RESTRUCTURE WEBPAGE

21.04.21
RESTRUCTURE QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

How has the proposed restructure been devised?
The need for a governance restructure was put forward at the Board, in January 2019, in response to a lack of agility, that the College and the Board were experiencing. Decision making processes in the organisation were sometimes unclear and often inconsistent, which resulted in unnecessary delays to progression of business. When the organisation was small this was not as significant, but as the organisation increased in size, this became more of a problem. Change was needed to adequately represent a profession developing and expanding in size, scope and setting.
The basic concept for the proposed restructure was devised by 4 Representative Trustees (elected by their regions), in May 2019. It consists of member representatives making up a Paramedic Council, which would be the voice of the membership, working closely with the paid employees, who are responsible for the running of the organisation, in line with the Strategy, and with the smaller Board of Trustees, which ensures that the charity is governed correctly and efficiently, in line with the College charitable objects (1 of our Memorandum and Articles of Association).
Since early 2020, regular restructure project meetings have taken place to develop the concept into a workable and effective solution for the organisation. This project group includes Representative Trustees (elected by regional members), Trustee Officials (currently recruited through application/shortlisting/interview), employees of the College, a member representative with an EDI remit and a member representative with project management experience. The group have also had legal advice on our Memorandum and Articles of Association from a charity lawyer from Brabners LLP.

What are the major differences between what happens now and what would happen in the new structure?
Currently we have a Board of Trustees with 23 people; 15 Representative Trustees, who represent regions/sectors, and 8 Trustee Officials who have specific roles, such as Chair, or areas of expertise, such as Education.
Instead of a Board of Trustees of 23 people, there will be a Paramedic Council of 13 members, representing and driven by the views of the membership, and a Board of Trustees of 9 members, overseeing the governance of the organisation; its efficiency, effectiveness and financial security.
Both these groups will then make up the voting members of the Congress, which will elect Trustees when a vacancy arises.

Tenure in post and method of appointment:
NOW

Currently all Trustees can stand for 3 terms of 2 years, meaning they could be in post for 6 years.
Any full member can put themselves forward for a vacant Representative Trustee position and, if there is more than one candidate, the members in that region/sector will elect one of them.
Vacant Trustee Official positions, except the Chair and Deputy Chair, are recruited through an advert/shortlisting/interview process, via a decision-making panel of two trustees and one employee.
The Chair role is auto-filled by the Deputy Chair.
The Deputy Chair is replaced from within the Board, voted on by Trustees.

PROPOSED
The method of appointment for all Trustees will be by election.

Under the proposed restructure Trustees and Paramedic Council members will have a tenure of 2 years and will be allowed to stand for another 2 year tenure, meaning they will be in post for 4 years, although the position would still go out to the Full membership for other candidates to stand at the 2 year point, meaning a Trustee may only be in post for 2 years. The restructure would mean that all of the Trustee positions, including the President (currently Chair) and Vice President (currently Deputy Chair), when they become vacant, will be open for any Full member to stand. Candidates will be asked to submit supporting information against a role description and all those that put themselves forward will be put before Congress to be voted on. Using Congress as the electorate for appointing Trustees, reduces the inequality that may arise from the disproportionate number of members within the different regions around the UK. Congress is made up of 13 elected member representatives and 9 Trustees, which means that any vote will always require a majority from the regional representatives who are elected by the members.

Congress members will be asked to vote based on the supporting statements and the role description, using the Single Transferable Vote (SVT) system. Using SVT is a common practice in many elections and an explanation can be found in this Scottish Election video: Single transferable vote explained - video  
The Chair of the Paramedic Council will be a Trustee, as well as a member of the Paramedic Council and will be appointed in the same way as other Trustees, by election. However, as this is such an important role within the proposed governance structure, being the link between the Council and the Board, this position will have a tenure of one term of 3 years. There will be an election 6 months in advance to allow the successful person time in a Chair Elect role to shadow the existing Chair of Council in preparation.
Working together, the Board of Trustees, Paramedic Council and the Chief Executive Group will provide collective leadership for the College of Paramedics and ensure the effective running of the charity, delivery of the strategy and active membership representation.

What is the role of a Trustee?
Trustees are legally responsible for the College as a charity. They do not get involved in the day to day running of the organisation, but instead they have an oversight role and seek assurance that the organisation is legally and financially sound and complying with its charitable purpose, outlined in the College charitable objects.

Who are the Chief Executive Group and what do they do?
The Chief Executive and her team (the Chief Executive Group) are employees, recruited from the profession and supported by the Head Office staff team. The Chief Executive Group deliver the services and workstreams of the College, in line with the Strategy, and will be able to do this within a refreshed and robust reporting and governance system, should the restructure go ahead.

