Council members' responsibilities

Strategy and planning

The Council is responsible for strategy, planning and performance management within the AHRC. Specific requirements for these activities are articulated in the AHRC's Management Statement. In undertaking these activities the Council considers the requirements of Government. One of its main tasks is the oversight of the production of the Strategic and Delivery Plans, and the key strategic objectives and targets therein. A summary of key planning and reporting documents are set out at Annex 4. 

Role of the AHRC Chair

The Chair shares with the Chief Executive responsibility for representing the AHRC. Their roles are set out more fully in the Management Statement. The Chair, with the assistance of the Chief Executive, has particular responsibility for providing effective strategic leadership on matters such as:

  • formulation of the AHRC's strategy for discharging its charter and mission effective execution, through the Chief Executive, of the decisions of the Council's governing body;
  • encouragement of high standards of propriety, and ensuring that the Council in reaching decisions, takes proper account of guidance and advice provided by the Executive, by Council's committees, and by government;
  • the promotion of efficient and effective use of staff and other resources throughout the organisation; and Chairing the appointments panel for new Council members;
  • ensuring that the Council meets regularly (March, June, September, and December) and that minutes record the views expressed at the meeting and the decisions taken;
  • ensuring that new Council members are aware of the expectations of the code of conduct and receive appropriate induction.

Corporate responsibilities of Council members

The Council is accountable to Parliament and ultimately the public through its sponsor department the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). Members of the Council have corporate responsibility for ensuring that the Council fulfils the objects of its Charter, takes account of Science Budget objectives, takes account of its stakeholders, and promotes the efficient and effective use of staff and the Council's other publicly funded resources. The role of Council is set out fully in the Management Statement. Responsibilities of individual Council members include:

  • establishing the overall strategic and policy direction of the AHRC within the policy and resource framework agreed with BEIS;
  • establishing the Mission and Strategic Plan and approving the Delivery Plan of the Council, which together cover the strategy, disposition of resources and key performance indicators and targets in respect of the Council's programmes of support for research, training, knowledge transfer and public engagement;
  • considering new opportunities and developments for the arts and humanities
  • ensuring that, in reaching decisions, the Council has taken into account any guidance issued by BEIS and the Treasury, and is acting in accordance with its delegated authority;
  • monitoring performance and ensuring that high standards of corporate governance are observed at all times;
  • ensuring that the Council operates in accordance with standards of responsiveness and openness;
  • ensuring that the AHRC's Human Resources policies are implemented and developed such that staff are managed effectively and that all staff are familiar with the AHRC's aims and objectives;
  • responsibility for monitoring the performance of the Chief Executive and senior members of staff.

Whilst the Council is responsible for the discharge of these duties it may delegate tasks to pursue these duties to the Advisory Board or ad hoc task groups. Decisions taken under delegated authority should be recorded in written minutes available to the Council as a whole.

Political activity

AHRC representatives should not occupy paid party political posts or hold particularly sensitive or high profile roles in a political party. Subject to that, representatives are free to engage in political activities, provided they are conscious of your general public responsibilities and exercise proper discretion, particularly in regard to the work of the AHRC. Representatives of AHRC should not make any political speeches or engage in other public political activities on matters relating to the business of the AHRC without first consulting the Chief Executive who will consult the Chair of Council and if necessary, BEIS.