The BMC Board has decided to divide the role of CEO and Head of Access, Conservation and Environmental Sustainability into two separate positions. This follows a review of the BMC senior leadership team.
The BMC and the world in which we operate is changing: climbing, hill walking, ski mountaineering and indoor climbing are rapidly growing, competition climbing is now an Olympic sport and the challenges of Covid-19 have forced us all to think differently about how we work. At the same time, the realities of climate change mean that we must focus more resources on access, conservation and environmental sustainability.
The BMC has undergone significant organisational change following the Organisational Review Group report in 2018 and the subsequent work the Organisational Development Group has taken this forward. It is only right that the BMC’s leadership continues to evolve to ensure we have the expertise and experience to deliver on our strategic goals.
Following a review of the current make-up of the senior leadership team, the BMC Board has decided to divide the role of CEO and Head of Access, Conservation and Environmental Sustainability into two separate positions.
The original combined role has significantly expanded in recent years and it is no longer viable to have one person fulfil both sets of responsibilities. Separating the roles will enable us to increase the resources behind our access, conservation and environmental work, and create a more tightly defined CEO role to lead the organisation. It will also allow the Board to step back from day-to-day operations, and focus on strategy, effective governance and oversight.
It has been agreed that Dave Turnbull will retain his role as the Head of Access, Conservation and Environmental Sustainability, whilst the current Interim Executive, Paul Davies, will temporarily take on the CEO role. This change will take place on 1 December 2020, the Board will start the recruitment process with the aim to appoint a new CEO by early next year.
This change will allow Dave to focus his substantial experience on the BMC’s wide-reaching Access and Conservation work across England and Wales. No other issue is more important to our members, and this structural change will allow the BMC to simultaneously accelerate our Access and Conservation work, whilst also ensuring that our broader strategic goals and on-going organisational development can be achieved. Dave has an access and environmental background, has been CEO for 18 years and has steered the organisation through many challenges over this time. Most recently and notably, during COVID-19 where the BMC worked with multiple agencies, partners and stakeholders to ensure government advice was clearly interpreted and effectively communicated to members and the general public. We are immensely grateful for Dave’s contribution as CEO and look forward to his continued leadership as Head of Access, Conservation & Environmental Sustainability.
Dave Turnbull said: ‘I am personally very supportive and excited about this change. We have a first class team of Access & Conservation staff and volunteers but it’s 10 years since we made any step-change in our financial commitment to it – when we took on Elfyn Jones to lead on access issues in Wales. My focus will be to develop our staff and volunteer network to enable the BMC to deliver improved local and regional support and to add strength to our voice at a national level across England and Wales. The pressures on our cliffs and the mountain environment are greater than ever and there is much to be done.
We are also pleased that Paul Davies who has been playing an important role as Interim Executive in helping staff translate the strategic priorities into a workable operational plan, with clearly linked budgets and targets, has agreed to temporarily take over the role of CEO.
Paul Davies said: ‘It has been a pleasure to provide additional capacity to the BMC during this challenging period. The BMC responded well to the pandemic, working with partners from across the sector to provide advice and guidance, and to advocate for those passionate about the outdoors and indoor climbing. At the same time the BMC held firm to its commitment to continue its journey of organisational development, and to the delivery of the activities, such as its work in the areas of Access and Conservation, that its membership hold dear. I look forward to helping the BMC to continue this process over the coming months whilst they seek a new CEO to take this vital work forward.’
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