Your Society Needs You

It may seem a long time away but already we are thinking about the Executive Committee roles that will be up for grabs in 2021. Each member of the committee serves a two-year term of office before they have to either stand down or put themselves forward for re-election.

Any IPMS (UK) member with at least three years of continuous membership at the point of nomination is eligible to stand for any of the available committee posts. They need to find a Proposer and Seconder, both IPMS (UK) members in their own right, and submit their nomination before 31st December. That’s why we (and you) need to think about the matter now. The elections are held in the lead-up to the AGM in May each year.

Perhaps the biggest challenge that IPMS (UK) faces is that there are often very few nominations put forward. We are a member-led organisation and we rely on our members to put themselves forward to run the Society.

Each Committee role has two purposes. The first is to undertake the duties of the post you are elected to. This is your primary role, the task that is likely to take up most of the time you dedicate to IPMS (UK). The second purpose is arguably more important because as an elected member of the Executive Committee, you are jointly responsible for the running of the Society as a whole. It means being involved in discussions about our financial decisions, our long term future, how we run the Society on a day to day basis and even how we manage Scale ModelWorld each year. Being an EC member also means being part of the team that runs Scale ModelWorld in a practical way.

IPMS (UK) operates as a ‘Company Limited by Guarantee’ and that brings with it another level of responsibility. Once you are elected to the Executive Committee, you become a Company Director for the period encompassing your term of office.

We know from experience that there is often an assumption that the existing EC member will stand for re-election and that members feel it is not worth their while to put forward a nomination. We also know that only a small minority of our membership feel they have the confidence, interest and motivation to make the level of commitment that a committee post requires.

That is where the difficulty lies. If we do not get nominations for all of the available posts each year, we struggle to run the Society effectively. Each role is critical to the way we operate, but some are absolutely essential. Without people in those roles, we cannot operate as an organisation. In the past we have sometimes had to co-opt an unelected IPMS member into one or more of the committee posts in order to allow us to manage the Society smoothly. It’s not an option we want to pursue unless there are no other choices. A co-opted member does not have any voting rights within the committee, which can impact on any decision-making on Society business.

In the next IPMS Magazine you’ll find a list of the posts that are up for election. Take some time to look at thr roles and consider whether you might be interested. Contact the current holder of those posts and have an informal chat with them (or contact the Hon. Secretary or the President if you don’t want to chat with the incumbents directly). Above all, please don’t assume that anyone currently in those posts will want to stand for re-election next year.

John Tapsell
IPMS (UK) Publicity Officer