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Feedback from the Professionalisation Working Group 25/04/08 Update for all members Proposed constitution (outline) Committee roles and proceedings What.

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Presentation on theme: "Feedback from the Professionalisation Working Group 25/04/08 Update for all members Proposed constitution (outline) Committee roles and proceedings What."— Presentation transcript:

1 Feedback from the Professionalisation Working Group 25/04/08 Update for all members Proposed constitution (outline) Committee roles and proceedings What next?

2 Update for all members Terms of reference agreed in December 2007 (see Appendix). Working group met in December and January to consider: Formalising existing procedures. e.g. membership, meetings. Structural development of the network. e.g. procedures. Creating a basic constitution. Roles required within the structure. i.e. responsibility. Transparency. Draft structure/constitution presented to CVS for expert advice. Proposed constitution…

3 Outline of the constitution Object The Organisation's (UMHAN’s) purpose is “to advance the education of people with mental health difficulties through improving access to Higher Education.” Membership Membership is open to individuals over 18 or organisations who are approved by the Organisation. An application for membership may be refused if it is considered to be in the best interests of the Organisation. Any organisation that is a member may nominate an individual to act as its representative at any meeting.

4 Income Income shall be applied solely towards the promotion of the Objects. i.e. Reasonable expenses and proper remuneration for any goods or services supplied to the Organisation. Termination of Membership If any sum due from the member to the Organisation is not paid in full within six months. If, by resolution, it is in the best interests of the Organisation. Membership is not transferable to anyone else.

5 Roles within the Organisation Members. A minimum of 3 of these members will form a committee (and each will be a ‘Trustee’ or ‘Committee Member’). This committee aims to: Ensure the strategic direction of UMHAN is maintained and developed. Speak on behalf of UMHAN. Respond outwardly regarding policy and best practice. Ensure the business side of running the organisation is taken care of in an annual general meeting.

6 Meetings – minutes must be kept of all meetings. General meeting: Standard UMHAN meeting. Annual general meeting: Voting-in of committee members and Officers, statement of finances. “Business-end” of UMHAN. Special general meeting: Optional meeting to gather the committee. Quorum No business shall be transacted at any general meeting unless a quorum (8 members) is present. If no quorum is present, the meeting shall be re-convened.

7 Voting Each member shall have one vote. If there is an equality of votes the person who is chairing the meeting shall have a casting vote. Votes can be given in writing if attendance is difficult. Objections over the qualification of any voter can only be raised at the meeting. The chair’s decision shall be final.

8 Committee Roles – ‘Trustees’ Ensure UMHAN’s prosperity, by collectively directing its affairs, whilst meeting the appropriate interests of members. Lend an impartial view in relation to strategic decisions, whilst meeting the appropriate interests of members. Represent the organization to outside bodies when appropriate. A Trustee must absent themself from any discussions of the Trustees in which it is possible that a conflict of interest will arise and take no part in the voting upon the matter.

9 Trustees should: Be regular in attendance and arrive on time. Be well prepared with an agenda and relevant paper. Have completed the action points required of them. Be able to contribute to discussions constructively. Be well briefed and informed about the various items on the agenda and prepared to take the lead occasionally. Be assertive without being aggressive. Be aware of the organisation’s goals and bear them in mind in all discussions.

10 Powers of trustees: To jointly decide on how to raise funds and spend income. To co-operate with other charities, voluntary bodies and statutory authorities and to exchange information and advice with them. To obtain and pay for such goods and services necessary for carrying out the work of the Organisation.

11 Committee Roles - Chair Will chair UMHAN meetings, prioritise UMHAN meeting agenda, attend all UMHAN meetings, speak on behalf of UMHAN, and respond outwardly regarding policy and best practice. In conjunction with the Trustees, ensure UMHAN’s prosperity whilst meeting the appropriate interests of members. Ensures that the organisation as a whole is achieving its goals. Be the official representative of the group. Lend an impartial view in relation to strategic decisions, whilst meeting the appropriate interests of members.

12 Help the Secretary prepare the agenda for each meeting. Ensure meetings start on time, proceed according to the agenda, and enough time is allocated to each item. Encourage quiet people to speak without pressurising them. Make sure everyone gets a chance to air their views and do not dominate or interrupt each another. Make sure decisions are made, agreed, and summarised so everyone understands. See that members take responsibility for the things they agreed to do. Represent the organization to outside bodies.

13 The Chair will always endeavour to be: Fair: Have a sense of impartiality and treat each contribution as being equally important and must not take sides. Firm: If rules/practices are breached and things are getting out of hand the Chair must take appropriate steps to keep the meeting together. Sensitive: Look for hidden disagreements and undercurrents and actively encourage all members to participate fully. Detached: Only voice her/his opinion if it is a view that has not been stated or if information needs to be given that no one else knows.

