Meeting Procedures

Council meets three times a year, typically in February, June and October with the dates for the year set by the June meeting.

(Note; up to and including 2020, Council met four times each year, with a meeting in January and March/April. At the January 2020 Council meeting the decision was agreed to replace the first two of the year with a single February meeting).

Full meetings are held in February and October. The June meeting is traditionally a short one that follows the AGM (after a short break).

This schedule has evolved around the need to meet Constitutional requirements for the AGM, as well as avoiding “difficult” times of the year, such as July/August (holidays), December (Christmas) and September (Hidden Earth).

The following timelines are intended to enable enough time for the Secretary to prepare documents and for Council members to review them ahead of meetings and, if necessary, to refer to their organisations for discussion on how they should vote. The deadlines below are not set in stone (and may need to be adjusted due to Secretary vacations for example), so cannot be used to invalidate a meeting, but should be considered normal practice.

At least six weeks prior: Secretary to request reports and agenda items by email to Council. It is recommended to include a reminder to Council of the deadline.

Three weeks prior: Deadline for submission of agenda items from Council members to the Secretary.

At least two weeks prior: Secretary to upload agenda to website and notify Council members and ensure that the draft minutes from the last meeting are also available for review on the website.

Two weeks prior: Deadline for submission of reports to the Secretary.

At least one week prior: Secretary to collate and post reports on the website and notify Council members. Council members attending the meeting are expected to have read these reports prior to coming to the meeting wherever possible.

No later than eight weeks after (preferably sooner): Secretary to publish draft minutes (for details see Meeting Minutes section below).

It is expected that all Council members make every effort to deliver their agenda items and reports in the timeframe set out by the Secretary; failure to do so hampers democracy, complicates meeting and creates extra work for others.

Meetings may be held at any suitable location. It is desirable to choose somewhere relatively central and with suitable WIFI to allow participants to join remotely via video link. The venue should be available all day and have the capacity for at least 40 people (based on usual maximum attendance). Proximity to amenities (e.g. for lunch) and on-site parking and hot drinks facilities (tea/coffee) is recommended.

A sample agenda with standing items can be found here (TO BE ADDED).

The agenda should contain, as a minimum:

  1. Welcome/apologies
  2. Acceptance of minutes from previous meeting
  3. Matters arising from the previous meeting including review of action log
  4. Reports including opportunity for questions/discussion and a vote to accept
  5. Items/proposals for discussion/voting submitted by BCA Council members
  6. Any other business

Any items for discussion which are not on the agenda should be declared no later than the start of the meeting, to be added to ‘any other business’ which will be included only at the discretion of the Chair come the end of the meeting. It is expected that there is good reason for why the item was not included on the advanced agenda or in an appropriate report (i.e. why it has not been put out for advanced consideration).

The June meeting is shorter and typically makes Council’s annual appointments and sets the meeting dates for the year ahead, as well as dealing with any urgent business. If necessary, it will also formally record a change to bank mandates. Non-urgent business will usually be held over to the following meeting. The same procedures nonetheless apply. A sample Agenda for the June Council meeting can be found here (TO BE ADDED).

To ensure the efficient running of the meeting, and most importantly, to allow representatives to be fully prepared for the decisions they may be required to make, Officers, Working Party Convenors, Standing Committee Chairs, and those with additional appointed roles on BCA Council, are expected to provide written reports to the Secretary within the timeframe specified above.

Reports should typically include:

  1. An update on progress since the last report.
  2. Proposals for Council's consideration, including the necessary background and any recommendations of the author.
  3. For Standing Committees, details of any new co-opted members of the Committee.

Reports should identify anything that may:

  1. For Standing Committees, anything that may constitute a material change to the Terms of Reference and business of that committee.
  2. Involve other Association Committees or members.
  3. Have legal implications for the Association.
  4. Have financial implications for the Association beyond those already agreed.
  5. Involve the Association in a change to established policies or require the Association to agree a new policy or procedure.

Please ensure reports are fully comprehensive, clearly identifying (ideally at the start of the report) whether there are any specific actions/decisions for Council arising within. Doing so will help expedite meetings and focus attention on areas in need of consideration. Note that reports should not be used as a media to present major proposals; these should appear on the agenda which is published earlier.

The Membership Administrator is empowered to provisionally accept new Club Members provided they meet our criteria for a properly constituted Club. The Club will then become a Member once we have received their membership fee, but this is provisional pending acceptance by the next Council Meeting.

At each meeting the Membership Administrator should make Council (or the AGM) aware of clubs that have been provisionally accepted since the previous meeting so that any concerns can be raised. Council should then vote on whether or not to accept the Club as a full BCA Member Club.

Reports must be formally accepted by BCA Council. This may be done on a report-by-report basis or all together (at the Chair’s discretion which may be based on the opinions of those in the room). Reports do not need to be proposed and are accepted by a majority in a show of hands of Council members present. Acceptance of a report indicates Council acceptance of what has been included. Any exceptions to this should be noted and included in the minutes.

Minutes of meetings should include:

  1. Date, time and location.
  2. Details of those present.
  3. Apologies given for absence.
  4. Any matters arising from previous minutes.
  5. Outcomes of any actions from the previous meeting.
  6. Details of discussions regarding the reports including a record of their acceptance. The reports themselves may be attached or included within the minutes, or they may be included in a separate document available alongside the minutes.
  7. Details of discussions on specific issues, points raised, and decisions taken including, where appropriate, records of proposers, seconders, votes for and votes against.
  8. A means of indicating actions to be taken outside of the meeting, such as an action log; it is suggested to include this clearly at the end of the minutes.

Minutes and other papers should be distributed as soon as practical after meetings, but within eight weeks maximum. Before publication, draft minutes should be agreed by at least two participants, ideally one of which being a member of BCA Executive. The minutes may be reviewed by anyone the minute-taker feels appropriate to ensure their accuracy.

On publishing draft minutes, the Secretary should:

  1. Upload them to the BCA website, ensuring clarity that they are a draft.
  2. Broadcast their availability via email to all BCA Council members.

Minutes must be approved at the next Council meeting. Only in the event of significant changes being made should approved minutes also be broadcast, although they should always be updated to a ‘final’ document on the BCA website.

Voting is by simple majority of those present and eligible to vote with no minimum number necessary for the meeting to be quorate. The Chair shall hold the casting vote. The Council Members page gives a list of those eligible to vote. Although an individual is free to represent more than one Group, nobody is entitled to more than one vote.

Representatives are vital to the smooth running of BCA. They help ensure the interests of all Constituent Bodies, Regional Councils and Committees are accommodated. However the role can be very demanding, particularly when immediate spur-of-the-moment decisions are requested at meetings. Therefore the following principles should apply to representatives:

  1. A representative is empowered to agree matters on behalf of the Body they represent, unless instructed specifically to the contrary by that Body.
  2. However, a representative can also say that they do not feel able to express the view of the Body they represent. In this case, if at all possible, they should be given a chance to refer the matter back to their Body for clarification.
  3. In view of the delays resulting from a referral back, it is sensible to avoid the need for this by effective communication in advance. Therefore prior warning of potential areas of discussion and decisions that will need to be made should be given if at all possible, ideally on the meeting agenda. The onus here is on whoever is requesting a decision to ensure it is communicated to the Secretary to put onto the agenda.

Formally adopted at January 2020 Council Meeting. Last review: 11/01/20

  • council/meetings.txt
  • Last modified: 2020/01/21 21:41
  • by matt