Head of Governance and Society Secretary

Head of Governance and Society Secretary

HF Holidays

Status: Part-time – 20 hours per week, although flexibility would be required around busy governance periods (e.g. AGM)

Contract terms: The role is available as either a permanent employee or as a self-employed contractor

Location: Flexible with frequent travel to our office in Elstree, Hertfordshire

Reporting to: Chair of the Board

Salary: Attractive

HF Holidays is a co-operative society owned by its 40,000 members worldwide. We are a dynamic and forward-thinking organisation with a strong and passionate team spread between our two head offices in Cumbria and Hertfordshire and 18 country house hotels scattered across the UK.

We have over 100 years’ experience organising outdoor holidays. We specialise in offering a fantastic range of Walking and Leisure Activities holidays and every year over 60,000 guests choose to travel with us to over 70 destinations all over the world. Our Mission is to provide shared holiday experiences, which inspire friendship, fun, and an active enjoyment of the great outdoors. We aim to achieve our Mission through our values; Trusted, Collaborative, Exceptional Experiences, Ownership, Inspiring, Passionate and Fun.

We currently have an exciting opportunity for a skilled and dynamic Head of Governance and Society Secretary to join our exceptional team.

Reporting to the Chair you will ensure HF Holidays has the appropriate governance systems and processes in place to support both the Board and the Chief Executive to deliver the HF Holidays’ strategy and goals. You’ll also be able to provide authoritative, up to date counsel and support, challenge and ultimately deliver high-quality governance in line with our values.

As an ICSA accredited Qualified Chartered Secretary level or similar you’ll have recent, practical experience of working at Board level in a company governance / secretarial role within a member-owned organisation or body of a similar nature and be able to effectively manage member relationships.

We are offering an attractive and highly competitive salary as well as a fantastic benefits package (should you wish to join us on a permanent basis) including a free one week familiarisation visit to any of our 18 country house hotels for you and your family each year, exclusive discounts at several top brand high street outdoor equipment and clothing stores and significant savings on holidays for your friends and family amongst much, much more.

Location: Flexible
Contract: Permanent
Duration: Part Time
Salary: £45,000 - £50,000 (pro rata)



  • Co-ordinate the production and distribution of the Annual Report and Financial Statements
  • Liaise with the Audit Committee and Head of Finance to oversee the appointment and role of the external auditor
  • Be a point of authority for the Society’s Rules and associated constitutional documents and advise the Board and Senior Management Team on its content and compliance with it
  • Lead periodic reviews of governance and elements of the Rules to identify and recommend best practice as a co-operative including appropriate codes of governance
  • Monitor and review all legislative, regulatory and corporate governance developments that may affect the Society, identify and recommend appropriate action to the Board as and when required
  • In line with legislation and best practice, be accountable for the maintenance of statutory registers and control access to them
  • Oversee the management and recording of potential conflicts of interest between the Society and its Board and the staff team
  • Report, and provide information to, the Society’s registrar as required by the regulator
  • Organise appropriate indemnity insurance for directors and officers as required
  • To be responsible for the custody and correct use of the Society seal, if one is used
  • Administer the requirements of the registered office: attending to the receipt of the official correspondence and ensuring all communication comply with best practice in corporate disclosure

Member Voice

Facilitate member democratic ownership and control, including:

  • Ensure the effective delivery of General Meetings which comply with the Society’s Rules, constitutional and legislative requirements
  • Be accountable for the director election process including acting as returning officer where appropriate
  • In liaison with the Membership Manager act as a communications point with members on our governance
  • Ensure compliance with the Society’s Rules and overriding constitutional and legislative requirements for the recruitment of new members
  • Proactively encourage and deliver broader engagement with the Society’s membership

Board and Committee Services

  • Ensure that all directors have access to the advice and services of the Secretary
  • Oversee the creation and operation of Board committees and working groups as required
  • Ensure the effective servicing of the Board its committees and working groups through accountability for:
  • Agreeing on the annual cycle of Board activity and decision making with the Chair and the Chief Executive
  • Scheduling meetings in line with the annual cycle
  • Assisting the Chair and Chief Executive to set Board agendas
  • Assisting the Chairs of the working groups and committees to set agendas for their respective meetings
  • Providing guidance on the content of the meeting papers
  • Ensuring good and timely information flows within the Board, committees, working groups and Management Team
  • Preparing and circulating notices and associated meeting papers
  • Accurately recording Board decisions and the results of meeting resolutions
  • Preparing and circulating minutes and reports of the Board meetings to relevant stakeholders
  • Pursuing follow up action and reporting on matters arising
  • Enable a high performing Board including through compliance with any Schedule of Matters Reserved for the Board, advising on Board procedures and compliance
  • Deliver proactive regular engagement with the Chair and other directors

Board and Committee Development

Under the direction of the Chair:

  • Facilitate director and Board performance reviews and follow up activity
  • Working with the Search Committee, as appropriate, identify any gaps in competency on the Board and its committees and ensure that the election processes provide for the opportunities to make members aware of the preferred profile of candidates
  • Be accountable for all elements of a high-quality induction process for newly elected directors


  • Preferably a Qualified Chartered Secretary (ICSA accreditation) or holds a business, legal or governance related qualification from a recognized UK establishment
  • Practical experience of working closely at Board level in a governance role or held a similar position in another body
  • Experience of working in a similar member-owned organisation and managing effective member relationships
  • Up to date knowledge of the Society’s legal, regulatory and administrative framework
  • Strong communication skills both written and verbal and confidence to be able to respond clearly to questions and queries, providing authoritative advice as required
  • Strong diplomacy, pragmatism, social and interaction skills with the ability to network
  • Able to prioritise and manage own workload with impeccable attention to detail and accuracy

How to apply

If this sounds like something you might be interested in please send us your CV and covering letter or get in touch via recruitment@hfholidays.co.uk or on 07864 923 665, we’d love to speak to you.