ACOSVO AGM December 7th: A Message from Our Interim Convenor

Message from Kim Atkinson, Interim Convenor: 


Dear members,


Amidst such continual change and challenging times all around, I was keen to provide an update to you all from the ACOSVO Board in advance of our AGM.


Before this, however, on behalf of the Board I would like to extend our most sincere thank you to you all. Thank you for everything you've done - we know this has been the most challenging of times for the sector's leaders, but also the time of greatest innovation and value due to your unrelenting efforts. Thank you for supporting each other - never has peer support been more important or more valued. And thank you for your support of ACOSVO - our membership has increased by ~150 new members over this period - it is our privilege to work in support of you all.


While our amazing staff have continued to work relentlessly to support you, the ACOSVO board has also been working quietly in the background on your behalf. Like you all I'm sure, we have taken time to review our own governance and resilience to ensure we are meeting the current and future needs to further strengthen the organisation amid these challenging times.


It remains with a very heavy heart that this message is coming from me, as Interim Chair. As I'm sure you'll all appreciate, we continue to feel the loss of our dear friend and chair, Ian Findlay CBE, most keenly. While still reeling from this news, the ACOSVO board stepped into action - identifying interim plans, prioritising the stability of the organisation, the support for our staff and ensuring strong governance and organisational sustainability. This is underpinned by a new Board Improvement Plan - ensuring the Board plays its part in our shared mantra for continuous improvement.


While we are at the initial stages of progressing the Board Improvement Plan, we have identified a number of priorities to secure and enhance the succession and stability of the organisation. Our journey over the past number of months has highlighted the need for these changes to optimise our succession planning and to enhance diversity. At the forthcoming AGM we will seek your support for these as we enhance our succession planning and diversity as priorities within the Board Improvement Plan.


Like many of our members, we require changes to our Articles to enable the furtherance of our succession planning. Therefore, the key proposed amendments at the AGM would enable enhanced succession planning and diversity through the following:

  • Clarification of 3 year board appointments (while all appointments are technically for 3 years already, this is subject to eligibility for annual membership renewals (i.e. - if a member is no longer a Chief Officer, they have to stand down at the following AGM) thus, in effect, being annual appointments and therefore the meaning of the Articles cannot be enacted. The impact of this is that succession plans are at best for 12 months and at worst 1 month. This change would allow board members to complete the full appointed three year term, even if they are ineligible to renew membership during this period, and provide a stronger foundation for succession planning), including co-options
  • Clarification as to the number and status of co-options on the board, as the current Articles may be open to interpretation on these matters.


I appreciate that these changes are consistent with the progressive approach taken by many of our members over the recent period, but if anyone has any questions on this, please feel free to email and we will be happy to assist. 


My thanks in advance for your support and I look forward to welcoming you all at the AGM on 7 December.


If you are an ACOSVO Full Member, you can vote on the above changes by 5pm on November 15th 2021, through this link