Council is a group of nine members. All elected members of Council are Directors of the two companies limited by liability, the British Association of Occupational Therapists Limited (BAOT) and the Royal College of Occupational Therapists Limited (RCOT) and are registered as Directors at Companies House with the full responsibilities of Directors.
Charity trustees are the people responsible for controlling the management and administration of the charity. Council members therefore become trustees of the Royal College of Occupational Therapists and also have to abide by the requirements of the Charities Act 2011 and the Trustee Act 2000.
Current Council members:
- Dr Patricia McClure, Chairman of Council
- Linda Agnew, Council Member, English Board
- David Davies, Council Member, Industrial Relations
- Professor Priscilla Harries, Council Member, Research and Development Board
- Janet Kelly, Council Member, Welsh Board
- Sandra Rowan, Council Member International Affairs (WFOT)
- Louise Watson, Council Member, Scottish Board
- Lyn Westcott, Council Member, Learning and Development Board
- Siobhan Wright, Council Member, Northern Ireland Board
What is the role of Council members?
All members of Council are formally responsible for the governance of the organisation, including financial matters, the management of identified risks and the agreement and monitoring of the organisation's annual work plan. These responsibilities require a commitment to the long term sustainability of the organisation and the profession as a whole and should not be undertaken lightly. Acting as leaders of the profession and directors of the companies (RCOT and BAOT) Council members may be called upon to debate complex issues and make key decisions in order to safeguard the organisation and its members.
Holding a Council seat is demanding and requires a willingness to shoulder corporate responsibility and so it should not be embarked on without due consideration. It does, of course, also provide intellectual challenge and stimulation as well as learning opportunities relating to business management and professional body administration. There is an expectation that all Council members think strategically and actively contribute to discussions extending beyond their own area of practice and experience.
What does it involve?
Council members are expected to attend four Council meetings per year, normally held in London; they are usually one-day meetings. Council members are also expected to attend the Annual General Meeting held during the Annual Conference. Expenses are refunded in line with the organisation's agreed expenses rates. There is a considerable volume of documents to read and consider before each Council meeting. There are also routine Council mailings and emailing which may, for example, involve members in responding to consultations or feeding back specific information within defined deadlines.
Being a Council member is a demanding but fulfilling role and you are advised to gain the support of your manager so that s/he is aware of the time away from work, which the responsibility of holding a national office involves.
Conflicts of interest
The Royal College and British Association of Occupational Therapists (RCOT/BAOT) values the involvement of its members, colleagues, partners, and its employees to support and enable the organisation's work.
Conflicts of interest are not uncommon when individuals undertake different roles with different responsibilities and it is necessary to reduce or eliminate any risk of bias that might affect the efficient running of an organisation.
The Conflicts of Interest policy aims to help those individuals covered by its scope to identify, manage and declare anything professional, personal or non-personal to them that could conflict with the interests and efficient running of BAOT/COT and its standing within the professional community in which it operates.