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Society Review

One of our key objectives for the Society Review is to give some focus and direction to the work that we're doing. On this basis we've come up with the timeline below to show how we foresee the project progressing.

September sees a particularly busy consultation period relating to the review as Judith and Liam will be visiting many Member Networks directly to discuss the Straw Model that has been developed over the last few months. 

Along with this there will also be opportunities for Networks and Members to attend workshop sessions at both the Leicester and London Offices, and the schedule for these sessions can be found below.

Please do keep a close eye on this page over the coming weeks as more changes, updates, and information will be forthcoming.

If you have any questions about the Society Review please email [email protected]

Throughout September we are looking at getting out to and consulting with as many of the Member Networks of the Society as possible to discuss the Society Review.

You can see a full schedule of our forthcoming visits below:

03rd September Midlands Conference (East & West Midlands Branches), BCU, Birmingham
06th September North-East Branch AGM, York St John University
07th September Division of Neuropsychology, BPS London Office
10th September Division of Forensic Psychology
12th September Division of Occupational Psychology & Division of Academics, Researchers & Teachers of Psychology
14th September Division of Counselling Psychology, Birmingham & Psychotherapy Section, London Office
17th September North-West Branch, Manchester
18th September East of England Branch Conference, Norwich
19th September DCP Strategy Meeting, Newcastle
21st September DECP Wider Issues Meeting, Bath & South West Branch meeting, Taunton
26th September Wales Branch meeting, Cardiff Met
27th September Board of Trustees, Chichester
28th September Board of Trustees, Chichester

You can book a space at one of the Webinar sessions noted below using the relevant link.

Alternatively, if you would be interested in coming along to any of the workshop sessions in person and hearing what we have to say, please email [email protected] and we can let you know if there is space to attend your chosen session.

Please note: space will be limited across all dates, and we will allocate spaces on a first come, first served basis.

05th September

Workshop Sessions, Leicester Office

  • 11:00
  • 14:00
  • 16:00
10th September

Workshop Sessions, London Office

  • 10:00
  • 15:00
12th September

Workshop Sessions, London Office

  • 10:00
  • 15:00
13th September

Workshop Sessions, London Office

  • 10:00
  • 12:00
  • 14:00
24th September

Workshop Sessions/SRG, Leicester Office

  • 11:00
  • 14:00
25th September

Workshop Sessions/SRG, Leicester Office

  • 11:00
  • 14:00
  • 16:00

1. How and who created the Consultation/Straw Model, and what is the intended purpose of this?

Judith Toland has been the lead in developing the consultation model on the basis of the existing documentation, consultation responses, and work undertaken in the office relating to this. This fuller model of the Society and Member Network structures was previously requested by the Society Review Group (SRG) earlier in the year, and is intended to be a means of developing, critiquing and eliciting views in order to build a more robust model.

2. Has there been any formal evaluation of the model that you have developed?

No formal evaluation has been undertaken as yet – indeed the tour and workshops relating to this is the first and most important step of developing these. Once the more robust model is constructed this will be evaluated and considered by the Board of Trustees and SRG, prior to be sending out to the membership for formal consultation.

3. What is the purpose and role of the Society Review Group?

The SRG has always been seen as the key advisory group in relation to the review. There has not been a recent meeting of the SRG as we’ve only developed this detailed model for their consideration quite recently. We are now in the process of harvesting feedback and comments on the model and we will be looking to have a session with the SRG at the first opportunity. 

4. How broadly has the consultation model been circulated?

As well as being on the Society Review webpage this information will also be circulated and passed on to all Network Chairs and flagged on social media.

5. How will all gathered information from the review consultation processes be considered, analysed, and used? 

A standard proforma has been developed that will be taken to capture feedback from all Networks directly. This feedback will be collated and used to determine practical adaptations that should be made to the model in order to progress and develop this further. It is important to note that this is a consultation process and is iterative. We will collate and respond to comments and suggestions as we continue the process, however we do recognise that there will always be elements in any proposed model with which not everyone is content. 

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More events for students will be great,

Thank you for your feedback Moira. This is a fairly consistent message we've been picking up on from several of our networks, and something we're keen to improve upon going forwards, so please stay tuned.

