Structure, governance and management
Cats Protection is an unincorporated charitable association. It was founded on 16 May 1927. The charity’s constitution is set out in the ‘Rules and Byelaws’ of the charity. Cats Protection has a corporate trustee – a company set up to act as Trustee – Cats Protection Trustee Ltd. The constitution is set out in the company’s Memorandum and Articles of Association.
Cats Protection Trustee Ltd has a board of nine unpaid Directors.
The Board met eight times in the year to administer the affairs of the charity, set strategies and policies and approve all major expenditure programmes. Directors of the Corporate Trustee Company serve for a period of five years and are then eligible for re-election.
At the Annual General Meeting, an Advisory Council is elected with between 10 and 22 members. The functions of the Advisory Council are to elect five Directors to the board of the Corporate Trustee Company from among its members and to advise the Board. All Directors of the Corporate Trustee Company are also Advisory Council members. The Advisory Council met four times in the year.
The Board comprises the following:
- five members elected by the Advisory Council and
- up to four Directors appointed by the Board for their specific skills
New Directors, Advisory Council and Committee members are familiarised with the workings of the charity and its policies through induction training, visits to branches and adoption centres and meetings with the Chairman, other Directors and the Chief Executive. Ongoing training and support for all Directors is provided through formal and informal briefings from the Chief Executive, Executive Management Team, third-party specialists or external courses as appropriate.
The Board has two sub-committees. The Investment Committee assists the Board in safeguarding the charity’s financial assets and in determining investment policy. It meets at least twice annually with investment managers, advisors and relevant staff. The Audit Committee assists the Board in fulfilling its obligations to ensure effective financial reporting, systems and internal controls are in place. It meets at least twice annually and comprises three Directors, at least one Cats Protection volunteer and at least one external independent member, both with relevant skills. The Board reviews the work of the Committees throughout the year. Appointments to both Committees are made by the Board.
The implementation of policies, control of approved financial programmes and day-today operations are the responsibility of the Chief Executive, who is assisted by an Executive Management Team.
For operational effectiveness, the UK is split into regions. Regional staff are responsible for developing the activities of volunteer-run branches and establishing new ones in areas of need. We have 12 regions in total. As part of our commitment to supporting local branches, some of our management is located away from the National Cat Centre and nearer to our branches and centres across the UK. This gives more focus and support for the branches and helps provide an integrated service across branches and adoption centres.
Our work in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland is managed centrally and under the same integrated governance and management structure.