From the Chief Executive, December 2020

Sarb Bajwa writes.

As I’m sure is the case with many of you, much of 2020 for the BPS has been spent reacting to the unprecedented and unexpected challenges thrown up by the Covid-19 pandemic.

That doesn’t mean that the day-to-day running of the society has taken a back seat, however, and with our previous strategic plan running from 2015-2020, it’s time for us to develop a new one.

As with the development of any strategy, this will be an iterative process, and we want to ensure that the voices and views of our members are heard. We will be coming back to you with progress updates and seeking your views over the next few months.

This process has begun with our Board of Trustees holding an initial virtual ‘away day’, looking at our fundamental purpose and how we articulate this as part of a strategic plan. We will be building on that initial work during November, before our Senate meets at the start of December.

It’s vital that as many of you who are network representatives attend as possible, so that we can take on ideas from across the Society to ensure that the strategy is relevant and fit for purpose.

We will also be feeding back to Senate on progress with our member journey project and change programme, with detailed updates on these, and our new strategic plan, to come for all members following the Senate meeting.

We anticipate that the new strategic plan will be ready by the summer of 2021, and it will help us to continue moving the BPS forward as the home of UK psychology.

One element of strategy that we’ll be looking at is how, as an organisation and a discipline, we can have an influence on the defining issues in the world today.

On this note, I’m pleased to see the pieces on climate change and the vital contribution that psychology has to make, featured in this month’s issue. I fully agree with Professor Lorraine Whitmarsh’s suggestion that ‘almost every area of psychology has something to contribute’.

Professor Whitmarsh is a member of our newly formed environment and climate crisis steering group, which brings together members from across our networks to provide a coordinated approach to tackling this issue.

I travelled to Portugal in 2019 to represent the BPS at the signing of the Lisbon Declaration on psychology and global health, and the lead that we’ve taken on this issue at international level is having an effect, with over 60 countries now represented at our monthly discussions.

Our ethics committee formed the new steering group to really drive this work forward, and I’m sure that you’ll be seeing much more from them in these pages and across the Society over the coming months.

I know that it’s an area that many of you feel particularly strongly about – if you have any ideas on how the BPS can have a positive impact on tackling the climate crisis, I’d love to hear from you.

Sarb Bajwa is Chief Executive of the British Psychological Society. Contact him at [email protected]

BPS Members can discuss this article

Already a member? Or Create an account

Not a member? Find out about becoming a member or subscriber