Chair of Council Elections

The Chair of Council Elections is now closed, and we are delighted to announce our new Chair Elect - Helen Hardy.

“I am honoured and delighted to be voted Chair Elect of the Paramedic Council. Thank you to those who have put their trust and shown confidence in me.  I am looking forward to working together with Rory and with mutual support of Congress to provide a smooth transition to undertake the important role of Chair next Spring – a time for further growth in well cultivated ground! Thank you to all involved in this process, not least any that opposed - it’s important to have discussion that leads to consensus.” 

Helen joined the East of England Ambulance Service Trust (EEAST) in 2008 as a student paramedic. Once registered she was then in the shared role of Lecturer Practitioner and Clinical Practice Supervisor for five years, moving on to join the quality improvement team at EEAST in 2021. 

As a lecturer, instructor and mentor she was able to provide counsel to peers and work alongside other RCUK Advanced Life Support Instructors to promote the role of paramedics in caring for patients across the region. 

As a Quality Improvement and Professional Standards Officer, she has the responsibility to network with partner organisations to cultivate new pathways, and to foster a culture of continuous innovation empowering people involved to deliver the highest quality of patient care. Her role within Professionals Standards includes working with staff and people in EEAST, as well as the College, to understand behaviours that generate risk and give some insight into staff satisfaction and explore the professional identity of paramedics. 

Helen worked with the College in the role of Council Representative for the Eastern region from July 2022 until her successful candidacy for the role of Chair of the Paramedic Council, working as Chair Elect from November 2023. 

Helen will begin on the 22nd November as the Chair Elect, shadowing the current Chair of Council, Rory O’Connor, for 6 months as he comes to the end of his tenure. The full role of Chair of Paramedic Council will commence at the AGM on 22nd May 2024. 
Candidate Statements

To view the candidate statements click here

Chair Elect

The successful candidate will start on the 22nd November as the Chair Elect, shadowing the current Chair of Council, Rory O’Connor, for 6 months as he comes to the end of his tenure. The full role of Chair of Paramedic Council will commence at the AGM on 22nd May 2024. 

The Chair Elect will be a non-voting member of the Board of Trustees and Paramedic Council. 

The Chair of Council role receives support from a full time Executive Assistant.

It’s essential that we continue to represent the collective voice of our members in all matters that affect the profession and the delivery of safe, system-wide, healthcare.

To download a PDF version of the Person Specification and Role Description click here
To download a PDF version of the Paramedic Council Terms of Reference click here
To download a PDF version of the Board of Trustees Terms of Reference click here

Information from our current Chair of Council - Rory O'Connor


What is a 'Chair of Council? 
It’s a vital role in the College. You get to Chair council meetings, contribute to wider strategy and help lead both the organisation and profession.  It’s essential that the College, as a member led organisation, has someone who aims to ultimately represent the members at the most senior levels of the College.

Who do you report to and where does it sit in the broader organisation of the College?  
It is one of 3 senior positions in the College along with the CEO and President.  The only people that I am ultimately responsible to are the members.

How much influence does the role have in the decisions of the College and advancing the profession?  
It has a lot of influence from a higher level strategy perspective as well as helping with day to day issues on the College.  I aim to be a visible leader for senior staff members and be aware of their workstreams and assisting where I can.  

Who should apply? 
Any Full Member should apply.  I am not a senior leader within an ambulance service, and the job does not require you to be an existing senior leader.  As a member led organisation its key that we have a wide range of representation from both clinical and non-clinical roles.  

Why did you choose to do this role?  
I really believe wholeheartedly in the paramedic profession, and love being involved in helping if progress for everyone.  I also felt I was in a position to make positive changes .

What have been the highlights?  
My main highlights have been some of the amazing events we hold.  Also I’ve loved meeting new people and working with paramedics form all over the UK.  

How has it helped you?
I will leave with skills and experience I never would have gained without the College.

What do you love most about the role?  
Very cliched but I love meeting and working with people and getting into the work of supporting the strategy  of the College.

Describe your experience in a sentence?
A challenging but positive one, full of progress, and change for the profession and the College.

More Questions with Rory O'Connor

Please use the following drop down menus for more information, how to apply and links to the application form. 


Candidates must be a full member of the College of Paramedics and not have any legal reason why they can’t be a member of a charity board.

Candidates should be clear about how they meet the requirements of the role, which can be found in the Personal Attributes and Role Description.


The elections are a straightforward process.

If, after checking you meet the eligibility criteria to stand as a candidate and reading the Personal Attributes and Role Description, you feel that you can bring the right skills and experience to the role and you’re willing to commit time to it, you’ve completed the first step.

The next step is to find four fellow College of Paramedics members who support your standing as a candidate to act as nominators. You will then need to register as a candidate by completing the Candidate Registration Form, in which you will be asked to complete your personal details, the names and email addresses of your nominators and a written candidate statement explaining how you meet the requirements of the role.

