New Independent Directors on the BSUK Board


Jenny Fromer

Back in December, BSUK went through an external management audit that looked at everything from our Board and governance to our accounts and HR policies. As sports that receive funding from Sport England, this type of audit can happen any time in a four-year funding cycle. As it turns out, we were somewhat cursed by timing. The feedback we got from the auditors was entirely positive, except for one critical point, that at the time of audit, only one of the five places for Independent Directors on the BSUK Board was filled. An audit is like a snapshot in time, and while the resulting report makes reference to the fact that our recruiting process was well underway, the fact remained that as of December, we had four vacancies. Had we been visited a little later this would no longer have been an issue.

As a tripartite organisation, the process for appointment is far from quick. Potential candidates are first scrutinised by our Board Governance Committee and recommendations are made. Then follows conversations with our Board Chair and representatives of each Federation. It is only then we are in a position to make appointments. At the end of the process, two thing we know for sure, are that the candidates are both patient and committed to being involved with the BSUK Board.

At our Board Meeting in April we were finally in a position to formally add three new Independent Directors to the Board: Anne Ibrahim, Andy Anstey and Simon Kirkland. The three of them joined Independent Director and vice-Chair, Will Parker to form an impressive and experienced group. Between the four Directors we have expertise in sports marketing and event management, the school sports' sector, social enterprise and lessening dependence on government funding and sports' recruitment and education.

The April Board Meeting was preceded by an Induction session that included all four Independent Directors, the Chair and John Boyd and me. Right off the bat it was clear that most of the standard induction protocol was unnecessary. All the new people in the room had done their homework on BSUK and so it became more of an opportunity to hear a bit more about the things that each person was bringing to the table. At the risk of over-stating the dynamism of a Board Meeting, it was actually pretty exciting that everyone was keen to get stuck into the work at hand, and there was a real appetite evident for getting involved in the Board's various subcommittees.

2011-12 is a big year for the BSUK Board. We'll be recruiting a new Chair, and starting the long cycle of planning for our funding bid for 2014-17. So it's really good to be going into this with a revitalised Board. It's clear that we've got a Board that are fully prepared to challenge us, in a good way – and that's going to be very helpful with all that lies ahead.

tagged under: bsuk board, anne ibrahim, andy anstey, simon kirkland, independent director

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