Being a volunteer board member of the APM requires a lot of commitment – but it is very rewarding. You can give back to the profession and encourage new members (especially the next generation). You can expand your knowledge and professional experience at a strategic level. For example, I not only attend the full board meetings, but also the Audit and Governance Committee. You can also make changes that have a real impact of the day-to-day running of APM and its members.
Audit may not seem like the most fascinating topic, but nowadays it covers more than just finance. Under the chairmanship of Roy Millard and management of Barry Horton, head of IT, we have made major advances in our IT infrastructure. A move to cloud-based services is planned soon as part of other IT enhancements.
Governance, too, has undergone some changes. We’ve agreed to reduce the number of elected board members from 12 to nine over the next three years to make the board more focused. This was a recommendation from an external governance expert. It means that in future elections there will be a selection of three candidates, rather than four.
Alongside this, the board has agreed to co-opt one board member from the volunteer community to one of the three ‘appointed’ spaces the board may choose to fill. The details on the mechanics of this appointment have been agreed by the Nominations and Advocacy Committee headed by my fellow board member, Sue Kershaw. Details on how to apply for both the appointed and elected positions will be on the APM website shortly.
We are also learning from similar member organisations. I have attended three training course days in my first six months: one on charity accounting, one on governance good practice and a conference where I could mix with other charity trustees from Oxfam, Barnardo’s and other associations with similar challenges that we face, such the Institute of Engineering and Technology (IET), who we can learn a lot from (they have 153,000 members!).
Do have a look at the Board Meeting Summary for our last meeting in May. This gives a good idea of the variety of the topics discussed and the strategic decisions we made.
We need good candidates each year, so if you fancy volunteering for the board, then put your name 'in the ring' next year or indeed suggest the opportunity to a suitable candidate if you know of one. Do feel free to pass on this message to other APM members, and do contact me or the board secretary, Mike Robinson.