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Karen Beamish

Looking ahead

17 December 2020 | by Karen Beamish

It really has been a year like no other. As we move towards what will, hopefully, be a brighter 2021 for all of us, it’s a good time to reflect on what we’ve achieved in unprecedented circumstances.

At the BPS, our members and staff have managed to adapt quickly to new challenges, develop new working practices and we’ve made it a good year for the society despite the wider context of Covid-19.

As I’ve been discussing in this blog over the last few months, we’ve had a number of initiatives running, the end goal of them all being to improve the experience that you have as a BPS member.

Our member journey initiative was in full swing when the pandemic hit back in the spring, but we were able to bring our remaining focus groups and meetings with members online. What you told us on that journey has now led us to two big projects which are just getting underway – our member networks review, and membership grades review.

These will be our key focus during the early months of next year, and if you’re interested in finding out more about the process and how you can get involved, I would recommend reading my previous blogs.

Outside of the member journey project, we’ve been working hard to keep delivering a service to members during the pandemic.

We’ve held dozens of digital AGMs for our networks, having never held one entirely online previously, as well as 309 digital committee meetings – at the latest count!

Since May, we’ve hosted 145 webinars for more than 20,000 delegates, allowing you to continue your professional development online during a time of great uncertainty. 

The recent launch of BPS Learn, our dedicated new learning platform, will allow us to offer much more in this area in the future. We’ve now launched courses on ethics in psychology and supervision skills – if these are of interest to you, please have a look.

Our first digital annual conference saw us welcome 839 attendees for a day of fantastic presentations, and our dedicated Covid-19 webinars are fast approaching 20,000 views on Youtube.

None of this would have been possible without the efforts of our member volunteers, and I want to thank everyone who has sat on a committee, attended a focus group or joined us for an online event during 2020.

Membership of the society is up slightly on this time last year, despite the difficulties everyone is facing, and your support will help us to make 2021 a good year for the BPS and for psychology.

Finally, I want to wish season’s greetings and a restful festive period to everyone. Take care, and I hope to see you at a webinar, meeting or maybe even an in-person event during 2021.


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