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My experience of my first College of Paramedics Board meeting

Newly appointed Trustee for the South East Coast Julie Ormrod and Alternate Trustee Rhiannon Roderick share their experiences of their first board meeting of the College of Paramedics.

My experience of my first College of Paramedics Board meeting

As a long-standing member of the College of Paramedics I have always been interested in the development of the role and the potential for paramedics to progress through a defined career structure in line with the rest of the NHS.  I applied to become the Regional Trustee for the South East Coast when the role was advertised last year (2016) and I was delighted when I heard my application had been successful.
My colleague and Alternate Trustee Rhiannon Roderick attended our first Board meeting to represent the South East region and this is her account of how she found the meeting…

 "En-route to my first College of Paramedics Trustee meeting in Bristol last year I  must confess I found myself quite nervous, I’d made some notes about the plans in  place for the South East region but whilst rifling through them on the train, suddenly  my handwriting looked messy and I questioned whether I should have perhaps used  more official paper.

 Arriving in Bristol my concerns were quickly put at ease and I was invited (via  Twitter) to meet some of the Trustees informally before the meeting the next day.  Already it was an energetic gathering of individuals who shared the same specialist  topic – ‘the paramedic profession’, and there were much anticipation and advice  provided about my first meeting the next day.

 The meeting itself was extremely organised. Andy Newton as Chair (now past Chair)  had the task of keeping the two-day event to schedule and strictly to the agenda –  not always easy when the attendees are very passionate about the topics raised!

 The British Paramedic Journal had recently been launched and it was exciting to  see this development being reviewed and receiving a great deal of input from  paramedics working in a diverse range of specialisms. This led on to the interactive  career framework which has since been released on the College website and which  provides clear pathways for career development within multiple streams. 

 Receiving area specific updates from each Trustee was very interesting, as well as  providing lots of ideas regarding how to develop and improve CPD events in the  South East Region.

 Overall, the meeting was a fantastic opportunity to meet the College of Paramedics  Trustees and learn more about the work that the College is currently undertaking to  develop the profession and make a real difference for its members." 

I had the benefit of Rhiannon’s initial experience to prepare me for my first meeting.  The meeting papers came in plenty of time for me to have a good read through and get an understanding of what was going to be covered.  Within moments of arriving, I was greeted by some fellow Board members who were friendly and engaging.   
I must say that the two days were absolutely jam packed with agenda items all of which I found to be current and relevant with enough experience, diversity, and enthusiasm in the room to tackle the many challenges that we are faced with.   
The meeting concluded with me understanding how the College is endeavouring to progress the paramedic profession to become recognised in its own right and in doing so also become a Royal College at some point in future. 
The regions, including student paramedics, were all represented during the meeting.  This range of representation gives all members a chance to have their ideas voiced, through their appointed Trustee, which enables every member to shape and adapt their own College, making it relevant to them and the wider profession.   

24 05 2017

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