How will the future strategy of the organisation be developed under the new structure?
The proposed Congress will develop the next strategy, after consultation with members and stakeholders, which will be signed off by the Board of Trustees, who ensure it is in line with the College charitable objects.

Are there any other changes that will occur if the restructure goes ahead?
Nomenclature change - the Chair of the Board will become the President of the Board to distinguish the role from the Chair of the Paramedic Council.
As the College has been growing, the Trustees, although volunteers, have been part of the day to day running of the organisation, out of necessity. Now that the College has increased in size the necessity is that the Trustees sit back and have an overview, to fulfil their obligations of ensuring a legally and financially sound organisation.
Importantly, the restructure will allow more dedicated space and time for discussion around the views of the membership and decisions regarding the issues that affect members most, and therefore what the College should be focusing its efforts on. Previously, these discussions were overshadowed by the business of the Board and therefore separating the Council, from the Board of Trustees is a natural and progressive step for a developing member organisation.

In the new structure how could I get involved with the College?
Pending the current vote outcome,
Full members can stand for:
• the Chair of Council, which you will hear more about in late April.
• the Member Representative vacancies on the Paramedic Council, which will be announced in May.
• Trustee vacancies, the first of which will come up early in 2022, with the President and Vice-President (Honorary Secretary) roles coming up in 2023.

Student members can stand for regional representative roles within the Student Council as well as for Chair of the Student Council. Find out more here.
The Paramedic Council, through its Member Representatives will be developing local, sector and setting based member networks to feed into regional member groups. These will be developed by the College, and its Paramedic Council over the next few years, with the help of willing members of all categories; full, student and associate.
As the College continues to grow there will be increasing opportunities to get involved in Special Interest Groups, bringing member experience and expertise from around the UK within the College.

When will voting on the Memorandum and Articles of Association close?
Voting will close at 13:15 on Tuesday 27th April. This coincides with the end of the EGM, so if you are not sure what to vote, you can attend and listen to the presentation on the proposed restructure by our Board of Trustees Chair, John Martin and take part in the Q & A session, before casting your vote. We are really looking forward to seeing and hearing from you at the EGM.

When will the proposed new structure be implemented?
Should the membership vote in favour of the restructure by voting for the new Memorandum and Articles of Association, it will be implemented at our Annual General Meeting on Tuesday 20th July 2021.

HAVE YOUR SAY – TIME TO VOTE

01.04.21

Following the announcement of the College of Paramedics restructure in December 2020 (see below) we are now at the point of asking our members to approve our new governing document, through a special resolution at an Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM). The governing document is called the Memorandum and Articles of Association and approval of this will complete the restructure from a legal perspective. There will be an opportunity to vote before our EGM, with the vote closing at that meeting on the 27th April. We will then be in a position to implement our new governance processes following the AGM on the 20th July. As you may already be aware, we have a continually growing membership and we have now outgrown our current structure. This restructure has been developed to strengthen the organisation for the future, to ensure we are more agile and that we can meet the needs of a growing and increasingly more diverse membership. This is an important and vital step for all our members, and it is your opportunity to be part of the decision making process to shape the future of your professional body so please cast your vote and have your say. The Memorandum and Articles of Association document is available to download here and for more information on how to vote, using our usual service, Civica Election Services (CES), click here.

THE PARAMEDIC COUNCIL ANNOUNCES THE APPOINTMENT OF FOUR NEW INTERIM REGIONAL REPRESENTATIVES

31.03.21
The College of Paramedics is delighted to announce the appointment of four new interim Regional Representatives to the Paramedic Council.
They are:
James Gough for Wales
Lewis Bowler for the East Midlands
Shane Woodhouse for the North East
Jon Price for the North West.

Each representative put themselves forward for the regional role and was nominated to the Council by four members within their region. The Paramedic Council has representatives from across the UK and allows paramedics to be actively involved in discussions that affect them and the future of the profession. Jon Price, who is the Clinical Effectiveness Lead at North West Ambulance Service said: “I am extremely proud to have been appointed as regional representative and I am keen to ensure that the profession within the North West is represented at the College and I’m looking forward to engaging with paramedics from across the region so that their voices can be heard.”

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.

In line with the new Board and Council becoming fully operational at the AGM in July 2021, the College will be looking for full members to stand as candidates for their region, and Wales, East Midlands, the North East and North West will be among these. New details about regional elections will follow in the next few weeks.