14 Committee Roles - Secretary Ensures efficient running of meetings, maintaining accurate records of decisions, responding to queries, and arranges for minutes to be taken. Ensure a host institution or location is confirmed for each meeting and, in conjunction with the host institutions or location, ensure members are aware of accommodation, refreshments and scheduling for each meetings. Ensure all members are asked, prior to each meeting, what items they want including on the agenda. Ensure an agenda, complete with minutes from the preceding meeting and any other relevant written information, is sent to all members. Follow up with those members who said they would do things, make sure they are feeding back to UMHAN, and ensure records are kept of progress made.

15 Receive all the groups’ correspondence, sort it and present it to members at the relevant meeting. Take minutes and ensure that tasks are delegated to a named individual, with a reasonable timescale for completion. Keep up to date lists of members and their addresses and contact details. Appropriately store correspondence, papers, publicity, etc. Some of these tasks may be shared amongst the Committee as appropriate. Keep the membership lists up to date. To oversee the production of the Annual Report. To obtain nominations for people wishing to become office bearers or committee members.

16 Committee Roles - Treasurer Has responsibility for, but no absolute power, over the way in which financial resources are used by the organisation. The Treasurer ensures that the organisation spends its money correctly, and this will involve regularly advising Committee members on the organisation’s financial affairs. The Treasurer must understand the organisation’s priorities.

17 The Treasurer must: Keep accurate records of the organisation’s financial resources. Advise on the use of those resources for maximum advantage. Protect the financial interests of the individual committee members. Accurately maintain the books of the account. Liaise with staff who deal with financial matters. Prepare estimates and budgets, if required. Submit regular financial reports to the committee and to other organisations (if required). Oversee fundraising developments and applications.

18 Proceedings of the Committee The Trustees may regulate their proceedings as they think fit, subject to the provisions of this constitution. No decision may be made by the committee unless a quorum (2, or 1/3 of the number of Trustees) is present. Voting at committee meetings is decided in the same way as at general meetings. If the number of Trustees is less than this, the Trustees may act only for the purpose of filling vacancies or of calling a general meeting. The person elected as the Chair shall chair meetings of the Trustees. The Trustees may delegate any of their powers or functions to a committee of two or more Trustees.

19 What next? From the constitution: “The first Trustees (and Officers) shall be those persons elected as Trustees and Officers at the general meeting at which this constitution is adopted.”

20 Therefore… A general meeting will need to be called at which the constitution will be accepted. Prior to this meeting, members should nominate themselves to become ‘Trustees’ and/or Officers.

21 Discussion – how should this happen? Considerations: How much more time to give members to look through the constitution and put forward their intention to stand as a Trustee or Officer? Who should gather nominations and oversee elections? If more than one person wishes to take up an Officer role, should each individual present their case to UMHAN? When should the first general meeting take place for the organisation to officially form?

22 Appendix - Terms Of Reference Promoting the interests of people with mental health difficulties. Promoting the benefits of the mental health adviser role. Professional support.

23 Promoting the Interests of People with Mental Health Difficulties Articulating the specific and distinctive needs of students with mental health difficulties. Influencing policy development across the sector and generally, which relates to people with mental health difficulties, as well as developing UMHAN policy positions on relevant issues. Removing barriers to the full participation of people with mental health difficulties in Higher Education and society generally. (Includes issues such as Widening Participation, employment, and care and treatment issues). Promoting the health and citizenship of people with mental health difficulties.

24 Developing the disability rights agenda to more accurately reflect the particular needs and interests of people with mental health difficulties. Encouraging the development of a culture in which people with mental health difficulties studying at Higher Education level becomes a mainstream notion. Advocating to, and liaison with relevant bodies to promote the rights and interests of students with mental health difficulties.

25 Promoting the Benefits of the Mental Health Adviser role Articulating the benefits of a specialist mental health advisor role, and seeking to disseminate this information across the sector. Providing advice and information to people outside the network, particularly where this can be seen to benefit either students with mental health difficulties, or enhances the profile, and the esteem of the Mental Health Adviser role.

26 Professional Support Supporting members to fulfil their roles competently. (This does not include any form of professional indemnity, or monitoring or endorsement of individual practice.) Informal stress management support. (This will be peer based, and will not include any form of professional intervention.) Sharing of best practice / models of good practice. Peer consultation on issues related to students with mental health difficulties. Professional development, to include training and advice to members.

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