Job Descriptions

Every two years the Scottish Party holds elections for a variety of positions from Convener of the Party right down to an ordinary member on a committee. Many of our members really enjoy serving in these roles and show great leadership, decision making and relationship building skills. If you think you can make a difference to the Party, please do apply. The Scottish Liberal Democrats thrives with Diversity and we are looking for applications from all backgrounds for these roles. If you think you have something to give to the Party, check out the roles and how to apply below. All the positions in the party are elected by single transferable vote. 

 The timetable for the elections will be as follows:

  • Close of nominations – 1700 on Tuesday 22 October 2019
  • Deadline for receipt of candidate statement – 1700 on Tuesday 22 October 2019
  • Postal Ballot papers dispatched – Friday 25 October 2019                          
  • Deadline for receipt of returned ballots – 2359 on Thursday 14 November 2019
  • Count and announcement of the results – from 1000 on Friday 15 November 2019

PARTY OFFICE BEARERS

The Office Bearers include the posts below, plus the Leader and Deputy Leader.  They are responsible for the appointment and management of Party staff plus the coordination of the political and other work of the party.  The committee currently meets monthly in via phone conference, normally on a Tuesday evening at 9.15pm.  All Office Bearers are expected to attend Party conferences.

President – the guardian of the Party Constitution and chairs the Appeals Tribunal.  The President shall be entitled to attend and speak at meetings of the Executive but not to vote. The President may preside at the Conference on formal occasions. 

Convener - responsible for the day-to-day direction of the Party and chairs meetings of the Executive and Conference. They are also a standing member of all sub-committees of the Executive and has a legal responsibility, with the Treasurer under the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000 for party finances.  They are also a Vice President of the Federal Party and represent the Scottish Liberal Democrats on the Federal Board which meets 6-8 times per year, normally in London.

Treasurer – chairs the Finance & Membership Committee which meets around 6 times per year to set budgets and monitors party finances.  The Treasurer is the registered treasurer of the Party in terms of the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000 and is responsible for overseeing the donation reporting and production of the accounts.  They are also the Scottish representative on the Federal Finance Committee which meets in London.

Vice Convener (Policy) – chairs the Policy Committee, responsible for researching, developing and formulating policy, and managing and overseeing the policy-making process

Vice Convener (Conference) – chairs the Conference Committee, responsible for overseeing the organisation of the Scottish conferences, including setting the agendas

Vice Convener (Campaigns) – chairs the Campaigns & Candidates Committee, responsible for overseeing candidate approval and selections, supporting and coordinating campaigning activity, and organising campaign training for members

PARTY COMMITTEES

If you're not quite ready to jump in at the Office Bearer level, getting to contribute to the Party by serving in a committee is a great way to learn about the Party and help it to reach its goals. The committees in which we directly elect members are, The Executive Committee, Policy Committee and Conference Committee. We also have one space for a Scottish Representative on the following Federal Committees: Federal Board, Federal Conference Committee and Federal Policy Committee. 

EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

There are 12 places available. The Executive Committee is made up of the Office Bearers and the twelve directly elected members.  The committee is responsible for the management and conduct of the Party.  There are normally 6-8 meetings per year, held at 10.30am on Saturday mornings in Edinburgh. You will need to be nominated by 10 fellow party members to stand for this committee. 

CONFERENCE COMMITTEE

There are 6 places available. The committee is responsible for setting conference agendas and members are expected to take responsibility for specific tasks in the run up to and during conferences.  The timetable for meetings is based around key dates for motion deadlines, with normally 6 meetings each year. Only those who have registered to attend one or both Scottish Conferences in 2019 are eligible to vote. You will need to be nominated by 10 fellow party members to stand for this committee. 

POLICY COMMITTEE

There are 5 places available.  The committee is responsible for researching, developing and formulating policy, and managing and overseeing the policy-making process.  The schedule for meetings may depend on specific policies being developed and the expertise of individuals involved.  There are normally at least 6 full committee meetings each year. You will need to be nominated by 10 fellow party members to stand for this committee. 

SCOTTISH REPS ON FEDERAL PARTY COMMITTEES

It is important that the Scottish Party maintains good, regular contact with the activities of the corresponding Federal committees.  There is one place available on each of the following.

  • Executive Committee - meets 6-8 times per year, in Westminster, normally on a weekday evening. Travel and accommodation expenses can be claimed.
  • Conference Committee – meets in London to oversee the organisation of the two main events and set the agendas, and then at the conference venues immediately before the conferences
  • Policy Committee - meets once a month, usually on Tuesday or Wednesday evening at 6pm in Westminster.  Reasonable travel expenses can be claimed. FPC members are also invited to sit on at least one Party Parliamentary Committee, although attendance in London is not required formally.

If you have any questions or would like to find out more information on any of the posts or committees, then please call HQ on 0131 337 2314 or email hq@scotlibdems.org.uk. The staff at HQ can provide a more detailed role description for any of the roles and/or put you in touch with a current or former committee member who can provide further information about the role. Reasonable pre-approved expenses can be claimed back for attendance at meetings.

OFFICE BEARERS' JOB DESCRIPTIONS

PRESIDENT

Job Description

Strictly speaking the principal role of the Party President in Scotland is to convene appeal tribunals.  This role will change when the Scottish Party constitution fully endorses and accepts the complaints procedures which are part of the Federal constitution.  There are, however, a number of duties/functions that the Party President can usefully perform on a voluntary basis and these are briefly noted below

Principal responsibilities

  • Participation in Scottish Party Executive Committee meetings and meetings of Scottish Party office bearers.  These are broadly held on a 6-weekly cycle throughout the year.
  • Attendance at and participation in Scottish Party and Federal Party conferences.  This might involve introducing speakers or chairing certain sessions at conferences.
  • Speaking engagements.  These can include constituency annual general meetings or dinners and might include ‘by invitation’ speaking at the Scottish Liberal Club or affiliated groups within the Party in Scotland.
  • Constituency visits.  These can cover a whole range of things such as fund-raising events, action days and political meetings.
  • Providing support and encouragement to office bearers, staff and Party members.  This is by no means a formal part of the duties but on occasions it may be helpful to lend a listening ear or empathetic sounding board to a whole range of individuals in the Party employing skills, diplomacy, tact and understanding.  

