Remit of Committees

Education and Outreach Committee

Finance Committee

History and Archives Committee

Meetings Committee

Membership & Grants Committee

Policy Committee

Publications Committee

Remuneration Committee

Physiology News Editorial Board 

Affiliate Working Group 


 

Education & Outreach Committee

Purpose

To foster and support the understanding, learning and teaching of physiology throughout the education system and to the wider public.

Remit

Reporting to Council, the Committee is responsible for oversight and leadership of The Society’s education and outreach activities, specifically:

  • identifying priorities and annual objectives, monitoring progress and reporting the outcomes to Council;
  • maintaining oversight of the annual budget and providing advice to Council on the allocation of appropriate resources;
  • co-ordinating the organisation of courses and workshops to encourage interest in physiology at school and to support specialist teaching skills and outreach activities in Universities;
  • providing resources and support for educational activities aimed at higher education students and staff;
  • enhancing best practice in school education, ensuring materials are in line with and support the curriculum;
  • providing appropriate careers advice for those considering, or currently, studying physiology;
  • providing materials and resources for disseminating information about, and stimulating interest in, physiology to the wider public;
  • providing information and advice to Government, the teaching and funding agencies, the media and all those involved in teaching and careers guidance and the communication and promotion of science; and
  • liaising with the Policy Committee to ensure a coordinated approach.
 

Finance Committee

The Finance Committee takes delegated responsibility on behalf of the Council of Trustees ("Council") for overseeing all financial aspects of The Society so as to support its short and long term ability to achieve its charitable objects and report back to Council accordingly. 

Composition, attendees, quorum and reporting 

  • The Finance Committee is a committee of Council and reports directly to Council.
  • The chairperson of the committee shall normally be the Treasurer.
  • The committee shall consist of not less than three trustees appointed by Council in addition to the chairperson, normally to include the Deputy-President.
  • The committee may co-opt additional members who in the opinion of the committee will bring additional relevant skills to the committee, but appointed members shall always form the majority.
  • The chief executive and finance manager will normally be in attendance at all meetings, with the external auditors as appropriate.
  • The committee has the authority of Council to have access to any information or employee of The Society in the course of undertaking its responsibilities and to obtain outside legal or other independent advice.
  • The finance manager is the secretary to committee meetings. Minutes of meetings will be reviewed by Council when approved by the committee chairperson.
  • Unless otherwise determined by the committee, a quorum shall consist of four members of the committee; two of whom shall be Trustees.
  • The committee will continually review the training and development needs of committee members.
  • The committee will review annually its terms of reference and its own effectiveness and recommend any changes to Council.
  • The committee will meet four times a year.
 

Main duties

Financial 

  • To monitor whether The Society operates within the financial guidelines set out in current legislation, by the Charity Commission, The Society’s governing documents and by Council;
  • to advise Council on financial targets and policies and measurement against targets and application of financial policies;
  • to advise Council on whether The Society’s financial obligations are likely to be met;
  • to regularly review and advise Council on the appropriate regulatory framework within which The Society must function, including adequate financial controls;
  • to advise Council on the financial implications and financial operational risks arising from Council decisions – especially Council’s strategic and policy decisions;
  • to review longer term forecasts of capital resources and of income and expenditure, and to review and monitor financial trends within The Society and the sector within which it operates and advise Council accordingly;
  • to formulate for Council to approve and agree, and regularly to review and monitor, a financial strategy and a reserves policy that will help to achieve The Society’s objectives, as set out in Council’s current strategic plan and business plan;
  • to advise on, scrutinise and evaluate a draft annual budget (including the annual salary award as proposed by the Remuneration Committee) for the approval of Council, considering whether  it is compatible with, and supports, The Society’s objects and the strategic, business and annual plans. To consider the risks attached to the proposed budget and advise Council accordingly;
  • to work with the Chief Executive and other senior executive staff (for example finance manager) so that financial information is both accurate and presented in such a way that it facilitates good governance and management;
  • to scrutinise regularly The Society’s management accounts and monitor performance against the approved budget, exceptional items and trends;
  • to scrutinise and evaluate regularly The Society’s current and forecast cash flow and to inform Council of any concerns;
  • to scrutinise the draft annual report and accounts and advise Council accordingly;
  • to formulate for Council approval and regularly to review an appropriate investment policy; to monitor that it is adhered to and to evaluate investment performance against policy and report back to Council accordingly.
 

