BSAC Council has put forward a special resolution regarding changes to BSAC's Articles of Association (AoA) in the Notice of Meeting issued to members for the 68th BSAC Annual General Meeting (AGM).
BSAC is the National Governing Body (NGB) for scuba diving and snorkelling in the United Kingdom. The AoA describe BSAC’s governance arrangements. It is important that BSAC’s AoA remain relevant, support the effective operation of the organisation and address inclusivity and diversity. They also need to reflect relevant codes of practice, in particular, that are issued by the Sport and Recreation Alliance.
A recent review identified a number of key aspects of the AoA that do not meet these criteria. In response, Council commissioned an expert working group to prepare revised AoA that address the highest priority changes. The group was chaired by the Honorary Secretary and independently advised by a Queen’s Counsel – a diving member who provided their advice at no cost to BSAC.
Council believes these changes are essential.
The key changes encompass:
- Removing gender references. This is to ensure the AoA reflect accepted norms regarding inclusive terminology and reflect BSAC’s own values and ethos as an organisation that is open to anyone wishing to learn to dive or snorkel.
- Clarifying the meaning of Director, Board, Council, and Vice President. Some terms are currently used interchangeably as a result of progressive iterations of the AoA over time. A single set of definitions is required that reflects the position that it is Council which is the governing body of BSAC and that its membership comprises its elected members plus the CEO (see below).
- Identifying and resolving any contradictory Articles. Again, a product of iterations of the AoA – this is an exercise in 'good housekeeping'.
- Establishing the CEO to be an ex-officio Council member within current Council structure membership numbers. It is unusual for a CEO of an organisation such as BSAC to not also be an ex-officio Council member. Being so provides a greater level of assurance and cohesion regarding governance practices. Being ex officio ensures the status of Council member resides with the post (not the individual).
It is important that BSAC, as the NGB:
- Can, when desired, access strategic funding opportunities made available by key partners, including Sport England, Sport Scotland, Sport NI, and Sport Wales. Modernising our governance arrangements will facilitate this.
- Is open and accountable in order to maintain and build trust with our members and stakeholders. Good governance and good practices will enable BSAC to thrive and achieve our strategic goals for 2022 and beyond. It also provides an important mechanism for supporting effective collaboration with external partners.
The proposed changes are interdependent and are hence presented to members for approval as a composite recommendation. They are an important step on a journey of ongoing modernisation and improvements to our governance.
Council believes it is very important that members have the opportunity to discuss and understand the proposed changes. Online meetings are being arranged, details of which will be communicated to all members. Further details will also be published on the BSAC website and in accompanying blogs.
For the reasons detailed above, Council recommends members vote in favour of this special resolution.
If you wish to discuss any of these suggested changes please contact BSAC CEO at email@example.com.