The Constitution of the National Network of Assessment Centres
The formal network of centres is named the National Network of Assessment Centres and is referred to in the Constitution as the NNAC.
Aims and Objectives
- To facilitate a network of assessment centres conducting assessments for the Disabled Students’ Allowances;
- To exchange information, knowledge and expertise within the network;
- To act as a lobbying organisation advocating and promoting the aims and interests of members;
- To contribute to a Quality Assurance framework for assessment centres;
- To facilitate and support specialist assessors in professional accreditation and ongoing compliance with competency and quality assurance procedures;
- To promote the activities of the NNAC using a range of appropriate publicity materials and marketing opportunities;
- To contribute to, or undertake research activities in the pursuit of enhancing disability equality and inclusion;
- To offer guidance and information, and to support the activities of other providers aiming to promote equal opportunities for people with disabilities, specific learning difficulties and disabling medical conditions;
- To co-operate with other agencies in the development of regional, national and international networks designed to encourage the inclusion and achievements of people with disabilities, specific learning difficulties and disabling medical conditions.
Application for membership of the NNAC will be open to all registered centres providing Disabled Students’ Allowance assessments that:
- implement and comply with an accepted Quality Assurance Framework;
- appear on the list circulated to funding authorities and students by SLC and DfE;
- participate fully in the Quality Assurance Framework processes including audits applied by DfE or other appropriate auditing body
The NNAC is organised into 5 area groups (North East, North West, Central, South East and South West) to reflect the regional development of the NNAC and to represent the interest of members in a local context.
Each Region will elect a Centre Manager from that region to serve as the regional representative on the Executive Committee. Regional representatives shall hold the position for one year, although post holders may stand for re-election.
Regional groups will meet a minimum of three times per annum.
The Executive Committee consists of Chair, Vice-Chair, Treasurer and the five regional representatives. Additional members may be elected to the Committee and appropriate persons may be co-opted onto the Executive for specific tasks as required. The Chair and Vice Chair will normally be Assessment Centre Managers, although other appropriate persons may be proposed for election or co-option.
The posts of Chair and Vice-Chair will be drawn from the membership or other nominated persons and will be held for one year. Post holders may stand for re-election. The Chair may not hold another elected post.
Nominations for the three posts of Chair, Vice Chair and Treasurer are made to the Administrative Centre on the nomination forms supplied prior to the Annual General Meeting (AGM). In the event of there being more than one nomination for a post, a postal or electronic ballot will be conducted and the outcome announced at the AGM.
In the event of the post of Chair, Vice-Chair or Treasurer becoming vacant during the year of office, it will be filled by a volunteer from the Executive Committee or another appropriate person co-opted to the post and the Executive Committee. The person so appointed normally will retire at the next AGM, but may be eligible for formal election to the post through the usual procedures.
Members of the Executive Committee will represent NNAC on relevant forums and attend meetings and other events as required. Where alternative or additional representation in such activities is required, the Executive Committee will elect or co-opt appropriate persons.
Please click here to see contact details for individual members of the Executive Committee.
Obligations for Members
Members will agree to abide by the following commitments:
- To comply fully with the aims, objectives and Quality Assurance Standards of the NNAC and appropriate auditing bodies;
- To pay membership fees by the agreed date;
- To attend the Annual General Meeting;
- To attend a minimum of two regional meetings each year;
Cessation of Membership
Cessation of membership will be endorsed by the Executive Committee.
Membership will cease:
- If a member fails to meet the obligations for members as set out in this Constitution.
- If a member has not paid the Annual Membership Fee within the stipulated time (see Finance section).
With regard to 1 (above):
Where a member is considered to have failed to meet the obligations of membership, the Executive Committee shall examine all the facts and circumstances involved (including consultation with involved parties). The Executive will then make a decision regarding the cessation of membership. Cessation will be by Resolution by the Executive Committee. The member concerned will be notified in writing of the decision by the Chair of the Executive Committee. (See Finance section for information on fees)
On cessation of membership a member shall cease to have any interest in the funds of the NNAC and shall be liable for all NNAC fees up to and including the date that cessation of membership takes place, and for the return of any NNAC property or goods.
There will be no reimbursement of the membership fee.
On cessation of membership a Member shall forfeit the right to use the corporate identity of the NNAC (including logo) in any of their activities, on publicity and marketing materials or any communications (paper based or electronic).
The quorum at meetings shall be achieved by the presence of recognised representatives from at least 50% of the membership. Where a member is unable to be present, an alternative representative can be proposed. Arrangements for a representative attending the meeting or a nominee to be granted voting rights will be notified to the Regional Representative (for regional meetings) and Chair of Executive Committee meetings, in advance.
