Today the membership of the HCA approved the adoption of Company Byelaws to replace their previous constitution of 74 years “it’s a Historic Day”

Brian RobbThe HCA set out in 2018 to look at all risks that could affect their association, this was at the Suggestion of their President Lord Hunt. Brian Robb National Chair says, “I was part of a delegation that met with our President at the House of Lords where over supper we discussed risk. I was only an Exec member at the time, never did I think I would be the one leading that change”.

Since becoming National Chair in April 2021 Brian Robb has led the association through a myriad of change supported closely by his National Officers & Executive team with guidance form the HCA Vice Presidents. He says, “It was clear from the outset that this could only be achieved by partnership working, so we set out our plan to ensure engagement at every step with our membership”. That planning led to the adoption and the lodging of the HCA Articles of Association on 31st Oct 2021 and becoming a Company limited by Guarantee from November 1st 2021.

In conjunction with his Exec team and buoyed with the enthusiasm of the newly elected Board of Directors Brian Robb then set out the target for transitioning the constitution into Byelaws. He says “At this point our Vice President Mark Hayman kindly laid out the initial steps of where our constitution could fit into byelaws to support the Articles of Association”. What then followed was ongoing consultation with the membership with several drafts and redrafts of Byelaws produced. At each stage of the process I was mindful to ensure that each update as far as practicable could be easily read and also followed his vision of transparency & governance ensuring membership engagement throughout”.

The target for completion of November 2022 was met, but following discussion at Exec level it was felt there was a requirement to finesse the section on Managing Conflict of interest. This took place with further comment and engagement with membership ensuring inclusivity was achieved from Nov 22 to Feb 23.

The Exec team then adopted the further changes and a final draft was presented for final scrutiny at the HCA Board meeting held on the 28th March 2023 where the Byelaws were unanimously agreed as being fit to be taken forward to the membership at the AGM. The board also adopted the “conflict of interest procedure” and associated appendices.

Brian Robb says “These bye laws are required for us to satisfy Companies' House, our accountants and to lay out our future foundation for the association. They are the culmination of the steps we took when we set out in 2018 to look at risks to our association and the lodging of our Articles of Association on 31st Oct 2021 and becoming a Company limited by Guarantee from November 1st 2021. I am delighted our membership has voted for the adoption of these byelaws, it will allow us to move forward as an association and continue to promote professional standards to enhance & improve NHS Catering Services across the 4 Nations working closely in partnership with our clinical colleagues. This is indeed a historic day for us and every member can be proud that they played a part”.

Brian Robb
HCA Honorary National Chair

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