The terms of reference and memberships of the standing committees are set by council and reviewed annually.
Terms of reference and membership
The terms of reference and memberships of the sub-committees are normally set by the committee to which they report. One exception to this rule is that the chairs of the groups committee and nations and branch committees are appointed by council.
The majority of standing committees are chaired by honorary officers or vice-presidents. In the absence of the chair at a meeting, a committee may elect any member to act as chair for that meeting.
The normal length of service on committees is:
- members – four years
- council or ex officio members – term of qualifying office
- independent external advisers – term of agreed contract.
Members retire at the end of four years and are not normally eligible for re-election to the same committee at any time during the year following retirement.
Unless stated otherwise, the quorum for a committee is 50% of members.
Article 74 of the Bylaws requires committees to make regular reports to council after each meeting on all matters within their powers. Committees should keep minutes which record those present, the date and any decisions, action points or recommendations of each meeting.
Frequency of meetings
Committees meet at such times as required by council and/or the chair. An annual committee meeting framework has been introduced to ensure that the committees and company boards meet in line with the annual cycle of business.
Diversity and inclusion
In carrying out their work, council and its committees will take into account the Institute’s vision for diversity and inclusion, working towards an inclusive, sustainable, diverse and vibrant physics community and enabling all members to participate fully in our activities.
Declarations of interest
Should a committee member note an actual or potential conflict of interest on the agenda, or should one arise during the meeting, this should be declared at the earliest opportunity and recorded in the meeting minutes.
Senior Officers' Committee (SOC)
Audit and Risk Committee
Honorary Fellows Committee
Science and Innovation Committee
Diversity and Inclusion Committee
Senior Officers’ Committee (SOC)
SOC has the following delegated responsibilities from council to:
- consider urgent and important matters that may arise between council meetings and advise the chief executive on actions including advising or consulting council
- develop the outline programme for council meetings – for consideration by council
- agree IOP policy positions and oversee public affairs activities.
The Resources Committee advises council on the core support affairs of the Institute, including responsibility for finance and investment, human resources, information technology, property and, on behalf of council, has oversight on the financial performance of IOP Publishing Ltd, IOP Enterprises Ltd and the Institute’s other trading subsidiaries. Responsibilities include:
- preparation of statutory accounts for approval by council
- review and oversight of the overall financial strategies of the Institute
- preparation of the financial envelope to inform the business plan
- review the financial performance and management accounts of the Institute, including reports from IOP Publishing Ltd, IOP Enterprises Ltd and the Institute’s other trading subsidiaries, and monitoring against the business plan
- delegated power from council to set investment policy and the management of the general investment fund
- delegated power of the employer in relation to the management and decisions associated with the Institute’s pension funds
- consider and make recommendations to council on matters relating to finance, human resources, staff remuneration, and IT.
Audit and Risk Committee
The purpose of the committee is to:
- review and help identify major areas of risk for IOP and our subsidiary companies and to ensure processes exist to manage risk in these areas
- give oversight to risk management, internal audit and external audit processes
- bring to the attention of the council any areas of high risk and/or any anomalies brought to light through the audit process
- be available to whistleblowers.
The committee is authorised by council to:
- investigate any activity within its terms of reference
- seek, and be provided with, any information it requires from any employee, officer or agent of the Institute of Physics and our subsidiary companies
- obtain outside legal or other professional advice and invite such advisors to meetings as necessary, within such budgets as council may allocate.
The responsibilities of the committee shall include, for IOP and our subsidiary companies, the following:
- oversee the appointment, independence and rotation of the external auditors
- recommend the external audit fee to the council and the appropriate boards and advise on the implications of any non-audit services provided by the auditors
- agree the nature and scope of the external audit and review the auditors’ quality control procedures
- review the external auditors’ management letters and management responses
- review the internal audit programmes, resources to achieve them and management response to any major recommendations
- review the processes for internal financial control, financial reporting and risk management
- review the risk registers and the plans and processes in place to manage and mitigate major risks
- from time to time to investigate certain processes or risks in more detail
- review the procedures for handling allegations from whistleblowers and act as the ultimate destination of whistleblowers who are not satisfied by the response through the normal channels
- consider other topics referred to it by council or our subsidiary company boards.
The Remuneration Committee agrees the remuneration and related matters for the executive directors of the Institute and its subsidiaries. Its responsibilities and powers are to:
- determine, on behalf of council, the salaries, bonuses, remuneration packages and all other matters concerning remuneration of the chief executive and the executive directors of the Institute and our subsidiaries
- ensure that appropriate benchmarking is in place in order to understand how the salary and remuneration packages of the chief executive and executive directors compare to those in other similar organisations
- ensure that any decisions around remuneration are delivering the Institute’s policy on diversity and inclusion.
