The Chair of the College of Paramedics wrote to all members in April to advise that the Board of Trustees had approved a motion to be put to the Annual General Meeting (AGM) that there should be an increase in membership subscription fees.
Since then, the motion went to the AGM on 9th May 2017 and was unanimously supported by the members present. Therefore as from 1st June 2017, the monthly subscriptions for full members will be £9.00, for associates £4.00, and for students £2.50. The Board of Trustees fully accepts its responsibility for ensuring that members’ contributions are invested effectively and represent value for money, thus the increases are relatively modest when compared to other similar membership organisations. Members are reminded that tax relief can be claimed on subscriptions to professional bodies https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/income-tax-tax-relief-for-expenses-of-employment-p87
Like all organisations, the College is constantly challenged with rising costs, some of which are a consequence of government legislation whilst others are deemed necessary to keep pace with expectations and the ever-changing political and health service landscapes. As explained in the Chair’s letter to members in April, the Board of Trustees, while reluctant to make the recommendation to the AGM, strongly believe that the College had to increase its funding base in order to retain its ability to address the increasing number of challenges faced by the paramedic profession.
Membership of the College of Paramedics offers considerable benefits which meet the cornerstone expectations of any profession, including indemnity insurance, continuing professional development and access to a peer-reviewed profession-specific journal. Moreover, the College’s guidance on pre-registration and post-graduate education, the career framework, guidance and support for research and soon-to-be published handbook for practice educators are all essential facets of a profession’s commitment and contribution to the preparation and continuing development of paramedics as they proceed through their careers.
The Board of Trustees is committed to continuing with the activities noted above and to increasing the range of members’ benefits. It is also determined that the paramedic profession will be effectively represented both at national level on issues which affect the profession and through the media where the paramedics’ perspective should be made clear. The lengthy project work on paramedic independent prescribing is a good example of the level of resource and effort that is needed to ensure the case for the appropriate development of the profession is realised. We sincerely hope that there will be a successful outcome for that project when the Commission on Human Medicines considers the revised proposals at its meeting in July 2017.
Latest membership figures show the College fast approaching 13,000 members with almost 35 percent of registered paramedics having taken up full membership. This is a tremendous achievement for a profession that was established only 17 years ago and the Board has its sights set on continuing that healthy growth trajectory which along with other objectives will position it to make application for status as a Royal College.
Satisfied that the educational agenda is well-established and progressing as planned, the College will increase its focus on clinical and professional activities in 2017. The previously noted paramedic independent prescribing project will be joined by a renewed commitment to CPD through the appointment of a CPD Project Lead which will aim to improve both the number of events and modality options. And the newly appointed Trustee Official for Professional Practice, Paul Gowens, will be developing a strategy that will enable the College’s capability in clinical practice to equal that already demonstrated by its educational publications and activities.
To continue developments at the present pace and keep working towards its overall goals, the College needs to increase membership subscription fees and as noted earlier, has had approval to do so at the recent AGM. It is four years since there was a fee increase and that was largely to cover the costs of introducing ‘fitness-to-practise’ insurance.
The Board of Trustees repeats the expression of gratitude set out in the Chair’s letter. Your ongoing support and passion to see your profession get the recognition it so richly deserves is vital. We thank you for your ongoing commitment to the College of Paramedics.