Trade Associaton Forum Constitution

Originally endorsed by the Trade Association Forum Consultative Group on 4 October 1999 updated by the Forum Steering Group November 11th 2002


1 The mission of the Trade Association Forum is:

1.1 To promote the role of trade associations:

  • in creating a positive business environment
  • in forming public policy
  • in supporting their members with appropriate services

1.2 To disseminate best practice and increase the professionalism of trade associations.


2 Membership of the Forum will be open to all UK Trade Associations.

Steering Group

3 A Steering Group, reflecting the diverse range of membership within the Forum and with representatives from small, medium and large trade associations, will be appointed to provide guidance and assistance to the Secretariat in the development of the Forum.

3.1 The Steering Group will comprise of no more than 18 persons, and no less than 12.

3.2 The Steering Group will normally meet four times a year to discuss and agree strategic issues and to monitor the activities of the Forum including:
. The Business Plan
. Forum Activities
. Recruitment and retention

3.3 Ad hoc meetings may be called if required. A meeting of the Steering Group will be considered quorate when at least 4 members are present.

Steering Group Selection

4 Members of the Steering Group are selected in their own right as individuals and remain members of the TAF Steering Group so long as the association for which they work remains in TAF membership. This will apply even if the member changes trade association. Members are expected to be the Chief Executive/Director-General of an association although other senior staff may apply.

4.1 Twelve of the eighteen places on the Steering Group will be elected. The remaining six will be co-opted.

4.2 Elections will be held annually with one third of the Steering Group subject to election each year: ie the Steering Group will have four people being elected and another four people retiring each year. Additionally two co-opted members will retire and two be selected each year.

4.3 Members that are elected serve for a term of 3 years and are eligible for re election at the conclusion of three years. Co-opted members serve for two years and are then eligible for reselection or can seek election.

4.4 The maximum period of continuous service for both elected and co-opted members shall be six years. This does not apply to the Chair and/or Vice Chair whilst they hold office.

Achieving a Balanced Representation

5 In order to maintain a balance of representation of associations on the Steering Group, the elected portion of the Steering Group (ie a maximum of twelve places) shall be elected in staff size bands. The co-opted members shall be selected with reference to the sectors they represent.

5.1 Election by staff size is to ensure that there is an adequate number of the larger member associations represented. The number of associations in each staff band should aspire to reflect the following wherever possible.

50+ Staff 3 22.2%
>20-49 2 16.6%
>10-19 2 16.6%
>0-9 5 44.44%

5.2 Every association, regardless of its size, shall have a vote for each place on the Steering Group available and subject to election.

5.3 Candidates will stand for election within their trade association staff size band. The candidates with the most votes for each size band shall be elected.

5.4 In addition, to achieve a balanced sectoral spread on the Steering Group, the co-opted members will be selected with consideration of their association's sector. This is to ensure that one sector is not overly represented.

5.5 The sectors shall reflect the DTI sectors with some additions to cover areas that report to other Government departments.

5.6 The eighteen sectors shall be:

Aerospace and Defence Automotive Bio-science
Chemicals Construction Consumer goods and services
Environmental Marine Materials and Engineering
Communications Software and Computer services Electronics
Farming and Food Financial Oil and Gas and Power generation.
Publishing and New Media Textiles and Garments Tourism and Travel, Hospitality and Leisure.


6 Each year, the Steering Group will appoint one of its number as Chairperson and one as Vice-Chairperson to preside at meetings of the Steering Group and to represent the Forum.

6.1 The Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson will serve for a period of 12 months but may be re-appointed. There will be a maximum term of two consecutive years for the office of Chair. The Chairperson should be the Chief Executive/Director-General of a member trade association.

Director of the Forum

7 The CBI, in consultation with the Steering Group, will designate a member of its staff to act as Director of the Forum.

Administration and Finance

8 The Forum will be based within the offices of the CBI and the CBI will administer its accounts.

8.1 The Forum will be operated on a self-funding, non profit-making basis with all running costs met from subscriptions and / or commercial activities.

8.2 In the event of the Forum ceasing to operate, any accumulated surplus will be returned to current paid-up members pro-rata.


9 The Steering Group will agree by 28 February each year the level of subscription for the subsequent membership year commencing 1 April.

9.1 Subscriptions for members joining during the year will charged pro-rata.

Annual Conference

10 The Forum will hold an Annual Conference for its members on themes of current concern and interest. This will also provide the opportunity for the Chairperson and the Director to report on the work of the Forum and its objectives for the following year.

Constitutional Changes

11 This constitution may be changed with the consent of three-quarters of the Steering Group - at least nine members.

January 2003

Stuart Bean