A focus on our branches
December 2016 update
This will be the last structural review update of 2016 and it's my last chance to share the latest progress before the Christmas break.
This time I want to focus on geography and share our latest thinking on our regional and national branches. Our local branches are an extremely important part of our Society – every member automatically becomes part of their local branch when they join. They are a key place for members to meet up with and network with other local psychologists and attend BPS events. In the new structure we want them to play an even more important role and for the local branch to really be at the heart of every member’s experience of the BPS. We also want to make sure that the way the branches are organised, and the way members are divided between them makes sense, so we will be discussing with branches how they can best be organised and supported to achieve this
We are also carefully considering the role of our National branches in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. While some of these networks are among our smallest branches in terms of members, their role in influencing local policy making is extremely important. Key policy areas for the BPS, notably health and social care and education and training are devolved to the Welsh and Northern Irish Assemblies and the Scottish Parliament. This means that while there is a large overlap with central BPS policy, there are specific issues that are high on the agenda in devolved nations that are not being discussed nationally.
We need to be sensitive to this and make the most of our local intelligence and influence to maximise our impact, while also ensuring policy developed centrally takes a four-nation perspective. For that reason there will be a clear role for the devolved nations on the Senate and better representation on the Society’s boards. The Branches workstream is putting together specific proposals on the details.
There’s still plenty to do and the first few months of 2017 will see a flurry of activity from the structural review group to prepare for the next Board of Trustees meeting and the AGM in May. We will continue to keep you updated, but in the meantime I’d like to take this opportunity to wish all our members Nadolig Llawen a Blwyddyn Newydd Dda or happy Christmas and a very Happy New Year.
If you have any suggestions, comments or queries send me an email.
Professor Jamie Hacker Hughes
BPS Vice President