Agricultural Consultants Association (NI) Constitution (as amended 30 September 2021)


The name of the organisation shall be Agricultural Consultants Association (NI), thereafter called: “ACA(NI)” or “the Association”.


The aims of the Association shall be to promote the welfare and interests for agricultural consultants in Northern Ireland, to provide a forum for the members of the Association to come together to discuss topical issues, share experience, establish ethical, efficient and good practice standards/directions for its members and to engage with third parties (to include statutory bodies, Government and civil servants) on behalf of the members to advance their interests.


To further these Aims, the Management Committee shall have power to:

  1. promote, organise, sponsor, conduct (or Cooperate with any other person, Association or Organisation in so doing), lectures, seminars, meetings, conferences and other educational events.
  2. publish, print, distribute and issue books, literature and information.
  3. organise, arrange, run functions, outings or meetings of a social, sporting or leisure nature, designed to promote social intercourse among members of the Association.
  4. maintain contact with and make suggestions and representations to all appropriate bodies, including other similar associations, civil servants, statutory bodies and Government generally, in relation to all matters of relevance to the members of the Association from time to time and their clients.
  5. make recommendations and issue guidelines/practice directions to its members in relation to all matters of professional conduct and etiquette in the provision of agricultural services and the rate of fees or charges applicable thereto.
  6. make donations to such charitable objects in connection with the Agricultural Consultant’s profession as may be approved by the Committee and to such other charitable objects as may be approved at a General Meeting of the Association.
  7. Raise funds (to include receipt of an annual membership fee), receive grants and donations.
  1. Apply funds to carry out the work of the Association.
  1. Do anything that is lawful and necessary to achieve the Association’s Aims.


(a) The Association will have a membership. People who are in the absolute discretion of the Management Committee deemed to be an Agricultural Consultant, support the work of the Association, are willing to abide by this Constitution and are aged 18 years or over, may be admitted as a member.

(b) Membership is strictly contingent upon the payment of an annual fee as determined by the Management Committee each year, same to be paid at such time and in such manner as may be determined by the Management Committee from time to time.

(c) The Management Committee shall have the power to approve or reject applications for membership or to terminate the membership of any member should the Management Committee believe this to be in the best interests of the Association. In the case of existing members, they shall have the right to be heard by the Management Committee before the decision is made and can be accompanied by a friend before a final decision is made.

(d) Management Committee must be current paid members of ACA(NI) and must not appoint anyone to act on their behalf at a management committee meeting.

(e) The Management Committee must maintain an up to date membership list which shall detail:

  • The full name of the member
  • The full address including postcode of the member
  • A contact telephone number and email address of the member

(f) All members must have up to date professional indemnity insurance. The Management Committee reserve the right to require sight of same from each member.

(g) Neither the Association nor its Management Committee, members or associates will be held liable for any disputes, claims, demands, or any other indemnities caused by members in their line of work or profession and each member shall indemnify and save harmless the Association, the Management Committee and fellow employees against all such disputes, claims, demands, losses, damages, legal costs and expenses howsoever arising from their own communications, acts and/or omissions.

(h) All members of the Association shall conduct their business in a professional and responsible manner on the understanding that same will in turn enhance the profile of ACA(NI) to a high standard recognized by clients, statutory bodies and fellow professional bodies.

(i) ACA(NI) communications must be sanctioned by the Management Committee and the members must not issue communications in contravention of this.

(j) The treasurer will notify members by text, email or post, when membership renewals and fees are due.

(k) The Association and its members shall adhere to the Principles of Data Protection as detailed in the Data Protection Act 2018.


(a) A Management Committee will be elected annually at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) and shall manage the Association.

(b) The committee shall consist of a chair, vice chair, secretary, treasurer, and public relations officer, plus 2 other members.

(c) At least three of the management committee members must be present at a committee meeting for there to be a quorum.

(d) The committee may co-opt up to a further 2 voting members any time throughout the year, provided their membership fee is paid. Each member of the Management Committee shall have one vote with a simple majority applicable on each matter to be decided upon.

(e) The committee and members shall meet at least 4 times each year, with a usual one week’s notice given by post, text and/or email, however, other meetings can be arranged at short notice.

(f) A proper record of all transactions and meetings shall be kept. Minutes of all meetings shall be compiled and circulated to each member of the committee within one week of meeting taking place. This role will be carried out by the elected secretary with approval by the Chairperson.

(g) A committee member can cease to hold office in the management committee if:

  • They cease to be a paid member of ACA(NI);
  • Has acted unlawfully or unprofessionally either within the Association or in a professional or personal capacity, which could bring the Association into disrepute and in such circumstances, is voted to be removed from office at a Special General Meeting of the Annual General Meeting;
  • Resigns as a committee member by notice dated one month prior to resignation, however, at least two officers must remain in place until the position is filled;
  • The committee member has not fulfilled their role as a committee member, has not attended at least 3 meetings in a full calendar year and the management committee will resolve to have that office vacated.


  • The chairperson will chair and manage all meetings of both committee and members. In their absence the vice-chair will replace the chairperson.