Providing 4 nominators demonstrates you have the support of fellow members to represent them.

A short period follows where you can have contact with the Congress—members of the Board and the Paramedic Council. They will vote, and our new Board Members will be announced.

The elections are administered by an independent election service. Votes will be counted using the Single Transferable Vote system, which means second and even third or later choice votes may come into play.

Full members will be able to submit their Candidate Registration Form from Monday 4th September to Sunday 24th September (Midnight).

The Person

The person must be a full member of the College of Paramedics, have experience within a senior leadership position, including chairing responsibilities, and have an awareness of charity governance processes.

It will be essential for the person to have knowledge of the type of work undertaken by the College of Paramedics, and an understanding of the prominent issues that currently face the paramedic profession.

The person will be prepared to commit on average 6-8 hours per week to this vital role as well as attending regular meetings.

There must be a personal commitment to the aims and ethos of the College of Paramedics and ensuring good relationships with external organisations, acting to maintain the professional reputation of the College of Paramedics at all times.

This role requires personal insight with regards to values and behaviours and the impact on others, an ability to think strategically and skills in building relationships and creating a shared vision.

This person will be a role model for others, acting with integrity, positivity, energy and compassion to inspire those around them to achieve their full potential.

As the Chair of the Council is also a Trustee of the College of Paramedics, the person should ensure the obligations and responsibilities of their Trustee role.

The Principles

In order to ensure robust governance, transparent decision-making, good judgement and professional conduct the College of Paramedics expects the President to embody the Seven Principles of Public Life in all that they do. These principles mean that the person should act with selflessness, integrity, objectivity, accountability, openness, honesty and leadership.

The Seven Principles of Public Life

Holders of public office should act solely in terms of the public interest.

Holders of public office must avoid placing themselves under any obligation to people or organisations that might try inappropriately to influence them in their work. They should not act or take decisions in order to gain financial or other material benefits for themselves, their family, or their friends. They must declare and resolve any interests and relationships.

Holders of public office must act and take decisions impartially, fairly and on merit, using the best evidence and without discrimination or bias.

Holders of public office are accountable to the public for their decisions and actions and must submit themselves to the scrutiny necessary to ensure this.

Holders of public office should act and take decisions in an open and transparent manner. Information should not be withheld from the public unless there are clear and lawful reasons for so doing.

Holders of public office should be truthful.

Holders of public office should exhibit these principles in their own behaviour. They should actively promote and robustly support the principles and be willing to challenge poor behaviour wherever it occurs.

Source: GOV.UK The Seven Principles of Public Life

It is the vision of the College to inspire and enable all paramedics to participate in the profession within an environment based on safety, collegiality, inclusiveness, mental & physical wellbeing and innovation.

The College of Paramedics is committed to:

The presence, recognition and celebration of difference within the organisation and the profession

Identifying and working to eliminate barriers to fair treatment in access, opportunity and advancement for all, through systematic changes within the organisation

Every individual is welcomed and feels they are an integral part of our profession and that they are represented at all levels of the organisation

Physical, mental, social, spiritual, intellectual and economic wellness for all 

The College of Paramedics expects trustees to commit to the eight principles to address the diversity deficit in charity leadership.

The Eight Principles to Address the Diversity Deficit in Charity Leadership

1. Acknowledge that there is a problem with racial diversity in the charity sector, including the College of Paramedics, and commit to working to change that.

2. Recognise the important role leaders have in creating change by modelling positive behaviour and taking action.

3. Learn about racial and other bias and how it impacts leadership decisions.

4. Commit to setting permanent and minimum targets for diversity that reflects the participants, donors, beneficiaries and the population of the area that my charity operates in.

5. Commit to action and invest resources, where necessary, in order to improve racial and other diversity in my charity.

6. View staff as the sum of many parts rather than a single entity and recruit to build a diverse group of talented people collectively working towards a shared vision.

7. Recruit for potential, not perfection.

8. Value lived experience, the ability to draw from one’s lived experience and to bring insights to an organisation that can develop its work.

Source: These eight principles have been adapted by the College of Paramedics from the eight principles to address the diversity deficit in charity leadership by ACEVO

The Purpose

The Chair of Council is primarily responsible for the effective and efficient functioning of the Council, in line with the Paramedic Council Terms of Reference. As a member of the Board of Trustees, the Chair of Council represents the Council and membership within the Board.

The Paramedic Council

The Paramedic Council is the collective voice for the members and the communities they represent, ensuring that the members are present in the College vision and strategic direction. The Council plays a dynamic role in leading and shaping the College’s ongoing work and future aspirations.

