When I wrote to you last week I outlined some of the issues we have experienced in our head office and apologised for the impact that is having on the NGB. You will understand that I am very prudent with the number of people I employ to manage the business of the NGB. There is, however, a balance to be had with keeping our costs, and thus number of employees to a minimum, whilst having enough people with the right skills to do the jobs necessary to ensure we meet our obligations as a Limited Company and a Charity, meet the requirements of our funders and partners, and provide you with a good service. The days have long gone where we can run the organisation with a few hard working volunteers. Although volunteers will always be an important and invaluable part of our sport, we are now a much bigger and more sophisticated organisation and must ensure our governance and financial probity is of the very highest standard and this means having full time people with the right skills in key posts. As I said in an earlier blog, our reputation is everything, and some of the high profile stories in the media at the moment provide good examples of the damage caused when reputation is called into question.

Against this background and having discussed with colleagues and board members, I have changed the job description for the post which heads up our Twickenham office. From now on the postholder will be called the ‘Compliance and Membership Officer’ and will have a much larger responsibility than that which was the role of the Corporate & Membership Officer. In summary the postholder will lead on:

  • Finance: similar to the previous role of Corporate Secretary: liaising with the outsourced provider to ensure accurate and timely management accounts, processing invoices and expenses, supporting the annual audit, providing the link to RFU pay roll and to external pension provider, submitting financial returns to Sport England and others who request them
  • Membership: again similar responsibilities to the previous role. The main difference is they will lead on working with an external provider to put in place an electronic membership system with the aim of getting away from the paper based system. This will mean a more customer friendly experience for members and partners
  • Governance: maintain the Governance Code Action Plan and ensuring GBWR remains compliant with current and future governance requirements, maintain GBWR policies by reviewing and updating, using our legal partner as required
  • Data Protection: act as Data Protection Officer and ensure we meet current and future requirements – this is a growing area which needs intelligent management by us
  • Safeguarding: maintain the DBS database and liaise with the RFU Safeguarding team
  • Corporate: support the Senior Management Team as required

I am delighted to be able to report that having put this new role out. Daniel Hook applied, and following successful interview with our finance trustee Andrew Flatt and myself, has been appointed. I know this will be welcome news to you as he always provided members with a good service and the responsibility for membership will remain the same. Daniel will start work on 10 November and I know you will congratulate him on his return.

David Pond