Remit for Advisory Committee Members

JOB REMIT AND GUIDELINES FOR GOOD PRACTICE FOR ADVISORY COMMITTEE MEMBERS

Accountability
Each Committee is responsible, via a Chairman, to the AHDB Cereals & Oilseeds Board for its activities.  Regular contact between Board and Advisory Committees is essential for the effective operation of the AHDB Cereals & Oilseeds and this is achieved by a number of ways including:

  • Advisory Committees being required to present annually to the Board
  • Advisory Committees include in their number at least one Board member
  • Overall funding proposals being approved by the Board
  • Committee membership being ratified by the Board
  • AHDB Cereals & Oilseeds Chairman and the CEO attending Committees from time to time
  • Regular meeting of Advisory Committee Chairmen with AHDB Cereals & Oilseeds Chairman and the CEO

Membership

The Board have agreed that future Advisory Committee appointments for the majority of grower-held posts will involve open competition which will include advertising.  It is envisaged that NFUS, NFU and UFU (where appropriate) be allotted one post on each Committee.  Other grower nominations will be advertised in the farming press.  Trade positions will continue to be nominated by stakeholder organisations.

Stakeholder organisations are responsible for nominating individuals to be Committee members, whose background, qualifications and competence match that required to fulfil the role of the Committee.  The AHDB Cereals & Oilseeds CEO is responsible for ensuring that stakeholder organisations are aware of Committee requirements.  Ideally the appointments should be consistent with the spirit of the Nolan recommendations; appointments are initially for a period of three years, with the option of further three-year extensions subject to experience and expertise.  The size of Committees is a balance between that required for effective representation of sectoral experience and that for effective operation of a working committee.

Enthusiasm and Commitment 

The role of Committee members is a demanding one, which not only requires preparation for attendance at Committee meetings, but contributions to project monitoring and to delivering and reporting activities.  To be effective the Committee members must be prepared to commit the time to these responsibilities and do so with energy and enthusiasm. 

Committee Chairmen 

Advisory Committee members are responsible for electing their own Chairmen.  The role of Chairman is crucial to the work and effectiveness of each committee.  It is important, therefore, that candidates are not only prepared and able to take on the additional commitments, but that they are capable of operating at a broader and higher level.  An effective Chairman has to be able to command the support of levy payer organisations as well as operate with Board members, AHDB Cereals & Oilseeds executive staff and Agriculture Departments.  Platform presentations and press contact are also likely to be regularly required.  Given the role outlined above, the appointment of a Chairman should ideally be for a period of three years, with the option of a further three years subject to review and agreement.  This builds continuity and experience into the system and allows for the process of succession to be more effectively planned.

Identification of potential successors should be the responsibility of outgoing Chairmen and the succession process itself, the result of discussions between individual Chairmen, the AHDB Cereals & Oilseeds CEO and AHDB Cereals & Oilseeds Chairman.

Member Responsibilities

Communication

Effective communication is a two-way process and a key role for every Committee member.  The specific needs of levy payers can only be identified by asking them, and levy payers will only know if they are being met by receiving the service/information or being informed of progress.  To ensure a Committee is focusing on key issues for the industry will depend on  reliable, representative information being received to enable appropriate decisions to be made on which activities should be selected and supported.  A Committee member will, therefore, need to be in regular contact with his own industry representatives eg farmers, millers etc and should be taking every convenient opportunity to discuss problems and issues within their industry and then to report back to them on what AHDB Cereals & Oilseeds is doing to address them.  This will ensure that the committee member, and hence the committee, receive current, up-to-date information representing the industry from a sectoral and geographical viewpoint.

Experience

In all cases the Advisory Committees have responsibility for the selection, monitoring, delivery and reporting of project based activities.  Examples would include:
BCE – missions, workshops
MD – promotional projects, awards
MI – publications, seminars
R&D – projects, conferences
The success of any of these activities will depend on an effective relationship between Committee members and staff in all four stages of project management outlined above.  Inefficiency or incompetence at any stage will lead to failure of the activity to meet its objectives.  Committee members, therefore, must be experienced in ‘project management’ and be capable of contributing to all stages, in various degrees, to deliver successful projects.  This is a particularly important role in conjunction with staff, because if you become too close to an issue, as staff may be, then it is difficult to achieve an appropriate balance and perspective.

Expertise

All Committees deal with technical subjects which will require a degree of understanding by committee members if they are to make meaningful contributions.  While it is inappropriate to request or expect ‘experts’ it is important that committee members do have relevant expertise in some of the technical areas dealt with by their committee.  Ideally, the expertise should be associated with their current professional activity but equally could be through involvement with other organisations.