Members were invited to stand for nomination to the NASS Board of Trustees, ahead of elections at the Annual General Meeting on Saturday 13 June 2020. Nominations closed on Monday 11 May 2020.
The NASS Board is a body of 12 trustees which, as defined by the Charities Act 2011, is responsible under the charity’s governing document for controlling the administration and management of the charity. Trustees elect from among themselves a Chair and Treasurer.
The Board meets four times a year – two of these are face to face meetings held on a Saturday daytime (one of which will be in London and the other held during the annual Members Day) and two are videoconference meetings held on a weekday early evening. Meetings last two hours each. Board meeting papers are sent out one week in advance.
The duties of a trustee
There is a legal requirement that a charity trustee must:
- Ensure that the charity is carrying out its purpose for the public benefit, as set out in the Constitution: understand the charity’s purpose; plan what the charity will so and what you want it to achieve; be able to explain how all the charity’s activities are intended to further its purposes; understand how the charity benefits the public by carrying out its purpose.
- Ensure that the charity complies with its Constitution, charity law, company law and any other relevant legislation or regulations.
- Act in the interests of the charity: make balanced and adequately informed decisions, thinking about the long term as well as the short term; avoid putting yourself in a position where your duty to the charity conflicts with your personal interest or loyalty to any other person or body; not receive any benefit from the charity unless it is properly authorised and clearly in the charity’s interests.
- Manage the charity’s resources responsibly: make sure that its assets are only used to carry out its charitable purpose; avoid exposing the charity’s assets, beneficiaries or reputation to undue risk; not over-committing the charity; and taking special care when investing or borrowing.
- Act with reasonable care and skill: make use of their skills and experience; take appropriate advice when necessary; and give enough time, thought and energy to the role.
- Ensure that the charity is accountable: comply with statutory accounting and reporting requirements; ensure appropriate accountability to members; ensure appropriate to committees and staff where Board authority are delegated.
In addition, trustees should contribute actively to the Board in its role to provide clear strategic direction, working with the Chief Executive in setting the strategy, business plan and budget, and evaluating performance against agreed targets. Trustees are responsible for the appointment of the Chief Executive and, through the Chair, for the monitoring of her/his performance.
In addition to the above statutory duties, each trustee should use any specific skills, knowledge or experience they have to help the Board reach sound decisions. This may involve leading discussions, focusing on key issues, providing advice and guidance on new initiatives, evaluation or other issues in which the trustee has special expertise.
Minimum time commitment
Trustees are expected to attend all four Board meetings each year. In addition, trustees are encouraged to attend some of the events organised by NASS including NASS Voices conferences and meetings of the All Party Parliamentary Group on axial SpA (AS).
An induction session will be held with newly elected trustees at the NASS office prior to their first meeting.
Each trustee must have:
- a commitment to the mission of NASS
- a willingness to devote the necessary time and effort
- strategic vision
- good, independent judgement
- an ability to think creatively
- a willingness to speak their mind
- an understanding and acceptance of the legal duties, responsibilities and liabilities of trusteeship
- an ability to work effectively as a member of a team and to take decisions for the good of NASS.
In addition, from time to time we recruit to trustee roles that are restricted to practising healthcare professionals. In 2020, at least two of the four vacancies will be filled by practising healthcare professionals.
Nominations closed at 1700 on 11 May 2020.
Members will vote online and by post ahead of the Annual General Meeting on 13 June. Because of COVID19, the AGM and Members Day will be held online.