Since the initial joint statement published on 15 February, meetings and events have taken place at which this concept has been explored further, including on 25 March where 100 people attended the BAA, BSA and BSHAA collaborative event, Hearing: A Sense of Purpose, in Bristol. Delegates at this collaborative event listened to a presentation by the CEO of the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists (RCSLT) and found it to be very informative as it provided a good example of the scope of work a College undertakes and the benefits of such work. You can review that presentation HERE.
A follow-up meeting of representatives from BAA, BSA, BSHAA, NCHA and AIHHP took place on 8 May to revisit the RCSLT presentation and discuss the feedback received since the original idea of a College was circulated.
Feedback so far falls broadly under six main themes:
- Partnership: wider engagement of other organisations, inclusivity and entitlement to be part of process;
- Structure and Governance: operational procedures, accountability, articles of association/charter;
- Membership: benefits of membership for individuals and the public, scope of practice, career support, fees, the difference between a College and other kinds of membership body, the future of current membership bodies and other groups;
- Remit and Impact: formation of a unified voice and scope – for example, whether it would be for audiologists or audiology and influence and reach;
- Process: timing, transition, implementation;
- Resource: funding requirements, sustainability, infrastructure, people.
The organisations who have worked on this initiative so far now plan to:
- work with a wider range of stakeholders to explore possible answers to the questions raised under each theme;
- undertake an Options Appraisal, with the aim of circulating this in July 2019.
In the meantime, you are still welcome to send any further thoughts directly to your membership body of choice. BSHAA members can do this by emailing the Society’s president, Andrew Coulter, at email@example.com