The principles of good governance and accountability to our key stakeholders have always been part of our corporate culture. We pride ourselves on our ethics of honesty, integrity, openness and fairness in how we conduct our day to day business.
The board’s role is to oversee and direct the affairs of the group, so as to further the best interests of the members, in accordance with the relevant law and our memorandum and rules. The board meets at least four times a year and its responsibilities are set out in its terms of reference, which also details the matters that are reserved specifically for the board. These include responsibility for:
The board receives and reviews regular reports from the senior management and committee chairmen on progress against approved strategies, plans and budgets.
Chairman and chief executive
The roles of the chairman and chief executive are separate. Each has clearly defined responsibilities, which are set out in writing.
The chief executive:
The vice chairman acts as the group’s senior independent non executive director. The vice chairman:
The group’s secretary acts as the secretary to the board and its committees and ensures that the board complies with all appropriate procedures.
The group is committed to ensuring that it appoints and retains non executive directors who bring experience, expertise and a range of opinions to the board. The board is committed to:
The board is of the opinion that the principles of diversity cannot be distilled down to a discussion about gender, race, disability, age, sexual orientation or religious or political beliefs. In addition, we draw our directors from a membership pool of highly educated and skilled individuals, who would find it unacceptable to be appointed to our board under any quota.
The group has been scrupulous in ensuring it makes all its appointments across the spectrum on merit alone. We believe that the key to realising the benefits of diversity lie in ensuring that our board represents the views and opinions of the different strands of the dental profession and our discussions cover the widest range of thoughts, ideas and opinions. This is only possible by selecting the most able candidates, united by a common purpose of doing the right thing for the society and our members, in an environment that encourages the directors to express their views openly and honestly.
The group encourages and welcomes interest from all candidates who would add to the quality of the board’s discussions. With this in mind, the board has considered whether it should introduce formal diversity targets in the context of its existing meritocratic process for the appointment of non executive directors. Against this overriding objective, the society does not currently propose to set targets for diversity on the board.
The governance committee evaluates the board’s balance of knowledge, skills and experience and uses this information to guide its recruitment activities and recommendations for the appointment of directors. The committee uses open advertising in dental publications as the primary means of attracting applications from interested candidates.
The committee reviews the details submitted by the interested candidates and agrees a shortlist to be interviewed and the preferred candidate recommended to the board for appointment. As part of the recruitment process, the committee considers the other commitments of the candidates to ensure they are able to devote sufficient time to the role and whether there are any conflicts of interest.
All non executive directors are reappointed annually by the members, subject to the board being satisfied with their performance and commitment to the role. The governance committee oversees the process of continued appointments.
Non executive directors appointed after 31 December 2003 must retire from the board after 15 years of service. The other non executive directors have a mandatory retirement age of 65 years. The terms and conditions of appointment of directors are available for inspection at the group’s registered office during normal business hours and at the annual general meeting.
If you have any questions please contact our company secretary Simon Elliott on 020 7400 5700.