18.104.22.168 Co-Chairs of the Steering Group
In the early years, the Cochrane Collaboration Steering Group (CCSG) had a single Chair. A system of co-chairing has evolved over time, to share the workload, to utilize complementary skills and experience, and to permit continuity by the Co-Chairs stepping down in alternate years.
The Co-Chairs are chosen by the Steering Group. Co-Chairs agree upon an appropriate division of responsibilities, which include:
- To serve as the official spokesperson(s) for the Cochrane Collaboration Steering Group, with the authority to delegate this responsibility to others.
- To ensure and facilitate strategic planning by the Cochrane Collaboration Steering Group.
- To chair meetings and teleconferences of the Cochrane Collaboration Steering Group.
- To work with the Cochrane Operations Unit in preparing for Steering Group meetings and teleconferences.
- To chair the Annual General Meetings of The Cochrane Collaboration and Collaboration Trading Company.
- To provide advice and guidance to the staff of the Cochrane Operations Unit and Cochrane Editorial Unit.
- To act as appraisers to the Editor in Chief, the Chief Executive Officer and Administrator.
- To assist and guide the Chief Executive Officer in working towards delivery of the Collaboration’s Strategic Plan.
- To respond to issues raised by members of The Cochrane Collaboration, outside the remits of the Editor in Chief and the Chief Executive Officer.
- To pursue those initiatives and projects agreed by the Cochrane Collaboration Steering Group to be the responsibility of the Co-Chairs.
- To represent The Cochrane Collaboration at meetings with current and potential funders, and other agencies as required.
The Co-Chairs are accountable to the Steering Group, and to the members of The Cochrane Collaboration.
The Co-Chairs are expected both to have leadership skills and to be fully consultative, to have vision, to be adept at dealing with people, to be able to solve problems and resolve conflicts effectively, to communicate well, and to have the self-confidence to represent The Cochrane Collaboration in a variety of different settings. Experience of membership of the Steering Group is advantageous but not essential (see below).
- The Steering Group agreed in October 2004 that in future there should be a formal process of nominating existing members of the Steering Group for the position of Co-Chair, and the members of the Steering Group would vote. Nominations should normally be made nine months in advance of the Annual General Meeting of The Cochrane Collaboration, and discussed at the mid-year Steering Group meeting. Candidates should have their nominations proposed and seconded by other members of the Steering Group. They should provide a written summary of their suitability for taking on this responsibility by answering the following questions. Should a Co-Chair resign before the end of their term of office, or leave office for some other reason, the recruitment process would be activated as soon as possible.
- The Secretariat would be responsible for issuing the call for nominations for the position of Co-Chair, and for presenting the names of nominated candidates, their summaries, and the names of their proposers and seconders to the Steering Group.
- If no member of the Steering Group comes forward for selection, or if the person/people who come(s) forward are judged unsuitable by the Steering Group (by vote if necessary), a person from outside the Steering Group would be sought, six months before the position of Co-Chair becomes vacant. A selection committee would be established by the Steering Group, comprising 3-5 members of the Steering Group (including at least one Co-Chair) and, if the Steering Group wishes, up to two people who are not members of the Steering Group (for example, previous members of the Steering Group). It would be the responsibility of this committee to identify candidates for the role of Co-Chair and to recommend one person for the position to the Steering Group. The Steering Group would then vote on whether or not to accept this recommendation. If the recommendation is not accepted, the process would be repeated.
- In accordance with the Articles of Association of The Cochrane Collaboration, the Steering Group would make the selected person a member of the Steering Group and, at the next Annual General Meeting, the Cochrane entities would be asked to approve her/his membership.
There is a need for an absolute minimum of eight hours per week for the Co-Chairs combined (or for a single Chair if the Steering Group ever reverts to that), but with an expectation that a combined total of up to thirty hours per week might sometimes be needed (not including the full-time requirements at the times of the Steering Group meetings).
Term of position
The Co-Chairs hold office for two years. If the need arises, they may continue to hold office for a further two-year term, with the majority approval of the Steering Group, but must step down after four years.
Questions for intending candidates for election as Co-Chair of the Steering Group
[Responses not to exceed two A4 pages in length, in size 11 font.]
- How long have you been contributing to the work of The Cochrane Collaboration, and how did you first become involved?
- Have you helped to prepare or bring into practice a Cochrane review? If so, what was your involvement?
- What experience do you have of committee work (particularly at the policy-setting level) nationally, internationally, and within The Cochrane Collaboration?
- What do you think would make you an effective Co-Chair?
- What would you like to change about the Collaboration and/or the Steering Group, and why?
- What would you wish to achieve as Co-Chair of the Steering Group?
- For individuals seeking re-election as Co-Chair: What do you think you have contributed to the work of the Steering Group during your previous two-year term of office?
- Please state any potential conflicts of interest that might limit your participation in Steering Group discussions and decision-making:
- Core conflicts of interest:
- Internal conflicts of interest:
- External conflicts of interest: