Policy Committee


The Policy Committee and its respective committees shall provide advice to Council, the Board and staff acting as a representative body of the members of the Company.

Main Responsibilities

The Policy Committee works through sub-committees that are advisory. They advise staff, and through the staff advise the Board, rather than make decisions. The one exception to this principle is where the Director General, with the approval of the Board, may decide to ask a sub-committee to exercise powers which would normally be exercised by staff. At present (April 2007), no sub-committee has been requested to act in this manner. The Policy Committee will:

  • complement staff skills and advise staff on specific professional issues;
  • provide an external reference point;
  • act as advocates for the CLA externally within their disciplines;
  • assist with policy development and to advise on the implementation of policy;
  • advise on major projects where a primary significance of the project relates to a sub-committee’s discipline;
  • establish a strong working relationship with the staff and provide a sounding board, including the encouragement of staff on the ground, training and mentoring;
  • advise Council on the appointment of members of the Board;
  • recruit appropriate new members to the sub-committee with the assistance of other members of the sub-committee;
  • report, via the sub-committee Chairmen to Council and the Board on the work and concerns of the sub-committee and its composition;
  • develop close working relationship with the Board to ensure that there is an appropriate match between policy requirements and resources.

Sub Committees

Initially there will be 6 sub-committees focusing on the following area:

  • Agriculture & Land Use : advising on commodities, CAP, animal health, agricultural aspects of rural development;
  • Business & Rural Economy : advising on rural development, retailing, social issues, rating, tourism, employment, training, economy, development schemes, planning, minerals, renewable energy, businesses and professionals;
  • Environment : advising on climate change, waste disposal, resources, heritage, water bill, implementation of the Water Framework Directive, nutrients, fisheries, flood and coastal defence;
  • Forestry & Woodlands : advising on access, CAP, economic viability, environment, grants, land use, rural development, wood fuel, wood plotting.
  • Legal & Property Rights : advising on property, access, field sports, rural crime, environment law;
  • Taxation : advising on budgets, capital gains tax, inheritance tax, income and corporation tax, VAT;

The detailed terms of reference of the sub-committees will be made available in due course.


The Policy Committee shall consist of the following members:

  • members elected from each Region in the manner provided in article 21.2 of the Articles of Association;
  • such number of members as is equal to the number elected pursuant to article 18.2(a) in the Articles of Association, elected by Council from its past and present members;
  • the Officers;
  • the Chairman of the Audit and Risk Committee;
  • the chairman of each sub-committee established by the Policy Committee;
  • the European Vice President if not already a member of the Policy Committee pursuant to article 18.2(e) in the Articles of Association;
  • the five previous Presidents of the Company and/or the Unincorporated Association as the case may be;
  • any person co-opted by the Policy Committee;
  • up to two representatives each of such bodies known to be sympathetic to the Objects as the Policy Committee shall decide, to be elected annually by the remaining members of the Policy Committee.

Qualities and Experience


  • an understanding of, a commitment to, and passion for, the CLA, its purpose and its work;
  • readiness to act solely in the best interests of the CLA, without regard to personal interest or benefit;
  • ability to bring personal knowledge and experience to bear on some of the CLA’s activities;
  • readiness and time to get involved in grass roots activity;
  • integrity, maturity, wisdom, good judgement and independence of mind;
  • a good team player;
  • ability and willingness to be an ambassador for the CLA and to represent the CLA positively to external audiences.


  • knowledge of the aims and objects of the CLA;
  • an understanding of the current and future needs and requirements of the CLA’s members;
  • an understanding of, and interest in, the main challenges facing the CLA for 5-10 years ahead;
  • a good understanding of the CLA’s work on the ground;
  • knowledge and background in a relevant area of the CLA’s work.

Membership of Sub-Committees

It is important that the membership of the sub-committees reflects the breadth of the CLA’s work in the area covered by the sub-committee. In making their recommendations, the Sub-committee Chairmen will take into account the skills, experience and personal qualities of the candidates and the particular areas in which the sub-committee would benefit from a stronger base of expertise, knowledge or perspective.

The sub-committees (excluding ex officio and staff members) shall consist of no more than twenty members.

The chairmen and vice chairmen of the sub-committees are elected by the sub-committees on the advice of the Policy Committee.

Sub-committees may co-opt specialist consultants when particular subjects outside the known expertise of their members are being discussed. Such co-opted members need not necessarily be CLA members. All co-opted members of sub-committees are appointed annually and should be approved by Policy Committee.

All sub-committees may constitute any number of working groups as they think fit in the fulfilment of their work, but all such working groups are required to report to Policy Committee, via their sub-committee, particularly where any matter of policy is being formulated.

Through regional directors, branch committees are invited annually (by the committee administrator to nominate members for service on the six sub-committees of Policy Committee

All nominations are considered by the Policy Committee at its July meeting. Successful candidates are appointed for a five year term to commence service immediately after the Association’s AGM.

Each member of a sub-committee must attend at least half of the meetings held by that committee during each year. Failure to meet this requirement will mean that the membership of the sub-committee will be reviewed.

On retirement, members cannot seek re-appointment to the same sub-committee for a further year, although they are eligible for immediate nomination to another sub-committee.

The sub-committees shall be determined by rules to be made by the relevant sub-committee subject to their prior approval by the Policy Committee and failing such approval shall be prescribed by the Policy Committee.

Sub-committees are required to give a written report of their proceedings and activities to the Policy Committee.

Council members have the right to see the minutes of all sub-committees on request.


Each sub-committee will have a number of individual or joint meetings according to its circumstances and workload.

Each sub-committee will have a Secretary who will be able to call on the governance support team to provide administrative support and help to organise the meetings and induction.