Committee Roles

The Association is run and administered by a Committee and Officers, the contact details of them can be found on the Contact Us page. Below is a description of the roles of the four core roles of Chair, Treasurer, Membership Secretary and Minutes Secretary.

The Chair has overall responsibility for the daily running and good governance of the association. This can require time input that is out of normal office hours.

It should be noted that under our current legal status, any document the Chair signs on behalf of the association in relation to third parties would mean sole liability is taken on by the Chair.

Vision and Influence
The Chair is a leadership role that requires a vision about the direction of the association, its priorities, influences on other organisations and AHFAP’s place in the cultural heritage imaging world. This is then borne out in the decisions the committee collectively takes and subsequent actions. Opportunities to publicise the association should be sought and taken at appropriate opportunities.

Good Governance
The Chair is responsible for the General Good Governance of all the Association’s activities and should endeavour to familiarise themselves with those practices and make sure due diligence and oversight is carried out by all concerned. It is also the responsibility of the Chair to manage the workload of the Committee evenly and make sure the wellbeing of the Committee members is catered for when undertaking Association business.

The committee currently meets three times a year. The Chair puts together the agenda for the meetings, organises the date and time and circulates any required documentation, such as previous minutes from the Minutes Secretary.

The main business of the association is the annual conference. Planning for the next conference starts almost immediately after the latest one. This generally follows the pattern below:

  • Secure a venue with the Events officer
  • Announce venue via member newsletters, paper letters (via Membership secretary), AHFAP website and CH imaging forums
  • Issue a call for papers, using the above channels.
  • Launch ticketing with the web team
  • Work on sponsorship with the Sponsorship officer
  • Organise a programme committee to decide the programme
  • Publish programme with web team and publicise through above listed channels.
  • Arrange Day Two events with the Events officer.

The Chair writes the e-newsletter in conjunction with the minutes secretary and should arrange for its delivery to the membership and appropriately edited versions to non-members. The website should also be reviewed and updated in conjunction with the minutes secretary and webteam.

The AHFAP Treasurer is responsible for managing all the financial affairs of the association.

Under AHFAP’s current Unincorporated Association status the Treasurer is solely and personally liable for all contracts and decisions they make in the process of carrying out the treasurer’s duties.

In a change from the past, the Treasurer’s role now includes ensuring a Corporation Tax return is filed with HMRC for each financial year and that the tax owed is paid.

Duties are summarised below:

  • Manage the Association’s online bank account
  • Manage the Association’s debit card transactions
  • Manage the Association’s PayPal account
  • Manage the Association’s accounting software package (currently Mac only)
  • Keep track of and categorise funds coming into the Association
  • Keep track of and categorise funds leaving the Association
  • Reimburse Association members’ expenses and organise payment of venue hire, catering contracts and other purchases
  • Renew and manage the Association’s annual public indemnity insurance
  • Formulate annual end of year accounts for the Association, to be signed off by elected Association members
  • Prepare Corporation Tax accounts and either file a return online or hand over to tax accountant to file on the Association’s behalf (still to be decided)
  • Advise Chair and other committee members as to available funds and the affordability of the various projects proposed
  • Work closely with Membership Secretary to cross-reference membership payments and conference ticket sales
  • Regular visits to Lloyds Bank to deposit cheques

Desirable qualities:

  • Trustworthy
  • Good with numbers
  • Organised and methodical, with good paper record-keeping
  • Attention to detail
  • Familiar with finance software packages (Currently Mac only)
  • A desire to input into future Association endeavours
  • Remuneration: The satisfaction of sleeping easily at night knowing the liquidity of the Association is in a healthy state. And/or, the dis-satisfaction of sleeping uneasily at night knowing the liquidity of the Association is in peril.

Membership Secretary
The role of the Membership Secretary is to be the first point of contact for current members and prospective members of the association in all matters concerning membership of the association. This includes the following:

Joining the association

  • Send out application forms to prospective applicants, receive completed forms and subscription payments and add details of the new member to the membership database.

Renewing membership

  • Issue membership subscription reminders on a yearly cycle on the anniversary of the membership year – which currently runs from January to December.
  • Issue invoices for subscriptions as necessary either manually or by using the PayPal invoicing system.
  • Receive membership subscriptions and pass them on to the Treasurer.
  • Issue receipts for subscription payments to members.
    Send reminders to late payers.

Maintain the Membership Database

  • Keep the database up to date with the details of new members and remove the information of those who are no longer members. Provide this information to the Chairman and Treasurer periodically.

Commercial Directory

  • Receive requests from those wishing to be listed and pass on information to the web team.
  • Receive the listing fee and pass this on to the Treasurer.
  • Send out invoices to those listed on a yearly basis.

Attend committee meetings

  • Liaise with other officers and members of the committee in connection with membership matters.
  • Report membership numbers and inform the committee of those leaving and joining the association.

AHFAP Annual Conference

  • Provide assistance to the organisers by monitoring the conference ticket booking website and issue invoices for payment where requested and verify the receipt of payment.

Minutes Secretary

The minutes secretary’s job is to record meetings of committees, sub-committees, where appropriate, and annual general meetings. The remit is to record as concisely, as clearly and as fully as is necessary, their business: the time of the meeting, who was present, who sent apologies for absence, the topics covered—the agenda—the discussions and who contributed what, decisions and who made them, proposed and seconded, with votes counted, and when the meeting was closed, so that all the relevant information is preserved in accessible form.

As soon as the draft minutes are completed, they are circulated to those present at the meeting and, once the contents are considered by all a full and fair account, they may be published (to the membership, via the website).

Any amendments to be made should be saved in a new file, with Track Changes on, and initials included in the file name, and returned to the minutes secretary for collation. Theoretically, a revised document should be circulated but, in practice, this is rarely necessary, unless there is some controversy.

The chair will sign the minutes, as representative of his or her final approval, and that of the rest of the committee unanimously, at the next meeting.

The remit in future may include issuing notices and agendas, arranging the venue for meetings and other administrative tasks which are at present carried out by the chair.

The minutes secretary is also, of course, an elected committee member in his or her own right and the temptation to exploit the adage that who writes history makes history should be resisted. However, concentrating on keeping notes can be a handicap to contributing fully, especially on matters of special concern to the minutes secretary, so he or she should not be shy of asking the chair for time to take notes, on the one hand, and also, on the other, to make a particular case.

My own tenure of this role has run parallel with that of copy-editor of all written material for membership and public consumption which has enabled a consistent quality and style to be maintained across the association’s publications. I have found that making a good quality sound recording is of considerable help in adding detail, as well as providing an archival record to be consulted in the event of disagreements or disputes.