Statutes of the British Crystallographic Association

A. Name and Status

  1. The name of the organisation shall be the British Crystallographic Association. Unless the context requires otherwise, the word “Association” shall hereinafter mean the British Crystallographic Association.

  2. The purpose of the Association is to advance the education of the public in the science of crystallography particularly within the British Isles. In furtherance of the above object, but not further or otherwise the Association shall have the following powers:

(a) to promote and carry out research and to publish the useful results thereof;

(b) to organise conferences and meetings and to issue publications;

(c) to promote and organise co-operation in the achievement of the same, nationally, internationally, and locally;

(d) to make By-Laws which shall not be inconsistent with these Statutes;

(e) to do all such other lawful things as are necessary for the attainment of the said purpose.

  1. The Association shall be an unincorporated association whose property is vested in its trustees.

B. Membership

  1. Membership is open to all interested in the science of crystallography, without restriction by nationality or place of residence.

  2. There shall be seven classes of membership, as follows:

(a) Ordinary Members;

(b) Joint Members;

(c) Corporate Members;

(d) Founder Members;

(e) Honorary Members;

(f) Student Members;

(g) Fellows.

  1. Ordinary Members shall be those persons whose application for membership is approved by the Council [Statute E] and who pay an annual subscription. This subscription shall be determined by the Council and confirmed by the Annual General Meeting of the Association.

  2. Joint Members are those members of the Structural Condensed Matter Physics Group of the Institute of Physics [hereinafter referred to as the Joint Group and identified within the Association by the name Physical Crystallography Group], on whose behalf the Group pays an annual subvention fixed by the Council.

  3. Corporate Members shall be those organisations which desire to support the activities of the Association and which pay annual subscriptions fixed by the Council and ratified by the Annual General Meeting, and which may receive membership benefits determined from time to time by Council.

  4. Founder Members were exempt from further payment of dues until the tenth anniversary of the foundation of the Association, and their names are recorded in the archives of the Association. In all other contexts the expression Ordinary Members shall include Founder Members.

  5. Honorary Members. The Officers of the Association shall from time to time recommend the name(s) of person(s) deserving of Honorary Membership of the Association; such recommendations must be ratified by Council. Honorary Membership shall normally be accorded to a maximum of two persons in any one calendar year. Honorary Members shall be absolved from paying annual subscriptions but in all other contexts the expression Ordinary Members shall include Honorary Members.

  6. Student Members are entitled to a concessionary annual or a single discounted concessionary four-year membership fee, the latter to commence no later than during their first year of postgraduate study. In all other contexts the expression Ordinary Members shall include Student Members.

  7. Fellows shall be those persons with an established career in crystallographic teaching or research and who pay an annual subscription. Fellows will normally have been members of the Association for at least five years, but the Officers of the Association shall consider applications to waive this requirement. The subscription level for Fellows shall be determined by the Council and confirmed by the Annual General Meeting of the Association. In all other contexts the expression Ordinary Members shall include Fellows.

  8. The rights and privileges of Ordinary and Joint Members, and of Corporate Members, are as prescribed in Statute F, Statute H, and the By-Laws.

C. Administration

  1. The activities of the Association shall be conducted by:

(a) the General Meetings [Statute D];

(b) the Council [Statute E.2];

(c) the Officers of the Association [Statute E.1];

(d) the Trustees [Statute E.7]; and

(e) such Committees as may be set up from time to time, which shall report back all acts and proceedings to the Council as soon as possible.

D. General Meetings

  1. A General Meeting of the Ordinary and Joint Members of the Association shall be held in each calendar year. The time and place of this Annual General Meeting, if not fixed by the preceding Annual General Meeting, shall be fixed by the Council. At least one month’s notice shall be given in the manner prescribed by the By-Laws.

  2. Extraordinary General Meetings may be called by the Council or the President if required to conduct urgent business. Notice of such Extraordinary General Meetings shall be given as prescribed for the Annual General Meeting, and only business specified in the notice convening the meeting and in Statute D.7 may be transacted.

  3. A General Meeting adjourned to a specific time and place by a motion properly proposed and carried shall be considered as a single General Meeting, and no further period of notice is required.

