Over the past four years, we’ve been working alongside our members to look at ways to modernise our member grades and reform our governance structures.
Member Vote 2022
After in-depth consultation, we’re now at the point where we are asking our members to support these reforms by voting to make some important changes to our charter, statutes and rules.
Because we have a royal charter, these changes have to be approved by the Privy Council.
The Privy Council’s advisors, who include the Charity Commission, have considered and approved the proposed changes to the charter and statutes, and we are now seeking approval of BPS members by holding a vote.
This vote then has to be ratified at a Special General Meeting, which must be held in person, on Thursday 17 February 2022.
Subject to approval by members, we will seek approval from the Privy Council.
Why do we want to amend our charter, statutes, and rules?
Modernising our member gradesShow content
It’s been more than 30 years since we last reviewed our member grades in any detail. In that time, the profession has changed dramatically.
We’ve heard from members that our current grade structure is overly complicated, excludes many potential members from joining the society and doesn’t recognise the skills and experience gained by members throughout their careers.
In short, our grades no longer represent the scope and breadth of modern psychology.
By voting to accept the proposed changes, you will be voting to:
- improve inclusivity
- address the lack of opportunity for graduates who are not intending on a career as a Chartered Psychologist
- improve flexibility in accessing membership (without impacting on standards)
- open the society to wider membership from professions that make use of psychology
Our proposed changes include:
- Creating a new ‘full’ member grade for members who may otherwise have to remain a graduate member for their entire careers
- Creating a new ‘associate’ member grade for those members of the psychological community who are currently unable to join the BPS, despite using psychology in their day to day roles
- Opening up student membership for students on all BPS accredited courses, not just undergraduate courses, including those associated with the wider workforce, which are in the main level 7 postgraduate psychology programmes and apprenticeships.
- Simplifying and opening up a pathway to Chartered member status via an assessment of relevant skills and experience, rather than solely on academic qualifications
- Simplifying and opening up the process for becoming a BPS Fellow or Associate Fellow
The world of psychology has changed. Our consultations with you over the past three years have shown you want the BPS to reflect this, while at the same time ensuring our standards remain robust.
Your vote is important in ensuring our society remains appropriate to all of our members without compromising those standards.
Reforming our governance structuresShow content
Over time, our governance structures have become outdated and in some areas we need to make changes to meet best practice as set out by the Charity Commission, the regulator that oversees charities.
We’ve been working with our members since 2017 to look at ways to modernise our governance structures and members voted in favour of a range of improvements in 2019.
The process of implementing these reforms was put on hold pending the completion of the consultation on changes to membership grades, so that the governance and membership changes could be dealt with in a single set of changes to be formally considered by the Privy Council. Understandably, since that time, a number of further proposals emerged to improve the governance of the society.
Our proposals are designed to modernise the BPS’s governance and to meet best practice by making sure we have the skills within our Board of Trustees to effectively and efficiently consider all aspects of our business. Our proposed changes include:
- Creating a new role of Chair of the Board of Trustees by separating this function from the role of President
- The Chair of Senate to become a trustee, bringing enhanced member representation at board level
- Two new trustees roles which are directly elected by members
- Appointing up to three independent trustees from outside BPS membership with specific expertise in key areas such as finance and HR
- Extending the term of office of President from one to two years to ensure more continuity
- Setting maximum terms of office for trustees to maximize opportunities for new trustees who may bring a different perspective and diversity to the Board
- The positions of Honorary Treasurer and Honorary General Secretary be removed
There are four resolutions for members to vote on.
You can also read an explanatory document which outlines the recommended proposals, as well as the rationale for them, and also highlights changes from the 2019 proposals to now which reflect further levels of modernisation needed for the society to modernise and to be future-proofed.
The information provided here will help you consider the various changes to ensure you are informed sufficiently to vote.
The vote will be open for four weeks and will close at noon on Friday 11 February.
The result will be announced on Thursday 17 February 2022 at a physical Special General Meeting, which will take place at the British Psychological Society, 48 Princess Road East, Leicester, LE1 7DR.
The Notice of Special General Meeting has been published in The Psychologist.
The Special General Meeting will be specifically for the announcement of the vote only.
All other business falls under the Annual General Meeting in July 2022.
If the member vote is successful, the final submission of the Charter and Statutes goes before Her Majesty’s Privy Council in March 2022.
Implementation of the changes will come into place in line with the transitional arrangements in a phased way with the proposed governance changes, with member grades starting to be rolled-out from June 2022 onwards.
The online vote opens on Wednesday 12 January and closes at noon on Friday 11 February.
All members who are eligible to vote will receive an individual voting code via email from 10 January onwards.
Our partners Mi-Voice, who also manage our elections’ process, are managing the vote on our behalf.
Ready to vote?
Can’t locate your individual voting code?
Have a question?
- If you have any questions about the proposals, please get in touch