Council sets the strategic direction of the BMA in line with policy decided by the representative body at the annual representative meeting. Council is responsible for the formulation of policy throughout the year. Council is the principal executive committee of the trade union.
The constitution of council is as outlined in article 72 is below.
Powers and Duties
72. The Council is the body responsible for the lawful conduct of the Association as a recognised trade union and as a professional association. The Council shall exercise such powers and do such acts and things as may be exercised or done by the Association or are conferred on it pursuant to the articles and bye-laws and are not, by the provisions of any statute or of the articles, directed to be exercised or done by the Board, a General Meeting or by the Representative Body.
In particular the Council shall have power, in the interval between successive meetings of the Representative Body, to formulate and implement policies (not being inconsistent with any policy already laid down by the Representative Body and subject to article 77(2)) on any matter affecting the Association.
A new constitution for council was agreed at the 2005 annual representative meeting. Council has a maximum of 38 voting members and a number of ex-officio members.
Members will normally be elected to council for a four-year term of office. Half of the voting membership will be elected every two years.
The full constitution of council is set out below:
- The president of the association
- Chair of the representative body
- Deputy chair of the representative body
- Chair of council
- The chair of Northern Ireland council
- The chair of Scottish council
- The chair of Welsh council
And the chairs of those committees and boards as specified annually by council on the advice of the organisation committee, subject to the proviso that the number of ex-officio members (excluding the four chief officers: the president of the association, the chair of the representative body, the chair of council and the treasurer) shall not exceed half the total number of voting members.
Council will normally consist of 34 voting members, although council may from time to time increase the number of voting members up to a maximum total of 38.
Voting members are elected from a single UK constituency and are drawn from all UK electoral zones and from all branches of practice.
To ensure a spread of members from around the UK and from the various branches of practice, at least one member will be elected from each electoral zone and at least one from each branch of practice. Medical students will be limited to a maximum of two elected members and retired members to one elected member.
The UK electoral zones are: Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales, north eastern, north western, central, eastern, London, central southern, and south western.
The branch of practice categories are: academics, armed forces, consultants, general practice, junior doctors, medical students, occupational medicine, public health medicine, retired doctors, staff, associate specialists and specialty doctors.
Only those members directly elected to council by the membership of the BMA are eligible to vote at council meetings; ex-officio members are not eligible to vote unless directly elected in some other capacity.