BMC Governance

The BMC is the national representative body that champions the interests of climbers, hill walkers, mountaineers and ski mountaineers in England and Wales; we are also recognised by government as the national governing body for competition climbing. Read on to find out more about who we are, what we do, and how we are run.

Who We Are

Our Vision

To create a better future for climbers, hill walkers and mountaineers.

Our Purpose

To represent the interests of climbers, hill walkers and mountaineers and inspire all generations.

Our Values

Community: We are the voice for our diverse community of climbers, hill walkers and mountaineers.

Adventure: We believe in the freedom to challenge ourselves, taking personal responsibility for the risks.

Sustainability: We protect our crags and mountains, campaign for improved access and promote environmental sustainability.

Aspiration: We help people improve their skills, confidence and achieve personal ambitions.

Respect: We celebrate the rich variety of British climbing, hill walking and mountaineering; we build inclusive relationships and respect each other.

Our 2020-2024 Mission

We will link the work of all our staff, volunteers, clubs, and partners, to campaign effectively and increase engagement, becoming a stronger voice for climbers, hill walkers and mountaineers. 

Our Members

The BMC is a member organisation, and we currently have over 75,000 members, comprised of individual members as well as members of more than 250 BMC affiliated clubs. Organisations who wish to support the work of the BMC can join as associate members.

What are the benefits of being a member?

Find out about club affiliation

Find out about associate membership

Our Honorary Members and Patrons

In recognition of services to the BMC and the mountaineering community, the BMC awards honorary membership status.

List of BMC Honorary Members & Honorary Advisors

BMC Patrons are people who have provided exceptional support and assistance to the BMC.

List of BMC Patrons

Our Ambassadors

BMC ambassadors help the BMC raise its profile by acting as role models to inspire and engage young climbers, hill walkers and mountaineers, encouraging more young people to join and get involved with the BMC.

Meet the BMC Ambassadors

Our Staff and Volunteers

The work of the BMC is carried out and co-ordinated by over 30 members of staff supported by hundreds of volunteers. This vital partnership between staff and volunteers enables the BMC to work on behalf of its members and for the benefit of the entire mountaineering community.

Meet the BMC staff  

Find out about volunteering for the BMC

Our History

The BMC was established in 1944 as the first umbrella organisation for British climbing clubs, to represent and speak on behalf of all climbers in Britain.

Read ‘A Brief History of the BMC’

What We Do

Strategic Plans

The BMC’s strategic plan sets out the organisation’s key aims, and how we will achieve them.

Read the BMC Strategic Plan 2020-2024

Strategic Partnership

Sport England has adopted a 10-year strategy, Uniting the Movement, which includes a focus on the broader systems that can create opportunities for all people to take part in sport and physical activity, and tackle the inequalities that affect participation. As part of this strategy, Sport England wishes to establish a portfolio of system partners that it will fund and work with to develop those opportunities using a bottom-up, systemic approach. 

Read a summary of Sport England funding from 2022

Specialist Programmes

The BMC relies on a well-established structure of voluntary committees, supported by staff, to develop and oversee much of the organisation’s technical work for members.

We classify our Board committees into two categories 'standard' and 'specialist'.

The work of the Specialist Committees covers:

  • Access & Conservation
  • Safeguarding
  • Clubs
  • Equity
  • Guidebooks
  • Hill Walking
  • Huts
  • International Mountaineering
  • Land Management
  • Technical Equipment
  • Training, Youth & Walls

Find out more about the work of BMC Specialist Committees

Equality and Diversity

The BMC is committed to equality and diversity in our work and will endeavour to remove any barriers, real or perceived, to lifelong participation amongst individuals, clubs, volunteers and mountaineering instructors.

This commitment starts at the top and our Action Plan sets out a structure for achieving greater gender parity and diversity at Board level (the BMC Executive Committee) and on Members' Council.

To this end our main goals are to:

  • Achieve gender parity with a minimum of 30% of each gender on both the Executive Committee and Members' Council.
  • Achieve greater diversity in general on the Board and Members' Council, including but not limited to black Asian, minority ethnic (BAME) groups and disabled people.
  • Proactively advertise appropriate Board vacancies in a wide-ranging and targeted manner ensuring that the vacancies reach the widest demographics attracting those from all backgrounds with the appropriate skills

Read the BMC Equity Statement

Member Services           

The BMC Travel Cover offers wide-ranging travel insurance cover for travellers, trekkers, hill walkers, climbers, mountaineers and skiers. All our policies are designed by active experts and tailored for our members.

Find out more about BMC Travel Cover

We also provide Combined Liability insurance (for club and individual members) and Personal Accident cover (for individual members).

Find out more about Combined Liability and Personal Accident Insurance

The BMC Online Shop stocks a massive range of publications to both inspire and educate. Our expanding range of clothing is also proving to be extremely popular with members.

Pop into the BMC Online Shop

BMC membership is annual; you get 12 months’ membership from your date of application. Individual membership costs just £31.45 (£15.72 for the first year if you pay by direct debit); concessionary and family membership subscription rates are also available.

Find out more about the great range of BMC membership benefits

How We Are Run     

Our Constitution

The BMC Articles of Association set out the purpose of the BMC and how the organisation is run.

