Elite Skaters


The new Articles of Association do more than bring us into compliancy with the Government’s new Governance Sport Code. They will offer a wealth of benefits to different groups across the whole sport. Here’s how the changes will positively affect elite level skaters:

  • More European, World and Olympic medals
  • A stronger talent pathway from grassroots to elite level through the support
  • Continues support and funding from bodies such as UK Sport
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Why We are Changing


This year the government implemented a new initiative which has been developed by UK Sport and Sport England; a new code for Sports Governance. It is mandatory for all winter sports to comply with the code by December 31st 2017.

We have made our Articles of Association (the set of rules which govern how we run), compliant with the new code, which has been designed to ‘further nurture the growing culture of good governance already seen’ in sport as a whole.

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UK Sport


This year the government implemented a new initiative which has been developed by UK Sport and Sport England; a new code for Sports Governance. It is mandatory for all winter sports governing bodies to comply with the code by December 31st 2017.


We have made our Articles of Association (the set of rules which govern how we run), compliant with the new code, which has been designed to ‘further nurture the growing culture of good governance already seen’ in sport as a whole.  You can download and read UK Sports A Code for Sports Governance by clicking here.

The Code applies to any organisation seeking funding from Sport England or UK Sport, regardless of size and sector, including national governing bodies of sport, clubs, charities and local authorities.

The Code has not been designed to be a barrier to organisations obtaining public funding.

Government agencies Sport England and UK Sport consulted over 200 organisations on what should be included in the code over the summer of 2015, and found strong support for higher standards of governance, including:

  • 98 per cent agreed that councils in sports bodies should be more transparent
  • 78 per cent agreed that there needs to be increased diversity in organisations receiving public funding.

Both UK Sport and Sport England allocate money from the government and National Lottery to grassroots initiatives, clubs, charities, local authorities and national governing bodies.

Between 2013 and 2017 Sport England invested £493m into 46 sports while UK Sport invested in the region of £350m.

Governing bodies that fail to comply with the new code will not only lose funding but also risk the withdrawal of support sporting bodies need to host major events.



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Why does NISA need to revise its Memorandum and Articles of Association

why revise articles

NISA operates as a company limited by guarantee, and the Memorandum of Association (“the Memorandum”) and the Articles of Association (“the Articles”) are NISA’s primary constitutional documents.  NISA is both a membership association, with key responsibilities to its own members, and NISA is also the officially recognised national governing body (“NGB”) for the sport of ice skating in the United Kingdom, with wider responsibilities for all those who participate in the sport in any way.

The United Kingdom Sport Council (“UK Sport”) invests large amounts of public funding, from the National Lottery and from taxpayers, into Summer and Winter Olympic and Paralympic Sports, including both figure skating and speed skating.

In June last year, in order to meet NISA’s contractual obligations under the Funding Agreement between NISA and UK Sport, the NISA Board agreed to institute a programme of actions to upgrade NISA’s corporate governance and operational management.

Later last year UK Sport commissioned Moore Stephens, one of the leading accountancy and consultancy firms in the United Kingdom, to carry out a management audit of NISA.  In October 2016, Moore Stephens very strongly recommended that NISA needed to undertake a thorough review and adopt revised Articles of Association, which would be fit for purpose in the current environment for national governing bodies of sports and thus also benefit the association’s membership.

NISA’s Board of Directors accepted Moore Stephens’ recommendation, and appointed Wharton Consulting to assist with the revision of NISA’s Articles of Association, and also requested Hewitson Moorhead, as NISA’s legal advisors, to review the revised Articles from a legal perspective.

In December 2015, the UK Government adopted a new policy for sport: “Sporting Future – A New Strategy for an Active Nation”.  A key requirement of the government policy is that all those national governing bodies of sports, which receive public funding, must comply with the mandatory Code for Sports Governance (“the Code”).   The Code came into force on 1 April 2017, and Winter Olympic Sports NGBs, such as NISA, are required to be compliant with the Code by 31 December 2017.  With this background in mind, the revised Articles of Association have also been designed to help bring NISA into compliance with the Code.

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How the Revised Articles have been developed

articles development

Wharton Consulting and Hewitson Moorhead have drawn on models of good practice for national governing bodies of sports in order to provide the basis for the revised Articles of Association for NISA.  The revised Articles have then been “tailored” to the particular needs and circumstances of NISA.

The revised Articles have been extensively reviewed by the NISA Board of Directors, who have also taken account of feedback from NISA’s members given through the Information Days, held in Sheffield, Edinburgh and London, and also on-line.

Since the 2017 NISA AGM, held on 12 August 2017, feedback from the September 2017 Membership Survey and from the EGM Focus Group has been taken into account in order to make amendments to the proposed revised Articles.

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EGM Working Group

egm working group

We recognise that we could have offered better support to membership through the last voting process in the build-up to the Annual General Meeting (AGM) in August, and we have reviewed member feedback carefully since.

In order to offer the best guidance, NISA has formed an independent EGM Focus Group. The ad hoc group will assist the board in the lead up to the EGM in December, delivering and strengthening new ideas to engage better with membership.

