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An opportunity for you? A message from APM Board Member Mary McKinlay

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Posted by APM on 13th Jan 2012

I would like to start by thanking all those who voted for me and enabled me to return to the APM Board. I am happy to have the chance to work for you again. I am also very conscious of the amount of time that this commitment involves. It is not just the six Board meetings per year but the Committees and other events that mount up. I am fortunate that I am able to do this but aware that at the start of my career it would not have been possible.  

For some time I have been thinking about trying to provide an opportunity for our young members, at the start of their careers, to take part in the APM Board.  I am very pleased that in September 2011 the board strongly supported the concept of an intern role on the Board to encourage Board participation among our younger generation of members. An intern would be a full voting member of the Board as a trustee of APM, and our proposal is that we would make an appointment for a period lasting up to a year.

The proposal is possible because our Articles of Association state that the trustees when complete shall consist of: twelve individuals, all of whom must be members; and up to three individuals, who are not required to be members, who have particular skills and expertise required by the trustees.  

This is not just an off the wall idea. There are precedents; research by the Charity Commission  among young trustees has found that One of the key benefits they identified was that they were able to gain experience and develop skills that they would not usually have the opportunity to acquire until they were much further on in their careers: for example, in strategic decision-making, and in the management and leadership of a whole organisation.  

They were aware of the value of this experience in strengthening their CV and employment opportunities, particularly during a period of recession. From the same report comes the statement:  Young people wanted to hear about the personal benefits of trusteeship: for example, that they can acquire a broader set of skills and deeper understanding of how an organisation works, in a role where they can make a genuine difference as part of a team.

However, they also needed reassurance that they could fulfil the role, despite their youth and inexperience. It needed to be explained that they could bring fresh thinking, new ideas and a contemporary set of skills to the charity and, importantly, that the charity would welcome their contribution.  The more young people felt they were genuinely wanted, the more likely they were to be interested.

In November the Board agreed that we would proceed with this plan and so I am now asking you these questions:

Do you feel that you have ideas to put forward to APM?

Would you like the opportunity to take part in APM at Board level for up to a year?

Is this the development activity that you have been looking for?

If your answer to these questions is yes then I would like to hear from you. It is important that you discuss the idea with your employers before putting your name forward as you may need support from them to be able to take the time. It may also be worth thinking about this as a formal development activity for you.

The Nominations Committee will be looking at applications in the New Year and would like to put forward suggestions to the March 2012 Board Meeting. We envisage that applicants will be at the start of their careers and may be already involved in Branch, SIG or other APM activities. 

In the first instance, please send your application consisting of a CV plus a personal statement explaining why you would like to do this and what you have to offer to: john.salisbury@apm.org.uk


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