The RYA is pleased to announce the approval of its new Articles of Association, which were voted on by Members at the 2017 AGM.   

A number of proposed constitutional changes will now be implemented to ensure the Association’s compliance with the Code for Sports Governance, which sets out the levels of transparency, accountability and financial integrity that are required from those who ask for Government and National Lottery funding.

What has changed?

Essentially the role of the RYA Council has changed and Council will no longer appoint directors. Following the changes and a transition period, the Board will ordinarily comprise of 10 directors: 

  • Four “Nominated Directors” appointed by the Members
  • Three “Independent Directors” appointed by the Board
  • The Chairman appointed by the Board
  • The CEO by virtue of his/her office
  • The Finance Director by virtue of his/her office

The Board has also taken the opportunity to update the provisions relating to the number of Members required to convene a general meeting and to simplify the voting process so that each individual Member will have one vote and each organisation Member will have one vote per £100 of affiliation fee.

Member and stakeholder engagement

In addition to the changes to the way Board Directors are recruited and appointed, the requirement to consult with Members and stakeholders is now enshrined in the Articles. The RYA has always made engagement with Members and stakeholders a priority.  The intention is to build on this to create a first class engagement strategy that outlines how the RYA communicates and listens to its Members and other stakeholders.  

The new engagement strategy will ensure that Members are consulted on the development of the Association’s major strategic decisions and that due consideration is also given to the views of the Association’s Stakeholders.  The future framework will ensure a forum that is truly representative of all stakeholders, effective in ensuring RYA strategy reflects the views of members and stakeholders, and clearly differentiated from the Board’s accountabilities.

The strategy, including the means of implementation and assessment of its effectiveness, will be formalised and reviewed annually by the Board; it will also be presented to the Members periodically for consultation and review.

Gold standard  

Jeanette Hopkins, RYA Director of External Affairs, said: “The approved changes are consistent with what is happening in other funded sports' governing bodies in the UK.  The Sports Governance Code rightly seeks to ensure high governance standards because of the significant public investment being made.

“By approving the new Articles, our Members have recognised that funding from UK Sport and Sport England not only contributes considerably to our performance pathways, but also underpins our Sailability programmes and a large part of our vital sport development activity. 

“We are committed to developing and delivering a gold standard Member and Stakeholder Engagement Strategy, which recognises and engages all classes of stakeholders in a tailored, relevant manner – in order to add value to them, and the RYA.

“We continue to recognise the very large contribution made by our Members on a voluntary basis. This will not change. We will remain a membership organisation that strives to maintain and promote safe and responsible recreational boating. The support of our Members in approving the new Articles will ultimately enable the RYA to increase our relevance and value to Members, affiliates and stakeholders.”