The Constitution requires that the Annual General Meeting (AGM) be held annually in June (or as soon as reasonable thereafter).

At least 18 weeks before: Secretary to publish time, date and place of meeting. This is a Constitutional requirement. Best effort should be made to ensure this information reaches as many members as possible. This should ideally include direct email communication with those members with who we can communicate, as well as through use of the BCA website and/or social media platforms.

Midnight on Day of Council Meeting Preceding AGM: Deadline for receipt of nominations for Executive, Officer (Standing Committee Convenors) and Club/Individual Representative posts by Secretary, as well as any items or proposals to be raised at the AGM. This is a Constitutional requirement. The constitution makes no requirement for nominations or proposals to be seconded before being put to an AGM, although it will expedite the meeting and help support the case if a seconder is in place at the point of submitting the nomination /proposal, so it is recommended practice. Nominations and proposals may be submitted to the Secretary in any reasonable format providing they are legible. It is the responsibility of the person submitting to ensure it reaches the Secretary by the deadline. The Secretary should acknowledge all nominations and proposals upon receipt.

At least 6 weeks before: Secretary to circulate Agenda to members. This is a Constitutional requirement. Current interpretation of ‘circulate’ is to publish the document online and to make members aware by email communication (where technology allows) with those who have opted to receive emails, as well as through use of BCA website and appropriate social media platforms.

At least 14 days before: Officers, Standing Committee Chairs, Working Group Convenors and all other appointees to send written reports to Secretary.

At least 1 week before: Secretary to publish online the reports document for the meeting, together with any other supporting documentation. It is recommended to once again email members and use appropriate social media to inform members that the reports are now available and to also serve as a meeting reminder.

Up to 8 weeks after: Secretary to publish draft minutes online following the process below.

Section 8.13 of the Constitution lists the purposes of an AGM. It is good practice to adhere to the content and the order of these in writing the Agenda.

A template agenda for an AGM can be found here (TO BE ADDED).

The constitution is unclear on who can submit an agenda item or proposal for an AGM and who can second motions. Thus a liberal interpretation should be taken that any member (Group or Individual) or constituent body, or BCA Council can do this.

These should be prepared and forwarded to the Secretary at least 14 days prior to the AGM. This ensures timely publication and, therefore, communication with members. Reports should be included from:

  1. Chairman
  2. Treasurer
  3. Secretary
  4. Publications and Information Officer
  5. Standing Committee Convenors (Officers)
  6. Working Party Convenors
  7. Council appointees
  8. Any other individual or group specifically requested to do so by either Council or an AGM. Currently this is the British Caving Library

Reports from Regional Councils and Constituent Bodies are not normally included but may be presented if they include information of national relevance.

The reports should include a summary of the work completed that year, together with any particular successes or difficulties that have been encountered. They should also give an indication of work planned for the coming 12 months. It is important to remember that reports are written for the general membership rather than Council Members and, therefore, need to assume a less in-depth knowledge of BCA's workings. They should also cover the whole of the previous year, rather than simply the period since the last Council meeting.

Anyone may attend the AGM, although the Chair has the right to exclude anyone if the meeting so decides.

Voting at General Meetings is done by a show of membership cards of individual members present at the meeting.

The following items of business will require voting:

  1. Appointment of Honorary Members and an Honorary President (50% majority of all votes required with no subsequent online voting).
  2. Accepting minutes, reports and other regular ‘housekeeping’ duties or matters arising that would not be considered ‘motions’ (50% majority of all votes required with no subsequent online voting).
  3. Submitted motions. It is suggested that before any voting occurs, those attending the meeting should debate any presented motions and, if necessary (and with the permission of the proposer), refine or consolidate them. The final motions must then receive the support of ≥20% of all individual members present and eligible to vote, or ≥10 individuals, whichever is lowest, to pass at the meeting. Motions passed at the meeting must then be progressed to an online vote of all individual members.

Motions are considered to be items put forward that would make any change to the constitution or involve taking a significant action or making a significant change to BCA operations, policy, procedure or position. They are expected to be submitted in advance on the agenda. In the event of uncertainty as to whether something should be a ‘motion’ or a ‘housekeeping’ matter, the Chair shall make the final decision, and the idea is that common sense should prevail here. The default position, in the event of indecision or dispute should be to consider the item a ‘motion’ and process accordingly.

The constitution states that ‘uncontested candidates’ for Council position ‘will be elected’. This wording was based on the pre-2019 status quo of appointing unopposed candidates without a vote. This should therefore be the default interpretation.

It is very desirable for contested Council positions to be resolved at the meeting by mutual agreement between the candidates. The Chair is encouraged to try to facilitate discussions of this nature. However, if this is not possible, then the contested position and candidates will be progressed automatically to an online vote, in which it would be good practice to provide the candidates the opportunity to include a statement.

The quorum for a General Meeting is 10 individual members eligible to vote.

Online voting should be available to all BCA Individual Members for a 30-day period commencing as soon as is possible after the General Meeting. It is good practice to ensure this is well communicated to all members by email (if possible) and through the BCA website and social media. Motions must receive 50% support of all votes cast (70% for changes to constitution) to be accepted. For contested positions or multi-choice option motions, the candidate or option with the most support will be appointed/accepted.

For the purposes of all voting, abstentions are not considered a ‘vote’.

Minutes of meetings should be prepared by the recorder (who is appointed by the Council meeting preceding the AGM).

Minutes of meetings should include:

  1. Date, time and location.
  2. Details of those present.
  3. Apologies 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. Ensure a prominent notification that the draft minutes are available is placed on the BCA website and broadcast via relevant email, social media and in the next edition of the newsletter where possible.

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

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

  • general_meetings/agm.txt
  • Last modified: 2020/01/21 22:01
  • by matt