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:
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.
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.