Call for nominations for election to Council

1 March 2014

From the Honorary Secretary Professor Stuart Palmer FREng CPhys FInstP

I am writing to inform you about the vacancies that will arise on Council in 2014 and the process by which members may nominate themselves.

There are five Ordinary Member vacancies arising this year to serve a four year term from 1 October 2014 to 30 September 2018. All Corporate Members (i.e. those in the category of MInstP, FInstP and HonFInst) are eligible to stand for election.

To be able to operate effectively and make good decisions, Council believes that it is important that the governing body reflects the full breadth of the Institute’s activities and diversity of its membership in terms of scientific areas of interest, geography, age and gender.

It also needs to ensure that it covers the competencies necessary to govern the Institute effectively, in line with Charity Commission requirements and best practice, as well as populate its committees with appropriately skilled trustees. Council has identified that this year there is a need to strengthen its expertise and skills in the following key areas:

  • Involvement with, and representation of, the Institute’s regional branch operation and activities
  • Education and teaching
  • Experience of financial reporting, auditing and/or risk management
  • Operation of complex organisations, change management and oversight of trading subsidiaries
  • Industry, business, SMEs and applied and/or translational research

Nominations would therefore be particularly welcome from people with the skills and experience to contribute to Council’s work in these areas.

The Nominations Committee will assess all nominations and use its best endeavours to short-list candidates with such skills and expertise as appropriate. This process was introduced to allow more opportunity for individual members to stand for election and a better opportunity to address diversity issues in the membership of Council.

Where there are more nominations than vacancies a ‘first past the post’ ballot will be held and the results announced at the Annual General Meeting to be held on 17 July 2014.

The bylaws setting out the electoral process were updated in 2011 to allow self-nomination. Nominations should be submitted by email to Simon Kellas, Head of Governance (, or in writing to the registered address of the Institute, and should state the full name, membership number and a statement of no more than 500 words in support of the candidacy, taking into account those areas set out above where Council has identified a need to strengthen its expertise and skills. All nominations must be treated in confidence. NB This statement is for use as part of the nominations process only and candidates for election will have the opportunity to submit an updated or new statement for use on the ballot paper.

If you would like to know more about what is involved or have an informal discussion please contact us by email as above or on 020 7470 4843.

Nominations must be received no later than 1 April 2014.


Council is the governing body of the Institute and, as a registered charity, Council members are the trustees of the Institute.

Working collectively, trustees have three main responsibilities:

  • to set a clear direction for the Institute
  • to make sure the Institute’s plans are being carried out appropriately
  • to ensure the Institute meets its legal responsibilities.

Council members collectively represent all the Institute’s members and Council has responsibility to ensure effective representation from, and interaction with, the membership.

The role and responsibilities of trustees are governed by charity law and further information may be obtained from the Charity Commission (

Council is chaired by the President and meets four times a year (full day meetings), normally in January, May, July & November. The work of Council is supported by a number of committees and Ordinary Members are normally invited to serve one of these committees, most of which meet three times per year. The majority of meetings take place in London.

All new Council members are offered training and support in their role as trustees.

The current membership of Council and further information about the governance of the Institute can be found at

Why should I stand for election?

As a trustee, membership of Council carries significant responsibility but is immensely rewarding in terms of contributing to the health and development of the Institute.

Trusteeship provides an excellent opportunity to use the skills and experience gained in your career to make a valuable contribution to the Institute.

For members at an early stage in their careers it can be a useful opportunity to gain board-level experience and build skills for future employment.

For all members is it an opportunity to gain new experiences, develop skills, broaden experience and meet new and interesting people.