  4. Under extraordinary circumstances Annual General Meetings may, at the discretion of the Council, be held electronically using video- or audio-conferencing or similar facilities. Members will be informed at least two weeks prior to the date of a meeting if it is to be held electronically and provided with joining instructions. Electronic meetings will otherwise be subject to the same statutes and by-laws as other General Meetings.

  5. An Annual General Meeting held in electronic format (Section D.4) may be recorded for the purposes of ensuring accuracy in the Minutes of the meeting. The recording will be stored securely and only accessible by the Officers of the Association [Statute E.1]. The recording will be destroyed within one month of approval of the Minutes.

  6. The Annual General Meeting shall have the following functions:

(a) to report the election of the Officers and other members of the Council;

(b) to receive, and if thought fit approve, the annual report of the Council, the report and accounts of the Treasurer, and the report of the Auditors;

(c) to receive, and if thought fit, approve, the recommendations of the Council concerning membership, annual subscriptions and subventions [Statutes B3, 4, and 5];

(d) to amend the Statutes and By-Laws;

(e) to guide the Council and the Officers in their conduct of the work of the Association; and

(f) to establish Groups which will further the objects of the Association concerned with particular interests within the field of crystallography; and

(g) to consider, and if thought fit recommend action on, any matter related to the purposes of the Association.

  1. Extraordinary General meetings have the same powers as Annual General Meetings with regard to the business specified in the notices convening them. In addition, without special notice, they may:

(a) elect persons to fill casual vacancies among the Officers and the Council [Statute E];

(b) consider a motion for an adjournment [Statute D.3].

E. Officers, Council and Trustees

  1. The Officers of the Association shall be: the President, the Vice-President, the Secretary and the Treasurer.

  2. The Council of the Association shall consist of the following:

(a) The Officers as defined in Statute E. 1.

(b) The Education and Outreach Coordinator.

(c) One Representative nominated by each Group of the Association approved under Statute B.4 or established under Statute D.6(f). Such Representatives must be members of the relevant Group Committee, duly elected at an Annual General Meeting of that Group.

(d) Three further Ordinary Members who shall be elected by vote of the membership of the Association.

(e) Such further persons not exceeding four in number that the Council shall from time to time Co-Opt.

(f) The immediate Past President who shall serve for one year following the end of their elected term of office as President as defined in Statute E.4(c).

  1. In addition:

(a) Council shall seek to appoint suitable persons to act in certain capacities as shall be determined from time to time by Council. Such Appointees shall be in attendance at Meetings of the Council but shall not be entitled to vote unless they are also elected or co-opted under Statute E.2. Appointments shall be for fixed terms which may be renewed within overall limits to be determined by Council.

(b) Members of Council shall represent the Association on other bodies as determined by Council from time-to-time. The President shall normally represent the Association on the Scientific Unions Committee of the Royal Society ex officio.

  1. Elections shall take place as follows:

(a) Elections of Officers, Ordinary Members and the Education and Outreach Coordinator shall take place by an electronic ballot of the membership prior to, but within 3 months of, an Annual General Meeting of the Association.

(b) Each elected member of Council shall serve from the end of the Annual General Meeting immediately following their election until the end of the third Annual General Meeting after that.

(c) The President shall normally serve for one three-year term only.

(d) No person shall serve more than two consecutive three-year terms in the same capacity.

(e) No person may serve more than three consecutive three-year terms in any elected capacity, and may not accept nomination for a further elected office during the last two years of this nine-year period.

  1. Co-Opted Members of Council shall serve as follows:

(a) For a fixed period not exceeding three years to be determined by Council at the time of the co-option.

(b) No person may be co-opted for more than nine consecutive years.

  1. No person may be both an Officer and a Group Representative, and an Officer would not normally serve as an Officer of a Group.

  2. The Council may appoint custodial Trustees from time to time in whom shall be vested the title of all and any real property which may be acquired by or for the purposes of the Association and who shall enter into a deed of trust setting forth the purposes and conditions under which they hold the property in trust for the Society.

