BMC Board of Directors: September 2019 meeting summary

Posted by Gareth Pierce on 11/10/2019

A scheduled meeting of the Board was held on 25 September (11:00 until 17:30), with some matters needing to be referred to a subsequent phone meeting. All twelve directors were present at the meeting.

The main matters covered were as follows:

a. Robustness of IT Systems: Some recent difficulties were noted and alongside requesting regular reports on continuing issues, the Board indicated its support for identifying more robust arrangements, including through outsourcing where appropriate.

b. “Digital/Blue” Membership: Aspects of the proposal digital membership package aimed at the 18-26 age group had been discussed at the National Council meeting of 21 September and clarification was provided on a number of issues that had arisen. A small group will now work with key staff to address these issues and ensure that risks have been fully considered.

c. Accounts to 31 December 2018: It was noted that the audited accounts for 2018 had recently been filed at Companies House (within the permitted time period) and that a supplementary note needed a minor modification before submission: this was approved by the Board and signed by the Chair.

d. Strategic, Business and Financial Plans for 2020-24: It was noted that good progress had been made on the Strategic Plan and that the overall feedback from the membership consultation had been positive. A revised draft will now be produced for agreement by the year-end. The Board approved a proposed structure for the content of the Business Plan and noted the progress being made on the related Financial Plan. As these will be major agenda items for the November meeting of the Board, it was agreed that a phone meeting would be convened if an earlier steer was needed for either of these related items of work.

e. Procurement Policy: An updated policy was presented for consideration by the Board: some matters were identified which required further review ahead of the next meeting.

f. Organisational Development Group (ODG): Updates were received from the workstreams that are currently active. Fiona Sanders as ODG chair is developing a process to track actions and it is intended that anything that is outstanding at the time of the 2020 AGM will transfer to the Board to oversee its completion. Mike Spooner has taken the chair of the Clubs Phase 2 work. The Membership Engagement work is now being progressed by staff, with monthly review meetings. Alongside the work on Competitions, it was agreed that it would be helpful to explore a Memorandum of Understanding with the Association of British Climbing Walls. Within the workstream relating to Wales, further analysis is required including of the financial implications ahead of deciding on the timing for a survey of members’ views. In relation to the Culture, Leadership and Management workstream the Senior Management Team is now working to the remit defined in its Terms of Reference and the Board will review requirements in terms of skills, support and mentoring.

g. Climate Emergency Declaration: Arising from the work of the Access Management Group, it was agreed that the BMC should issue a short declaration that included a commitment to building sustainability into our strategic planning, noting that we are some distance away from being able to influence behaviours within the membership community.

h. Adult Safeguarding Policy: This policy was approved and will be published via the website once some necessary amendments have been made.

i. Related Trusts: Progress on a number of governance matters relating to the Trusts was reviewed. It was noted that the Access and Conservation Trust had recently held its strategy day at which alignment with the BMC’s strategic themes had been explored; also noted was that the Mountain Training Trust’s AGM was scheduled for October, providing an opportunity for exploring a number of current issues.

j. Skills Matrix and Independent Director Appointment: The Board received a report outlining the conclusions that could be drawn from the updated skills matrix that had been completed by the nine continuing directors. It was noted that this report had also been made available to the National Council to inform its process of appointing new Council Nominated Directors and it was agreed that for the Independent Director vacancy the skills to be prioritised were in the area of IT.

k. Board Committee Structure: There was an initial discussion of possible approaches that could be taken to ensuring that there exists a committee structure that effectively and efficiently supports the Board in discharging its duties and responsibilities. These ideas are to be developed further, taking into account the way in which a specialist committee is defined and noting the wide range of roles and activities that currently require some form of input from a BMC director.

g. Risk Register: Initial consideration was given to a re-formatted risk register that sought to identify risks using a “top 10” approach: more detailed discussion is planned within a follow-up telephone meeting.

During the meeting, the opportunity was taken to celebrate the contributions of Roger Fanner and Simon McCalla: this was expected to be their last meeting as directors and they were thanked for their extensive and invaluable work on behalf of the BMC.

The next meetings of the Board are on 25 November 2019 and 29 January 2020, with the dates for another four meetings during 2020 having also been agreed.

Gareth Pierce
Chair, BMC Board of Directors

READ: previous Board meeting summaries and minutes


As the climbing walls, crags and mountains start to open, we wanted to say thanks to every BMC member who supported us through the Coronavirus crisis.

From weekly Facebook Lives and GB Climbing home training videos, to our access team working to re-open the crags and fight for your mountain access, we couldn’t have made it without you.

If you liked what we did, then tell your friends about us: www.thebmc.co.uk/join


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