As stated in the previous issue, the Institute of Corrosion (ICorr) is a charitable institution, dedicated to putting its members at the heart of the global corrosion prevention community and ensuring that all that is done in its name is aligned to its core values of:
• Competency and good leadership.
• Education and innovation.
• Inclusivity and diversity.
• Trust and respect.
• Worldwide participation.
As per the Charities Commission designation – Charity No. 275206, the principal aim of the Institute is to advance the understanding of the science, technology and engineering practice of corrosion control, and to facilitate the exchange of information and ideas for the public benefit. To assist in this goal, ICorr is very fortunate to have many volunteers serving its branches, divisions and committees. The organisational structure is the framework that enables this, and in which many talented and hard-working corrosion professionals help us to
achieve our goals.
The Trustees of the Institute of Corrosion
There are five trustees, and these form the ‘committee’ that oversees the routine running of the Institute between Council meetings. These trustees, who are also directors of ICorr, meet monthly and report back quarterly to Council, which is similar in operation to the Board of Directors of a large company. Neither the Trustees or Council members are paid. The Trustees presently are the following Institute members:
• The President – Dr Bill Hedges, (Appointed: 2019).
• The Vice President – Stephen Tate, (Appointed: 2020).
• The Immediate Past President –
Dr Gareth Hinds, (Appointed: 2016).
• The Honorary Secretary –
Dr Jane Lomas, (Appointed: 2011).
Records and provides continuity and guidance to the administrative proceedings of Trustees.
• The Honorary Treasurer – Dr Anthony (Tony) Collins, (Appointed:1994).
Advises and provides continuity and guidance to the financial proceedings of Trustees.
Becoming a Trustee
There are no defined qualifications to join a charity board, but the most important attribute is passion and willingness to give freely of one’s time, to help others.
Charity law gives trustees a legal responsibility for a given charity. To support this, trustees also have specific duties, which are set out by the Charity Commission and show how trustees should govern their charity and conduct themselves. The main duty of all trustees is to advance the purposes of their charity. This should always be a trustee’s main focus. A trustee must carry out their charity’s purposes for public benefit. This is called ‘the public benefit requirement.’
Trustees’ duties are set out in the Charity Commission guidance on the Essential Trustee (CC3). Reading and understanding this guidance is important for all trustees.
Term of Office
Being a Trustee is a long-term commitment, and in the case of ICorr is typically for a minimum period of 6 years, supporting the President in all key decision-making processes for matters requiring urgent attention. These may include, audits and standards, bursaries and sponsorships, charity commission returns, dispute resolution, growth and sustainability, long-term investments, and personnel changes and HR issues.
Recruitment and Appointment of Trustees
The directors of the Institute are also Trustees for the purposes of charity law and, under the Articles of Association, act as the Executive Management Committee.
Trustees, as members of the management committee, are required to have a broad skills base, and suitable persons (normally working in the field of corrosion) are drawn from industry, private consultancy and academia.
Vacancies are generally filled by approaching individuals who are thought to offer particular skills and/or who are able to maintain the balance of skills available to the management committee. Experience sitting on ICorr Council is obviously beneficial but is not a pre-requisite.
There are many ongoing responsibilities during a Trustee’s term of office, the key ones being to ensure that:
• All resources are managed responsibly without waste.
• The Charity performs in the best interests of its members and the public at large.
• The Charity remains fully accountable and transparent.
• The operation of the Charity complies with the law, at all times.
• The Trustees act in the Charity’s best interests.
• Trustees act with good care and skill.
A risk register has been established and is updated at least annually and systems or procedures have been established to mitigate identified risks.
The Trustees are also responsible for safeguarding the assets of the charitable company and hence for taking reasonable steps for the prevention and detection of fraud and other irregularities. Each year, under the direction of the incumbent President, the Trustees produce an
Under the Companies Act 2006, the Trustees are responsible for maintaining proper accounting records which disclose with reasonable accuracy at any time the financial position of the charitable company.
The Trustees are also required to prepare financial statements for each financial year which give a true and fair view of the state of the affairs of the charitable company as at the balance sheet date, and of its incoming resources and application of resources, including income and expenditure, for the financial year.
In preparing those financial statements, the management committee must follow best practice and:
1. Select suitable accounting policies and then apply them consistently.
2. Make judgements and estimates that are reasonable and prudent; and
3. Prepare the financial statements on a going concern basis.
Trustee Induction and Training
Most Trustees will already be familiar with the operation of the Institute from prior service in a local or regional branch, division or committee. However, after their appointment, new Trustees are given a brief familiarisation session by the current President that is intended to cover:
• Future plans and objectives of the Institute.
• Memorandum and Articles of Association of the Institute:
• Obligations on Trustees in law and as members of the management committee:
• The current financial position as set out in the latest published accounts.
The work of a Trustee is ongoing, sometimes complex but also varied. It is rewarding for the individual concerned, not in a monetary sense, but in knowing that they have helped secure the long-term future of the Institute.