From the Chief Executive, January 2019

Sarb Bajwa writes.

One of the strengths of a membership organisation is its ability to bring together people who share a passion, to provide them with a collective voice and a platform to be able to influence on a wider scale.

Successful professional bodies amplify voices, not just by bringing together their own members, but also by reaching out to other like-minded organisations. Our member networks are already undertaking some impressive partnership working, and I’m keen to build on this by forging more alliances on a strategic level.

That’s why we recently took the lead in forming an alliance of organisations on the HCPC’s proposals to significantly increase their registration fees for over 23,000 practitioner psychologists. Society members are rightly concerned about the soaring cost of registration – if the proposals go ahead, fees will have increased by almost 40 per cent since 2014. Based on your feedback, the Society submitted a robust response to the HCPC consultation calling on them to reconsider imposing increased fees for 2019.

We also coordinated nine other professional bodies and trade unions representing other HCPC-registered professionals to write an open letter to the regulator challenging the increase. While we wait for the outcome of the consultation, we have clearly strengthened our relationships with other organisations and built a solid platform for partnership working.

In November, we published a joint statement with the Royal College of Psychiatrists in The Lancet Psychiatry, outlining a set of principles for how we should discuss often contentious mental health topics in the public domain; and last month we joined the Mental Health Policy Group calling for parity of esteem for mental health services as the NHS moves forward with its 10-year plan.  

Developing strategic relationships is important, but it is only part of the drive to increase our influence. Supporting individual Society members who are leading the way in forging new partnerships is a priority for the coming year. For example, we recently committed to funding the evaluation of three pilot sites where clinical psychologists are leading the delivery of new models in primary-care settings.

Why not get in touch to discuss how we can deliver an impact that benefits our members, raises the profile of psychology and champions the work that so many of our members are engaged with?

- Sarb Bajwa is Chief Executive of the British Psychological Society. [email protected]

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