The RCN AGM took place on 28 October 2009 at RCN HQ, Cavendish Square, London.
Members backed a resolution debated at the AGM that the RCN should no longer be a charity and that a charitable foundation should be established. The vote means that the legal structure of the RCN will change but the services to members will remain the same.
AGM vote detail
- Re-appointment of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP as professional auditors for the year 2009/2010.
Votes in favour - 22,047
Votes against - 650
Abstentions - 1,363
97.14% in favour and the resolution is carried.
- The RCN should no longer be a charity and that an RCN charitable foundation be established as a separate legal entity.
Votes in favour - 22,488
Votes against - 1,047
Abstentions - 525
95.55% in favour and the resolution is carried.
- Agreement to two technical amendments to the Royal Charter to add reference to the benefits provided by the RCN to its members as a professional trade union and to remove reference to the College being a charity.
Votes in favour - 22,639
Votes against - 820
Abstentions - 603
96.5% in favour and the resolution is carried.
The change in legal structure is necessary to comply with the Charity Commission requirement that all the objectives of a charity have to be charitable. The RCN has one charter objective that is no charitable - its trade union objective.
As a result of the AGM vote, the RCN will continue to fulfill its professional and trade union functions. The RCN will also be able to apply to the new Foundation for grants to fund the activities it carries out that are charitable.
The RCN will now seek Privy Council approval for the changes agreed by members.
Sandra James, Chair of RCN Council, said: "This is one of the most important pieces of work RCN Council has ever had to lead. This fundamental change ensures the College is fit for the future. I would like to thank members for voting for this change."
Dr Peter Carter, Chief Executive & General Secretary of the RCN said: "These changes are essential to the future of the RCN. While the amendment means a change to the legal structure of the RCN, members should be reassured that they will continue to receive the same high quality services as now."
More information about what the change means for RCN members can be found in the About us area of the RCN website.
Background information for members
Here is the background information that we gave to members to inform them before they voted:
- AGM presentation (PPT 238KB) AGM presentation (RTF 571KB)
- Details of the proposed changes to the Royal Charter. Proxy voting papers and an information leaflet were sent out to members from 22 September 2009.
- Why it's important to vote yes
- Information leaflet on the AGM proxy vote (PDF 661KB) [see how to access PDF files]
- Information on the Legal and Governance Review
- RCN Annual report and accounts 2008/9 (PDF 574 KB) [see how to access PDF files]