F. Voting

  1. Each Ordinary Member and each Joint Member shall have one vote at a General Meeting. Corporate Members are entitled to send a representative to any General Meeting; a representative who is not a Member has the right to speak, but not to vote, and does not form part of the quorum.

  2. Voting will normally be by show of hands. Votes during electronic meetings [Statute D.4] will be held using facilities available in the platform used to hold the meeting. Voting may be by secret ballot of those present at the discretion of the Chair of the meeting, and shall be by secret ballot if any member so requests. The Chair of the meeting shall only cast a vote in the event of a tie.

  3. Except where otherwise provided by the Statutes and By-Laws of the Association, the quorum for a General Meeting is fifteen, and decisions are taken by a simple majority of those present and entitled to vote.

  4. If a quorum has not been obtained within thirty minutes of the time fixed for an Annual General Meeting, a new Meeting shall be convened in accordance with Statute D.1.

  5. Voting for elections to the BCA Council will normally be conducted by electronic ballot of the BCA membership.

G. Finance

  1. The funds of the Association shall be derived from the following sources:

(a) Dues paid by Members of the Association in accordance with Statutes B.3, B.4, and B.5;

(b) Grants, bequests, donations, and subventions accepted by the Council on behalf of the Association;

(c) Payments for services rendered or work performed;

(d) Conference fees; and

(e) Sale of publications.

The funds of the Association shall be used only for the payment of expenses legitimately incurred in furtherance of the purposes of the Association.

  1. The property of the Association is vested in its trustees. The responsibilities of the Trustees of the BCA shall be guided by the advice published by the Charity Commission. The Association is liable only to the extent of its assets, and Members of the Association and Members of the Council are not individually liable for its corporate debts and liabilities in excess of their membership dues. The Association shall indemnify any such person in respect of claims against them in respect of their legitimate actions on behalf of the Association.

  2. The Association shall not accept any liability for any personal loss, damage, or accident sustained by any person engaged in any activity, including travel, on behalf of the Association.

  3. The Council shall determine rules for the signing of contracts, cheques, and formal agreements involving the Association, and shall ensure that the Association carries any necessary public liability, employers’ liability, fire, and theft insurance.

  4. The fiscal year shall end on 3lst December. The Treasurer shall submit a report on the accounts for the preceding fiscal year at each Annual General Meeting.

H. Amendment of the Statutes and Dissolution of the Association

  1. Formal proposals to amend the Statutes may be made by the Council or by five members of the Association. Such proposals shall be circulated to the Members at least one month in advance of the Annual General Meeting at which they are to be discussed, and shall specify the time at which the amendments, if adopted, shall take effect. Any amendment to the Statutes requires a quorum of thirty and the affirmative vote of at least two-thirds of those present and entitled to vote. No amendment shall be made to Statute A.2, or to Statutes H.1 and 3 without the prior approval of the Charity Commissioners, and no amendment shall be made which would cause the Association to cease to be a charity at law.

  2. A formal proposal to dissolve the Association may be made by the Council or by any ten Members of the Association. Such a proposal shall be circulated to Members at least six months in advance of the General Meeting at which it is to be discussed, and shall specify the time at which the proposal, if approved, will take effect. Dissolution of the Association requires a quorum of one hundred, or half the membership, whichever is the less, and the affirmative vote of at least two-thirds of those present and entitled to vote. If this quorum is not obtained, the meeting may resolve, by voting in accordance with Statute F.3, to consider a resolution for dissolution at a second General Meeting held not less than six months after the first. Notice of this meeting shall be circulated to Members within one month, and each shall be provided with a ballot paper on which they may record their vote on the resolution for dissolution. Such ballots, if signed by the member and delivered to the Secretary at least 24 hours before the second General Meeting, shall have the same force as votes cast at the meeting, provided that each member shall have only one vote. The names of members voting by absentee ballot shall be recorded and announced at the meeting. Voting at this meeting shall otherwise be in accordance with Statute F.3.

  3. If the Association is dissolved in accordance with the preceding Statute, the General Meeting shall appoint a special committee, reporting to the Royal Society, for the liquidation of the assets of the Association. The nett assets shall be given to one or more charitable organisations or institutions with purposes similar to those of the Association. No member or Officer of the Association shall receive any personal financial benefit from the distribution of the nett assets.


