RSPBA in ‘Sound’ Financial Position Despite Fall in Revenue – Auditor Agrees Accounts

We conclude our final report taken from the RSPBA’s 2021 AGM Order Paper. The AGM was held last March online. The Association accounts show a fall in income following the cancellation of all major championsips in 2020. This was offset by the savings in expenditure and Government grant assistance.

In 2019 the Worlds generated £254,195; income for this event for 2020 amounted to £47,487. Other Chanpionships raised £301,480 in 2019. In lieu of cancellations the Association received £25,747 in 2020. Total expenditure over the two years fell from £307,461 in 2019 to just £6,152 in 2020.

The Board of Directors report: The Association recorded a surplus of £8,263 for the year ended 31 December 2020 (2019 – deficit of £458,455) and accumulated funds at that date stand at £540,110 (2019 – £531,847).

The principal funding sources in the period and in the prior period were membership subscriptions and sponsorship towards running the various Championship events.

The Association policy is to maintain a level of reserves at least sufficient to meet the Association’s annual administrative costs.



At the year end the Association held unrestricted reserves of £502,527 and restricted reserves of £37,583 (2019 – unrestricted reserves of £498,421; restricted reserves of £33,426).

The  Association  completed  its  planned  and  approved  renovation  work  to  its  office  premises  in  2019.  In  2020,  the Association’s intention was to build its unrestricted reserves, however due to the Covid-19 pandemic this has not been possible.

The Members of the Board of Directors consider the financial position of the Association to be sound.

Plans for the future include delivering education seminars around the UK, continuous professional development of staff, encouragement of branches to introduce solo drumming competitions, and to develop and introduce succession planning for RSPBA staff.

Also to deliver a programme of training for Pipe Majors, Leading Drummers, Bass & Tenor drummers, band tutors, and members of Grade 4 bands who wish to develop their practical musicianship skills and to offer another opportunity for members to attain the RSPBA’s Certificate in Pipe Band Musicianship.

The Members of the Board of Directors are the Charity’s trustees. All Members shall normally serve for a period of three years and are appointed by election at the Annual General Meeting. Approximately one third of the Members shall retire annually but may offer themselves for re-election.

The positions of President and Chief Executive of the Board are appointed by the Directors but are not held by Directors of the Charity.

The Association was founded by constitution in 1930 to promote and encourage the culture and advancement of Pipe Band Music internationally, and to sponsor a Pipe Band College.

The Association is a membership organisation. The Board of Directors has overall responsibility for the strategic management of the Association and meets regularly. A Chief Executive is appointed by the Board of Directors to manage the day-to-day operations of the Association.


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The Chief Executive has delegated authority, as approved by the Board of Directors, for operational matters including finance, employment and services related activities. The Finance Insurance and Maintenance committee set all pay and remuneration levels for staff and officials at their October meeting for the year ahead.

The Directors do not receive remuneration for their role as Charity trustees. The remuneration of other key management is set by the Board of Directors using benchmarks of similar posts in the sector and current market forces.

The  Association  could  not  run  without  volunteers. It  regularly  needs  100-120  volunteers  at  any  of  our  Major Championships. It is not possible to quantify the numbers that are used at small competitions weekly, nor the cost savings made by their involvement.

It would be even more difficult to give a number of the people who tirelessly, week in week out, go along to help our members’ bands and assist with the education and development of the bands and the young and old members.

Auditor’s report: Based on the work we have performed, we have not identified any material uncertainties relating to events or conditions that, individually or collectively, may cast significant doubt on the company’s ability to continue as a going concern for a period of at least twelve months from when the financial statements are authorised for issue.

We are required to determine whether there is a material mis-statement in the financial statements or a material mis-statement of the other information. If, based on the work we have performed, we conclude that there is a material mis-statement of this other information, we are required to report that fact. We have nothing to report in this regard.

All pipe band competitions for 2021 have been cancelled

Pat Whelan, Education Officer: Despite lockdown, the Pipe Band College was still coming under pressure to deliver a programme of SQA Assessments. This required considerable work from members of the College in identifying new procedures for online assessments…. As a result, 23 young people were assessed in George Watsons College, 33 in George Heriot’s School, 25 members of Johnstone Pipe Band and two candidates from Aberdeen.

Furthermore, we expect to assess approximately 35 pupils from Robert Gordon’s College, in Aberdeen within the near future.

Paul McAndrew, Standing Orders and Steering Committee Convener: The SOSC have…..developed ‘The RSPBA Bullying and Harassment Policy’, which ….. has now been published for use by the Association.

Kathleen Robertson, Convener Marketing and Media: A new dedicated Pipe Band College Facebook page was set-up with input from the Principals to try and draw members to the education material available on the website. Also a Composition Competition was promoted and this has resulted in a superb collection of new tunes that have been made available on the website for download.

On our biggest initiative was to consider the upgrade and redesign of the RSPBA website … We are pleased to inform the members that we have appointed a provider and that work will begin when the current pandemic allows us to progress. We look forward to hopefully having a new more agile website.


1 thought on “RSPBA in ‘Sound’ Financial Position Despite Fall in Revenue – Auditor Agrees Accounts

  1. I think the RSPBA could safely hold at least a British Championships on Glasgow Green in August, to keep our pipe bands in good shape, boost tourism and give pipe band enthusiasts something to look forward to (?)

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