Council is the board of directors of the British Association and College of Occupational Therapists and Council members are also trustees of the College.
Current Council members are:
- Dr Patricia McClure, Chairman of Council
- Linda Agnew, Council Member, English Board
- David Davies, Council Member, Industrial Relations
- Professor Priscilla Harries, Council Member, Research & Development Board
- Janet Kelly, Council Member, Welsh Board
- Sandra Rowan, Council Member International Affairs (WFOT)
- Louise Watson, Council Member, Scottish Board
- Lyn Westcott, Council Member, Learning and Development Board
- Siobhan Wright, Council Member, Northern Ireland Board
Photo taken at the Council meeting on 18 October 2016
From left to right: Professor Priscilla Harries, Sandra Rowan, Linda Agnew, Dr Patricia McClure, David Davies, Janet Kelly, Louise Watson, Lyn Westcott. Siobhan Wright was unable to attend the meeting.
What is Council?
Council is now a smaller group of 9 members. All elected Members of Council are Directors of the two companies limited by liability, the British Association of Occupational Therapists Limited (BAOT) and the College of Occupational Therapists Limited (COT). They are registered as Directors at Companies House and have the full responsibilities of Directors. The College is also a registered charity. Charity trustees are the people responsible for controlling the management and administration of the charity. Council Members therefore become trustees of the College of Occupational Therapists and also have to abide by the requirements of the Charities Act 2011 and the Trustee Act 2000.
What is the role of Council members
All members of Council are formally responsible for the governance of the organisation, including financial matters, the management of identified risks and the agreement and monitoring of the organisation's annual work plan. These responsibilities require a commitment to the long term sustainability of the organisation and the profession as a whole and should not be undertaken lightly. Acting as leaders of the profession and Directors of the Companies (BAOT and COT) Council members may be called upon to debate complex issues and make key decisions in order to safeguard the organisation and its members. Holding a Council seat is demanding and requires a willingness to shoulder corporate responsibility and so it should not be embarked on without due consideration. It does, of course, also provide intellectual challenge and stimulation as well as learning opportunities relating to business management and professional body administration. There is an expectation that all Council members think strategically and actively contribute to discussions extending beyond their own area of practice and experience. Those who have previously served on Council have reported the experience as stimulating, educational and rewarding.
What does it involve?
In terms of the level of input required, members are expected to attend four Council meetings per year, normally held in London and starting at 10.30am; they are usually one-day meetings. Council Members are also expected to attend the Annual General Meeting held during the Annual Conference. Expenses are refunded in line with the organisation's agreed expenses rates. There is a considerable volume of documents to read and consider before each Council meeting. There are also routine Council mailings and emailing which may, for example, involve members in responding to consultations or feeding back specific information within defined deadlines.
Being a Council Member is a demanding but fulfilling role and you are advised to gain the support of your manager so that he/she is aware of the time away from work, which the responsibility of holding a national office involves.
For queries, please contact Dominique Le Marchand, Senior Administrative Officer:
firstname.lastname@example.org or 020 7450 2317.