Election of officers

The mechanism for election of local officers is:

  1. Names of nominees (all of whom will be corporate members of the Institute), with their prior approval, are submitted to the chairman of the region, branch or discussion group before the relevant AGM.
  2. Appointments are made at the AGM and are for one year.
  3. There is no limit to the number of terms of office of a committee member. They must, however, be re-elected each year.
  4. Where a committee member resigns before the end of their term of office, the remaining committee members may co-opt a replacement to fill the vacancy until the next AGM election. The co-opted member should then stand for election if they wish to continue to serve.
  5. A return of officers is required by the IBMS office every year. Please complete and send in immediately after each AGM. Branches and discussion groups should send one completed copy to the IBMS office and the other to the regional or branch (as appropriate) secretary.

The quorum for a committee meeting of a region, branch or discussion group is one-half of the committee’s membership.


Minutes are the written record of business transacted at a meeting and record the decisions reached. Except in special circumstances, the discussion that led to the decisions should not be recorded. Comment is included rarely and only when it is relevant to the corporate decision: it is not attributed to any member. The minutes should be clear, concise, factual and free from ambiguity or nuance. They should state all relevant dates and figures and not be vague.


NOT     ‘Mr J Smith suggested that the committee should … suggestion was accepted.’

BUT     ‘A proposal to….was agreed….’


As decisions are corporate ones, minority views are not recorded. There is not automatic right of those dissenting to have their names recorded.

The names of members agreeing to perform a task or reporting back to the committee are mentioned and their initials entered in a right hand ‘action’ column.

            Example:                                                                                                      Action

            ‘Mr D Light agreed to investigate the… and report back.                             DL

Sometimes the committee may be presented with information. The name and initials of the correspondent should be reported. In some cases it may simply note the communication.


            ‘A letter from Ms A Johnson drawing attention to the numbers biomedical scientists employed in the National Health Service was noted.’


Communications to the committee from its own members or from outside the committee should be paraphrased; if there are several communications expressing similar views, they may be referred to collectively.


            ‘A letter from Mrs B A Ritter questioned the need to…. It was agreed to amend…’

For ease of recall, it is best for the minutes to be prepared soon after the meeting. They should be shown to the chairman before being circulated to committee members.

If a decision or recommendation is made that requires action from an organisation or person who is not a member of the committee, the secretary should write with details even if the minutes also are sent to that organisation or individual.

(see attached document of guidance of minutes layout)