BGS Elections

“BGS article 22.4 In the event of a vacancy or impending vacancy in the office of President-Elect, Deputy Honorary Secretary and/or Deputy Honorary Treasurer, the Association shall hold a ballot of the members for the appointment of the President-Elect, Deputy Honorary Secretary and/or Deputy Honorary Treasurer (as the case may be) in accordance with such rules and such timetable as the Trustees may determine from time to time. The result of such ballot will be announced at the next following annual general meeting and the new President-Elect, Deputy Honorary Secretary or Deputy Honorary Treasurer, as appropriate, will take office from the end of such meeting.”

The Board has agreed the following eleven principles to take effect immediately for the election of the President-Elect 2018-20, and for future elections of the President-Elect, Deputy Honorary Secretary and Deputy Honorary Treasurer. (Elections for the Chairs and other committee posts of the BGS national Councils, and those of the Trainees Council and Nurses and AHPs Council, shall continue to be governed by the terms of reference/constitutions of those councils). 

  1. The Chief Executive and designated members of the secretariat shall be responsible for running smooth and fair elections. They are to maintain impartiality throughout the elections.
  2. The Chief Executive or her/his appointee from the secretariat will act as the Returning Officer for the duration of the election. The Chief Executive will also appoint a Deputy Returning Officer from the secretariat.
  3. When an election is due, the secretariat will use their best endeavors to ensure that all current members are informed and invited to self-nominate.  This will be done by member email using up to date member data from the CRM System; additional methods may also be used.
  4. Only current members of the BGS shall be eligible to self-nominate. 
  5. Those self-nominating for President-Elect need to show that their candidacy is supported by at least five current members. This must be done before the closing date and time for the self-nomination to be valid.
  6. For the period starting with the call for nominations and ending on the closing date and time, the Returning Officer and Deputy shall treat valid self-nominations received as confidential. They will not share information about them with other staff, office bearers, other BGS members or anyone else, save as required by law. Once the closing date and time have passed, information about self-nominations shall no longer be treated as confidential. 
  7. Where only one current member submits a valid self-nomination before the closing date, s/he will be deemed elected unopposed.
  8. Where only two current members submit valid self-nominations, the BGS secretariat will circulate to current members the candidates’ Personal Statements (not to exceed one side of A4) and will organise and manage a secret ballot of members. The preferred voting method will be online voting, but postal votes will also be accepted. Only online or postal votes actually received by the BGS by the deadline date and time shall be counted. Those not so received shall not be counted, even if evidence of posting and/or a copy are provided.  
  9. Where three or more candidates submit valid self-nominations, the BGS shall commission Electoral Reform Services to manage the ballot using the ‘Single Transferable Vote (STV)’ preferential voting system.  Again, the preferred voting method will be online voting, but postal votes will also be accepted. Only online or postal votes actually received by Electoral Reform Services by the deadline date and time shall be counted. Those not so received shall not be counted, even if evidence of posting and/or copies is provided. To save on costs and maintain member data privacy, BGS will be responsible for circulating candidates’ Personal Statements (not to exceed one side of A4) and voting instructions to members, leaving Electoral Reform Services to manage the count itself.
  10. Candidates standing in contested elections shall be free to use personal contact and their private email accounts to alert their personal contacts about the election. Providing they conduct themselves appropriately as potential senior representatives of the society and treat other candidates respectfully, they are also free to use social media platforms to mention their candidacy and/or to use to canvass for votes. 
  11. In the event of an issue arising which could seriously impact the achievement of a smooth and fair election, the Trustee Board delegates to the President and President-Elect acting jointly the power to postpone an election, or suspend temporarily an election which is already underway, in order to consult the Trustee Board about action required to ensure that that election is smoothly and fairly run.  

Colin Nee
April 2018