Members invited to stand for election as board director

23 Aug 2019
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We invite members to consider standing for election to the SMP’s Board of Directors at the SMP AGM on 5th October.


The SMP is governed by a Board of Directors which meets every eight weeks, usually at 6pm on a Tuesday evening in the Edinburgh City Chambers. It is vital the Board has the right mix of skills, experience and expertise to effectively govern the organisation. We feel it’s also important the Board reflects the diversity and composition of our national network.

Directors are elected to serve a three-year term on the Board. At the end of this Directors must stand down but are welcome to stand for re-election should they wish. They do so competing on an equal basis with those standing for the first time.

If the number of applicants exceeds the number of places available, members attending the AGM are invited to vote on the candidates based on the written information provided by the applicants.

Places available in 2019

At the 2019 AGM elections, six existing Directors will have to stand down from the Board, having completed their three-year term. These are Malcolm Fleming, Andrew Goudie, Gillian McMahon, Colin Reilly, Ben Wilson and Douglas Young. 

There have been two resignations from the Board during 2018/19 – both due to other personal commitments. They are Vincent Mzembe and Lilian Haire.  This means there are a total of eight places available for the Board in the 2019 AGM elections, however, we do not have to fill all these places. 

Desirable skills and experience

Every year the Board reviews its current composition prior to the AGM considering three key questions:

  • Does the Board have the necessary technical skills, experience and expertise to undertake its duties?
  • Is the Board broadly representative of the membership it represents?
  • Is the Board sufficiently diverse?

 As part of this 2019 review the Board has decided:

To honour its ‘Partnership for Change’ 50/50 by 2020 pledge by endeavouring to encourage a gender balanced outcome from the 2019 director elections. The Board will actively encourage female members to apply for the Board and will encourage Members voting at the AGM to have a gender-balanced vote.

If this does not result in a gender-balanced outcome, the Board will take further advice and reserves the right to have gender ringfenced places at the 2020 AGM.

To highlight as desirable the below skills/expertise:

  • Government/Parliament: Someone with knowledge and insight of government/parliament at a senior level
  • HR: Someone with direct professional experience of HR matters (not just experience having managed a team)
  • Media: Someone with contacts and experience in the Scottish media landscape
  • Safeguarding: Someone with knowledge and experience of safeguarding
  • Legal: Someone with knowledge and experience of Scottish law as relates to charities
  • Funding: Someone with experience, contacts and time to help the SMP diversify its income, working within the very limited staff capacity
  • Membership Organisation: Someone with experience of a larger membership organisation which we can draw learning from
  • Private Sector: Someone with relevant private sector experience

To adequately represent the wider membership, the Board is keen to encourage applications from:

  • Young people
  • Higher education institutions
  • NGOs, large and small
  • Schools
  • Local Authorities
  • The Malawian diaspora community

Applicants do not have to meet one or more of these criteria but members voting at the AGM will be informed of these stated priorities.  All are welcome to stand.

How to apply

Those interested in standing should:

  1. Read the SMP’s Information for Prospective Directors pack.
  2. Complete the Application to Stand for Election form.
  3. Email the form and a photo of you to david(at) before 9am on the 23rd September 2019.

Prior to the AGM members will be sent details of all those standing for election at the AGM.

If you would like to discuss your possible application, or just find out more about the process, please contact the Chief Executive, David Hope-Jones david(at) / 0131 529 3164.

At its core, the SMP is driven by committed individuals who choose to donate their time and expertise for the advancement of our national network.  The Partnership cannot succeed without this commitment and volunteerism.  We are indebted to all our Directors, past and present, and we encourage members to consider volunteering their time if they feel they could help govern the network.

Information pack for prospective new directors

Application to stand for the SMP Board