A. Publications

  1. Among the publications established under Statute A.2 there shall be a newsletter.

  2. The Council shall determine the size and frequency of publication and shall appoint its Editor. The Editor, if not already a member of the Council, shall be one of those co-opted under Statute E.2(e).

  3. The Council may contract with other organisations or commercial enterprises for the production and distribution of the newsletter and any other publications it may undertake. The content of the newsletter shall be the responsibility of the Editor.

  4. Members and Corporate Members shall receive the newsletter and such other publications as the Council may direct without payment other than their annual subscription.

B. Conferences and Other Meetings

  1. When differential fees are established for conferences and other meetings, the same rate shall apply to Ordinary and Joint Members. Corporate Members may nominate not more than two representatives to attend at the rate applicable to Ordinary and Joint Members.

  2. Members and Corporate Members shall receive notices of conferences and other meetings by means not slower than second-class post without payment other than their annual subscriptions.

C. Membership

  1. Membership subscriptions and subventions are payable for the calendar year, but new Ordinary Members paying their subscriptions between lst October and 3lst December in any year shall not be required to pay any subscription for the ensuing calendar year.

  2. The Council may terminate any membership for non-payment of subscriptions or other good cause. If the cause is other than non-payment of subscriptions, the Member may appeal against the termination to the next Annual General Meeting, and during the period of appeal is entitled to receive the benefits of membership. The decision of the Annual General Meeting, by simple majority vote, is final.

D. General Meetings

  1. The Council shall prepare an agenda paper for each General Meeting. If convenient, the agenda may be circulated with the notice convening the meeting [Statutes D.1 and D.2), but shall in any case be despatched to Members at least two weeks before the date of the meeting.

  2. The Council shall call an Extraordinary General Meeting if requested in writing to do so by ten or more Members, and shall include among the agenda for that meeting the matters raised by the Members requesting it.

  3. The agenda for an Annual General Meeting shall include at least the following items:

(a) Appointment of a chair, if neither the President nor the Vice-President is present.

(b) Approval of the agenda. With the consent of the meeting, the order of business may be re-arranged, and items not requiring notice may be added.

(c) Approval of the Minutes of the previous meeting, after correction if necessary.

(d) Report of the Council for the period since the previous Annual General Meeting.

(e) Report of the Treasurer.

(f) Consideration of the accounts and of the Auditors’ report.

(g) Approval of the accounts if found to be in order.

(h) Consideration, and, if thought fit, approval of the recommendations of the Council regarding subscriptions for the calendar year next following the Annual General Meeting.

(i) Report results of elections of Officers..

(j) Report results of elections of further Council members.

(k) Appointment of Auditors.

(l) Any other business not requiring notice.

  1. The independently examined Accounts shall be made available to Members at least two days before the date of the Annual General Meeting, preferably with the agenda paper.

  2. Written minutes of General Meetings will be taken, with contributors to the meeting identified by name. The minutes will be made available to the membership within two weeks of the next Annual General Meeting.

E. Nominations and Elections

  1. The Council shall appoint a Nominating Committee whose role shall be to secure the nomination of two candidates for each Council vacancy, subject to Statute E.2, and with a view to ensuring a balanced representation of fields of interest, geographical areas and the diversity of the BCA membership. The nominations should be accompanied by the written consent of the candidates and shall be sent to the Secretary by the nomination deadline. The Nominating Committee shall consist of 5 members, normally the Past-President of the BCA and one member from each of the BSG, CCG, IG and PCG groups. Terms of membership will be staggered over a 3-year cycle such that in one year the Past-President will be replaced and in the other years two of the other four members will be replaced. The Past-President will be limited to one 3-year term. Members of the nominating committee are not eligible for nomination to any position on BCA Council until after the AGM following the completion of their term on the committee. Current members of the BCA Council are not eligible to serve on the Nominating Committee.

  2. Any two Members may make nominations for any vacancy. Such nominations shall be accompanied by the written consent of the candidate to serve if elected, and must be received by the Secretary by the nomination deadline.

