Co-option is the process by which a person is appointed to the membership of a Board, committee or other body by invitation of the existing members. The general purpose of co-option is to bring in expertise and experience that may be lacking. All levels of the BPA governance have the ability to co-opt members for that reason. This document sets out the process by for co-option and its purpose.  

The general purpose of co-option is to bring in expertise and experience that may be lacking. All levels of the BPA governance have the ability to co-opt members for that reason, including the BPA Board, BPA Council of Representatives and the BPA Service Boards. There are three types of co-option used by the BPA they are:

Co-opted members– invited by the Chair with the agreement of the majority of elected members, to provide expertise or gain experience. They are elected for no longer than 12 months and are usually limited until the next round of elections. While attending those meetings they have no voting rights in the meeting.
Co-opted (Casual Vacancy)– In the rare instances when an elected member resigns or vacates their seat for other reasons, before the end of their term of office, the resulting free seat is called a “Casual Vacancy”. When there is less than 18 months until the end of that term, co-option is the preferred option and suitable candidates may be identified via the process below. If there is more than 18 months remaining, a normal election is held to find a candidate to see out the remaining term. This form of Co-opted member will hold full voting rights during their term of office.
Guests– are invited by the Chair with majority agreement, to attend a specific meeting, to add their expertise, contribute to the debate and inform a discussion. They may also present on a subject matter or be there to pitch an idea; in this instance they may not even be members of the Association. Guests do not have voting rights. Members of the BPA, may also attend as guests to gain experience of governance with a view to improving their understanding of the Association and future participation in governance.

Process for Co-option

With the exception of Guests who will not always be subject to confirmation votes, the process for determining a co-optee candidate is the same for all.

A potential co-optee is identified by the Chair of that governance body, recommended by another member, or by BPA Staff. Following that nomination, the Chair gives their approval for the invitation to be extended. BPA staff will then internally vet and validate the nominee to ensure there are no confidentiality, conflicts of interest, or other concerns which might impact negatively on the integrity of the Association. (Obviously, if the BPA staff have nominated the candidate they will have already done this.)

Once the candidate is validated, a confirmation vote will take place via a secret online ballot of the members of the group to confirm that the group supports the co-option. If the vote passes then the BPA staff will communicate with the member to confirm their appointment and they will become a new member of that group, if there is not a simple majority in favour, then they are not appointed to the group.

The term of the co-option is no more than 12 months or the next suitable election to the body. A co-optee cannot be reappointed without the permission of the BPA Board confirmed by the BPA Council of Representatives.

Considerations with Co-option

To maintain an appropriate balance it is important that the numbers of co-optees on to each group is strictly limited to ensure that the majority of positions within our governance are determined my elections; typically co-opted members should not exceed 10% of the relevant group. In practice this means:

BPA Council:

                              Maximum of 4 co-opted members at any one time
                              No more than 4 guests invited to attend the entirety of any Council meeting*

BPA Service Boards:

                              Maximum of 2 co-opted members at any one time
                              No more than 2 guests invited to attend the entirety of any Council meeting*

BPA Board

                             Maximum of 1 co-opted members at any one time
                             No more than 1 Guest invited to attend the entirety of any BPA Board meeting*

* We specify the entirety of a meeting because more than the designated number of Guests may be invited to present at or attend a specific section/ subject in a meeting, i.e. in a Service Board, 2 Guests are invited to present at the 10:30 section and 2 at the 11:30 section while another Guest was invited to attend the entire meeting. This would not violate the clause.

Co-option is a means of supporting our governance by providing expertise or advice to assist in decision making. It is not a means of allowing people to occupy a position on a Board or on Council and exercise long-term influence. This is why terms of co-option are strictly limited to 12 months or to the next election. For more information on co-option and to express an interest in being co-opted please email: elections@britishparking.co.uk

Co-Option

Search
No results