AGM update: a vote for Charter, developing the profession and new Council members

At 5pm on Monday the IfA held our 2013 AGM in the Council Room at the Society of Antiquaries.

Jan Wills opened the meeting with a welcome to all members present and a brief introduction to the items on the agenda. After accepting the minutes of the 2012 meeting, the first item was to announce the results of the Council ballot, and we are pleased to welcome Beverley Ballin Smith back to Council and Executive for a further 3 year term. Mary Neale and Sophie Jennings have been voted in as new faces to Council. Following this, Jan introduced the Chair's report drawing attention to the work the Institute has carried out in areas such as advocacy, professional standards, governance and education and training (you can find these in our latest Annual Report).

One of the roles of AGM is to receive reports from our Officers and to vote on various resolutions. These included a report from Neil Maylan, Hon Treasurer, and an agreement to the resolution to reappoint Haines and Co as auditors. Resolution 3 asked members to vote on the proposed change to the Code of conduct to introduce a specific clause obligating members to have due regard to the development of the profession both in terms of advancing knowledge and practice and in terms of developing professional structures like CPD. This was voted in favour (with one abstention) and is now binding on all members. A revised version of the Code of conduct is now available on the website.

Business then moved to the resolution requesting members to instruct Council to submit a formal petition to the Privy Council to obtain a Royal Charter of Incorporation for the Institute. Peter Hinton introduced the resolution, noting that this had been one of the most important areas of business for Council in recent years and that this was a significant moment in the development of the Institute. He reminded the meeting of the stages the drafting of the petition had been through, and the changes to the governance structure that are linked with this. Obtaining a Royal Charter would have a significant effect in raising the profile and status of the Institute and create a parity of esteem with other professions. A unanimous 'yes' vote was made for this resolution followed by a round of applause. We will keep members updated on the progress with this.

Resolutions 5 and 6 covered the new Standards and guidance: the Standard and guidance for commissioning work on, or providing consultancy advice on, archaeology and the historic environment and the Standard and guidance for archaeological advice by historic environment services. The former of these was adopted for a 12 month interim period at the last AGM and was now proposed for full adoption, with the latter being put forward for interim adoption. Again the meeting voted in favour. These standards are available on the website and should be adhered to by members of the Institute.

Finally the meeting voted to receive the reports of the Area and Special Interest Groups published in the Annual report.

The meeting closed with a thank you from Jan to everyone involved in the Council, committees and groups of the Institute, and to the staff.