News from the Board: a new blog series from the Chair of the Board

01 November 2023, Judith Hedgley, CIEH Chair

Wooden figures with chat bubbles

This is my first blog for CIEH as Chair of the Board. As I'm sure you will know I'm passionate about representing CIEH members and ensuring CIEH meets its mission.

I'm sharing an update on how the Board have been spending their time since the AGM. It's my intention that myself or another Board member will provide a similar update after each Board meeting on the agenda items we have approved or discussed. We’ll also update on any other matters outside of the Board meeting. We currently meet monthly via Teams, which is much more frequently than we expected, but there have been considerable matters to discuss and approvals needed. An enormous amount of work went into the preparations for the AGM and new Trustees had to get up to speed very quickly understanding CIEH’s financial matters to approve the 2022 accounts. I want to thank all CIEH staff and Trustees for their work in delivering the AGM which I thought went very well.

Reflections on recent Board meetings

At the last two Board meetings, much of our time has been spent approving the interim arrangements following Phil's resignation and specifically the appointment of an interim CEO. I’ll just take this opportunity again to thank Phil for his time with CIEH. We've now agreed an interim structure and have approved a new process for delegating decision making within the CIEH. We are very pleased to have Fran McCloskey as Acting Chief Executive until a permanent appointment is made. She already has a full understanding of the organisation and will be able to hit the ground running and maintain momentum on progressing the priorities until a CEO is appointed.

Mark Elliott, President Designate, has joined the Board as an observer in the interim period prior to the commencement of his role on January 1 2024. Thank you to Mark for agreeing to do this and for his contributions to discussions.

The Board discussed and approved clarification of the Travel and Expenses Policy and agreed that with immediate effect international travel costs will not be paid for attendance at Board meetings, committees or policy advisory group meetings. This decision has been made on the basis of "economy, efficiency and effectiveness", sustainability and CIEH’s Environmental Policy.

We also received a briefing from Louise Hosking, Executive Director of Environmental Health on the work of her team. It's our intention to receive briefings from all EMT members to fully understand their remit and to assist us in setting our strategic priorities.

Our next meeting

Our next Board meeting in November will be a full day face-to-face meeting, for those trustees who are able to do this. The morning will be used for the usual Board agenda items and the afternoon will focus on setting our short/medium term priorities primarily around what we need to achieve over the "interim" period. Finance, governance matters and communication will form a significant part of our discussions. We will also be discussing the motions from the AGM and will provide updates to the proposers after this meeting.

Open communication

I want to maintain an open channel of communication with members and in addition to this monthly Chair's message I will be opening the Chair's email address, [email protected], so that you can email me directly with any matters. I’m not very active on Twitter however I would like to be able to respond to member's questions and requests for updates.

On behalf of the Board I want to thank all members for their support over the last few months where we have seen considerable change. The organisation and the Board has considerable work to do over the next 12-18 months and I can assure you that we are all fully committed and working hard and we will keep you updated on our progress.

Luminous cubes

CIEH Leadership Programme

Take your career to the next level with the CIEH Leadership Programme.

Find out more