Terms of Reference
A healthy British Columbia
To improve the health of all British Columbians through leadership and collaboration to address the risk factors and health inequities that contribute significantly to chronic disease.
BCHLA is guided by a commitment to
- Utilizing a population health approach.
- Addressing populatins and geographic regions where need is high and radiness for change is evident.
- Reducing inequities in health status.
- Fostering integration across approaches to chronic disease prevention.
- Building upon existing programs, experiences and networks.
- Basing decisions and actions on the best available evidence.
- Respecting the unique strengths, experience, expertise, and various levels of participation of Alliance organizations.
Collaborative: BCHLA will be collaborating in all its work, as this forms the basis for leveraging the strengths of the members, extending abilities, and engaging diverse audiences and vulnerable populations.
Visionary and forward-thinking: BCHLA will have foresight in its planning, will work towards the vision of a healthy British Columbia, and will be receptive to promising and creative approaches in health promotion.
Accountable: BCHLA is reliable, dependable and accountable in its actions.
- Alliance Building
- Build and sustain the commitment and participation of the members of the Alliance.
- Chronic Disease Prevention and Healthy Living
- Working to reduce the prevalence of risk factors for chronic disease.
- Working to reduce the health inequities that contribute to chronic disease.
The Coordinating Committee enables BCHLA’s Vision, Mission and Goal by providing collaborative leadership for the Alliance and facilitating a coordinated, comprehensive approach to implementing select initiatives. The Coordinating Committee was responsible for the stewardship of the $25.2 million grant from the provincial government.
The Coordinating Committee strives for inclusiveness, while recognizing that size limitations are necessary for this group to provide effective leadership for the Alliance. The Committee includes both voting members and advisory (non-voting) members. All members participate fully in discussions.
All Coordinating Committee Member organizations are required to appoint a senior representative (CEO/Executive Director) to make decisions on behalf of their organization regarding their involvement in the Alliance. A second senior representative may be appointed to represent the organization to ensure continuity. Member organizations must commit to participating in the work of BCHLA; attend quarterly meetings and provide a financial or in-kind contribution to the Alliance.
The Coordinating Committee meets in-person at least four times a year. Both the senior representative and their designated senior representative are welcome to attend all meetings of the Coordinating Committee. In the event that neither can attend a meeting, the senior representative or the designated senior representative may authorize another senior member of the organization to represent them, participate in discussions and in the case of voting members, vote on issues arising at the meeting. Such designation must be in writing and provided to the Secretariat prior to the commencement of the meeting. Such a designated representative of a voting member will count towards a quorum.
All members of the Coordinating Committee will strive to ensure there is continuity in representation and attendance at meetings.
The role of the Coordinating Committee includes:
- Setting the strategic direction
- Developing partnerships to realize the Vision, Mission and Goal
- Identifying priorities for promoting and influencing public policy and engaging in advocacy
- Providing stewardship and collaboration relating to the investment strategies related to the three pillars of healthy eating, physical activity, tobacco reduction and the community health promotion capacity building strategy. This includes assigning leads for initiatives, approving their implementation plans, then monitoring the impact and outcomes and providing direction when necessary
- Supporting and enabling the evaluation by approving the overall approach and key elements of the implementation and ensuring access to relevant data for tracking the aggregate progress on the targets
- Communicating common messages by representing BCHLA and speaking on behalf of the collective rather than from their own organization's perspective
Any items requiring a decision are circulated to the Coordinating Committee members, in the agenda, one week prior to the meeting at which the decision is to be made. When Coordinating Committee members are canvassed on issues as part of this agenda package, or within two weeks, the absence of a response will be interpreted as acquiescence.
A consensus decision-making model is used by the Coordinating Committee. Consensus is defined as the willingness among all members to support a decision once it is made. Consensus does not mean that all members necessarily think the chosen decision is the best one, or even that it will work. Rather, all members feel that their organizations’ position has been expressed, heard and understood in the process of arriving at the final decision.
Consensus of the full committee, voting and non-voting, is especially important when a decision has a major impact on the direction of BCHLA. Voting members will, when necessary, confirm consensus through a show of hands.
When consensus cannot be reasonably reached, members may agree to disagree. At this time the Chair, or any member of the committee, can ask for a formal vote. At least 2/3 of the voting members (6 of 9) must be present to constitute a quorum.
Each voting member shall have only one vote at meetings. At least 2/3 of voting members (6 of 9) must be in agreement for a vote to carry. Written proxies from a voting member unable to attend a meeting, or alternately a designated representative, may be provided to the Chair or Secretariat in advance of the meeting, however such proxies do not count towards a quorum. Proxies may only be given to another voting member.
Conflict of Interest Guidelines
Committee and staff members must inform the Chair prior to or at the beginning of the meeting, if the potential for conflict of interest exists (e.g. financial loss/gain, personal relationship.)
Based on this information, the Chair recommends one of the following and seeks the agreement of the full committee as to whether the committee or staff member with the potential conflict of interest will:
- participate fully, or
- contribute to the discussion, but refrain from making recommendations and abstain in the decision making, or
- leave the room when the issue in question is being discussed and the decisions made, or
- withdraw from the committee indefinitely
The responsibility for identifying conflicts lies with the committee or staff member with the conflict.
