IHBC’s latest Council update, on chartering, petitions, your institute and you: 30 March, 2pm

All categories of IHBC members – Supporters, Affiliates, Associates and Full Members – are encouraged to join the IHBC’s next Council from 2pm on 30 March, to take a first look at chartering the IHBC and its benefits and challenges, starting with opening consultation on the first step, the petition for a charter.

IHBC Council online attendance
Thursday 30 March, 2pm*


Members unable to attend will have access to select
event recordings and resources in the following weeks

IHBC Director Seán O’Reilly said: ‘To prepare for Council we have outlined an initial briefing, in draft below, to help prepare for discussions on the day.  Details may change as we respond to ongoing responses, reflecting how important this topic is for us all.’

‘If there are any point you want us to draw attention to on the day, please let us know as soon as you can,  That way, where we can, we will get the right advice in place, beforehand if possible.’

‘To submit pre-Council queries on the initiative, just email our Company Secretary, Lydia Porter, at admin@ihbc.org.uk’.

*booking details to be released shortly

The IHBC writes, in our DRAFT Petition for Charter: Briefing Note to Council on 30 March:

…The Institute of Historic Building Conservation (IHBC) is a charity registered across the UK (listed in Northern Ireland), and the professional body representing historic and built environment conservation practitioners in the public and private sectors.

The Institute has, in recent years, been advancing a modernisation through a reform of our governance, framed around current model practice standards as represented by chartered and charitable bodies.

In December 2020 the IHBC AGM adopted new Articles of Association, available HERE.  These were developed in line with best practice in modern governance, typically as represented by models used in chartered bodies in line with principles agreed at the IHBC’s 2019 AGM.  The Articles were also designed in compliance with current UK charity regulatory bodies standards, a primary consideration throughout the genesis of our new governance.

That same AGM, in 2020, also adopted the Corporate Plan 2020-25 (CP25) which committed the IHBC to:

Explore and test chartered status internally and externally, including through a cost-benefit analysis, and in accordance with any new constitution (CP25, Object B, Key Action c.ii).

Together these developments frame the current investigation of a petition for Royal Charter for the IHBC.

Current position

The principles of chartering the IHBC has been touched on in recent years at a number of IHBC events, not least our Councils.  The current stage in the IHBC’s wider modernisation of its governance is the formal exploration and investigation of the issues involved.

In line with the above, the IHBC is:

  • Reviewing impacts, benefits, enhancements, risks, costs and other consequences of petitioning for a Charter as a professional body and charity
  • Examining the processes that it will and might entail, including engaging with the Privy Council Office (PCO) the administrative lead in advising on and managing the chartering process as well as undertaking a research process bring undertaken by consultant David Williams
  • Exploring the resources that might be required and generated under the process, including with regard to our charitable ambitions and status.

As yet we are at an early stage in this process.  Council, on 30 March 2023, marks the  most substantial member-wide consultation on the issue to date and, suitably, takes place at the close of our 25th anniversary celebrations: #IHBC25.

Anecdotally there seems to be a good degree of member support for the proposal to advance towards regulation by charter.  Yet there are substantial questions yet to be answered about the impact the process and outcomes might entail, including changes that might be required, before the IHBC membership can undertake an informed assessment of the case.  These cover such core issues for the viability of the IHBC and its charitable objectives as:

  • Up-front and on-going costs and any potential uplift in member fees, including future options for chartered and/or non-chartered members
  • Member demand for the options and costs of chartering through the IHBC, should that become an option, noting the high proportion of members already chartered or with options to charter through other bodies and routes
  • The likely adjustments to our operations and infrastructure required to make a successful petition, and any attendant cost assessments and impacts.
  • Implications for our charitable status or otherwise, including constraints.

IHBC Council 30 March 2023: Agenda Item – ‘Points on a Charter Petition’ (NB: Details to be confirmed)

  • ‘Why a charter’
  • ‘Where we are’
  • ‘Charter Landscape, with indicative processes and steps’ (Presentation by David Williams)
  • Chartering and Charities
  • Questions
  • Next stages: Consultations, surveys, outreach and more.

References for Council

  • On IHBC charity and the petition for charter: See the relevant parts of the IHBC Corporate Plan 2020-25 (CP25), notably (but not only) Object B, Key Action c.ii, page 7.
  • On applying for a Royal Charter: See the guidance on the Privy Council Office website, noting in particular the four ‘main criteria’ and the ‘Preliminary Steps’, these last outlining the ‘Letter of Intent’ to petition as the first formal steps in the process.
  • On charities seeking a charter: See government guidance on processes HERE

IHBC Council, 30 March 2023: CPD Statement

IHBC Council meetings support member learning and engagement with our governance and services.

This first Council of 2023 will help delegates understand better the process and values of the unique regulatory process of a Royal Charter, including prospective impacts on the IHBC as a charity and professional body.  It will underpin particularly the ‘Professional’ Area of Competence in the  IHBC’s Conservation Cycle, and the IHBC’s Competences of ‘Professional’ and ‘Practice’.

See more on the IHBC’s Council and its role in our governance HERE

See more on IHBC CPD HERE and on the IHBC NewsBlog news service HERE and more recently  HERE

See more on the #IHBCpetitionforcharter

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