Would you like to help shape the future of our Association? Do you have ideas about how we could creatively develop our work and tackle some of the challenges we face?

I became a Trustee nearly four years ago to help make a difference to our Association, to influence policy and to help the communities we serve. I wanted to bring a different perspective to boardroom discussions, and I felt compelled to try and make a difference to help more people get access to counselling. Now as BACP Chair, I want to encourage you to stand for election to our Board of Governors if you would also want to help make a difference.

Our Board is responsible for overseeing the strategy of the Association and, as such, is critically important in setting a direction of travel. We want members to feel connected to and supported by BACP, and to engage with the work of the Association.

The past few months have been challenging for all of us in many different ways. During this time your Trustees have been resolute in delivering on the strategic focus of membership engagement. Their involvement at committees, Board meetings, and in representing the organisation in a variety of ways centres on matters that are of prime importance, such as professional standards and promoting paid opportunities for members.

My call for you to get involved in this year’s election process is pertinent now more than ever; to stand for election as a Trustee so as to influence the strategic direction of our Association, or to use your vote to choose who you would want to represent your views on the Board.

I actively encourage you to consider standing for the Board and hope to welcome you as a future Board member.

Natalie Bailey, Chair of BACP

Natalie Bailey

Board of Governor elections

BACP is a large organisation with approximately 52,476 members, 130 staff, 320 volunteers and an annual turnover of around £9.3m.

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’ll not represent any particular faction within membership as you have a responsibility to all our members.

You must be a member of the Association to stand for election.

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 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 you 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.

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.

To understand what it means to be a Trustee, and your legal responsibilities and liabilities, 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 and liabilities, visit the Companies House webpage.

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 (Thursdays and Fridays). Board dates are typically set 12 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 also meet up to four times a year.

Your opportunity to shape your profession

There are three Board of Governors vacancies. The closing date for completed nominations is 5pm on Friday 31 July. 

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 5pm on Tuesday 4 August. 

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

We’re trialling a new voting system this year which we believe will make it easier for you to vote your preferred candidates onto our Board of Governors. We hope it’ll help as many of you as possible become better engaged with the voting process.

In previous years you’ll have ranked all candidates based on preference. This year we’re trialling a ‘first past the post’ system. This means you’ll just select the candidates you would like to vote for, without having to rank in order of preference. We’ve worked with Mi-Voice Electoral Services to trial a system, used by many other professional associations, that we believe will increase the number of votes.

The trial is for this year’s Governor elections and our Board will review the process once it's completed. We’re urging as many of you as possible to vote in this year’s elections and help to shape the future of your Association.