2. Composition

2.1    Status and composition

2.1.1 Status

BBRC is a committee of BB2000 Ltd and BB 2000 Ltd has the ultimate responsibility for the functioning of BBRC, which must operate to the satisfaction of the directors of BB2000 Ltd.

2.1.2 Composition

The main Committee comprises ten Voting Members, a Chairman and a non‑voting Secretary.

2.2    Voting Members

2.2.1 Role of Voting Members

-To assess all records submitted to BBRC

-To help write species accounts in the Annual Report

-To help develop identification criteria for taxa dealt with by BBRC

-to assist in the production of articles & publications arising from the Committee’s work

2.2.2 Qualification & Geographical Spread of Voting Members

The prime qualifications of candidates are:

-A widely acknowledged expertise in identification

-A proven reliability in the field

-A track record of high quality submissions of descriptions of scarce and rare birds to county records committees and the BBRC

-Considerable experience of record assessment

-The capacity to handle the considerable volume of work involved in assessing upwards of 500 records per year.

-The capacity to work quickly and efficiently, and for using internet-based computer technology

-Regional credibility


Membership of the committee should try to provide a reasonable geographical spread with members having a detailed knowledge of the following areas: Wales, Scotland, the Northern Isles, Northern England, the Midlands, Eastern England, the Southwest and the Southeast of England.

2.2.3 Selection of Voting Members

BBRC may nominate its own candidate to fill any vacancy but will also invite further nominations, with a closing date, through an announcement in British Birds and a press release sent to birding information services.

All candidates must be proposed, seconded and their proposal be received, with a letter of agreement from the candidate, by the closing date.

All candidates will be formally announced in British Birds. If there is more than one candidate, an election takes place.

In the event of an election each Recording Area has five votes and each Bird Observatory has two votes (see Appendix II). Candidates will provide a brief (one page) birding CV and this will be made available to all voters. Term of office usually starts on 1st August, but this is not mandatory.

The Chairman is responsible for administering the election of Voting Members

2.2.4 Period of office of Voting Members

All Voting Members will be offered the opportunity to serve on the committee for a minimum of eight years and a maximum of ten years.  Upon reaching this duration the member will be expected to retire; however in exceptional circumstances a retiring member may be co-opted to fill a temporary vacancy.

A retiring member shall not be considered for full re-election for at least three years following their retirement.

2.2.5 Co-opting Voting Members

In the event of a temporary incapacity or work overload, of a Voting Member, BBRC can co-opt a suitably qualified person to fill the temporary vacancy. This could be one of the more recent retiring members, the Chairman or the Vice Chairman. Such a temporary vacancy would not normally extend for more than 6 months.

If a Voting Member resigns, BBRC may co-opt suitably qualified individuals on to the committee as a temporary measure. The co-opted member will continue up to the next 1st August. The co-opted member may then stand for election to BBRC (subject to the ‘three-year minimum gap’, see Section 2.2.4)

The procedures above will normally mean co-opted members finish their period in less than one year. However if any co-opted member is still in place after one year, then any continuation must be reviewed by consultation between the Chairman, the Secretary and the Voting Members.

Co-opted members have full voting rights at the AGM.

2.3    Chairman

2.3.1 Role of Chairman

-To report to BB2000 Ltd.

-To take responsibility for and delegate where appropriate, all non-Secretarial administration

-To take responsibility for and delegate where appropriate all official external dealings of BBRC, including foreign consultancy.

-To act as the conduit for policy development and ideas. All proposals relating to operating policy should be directed through the Chairman who, in turn, is obliged to raise these at the AGM.

-To administer the process of recruiting new Voting Members. All approaches to potential candidates must be made through the Chairman or following delegation by the Chairman

-To convene the AGM and set the agenda

-To take members views into account when setting the agenda for BBRC’s key decision meetings

-To ensure BBRC policy is applied and adhered to by the Committee

-To act as the BBRC representative on BOURC

-To liaise with BB2000 Ltd.


The Chairman will have the casting vote in matters of policy and procedure, which are usually discussed at the AGM.

2.3.2 Qualification of Chairman

The Chairman should have:-

– served as a voting member for at least 3 years before they can be appointed as Chairman.

– up-to-date expertise in bird identification and record assessment.

– an ability to think and act in a strategic capacity.

– excellent organisational and communication skills.

– familiarity with IT, both in terms of daily usage and its potential for development.

2.3.3 Selection & Appointment of Chairman

On or before reaching their retirement year (see Section 2.3.4) the current Chairman will consult with Voting Members to select a new Chairman.

