It was my honour and privilege to recently re-stand as Chair of BACP and to be duly elected by my fellow Trustees. It’s an exciting time to be involved with BACP as there’s much going on. We’ve recently completed a wide-ranging governance review, with the Board establishing five new governance committees which will come into existence over the course of the next 12 months. The extensive redesign and subsequent launch of our new website recently is truly amazing, offering a clean, professional and accessible website for both members and the public.

Externally we continue to strengthen the message that counselling changes lives and that personal narrative, rather than a business narrative, sits at the very heart of what we do. I’m delighted at the formal collaborations we’ve established with Cruse and Relate, both of whom are leading providers of counselling and well-known, well-respected, organisations.

The Scope of Practice and Education for the counselling and psychotherapy professions (SCoPEd) is another example of a collaborative project between BACP, BPC and UKCP. This is an extremely important part of BACP’s strategy and it cannot be overstated just what this work represents for the transformation of the landscape for our professions.

I believe all members have something new to bring to the Board to help further develop our work and it’s important that our Board is representative of our membership and reflects its rich diversity. Our membership is our strength and if you’re willing to get involved there’s exciting, challenging and rewarding times ahead. If you’re successfully elected you’ll join the Board following our 42nd Annual General Meeting, on 16 November in Birmingham. Please have the confidence to stand for election and I can give a commitment that you’ll be warmly welcomed and actively supported in your new role.

Dr Andrew Reeves, Chair of BACP

Dr Andrew Reeves

Board of Governor elections

BACP is a large organisation with approximately 45,600 members, 115 staff, 220 volunteers and an annual turnover of circa £8.5m. The organisation is complex and consequently the role of Trustee and Company Director is equally complex, involving maintaining a balance between the needs of those who use counselling services, the public reputation of counselling, the needs of members and the needs of the organisation.

The Board is the governing body of BACP and, as such, monitors all the activities of BACP to make sure they are properly delivered, with financial probity, and are within our charitable aims, objectives and policies. As a Trustee and Company Director you don't represent any particular faction within membership as you have a responsibility to all our members.

The role

As a Trustee and Company Director you have an important role as representative and ambassador for BACP and our members. You’ll attend events within and beyond BACP so that you stay in touch with the needs and concerns of our members, and are able to make our policies and achievements known and recognised as widely as possible.

The Board is responsible for the development of overall strategy and policy. Along with BACP’s Chief Executive and staff, Board members make sure that the delivery of all the Association’s activities have met our strategic planning objectives. Each Board member is answerable to the Charity Commission and the members of BACP.

Your focus as a Trustee and Company Director, as required by law, is on three key areas:

  • achievement of BACP’s mission within its charitable objectives
  • ensuring probity, particularly financial probity, in the management of BACP’s activities
  • development of policy and strategy and monitoring implementation

Ultimate public accountability for BACP’s activities rests with the Governors as imposed by the Charities Act 2011 as a trustee, and the Companies Act 2006 as a company director. You are under a general duty to act prudently and in good faith and must exercise your powers for the benefit of the charity. Furthermore, as a trustee and director you may be required to sit on a Committee of the Board.

The role of Trustee and Company Director is a voluntary one and reasonable out of pocket expenses for travel, accommodation, subsistence and childcare will be reimbursed by the Association.

The Trustee role description provides additional information. 

To understand what it means to be a Trustee, and the inherent legal responsibilities and liabilities, we recommend you visit the Charity Commission website.

Their guide – The essential trustee: what you need to know, what you need to do – is a useful source of information and guidance.

To understand what it means to be a Company Director, and your legal responsibilities, see the Companies House website.

Time commitment

You can routinely expect to give, under current circumstances, an average of two days a month, in addition to attending approximately four meetings a year, (typically March, July, September and December), usually at BACP’s offices in Lutterworth. Each meeting is held over two consecutive days. Board dates are typically set 12 to18 months in advance to support attendance.

You may also be asked to sit on other committees and sub-committees, especially those with delegated responsibility from the Board. These committees meet up to four times a year.

Your opportunity to shape your profession

There is one vacancy on our Board of Governors. The closing date for nominations is 5.00pm, Friday 1 June 2018.

Should you choose to stand, your nomination must have supporting statements from a proposer and seconder, both of whom must also be members of the Association. The closing date for their supporting statements is 5.00pm Tuesday 5 June 2018.

To make a nomination, please go to the Mi-voice nomination website.