February 2017 update
When I last updated you about the work of the Structural Review Group I focused on the important role of our regional and national branches in delivering benefits to members in their local area. During the early part of this year we will continue to work on what this might look like in practice.
Knowledge, Context and Professional networks
During this period we are looking at our knowledge, context and professional networks, or Sections, Special Groups and Divisions as they are currently known, and the kinds of services and activities which these networks provide to our members. We are thinking about what these networks do well and what they could do better, and how they could best be organised and supported to deliver real value. We are looking carefully at the remits of member networks to identify the kinds of activities which are appropriate for them to undertake autonomously and, importantly, those which would be enhanced by being undertaken in a collaborative way with other networks or with better support from the central governance of the Society. This will inform a further piece of work to be undertaken in the spring where we will be talking to psychologists about the kinds of services they would like us to provide or prioritise in the future. We are also meeting with representatives of our faculties and interest groups to discuss how they might be best placed within the organisation to achieve their aims.
Governance and process
All of our networks need to operate within an overall governance structure (our boards and decision making processes) and we have heard a good deal of feedback about the way in which this structure operates at the moment. The review group is making some recommendations about changes to the governance structure to give our member networks more of a voice in setting the priorities of the organisation through a Senate. Alongside this we want to ensure that we have Boards which devise and deliver effective strategies for achieving our aims across the range of Society activity so we are making some recommendations about new Strategy Boards to replace the existing Policy Boards. However, one of the main pieces of feedback we have received has reflected a frustration about a lack of transparency in our processes, so we are also developing proposals for streamlined processes for passing business through the Society and, importantly, clear guidance for members about how these work.
If you have any suggestions, comments or queries send me an email.
Professor Jamie Hacker Hughes
BPS Vice President
A focus on our branches - December 2016
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.