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Karen Beamish

Membership Matters - March

26 March 2021 | by Karen Beamish

As the skies begin to brighten and we move towards Easter, I hope that all of our members are keeping well and looking forward to the rest of this year. We have a number of important projects and proposals currently underway in the membership directorate, which I’ve outlined in more detail below.

Outcomes from Senate
We recently welcomed representatives of our member networks for a virtual session of the BPS Senate across two days that have given us some fantastic things to think about in terms of the society’s purpose, values and mission.

The Senate sessions were independently facilitated this year, which we felt was important to give members the space to really use their voice, and we’re delighted by the rich input we received from across our networks.

Seeking these views at Senate is a key part of our strategy process, and we’ll now be getting into the nuts and bolts of a new strategy – albeit one that will only cover the short-term, around 18 months, as a result of the ongoing uncertainty caused by the pandemic.

Member Networks Review
This is a key time for our member networks, as we continue with the focus groups for our member networks review.

We’ve established a reference group made up of members who are working alongside Korn Ferry, our external partners, in a co-creation process to map out any changes that we may want to make to the way that our networks operate.

What we’re seeing already is a real appetite to take the opportunities we have to improve this structure, but also plenty of challenges to the level and scope of any changes that we do make.

As you will have seen in the Member Update email, a survey is currently open to all BPS members – whether you’re a member of a network or not – asking for your views on how the current structure serves your needs and what improvements we can make. I would encourage you to fill this in and have your say – it will only take a few minutes and is key to the future of the society.

We’ll be presenting the latest report on our progress to the Member Board in April for discussion on the next steps, before we move on to the focused design and development stage for the pathway ahead.

If you’re not currently a member of one of our networks, we recently launched a new Find Your Network tool which will recommend which of our networks are relevant to your career, expertise and skills.

Membership Grades Review
Continuing to run alongside is our membership grades project. We held 13 successful focus groups with members earlier this year, and had some fantastic ideas and suggestions that we’ve incorporated into our proposal.

Thanks again to everyone who took part in these – we really appreciate your time. If you’re one of those who has received an invite for the next round, we’d love to see you there.

These invites cover members involved previously, fresh faces, member network representatives, higher education representatives and members who have previously resigned or seen their applications turned down. We’ll also be having direct conversations with divisions and sections, as they might be directly affected by the review.

Once this next tranche of focus groups is complete, we’ll be extending the conversation to the wider membership and emailing all of you to ask for your views on our proposals. We understand that this is a significant change for the society, and we’ll make sure that you have every opportunity to comment on and shape the proposals before they go to an all-member vote.

BPS mentoring service
Our member journey initiative repeatedly highlighted your desire for a mentoring service that could contribute significantly to the profession, the lives and the careers of our members.

A number of schemes already run within our networks, but there is no central support or infrastructure for these schemes or new ones that launch.

With this in mind, we intend to fill the gap with a new mentoring service that will offer a platform for multiple schemes with a core set of standards, policies and procedures, as well as helpful guidance materials.

We’ve invited experienced members to join a steering group to help this process, with the intention being that the new service launches in spring or summer next year. We’ll keep you updated along the way.

Conference 2021
Booking is now open for Conference 2021, which we’ll be holding virtually on 1 and 2 July. We’re working really hard to get some exciting guest speakers who will be announced shortly – watch this space!

Finally, I just want to thank everyone who has renewed their membership for the coming year. We really appreciate your ongoing support and what is a difficult and uncertain time for everyone.

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