The mark of the conservation professional
IHBC Branches, and the volunteers that make them such a success, have a central role in supporting local, regional and national CPD events and networking across the IHBC’s membership. IHBC’s Branches are the local forum for the exchange of ideas, information and experience for members. Branches might hold meetings, CPD training events and activities, engage in social media activities and publish bulletins and newsletters.
This page provides quick guidance for the operation of branches and their activities and further links to fuller guidance on many areas.
Branches should not become engaged in issues that might impact on the position of the UK organisation. National Branches in Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales do have authority for direct engagement with their own national governments, agencies and organisations.
Formal consideration by national officers and committees will be required for advocacy in policy matters; events that are not CPD or networking; events which may impact on the IHBC’s learning and accreditation standards and activities, such as training related to membership applications and Membership Application Training Event (MATE) sessions.
More on BRANCH OPERATIONS & ACTIVITIES including guidance on
Branches are generally run by a committee with officers responsible for specific activities. IHBC BRANCH OFFICERS provides guidance on the posts of branch officers and the composition of a Branch committee. Posts or roles can be varied within each Branch to suit circumstances. Some roles may be shared between members or subsumed within other posts. Most activities can be carried out either by Full Members, Associates or Affiliates but policy, education, membership and key management posts would generally be reserved for Full Members.
IHBC Branches provide CPD training events, networking, meetings and written newsletters and bulletin. The IHBC’s active Branch volunteers organise a variety of events.
To help with the administration of Branch events IHBC Enterprises offers two types of event booking services; an event booking and administration service to IHBC branches at preferential non-commercial rates; and a basic low cost booking service to help with small low-cost Branch events, usually those held online.
It is important to ensure that Branch events are covered by the IHBC’s insurance. The guidance on INSURANCE FOR IHBC EVENTS explains what is covered and not covered in more detail.
IHBC National Office must be informed of all events at least three months in advance to ensure the event is covered for insurance purposes.
A risk assessment should be carried out for all events including conferences and visits. A possible (but not mandatory) template for risk assessments is available here and a completed version for an actual Branch event is provided as an example.
The following are usually covered by the insurance subject to notification of national office and risk assessment; conferences, training events, meetings, walking tours & safe access to domestic residences, offices, factory or manufacturing establishments.
Please be aware that the insurance does not automatically cover any viewing at a height of over 10 metres from the floor outside or from any stable floor accessed internally. The insurers recommend referring all roof visits where possible to ensure they are acceptable.
The annual branch business plan is a forward plan for the forthcoming year that brings together what the branch wants to do, how and who will do these things, and how much it will all cost.
The Branch Business Plan secures allocated funding by outlining planned events and operations for the year supported by a budget. If possible Business Plans should be submitted for approval before the financial year to which it applies. However different branches operate to different timings, and there is no absolute restriction imposed.
Board approval of a Branch Business Plan authorises the release of the annual funding allocation identified in the IHBC’s annual budget for the year. Any additional funds should be the subject of separate applications. Once the business plan has been approved funds can be drawn down by sending an invoice to the National Office.
Guidance on SUBMITTING BRANCH BUSINESS PLANS & CLAIMING ANNUAL BUDGET ALLOCATIONS
IHBC BRANCH BUSINESS PLAN TEMPLATE
The end of the IHBC financial year is 30th September. Branch financial returns should be submitted as soon as possible after the end of September and a template for the return is provided. It should be signed by the branch treasurer and branch chair. Copy bank statements are required for all Branch accounts covering the period 1 October to 30 September each year. All outstanding bills for the year should be paid in time to clear by 30th September.
Please give priority in the Branch to the timely submission of accounts. There are serious consequences for the IHBC resulting from the seemingly small failure of late or failed submission of branch accounts. The accounts for all branches are required before the entire IHBC accounts can be prepared, finalised, approved, agreed by the national AGM and lodged with Companies House and the Charity Commission.
BRANCH END OF YEAR FINANCIAL RETURN TEMPLATE
Expense claims for branch activities should be sent to the branch treasurer. Expense claims for national activities including committees or Council should be submitted to the National Office.
IHBC EXPENSES CLAIM FORM
Branches are sent a list of names of current membership applicants for Full & Associate Members. This is usually sent without any personal or application details to the Membership Secretary or other person identified by the Branch. If a branch has any concerns, in particular where they might influence the applicants ability to meet the IHBC Areas of Competence, they can contact the IHBC National Office to raise the basis of any concerns. This allows any serious issues to be raised and investigated whilst maintaining the impartiality and competence-based assessment of the IHBC Membership process.
All branches are regularly sent an updated membership list including new members and recent membership resignations. The list is sent to the contact person identified by the branch, usually the Branch Membership Secretary but possibly the Secretary or the person responsible for branch news circulation.
