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The early development of the IHBC’s current proposal to adopt new Articles at the 2020 AGM on 3 December is outlined below. This culminated in the IHBC’s 2019 AGM adoption of the ‘Proposal for future governance of the Institute’. The recommendation to members of the new Articles here marks the next step in the modernisation of the IHBC as a specialist and professional body and charity for the 21st century.


Since the adoption of the 2019 ‘Proposal for future governance…’, the IHBC has been working hard with our legal advisers, Knights, and national charity regulators in England and Wales and in Scotland to agree a text that represents the ambitions agreed then. We opened the consultation on the draft new Articles in January 2020. Although in-person discussions had to stop in the Spring due to the pandemic, the consultation has remained open, operating alongside the discussions with legal advisers and charity regulators.

Over the summer the IHBC received ‘in principle’ approval from the regulators on a text only slightly modified from the consultation draft, with the adjustments noted below.

Members are encouraged to continue their historic support for the developments agreed in 2019 through even more energetic support for the adoption of the new Articles at our AGM December 2020.

Regarding the Articles proposed for adoption at the 2020 AGM, Members should note that:

  • They offer a framework, intended for testing in the coming years, that can be adjusted to make sure they are fit for our charitable and operating purposes. This approach reflects the ongoing ‘experimental evolution’ that proved so successful in the ‘IHBC+’, started in 2015, while the adoption of the Articles themselves will represent the conclusion of that programme.
  • They will be underpinned by Bye Laws to be drafted in accordance with the adopted Articles, based first on current practice
  • As they will be formally promoted to the IHBC’s 2020 AGM, the IHBC’s National Office has been directed to organise opportunities for member engagement. Members of any category (Affiliate, Associate or Full) who would like to get involved with these should keep up to date by monitoring the IHBC’s NewsBlogs updates. If you are not receiving NewsBlogs you can sign up HERE, or to adjust your contact address use the link in the last email you received; for queries email contact@ihbc.org.uk. Inevitably, and necessarily, such engagement will take place largely online. However the Board has agreed that such limitations are an acceptable limitation given both the extended consultative pathway leading to the draft, as well as the current stage of the process following regulatory approval, which is concerned with adoption of the approved text.

If you have specific queries on the Articles please email governance@ihbc.org.uk or the relevant officer.

Adjustments to the consultation draft Articles made during the membership and regulatory scrutiny are:
  • At the request of the Scottish regulator OSCR, revision of the Object at 2.1.a to ‘Conservation and enhancement of the historic environment’, from ‘Conservation and enhancement of the built and historic environment’
  • The Director/Chief Executive is no longer proposed as a member of the Board as the new Articles should ensure that board members will be sufficiently engaged in the operation of the charity. The issue can be reviewed at a later date.
  • Proofing and allied corrections in the draft text.

See the Articles as proposed to the AGM HERE

See the NewsBlog launch of the consultation HERE

Search for background updates on progress in Membership Matters, formerly the IHBC’s Membership Update

See the NewsBlog update on the IHBC’s 2019 AGM

See the ‘Proposal for future governance of the Institute’ adopted at the 2019 AGM, which forms the basis for the Articles being proposed for adoption at the 2020 AGM.


After more than a decade of exploration, interrogation, and debate, the IHBC has produced a discussion document on what form modern governance in the IHBC might take, drafted by IHBC Chair - and past Consultations Consultant - James Caird.

Already offered for consultation across the Institute the IHBC's board of trustees is recommending for approval at the next AGM, in Nottingham on 5 July the most recent version of the working document, the 'Proposal for future governance of the Institute'.

IHBC Officers on the consultation on 'future governance'

David McDonald said: ‘The new discussion document encapsulates our thoughts on the future of the IHBC as a modern professional body, fit for purpose and working to modern standards. By contributing to these plans, you can help shape and refine our thoughts to date, and help us bring them to fruition in the best possible way.’

‘Here James has pulled together a huge variety of data, strategies and issues, following more than a decade of exploration, interrogation, and debate across the IHBC.’

‘In the past, as our consultations consultant, we have all seen James tie together innumerable threads and dispositions into a meaningful, coherent and balanced set of conclusions, and help us find the right way forward. We think he has managed to do that again in this document, helping us nail down structures for the modernisation of our governance.’

‘Also, like our ordinary consultations, James’ draft demands further input and refinement from those who care about the IHBC and our work – our members – and now we want members of all categories and levels of engagement to help us plan and refine our next steps’.

James Caird said: ‘The modernisation of our constitution must respond to modern standards of governance of course, but also reflect the new operations and capacity in the institute. And it needs to be able to respond to the rapidly changing working environment and needs of all of our members: offering both flexibility, but also stability.’

‘So, after drawing together thoughts, lessons and initiatives that have evolved since we first established the National Office in 2004, we have our base-line discussion document, approved by trustees at no less than two board meetings.’

‘Now, David and I are travelling around those Branches and member meetings to discuss the issues and thoughts. And I’m delighted to have such positive feedback, and new ideas to work with too, and I look forward to hearing more over the coming weeks and months.’

IHBC Director Sean O’Reilly said: ‘Not everyone will be able to make those meetings – or want to – so James’ paper offers everyone the chance to read and review current thoughts, and feed thoughts back to us.’

‘Members – of all categories – are encouraged to do that direct to the dedicated email address governance@ihbc.org.uk or to any of us, or at any of the local meetings too that we are attending across the country.’

Respond to the document at governance@ihbc.org.uk

David McDonald

David McDonald

David McDonald

James Caird

David McDonald
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