Guidance Notes on the role of a Chamber Board Director

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May 10, 2018

Plymouth Chamber of Commerce and Industry


Guidance notes on the role of a Chamber Board Director

May 2018
Chamber Board Directors are responsible for the governance and success of the Chamber.

Successful election candidates and co-optees become a Corporate Director, formerly a 288a, and thus assume the full set of director responsibilities as required by Companies House.

The Chamber is very much a delivery orientated organisation with a lean team which depends upon the active engagement of its director group to meet its objectives.  Directors are therefore expected to spend an average of between one and two days per month on Chamber business. This includes attendance at Board meetings and relevant meetings and events.  The full set of possible duties in which directors can become engaged are listed below.
  • Attending at least 8 of the 11 Board meetings held each year. Currently Board meetings take place from 8.00am to 9.30 am on the 4th Wednesday of each month. Should a director miss three consecutive Board meetings, the Chamber Chairman will invite them for a discussion concerning the reasons for their non-attendance.  
  • Attending ad-hoc Stakeholder briefings held each year.  Time and venue’s to be confirmed. 
  • Attending a Chamber business planning workshop lasting up to one day.
  • Attending regular Chamber events to gain an understanding of the offering and to engage with members.  This should include at least two “Meet the Chamber” events. 
 Optional - Directors are expected to take on at least two of these activities
  • Writing a 400 word article for The Herald – once or twice a year 
  • Attending Herald luncheons with the Editor – once  a year
  • Attending two main social events a year - Annual Business Dinner plus one other 
  • Being a portfolio holder of an area of the Chamber’s delivery services to offer guidance, support and give comments to press etc on request.
  • Being a member of one of a number of task and finish groups that are created to carry out specific initiatives for a limited period – typically for no more than three months 
  • Supporting the Chamber team in the management of certain aspects of Chamber business through attendance at specific types of meetings and events.  This includes acting as the Chamber’s formal representative at external meetings
  • Representing the Chamber on city and peninsula groups.  Examples include the Destination Plymouth Board, the Employment & Skills board, the Culture Board, Heart of the South West LEP groups and city scrutiny panels.  There are many other such bodies on which the Chamber is represented in order to ensure that the business community’s views are put forward.  The appointment of directors to these bodies takes account of their experience, interest and skill sets and is subject to acceptance by the relevant board or group’s own governance arrangements.   Meetings of these groups generally taking place during normal business hours and therefore directors representing the Chamber on them need to ensure their “day job” commitments allow attendance at these meetings. 
Other matters
  1. As a Chamber director you will be regarded as a leading member of the business community in the Devon area.  This position requires some care, particularly when dealing with media.  Experience shows that the press will almost invariably quote you as a Chamber director, even if you intend only to speak in a personal capacity.  As many of the topics on which the Chamber is asked to comment can be of a sensitive nature it is most important to state to the journalist the capacity in which you are speaking.  If in doubt, it is generally better to refer the journalist to the Chamber’s Deputy Chief Executive, Lesley Shorrocks.   
  2. Attached is the 10 point business charter to which the Chamber would like its members to adhere.  We expect all of our directors as leading business figures to abide by all 10 points.  Should there be any point on which there are issues for a director it is most important that you discuss the matter with the Chamber Chairman or Chief Executive at the earliest opportunity.
  3. It is quite probable that you are already a member of, or will be invited to join, other business representative groups, perhaps as a result of becoming a Chamber director.  We have no fundamental issue with this provided that becoming involved in other such groups does not compromise your ability to represent members of the Chamber effectively.  A factor to take into account in such instances is whether the time commitment required by the other groups means that you cannot discharge your expected time commitment to the Chamber. Guidelines for producing a biography for prospective Board Directors
 Biographies should be approximately 350 words.
 Candidates should:
  •  Detail their professional background and experience including their current   role/position 
  •  Set out why they want to be a Director of the Chamber
  •  State how, through being a Director, they can help the Chamber meet its   objectives, with specific reference to the membership 
  •  Comment on how the business community in Devon should develop, giving   examples of input they have had, with particular reference to   Chamber events   and activities
  •  Provide a thumbnail photo  

Plymouth and Devon Chamber of Commerce and Industry

Business Charter

May 2018
Chamber directors and member organisations will seek to:
  1. Have a clearly defined aim and purpose which is supported by a business plan covering the principle objectives and activities of their business.
  2. Exemplify the highest standards of professional behaviour and performance. 
  3. Understand the needs of its staff and develop their potential to the greatest extent within the constraints of commercial considerations.
  4. Communicate clearly, effectively, openly and promptly with its staff, suppliers, customers and other stakeholders. 
  5. Have appropriate systems and procedures in place which enable stakeholders to have confidence in the integrity with which decisions are taken.
  6. Establish, maintain and develop relationships with third-parties on the basis of mutual confidence and trust. 
  7. Consistently abide by the terms and conditions of legal and financial agreements entered into with third parties.
  8. Act responsibly in respect of safeguarding all confidential information that comes into its possession. 
  9. Embrace opportunities to innovate, grow and develop not just its business but its relationship with the wider community.
  10. Respect the natural environment and conserve resources wherever possible. 
Lesley Shorrocks, Deputy Chief Executive
01752 220471


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