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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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Change

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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Articles of Association

You asked we listened

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Taking account of feedback from the NISA Membership and the EGM Focus Group, amendments have been included in Article 38 to allow:

• individuals of 16 years of age who become Full Annual Members to exercise a vote in their own right; and
• the authorised parent or guardian of individuals below 16 years of age, who become Full Annual Members, to exercise a vote on the individual’s behalf.

If the amended Articles are passed at the EGM on 2 December 2017, then any existing Associate Members who apply and are accepted to become Full Annual Members, and who have been in membership of NISA for a total of at least 13 months by the date of the 2018 AGM, will be able to exercise their vote at the 2018 NISA AGM and thereafter.

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