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BSHAA Annual General Meeting 2015

An audience of around 80 people in Nottingham and others attended the 2015 Annual General Meeting at the East Midlands Conference Centre on November 14th the first time the entire business meeting was broadcast live on the Society’s website with those not in the room being able to answer questions via the @bshaauk twitter feed.  Also for the first time, electronic voting was used – and although initially, gremlins had to be overcome, it proved to be an effective way of engaging with an audience.  It is planned to use this at future events.

Reports by the President and the Chair of the Professional Development Committee had previously been circulated and were accepted but the Treasurer David Foley spoke at the meeting to explain how at the AGM in 2014 he had headlined a decision to draw down reserves deliberately built up over time through careful financial management to pay for the new and a new professional development consultant.

He went on to say that further careful budget management in the last twelve months, coupled with good revenue from Congress and BSHAA People had meant that only £40k had been taken out of reserves, a third less than he forecast. Overall, income for the 2015 financial year compared favourably with the previous year, an increase in subscriptions reflecting the continued growth in BHSAA membership. However the Treasurer repeated a warning he had made 12 months earlier, that the use of reserves to fund flagship projects was not a financial position which was sustainable in the long term. “Although BSHAA retains significant reserves, by their nature they can be used once only. Council will therefore have to continue to be prudent in its finances in the financial year to 2016 and look at areas of expenditure where costs can be reduced.

Following the close of the formal meeting the President, Peter Sydserff, gave what amounted to a mid-term report, posting the question what did the Society look like now?  In his answer he explained that he saw his role being about “creating an organisation that leads and informs on important issues impacting on the profession.”

You can see his speech here

CPD Points to be scrapped

In his address to the meeting, Chief Executive David Welbourn explained the key work areas for the Society which included actions to ensure that BSHAA governance met current standards; guidance to members on their practice, the introduction of enhanced practice,  the Customer Care Scheme, professional development, member services and tackling policy issues.  Perhaps the topic that raised most interest from the audience was the announcement that in future CPD would not be measured by points.  Professor Welbourn said the development needs of every member were different and consequently it was no longer appropriate to assume that everyone who sat through a lecture would benefit in the same way. 

Just as the HCPC expect its registrants to demonstrate that they had identified their development needs in any given year, undertaken learning and then demonstrated how this had benefited their practice, so, in future the Society would shift the emphasis to best practice rather than points for meeting professional development standards, particularly for Fellowship.  Fellowship, he said, ought to be the pinnacle of the profession and in future members wishing to gain or retain it, would have to demonstrate a balanced portfolio of educational attainment, proven experience, contribution to the profession and contribution to the Society.

You can view David’s speech here:

Later the new Vice President, Sarah Vokes spoke about the challenges facing members “in very interesting times in audiology” observing that the professional was Jagjit Sethi President of the British Academy of Audiology 2016probably now seeing the biggest change since the introduction of digital hearing.  “We are now seeing commissioners who are no longer able to provide funding for people with mild/moderate hearing loss and an increase in competitive pricing and providers.  “In the coming years as your Vice President and eventually your President, it will be my job to make sure that you are all informed of the changes to our profession as well as helping you with the tools to have a professional and successful future within audiology.”

Jagjit Sethi the Vice President of the British Academy of Audiology, who talked through the many changes that audiologists faced in the coming months and years and Dr Priya Singh, Director of Education at the University College, London, Ear Institute, who urged her audience to think beyond the audiogram.

After the meeting there was a full professional development agenda which you can review here

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BSHAA Annual General Meeting 2015