Welcome to our Annual General Meeting page. Here you will find information about the next AGM.
Triathlon England AGM 2018
The Triathlon England AGM will be held on Saturday 10th November 2018.
A New Code for Sports Governance
Foreword from our President, Ian Howard TD
At our AGM on November 2017 we asked our Home Nation Members to vote in support of a few but necessary changes to our constitution. This furthered our goal to have best practice Governance, whilst ensuring that we meet the obligations of the New Code for Sports Governance which is mandatory for all publicly funded sports in England. From a British perspective, it is unlikely this will affect you in your normal activities in Triathlon, and as a Governing Body we have very little to improve compared with other more mature sports.
Many of the changes put forward are mandatory for funded sports and we needed a 75% vote in favour by our members attending the AGM on 11th November. We are pleased to announced that this was passed with a 100% in favour. Many sports are requiring more significant changes and were required to secure their changes during the Summer, here is an update from Tracey Crouch, Sports Minister. It is important to us that our members and indeed our member’s members feel they have been informed in an open and transparent manner. If you have any questions on governance issues, please get in touch at email@example.com.
The New Code for Sports Governance and what it means for Triathlon;
In October 2016, the New Code for Sports Governance was launched by the Government. The Code aims to drive forward the levels of transparency, accountability and financial integrity that will be required from sports who ask for Government and National Lottery funding.
A copy of the Code in its entirety can be found here.
The parts of the Code dealing with governance structures are generally very specific on how National Governing Bodies (NGBs) must organise themselves and make decisions. Fortunately, British Triathlons governance structure is widely compliant? with the Code making the changes needed to existing BTF Regulations relatively simple and straightforward. The Code has much wider implications for how NGBs communicate and engage with their members and other stakeholders with their sport. For British Triathlon, this means the Home Nations of England, Scotland & Wales but we have a commitment to embrace the changes for our wider audience (such as stakeholders, athletes, volunteers etc.) showing transparency and openness of your governing body. Triathlon England is also working on Code changes required to meet the requirements and more detail on this can be found here.
Although compliance with the Code is not a legal requirement, it demonstrates transparent, reliable governance practices and UK Sport and Sport England have therefore made it very clear that any NGB that does not comply with the Code puts their public funding at risk. To put this into context for British Triathlon, these funds represent more than half of BTF’s income. The British Triathlon Board have been consulted, giving their input into the process and their full support of the changes. Consequently, the British Triathlon Board concluded that it was essential for BTF to comply with the Code. BTF had been given a detailed timetable for Code compliance from our funding bodies and was required to make the necessary changes to the Regulations no later than November 2017.
In summary, the main changes to the BTF Regulations that were required were:
- Ensuring a suitable period of time between board engagements – 4 years being the recommended gap.
- Revision to the structure of the Nomination Committee to coordinate the appointment of directors, succession planning etc.,
Triathlon is committed to working with and delivering the Code and we want you, the triathlon community, to be assured that we are making every effort to comply. As a young, modern and dynamic sport and we are proud of our current levels of governance but Our ultimate goal is to be best in class as we believe that this underpins the future growth and success of our sport at all levels.
The Code is proportionate, expecting the highest standards of governance from organisations requesting the largest public investments. Triathlon as a sport receives large public investment. As such, we are required to meet the most stringent of the Code requirements. This is a challenge we are ready to meet as We take good governance very seriously and it is already one of our five strategic pillars. This sends a strong and positive message to our funders, stakeholders, clubs and members.
A copy of the Triathlon strategy document is here.
The Process - What has British Triathlon done about it?
After UK Sport and Sport England jointly published the Code, British Triathlon worked through the Code, establishing the requirements and identifying where we were required to make changes to our Articles and indeed our processes.
With the changes being both minimal and simple, for British Triathlon, it has not been necessary to set up a specific working party. The two leads for the work with British Triathlon are;
- British Triathlon Independent Board Member for Business – Dr Mary Hardwick
- Triathlon Governance Lead and Executive Team Member - Kay Simnett
British Triathlon’s governance structure was modelled on what was considered to be best practice at the time it was adopted and is quite modern compared to the position in some other sports. This means that it has not been necessary to make radical changes as a result of the Code.