Declaration of and withdrawal of members due to potential conflict of interest must be duly recorded in Committee meeting minutes.
If the Chair identifies that he/she has a potential conflict, the Past Chair or Chair Elect of the Committee, will decide as above.
The Chair is the official spokesperson and representative of BCHLA. She/he presides over the Coordinating Committee and Operations Committee meetings and signs correspondence on behalf of BCHLA.
The Chair must be a voting member and is selected and ratified by members of the Operations Committee as the term of the Chair expires. The Chair shall serve a two-year, non-renewable term.
Responsibilities of the BCHLA Chair include:
- Chairing meetings of the Coordinating Committee and the Operations Committee – seeks/builds consensus, calls for a vote (can also be requested by any member of the meeting), shapes agenda
- Spokesperson and primary representative to external audiences
- Providing direction when appropriate on emerging issues requiring an immediate response
- Guiding and ensuring appropriate governance process
- Enabling appropriate participation of Coordinating Committee members
- On behalf of the Coordinating and Operations Committee, providing direction to the Director of the Secretariat
- Fiduciary responsibility: signs documents on behalf of BCHLA (correspondence, contracts); reviews expenses of Director
In the absence of the Chair, the Past Chair or Chair Elect can assume the responsibilities’ of the Chair. The Past Chair commitment is for one year following their term. At the beginning of the second year of the Chair’s term, an incumbent is selected by the Operations Committee to assume the responsibilities of Chair Elect.
Working Groups are appointed and directed by the Coordinating Committee to conduct defined tasks on behalf of BCHLA. A working group’s term is finite and is defined by the tasks it undertakes. The scope of work is defined by the Coordinating Committee and will include clearly identified tasks, outcomes, and timelines. The decision making process and conflict of interest guidelines are assumed to be adopted, with any exceptions being noted in that Working Groups’ Terms of Reference.
Membership in a working group is comprised of individuals with skill sets appropriate to the task and may consist of members of the Coordinating Committee, staff of the Secretariat, staff of member organizations and/or other external experts. A member of the Coordinating Committee (voting or non-voting) will be identified as Chair of each Working Group to ensure effective communication and accountability. Participation is voluntary.
The BCHLA Network is a mechanism to facilitate collaborative action to promote the BCHLA’s strategic direction of physical activity, healthy eating and living smoke-free.
Through the BCHLA Network, organizations can share information through the website and other communication tools, participate on working groups and in advocacy activities.
At the discretion of BCHLA, the BCHLA Network is open to an organization that:
- has a provincial scope or is a regional/local alliance with a mission which is aligned with the work of the BCHLA
- endorses BCHLA’s mission and goals; and
- is a non-profit organization
Organizations will not be eligible for participation in the Network if:
- They are representing the specific interests of companies engaged in promoting products or services not consistent with the mission and goals of BCHLA
- Any part of their mandate or activities would appear to conflict with the mission and goals of BCHLA
Participation in the BCHLA Network does not imply the endorsement by BCHLA of the participating organization or its activities
Organizations wishing to participate in the BCHLA network are invited to submit an application. The Secretariat is authorized to approve applicants meeting all of the approved criteria. If the Secretariat has any concerns about the eligibility of an applicant, it will refer the application for consideration and decision by the Operations Committee. The term of membership in the BCHLA Network is one year renewable upon confirmation by BCHLA and the member.
The Secretariat operationalizes the strategic directions set by the Coordinating Committee and is the liaison with other Provincial and National Alliances and the BCHLA Network.
The Operations Committee selects a Director of the Secretariat who has the delegated responsibility for all operational functions within the limits defined by the Operations Committee and according to a Business Plan which is ratified annually by the Operations Committee.
Responsibilities of the BCHLA Director of the Secretariat include:
- Creating and maintaining contractual relationships with the voting members leading initiatives, for coordinating and streamlining regular reporting, monitoring and identifying issues related to the overall process on the four strategies and communications and evaluation plan
- Assisting with the evaluation initiative, monitoring the external evaluation activities and ensuring consistency across initiatives’ internal evaluation activities.
- Strategically coordinating communications related to BCHLA-funded initiatives and strategies and managing communications where they relate to the positions and activities of the Alliance as a whole
- Facilitating activities to promote and influence healthy public policy
- Providing efficient administration and support for effective governance
- Representing BCHLA and serving as the liaison to government and external groups
The BC Recreation and Parks Association (BCRPA) is the current Fiscal Agent for BCHLA. All funds received by BCHLA are held by BCRPA for the exclusive use of the approved plans by the Coordinating Committee. Through its obligation to the Ministry of Health via the December 15, 2005 Transfer Agreement, BCRPA is legally accountable for this grant.
Responsibilities of BCRPA as the Fiscal Agent include:
- Co-signing of contracts (along with Chair and Secretariat)
- Serving as employer of Secretariat staff (with no supervisory responsibility)
- Providing audited statements of funds received for BCHLA
- Issuing and payment of invoices issued to BCHLA
- Submitting financial reports to the Secretariat
- Applying the internal policies of BCRPA as well as additional policies of BCHLA for the proper management and reporting of funds
- The ultimate liability with respect to ensuring that the Ministry of Health funds are used for the purposes intended