If no agreement can be reached, or if a Chairman has not been re-appointed at an AGM (see Section 3.1) then any Voting Member or Members can put forward nominations (which must include a proposer and a seconder) for Chairman to the directors of BB2000 Ltd. The board of BB2000 Ltd. will then inform the current Chairman and Secretary of the nomination(s).

Where a valid nomination has been received the Chairman of the directors of BB2000 Ltd. is required to find out whether the current Chairman wishes to continue to stand. If so, a straight vote of the 10 voting members will be taken by secret ballot at the earliest convenient date, and a simple majority is required for the Chairman to be changed.

The Secretary or acting Secretary will act as returning officer. Votes can be submitted electronically or by post to the Secretary.

Where there are more than two nominations for Chairman, each voting member will be able to vote for a first and a second candidate. A second round of voting will take place between the two candidates with highest scores in the first round, and again a simple majority is required if the standing Chairman is to be replaced. In the event of a tie in votes, the standing Chairman will have the casting vote.

The selected Chairman will then be subject to approval by, and formally appointed by, the board of BB2000 Ltd.

2.3.4 Period of office of Chairman

The Chairman is reappointed annually by the Voting Members at the AGM. The maximum term of office is ten years.

2.3.5 Appointing a Vice-chairman

The Chairman can appoint a Vice-chairman, following consultation and agreement with Voting Members. The role will normally be taken by an ex BBRC Voting Member,

If the Chairman temporarily cannot carry out their duties (for example through work/holiday commitments or ill-health) then the Vice-chairman can take over the role of Chairman, if delegated to do so by the Chairman.

The Vice-chairman may also help the Chairman and the Committee, especially in roles associated with   developing identification criteria for poorly known taxa, and/ or correspondence about individual records, and/ or correspondence with individual observers.

The Vice-chairman is reappointed annually by the Voting Members at the AGM. There is no maximum term of office.

2.3.6 Temporary Chairman

If a Chairman resigns or cannot discharge their responsibilities, then if there is a Vice-chairman (see Section 2.3.5) they will take over the role until the next AGM. If no Vice-chairman exists, or if the Vice-chairman has declined being a replacement Chairman, then any voting member can be nominated by the Chairman, or in the absence of a Chairman’s nomination by the voting members, to take over the role of Chairman until the next AGM.

This arrangement cannot persist beyond the next AGM when a formal replacement will be appointed.

2.4    Secretary

2.4.1 Role of Secretary

-To receive and circulate submissions of records

-To collate results of voting

-To ensure the safe archiving of all submitted documentation and voting members comments

-To liaise with observers and county recorders where necessary for further information

-To coordinate re-circulations and record reviews

-To deal with correspondence as required

-To liaise with the Chair as appropriate

-To provide information for the website as appropriate

-To announce significant developments in relation to the Secretarial role, in consultation with the Chairman

-To provide statistics and data for the annual report, and co-ordinate its production in conjunction with the Editor of British Birds


Note: The Secretary is a non-voting position on all record assessments, and cannot be a Voting Member of the committee.

2.4.2 Qualification of Secretary

The Secretary should have:-

– experience with IT systems, including working knowledge of databases.

– an ability to manage large volumes of data from a variety of sources to pre-determined timescales.

– excellent written communication skills.

– excellent organizational skills.

– an ability to think and work strategically.

– the ability to liaise with other members of the committee, County Recorders and observers.

– experience of data collection, preferably relating to bird records.

– a knowledge of rare birds and the BBRC.

2.4.3 Selection & Appointment of Secretary

The Chairman will select the Secretary on behalf of the Committee; this appointment will be subject to approval by, and formally appointed by, the board of BB2000 Ltd. The Secretary will be required to sign a contract provided by the board of BB2000 Ltd.

An annual appraisal will be held, conducted by the Chairman and a representative of the board of BB2000 Ltd.

2.4.4 Period of office of Secretary

On appointment the Secretary will work initially for 12 months during which period the appointment may be terminated by either party giving one month’s notice. Thereafter, if the appointment is confirmed, it will be subject to termination by either party giving at least six months written notice.

The Secretary is reappointed annually by the Voting Members at the AGM. There is no maximum term of office.

2.5    Other roles

2.5.1 Support provided to the Committee

Other non-voting positions provide support to the Committee and will often be performed by former members of the Committee. Positions such Archivist, Museum Consultant, Genetics Consultant and Media Officer would be typical of the activities required. The definition of any such role will be determined by the Chairman and Secretary, and appointments will be made by the Chairman in consultation with Voting Members.

2.5.2 Work for outside Organisations

A small group of experienced members of the Committee may be selected to help the Chairman and Secretary with matters outside the general remit of BBRC. This work may include the assessment of rarities from other countries at the request of either the rarities committee of the relevant country or the Association of European Rarities Committees (AERC).

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