Chair’s summary and presentation – BCS Dorset AGM

By | 20th September 2018

Below you can find some highlights from the Chair’s report for the BCS Dorset AGM this evening, and the presentation. Full and final details will be made available on

Busy year with more to do

  • We have renewed the committee following the AGM last year
  • A number of roles have changed and we are intending to reorganise in this AGM yet further
  • Relatively few talks took place in 2016-2017 and we’ve been focused on reviving this part of the Branch activities
  • An underspend of our previous budget (now returned to BCS)
  • Our new budget has been approved
  • Priorities this year include reviving our speaker programme even further
  • At the same time we have roles and activities that keen volunteers are welcome to take up
  • We continue to have access to facilities, services and opportunities through BCS that place us in an advantageous position
  • Formalities and volunteering – no formalities, ease of participation, monthly meetings

National and international context

  • Computing continues to feature in societal debate and in the news
  • From machine learning and data mining in healthcare, through to NHS cyber attacks, the prominence of computing has been substantial
  • We’re also seeking growing interest in the interface between computing and society, for example in debates about “fake news”, the computing that underpins election campaigning and voting, and more
  • On many of these topics, the national BCS organisation has made a useful contribution
  • BCS has also made positive progress in the portrayal of women in computing
  • The LGBT+ History Month campaign organised by BCS, working with the Minister of State for Digital and Culture, was a notable achievement this year
  • The BCS Computing at Schools (CAS) initiative has delivered over 46,700 training events for teachers, reaching over 1.8m school children
  • CITP is now being licensed internationally
  • Your membership dues make a substantial contribution to the above

Branch programme of events

  • We have continued to improve our programme of events this year
    • October 2018 –Social Media and Fake News
    • June 2018 – Site Visit and talk at Marston’s PLC, Ringwood
    • July 2018 –Information Management
    • AGM 2018 –Risk Attenuation and Management
    • October 2018 –How to Hack a Human
    • TBD – Dorset Police on the Police Force Drone Capability
  • Two out of every three months in 2017 and 2018 had a BCS talk (~65%)
  • Our aim is to reach 100% as a first step, and to take this further by introducing a fortnightly talk schedule (i.e. two per month)
  • We continue to liaise with speakers; to date our efforts are critically dependent on the contacts our committee have, and I would encourage the membership across Dorset to assist us in organising future events

Branch programme of events, committee organisation

  • We welcome any proposals for joint initiatives with other professional bodies (including inter-disciplinary collaborations), between BCS branches, and wider industry and charitable sectors
  • We are continuing to make efforts regarding the events programme, as we have identified it is the most successful activity the Branch has historically undertaken
  • Over the past few months we have been busy organising the committee for BCS in Dorset to continue our efforts in arranging interesting events and promoting BCS objectives in the area. A number of changes have taken place –
    • Richard Gunstone has taken over the role of Chair from Andrew Main, who remains on the committee. Peter Davidson has taken on the role of Treasurer. Ryan Trant has joined the committee this year
  • We are keen to increase participation across the whole Dorset region, and would welcome new committee members from further afield and/or proposals for events elsewhere

Membership and national financial picture

  • 2017 saw BCS celebrate its 60th Anniversary, and by all measures BCS has grown substantially over the last eight years
  • Locally, we continue to see stable levels of members, at around 800 BCS members across the Dorset region
  • This is considerably higher than the 401 members recorded in 2004, and higher than the 754 seen in 2006
  • At the national level, BCS membership has grown. For the year ended August 2017, at the national level membership increased by 2% to 72,191, a considerable increase on the 40,279 in 2004
  • Total income and endowments declined marginally to £35.11m (2016: £38.586m)
  • Total expenditure has reduced to £36.464m (2016: £36.63m)
  • Total funds carried forward were £12.096m (2016: £13.643m). Total funds for the BCS group stand at £12.096m (2016: £13.643m), and for the institute at £13.8m (2016: £15.154m). These figures are contained in the 2017 annual BCS report

Membership and national financial picture

  • The BCS still needs your support in recruiting new members and urges you as Trusted Sources to recommend candidates suitable for membership of the BCS at a professional level
  • Looking at the breakdown of membership categories, while substantial growth in lower grades of membership has been seen, less has been seen at higher grades such as MBCS, FBCS and Life FBCS
  • Your support in encouraging membership at these higher grades is very welcome

BCS in your workplace, CITP

  • BCS membership offers several benefits for IT employees, including easier access to qualifications, several member benefits, and a progression path to chartership at varying levels
  • Embracing the BCS qualification and certification route could be a crucial differentiator for organisations within Dorset
  • BCS has over the years developed a range of qualification and certification options, and these can be an invaluable source of competency development and form a basis for a corporate training
  • Ranging from ECDL, ITQ, Digital Skills, e-safety, Apprenticeships and HE programmes, through to professional certifications and chartership
  • I would encourage all members to consider how these can assist them personally but also in terms of employer recruitment and employee development
  • Chartered IT Professional (CITP) is the independent standard of competence and professionalism in the technology industry
  • In a highly-mobile profession, embracing CITP and the range of learning opportunities from BCS can help you retain talent better you’re your competitors

Other member benefits

  • Continuing Professional Development (CPD)
  • Mentoring
  • Springboard online career centre, including CV features
  • Specialist Groups
  • BCS London Office – between Covent Garden and the Strand, BCS London offers an informal drop in space for members
  • ITNOW, our quarterly magazine which is available in print or digital
  • Discounted rates for access to the ACM Digital Library
  • Industry reports – a new report each month, plus unlimited archive access
  • Selection of exclusive member discounts at the BCS Bookshop.
  • Significant discount on Professional Indemnity Insurance (PII)
  • Legal help – online or telephone
  • Discounts on several training courses, from several providers

Our strategy moving forward

  • Reflect on our past successes and build on them
  • Continue our efforts regarding our talks programme
  • Promote and foster take up of BCS membership and opportunities within Dorset

The AGM is an opportunity for us to get feedback from the membership. We also reconstitute the branch committee, and most importantly allow members to get involved in the Committee to influence its direction and efforts. We are always seeking new perspectives to the way the committee works.

Presentation file (PDF)

Presentation by the Committee to the Dorset BCS AGM 2018 – rg_agm_2018_slides_FINAL