EWI Annual General Meeting passes amendments to Articles of Association
The 2021 Annual General Meeting was, once again, held via Zoom on the 15th June. Whilst this had become a necessity due to the Covid pandemic, it has been highlighted that holding the AGM in this way does enable a much broader geographical range of members to participate in the meeting than if it were a face-to-face evening meeting. It is therefore likely that the AGM will continue to be delivered in this way.
All resolutions were dealt with by online poll in advance of the meeting; also giving a wider range of members the opportunity to participate.
Achievements over the last year
EWI Chair, Sir Martin Spencer, outlined some of the challenges and key achievements from the past year including:
- making a number of key improvements to its membership categories increasing the number of new members recruited.
- seeing the impact of our new Corporate Membership scheme which resulted in a significant uplift in Membership with the addition of 2 new Provisional Members and 119 new Individual Members.
- moving all training to delivery via webinar rather than face-to-face events increasing the number of experts participating by 45%.
- delivering a successful Online Conference in September 2020 which has recently been followed up with our 2021 Online Conference which we moved to our new conference slot of late May.
- making representations to the Upper Tribunal Land Chamber regarding their revisions to Practice Directions and the role of Experts and a consultation on the role of Medical Experts in the Family Courts.
- implementing a new Membership Management system and website delivered exceptional value for money and a significant uplift in functionality for both staff and, more importantly, members and customers.
- welcoming 7 new members to the Board in June 2020 and welcoming Lord Hodge as our new President in October 2021.
It was noted that due to our restricted income, the EWI had to terminate the Service Level Agreement for the delivery of the branch in Singapore. This was not a decision made lightly, given the investment over the past few years, but it was necessary and EWI provided support for EWI Singapore to re-form as a new entity for experts in the Asia-Pacific region.
Whilst it was noted that the Institute had made a small loss in 2019-20, EWI Treasurer, Kay Linnell, update the meeting on the Institute’s strong financial performance so far in 2020-21.
This was due, in part, to the significant increase in the cost of membership subscriptions agreed for 2020-21 in order to ensure that subscription levels were in line with our operating model costs.
However, EWI had also seen strong growth in both membership and training and events income as a result of the work of the team. The investment in our new membership management system, website and bulk email platform has also enabled the team to work more efficiently and effectively in member recruitment and income generation.
As a result, the Institute is currently on track to make a surplus at the end of the Financial Year enabling reinvestment in reserves.
2021/22 Membership Subscriptions
Kay confirmed that the Board had agreed a 1.5% increase (which is in line with RPI in March) in Membership Subscriptions for 2021/22.
However, Board have also agreed an increase to the discount received by Direct Debit payers to incentivise members paying via Direct Debit. These details will be communicated to members ahead of the next renewal.
Dr Kathryn Newns was appointed to the Board and Colin Holburn and Michael Pilgrem were reappointed to the Board.
It was noted that Allen Hirson had not stood for re-election. Sir Martin offered his particular thanks to him for his contribution to the EWI over the last 10 years. Particularly the work he has done supporting the EWI Member Magazine. His knowledge of the Forensic Science community will be greatly missed.
Amendments to the Articles of Association
A number of changes had been proposed to the members and the following changes agreed:
- Amendments to Articles 4-42 relating to Membership to reduce down the detail contained within the Articles in favour of content existing in a new set of Member Regulations.
- The Composition of the Board was confirmed.
- A maximum Length of Office for Board Members of six years.
- The rules relating to Board Nominations and Elections.
- Whilst the results of the elections would be confirmed at the AGM, the Term of Office would now commence from the 1st November to coincide with the new Financial Year.
The new Articles and Member Regulations can be accessed using the links below.