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Monday, 11 December 2023, Judith Hedgley, CIEH Chair
We met at 15Hatfields and used the morning for our formal Board agenda followed by an afternoon planning session.
Setting out our priorities for 2024 was a key part of the day. We ensured that all agreed priorities aligned with the strategic objectives of CIEH and in particular; sustainability of CIEH and sustainability of the Profession.
2024 will see us focus on activities which aim to address the current challenges facing CIEH: We need to address the workforce crisis and plan for delivering a sustainable profession. Delivering on our financial strategy including developing a financially sustainable operating model for CIEH, conducting a property review, communication and transparency with our membership and identifying opportunities for business development. The Board also prioritised the response to motions presented at the AGM.
The Board approved the 2024 Budget. The financial performance of 2023 is expected to show a significant improvement on the deficits seen in recent years. The Board noted the progress on delivery of the finance strategy that was approved in September. As previously explained, it is a priority for this Board that CIEH becomes financially sustainable and EMT will be reporting back to the Board meeting in March on the options for a financially sustainable operating model in the longer term. The Board recognises that this year has been a year of change and whilst it has been necessary to approve an operating deficit similar to 2023 levels, there is a requirement for the EMT to deliver improvements to the overall result. The overall assessment is that there has been significant progress made with work still to do.
CIEH holds a long lease in respect of the property Chadwick Court (15Hatfields). As part of the finance strategy, the Board approved a working group to consider how CIEH can best use the value inherent within this asset. A report is expected to be presented to the Board early in 2024.
During the meeting we received an update report on progress with the motions presented to the AGM and the Board is keen to see the proposers involved in these discussions.
We had previously approved the formation of a Finance Committee which will take finance responsibility from the Risk and Audit Committee and allow greater focus on ensuring CIEH’s financial sustainability. Our operating procedures required updating to permit this to go ahead and we will be making appointments to the Committee early in 2024.
The Board approved new appointments, on the basis of interviews and recommendations by the members of the Appointments and Remuneration Committee (“ARC”). We welcome Michael Jackson to the Risk and Audit Committee and Lamin Tamba and Jonathan Hayes to our membership, Learning and the Profession Advisory Group. In addition, Steve Cooper has been appointed to the Welfare Fund Committee. I’d like to thank ARC members for their work in the appointment process and to welcome the new Committee and Advisory Group members.
Dan Oerther, one of our trustees, left the Board. We say goodbye to him with thanks for his support and the contribution he has made whilst being a trustee.
All of our governance post holders commit considerable time and, effort and take on significant responsibilities all on a voluntary basis. All trustees gave up a day of their own time to attend the full day meeting- most were able to attend in person. Many were taking annual leave from their day jobs to attend or taking time away from their family and other responsibilities. I’d like to thank them all, together with EMT members for their commitment and enthusiasm at our meeting.
We will soon agree the timeline for the elections for the three vacant elected trustee posts and recruitment to the two appointed trustee roles. A skills audit of the current Board will be carried out to assist with this process. We are also starting to look at the role of Chief Executive and the appointment process.
Once again, I would like to thank members for their support, and I look forward to sharing further updates on our progress with you in the new year.