The majority of the amendments to the BTF Articles of Association that are being proposed by the BTF Board at the 2017 AGM relate to the introduction of the Code. We have also taken the opportunity to review and align all areas. We can confirm that all proposals made are fully supported by the Board.
The Engagement Process
The amendments to the BTF Articles that the Board presented to the 2017 BTF AGM for approval were published well in advance. This is so that interested members had time to consider the changes and raise questions on them.
All amendments were presented to the AGM for approval as individual resolutions, which needed the support of 75% of members attending the meeting for the changes to be adopted.
Some of the proposed amendments are essential to ensure that BTF complies with the requirements of the Code. There are some additional ones that are not essential but which were considered by the Board to be beneficial or desirable in response to recommendations or suggestions set out in the Code; “going above and beyond” in pursuit of excellence.
The following provides a summary explanation of changes to the BTF Articles of Association as a result of the adoption of “A New Code for Sports Governance”.
The Code requires reassurance that Triathlon are engaged with its athletes. Previously under Article 13 we had the role of International Athlete Representative (IAR). This role is non-fiduciary, non-voting and from an operational perspective makes it difficult to engage with the IAR due to challenges around training and competing.
We removed the above role and created a new Director – International Athlete Representative Board role which has full voting rights and full fiduciary responsibilities. We see this as a natural evolution of this role. This director sits above a newly proposed Athlete Commission/Committee covering the programmes for Olympic, Paralympic & Long Distance.
Articles 18 & 19
The Code requires that appointments to the BTF Board are made on the recommendation of a Nomination Committee of the Board and that the majority of that committee should be made up of independent directors. This role has previously been undertaken by the President and a representative from each of the Home Nations. This appointment process has changed to create a Nominations Committee consisting of the Chair (i.e. BTF President), the three independent directors and one of the Home Nations representatives on the BTF Board (nominated by the Home Nation Boards).
There is a requirement that the recruitment for at all BTF Board Directors, with the exception of the Home Nation appointed directors, will take place via an open process. This will not require any change in practice because BTF already uses an open and transparent recruitment practice.
The amended Regulation makes it clear that the Nominations Committee can include individuals who are not necessarily independent directors (e.g. Home Nation Appointed Directors) when bringing together interview panels, as long as the majority of the panel are independent. The interview panel will put forward recommendations for consideration by the Nominations Committee.
The Code allows a number of exceptions to the normal tenure limits, including:
- The Chair or President of an organisation may have a longer total tenure up to a total of twelve years
In exceptional circumstances (such as facilitating succession planning) an extra year may be added to the normal maximum tenure.
- Tenure limits may be re-set once an individual has stepped down for at least 4 years.
The Code gives guidance on the advantages of these exceptions and the BTF Board considered that it would be beneficial to amend the Articles to reflect them. The amendments to Article 10 retain the maximum tenure of the Chair at two terms of four years in that role but allow one term of office that the Chair has previously served on the BTF Board in a different role to be disregarded.
UK Sport and Sport England have made it clear that if an individual moves between the BTF Board and the TEMB the tenure limits should apply to the total time served across the two boards. The amendments take this into account while making it clear that if a person serves on both boards simultaneously then that period of time will not be double counted.
As part of the strengthening of the independent element of boards, the Code suggests that Organisations consider amending their board quorum so that board meetings should have a minimum number of the independent directors’ present in order for a board meeting to be quorate. Article 34 previously stated that the at least 50% of directors had to attend a BTF meeting in order for that meeting to be quorate. The Board consider that it would be beneficial to ensure that at least one of the independent directors is present when the BTF Board makes decisions and Article 34 has been amended to reflect that.
Get in Touch
It is important to us that you have the opportunity to raise any queries, seek clarification and have the opportunity to comment. You can get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org. A member of the Governance Working Party will endeavour to respond within 3 working days.