Leadership and Management

• To provide leadership to the Council, creating conditions for Council effectiveness, facilitating inclusive and stimulating Council meetings, ensuring Council members play and active and participative role

• To chair members’ general meetings, including the Annual General Meeting

• To represent the views of the membership, ensuring they are effectively heard throughout the organisation

• To plan the annual cycle of Council meetings, setting the agenda in collaboration with the members of the Council as well as the President, Vice President and Chief Executive

• To build and maintain trust to work productively with Council members, delegating tasks as appropriate

• To promote an active and visible response within the organisation to current and changing health care in the UK and abroad

• To work proactively to anticipate problems and identify opportunities early, addressing any conflict or potential conflict within the Council and within the organisation to maintain credibility and transparency

• To develop the Council including induction, training, appraisal, professional and personal development and succession planning, having oversight of the appointment process for new Council members

• To prepare and present regular Council updates to Board

• To sit on appointment and disciplinary panels where appropriate

• To safeguard the reputation and values of the organisation

• To support the output of the Student Council in listening, supporting and acting where necessary on key areas of concern from the Student Representative.

Membership Advocacy

• To ensure that each and every Council member has the opportunity to articulate, and advocate for, the College member perspective

• To ensure that the Council plays an instrumental part in ensuring strategy is developed and delivered with the membership interests at its core

• To evaluate or quality assure that College activities and services appropriately address the needs of the members and the profession, holding the Board to account on this

• To lead the Council in deciding which services or programmes the College provides to its members

• To promote high levels of regional/sector engagement and collaboration with members

• To review the annual report

• To assure the Council of the Board’s sound governance of the organisation’s finances.

External Relations

In conjunction with other senior members of the College:

• To represent the College of Paramedics as appropriate, in multi-professional stakeholder meetings, and acting as a spokesperson where necessary, with appropriate briefing

• To work to raise the profile of the College of Paramedics, to promote the organisation to a wider audience to contribute to the future development of the profession and the organisation

• To liaise with Government Ministers and officials as required.

The above list is indicative only and not exhaustive. The Chair of Council will be expected to perform all such additional duties as are reasonably commensurate with the role.

The personal positives

This role will appeal to those with an altruistic nature. Becoming the Chair of Council will allow you to give back to your profession generously, providing your time and expertise to contribute to the ongoing development of the profession.

Your time as Chair of Council will be for one 3 year term, which will allows you time to settle in, work closely with the Council, Board and Chief Executive Group to make a significant difference, and confidently hand over to a new Chair to continue our journey. Where possible the College of Paramedics will communicate with employers/organisations to discuss support with the time needed for you to carry out this role.

Becoming a trustee of a charity provides you with a rich opportunity to develop both personally and professionally.

Professional benefits

• Experience of strategy and governance, influencing and managing risk

• Development and enhancement of your leadership skills and style

• Opportunity to work closely with a passionate team of people who have different perspectives

• Gaining new skills, confidence and connections

• Improvement of your national and international profile.

Personal benefits

• A Personal Assistant to support admin, meetings, emails

• Refund of role related costs in line with Expenses Policy

• Development opportunities (i.e. courses, coaching)

• Growing your networks

• Developing your chairing skills.

Please click here to complete your Candidate Registration Form. The deadline for submissions is Sunday 24th September at midnight.

Please note, you will be unable to save your registration form as you go along, so you will need to have all answers prepared before completing the form. Please see the information below to help you with your preparation.

Section 1: Equality monitoring information

This section of the form is for equality monitoring purposes and is unrelated to your registration as a candidate. It is recommended but not compulsory to complete this section of the form.

Section 2: Contact information and nominators

Your region

• Which region do you live in?

Your details
• First/Given Name
• Surname/Family Name
• Email Address
• Contact Number
• Your College of Paramedics Membership Number

Nominator details
• 1st nominator's name, membership number and email address
• 2nd nominator's name, membership number and email address
• 3rd nominator's name, membership number and email address
• 4th nominator's name, membership number and email address

Providing 4 nominators demonstrates you have the support of fellow members to represent them.

Section 3: Candidate Statement

Please answer the following three questions, which together will make up your 1000 word (max.) Candidate Statement. Please read the information provided in the Chair of Council Personal Attributes and Role Description and be clear in your answers how you meet the criteria.

• If elected how would you work to represent the members at the most senior level of the College?

• How will you use your background, skills and experience to support the work of the Board and Paramedic Council?

• What other skills and experience will you bring to the role you are standing for?

Friday 4th September - Sunday 24th September (Midnight)
Full members can submit their Candidate Registration Form

Thursday 5th October
Congress vote opens

Monday 23rd October (Noon)
Congress vote closes

Tuesday 24th October
Successful candidate will be informed

Wednesday 1st November
Successful candidate will be announced as Chair Elect of the Paramedic Council

Wednesday 22nd November
The new Chair Elect will start their 6 months shadowing the current Chair of Paramedic Council


Meet the Trustees

Our Trustees are legally responsible for the College as a charity, ensuring that the College is legally and financially sound and complying with its charitable purpose.