  3. The nomination deadline will be 30th September in the calendar year before the AGM, unless an alternative deadline is proposed and approved at an AGM.

  4. The Council may fill casual vacancies for the period till the next Annual General Meeting.

  5. In determining eligibility for nomination, service under Statute D.7(a) or By-Law E.3 for a period of less than a year shall be ignored, and for a period greater than a year shall be counted as a full term.

  6. All Members are entitled to vote in the elections.

F. Duties of the Officers

  1. The President shall act as a chair at all General Meetings and all sessions of the Council unless unavoidably prevented, and shall ensure that the other Officers discharge their duties.

  2. The Vice-President shall deputise for the President if requested by the President to do so, or in the absence of the President.

  3. The Secretary shall keep the Minutes of General Meetings and meetings of the Council in suitably securely bound minute books, shall conduct the ordinary correspondence of the Association, and shall compile the annual Report of the Council.

  4. The Treasurer shall keep the books of the Association, prepare an annual Report, give the Auditors such assistance as they may need, and in consultation with the Secretary, shall advise the Council on financial policy, including insurance provisions.

G. Duties of the Education and Outreach Coordinator

The Education and Outreach Coordinator shall take primary responsibility for the coordination of the education activities of the Association and the promotion of Crystallography to the scientific community and the general public. The overall responsibility for crystallographic education and outreach shall rest with the Council collectively.

H. Groups and Joint Group

  1. The Structural Condensed Matter Physics Group of the Institute of Physics is to be regarded as a Joint Group of the Association (under the name Physical Crystallography Group) and of the other organisation [Statute B.4]. Similar Joint Groups may be set up by the Association with other organisations, but membership of the other organisation will not confer Joint Membership of the Association.

  2. Ordinary Members of the Association have the right to become members of another Group of the Association without payment of a further subscription. Members of the Association entitled to membership of the Young Crystallographers Group have the right to become members of another Joint Group or other Group of the Association without payment of a further subscription; such Ordinary or Student Members shall not be counted in determining any subvention to be paid by the Group to the Association.

  3. The Council shall determine what additional subscription, if any, shall be paid by someone who is a Joint Member by virtue of paying a subscription via another organisation who wishes to be a member of more than one Group [as set up under Statute D.6(f)]. The introduction of any such additional subscription, and any subsequent modification to it, shall require the approval of the next Annual General Meeting.

  4. The production and distribution of notices of conferences and similar meetings shall be provided for in the budget for the meeting. The Groups have no financial liability for any loss and no financial benefit from any surplus that may arise in connection with conferences and similar meetings arranged by the Association.

  5. Each Group shall submit an annual financial statement to the Treasurer of the Association, giving details of its income and expenditure during the year.

I. Reduced Subscriptions

Ordinary Members who are enrolled students for a degree or diploma, or who are not in full-time employment, shall pay such subscriptions, not exceeding one-half the regular subscription for Ordinary Members, as the Council shall determine, but shall have the same rights and privileges as Ordinary Members.

J. Financial Arrangements with Joint Groups under Statute B.4

  1. By-Law I applies only to the Joint Groups set up under Statute B.4.

  2. These Joint Groups are expected to derive their income from a per capita payment for each member of the Group, agreed between the Council and the Institute of Physics, or the Council and any other organisation which may form a Joint Group as the case may be. In respect of each Ordinary Member who is not a member of the other organisation who chooses to become a member of the Group [By-Law H.2], the payment shall be made by the Association.

— Version 10 by resolution of the AGM 18.00, Wednesday 5th April 2023, University of Sheffield © Copyright British Crystallographic Association.

Historical information

PDF Statutes and By Laws of the BCA version 10 (2023)

PDF Statutes and By Laws of the BCA version 9 (2020)

PDF Details of the proposals for changes to version 8 of the Statutes and By Laws

PDF Statutes and By Laws of the BCA version 8 (2017)

PDF Details of the proposals for changes to version 7 of the Statutes and By Laws

PDF Statutes and By Laws of the BCA version 7 (2013)