Governance policies

Chairs Forum • Terms of Reference • Finance Policy • Thank you Gifts • Voting Policy

Important guidelines to follow

All Group and Network activities are subject to oversight by Icon's Board of Trustees, who have overall legal responsiblity for Icon.

With this in mind, ensuring all Group and Network activities comply with Icon's formal governance policies is the most important part of Committee administration to ensure Icon remains a smooth-running ship for everyone.

Terms of Reference for Groups

The Terms of Reference for Icon's Groups sets out the relationships between Groups and Icon's Board of Trustees, and outline the responsibilities this involves.

Chairs Forum

Icon's twice-yearly Chairs Forums provide the means for all Groups and Networks to communicate directly with the Chair of the Board of Trustees, and to discuss and comment on the latest corporate developments and strategic initiatives. The Forum also provides an opportunity for Groups and Networks to put forward their ideas for discussion by the Board of Trustees as appropriate, and to allow Chairs to share learning.  All Group and Network Chairs are invited to attend, or send a delegate. The Forum operates in accordance with the Group Chairs Forum Terms of Reference as agreed by the Board of Trustees.

For more on this, liaise with the Head of Membership.

Voting Policy

Membership application and renewal forms allow all Icon members to self-select two Groups in which they will have full voting rights. All Icon members living in Scotland automatically become voting members of the Icon Scotland Group in addition to their two self-selected Groups.

Icon members may join as many other Groups and Networks as participating members as they wish.

Making substantial changes to the Group

Occasionally, there may be a strong case and wide consensus for major changes to the way a Group is organized, for example if a change of name is warranted to keep up with the times, or to recognize that the scope of the specialism has broadened. 

It will be important to ensure that all Group members have the chance to feed in their views. 

The most effective way to proceed with this is to circulate a proposal document with a survey link to Group members, ahead of a vote at the next AGM.  The results of the survey can bolster the case made for the change – or conversely, indicate that the proposal should instead be dropped for the time being. Either way, the views of Group members are key to the success of any proposal for fundamental change. 

To progress this, liaise with the Head of Membership in the first instance.

GDPR for Groups and Networks

Icon’s Data Protection Policy sets out the ways in which the organisation collects, processes and stores personal data, and provides the relevant basis under the GDPR for each.

From a Groups standpoint, there should be little to worry about here – as personal data of Icon members is stored securely in the Icon office and is not distributed. The Events and Iconnect system ensures that all Group Communications can be sent using up-to-the-minute information while ensuring sensitive personal details are not distributed. 

In the event Group committee officers find they are in possession of hard-copy documentation from previous years such as Expenses Claim Forms, these must be sent to the Icon office so staff can ensure they are archived securely in accordance with statutory retention guidelines for financial documentation.  Under no circumstances should Group committee officers or previous Group committee officers retain such documents in their personal possession.

If in doubt, simply drop the membership team a line.

For full details, check out Icon's Data Protection Policy

Thank you gifts policy

Many members contribute to the their professional body through volunteering on the committees of our 24 Groups and Networks. Icon relies on their efforts to deliver our strategic objectives and to meet our aims.

The essence of volunteering is that it is unpaid and, as a charity, it would not generally be appropriate to reward volunteers for their contribution. Nevertheless, the Trustees recognise that at times it may be appropriate to show appreciation to an individual for an exceptional contribution to their Groups or Network by giving a small gift.

Our auditors offered this advice about making gifts: "Have a policy and procedure to follow to ensure gifts are only given appropriately and are not material. Gifts should never be cash or cash equivalents (i.e. not a gift card). A bunch of flowers or box of chocolates would not be unreasonable."

Full details can be found in Icon's Thank you gifts policy which forms part of our Governance Handbook.


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