The Nominations Committee has the following delegated powers from council, to:
Elected council member vacancies
- Evaluate the balance of skills, knowledge, experience and diversity of council, and, in the light of this evaluation, prepare a description of the role and capabilities required for each particular vacancy on council.
- Propose candidates for nomination by council.
- Assess nominations received from members and draw up a shortlist of those which meet the necessary skills and expertise for each vacancy.
Co-opted council member vacancies
- Evaluate the balance of skills, knowledge, experience and diversity of council and, in the light of this evaluation, nominate a candidate for each co-opted council member vacancy for approval by council.
- Delegated authority to select the winner of the Phillips Award.
- Appoint ordinary members of the Awards and Honorary Fellows Committee.
- Identify and nominate candidates for IOP nominations for public honours.
- Identify and nominate candidates for appointments made by council to external bodies.
The Awards Committee has delegated authority from council to select the winners of the awards. The Committee also advises council on matters relating to awards including terms of reference of individual awards, the addition of new awards and the termination of existing awards.
The following awards lie outside the remit of the Awards Committee:
- Institute of Physics Branches Prize
- Teachers of Physics Award
- Best Practice in Professional Development Awards
- IOP Business Awards
- any prize awarded by an IOP Group.
Honorary Fellows Committee
The Honorary Fellows Committee has delegated responsibility from council for selecting recipients for honorary fellowship of the Institute.
The Membership Committee has the following delegated responsibilities from council to:
- set, monitor and report to council on the membership programme of activities
- develop, implement and monitor membership recruitment and retention strategy
- develop and monitor the portfolio of member services and benefits
- develop and implement standards and procedures for application and election to all grades of membership
- develop and maintain standards and procedures for registration as chartered physicist
- act on behalf of the Institute with external qualification and licensing bodies
- oversee all matters relating to the Institute’s branches in England.
The Membership Committee has the following sub-committees:
- Nations & Branches Committee
- Professional Standards Committee
- Degree Accreditation Committee.
Science and Innovation Committee
The Science and Innovation Committee has the following delegated responsibilities from council to:
- inform and advise the vice-president, science and innovation on IOP policy concerning science and innovation
- advise the vice-president, science and innovation and the vice-president, business on matters relating to the Institute’s science and innovation programme of activities
- oversee, monitor and report to council on the science and innovation programme of activities
- authority to formally approve the creation of new special interest groups.
The Education Committee has the following delegated responsibilities from council to:
- inform and advise the vice-president, education on IOP policy concerning education
- set, monitor and report to council on the education programme of activities
- oversee governance of externally funded education and outreach projects.
The Education Committee has the following sub-committees:
- Scottish Education Committee
- Welsh Education Committee
- SPN Advisory Committee
- Higher Education Advisory Group
- Rugby Meeting Committee
- Curriculum Committee.
Diversity and Inclusion Committee
The core functions of the Diversity and Inclusion Committee are to:
- advise council and the Institute generally on the formulation and implementation of strategies to widen access to physics and the Institute by under-represented groups
- monitor changes in the membership profile, identify trends and recommend actions
- advise on the services and benefits provided to members
- maintain and develop schemes to recognise and reward excellence and best practice in diversity issues as they relate to physics
- ensure that diversity issues are considered in all aspects of the Institute’s work
- set and monitor appropriate targets and provide a full report to council at least once a year.
The full terms of reference of the Disciplinary Committee are set out in the regulations.
The Disciplinary Committee examines cases where a member of the Institute or other person or body has laid a complaint against a member or has alleged that such member has acted in contravention of the Bylaws.
Under the provisions of Bylaw 17, the council delegates to the Disciplinary Committee the following powers:
- to expel or suspend any member from membership
- to remove any member from the register of chartered physicists.
- to reprimand any member
- to call for a written undertaking from any member as to their future conduct
- to issue a written warning. Such warnings would be entered on to the member’s database record and would remain there for a period of two years
- to advise the register of chartered engineers and the register of chartered scientists of its decisions (this would not be done until the final outcome of the proceedings, including any appeal, is known)
- to dismiss a complaint and refund any reasonable direct costs incurred by the member in defending themselves
- to direct that a statement recording the exercise of any of the above powers shall be entered on the membership record of the member (this would not be done until the final outcome of the proceedings, including any appeal, is known).