Read the BMC Articles of Association

Our Management Structure

The BMC is managed by a combination of the Board of Directors (previously called the Executive Committee), Members' Council, the Finance & Audit Committee and senior staff. The Board of Directors has overall responsibility for the strategic direction and operational management. Members' Council is made up of representatives from the BMC Areas, Specialist Committees and members of the Board of Directors, provides an intermediary forum between the Board and the members, and represents the interests of the members to the Board. The Finance & Audit Committee supports the CEO and CFO and advises the Board on financial matters. The CEO is responsible for the day-to-day management of the BMC office.

The Board of Directors (the Board)

The Board is the ultimate decision-making body of the BMC, and is responsible for overall operation of the organisation, as well as setting and implementing organisational strategy in consultation with Members' Council. The Board meets sufficiently regularly to ensure they discharge their duties effectively.  The Board is supported by a number of standard and specialist committees.  Information on the standard committees is set out below.

Find out more about the Board of Directors

Responsibility Matrix – BMC President, Chair & CEO

Read recent BMC Board of Directors meeting summaries and minutes

The Finance & Audit Committee (FAC)

The FAC is a Board committee which monitors the BMC's financial position regularly on behalf of the Board to ensure that the BMC has appropriate accounting and financial policies and controls in place and that its auditing arrangements are properly coordinated and work effectively.  It also provides reassurance to the Board on the BMC's financial viability and performance in line with budget expectations. The FAC meets four times a year.

Find out more about the Finance & Audit Committee   

Read recent BMC annual accounts

The Nominations Committee (NomCom)

NomCom is a Board committee which has the responsibility for leading the process for Director appointments and making recommendations to the Board. NomCom meets as and when necessary to ensure effective succession planning for the organisation.  Its members are the three Independent Directors, the Chair, the President and a representative of Members' Council.

Find out more about the Nominations Committee

Remuneration Committee (RemCom)

RemCom is a Board committee which was established at a Board meeting on 25 November 2020 as a result of the need to recruit a new CEO and bolster the senior management team.  It has responsibility for ensuring that the remuneration policy and practices of the BMC reward fairly and responsibly with a clear link to organisation and individual performance, having regard to statutory and regulatory requirements.  Its members are three directors of the Board, one of whom is the Chair. 

Read the Remuneration Committee’s Terms of Reference

Health & Safety Group (HSG)

The HSG is a Board committee.  It consists of various staff members and a number of volunteers with a wealth of experience within the health and safety world.  It has responsibility for monitoring and reviewing health and safety practices, risk assessments and improvements to be made to health and safety policies/procedures in relation to the BMC Office and any BMC Events.  It also has authority to raise any health and safety matters with the Board as and when required.  The HSG meets twice a year and reports to the Board twice a year.

Read the HSG’s Terms of Reference

Competition Climbing Performance Group (CCPG)

The CCPG is a Board committee with the responsibility for the strategic and operational oversight of GB Climbing.  It also ensures strong management of risk and resources for GB Climbing.  Details of who sits on CCPG can be found in its terms of reference, and further details of GB Climbing can be found on its website

Read the CCPG’s Terms of Reference

Pwygllor Cymru – Wales Committee (PC)

The PC is a Board committee with the responsibility for addressing issues that are relevant to the BMC’s Welsh members and members who visit Wales and also for developing proposals for future governance arrangements for the BMC’s work in Wales, including in the context of gaining recognition and participating in funding opportunities.

Read the PC’s Terms of Reference

International Strategy Group (ISG)

The ISG is a Board committee established in November 2022.  Its role is to ensure that the BMC provides a co-ordinated approach to international representation both in ensuring the BMC is appropriately represented on UIAA, IFSC, ISMF and any other international bodies involved in the BMC's activities.  It is comprised of the President and BMC staff or volunteers who have formal roles within the international bodies. The ISG meets at least four times a year aligning with the General Assemblies of the international bodies.

Read the ISG's Terms of Reference

Members' Council (the Council)

The Council is comprised of representatives from the BMC Areas, BMC Specialist Committees, organisations which work closely with the BMC and members of the Board. It acts as a representative body of the members, consulting with and constructively challenging the Board, and holding the Board to account on behalf of the members. The Council meets at least four times a year.

Find out more about Members' Council  

Read recent BMC Members' Council meeting minutes

Memorandum of Understanding between the Board and Members' Council

The Memorandum of Understanding provides agreement on the way in which the Board and the Council want to work, for mutual benefit, focussing on ways of cooperation and communication to achieve the best outcomes for the BMC’s members.

Read the Memorandum of Understanding

BMC Areas

The BMC divides England and Wales into ten geographical areas: Cymru North Wales; Cymru South Wales; Lakes; London & SE; Midlands; North East; North West; Peak; South West; Yorkshire.

BMC Areas provide a focus for local activities and are instrumental in driving national policy. Each BMC Area holds five meetings a year, and each precedes a meeting of the Council, to enable members to make their views known and be communicated to the Council.

Find out more about BMC Areas

Annual General Meetings (AGM)

The BMC holds an AGM, primarily for the purpose of presenting and adopting annual reports and accounts, appointing auditors and electing members of the Board of Directors.

Read recent BMC AGM minutes and National Open Forum notes

Read recent BMC annual reports and accounts

Complaints Procedure

This policy sets out who can make a complaint, what we classify as a complaint and the process to be followed once a complaint is made. 

The procedure aims to establish a clear, transparent and accountable system for you to work with us and help us improve.  We will take your complaint seriously, and will respond to it as quickly as possible given the resources we have.  

Read BMC Complaints Procedures


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