- Andrew Walmsley, Online Content Manager

No visit to Scotland?

Good afternoon Carolyn. I have been informed that we have already been to speak to several of the divisions up in Scotland this year. Judith went up to visit DHP Scotland, DCOP Scotland, and the SDEP in August.

As all of our visits are scheduled to coincide with, and take advantage of, division meetings which are already in place, our next visit to the Scotish Branch will be later on in the year.

- Andrew Walmsley, Online Content Manager

Hi I’m new to this part of the BPS website and to forums in general. I am not however new to the review to the BPS as it has been discussed for the last 3-4 years. Each year (especially around the AGM time) we are all asked how we would like the BPS to change, and each year there is controversy as no one can agree.

In essence to make the BPS simpler you would need to have no divisions and only area branches, but people within the BPS like the divisions. In addition to this problem there is another problem re branches, there’s too many of those. The BPS is so finely split into tiny hubs, where does that leave the change? So what do we do? We talk about the issues for years on end without ever really coming up with a plan because we don’t want to upset any of the parts of the BPS or seem to be favouring one part over another. Unfortunately I have lost faith in this process as it has taken far too long. Each year we’re asked ‘how would you like the BPS to look?’ And each year nothing actually changes.

Please oh please just change something. I honestly don’t mind at this point what that something is but change something. The anticipation of change is tortuous, frustrating and above all sad. Please make a decision, stick with it and make the changes that are needed.

Hello Melissa. I've been forwarded the following response to your comment from our Society Review Coordinator, Liam Gallagher, which I hope will address some of your concerns:

"There have been both specific support and specific resources allocated to the Society Review this year, along with a more specific focus and definition as to the scale and scope of the project. Please keep your eyes on this page for more information and further details over the coming weeks."

- Andrew Walmsley, Online Content Manager 

I would be happy if the Society becomes a fully professional body, for example, by creating an Ethical committee like BACP. Thank you for asking!

Thank you for your comment Maksym, we'll take this onboard!

It is however perhaps worth pointing out that we already have an Ethics Committee, and that they most recently published a report on the Social Justice, Equality, Diversity and Inclusion audit of the British Psychological Society.

- Andrew Walmsley, Online Content Manager

Why does the proposed "english" regional branch for the midlands also include a significant portion of Wales. We have our own language and culture in Wales as well as different NHS structures and legislation. This has to be acknowledged and cannot be subsumed within an english region if we are meant to have representation.

Hello Tracey

We apologise for the error with our initial map. This had been logged against English postcodes and Shrewsbury/SY had been selected as a part of this process. We’ve amended and updated this as required (please see the updated document). We’re very understanding of the different requirements and structures that our Nation Branches are working within, and please be assured that we have no intention of subsuming the Welsh Branch within an English region!

- Andrew Walmsley, Online Content Manager

I seem unable to book on the Welsh worship on the 26th September, can you help please? Thanks.

Hello Paul

To clarify, the event on the 26th of September is a visit to the Welsh Branch, and not a workshop. Dates/info for the workshops can be accessed on the "Society Review Workshops" tab.

- Andrew Walmsley, Online Content Manager

The most valuable things I've gained from my BPS membership are around early career work as a (hopefully) future psychologist. The careers advice available to students and non-students is fairly non-specific, so the ability to talk to someone about careers in psychology has been extremely helpful.
In addition to this, the free talks in the local area really helped me to stay connected to psychology when I was working in less focused roles.
As a committee member, I'm glad to be able to get involved in the branch that has made all of these things available, to support the next group of students and young people early in their career.

Thank you Sarah. It is always good to receive such feedback from someone who is clearly so engaged and active within their local regional branch.

- Andrew Walmsley, Online Content Manager

As an Occ Psych working in business transformation and change management, I'm saddened by the Cinderella status of my profession. Having registered in equivalent categories of psychology and worked in several other countries, I can tell you that in my opinion Occ Psych in the UK is not anywhere near the level it should be. We're not engaging with business to uncover and then solve the major challenges in the nexus between people, technology and strategy. I sincerely hope that we can gain some credibility and relevance soon, as currently my chartered status is a meaningless affectation in the work I do.

