The Board comprises the Chairman, four Non-executive and two Executive Directors. The QCA Code recommends there are at least two non-executive directors. Two Non-executive Directors were added to the Board in January 2023.
Different Directors hold the roles of Chairman and Chief Executive and there is a clear division of responsibilities between them. The Chairman is responsible for corporate governance, for overseeing the running of the Board, ensuring that no individual or group dominates the Board’s decision making and ensuring that the Non-executive Directors are properly briefed on matters. The Chief Executive has responsibility for implementing the strategy of the Board and managing the day-to-day business activities of the Group through his management of the Executive Directors and senior managers. The Finance Director also acts as the Company Secretary as the size and nature of the business activities do not justify a dedicated person or a need to outsource the activity; in this role he supports the Chairman directly on governance matters as well as dealing with legal and regulatory compliance.
The Board’s composition is geared towards the Group’s current stage of development and priorities and will be refreshed as appropriate. The skill set of the Board therefore includes experience in non-executive
director/chairman/CEO roles, listed companies, investor relations, fundraising, medical diagnostics, technology development, product development and commercialisation, operating clinical laboratories and laboratory developed tests, CE mark and FDA cleared product approvals and reimbursement. Individual Directors possess a wide variety of skills and experience, and biographical details of the Directors are set out at Our Team.
The Board currently has one female Director and one ethnic minority Director. The Board is confident both that the opportunities in the Company are not excluded or limited by any diversity issues (including gender) and that the Board contains the necessary mix of experience, skills and other personal qualities and capabilities necessary to deliver its strategy. This area will continue to be monitored.
The Chairman and Non-executive Directors are considered by the Board to be independent of management and free of any relationship which could materially interfere with the exercise of their independent judgement. They do not have a significant shareholding (Significant Shareholders or represent a major shareholder, they receive no remuneration from the Company other than Directors’ fees and occasional consultancy fees (see page 68 of the Group’s Annual Report and Financial Statements 2022), they have no day-to-day involvement in running the business and have never been employees of the Company, they have no personal financial and/or material interest in any other matters to be decided, such as contracts, and they have no conflicts of interests arising from cross-directorships or advisory roles. Each Board meeting starts with a declaration of Directors’ interest to identify potential or actual conflicts of interest. The Board considers that the Non-executive Directors are of sufficient calibre to bring the strength of independence to the Board. The Board has nominated Brian Howlett as Senior Independent Director. Issues can also be raised directly through the normal channels of the Chairman, Chief Executive and Finance Director and where necessary the Non-executive Directors can be approached directly.
The Chairman joined the Board in November 2018 and became Chairman in May 2023.
Committees of the Board
The Board maintains Audit, Remuneration and Nomination Committees. All Committees operate with written terms of reference (see Principle 9).