BSAVA Governance Review

In December 2015 the BSAVA Trustees started a review of the governance of the Association with regard to company and charity law, the UK Corporate Governance and Charity Governance Codes, and best practice in the governance of charitable membership organisations.
The proposed changes were approved by the membership at the AGM on 7th April 2019.

The January 2019 Companion article summarises the changes and the reasons they were necessary.

The project objectives are as follows:

  • Creating a simpler and clearer structure that can be more agile 
  • To ensure the function of the groups with a governance remit reflects the governance structure defined in the articles
  • To ensure there is no negative impact on accountability and transparency
  • To remove the requirement for Council members to be Director/Trustee 
  • To create a diversity of volunteer roles with a reduced time commitment to ensure volunteer roles on Council and Chairs of working committees are more accessible to a wider pool
  • Council to provide greater representation of the membership through the Council Representatives role
  • To use the opportunity to remove contradictions and inconsistencies between Articles and Rule Book


The Articles of Association, are the regulations governing the relationships between the stakeholders of the Association, and are a requirement for the establishment of a company under the law of the United Kingdom and many other countries. The Articles of Association form the constitution of a company. They are built on the foundations of the BSAVA’s new articles of the Association can be found here:

Link to new articles here

The articles are supported by the Association Rule Book which outlines how the articles are then implemented to provide the appropriate governance structures and oversight.

Link to Rule Book here

What form did the review take?
Initial findings of the review were presented to Council who agreed that changes were required in order to make the structure more effective in relation to strategy development and operational management.  Several typical governance models were presented for consideration and two models were selected that most closely reflected the current governance arrangements and two working groups were established to explore these options in more detail.  These groups reported back to the November 2017 Council with recommendations on the most effective solution to meet the Association’s needs.
Following the November 2017 Council, the discussions about the working groups’ recommendations was widened to include Regional Forums and Woodrow House staff.   The Professional Associations Research Network (PARN) were also engaged to provide an independent review of possible governance structures from a membership organisation perspective.
As a result of this consultation the working group developed a more detailed recommendation for the structure of Council and Board, based on the 2 tier Non-Executive option, which closely aligns with the PARN “cupped hands” model which they strongly recommend in their report.

This model has now been implemented through the AGM approval of the Articles and Rule Book, over the next 12 months these changes will be implemented and reviewed together by Board and Council to ensure the agreed objectives are met.  

If you have any questions please email 

Registered Company No. 02837793. A Company Limited by Guarantee in England. Registered as a Charity in England and Wales No. 1024811.