What was the nomination process Previously?
From 1989 to 2014, the ACC Board of Directors (BOD) consisted of eight elected members comprising an “Executive Committee,” as well as regional section representatives, for a total of approximately 35 board members. The Nomination Committee proposed an individual to each elected board position separate and independent from the section representative portion of the wider board. The names of those nominees were published in the ACC's member magazine, the Gazette, at which time members had an opportunity to submit other candidates. No alternative candidate was ever put forward. During this period, in every instance, the Nomination Committee’s nominee was acclaimed to the position. The process worked well. The Club was admirably served during this period.
Why was the process changed?
In 2010, the 35-member BOD approved a new Strategic Plan for the ACC. Amongst the items of strategic importance was a need to determine if the governance of the Club reflected “best practices.” The Club retained an independent consulting firm to conduct a governance audit. The audit returned with 22 recommendations, one of which was a substantial change to the board size and structure, implementing a skills-based member recruitment process. The Club’s governance committee determined independently that these changes would bring its governance in line with similar respected member-based organizations. The bylaws were rewritten, and the first open election occurred in 2015.
Why are some of the candidates presented identified as ‘recommended’?
Pursuant to the audit recommendations, the new bylaws require that the BOD assess the skills it’s seeking in the upcoming election.
The Terms of Reference of the Nomination Committee set out the purpose and responsibilities of the nomination committee to be:
The Nomination Committee will ensure that the Board and its committees are made up of members with appropriate skills, diverse backgrounds, and appropriate regional representation, is driven by the strategic priorities of the Club and ensure that Board composition complies with the Club’s By-Laws and Governance Policies from time to time.
The Nomination Committee actively uses that assessment in the recruitment process to seek out candidates with the competencies required by the BOD. These skills and competencies are based on the organizational direction of the club and the current inventory of skills it has with the remaining board members.
Based on the candidates identified, the Nomination Committee has the responsibility to familiarize itself with the candidates, and, where there is more than one qualified candidate, recommend to the members which of those candidates best meets the Club’s needs. The members will vote to decide who is elected.
Who can present their interest to be nominated?
The process is outlined in the Club's bylaws. Within 90 days following an AGM, the Nomination Committee issues a call through the Club’s outreach channels for members to express their interest. Those members must present their qualifications to the Nomination Committee by October 31. The Nomination Committee reviews the submissions, performs its due diligence and assessments, and reports to the members by February 1. All qualified applicants are permitted to run in an election. The bylaws can be found online here.
How does the Nomination Committee come to its recommendation?
Through due diligence and analysis, members of the Nomination Committee make its selection during the three-month window following receipt of a candidates’ information. Debate and consensus is the preferred decision-making method weighted against a skills matrix and the needs of the board.
The committee reviews each application. The committee then meets by conference call to ensure each committee member has enough information to complete a lengthy skills- matrix assessment of each candidate. Where required, the method of attaining additional information is discussed and agreed among the committee members. In 2016, for example, the committee used a variety of methods for each position, including telephone interviews with candidates, committee member calls to individual candidates, or group or individual committee calls to a candidate’s references, or other persons who know the candidates.
Once the committee feels it has sufficient information for each member to complete a matrix assessment, each committee member individually completes an assessment. The weighted scores are totalled, and the committee then meets by teleconference to ensure that: (a) the majority of the committee members agree with the score, and (b) that each committee member has the opportunity to advocate for adjustments where they feel it’s appropriate.
Who learns first about the recommendations?
The Board of Directors, as well as the applicants themselves, will learn first of the recommendations. Notice of the slate will be communicated to the membership on February 1 and periodically until March 31. The time lag is provided for the applicants to consider their candidacy prior to publication.
How do ACC Members vote?
If there is indeed an election for a position then members are sent a ballot – either by mail or electronically – and must vote according to the instructions accompanying it. All members in good standing as of March 1 and over the age of 18 are eligible. Voting will occur between April 1 and April 30.
Is the ACC the only organization that uses this system?
No. There are a variety of respected organizations that use similar systems. Mountain Equipment Co-op is one. VanCity Credit Union is another. The system best fits a large, geographically diverse organization, like the ACC, whose members: (a) are not all able to attend an Annual General Meeting; (b) may not all know the applicants in a meaningful ways; (c) may not all know the present skill requirement and composition of the BOD.
‘These adjustments to our process help to, on the one hand, provide the insights that many of our members were looking for, and on the other hand, seek to best uphold the strong democratic tradition of our credit union.’
– Karen Hoffmann, Chief Governance Officer & Corporate Secretary
Vancity Credit Union
Who is the Nomination Committee?
The Nomination Committee is a freestanding national committee comprised of long- standing ACC members from sections across the country. The committee is not stacked with members of the BOD. In fact, there is only one member of the BOD currently serving on the Nomination Committee. Most committee members are active volunteers at the Club’s section level; many, for instance, serve on their respective section’s executive committee.
The present composition of the Nomination Committee includes representatives from the Vancouver Island Section, the Edmonton Section, the Calgary Section, the Manitoba Section, the Ottawa Section, the Outaouais Section, as well as one non-affiliated member.
The Chair of the committee is a national Past President.