The Focus Group is short term, and has been designed to review feedback of members, help promote and co-ordinate changes and be a contact for different groups such as clubs, coaches, judges and officials etc.

The current group is made up of members: Full NISA members Darryl Jones and Richard Lambert, NISA Coach Tony Barron, Founder and Chair of Inclusive Skating Margarita Sweeney Baird, Ice skating Independent Governance Working Group (ISIGWG) Lead, NISA PR Officer Bethany Bishop, Lead Safeguarding Officer Michelle Draper, CEO Jackie Sheldon and Group Lead Development Director David Hartley, with input and help from Governance Consultant Simon Le Fevre.

Margarita commented: “Inclusive Skating is delighted to welcome the implementation of effective corporate governance in the proposed articles.

“If the proposals are passed then these articles will also give our young 16 and 17 year old skaters a vote for the first time. Parents and guardians will also be able to vote on behalf of children and those who lack capacity.”

The first initial meeting was held early this month on the 12th of October, where the group discussed plans to better address concerns and communicate efficiently with membership.

As well as strengthening a plan which will see much clearer breakdowns of change and what it means, the group also agreed upon two new proposals to put to the NISA Board, for inclusion in the new Articles of Association.

The EGM Focus Group proposed that the voting age of 18 to be lowered to 16, and to incorporate a parental and guardian vote, wherein members under the age of 16 or members without the capacity to vote can be represented by a nominated parent or guardian.

This addresses concerns collected as part of the NISA AGM survey, where many parents and guardians expressed the need to have a say in their children’s sport.

The second proposal was to create an Engagement Committee – this will follow the pattern of the Technical Committees and will be made up of cross selection of members, to communicate the voice of members. It is also suggested that this will support embedding of policies and procedures, improve our engagement strategy and address concerns and needs of members.

David Hartley, NISA Development Director and Lead of the EGM Focus Group, said: “The EGM Focus Group has been created to reinforce NISA’s support to members throughout this very important period for the sport, and I am delighted to report the group have made a very strong start.

“At the first meeting the group agreed on two proposals to put the NISA board: to change voting criteria and create a platform for membership on a strategic level through a new committee.

“A further update on these proposals and more detail will follow soon, but to have plans like these in the pipeline is exceptionally positive – contributing to the listening culture we are working to establish here at NISA.

“The EGM Focus Group has been developed to offer a mix of skills and perceptions, so that we can analyse new plans and ideas to produce strong, concise content which is relevant, clear and interesting to our members.

“This is an exciting but challenging time for the organisation, and it is so important for everyone involved in the sport to understand how these changes will affect and benefit them. We are determined to offer the best support and guidance possible this time around.”

The EGM Focus Group will continue to assist in the delivery of clear explanations and clean platforms to find information, addressing concerns and answering queries.

The group is currently working to help implement a revitalised communications strategy and develop upon new plans. This includes a brand new mini-site where members will be able to find meaningful information about the changes and how it will affect everyone in the sport. The site is due to launch in November 2017.

The group will continue to meet regularly in the build-up to the EGM in December, keeping in touch via email to check and contribute to new content.

Individuals who have an interest in volunteering their time and experience to join the EGM Focus Group are welcome to do so.

Please email Bethany Bishop for more information and to express your interest in joining the group.

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New Structure


board composition

Composition of the Board

As part of the corporate governance and operational management upgrade agreed with UK Sport, the NISA Board of Directors undertook to move away from the structure of Portfolio Directors and Portfolio Sub Groups.

It was agreed to re-structure the NISA Board to consist of non-executive Directors who focus on setting the vision, mission, strategy, and policies of NISA and on overseeing the effective financial and operational management of NISA, both as a membership association and as the UK national governing body for the sport of ice skating.

The composition of the NISA Board proposed in Article 19 is therefore as follows:

In order to meet the requirements of the Code for Sports Governance, Article 19 provides for the Board to have:

• a maximum of 12 Directors (unless a larger number has been agreed with UK Sport and/or Sport England);
• a minimum of 25% Independent Non-Executive Directors;
• a minimum of 30% men or women, as the case may be.

The Code for Sports Governance also requires that:

• the Chair is appointed directly by the NISA Board, after an openly advertised recruitment process which takes into account the experience and skills need to chair and lead the Board; and that
• UK Sport and/or Sport England have a reserve power to require the Chair to be independent.

The NISA Board has made a strong case to UK Sport for agreement that the NISA Chair should continue to be recruited from amongst the ice-skating community.  The NISA Board is awaiting a response from UK Sport on this point.

In developing the proposed Articles, the NISA Board has taken account of feedback from the Information Meetings held for NISA members during May and June in Sheffield, Edinburgh and London, and has made clear that the proposed future Board structure will have the majority of its Directors elected by the Voting Members of NISA.


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New Structure

Nominations Committee

nominations committee

Nominations Committee


The Nominations Committee is a committee of the NISA Board, established under the powers committed to the Board under Articles 12.1, 12.7 and 12.8 of the 14 September 2013 Articles of Association of the Company.

