020.  Initial Branch or other group or collective responses – in draft or finalised – should be received by 20 March 2020. 

Download the Briefing Note

Download the draft ‘Articles’

For more on the background to the IHBC’s discussions around governance see the NewsBlogs

See the 2019 proposal and its background

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