FIDI Service

Having a hand in FIDI’s decisions

Lydia Cope reports on FIDI’s governance structure and its recent review and restructure process, under way to enable the organisation to develop and maintain its leading position in the industry for years to come

FIDI’s governance is at the heart of FIDI, with our regional Associations acting as primary stakeholders. At the mandate of its members, FIDI Associations oversee federation finances and services, debate and implement new initiatives for the benefit of the membership and drive FIDI forward.

The Associations do this by representing their members at the Delegates Meetings and General Assemblies, which form FIDI’s parliament, and where initiatives, service developments and costs are debated and voted upon. For decisions to match our Affiliates’ needs, it is vital that you, our Affiliates, actively participate in your local FIDI Association meetings. This will allow you to keep abreast of the latest developments and to voice your opinions and table new items for consideration so that your Association may fulfil its representative role on your behalf.

It is important to note that FIDI is a not-for-profit organisation, powered by industry volunteers. There are three key stakeholders who work together to strengthen the federation and oversee its smooth management. In addition to the FIDI Associations’ key decision-making and voting role, the FIDI Board acts as FIDI’s executive body, putting forward proposals for the governance meetings and steering the organisation forward. A fundamental element of the Board’s remit is to ensure that FIDI Associations are representing the views and votes of their members. Meanwhile, the FIDI office handles the daily management of the federation and delivers bespoke services to support our Affiliates in their everyday business.

FIDI’s current governance model has existed for many years but its effectiveness has slowly eroded, with many Associations reporting they face significant challenges in communicating with and engaging their members, which delays or even stops them from making decisions. It is vital that the FIDI Associations are working effectively and connecting with their members, to ensure the federation advances and maintains its leading industry position.

When COVID-19 hit and we all switched to virtual meetings, the disconnect became more evident as the time it took to reach key decisions lengthened, meaning FIDI was prevented from fulfilling its new vision and mission statement. The FIDI Board realised that it was time to look at reviewing and restructuring the existing governance model. The re-structure process began in 2022, with the formation of an extended committee, whose goal was to review the governance structure and to share its recommendations. The committee findings identified a need to keep the existing governance model – but to significantly strengthen it, too.

To begin the process of strengthening, during the FIDI Delegates Meeting in April, FIDI Associations held a roundtable to identify the key challenges they face. Overwhelmingly, they reported a lack of engagement as their primary concern – with a lack of involvement from Affiliates and communication difficulties hindering them in their role. The Associations requested help to overcome these challenges from the FIDI Board and FIDI office.

On 31 May, during a special, informal Delegates meeting to address this topic, the FIDI Board and FIDI office presented the formal duties of FIDI Associations and identified best practices that will help them reach and support their members more easily.

The rules for FIDI Associations have also been strengthened to increase accountability. In future, FIDI Associations will be required to demonstrate that governance documentation is shared in good time with their members to allow them time to digest the information and provide feedback. Associations are also required to hold regular elections and share the results with the FIDI office, ensuring that all Affiliates have the possibility to come forward to serve on their association Board, should they wish.

The FIDI office will also support Associations that seek assistance. The office is on hand to organise virtual meetings, provide meeting space at the conference and offer administrative support. The FIDI office is delighted to support several FIDI Associations already and this involvement certainly helps to drive engagement.

The FIDI Board and office will continue to work with FIDI’s Associations in the coming months to evaluate how things are going with the hope that this exercise will bring positive change for the whole FIDI community.

Please do reach out to your FIDI Association and actively participate. Meetings are usually held once or twice a year, and they will allow you to keep your finger on the pulse and get the most out of your FIDI Affiliation.

We welcome your feedback regarding FIDI’s governance. Please let us know your thoughts by contacting Lydia Cope –

Send this to a friend