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How you can get involved with the BMC’s Independent Organisational Review

For those BMC members wanting to simply go straight to the BMC Independent Organisational Review Group’s member research survey:


Background to the BMC’s Independent Organisational Review Group

Back in March, just before the AGM I wrote about the motion of no confidence raised against the British Mountaineering Council (BMC).  Of course, the motion was defeated, but the BMC was, and is, under a period of potential reform.

Since then an Independent Organisational Review Group (ORG) has been created, the chair and volunteer team recruited and the work of ORG, of which I’m a member, is now in full flow.  This ORG is headed up by Ray Wigglesworth QC, an active climber and mountaineer, who has never previously been involved in the BMC.

The independence of the group is critical and we’re working within the terms of reference agreed by National Council.  None of the timings, or recommendations, are being driven by any organisation or individual other than those collectively decided upon by the organisational review group, informed by the membership.

What’s happened so far

Given the scope of the group, and the opportunity for change, as well as the ability to ask those difficult questions about the BMC; it’s critical that any reforms are driven by the views of the membership, and informed by all the different stakeholders of the BMC.  As a result, the ORG commissioned a member research survey and, in parallel, is carrying out a number of focus groups with a variety of different stakeholders, including, but not limited to, ex-presidents, patrons, National Council, staff, BMC executive and sub-committees.  This is happening alongside an in depth review of the BMC’s Articles of Association and the governance structure and decision making processes of the BMC.

The amount of volunteer time and commitment given, by all the members of the ORG already, has been serious and significant.  Similarly, the efforts and understanding of the BMC staff in ensuring this process can happen effectively, despite the disruption, is very much appreciated.  Having led on the survey commissioning process, I can say a number of the staff team have been incredibly helpful in working to tight deadlines to ensure the survey can be distributed and communicated effectively to the membership.

Survey Design

We approached a number of different providers, including existing BMC members, volunteers, and commercial sports consultancies to work with us on survey design and analysis.  After a commissioning process, we engaged with 2020 Research, who we felt could support the BMC independently, represented value for money, and could do so with the level of rigour required to ensure the member research was well designed, analysed, and reported on in the (short!) timeframes required.  Since then we’ve gone through a rigorous and significant iteration phase of design, build and testing to ensure that we’re content to release the survey to the membership.  The research is being run in line with Market Research Society guidelines.

Of course, with such a wide reaching organisation such as the BMC, it’s very difficult to ask every single question that could be asked, in a survey that will be sent to c. 80k members.  There were a number of difficult decisions to make about what should or shouldn’t be included, or how it should be included. What we’ve strived to achieve is a survey short enough, but robust enough, to gather the information we need to make highly informed recommendations, based on member’s views.

We’re looking to gather views on:

  • Why climbers, hillwalkers, and mountaineers, join the BMC,
  • How they feel about the democracy and governance of the BMC,
  • The priorities members feel the BMC should have,
  • How effective the BMC is against those priorities.

What happens next?

Firstly, if you’re a BMC member, please do complete the survey, it should take 10-15 minutes to complete, though maybe a little longer if you give us a full and frank opinion on some of the open questions.

As a democratic organisation going through a potential period of change it’s imperative that we collect the views of as many members as possible and the BMC’s organisational review group is looking forward to hearing from you.

If you would prefer to complete the survey by phone, or if you would like to request a paper copy, please contact 2020 Research on 01226 767120.


The survey will be open until mid-August.  The results will then be analysed by 2020 Research and collated into a report, which will be passed back to the Review Group. We’re aiming to communicate the results of the survey in September.  We’ll then collate all the views gathered from the survey, focus groups, and legal and governance review.  They will be reviewed together and formed into recommendations later on in the year.

Please do get involved, it’s imperative we hear your views:

Complete the Survey

If you have any feedback, or technical issues completing the survey, then please let us know at [email protected] or contact me directly

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