BE Nominated BEF Board Director
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Latest British Eventing News Headlines

BE Logo 31 Oct 17

BE Nominated BEF Board Director

 The announcement of the successful adoption of the new Articles of Association of the BEF was published on the BEF website last week.

This is the end of a process that started in October last year when UK Sport and Sport England published their new Code for Sports Governance, which all sports in receipt of Lottery and exchequer funding would be required to be compliant with by 31 October this year.

In July of this year, this was discussed in a meeting of the BEF Council and it became clear that there had been insufficient progress to date with achieving Code Compliance and therefore the timelines to achieve the 31 October deadline would be extremely tight and challenging. In order to expedite this, a Governance Steering Group (GSG) was set up with immediate effect, which had representatives on it of the Founder Members of the Federation (BE,BS,BD,BHS) as well as other member bodies – both full and associate members. David Holmes was BE representative on the GSG. The first challenge was to come up with a Board structure that would meet the needs of the Council in terms of ensuring stakeholder representation in the future decision-making processes, since one of the key challenges for the Council is that the UK Sport/Sport England Code does not allow what is effectively a ‘shadow Board’ ie you cannot have some powers with the Council and others with the Board. Most non statutory powers that were previously held by the Council had to pass to the Board.

With the new Board structure – as reflected in the BEF announcement – four seats on the new Board are populated by Founder Member nominated people, four by Council Elected people and the remaining four- the Chair and three  INEDs  - through an open process of advertising, application and  review for suitability by the BEF’s Interim Nominations Committee.

Once the above had been agreed by Council – which happened on 13 September – including the process for populating the Board positions, the call for nominations was made on the 14 September, including terms of reference, which are identical for all board members, irrespective of whether they are Nominated, Elected or Independent. The specific BE nomination  - as well as the other Founder members – was in order to bring ‘Equestrian Expertise’ to the BEF Board. These roles are not to be representatives of the bodies nominating them but rather to bring specific equestrian knowledge and experience to the Board. The Terms of Reference for Board can be found here.

The process for BE nominating a Board Director closed on  25 September – which meant that the Board had effectively 10 days to turn this process around. This was done against the backdrop of the extremely tight timeframes that the GSG was working to in order to achieve compliance by  31 October.

The BE Board considered advertising for this role (as has been done for other BE Board appointed roles); however given the timeframes it would have been difficult to properly advertise, shortlist and interview prior to the 25 September deadline – 10 days from when the process was initiated. At this time, we also canvassed the other Founder members to see what process they were using for their nominations and all replied that due to time constraints they were not going to have time to advertise and therefore would be adopting a similar process.

Against this backdrop the Board took the decision not to advertise for the role or to consult with its stakeholders.

The BE Board decided that the person who would be best placed to be BE’s nominee on the BEF Board would be Tim Holderness-Roddam, given his breadth and depth of knowledge and experience, not only within eventing but also in other areas of the equestrian landscape.  Tim also brings consistency to the BEF Board in terms of his knowledge and understanding of the challenges that the BEF has faced with achieving the governance and strategy pieces. See link to Tim Holderness-Roddam’s biog.

The BEF Interim Nominations Committee met on Wednesday 25 October to consider the INEDs, Elected and Nominated Directors for the BEF Board. These nominations were communicated to the BEF Council on 26 October during the BEF EGM and the announcement subsequently published on the BEF website. The roles were effective on 30 October.

Tim was due to stand down from the BE Board at the end of November as he has come to the end of his four year appointment. As a result of his appointment to the BEF Board, Tim stood down from the BE Board with effect from 27 October in order to prevent any real or perceived conflict of interest.

We are aware there are some members and stakeholders believe the Board should have consulted prior to this appointment. The Board fully acknlowledges this challenge back and whilst recognising the risk, took this informed and educated decision. This has been vindicated due to meeting the deadline by one day.

The consequences of failure would have been the halting of UK Sport funding to the BEF and the direct impact on the World Class Programme (WCP). The Board was not prepared to take this risk. 

We wished to build upon our success during 2017 within the WCP and the team gold in Poland and individual bronze.

Members should not underestimate the work that has been required to restructure the BEF. We now have a Board that is not only fit for purpose within the UK Sport Code but a Board packed with equestrian knowledge and experience that will lead our sport and sector.

 We will notify members of the process for appointing Tim Holderness-Roddam's successor in due course which will be an open and transparent basis. 

Meanwhile we wish to thank Tim for taking on this role as he moves from being a BE Director to a BEF Director. I believe we are fortunate to have such a knowledgeable and experienced Director taking on this role.

I trust this wider explanation is helpful to members – in order to understand the pressures, demands and politics required to get this over the line -  and that you will fully support our appointment.

Paul Hodgson

Chairman British Eventing