REFLECTIONS FOLLOWING THE FIRST PARAMEDIC COUNCIL MEETING

03.02.21
Rory O’Connor, Interim Chair.

I’m very proud to be a paramedic. I’m also very proud to represent and serve our professional body and its members. As a professional body we have been undertaking a significant amount of governance reform, with the aim of making our organisation more fit for purpose, agile, and to put us closer to our ever-growing membership.
One of the main outcomes of this process will hopefully be the creation of the Paramedic Council. This will allow our membership to be better represented, and allow us to accurately portray the voice of our members as we steer the direction of the professional body, and ensure it reflects the reality of being a paramedic in 2021, with all its opportunities and challenges. We are currently meeting in ‘shadow’ format pending the full ratification of the enormous changes we are proposing to College structures and governance. Members will get a chance to vote on the changes proposed, through a vote on our Articles of Association, from the 6th April.
We held our first shadow Paramedic Council meeting in February, which was well attended by your Member Representatives from around the UK, and gave a glimpse into how, as a Council, we can influence the direction of the professional body through member advocation and representation.
The Council is part of the aim to make the College more ‘regional’ and take it closer to our members. My aim, as Interim Chair of Council, is to ensure this happens, through robust and representative structures, which will form the basis of our member representation and allow members to be able to contribute more to the ongoing work of the College within your region, nation or sector, and also nationally.
We will keep members updated regularly, about new developments in our restructure, and the reality of how our work changes when the restructure is embedded.

The College of Paramedics Announces Its Interim Chair of Council

21.12.20

The College of Paramedics is pleased to announce the appointment of Rory O’Connor as its Interim Chair of the new Paramedic Council.

Rory, who currently works in primary care as an Advanced Paramedic and has been the Representative Trustee for Northern Ireland for over eight years, will take up the role with immediate effect. Rory has built up a strong political footing for the College of Paramedics in Northern Ireland and brought a strong and articulate voice to the existing Board. 

He said: “I am looking forward to working with my fellow Representative Trustees to develop the Paramedic Council into a strong voice of the membership. I am excited to contribute to the leadership, drive and collaborative working that is needed to guide the College through this period of change, as well as helping the membership engagement to continue to develop and grow.” 

As Interim Chair, Rory is primarily responsible for the effective and efficient functioning of the Council. As a member of the Board of Trustees, the Chair represents the Council and membership within the Board. Other duties include: 

Promoting an active and visible response within the organisation to current and changing health care in the UK and abroad.

Ensuring that each and every council member has the opportunity to articulate, and advocate for, the College member perspective.

Making certain that the Council plays an instrumental part in guaranteeing strategy is developed and delivered with the membership interests at its core. 

Encouraging high levels of regional engagement with members.

Tracy Nicholls, CEO of the College of Paramedics said: “The election for Chair of the Paramedic Council saw an excellent field of candidates who have all contributed an enormous amount to the College of Paramedics. Rory’s appointment will now enable the Paramedic Council to be formed. And there’s no doubt in my mind that his passion for our members and his drive and determination will continue to shine through. Rory is an advocate of inclusivity and brings with him a wealth of personal and professional experience to both the Council and the Board. We look forward to supporting Rory in his new role and wish him great success.”

GOVERNANCE RESTRUCTURE ANNOUNCEMENT

15.12.20
The College of Paramedics is today formally announcing a major restructuring of its governance model, implementing a plan that has been in development over the last year, following a major governance review by the Board of Trustees.

The restructuring is in response to the College’s growing membership which now represents 20,000 members in the UK, the fact that the profession has developed and diversified in its scope and work settings, and the need for a stronger, more inclusive membership focus.

With the proviso that membership will be in agreement at the AGM 2021, the following changes will be implemented:

  • The Board of Trustees will be reduced from 15 Representative Trustees and eight Trustee Officials to nine Trustees whose focus will be on overseeing the charity’s work within a robust policy, governance and financial framework.
  • The members’ representatives will now form the Paramedic Council and be the voice of the membership. The Council will play an instrumental part in ensuring that strategy is developed and delivered with membership interests at its centre. The Council will be supported by Head Office staff to develop connections with members within their region or sector and build effective groups and networks.
  • The Chief Executive and her team (the Chief Executive Group) will be able to deliver the services and workstreams of the College within a refreshed reporting and governance system.
  • Working together, the Board of Trustees, Paramedic Council and Chief Executive Group will provide collective leadership for the College of Paramedics and ensure the effective running of the charity, delivery of strategy and active membership representation.
  • Mirroring the Paramedic Council will be the Student Council which will have representatives from each region to provide a distinctive student voice within all that the College of Paramedics does. The Paramedic Council and Student Council will work together, with the Chair of the Student Council being a member of the Paramedic Council and one member of the Paramedic Council having an advisory position on the Student Council.

Tracy Nicholls, CEO of the College of Paramedics said: “These changes are the result of a Trustee-led project which will ensure our members remain at the heart of the College. We strive to represent members on all aspects of the profession and the new governance arrangements will allow the College to be more flexible and agile in its business as our membership grows. My thanks go to all those who have worked so hard to bring this together and to all of those talented and dedicated people who have either stood for elected positions or who have worked tirelessly in the background to make this happen. I look forward to presenting this to members at our next Annual General Meeting for approval.”