Role Description: Dart Centre Europe Board Trustee

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Applications are now invited from prospective board members with relevant experience and skills who can contribute to the exciting future development of Dart Centre Europe.

Position Title: Board Member

Responsible to: The Chair and Board of Directors 

Purpose of Dart Centre Europe

Dart Centre Europe (DCE) carries out its activities across the UK, Continental Europe, the Mediterranean and the former Soviet region. It advances education for the public benefit in the field of journalism by the provision of education and training of journalists in issues of trauma and skills related to covering traumatic news events, and by promoting research for the public benefit in issues of trauma and to publish these useful results.

The Dart Centre Europe’s mission is to:

Advocate ethical and thorough reporting of trauma; compassionate, professional treatment of victims and survivors by journalists; and greater awareness by media organisations of the impact of trauma coverage on both news professionals and news consumers.

Educate journalists and journalism students about the science and psychology of trauma and the implications for news coverage.

Provide a professional forum for journalists in all media to analyse issues, share knowledge and ideas, and advance strategies related to the craft of reporting on violence and tragedy.

Create and sustain interdisciplinary collaboration and communication among news professionals, clinicians, academic researchers, and others concerned with violence, conflict and tragedy.

Purpose of Role

The Board is the governing body for Dart Centre Europe. The role of board members is to provide the organisation with effective strategic leadership, direction, challenge, support and guidance. Board members work in partnership with fellow board members, the Chair, and operational staff to ensure that strategic, business and operational plans support the organisation’s vision, mission and priorities. Board members also deliver the duties and responsibilities of a Company Director as set out in the Companies Act(s) and those of a Trustee, as required by law and the Charity Commission.

Term of Office

DCE Board Membership is usually for an initial term of three years. After three years, board members can either put themselves forward for re-election for a further term or choose to step down from the board. Board Members usually only stand for two consecutive terms. In exceptional circumstances where it will benefit the organisation, the DCE board can extend a board member’s term by a further three years.

Valuing diversity of thinking and lived experience

Dart Centre Europe is a forward-thinking, inclusive organisation and recognises the value of diversity. While current Trustees have a mix of skills and insights we are keen to strengthen the diversity of our Board therefore we invite applications from the widest pool of candidates possible – irrespective of social background, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender or disability. We are an organisation that strives to be truly representative of journalism communities across the UK and wider Europe.

Main duties and tasks

Board members are responsible for:

  • Ensuring that the organisation complies with all legal requirements and Charity Commission regulations.
  • Oversight of the organisation’s performance, ethics, finances and risk management.
  • Delegating day-to-day and operational matters to DCE staff.
  • Ensuring that all board members act in the best interests of the organisation and not in the interests of any other company or organisation.

Board members will act collectively to:

  • Govern the organisation and make decisions to ensure the delivery of the organisation’s activities effectively.
  • Operate within the terms of the governing document, the Memorandum and Articles of Association, as well as the Board Terms of Reference and the requirements of relevant legislation.
  • Contribute to and support decisions made at formal board meetings.
  • Delegate some duties or specific aspects of governance to appointed sub-committees or working groups. Decision-making remains the responsibility of the board.

Key skills, attributes, and desirable qualities

 Board members are expected to:

  • Act in good faith and with honesty, prudence, and competence in all activities.
  • Show commitment to the organisation’s aims and values.
  • Demonstrate understanding of the DCE network and sector community.
  • Be able to evaluate and interpret information and challenge in a constructive way.
  • Prepare for and participate in the discussions and decisions of the Board.
  • Attend board meetings, general meetings and selected exceptional or training events.
  • Meet the HMRC ‘Fit & Proper Person’ test.
  • Be legally eligible to act as a Charity Trustee.
  • Not put themselves in a position where personal interests conflict or might conflict with those of the organisation. Recognise any conflict of interest and abstain from decision making accordingly.
  • Participate in performance appraisal of individual operational staff.

Board members should be able to contribute some of the following skills:

  • Wide experience in, and knowledge of, journalism and associated fields.
  • Financial management, including budgeting and accounts.
  • Business acumen, commercial understanding, analysis and judgement.
  • Willingness to fully participate in constructive debate.
  • Decision-making based on the organisation’s strategy and the interests of the DCE network.
  • Trust, openness, respect, honest communication, and integrity.
  • Able to set aside personal interests and fully support collective decisions.
  • IT literate, able to use email and willing to use technology, e.g. for virtual meetings.

Board members should be in a position to contribute special skills in one or more of the following areas:

  • Journalism, with experience in news, current affairs, investigations, or editorial leadership.
  • Mental Health, with experience, for example, as a clinician or researcher.
  • Financial management and/or experience as a Treasurer.
  • Fund raising.
  • HR, training, or personnel development.
  • Legal matters.
  • Digital Marketing or PR, including social media

The board may co-opt additional people to fill gaps if needed.

The board member role is not remunerated but reasonable expenses will be reimbursed in accordance with the organisation’s expenses policy.

In terms of time commitment, a board member is expected to attend a minimum of six board meetings of 2-2.5 hours each per year. One of these meetings is normally in-person, usually in London, while the others are held online. (In 2023 an in-person meeting has been arranged for June 10th) Attendance is also required at the AGM, as well as any other meetings or events as needed.