Introducing changes to improve how members’ views are best heard, discussed and represented
The BMC are improving how we hear member’s opinions, how we discuss them and then how we achieve what we have decided on. Most of these changes will be introduced across the next 6 months with the first changes already in place and more to follow in the coming weeks. As a membership organisation, it is vital for us to understand what you want so that we invest our time and resources into making it happen. Key recommendations are shown here:
This diagram shows a selection of the recommendations and where the changes will happen, while short overviews of how each paper achieves these aims are available here:
Membership Engagement – This paper is focussed on improving how the views of members are heard, and how members are made aware of what the BMC is delivering, and of issues which may affect them. These recommendations will improve this two way communication by enabling you to give your opinions directly on specific issues, whether national or local, through surveys and votes. We aim to both improve area meetings, and also communications to and from the vast majority of members who don’t attend area meetings. We will strengthen the programme of area events, to encourage more people to attend and build a sense of community.
To make best use of the volunteer effort and expertise available, the paper detailing how to produce a volunteer strategy will be implemented and built on so that a volunteer skills audit will be carried out to identify potential gaps in skills we need to avoid. Alongside this, the Clubs training programme will be reinvigorated. The Board and National Council will regularly review progress and trends in membership satisfaction levels. Detailed report available at: http://bit.ly/odgmembership
National Council Reconstitution - The reconstitution of the National Council is a vital part in ensuring the BMC remains a member focussed organisation, while also following the principles of good governance required of a modern effective company.
These initial recommendations focus on the structure and makeup of a reconstituted council. The aim of this is to ensure that the council is truly representative of all members and their views; and provides suitable channels through which those views can be heard by the Board.
The group has also recognised that the council should not only represent members’ views, but also their interests. As such these recommendations aim to widen the membership of the council to include people who represent key areas of interest to members e.g. access and conservation. The group have also recognised the importance of forging closer links with our key partners within the sector and feel they should have a voice on the new council.
It has been noted that these initial recommendations do not reduce the size of the council, a common criticism of the old council. In its on-going work, beyond the scope of this paper, the group aim to improve the effectiveness of the council by improving working practices rather than restricting the size of council, as the latter would lead to reduced representation of members. The group is looking to ensure the behaviours, processes and technology all support effective and timely discussion and decision making which is appropriately influenced by members’ input. Detailed report available at: http://bit.ly/odgncrecon
Partnerships – The BMC is just one of a range of organisations doing great work to protect and promote hillwalking, climbing and mountaineering. Once we have heard and debated members’ views, we need to work together with other organisations to achieve our aims. Partners are those organisations that are funded by or share a funding source with the BMC, or those who are very closely aligned, for example Mountain Training. Stakeholders are organisations that do not share any funding with the BMC but are able to influence our ability to achieve our aims, for example the National Trust.
The increase in the breadth of activities in which our members participate, and in the number of organisations of different types who are active in the sector mean we need to update three key elements: how we work with our other national representative bodies such as Mountaineering Scotland; how we coordinate effort within the sector and how we influence stakeholders. We will form a Partner Assembly and National Governing Bodies Forum to achieve this. Further details available here: http://bit.ly/odgpartners
Clubs – Clubs have little formal representation within the BMC, which leads to a feeling of loss of influence and as a result a lack of understanding of the direction of the BMC’s strategy. Also, the structure, ways of working and range of activities of new Clubs is changing quite noticeably, which hasn’t been reflected in the BMC’s Club affiliation rules or in the services and products we offer to Clubs. The Clubs Paper makes recommendations to strengthen their representation, build a more collaborative approach between the BMC and Clubs and to improve on the support the BMC offers Clubs. Further details available here: http://bit.ly/odgclubs