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Our structural review

We need to change. And we need to change quite significantly in many areas. This starts with what we are here for.

The Board of Trustees has agreed a statement which expresses the impact which the Society will have if it successfully achieves its aims:

People, organisations and communities are equipped with the everyday psychological knowledge to navigate a complex world. Everyone can access evidence-based psychology to enhance their lives, communities and wider society.

To achieve this we need to be better at focusing on our aims, and have a structure that supports activities which are designed to achieve those aims. An important element of this has been a review of the Society’s whole structure, including its governance (Trustees, Representative Council and its Boards) and its member networks (Divisions, Special Groups, Sections, Branches and Faculties). 

Our vision is of an effective organisation, with clear structures, transparent lines of accountability and effective processes. Where the different parts of the profession and discipline of psychology can develop and thrive, whilst also supported in working together to achieve the aims of the Society as a whole.

To achieve this vision we need to make changes throughout the organisation.

If you have any questions about any of these proposals, or would like to provide feedback, please contact us via email at [email protected]

For further insight into our proposed changes please consult the tabs below, or click here to access a powerpoint presentation describing the process in more detail.

October 2017 update

Click here to read about the next steps in our Structual Review following the summer's roadshows.


We need an effective governance body with clear lines of accountability and transparent processes. It must be clear to our members and other stakeholders how we make decisions, how we decide on our priorities and how we allocate our resources.

To support this we are making recommendations for changes to

  • Our Board of Trustees
  • Our Representative Council, which will have a new function as the Society’s Senate

The Society has a wide remit and needs to drive forward its strategy in a number of areas in order to achieve impact.

We are recommending that the current policy boards be replaced with four new strategy boards, charged with driving forward the Society’s strategy in the areas of:

  • Public Affairs
  • Education and Training
  • Research
  • Practice

These agile boards will engage with the key priorities for influencing the public and political agenda, engaging members in rapid response task forces to address issues of key concern, provide access to the resources of the Society for such policy initiatives, and ensure through the staff units active stakeholder relationship management and timely and effective dissemination of their work. 

They will actively engage users of psychological services and will advocate vociferously for a psychological perspective and for the contribution of psychologists across the human agenda.

Geographic networks exist to deliver the Society’s objects within local areas.

In the new structure we want branches (of all kinds) to play an even more important role than they do now and for the ‘branch’ to be at the heart of every member’s experience of the BPS.

At the local level Branches will provide

  • Member engagement
  • Student engagement
  • Public engagement

BPS Nations

In the devolved nations BPS Nations will drive forward the Society’s agenda for public significance.

For more information on our proposals for branch networks in England the the Devolved Nations, please click here.

Our member networks are the lifeblood of the Society. They promote the development of psychological science and practice and support their members through a range of activities including conferences, professional development events and publications.

Over time the number of networks has grown. In many ways this is welcomed. It’s a sign of a healthy and growing discipline. But the structure which has emerged as a result is a problem.

Networks have emerged as subgroups of larger groups. Some Divisions have faculties or interest groups and branches. In some cases this has led to duplication and fragmentation.

Sometimes it means the expertise needed for the Society to be effective is “hidden” too far away from the decision making structures of the Society. This stops us from being as effective as we might be, and it creates frustration for members.

Our vision is for an organisation where expert groups are supported and visible, with an effective voice in the Society and for the Society.

We have also found that the distinction between different kinds of groups is artificial.

We are recommending that

  • All of the member networks which are related to knowledge, context and practice become known by the name BPS (area) Psychology. For example, BPS Clinical Psychology or BPS Social Psychology.
  • The networks which have the same purpose and area be merged. For example Oncology and Palliative Care could merge with Cancer and Palliative Care, in order to more effectively share expertise
  • The networks which are currently subgroups of Divisions be elevated in the structure to become networks in their own right

For further details and information about our plans for our Member Network groups, please click here.

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