What is the Board and why is it important?
Board members are volunteers that oversee the activities of PAN, and as a collective group, the board is the governing body of PAN. PAN board members set policy and establish PAN’s strategic plan. Board members support the Executive Director and staff in ensuring PAN activities and initiatives follow our purpose, mission and strategic plan. Other roles include approving annual budgets and keeping the organization’s performance accountable to the membership, to our funders and other stakeholders. In essence, the PAN board makes sure that PAN fulfills its mission and ensures it does so responsibly, respectfully, and with ethical financial management.
Being a board member is a highly responsible and accountable governing role, and should not be entered into lightly. In addition, board members at PAN do not carry forward the day-to-day work of the organization – the staff have that responsibility. Please note that PAN is NOT a frontline organization – we are a network of such agencies – and our members are organizations (not individuals). Therefore, if your passion aligns with the work of frontline groups, then our board may not be for you.
What are some of the qualifications and requirements for becoming a PAN board member?
First off, board applicants must have the sponsorship and support of an existing PAN member organization in the relevant region. Ideally, you have a minimum of two years’ experience working or volunteering in the field (i.e. HIV, hepatitis C, harm reduction, etc.) Past committee or board work experience is a plus, though not required – we also look for opportunities to build the skill set and capacity of all contributors at PAN, be they volunteers, staff or board members.
We look for self-motivated, enthusiastic and curious contributors who can step outside of their own individual stories or that of their organization, to see the “big picture”. Board members need to be able to think strategically and be comfortable with a governance role. Board members are expected to commit time and energy and stay engaged.
Because we are a provincial organization, board members and staff live and work across the province. The ability to work virtually is therefore a must. All board members must have regular and timely access to emails and telecommunication. Board members should be comfortable working on computer and virtually, since the majority of board, communications are electronic and our bi-monthly 120-minute board meetings are held via web or teleconference. Board members are also expected to attend daylong, face-to-face meetings 1 or 2 times a year (one of which typically coincides with PAN’s Annual Fall Conference).
Historically, PAN board members have been strong leaders within their own organizations – often occupying a senior paid or volunteer position; as well as powerful voices within their region – who were then ready to lend their perspective and talents to the provincial picture.
In detail, the requirements of each board member are to:
- Act as outlined in the PAN’s Board Member Job Description
- Adhere to PAN’s Code of Conduct
- Adhere to PAN’s Code of Conduct related to Board of Directors
- Adhere to PAN’s Code of Ethics
- Qualify under the BC Societies Act
- Sign PAN’s Board Member Agreement and Confidentiality Agreement
Please note that the Board will be re-examining these documents and its recruitment and appointment policies in 2019, in line with recent governance changes.
How many seats are there?
PAN has fourteen directors, elected by the members at a general meeting, in accordance with the following rules:
a. seven of fourteen directors shall be deemed to be associated and able to effectively represent each of the seven Health Authority regions of British Columbia: Northern; Interior; Fraser; Vancouver Coastal; Vancouver Island; and provincially, the Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA) and the First Nations Health Authority (FNHA); and
b. at least seven of fourteen directors shall be self-disclosed as a person living with HIV (PLHIV) and/or with lived experience of hepatitis C. Of these:
i. a minimum of one director shall be self-disclosed as a person living with HIV (PLHIV); and
ii. a minimum of one director shall be self-disclosed as with lived experience of hepatitis C.
How can I apply to join the Board?
A person can join the board of directors in two ways. The first is by successfully running for election at the Annual General Meeting (AGM). The second is by being appointed by the sitting board of directors to fill a vacant seat. If appointed by the board during the year, that person must then run for election at the next AGM. Essentially the same process applied to both. Board terms are for two years.
Any person interested in joining the board must:
- fulfill all the Societies Act qualifications to be a director;
- be an authorized representative of a PAN member and have your application endorsed by them;
- submit the PAN Board Application as a pdf, scan or picture; and a written statement or resume summarizing your qualifications, experience, and involvement in the mission of PAN;
- be brought forward by PAN’s Nominating Committee. Before a decision, they will contact you to talk about our expectations and any supports needed;
- Either: have the nomination approved by the Board, in advance of the AGM, or: be appointed by the Board to immediately fill an empty seat until the next AGM. The applicant would be invited to attend one meeting to ensure that the role is right for them. Then the Board Executive will decide on whether it recommends you as appointee, and will bring it to the full Board for vote;
- have your application provided in advance to the membership and subsequently brought forward at the next AGM where you will run for election;
- if elected, agree to act in the best interests of PAN and sign all related documents (in the second section, above);
- be oriented via hands-on experience; supported by an assigned board member, and PAN staff; and evaluated by the co-chairs.
Send all documents to Simon Goff at [email protected]
As a reminder, we do not accept nominations from the floor.