Financial audit  

  • To determine the frequency of tendering for external auditing services;
  • to oversee the process for selecting the external auditor and make appropriate recommendations through Council to members at the AGM and assess independence of the external auditor;
  • to recommend the audit fee to Council and pre-approve any fees in respect of non audit services provided by the external auditor.  To consider whether the provision of non audit services might impair the external auditors’ independence or objectivity;
  • to discuss with the external auditor, before the audit commences, the nature and scope of the audit and to review the auditors’ quality control procedures and steps taken by the auditor to respond to changes in regulatory and other requirements;
  • to inform Council that it must fulfil company law requirements that there is no relevant audit information of which the company’s auditors are unaware and that all steps have been taken to ensure that all relevant information has been provide to the auditors;
  • to scrutinise and advise Council on the contents of the draft audit report and to review the audit findings report and management’s draft response, and to formulate for Council use any written representations that may be needed by the auditors in connection with The Society’s statutory accounts or any other financial statements;
  • to discuss with the external auditors any problems or reservations arising from the draft external audit report and draft audit findings report, reporting relevant issues back to Council, and advising Council accordingly; and
  • to review the performance of The Society’s auditors and advise Council on any changes that ought to be made to their terms of engagement.
     

Non-financial audit

  • To review the robustness and effectiveness of internal controls and financial risk management systems, as well as legal and regulatory compliance;
  • to review and monitor the policies and processes for assessing and managing financial risk, including insurance, within the risk management framework
 

History & Archives Committee

Remit

  1. To manage The Society's historical collections (papers, images and apparatus) in collaboration with appropriate professional repositories.
  2. To contribute to The Society's Archive by: 
    • ensuring proper conservation and maintenance of The Society's collections
    • ensuring the regular accrual of The Society's papers 
    • encouraging individual physiologists to donate relevant personal and professional records to an appropriate repository
    • publicising the need for the collection and maintenance of artefacts associated with the history of physiology
    • supervising a programme of oral history interviews with individuals who have contributed to physiology and to The Society
  3. To promote The Society's archival collections to appropriate audiences.
  4. To use The Society's collections to assist in raising the profile of physiology in the UK (e.g. by preparing written and visual historical material in hard copy or electronically; and celebrating famous physiologists by promoting the placement of Blue Plaques).
  5. To propose biennially to Council the Paton Lecturer in consultation with the Editorial Board of Experimental Physiology.
  6. To administer the Paton Prize Bursary Fund for historical studies.

The Society's Honorary Archivist is Professor Tilli Tansey OBE (Queen Mary, University of London). The Society's Archive (described on a separate web page) is housed at the Wellcome Library and can be accessed using this link: http://bit.ly/17DVyv4.

More information about Committee activities can be found here. General enquiries for the attention of the Committee can be addressed to history@physoc.org.

Meetings Committee

Purpose

To develop and oversee the strategic planning and funding of Society and non-Society scientific meetings at home and abroad, and to recognise and promote excellence in physiology through scientific meetings.

Remit

  • To assist and advise Council on the smooth running and strategic development of The Society’s scientific meetings calendar, currently including Main Meetings, Topic Meetings and all related Grant schemes. 
  • To review applications for Main and Topic Meetings and all relevant Society funded Research Symposia(including overseas exchange symposia and Journal symposia), ensuring the delivery of high quality, internationally competitive, scientific events that attract international participation.
  • To develop an appropiate calendar of eventsto be held at Hodgkin Huxley House.
  • To develop schemes to recognise excellence in Physiology at Society meetings.
  • To prepare an annual budget and plans for future periods for approval by the Council of Trustees.
 

Membership & Grants Committee

Remit

Reporting to Council, the Committee is responsible for oversight and leadership of The Society’s strategy on membership and disbursement of grants, specifically:

  • To review membership categories, recommend whether any changes are required and how these might be governed.
  • To review and have oversight of Travel Grants and their administration, taking into account our charitable objectives.
  • To coordinate and ensure appropriate oversight and governance across all other Society grants, awards and prizes (excluding selection, which is the responsibility of relevant Committees).
  • To carry out periodic reviews of all grants and awards and advise Council as to their types, amounts, criteria and frequency, in consultation with other Committees as required.
  • Provide on-going oversight of our membership and related activities, including the role of and support for Society Representatives in institutions.
  • The committee will review annually its terms of reference and its own effectiveness and recommend any changes to Council.
  • To oversee The Society’s obligations with respect to public benefit and other statutory reporting as regards membership and grants
  • To make recommendations in respect of membership subscriptions rates, travel grant awards and allocations and, from time-to-time, the budgetary aspects of other grants.   
 