New Members are sent welcome material from the IHBC which includes a welcome letter, Copies of the IHBC Yearbook and Context, Membership Standards & Guidelines, CPD Form & Guidelines, Code of Conduct and various IHBC leaflets. Members will also be given details of contacts in the Branch.
Many Branches also choose to get in touch with new members and welcome them to the Branch to help them feel part of the Branch and alert them to events and activities of interest.
Data protection is a high priority for the IHBC. While we maintain strong control on personal and sensitive data centrally we know that members need to use personal contacts to promote our work locally. We encourage a sensitive and proportionate approach to personal data such as contact details, and volunteers are advised to observe standards noted at ihbc.org.uk
Branches are encouraged to keep their branch webpages up to date. The webpage can be a source of local information for Branch members.
The web pages can include any information but mostly will include:
Branches should use their IHBC Branch logo wherever possible. This will reinforce the image of the Institute. Branch correspondence, newsletters, conferences, day schools, visits and events should all feature the IHBC Branch logo prominently. The Institute is happy to consider the adoption of bilingual or other inclusive headings.
The use of the main IHBC logo should be reserved for authorised national IHBC events and publications.
IHBC BRANDING & BRANCH LOGOS
All promotion on behalf of IHBC MUST include the registered address and company and charity registration details. This includes letter, flyers, event programmes and agendas. The correct details are:
Registered and Business Office: Jubilee House, High Street, Tisbury, Wiltshire SP3 6HA
Registered as a Charity in England and Wales: No1061593. Registered as a Charity in Scotland: No. SC041945. Listed in Northern Ireland.
Company Limited by Guarantee; Registered in England No 3333780.
Social media is an important tool to communicate with members, to promote events, CPD and local networking and to engage with people who are interested in joining IHBC.
The Branch should develop a social media plan in discussion with IHBC National Office to ensure it aligns with IHBC’s vision and principles. If you are unsure about any content please liaise with the National Office.
Only use the Branch logo on Branch social media accounts not the main IHBC logo.
Do not post any job adverts from other organisations but please share any IHBC Jobs etc adverts.
More detailed BRANCH GUIDANCE ON SOCIAL MEDIA
An EXAMPLE SOCIAL MEDIA PLAN
|To talk about
|Send or request information on
Guidance and support on Branch Committee Matters, eg:
• Liaison with National Office
Branch Liaison & Volunteer Support Officer
|Accounting & Business planning
Send important financial returns
• Interim bank balances when requested
• Business Plan for approval
Send details of branch contacts for
• membership applications and database updates
• Council attendance
|Branch events and CPD
Send Branch events for inclusion in IHBC events calendar and CPD Bulletin circulation
For information on training events hosted by National Office
To request IHBC supported local delivery CPD event
|Updates to Branch web pages
Send updates including
• Branch committee contact details
• Business plan
• Event details
• Newsletters and bulletins
Affiliate Application Support
Membership updates and database queries
For information on Affiliate Application Support
|To arrange Branch Membership Application Training Events (MATE)
|Agree Branch social media plan
IHBC Enterprises offers an event booking and administration service to IHBC branches at preferential non-commercial rates. These can either be variable depending on the delegate numbers or a fixed rate regardless of numbers.
This service includes an electronic booking service with a customized website for all conference details; Emailed joining instructions to delegates; Emailed invoices to delegates and Preparation of delegate list.
EVENT BOOKING AND ADMIN SERVICE COSTS AND TERMS
EVENT BOOKING AND ADMIN SERVICE EVENT - WEBSITE & BOOKING GUIDELINES
A booking service is being developed to help with small low-cost Branch events, usually those held online. This basic service will collect online payments for delegates fees and then pay them back to the Branch less a fee. The service does not include communication with delegates or speakers.
MATE seminars help prospective IHBC applicants to find out about the IHBC’s membership application process and how to understand their skills, knowledge and experience in the context of IHBC membership criteria and accreditation. The seminars explore the IHBC’s Areas of Competence and Conservation Cycle model, break down the application process and answer any queries prospective applicants may have. Branch MATE sessions offer not only explanations of the Membership process but also the opportunity to meet other prospective applicants in the Branch.
Priority for MATEs is given to Branches and those attending Branch MATEs are not subject to the small charge applied to open MATEs. Branches wishing to organise a MATE should contact Ramona firstname.lastname@example.org
Branches should not organise independent events which may impact on the IHBC’s learning and accreditation standards and activities, such as training related to membership applications, without discussion with the National Office.
Introductory ‘Virtual’ events have been held as the introduction of the ‘Local delivery (Branch) CPD training pilot’, was delayed in 2020.