The TOPRA Board of Directors leads our well-respected organisation and shape the future support we offer our community of regulatory affairs professionals. Board Directors have general oversight of our activities, legal and financial responsibility for the organisation, setting and monitoring its strategy, and overseeing the work of the staff.
Over the course of a given year, a number of positions will fall vacant as incumbent post holders complete their terms of service. We will typically hold an election in the second half of each year to recruit the successors for these posts, one of which will be for our President-Elect.
Nominations are invited to this post, which is for a one-year term. The successful candidate will then serve a further one year as the TOPRA President and a final one year as Past-President.
If you would like to discuss what Director roles entail, please email our Chief Executive Kevin Pay. You can also be put in touch with current Board Directors to hear their experience of holding office.
Who can stand for election?
Any paid-up Member, Registered Member or Fellow who has been a member of TOPRA for at least one full calendar year can stand for election. There are no limitations in terms of your location, the sector you work in, or who you are employed by.
TOPRA is committed to encouraging diversity and inclusivity throughout the organisation and the Board is no exception. There are no limitations in terms of age, gender, or ethnic background - if you think you can add a fresh perspective to the way the Board thinks then we encourage you to join them. As signatories to the Science Council Declaration on Diversity, we actively seek candidates who reflect the changing demographic of the wider regulatory affairs profession.
It is important that our Board reflects our diverse membership. About 60% of our membership is female and currently eight of nine TOPRA Board members are women. We therefore actively encourage applications from minority ethnic candidates, people with disabilities, people who identify as non-binary and men.
TOPRA is keen to attract Board members with a wide skill set. We welcome those who can act as genuine ambassadors for our organisation, who enjoy networking at a senior level and who have deep understanding of regulatory affairs in a global context.
Nominees are asked to provide information about themselves as part of the election process. Members who vote can base their decision on what experience candidates have in regulatory affairs, what they have contributed to the profession and the extent of their current engagement in TOPRA activities, plus any fresh ideas they may have.
Why should you consider standing for election?
Being elected to the TOPRA Board presents a real chance for regulatory affairs professionals to influence the work of their professional body and to offer their time and talents to promoting TOPRA and the profession.
Our Board Directors are volunteers, but they also enjoy the benefits of being leaders of an organisation that is increasingly high profile and influential where they have a chance to shape the strategy for TOPRA's future.
Members of the Board liaise with leading figures in the regulatory affairs world and have opportunities to attend conferences and meetings that help develop their personal regulatory intelligence and networks.
Participation in TOPRA at Board level is a significant personal development opportunity, raises your personal profile and above all is a chance to ‘give something back’ to the profession.
Obligations – and benefits!
Potential candidates should understand that being a member of the Board of TOPRA means that they will be a Director of a Company and subject to the requirements of the UK Companies Act.
Candidates should be sure that they have no reason why they should not stand for a Board position, including contractual issues with their employers or conflicts of interest.
Membership of TOPRA is individual and personal, so Board Directors are elected as individuals and not as representatives of their employer. However, as meetings take place in business hours, Board Directors do need the support of their employers to undertake their duties. Many employers recognise that service of this sort is enriching to the individual, but also brings value to their employers in many ways. It can be part of a wider corporate responsibility agenda. It also adds value as the employee is well-informed, well-connected, and well-respected because of their involvement with TOPRA.
What is expected of Board Directors?
Members of the Board meet at the TOPRA offices every other month for half a day – it is also possible to join these meetings online. They prepare by reading papers and from time to time they are contacted by email for their opinions or might join teleconferences. A substantial proportion of the background work can be done out of office hours. Some Board Directors also get involved in other activities such as leading committees or meeting key stakeholders, but this varies depending on the Board Director and their interests. So, whilst there is a time commitment, this can be factored into their working lives. TOPRA meets the reasonable expenses of being a Board Director, in line with our expenses policies.
Summary of roles and responsibilities
- Attend up to six Board meetings (at least one face to face) in one year
- Contribute to the setting and monitoring of TOPRA’s strategy
- Undertake all legal and financial responsibilities as a director under UK company law
- Support the global growth and engagement of membership at a strategic level
- Represent TOPRA at various events and meetings
- Champion the development of regulatory excellence
Terms of service
The new Board is announced to the membership at the Annual Review Meetings (held at the TOPRA Symposium and subsequently in InTouch (monthly email newsletter for members) and on the TOPRA website.
The Board year runs from 1 January to 31 December in line with TOPRA’s financial year.
How to make a nomination
The nomination form is available to download here: