Minutes of the CIPR Board meeting for Public Distribution 28 July 2011 Present: Paul Mylrea, President Sally Sykes, President Elect Lionel Zetter Imelda Topping Jane Wilson, Chief Executive In attendance: Phil Morgan, Director of Policy and Communications (Minutes commence from Item 2) Item 2 – Finance Committee The Chief Executive Jane Wilson (JW) raised the issue of the reporting of the deliberations of the finance committee which normally meets before the Board meets and reports to it. It was noted that the finance committee is not well attended and that financial matters are currently being examined in depth during board meetings and through a weekly teleconference. JW also asked if the board required a line-by-line report since trading and finance are so closely linked. Paul Mylrea (PM) suggested that the views of Jennifer Stirton, Treasurer, should be sought. Sally Sykes (SS) said the structure was put in place by last year’s President Jay O’Connor, to ensure that expenditure could be examined in detail. JW suggested that a line-by-line financial report could be examined by conference call and that the board should handle finance matters. PRide Turning to the current finance report, JW outlined what had changed since the board last met. This included highlighting the PRide awards, qualifications and training as key areas to look at. For Pride awards, each region had been given a choice on format and had generally opted to stay with the black tie dinner option. Notable exception to the overall slight decline in numbers was Home Counties South region, where participation has increased by 30%. ACTION: Board to review PRide delivery and make proposals for awards in 2012 and beyond in conjunction with Group chairs. Quals and Training
On qualifications, JW said that the forecast for 2011 was based on a year on year decrease on intake of up to 30%. It was noted however, that core qualifications of Advanced Certificate and Diploma are slightly above forecast. On training issues, JW highlighted a renewed level of activity by the team responsible. JW also pointed out that the webinars would be ready by 22 August and will feature in the future regional offer for the members. Other new training products are being developed and the costs involved in delivering training are being further reduced. Membership JW reported that membership retention rates were approximately 75% in Q1 and might be 80% in Q2. LZ raised the possibility of an external person to sell memberships. JW outlined how the membership ‘product’ is being redeveloped so the offer will also change. The Board members then discussed the proposed new membership structure, noting that full membership would be more accessible, with Associate grade open to most junior applicants who would eligible to achieve full membership after 2 years. Board reaffirmed its commitment to reform of the membership structure to ensure that experience was not solely understood in terms of their age or years in the PR industry. JW confirmed that the reforms proposed would achieve this and that barriers would be removed. SS suggested that 2 years at ‘cadet grade’ would be sufficient. PM said that entrants for other industries (e.g. journalism should be required to undertake CPD and are required to sign the code of conduct. It was further proposed to automatically enrol members in the CPD programme when they are sent their membership acceptance, although they would not be required to complete it unless they wished to achieve Accredited or Chartered Practitioner status. PM asked for an outline of the next steps in the process. JW said a proposal would be put to the CIPR Council. SS recommended that the membership material include case studies of using the CPD system. JW said that with the new offer, CPD training would be available online. All confirmed their commitment to ensuring that changes to the system is communicated effectively. ACTION: JW to update board on progress. 2012 Olympics The board discussed issues relating to the use of Russell Square as office accommodation for the London 2012 Olympics and sought and update on progress with renting the CIPR’s office accommodation during the games. JW said that CIPR was looking at the possibility of renting the premises to an international PR media or agency or agencies. SS said there would be a media guide produced and the CIPR could seek to feature within it. Governance PM sought an update on the proposed changes by the Governance working group to enable Council to elect members of the Executive Board. He outlined the issues relating to possible conflicts in this proposal highlighted by Rob Brown (RB) at the last meeting of Council. He pointed out that the regulation change would be seeking an election at the November meeting but that the Royal Charter states that Council appoints board in January. He suggested that one possible alternative was for the
election to be held in November and the formal appointments made in January. He said that at the November Council meeting the change would be proposed and an election held to determine the composition of the Board for 2012. There would need to be clause that allowed Council not to elect in the event that too few candidates came forward. PM pointed out that the proposed change needed to be published in 30 days, which gave the CIPR 2 days to decide if there is a conflict or not. It was decided to circulate the regulation to members via email and the CIPR website. ACTION: PM to send a note to RB about resolving the conflicts in the proposal and CIPR to inform members of the proposed changes. UKPAC The Board asked for an update on the current situation with UKPAC and heard that since the last UPAC Board meeting on 20 July, Mark Ramsdale had tendered his resignation as Secretary. In a note to UKPAC Directors, Chairman Elizabeth France had put three options forward on register technology and personnel. The board discussed the fact that it is not possible for UKPAC to deliver a universal register, which could only be enforced through statute by the Government. Government enforced near universality would deliver several thousand eligible potential registrants, reducing the likely size of any registration fee. AOB Imelda Topping raised an issue in the CEOâ€™s Board Report relating to the Excellence Awards and the Board recommended the process of judging to begin as early as practical. PM recorded his thanks to Phil Morgan for the work that his team had recently put into the Diversity Working Group. It was felt that this is an area in which the PRCA and CIPR should cooperate further.