Thank you for your comment and the insight you have provided Shane. This may well be something worth raising directly with the Division of Occupational Psychology so that plans can put in place in response to the issues you've raised.

- Andrew Walmsley, Online Content Manager

As an Honorary Fellow and committed longstanding BPS member, I'm pleased that there are plans to improve functioning of the BPS as several aspects have been unsatisfactory for many years now and there has been a growing discontent. I am very pleased to see that the new CEO and team have plans to give better service to members. Here are my comments on the proposals and on things I think need to change.
1. I agree we need a more effective, expert public face. We frequently fail to be included in consultations on public agendas that fall within our domain. For example, on behaviour change, behavioural economists or sociologists are more likely to be included as they have better public representation.
2. Over recent years, there has been a feeling that the BPS is dictating unreasonably to members and to Divisions about how they should behave. For example, the restrictions on what we may discuss in our Division meetings and on how many conference abstracts one individual may be named on has discouraged some members from even attending conferences. Requiring us to use an expensive conference organiser for one-day meetings that we could have organised cheaply has resulted in members not being able to afford to attend.
3. BPS could be giving more support rather than restrictions. For example, DHP has been provided with very poor information about finances, including DHP finances and we have received only minimal information about why costs for portfolio assessments increased so dramatically.
4. I did not understand how COPs would relate to current structures and was concerned that they would disrupt things that were working well. They would also appear to create many new structures which might re-instate academic/applied separations (perhaps because the word 'practice' can be interpreted in a more limited sense in psychology than in other disciplines). And, more facetiously, does the creation of COPS invite the development of ROBBERS i.e. a new feeling of discontent?
5. There needs to be clear separation between what is administrative and supportive of the activities of psychologists and those activities that require expert strategic leadership and delivery. As members we pay for both of these things and expect/hope that concentration on improving central BPS administrative aspects will not intrude on strategic developments which depend on the expertise of Divisions and other networks.
6. In making changes, it well be important to have a clear analysis of what BPS does well. Throughout psychological theory, evidence and practice, it is consistently found that effective change is based on building on what is good rather than trying to exclude the bad. Can we ensure that we don't lose the good things?

Hello Marie

Thank you for your in-depth comments there. I just wanted to respond to you to say that everything you've said here, both positive and negative, will be taken onboard going forwards.

From my own perspective specifically, with reference to your fifth and sixth points, I would say that my/our goal is most definitely to continue to make improvements - both significant and incremental - in various areas while ALSO ensuring that this doesn't pull focus, or resources, from aspects or elements of our function which we already do well.

Again, thank you for your input.

Andrew Walmsley - Online Content Manager

Just noticed the comment about the Ethics Committee. The BPS has an Ethics Committee

Hello Tony.

I did mention this in my initial response, but I've gone a bit further now and made it more clear, so thanks for the reminder.

- Andrew Walmsley, Online Content Manager

I only graduated this year and became a graduate member shortly after. It does feel like now we’re on the road to being professional psychologists, we must now be knowledgeable about all areas of the site and subject matter. Of course, we are just starting out. So personally, for me, I think I would like to see improvements for students and recent graduates in how to find the best work experience for example. Others may not agree, but having used the site for a short time, I’ve not felt it to be to clear where to access certain information. The site itself seems quite outdated.

Hello Antony, thank you for your comment.

You'll be pleased to know that improvements to the resources and information we provide for students/graduates is quite high on my ongoing priorities list, and (all things being equal) something I'd like to get to work on in earnest at the start of the new year. This will mainly involve reworking the current "Become a Psychologist" page(s) and incorporating even more specific career, education, and work experience information in the process. We'll also be shutting down our older careers site, and bringing the best of this information into the new website, so that we're not hosting the same info twice, or trying to run two separate careers resource areas.

I do hope that, when speaking about the site being "outdated" you're talking about careers.bps (and its associated sites) however, as the new BPS main site is quite new, and hopefully not outdated quite yet!

- Andrew Walmsley, Online Content Manager

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