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Alanna O'Broin & Siobhain O'Riordan

With the introduction by the Society in October 2007 of a restructured office service charging system for larger member networks, it seems an appropriate time to update SGCP members on the potential financial impact on the Special Group of the changed basis of charging.

The old charging basis

Historically, the Society levied office service charges from its subsystems on a fixed rate basis. Reflecting its status as a new subsystem, SGCP incurred no office service charges until the year October, 2006, to September, 2007, when office service charges were first levied at a subsidised rate of £8000 on the old charging basis. This was for provision of office services including:

  • support at Committee business meetings;
  • pre-press printing and mailing of publications;
  • printing and mailing of communications to our members and other sub-systems, such as event fliers;
  • website maintenance.

The new office service charging system

To address the need for transparency, and to improve customer service, the Society has reviewed and consequently revised the basis on which office services are provided. From October, 2007, onwards, the new charging basis, a combination of free and pay-as-you-go services based on level of activity or usage, will be levied. In order to calculate the office services required under the new system, the Society requested that Divisions and the Special Group in Coaching Psychology prepare a simple financial plan for the coming year. Our thanks go to Phil Kelsey, Assistant Accountant, Helen Barnett and Annjannette Wells, of the Society for their patient and helpful assistance to us during discussions on the revised Office Service charges.

SGCP’s office service requirements for the coming year

Production of a financial plan, including SGCP’s requirements for the coming year, and associated discussions with the Society have resulted in a projected requirement by SGCP of Office Service charges totalling £18,545 for the year October, 2007, to September, 2008. Although this figure reflects provision of services in line with those for the previous year, the higher level of cost derives largely from bespoke costings and pass-on costs under the new charging basis. In March, 2008, an activity review will be conducted, following which a Mid Year Report will be sent to SGCP by the Society. In October, 2008, an End-of-Year Activity Review will be conducted, and any under- or over-usage of services for the year will be balanced by way of a financial reimbursement or payment.

Financial highlights

Membership subscriptions have historically represented a relatively small percentage of SGCP’s annual incoming resources compared to other Society subsystems. SGCP has been able to self-fund through the first two and a half years of its existence. This is due to a number of factors:

  • Deployment of SGCP’s own voluntary personnel in a number of its activities, particularly the successful National and International Coaching Psychology Conferences, and also the SGCP event programme
  • Support from the Society and its personnel.
  • Income from its publications and other communication media.

There was no membership subscription fee in SGCP’s first year, and a fee of £3.50 in years 2006 and 2007. Whilst there have been some calls to increase the current Membership subscription rate to a higher figure, suggesting that this would add value to SGCP membership, others feel that a rise should only be considered if financially necessary.

No increase in SGCP membership subscription fee in 2008

The SGCP Committee has agreed that the membership subscription fee will not increase for the year 2008, as reserves currently exist, and, for the 2007 year end, are projected to exceed, the nine months reserves level recommended by the Society.

The future

SGCP is a dynamic, active subsystem working hard for its 2129 members. The restructured office service charging system highlights the need for increased financial awareness in managing the liquidity and financial planning of the SGCP as part of its strategic decision-making and broader business plan.

Alanna O’Broin
Honorary Treasurer, SGCP.
Siobhain O’Riordan
Chair, SGCP.


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