  • The secretary will be responsible for all the recording and up to date filing of all minutes of the ACA(NI), this will include the members’ register.
  • Accurate minutes will be taken at all meetings of ACA(NI) and other meetings with outside bodies. In their absence at such meetings, the chair or another committee member should record minutes.
  • All minutes will be distributed by email to all current members of ACA(NI) within 2 weeks of the meeting. The minutes must be approved through the chairperson before being sent to members.


  • The treasurer will maintain all financial affairs of ACA(NI) in a proper account format. A full financial report approved by the nominated accountant to be presented each year to the management committee and members at the Annual General Meeting.
  • The Treasurer will provide a short report of income and expenditure at each ACA(NI) meeting will keep a current up to date record of membership.


  • The public relations officer will, promote ACA(NI) on a regular basis online along with working with the press on a regional and local level.
  • The use of IT and social media are encouraged.


Every member of the Management Committee shall be indemnified out of the assets of the Association against any liability incurred by them in defending any proceedings, whether civil or criminal, in which judgement is given in their favour or in which they are acquitted or in connection with any application in which relief is granted to them by the Court.

The Management Committee shall have power to resolve to effect indemnity insurance notwithstanding their interest in such a policy.


The Management Committee may from time to time make such reasonable and proper rules as they may deem necessary or expedient for the proper conduct and management of the Association.

The rules may regulate the following matters but are not restricted to them:

(i) The admission of members of the Association and the rights and privileges of such members, and the entrance fees, subscriptions and other fees or payments to be made by members.

(ii) The conduct of members of the Association while operating as Agricultural Consultants.

(iii) The procedure at General Meetings and meetings of the Management Committee in so far as such procedure is not regulated by this constitution.

The Management Committee must adopt such means as they think sufficient to bring the rules to the notice of members of the Association.

The rules shall be binding on all members of the Association. No rule shall be inconsistent with or shall affect or repeal anything contained in this constitution.


Member meetings will take place as and when required, it will be expected at least 4 each year, with management committee expected to attend at least 3 out of 4 members meeting in any calendar year.

These meetings will be a forum to discuss topical issues, support and ideas, which will be relayed to the Management Committee to inform it of matters of discussion and negotiation with statutory bodies and other third parties. Members shall be kept updated in respect of such discussions as and when determined by the Management Committee.

No votes shall be carried out at Member Meetings, the appropriate forum being either via a Special General Meeting or at the Annual General Meeting.

All members will promote the work of the Association.


(a) An Annual General Meeting shall be held within 12 months of the date of the adoption of this constitution and thereafter in the Autumn months of the year.

(b) Members will be entitled to attend the Annual General Meeting (AGM) and have one vote each. Notice of the AGM shall be published and circulated via post, text or email 14 days in advance, stating time, place and agenda for AGM.

(c) A Special General Meeting may be called at any time at the request of the committee, or not less than one quarter of the membership. A notice explaining the place, date, time and reason shall be sent to all members two weeks beforehand. In the absence of a quorum, a further notice of a rescheduled Special General Meeting must be issued within seven days.

(d) There must be at least one quarter of membership or four Management Committee members, whichever is the greater, present at the AGM for there to be a quorum. In the absence of a quorum, a further notice of a rescheduled Annual General Meeting must be issued within seven days.

(e) Proposals to change the constitution must be given in writing to the secretary at least 28 days before a general meeting and approved by a two thirds majority of those present and voting.

(f) The Management Committee must present the annual report and accounts.

(g) Accounts must be signed off before AGM as true and accurate by a qualified accountant which has been approved by the members at the previous year’s AGM.

(h) Management Committee will be elected annually each year at AGM. Previous Management Committee Members may stand for re-election.


  1. The funds of the Association including all membership fees shall be paid into an account operated by the Management Committee.
  1. The bank account details of the Association held with Danske Bank are as follows:

Sort Code: 95 03 84

Account Number: 40013056

(c) All cheques drawn on the account must be signed by at least two members of the Management Committee. The Management Committee members cannot receive any money or property from the Association except to refund reasonable out of pocket expenses, unless permitted by law or otherwise in their professional capacity upon engagement by the Association.

(d) The funds and property belonging to the Association shall be applied only to further the Aims of the Association.

(e) The Treasurer will notify members by text, email or post, when membership is due and the amount payable.

(f) The Treasurer will provide a short report of income and expenditure at each AGM. The Management Committee shall keep accounts. The most recent annual accounts can be seen by any member upon request.


(a) The Association may be dissolved by a resolution passed by a simple two-thirds majority of those present and voting at a Special General Meeting.

(b) If confirmed, the Management Committee shall distribute any assets remaining after the payment of all liabilities to other charitable group(s) or organisation(s) having aims similar to the Association or some other charitable purpose(s) as the Association may decide.

Any proposed changes to the adopted constitution, must be notified to the secretary at least 28 days before an Annual General Meeting or Special General Meeting.

In this constitution (wherever the context requires or admits) words importing the singular shall be deemed to include the plural and words importing the masculine gender shall be deemed to include the feminine.

This constitution was adopted on this date: 5th March 2020 by the people whose signatures appear below. They are the present management committee of this Agriculture Consultants (Northern Ireland) and will act accordingly until the next Annual General Meeting, which must be held within one year from this date.

Signed by Chair……………………………… Date……………………….

Signed by Secretary…………………….… Date……………………….

Signed by Treasurer………………………. Date……………………….