1. Functions

1.1. The key functions of the NISA Nominations Committee are:

1.1.1. to support the NISA Board to openly recruit candidates, with appropriate skills and experience, to become Independent Non-Executive Directors of NISA;
1.1.2. to support the NISA Board to review the skills and experience of candidates nominated by NISA Full Members and NISA Life Members to stand for election to become Board Directors or the Chair of NISA;
1.1.3. to support the NISA Board to openly recruit candidates, with appropriate skills and experience, to be the Chief Executive of the company;
1.1.4. to provide reports, recommendations and advice to the NISA Board on matters and policies of the Company within the committee’s field of specialisation; and
1.1.5. to carry out such other functions as are set out in these terms of reference.

1.2. The terms of reference of the Nominations Committee (including any relevant delegated authority) are to be approved, and reviewed whenever revised Articles of Association are adopted by the Company and otherwise annually, by the NISA Board.


2. Membership

2.1. The Nominations Committee is to comprise:

2.1.1. Chair (NISA Board Chair)

2.1.2. Member (NISA Independent Non-Executive Director – Legal Matters)
2.1.3. Member (NISA Independent Non-Executive Director – Human Resources Matters)

2.2. The membership of the committee is to be approved by the NISA Board.


3. Responsibilities

3.1. The NISA Nominations Committee is to have the following responsibilities (and any other responsibilities which the NISA Board may allocate to the committee from time to time) and the delegated authority to carry out the tasks listed:

3.1.1. to lead on the open recruitment, on a skills and experience basis, of NISA Independent Non-Executive Directors, and to recommend candidates to the NISA Board for approval;

3.1.2. to lead on the review of the skills and experience of candidates nominated by NISA Full Members and NISA Life Members to stand for election to the positions of Portfolio Directors or Chair of NISA, and to provide assessments to the NISA Board for consideration in advance of information being sent out to the Members of NISA entitled to vote on such candidates;

3.1.3. to lead on the open recruitment, on a skills and experience basis, of the Chief Executive of the Company, and to recommend candidates to the NISA Board for approval;

3.1.4. to select interview panels to assess candidates for positions as NISA Independent Non-Executive Directors and for the position of NISA Chief Executive;

3.1.5. to maintain, and review at least annually, the skills and experience matrix of the NISA Board and the NISA Chief Executive, and to present the review to the NISA Board for endorsement;

3.1.6. to evaluate the mix of skills and experience on the NISA Board and of the Chief Executive against the desired schedule of skills and experience, to identify opportunities to improve the mix of skills whenever a recruitment or election opportunity arises, and to make relevant recommendations to the NISA Board; and

3.1.7. to agree the role descriptions and person specifications of the positions of Independent Non-Executive Directors, Portfolio Directors, Chair and Chief Executive of NISA in accordance with the skills and experience matrix endorsed by the NISA Board.


4. Proceedings

4.1. The chair of the Nominations Committee is to call a meeting of the committee at least once each year, and at such other times as recruitment or election timetables may require, setting out the time, date, venue and agenda for the meeting.

4.1.1. In the event that the chair is absent for any reason at a time when a meeting is due, the Chief Executive may request the Nominations Committee to meet.

4.1.2. Nominations Committee meetings are usually to take place face-to-face, but may take place by electronic means if necessary.

4.2. 2 members of the committee (including at least 1 independent non-executive director) are required as a quorum for a meeting of the Nominations Committee. In the event that the chair is absent for any reason, the committee may choose one of the independent non-executive directors to chair the meeting. In the event that the Chair of NISA is him/herself a candidate for election, the meeting is to be chaired by one of the independent non-executive directors.

4.3. Decision taking is to be usually by consensus.  In the event that a vote is necessary, such vote is to be by a show of hands, with the chair of the meeting having a casting vote in the event of a tie.

4.4. On an annual basis, the Nominations Committee is to review its own performance and terms of reference to ensure it is operating at maximum effectiveness and to recommend any changes it considers necessary to the NISA Board for approval. This review may be undertaken at a specific Nominations Committee meeting.


5. Reporting

5.1. The Nominations Committee is to maintain written minutes of its meetings.

5.1.1. The chair of the Nominations Committee is to provide a written report (which may be in the form of the Nominations Committee meeting minutes) to the NISA Board at least once per year, and at such other times as the recruitment or election timetable requires.

5.2. The NISA Board is to invite the chair of the Nominations Committee to make a presentation to the Board on the committee’s work at least once a year, and at such other times as the Board may request.


6. Expenses

6.1. All Nominations Committee members are to be entitled to claim travel and accommodation expenses for reimbursement in accordance with NISA’s Travel & Expenses Policy.

6.1.1. All expenses are to be submitted on the NISA Expenses Claim Form to the NISA office within two months of each Nominations Committee Meeting.




This current version of the terms of reference was approved and adopted at the NISA Board Meeting on 23 March 2017.


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