Policy Committee

 

Purpose

To lead the Society’s policy work to sustain and enhance the environment for physiology in the UK.

Remit

Reporting to Council, the Committee is responsible for oversight and leadership of The Society’s policy work specifically:

  • identifying priorities and annual objectives, monitoring progress and reporting the outcomes to Council;
  • maintaining oversight of the annual budget and providing advice to Council on the allocation of appropriate resources;
  • coordinating The Society’s responses to consultations by UK and European Government and other external parties as appropriate;
  • pro-actively managing and researching key policy issues identified by the Policy Committee, including providing support for working groups and working with external organisations as appropriate;
  • developing a strategy to enhance the environment for the in vivo sciences, including supporting good practice and the application of the 3Rs;
  • sustaining and enhancing good working relationships with key external bodies including Government departments, parliamentary committees, Research and Funding Councils, charities and other societies in areas of common interest, and to develop and lead a strategy for collaboration to achieve the Society’s policy objectives;
  • supporting the Society’s press and media activities in relation to policy objectives; and
  • liaising with the Education & Outreach Committee to ensure a coordinated approach.
 

Publications Committee

 

Purpose

To oversee The Society’s publication strategy and administration. To maximise the value of publication activities to The Society and to the wider physiological community.

Remit

  • To advise Council on The Society`s publication strategy
  • To liaise with the Meetings and International Committee and the Education Committee to ensure synergy of activities
  • To act on behalf of Council on business matters relating to publications of The Society
  • To appoint the Editor in Chief of Journal of Physiology, the Chairman of the Editorial Board of Experimental Physiology and the Editor of Physiology News
  • To prepare an annual budget for publication activities

 

Remuneration Committee

 

  • To approve on behalf of the Council of Trustees:
  1. The employment contracts, annual salary and remuneration review and any termination agreements for the Chief Executive, his immediate subordinates and other key staff. For information purposes the Committee will also receive details of the salaries of all staff. Whilst the Chief Executive is solely responsible for determining salaries at this level, the provision of such information could be required for due diligence purposes.
  2. Employment policy for all staff, including pay systems, pension schemes and any general arrangements for performance related pay.
  3. Annual salary budget changes.
  4. Subject to restrictions in the Governing Documents, fees and other remuneration to be paid to any Trustee for any services
  5. The Physiological Society (e.g. honoraria etc); such payments to be declared in The Society's annual accounts.
  6. Any offer of a non-executive directorship or other external appointment to the Chief Executive or other senior staff, whether remunerated or not.
  7. The annual Trustees Report for The Society’s Retirement Benefits Scheme.
  • To consider the Chief Executive’s recommendations on the treatment of material benefits associated with employment of any member of staff.
  • To report, via the Finance Committee, to the Council of Trustees. A formal report to be submitted annually for noting by the Trustees at the November Council Meeting. The content of these reports should be broadly based and provide information such as the nature of salary changes and not the salary details of individuals.
  • The committee shall consist of the President (Chair-person), the Deputy-President and the Treasurer. The Chief Executive, Director of Finance & Administration and HR manager will attend as required.
  • The committee has the authority of the board to have access to any information or employee of The Society in the course of undertaking its responsibilities and to obtain outside legal or other independent advice.
  • The committee will regularly review annually its terms of reference and its own effectiveness and report to Council.
  • The committee will normally meet once a year with the salary review to be concluded by 1 November.
 

Physiology News Editorial Board

The Physiology News editorial board guide the content for The Society's Members' magazine.

 Resources

#105 Winter

Commissioning: 15 August

Copy Deadline: 7 October

Designer deadline: 28 October

Delivery: 15 December

 

#106 Spring

Commissioning:  1 December

Copy Deadline: 14 January

Designer deadline: 28 January

Delivery:  24 March

 

#107 Summer

Commissioning: 17 Feb

Copy Deadline:  7 April

Designer deadline:  28 April

Delivery:  3 July

 

#108 Autumn

Commissioning: 12 May

Copy Deadline: 7 July

Designer deadline: 28 July

Delivery: 15 Sept

 

#109 Winter

Commissioning: 14 August

Copy Deadline: 6 October

Designer deadline: 27 October

Delivery: 15 December 

 

 

Affiliate Working Group

 

  • Support Affiliate members to ensure they receive the required support from The Society, are aware of an engage with the activities of The Society
  • Act as advocates for membership of The Society 
  • Liaise between society staff and the wider Affiliate membership to ensure feedback is received and acted on where appropriate