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Chief Executive

Moving forwards, together

04 September 2018 | by Chief Executive

One clear challenge placed with me on my arrival at the BPS has been to invigorate the structural review.

It very quickly became clear to me that the process has stalled but also that actually the structural review was not just about structure or change that needed to be delivered ‘to’ our networks but rather was an integrated part of a much wider Society review.

It asks fundamental questions as to the purpose of BPS and has considerable implications for the way we are organised, as well as both what and how we deliver.

The Society Review is about the process of change that we all have to undertake in order to become the organisation that our members want it to be.

I have also been keen to direct some urgency to the process and to this end appointed Judith Toland with a specific remit to drive forward the Society review.

In this capacity Judith will be supported by the member networks team, The Society Review Project Officer (Liam Gallagher), and myself.

Since her appointment, we have reviewed comments and previous papers to assist in the development of an initial outline proposal to prompt discussion and encourage feedback.

This is not a final model and will no doubt evolve as we hear and take on your views.

Judith, Liam and the member networks team will be undertaking a series of engagement events with divisions and networks, as well as internally within the BPS, to gather feedback on the straw model we are proposing.

We will be attending as many meetings, conferences and events as possible throughout September to elicit feedback - you can find a schedule of these visits by clicking here - and would also welcome and encourage individuals and groups to get in touch directly to let us know your thoughts.

My intention is to have an interim report for Trustees ready by the end of September, followed by further consultation through to October, with a view to producing a final report by November.

The report is just the beginning of the journey that we need to embark upon and I aim to develop a transformation and implementation plan for BPS by the end of February 2019. This transformation programme will be ongoing and is likely to take around 18 months.

Initial feedback from the Society review has pointed to:

  • a need for BPS to improve communications (internal and external) and policy. I will be appointing an interim communications professional to review our communications function and structure with a view to produce a set of recommendations by the end of the year. The output of this will feed into the transformation plan.
  • a need for a strong voice for the profession as a whole and input to national issues. We are beginning to recognise that the BPS needs a stronger, clearer and differentiated voice to ensure that our members views are heard. As such, the Board of Trustees have recently agreed the appointment of a number of senior specialist policy advisers that will allow BPS to channel and direct the policy concerns of our members to key decision makers
  • a desire for strong Divisions- what has come across clearly is just how much the Divisions are the source of your identity and your home. We will be exploring how to strengthen and integrate this strength with the work of BPS
  • a need to recognise the nations and their differing needs, political and policy environment. This also applies to English branches and regional representation
  • a desire for more inclusive networks and the opportunity to explore the whole discipline and practice of psychology. We want to encourage inclusion and inter-disciplinary work and one vehicle we have used to deliver this is through the Senate. The Senate will ring together communities of practice and knowledge to drive the Society’s campaign priorities for the coming years
  • a need to support students and encourage entry to the profession. I clearly recognise that we need to support our students and support and encourage their entry to the profession. In the next few months I will be starting to explore the needs of the various categories of our membership base to fully understand what their needs are and how BPS can help to meet those needs.

Ultimately the Society needs to change. We’re trying to do this in a way that makes it less complex to navigate and access the benefits and services that you need, and we want to do this with the involvement and contribution of Members at its heart, so I would encourage you all to have your say, get in touch, and contribute to the discussion at every opportunity.

Regardless of your standing and status in the Society the Society Review will likely have an impact – let's work together to make it a positive one.

If you have any questions or comments about the Society Review please email them directly to [email protected]


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