Proposed new constitution to incorporate the BPA as Charitable Incorporated Organisation

At present the British Philosophical Association is an unincorporated association. The BPA’s Executive Committee is proposing that the BPA should become a CIO (Charitable Incorporated Organisation).

This would give the BPA formal status as a legal entity in its own right and recognition as a charity acting for the public benefit.

To obtain this status, we must:

  1. Secure the approval of our members for charitable incorporation, including their approval of a proposed constitution;
  2. Apply to the Charity Commission for formal recognition, and secure their approval of our proposed constitution.

The constitution should be based, as closely as possible, on the model provided by the Charity Commission. In our case, this is the “Model constitution for CIO with voting members other than its charity trustees (‘Association’ model). This is because the BPA is an association that is answerable to a wider membership, with officers elected by those members. With the change in status, the current “executive committee” would be renamed as the “board of trustees.” Their responsibilities and the rights of members would remain largely unchanged, except that the trustees would now have legal duties to report annually to the Charity Commission.

To take this step, we have therefore drafted a proposed constitution based on the Charity Commission model. This takes forward all the main elements of the BPA’s existing constitution.

We will be asking members to vote on this proposal at the Annual General Meeting to be held online at 2pm on Friday 9 September. All members are warmly encouraged to attend.*

The proposed constitution names the current President, Director and Treasurer as the first officers of the CIO. We also propose that existing members of the Executive Committee, including the new members who have been elected this summer, should be confirmed at the first AGM to serve their remaining terms of office as trustees of the BPA, should its status as a CIO be approved by the members and the Charity Commission.

We hope that this proposal will set the BPA on a more formal legal footing, provide recognition of its public and charitable role, and confirm its status as accountable to a wide membership.

Given the requirements of the Charity Commission, the proposed constitution must be quite detailed. We welcome questions and comments from members – please send these to our email account,, and we will respond as quickly as we can, and summarise the main points raised alongside discussion at the AGM.

* Members should have received email notice of this meeting. If you have not, please email us:,

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