About the HBSMR User Group


The Historic Buildings, Sites and Monuments Record system (HBSMR) is a comprehensive database and GIS software for the management of Historic Environment Records. The software was initially developed in 1997 by Exegesis SDM in partnership with English Heritage and ALGAO (Association of Local Government Archaeological Officers). The software has continued to develop and is now in version 5 with integrated applications for managing spatial data, document management and publishing via the web. Over 75 organisations based in the UK and further afield use the software.

HBSMR User Group

The development of the software is led by the HBSMR User Group. The User Group sets the priorities for developments that will be funded from the Development Reserve, in addition to authorising development which may be funded through paid upgrades. Developments may be nominated for consideration by any member of the User Group (see Group Membership).

Development Reserve

A proportion of the funds from sales of HBSMR licences and renewal of Maintenance and Technical Support (MATS) Agreements are added to the Development Reserve. The Development Reserve is expressed as Development Days, rather than as a cash sum. Developments nominated for consideration are reviewed and discussed at the User Group Meeting where they are assigned a priority, deferred or dismissed. This is determined by consensus. If required the HBSMR User Group Co-ordinator may call a vote of the attending Voting Members (see Voting).

Group Membership

The User Group comprises all HBSMR users with an active MATS Agreement and Exegesis’ heritage data specialists.  Non members may attend meetings by invitation, and Historic England may send representative(s) from Heritage Information Partnerships.


Voting rights are conferred to those User Group members with an active MATS Agreement (Voting Members). User Group votes are conducted on the principal of one vote per organisation. Quorum is required for a User Group vote to proceed. Quorum is achieved if 20% or more Voting Members are represented in the vote. Voting Members may choose to vote via proxy. If required the HBSMR User Group Co-ordinator may call a vote of the Voting Members via the online forum or mailing list in instances where quorum cannot be achieved or in instances where wider consultation is deemed prudent.

HBSMR User Group Co-ordinator

The User Group Co-ordinator is a Voting Member and is elected by majority vote of the Voting Members. Where a nomination for the role is unopposed, a vote is not required. Where possible, the User Group Co-ordinator will be drawn from each geographical region in rotation. The User Group Co-ordinator serves a three year fixed term. At the end of the term the post is open to nominations for the election of a new representative from the Voting Members. The main duties and responsibilities of the User Group Co-ordinator are as follows:

  • Organise and chair User Group meetings
  • Mediate between the Voting Members and Exegesis
  • Represent the User Group and User Group’s interests with other organisations and forums
  • Attend and report on the User Group at ALGAO HER UK meetings

In practice, the role may be shared by one or more Voting Members. Also, where necessary, the User Group Co-ordinator may choose to co-opt other Voting Members (by mutual consent) to help further the interests of the User Group.

The current co-ordinator is Suzy Blake.

User Group Meetings

User Group meetings are held every six months. There is no fixed venue for the User Group meeting, instead the User Group Co-ordinator attempts to rotate venues around the UK to facilitate ease of attendance. To facilitate the hire of venues and cost of catering a small levy is paid by all MATS Agreement holders, however, these meetings are still very dependent on offers of suitable venues by the User Group. The primary function of the User Group meeting is the discussion of the Development Reserve, but meetings also feature demonstrations of new features and ideas by exeGesIS, demonstrations by users, and presentations about relevant wider projects and initiatives by invited visitors.

Online Forums

Exegesis host online forums to help the community discuss HBSMR related issues. The forums are for registered users only.

Modified 30/04/2021 by Crispin Flower
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