Special Interest Groups (SIGS) Approved Court 26 June 2020
In 2017 the Engagement Committee introduced a protocol for the formation of Special Interest Groups and by autumn 2019 there were 4 SIGs in place and 3-4 currently in development. In light of current modes of SIG operation, changes and additions have been made and this revised version was approved at the June Court 2020.
Protocol for Special Interest Groups
- It is open to any Liveryman or Freeman to propose the establishment of a Special Interest Group (SIG).
- The formation of the SIG and its particular area of interest must be approved by the Court on the recommendation of the Education Committee or the Social Committee or the Engagement Committee.
- Membership of the SIG is open to any Liveryman or Freeman of the Company. Relevant experts or those with a contribution to make who are outside the Company may also become a regular SIG member with the approval of the Chair of Engagement Committee.
- The SIG will organise and manage its own programme of activities and guests may be invited to take part with the approval of the SIG Lead.
- The SIG’s activities must be self-financing and appropriate accounts should be maintained.
- The activities of the SIG and its members must accord with the values and aims of the Company. The members and/or activities of the SIG must do nothing to harm the Company’s standing or bring it into disrepute. The SIG should follow Company agreed policies relevant to it e.g. on communications, information technology, data and website use.
- The SIG must not purport to speak on behalf of the Company or to represent the views of the Company, unless requested to do so with Company authority through the Court/Master.
- The SIG must not represent or promote any particular political, ideological or faith viewpoint.
- Where the Court considers that the operation of the SIG is inimical to the values and aims of the Company, or has the potential to be so, the Court may require the dissolution of the SIG. Where the Education Committee or the Social Committee or the Engagement Committee has particular concerns about a SIG it may recommend to the Court that the SIG be dissolved. A SIG may also be recommended for dissolution where interest from members has reduced and the group is not viable or where there is no volunteer to act as SIG lead.
- Activities of the SIG may be announced and reported on the Company website, by email, via social media and in ‘The Educator’.
- The instigator of the SIG will be the SIG Lead, unless otherwise agreed by the SIG, such appointment to be approved by the Court.
- The SIG will appoint a Secretary, and/or a core group of 2 or 3 members for the purposes of organising the activities of the SIG, communicating with members of the Company and reporting to the Court.
- The SIG will produce reports on its activities as requested by the Engagement Committee, and provide a summary annually for the Court. Each SIG is subject to oversight by the Engagement Committee and should take guidance from the Chair of the Engagement Committee working with the SIG Co-ordinator.
- The SIG Co-ordinator may be a full or corresponding member of the SIG and acts as liaison between the SIG and the Engagement Committee and the Company; and the SIG Co-ordinator is a member of the Engagement Committee.
- Each SIG will be allocated a link to Court via a Company Officer, Warden, Past Master or other member of Court.
- Each SIG will indicate how it expects to “contribute (through such mechanisms as electronic publications, seminars, discussion groups) to the Company’s intellectual capital.” – extract from 5Yr Plan pg 39. Each SIG will propose its main purposes and anticipated outputs. Annually – normally in September each SIG will provide an anticipated plan of activities / expected work during the coming year.
- SIGs will, as appropriate, assist with the activity of other SIGs, in particular SIG Leads, Secretaries/Core groups should share joint activities, SIG experience and good practise, and ensure provision of mutual support.