How BMC members can contribute to the Organisational Review

Posted by Peter Burnside on 07/07/2017
Blue sky over Hathersage Moor in the Peak District. Photo: Shutterstock / Paul Daniels

Over the last two months, work has been carried out in order to determine if changes should be made to the BMC. But why do we need change, and how can BMC members get involved?

We wanted to keep BMC members updated on the review process. To inform us, we asked Ray Wigglesworth QC, chair of the BMC organisational review group, why the BMC organisation needs to be reviewed.

Ray said: “The BMC’s written constitution has not been updated in over 25 years. Since then, many changes have been made to company law, codes of governance, and the ways in which BMC members communicate and interact with the organisation. The review group was formed to investigate and research whether the articles of association should be updated, in order to change the democracy and governance of the BMC. The group has the capacity to recommend significant changes, but it’s incredibly important that BMC members take part in the process.

The survey is now active – find out how to take the survey here

“Feedback from members will be gathered via the membership survey, the focus groups, feedback on the review group monthly reports, through the Area Meetings in September, November, and February, and ultimately the AGM.

“After getting all the feedback from BMC members, the review group will then be able to assess and comment on the governance structure of the organisation and how it compares to other sporting organisations. Until then, there are no indications on the likely direction of any outcomes.”

READ: Our interview with Ray for more details about the process

The membership survey is fully independent from the BMC. To find out more, read our interview with the members of the review group in charge of collating feedback:

Who is running the survey and why were they chosen?
The review has been split into working groups. The lead on member research and stakeholder focus groups has been taken by John Roberts, Fiona Sanders, and Rab Carrington. We’ve commissioned an independent market research company, 20|20 Research, to carry out the member research survey. 20|20 Research has worked with a number of similar organisations and the managing director, Bob Peters, is an active hillwalker.

The review group engaged with a number of different providers including existing BMC members, volunteers, and commercial sports consultancies. As a group, we felt that 20|20 Research could support the BMC independently, represented value for money, and could do so with the level of rigour required to ensure the member research was well designed, analysed, and reported on in the timeframes required. The research will be run in line with Market Research Society guidelines.

How will the survey be executed?
Over the coming weeks, the survey will be released to the membership via email and social media. It’s been designed to be mobile friendly and quick to fill in, whilst gathering the wide range of information we need to make informed and data driven decisions on the BMC’s future supported by members’ responses. The survey will be open until mid-August and then results will be analysed by 20|20 Research and collated into a report, which will be passed back to the Review Group. We aim to communicate the results of the survey in early September.

What are the key aims of the membership survey?
We’re looking to gather the views of a broad range of members and stakeholders of the BMC, including recently lapsed members. As a democratic membership organisation, it is critical that all recommendations are based on responses from a statistically significant sample of the BMC membership. We’re looking to understand:

  • Why climbers, hillwalkers, and mountaineers, join the BMC,
  • How they feel about the democracy and governance of the BMC,
  • The priorities members feel the BMC should have,
  • How effective the BMC is against those priorities.

Who wrote the questions in the survey?
The survey was designed by 20|20 Research following a comprehensive brief and a number of design sessions and drafts. The questions were written by the team at 20|20 Research and reviewed by the member research working group and the review group iteratively and in conjunction with a few core members of staff, who have significant experience in gathering BMC members’ views, to ensure we can reach as many members as possible.

Who will get the survey?
The survey will be sent to all members by email and will be promoted on social media channels. 

The survey will be online, however, those members requiring an accessible version of the survey can request a paper version, or to fill in the survey over the phone.

The survey will be anonymous, however, there will be a random prize draw for 3 x £100 cash prizes for those who complete the survey and pass on their details.

How important will the feedback from the survey be for the recommendations you ultimately make? And why?
In conjunction with the survey, we are running a number of focus groups with a variety and wide-reaching set of different stakeholders, including the Executive, National Council, patrons and past presidents, affiliated organisations (Mountain Training, ABC, etc), and more. This will also form an important part of our research.

These focus groups, coupled with the output from the survey, a full review of the articles of association, and a review of governance against current good practice guidance, will allow the group to make recommendations which enable the BMC to move forward democratically, and in the best interests of the membership.


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