CIBSE Annual General Meeting

Minutes of the CIBSE AGM held on 8 May 2018


The Annual General Meeting of the CIBSE was held at the Royal Society, Carlton House Terrace, London, on 8 May 2018. Peter Y Wong, outgoing president, chaired the meeting. Chief executive Stephen Matthews read the notice convening the meeting.

The minutes of the 40th AGM of CIBSE held on 9 May 2017, and published in the July 2017 CIBSE Journal, were accepted as a correct record and signed by the chair.

Annual Report and Financial Statements 

Peter Y Wong introduced the Annual Report for 2017. He referred to the many locations he had visited during his year of office, both in the UK and abroad, to meetCIBSE members and others on behalf of the Institution. He went on to draw attention to the developments during the year, as set out in the report. He referred, in particular, to the president’s dinner held in October, to which all region, society and group chairs were invited and Institution awards presented, which had been a highlight of the year.

Richard Willis, audit partner at Moore Stephens, read the audit report, which confirmed the Financial Statements gave a true and fair view of the Institution’s affairs, and had been prepared in accordance with all relevant requirements. He drew attention to the revised format of the auditor’s report, and confirmed there were no issues to which he would be required to draw attention under the revised requirements. He further confirmed that there were no undisclosed material issues, and no inconsistencies between the Annual Report and the Financial Statements.

Stuart MacPherson introduced the Financial Statements for the year, noting that income was slightly down on the previous year at £6.9m, relating mostly to CIBSE Services and other subsidiaries. He outlined the breakdown of expenditure, which, at £7.3m, had again been somewhat below the 2016 total, and highlighted in particular the distribution of expenditure among regions, societies and groups.

The overall group result for the year had been a £398K deficit before investment and pension fund movements, with a final overall drop in fund balances of £65K. The reasons for the operational deficit related mostly to IT investment, with well in excess of £1m spent over the past few years to enhance systems.

MacPherson went on to outline the balance sheet, noting that the large creditors figure related mostly to pre-paid membership subscription income. He went on to highlight the outline financial projections for future years, stating the operational contribution was expected to return to break even in 2018, with surpluses planned from 2019 to allow reserve levels to be rebuilt. He believed the Institution had been right to undertake the investment programme and had used its reserves appropriately in pursuit of its charitable objectives, but that it was also appropriate to rebuild reserve levels over time. It was understood, however, that future results would be dependent on market conditions, particularly in respect of CIBSE Services.

Rowan Crowley, CIBSE Services managing director, was invited to explain upcoming CIBSE Services initiatives. He referred to the uncertain outlook regarding economic conditions, Brexit and the outcome of Dame Judith Hackitt’s review of Building Regulations. However, there were a number of successful activities within CIBSE Services, including training, which it was hoped could expand further. The new Learning Management System would facilitate wider use of online learning through integration with the CRM system, which was now delivering much better information and analytics.

CIBSE Certification continued to have a positive core business, and was now able to offer accreditation of management systems, having achieved ICO9001 certification. There may be further potential for competency schemes, with BIM having performed well and other digital initiatives under consideration. The CIBSE Journal continued to be very successful, despite reductions in print advertising, and new opportunities for supplements, directories and other options would continue to be sought. The delivery of knowledge in new formats to meet new expectations remained a challenge for all providers, and the need for the Knowledge Portal to move forward and deliver for the needs of a new generation of engineers was noted.

The Build2Perform Live event had been a major new development with 1,400 delegates attending, and plans were in hand for the current year’s event. The Building Performance Awards continued to be successful, but greater attendance was sought to expand its profile and reach. The Technical Symposium has performed well, with excellent attendance this year, and it was planned to build on this and to make the presentations more widely available. The Society of Digital Engineering had been launched and would provide an opportunity to take forward many ideas and opportunities in respect of digital engineering.

Questions were invited and the many positive developments were welcomed. It was pointed out, however, that while CIBSE Services had returned to profit, its costs still appeared high. This was agreed; however, it was pointed out that significant staff and overhead costs were apportioned to CIBSE Services, and its activities provided many incentives to potential members to join the Institution. Matthews further explained that CIBSE and CIBSE Services pursued a common agenda and that, while CIBSE Services was an important source of income, the intention was always to achieve that through activities that supported the overall objectives of the Institution.

It was suggested that Digital Engineering might benefit from a change of name. It was noted that this had been considered for some time, but that no better alternative had yet been identified.


MacPherson proposed that Moore Stephens be appointed as the Institution’s auditors for 2018, and that the board be empowered to agree its remuneration. This was seconded by Adrian Catchpole and approved nem con.

Special Resolution

MacPherson proposed adoption of the Special Resolution for Membership Subscriptions for 2019 as set out in the Calling Notice. He drew particular attention to the removal of the discount that had previously been offered for direct debit payment as a result of changes to consumer protection regulations. Advice taken indicated that offering a discount for one payment method would, in effect, constitute a prohibited surcharge on other payment methods, and it had therefore been concluded that the discount must be removed. Only 18% of CIBSE members paid by direct debit, and consideration would be given to the scope for an early payment discount in future years. The proposed increases had been limited to 3-3.5%, although it was possible that inflation may be higher. The proposal was seconded by Les Copeland and approved nem con.

Any Other Business 

There was no other business.

Board and Council for 2018/2019

Matthews reported that, in the current year, there had been no more candidates than vacancies and that all candidates had, therefore, been declared elected unopposed. He declared the following individuals elected to serve as officers, board members and council members following the AGM 2018:


President: Stephen Lisk (takes office automatically)
President-elect: Lynne Jack
Immediate past president: Peter Y Wong (takes office automatically)
Vice-presidents: Ashley Bateson, Kevin Kelly, Stuart MacPherson
Hon treasurer: Adrian Catchpole

Member of the board

Elected members: PL Yuen, Susan Hone-Brookes, Kevin Mitchell

Members of council

Elected members: Colin Ashford, Maria Longo