CONVENER

Job Description

The Convener shall be responsible for the day-to-day direction of the Party and shall be entitled to chair meetings of the Executive and Conference. He or she shall be a Vice President of the Federal Party.

Principal responsibilities

  • Provide leadership
  • Ensure that the Exec fulfils its duties and responsibilities for the effective governance of the Party
  • Appraise the performance of the Party Manager
  • Ensure that the Executive and the staff carry out the responsibilities delegated to them by Conference
  • Chair meetings of the Executive and Conference effectively and efficiently, bringing impartiality and objectivity to the decision-making process
  • Monitor that decisions taken at meetings are implemented.
  • Establish and build a strong, effective and a constructive working relationship with the Party Manager, ensuring they are held to account for achieving agreed strategic objectives
  • Support the Party Manager, whilst respecting the boundaries which exist between the two roles

Time Commitment

You decide. At present 8 Executive meetings a year; 8 Office Bearers’ meetings a year; roughly the same each for the 4 Standing Committees; two Scottish Conferences, 2 Federal Conferences; 0-12 Federal Board Meetings, plus ad hoc Federal Operations Committee Meetings. Most of these can be attended remotely by Skype, phone conference etc.  The Convener, for the Office Bearers, should have regular meetings with the Party Manager, and the Leader, generally supervise the staff and also represent the Party at various events and meetings with stakeholders.

TREASURER

Principal responsibilities

  • Ensure the Scottish Party is compliant with electoral accounting rules, and oversee the audit of the accounts;
  • Chair the Finance and Membership (FMC) Committee, which provides financial governance and oversight of membership recruitment and retention on behalf of the Executive Committee;
  • Work with Party staff and FMC to set the annual budget and review spending against budget regularly, signing off on larger items of spending by staff;
  • Oversee and support fundraising efforts;
  • Provide financial reports to the Executive Committee, and fundraising reports to the Campaign Committee during elections;
  • Represent the Scottish Party on the Federal Finance and Resources Committee and liaise with Federal staff on financial decisions affecting the Scottish Party.

VICE CONVENER - CAMPAIGNS AND CANDIDATES

Job Description

Works with Office Bearers', committee members, staff and politicians to ensure that the party is election ready. 

Principal responsibilities

  • Chairs meetings of the Campaigns and Candidates Committee which meets about eight times a year, usually by telephone conference.
  • Writes a report to each meeting of the Executive (about eight times a year) and answers questions on the report at the meeting
  • Encouraging members, particularly those from under represented groups, to apply to become approved candidates and stand for selection as a prospective candidate.
  • Liaising with the Scottish Candidates Assessment Facilitator to ensure applicants for the approved candidates list are allocated an assessment day in Scotland.
  • Recruiting and obtaining places on training course for candidate assessors and Returning Officers.
  • Overseeing the selection of candidates for the European Elections and working with regional organisations and Local Parties to ensure that candidates for Scottish and UK General Elections are selected in plenty of time for the Election.
  • Ensuring that the recommendations of the Review of the Scottish Election and EU Referendum campaigns in 2016 are put into practice for future elections and referendums.
  • Representing the Scottish Party on the Federal Communications and Elections Committee and the Joint States Candidates Committee.
  • Working with staff to support and co-ordinate campaigning activity and training events.

VICE CONVENER - CONFERENCE

Job Description

Responsible for Chair the two annual conferences and ensure that there is an excellent programme of events for party members. Chair Conference Committee meetings, attend Office Bearers, and Executive meetings. Work closely with Party Staff to ensure the smooth organisation of Conference. 

Principal responsibilities

  • Responsible for overseeing selection of venues for future conference.
  • Responsible for ensuring smooth running of conference
  • Responsible for overseeing budget for conference with the Finance and Membership Committee.
  • Responsible for setting Chairs and Aides rota for conference
  • Promote conference at every opportunity, including attending regional opportunities to promote conference
  • Face of conference to our members. Dealing with concerns and lots, and lots of feedback
  • Key advisor to exec, party staff, members and politicians on standing orders and processes related to conference.
  • Responsibilities for Conference Committee
  • Work with staff to set conference agenda and ensure this is sent out to conference committee.
  • Chair committee selecting motions for conference
  • Set agenda for conference including overseeing selection of speakers for conference
  • Work with key stakeholders in motions, to develop potential interested exhibitors
  • Work with conference committee to help those requiring assistance in developing policy for conference.
  • Work with policy committee to aid in the development of policy.

VICE CONVENER - POLICY

Job Description

The Policy Convener will chair and organise meetings of the Policy Committee and attend Office Bearers' and Executive meetings. You also will attend Scottish Conference, present a report to Spring Conference and engage with members across the country to further policy aims. 

Principal responsibilities

  • Hold regular meetings in an accessible location with group call facilities. 
  • Work with the Party Policy Staff
  • Produce the Scottish Manifesto, and contribute to the UK and EU manifestos. 
  • Facilitate manifesto and policy roadshows so members can contribute to policy. 
  • Develop programmes for policy development and work with the policy committee to bring motions to Spring and Autumn Conference. 
  • Research relevant policy areas and bring new ideas to the table. 
  • Work with Politicians and Spokespeople to develop policy and conference motions
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