An Annual General Meeting of the NNAC shall take place to review the activities of the organisation, to elect officers to posts, to receive year reports from elected officers, to consider NNAC finances and constitutional matters, and any other business of importance to the organisation. The AGM will take place as an event itself or as part of a larger event each year. Centre managers are required to attend (see Obligations for Members) or to send a representative. The representative may have voting rights as agreed in advance. Centres are normally expected to send only one representative to the AGM.
Extraordinary Meetings of the NNAC may be called at the discretion of the Executive Committee or through the combined wish of a minimum of 25% of the total membership. A minimum of 2 weeks notice of the date of the meeting will be given.
Dates of all meetings will be published on the NNAC website and communicated to the membership, normally by the regional representatives or through NNAC Administration.
Items to be included on the agenda of meetings of the NNAC should be received by a member of the Executive Committee no later than 7 days in advance of the relevant meeting.
Each centre has voting rights at meetings of the NNAC including the AGM and Extraordinary Meetings. These rights can only be exercised by the Assessment Centre Manager or a nominee, on the basis of one Centre, one vote.
Members normally may not bring or send observers to the AGM but may bring personal assistants as necessary to aid mobility or communication to meetings. Additional centre representatives may attend the AGM if agreed with the Executive Committee in advance of the AGM. Personal Assistants and additional representatives have no voting rights.
Normal business will be agreed by a majority vote.
Voting at NNAC meetings normally shall be by a show of hands or other public indication. A secret ballot may be held where a majority of members request a secret ballot or the Executive Committee considers this appropriate. Any matter put to the meeting shall be considered “passed” if a majority of votes are cast in favour of it. If the votes are otherwise equal, the Chair of the meeting shall have a casting vote.
The membership may appoint any other committees or Working Groups with such terms of reference as they may deem necessary. Committees and appointees shall be responsible to, and shall report directly to, the Executive Committee. They may not act for or bind the NNAC unless authorised to do so in writing by the Executive Committee.
Minutes are required to be made of all meetings and copied to the Executive Committee for further circulation, where applicable. Minutes normally will be circulated between members of the appropriate Committee or Working Group within 10 working days of the meeting. All minutes are considered confidential, must remain within NNAC’s membership and must not be circulated to other parties, in full or in part.
The NNAC’s monies shall be kept in an account at a bank or building society. The Executive Committee shall appoint persons to carry out transactions on any such accounts. Three signatories will be authorised – the Treasurer, the Chair and the Vice-Chair or other nominee of the Executive. Any two signatories will be required on cheques, although as transactions are more usually made electronically, power is delegated to the Treasurer and/or Chair/Vice Chair to carry out both on-line and telephone banking activities. This will enable the Treasurer and/or Chair/Vice Chair to access the NNAC account, make payments and make secure telephone transactions or enquiries.
Unless otherwise decided by the membership, the NNAC’s financial year shall run from April 1st to March 31st of the following year.
The NNAC shall cause proper books and accounts to be kept of all transactions, assets and liabilities. The accounts shall be certified by a qualified accountant. Annual accounts shall be prepared in respect of each financial year which, together with the Treasurer’s report thereon, shall be presented to the AGM each year.
NNAC will not be responsible for the subsistence and travel expenses of members other than as agreed by the Executive Committee or membership.
All Members shall pay an annual membership fee. New members will pay a joining fee and will then pay the annual membership for the subsequent year’s membership fee.
Proposed changes to membership fees will be put to members and be subject to ratification at the AGM. Membership fees are due annually on April 1st and payment due within one month of the beginning of the subscription year.
If the fee is not paid within that month, the member shall be advised in writing that if the fee is not received within one further calendar month, membership shall be deemed to have lapsed. In this circumstance a re-application for membership must be accompanied by all unpaid fees. (See Cessation of Membership for additional information on fees).
Members who require clarification on the interpretation of this Constitution should consult the Executive Committee.
No alteration shall be made to this Constitution except by Resolution proposed and passed at the AGM or an Extraordinary Meeting called for the purpose. Resolutions should be considered passed if agreed by a majority of not less than three-quarters of those eligible to vote. A postal or electronic ballot may be provided if supported by one-quarter of representatives present.
The NNAC may be dissolved if at least three-quarters of the total membership of the NNAC so resolve at a meeting of the membership on the day stated in that Resolution (being at least six months after the passing of that Resolution).
If demanded by one-quarter or more of the membership, a secret ballot shall be held on any such Resolution and this shall not be passed unless the total number of votes in favour should equal or exceed three-quarters of the total membership of the NNAC.
In the event of the NNAC being dissolved, all outstanding debts will be paid and any surplus funds shall be divided amongst the membership equally.