The British Council Association Constitution

The name of the Association shall be the British Council Association.
The objects of the Association shall be:
  1. to enable members to maintain contact with each other and with serving staff;
  2. to maintain active interest in the
  3. work of the British Council, to further its aims and to promote its better knowledge among the public;
  4. to assist and advise, where required, and to make representations to the British Council in matters concerning the interests of its former staff;
  5. to cooperate, where required, with the British Council and its Benevolent Fund in relieving suffering, hardship and distress among former staff;
  6. to encourage the interests of its members where appropriate, particularly in the areas of education, the Arts and community service.
  1. There shall be eligible to apply for membership of the Association;
  2. any former member of the British Council staff 
  3. the spouse or partner of any such person  
  4. any serving member of British Council staff
  5. any person who has worked with or had contact with the British Council and wishes to support the Objects of the Association as set out above 
The Committee of the British Council Association shall retain the right to accept or refuse membership of any applicant.
There shall be an annual subscription for members as from time to time agreed at a general meeting. Members joining during the year shall begin payment of the subscription from the month following that of joining (or as soon as practicable). In cases of hardship the Committee may at its discretion waive the subscription. No separate subscription shall be required of the spouse or partner of a member.
The management of the Association shall be entrusted to a Committee of not more than fifteen members who shall be elected at the annual general meeting. Wherever possible, the Committee shall represent a broad cross-section of members in UK countries, regions and overseas.
  1. The Committee shall elect annually from among their number the Chairperson and Treasurer, who shall be the officers of the Association, also the Editor of the British Council Association newsletter New Horizons. The members may annually nominate a member of the Committee to have special concern for members who have served overseas or are residing overseas in retirement.
  2. The Committee shall have the power to engage a Secretary on a part-time basis at an annual honorarium to be agreed, the appointment to be reviewed annually. The Secretary shall attend all meetings of the Committee as a non-voting member.
  3. Committee members shall serve for three years. At the annual general meeting retiring members of the Committee may stand for re-election.  
  4. The Committee shall have the power to co-opt a member to fill any casual vacancy on the Committee. Any member so co-opted shall retire at the next annual general meeting but shall be eligible to stand for substantive election.
  5. Normally there will be a minimum of four  meetings a year. Meetings of the Committee shall be called by the Secretary as and when required.
  6. Six members of the Committee shall form a quorum.
  7. Every member of the Committee shall have one vote on every question. In the case of a tie the Chairperson or other member presiding at the meeting shall have a second or casting vote.
  8. The Committee may elect a President. The President shall be elected for a period of three years and shall be eligible for re-election.
  9. The Committee may elect patrons.
General Meetings
An annual general meeting of the Association shall be held normally in the month of July each year upon a date and at a time to be fixed by the Committee for the following purposes:
  1. to receive the Secretary’s report;
  2. to receive and, if approved, to adopt a statement of the Association’s accounts to the end of the preceding year.
  3. to elect members of the Committee; nominations should be received in writing not less than five days before the annual general meeting, with the consent of the nominee.
  4. to appoint auditors;
  5. to deal with any other matter which the Committee desires to bring before the members and to receive suggestions from the members for consideration by the Committee.
An extraordinary general meeting may be convened at any time by the Committee and shall be convened within thirty days from the receipt of a requisition in writing signed by not fewer than twenty members specifying the object of the meeting for any of the following purposes:
  1. to consider and, if approved, sanction any alteration to these rules;
  2. to deal with any matter which the Committee desires to bring before the members;
  3. to receive the resignation of the Committee or to remove any member thereof from office and to fill any vacancy caused thereby;
  4. to deal with any special matter which the members requiring the meeting may decide to bring before the members.
Notice of any general meeting shall be sent to the members not less than ten days before the meeting and shall specify the matters to be dealt with. The accidental omission to give notice of any meeting to or the non-receipt of such notice by any individual member shall not invalidate the proceedings at such meetings.
At all general meetings the Chairperson, or in this officer’s absence a member selected by the Committee, shall take the chair. Every member shall have one vote on every question. In the case of an equality of votes the person presiding over the meeting shall have a second or casting vote.
The quorum at any general meeting shall be forty members.  
Audit of Accounts
At every annual general meeting two members of the Association, not being members of the Committee, shall be elected to serve as auditors for the ensuing year. The auditors shall audit the accounts of the Association not less than thirty days before the annual general meeting. A vacancy occurring in the office of auditor during the year shall be filled on recommendation by the Committee.
Amendments to Rules
No alteration or addition to these rules shall be made except by a resolution carried out by a majority of at least two-thirds of the members present at a general meeting, the notice of which shall have contained particulars of the proposed alteration or addition.

Revised June 2009