CSP’s current chair is a little envious about the changes ahead for the society’s new council
I must admit to a little envy that I’m not going to be there myself. As I said in my last blog, it is such an exciting time for physiotherapy, and it will be hard to step away from being part of the profession’s leadership and strategy development, particularly as the governance changes come into effect. But, looking at the list of inspiring and passionate members who do want to step up to the challenges and opportunities we face, fills me with confidence for the future of our profession.
One of the biggest changes of course is that we have moved from a representative to a leadership model. That means there are no protected seats for different segments of the profession. It is up to the members to look at the candidates on offer and vote for those they feel can best provide leadership for all of us as a professional body and a trade union, wherever we work and whatever our membership category is. That means thinking about the diversity of skills, experiences and ideas on offer so that, as in the most effective teams, the sum is greater than its individual parts.
It is sad that we don’t have candidates from every country or every membership category, particularly as some of these groups were the most vocal about losing a protected seat. In the old model this would have meant we had to hold a vacancy on council and then go out to re-election with all the additional work and expense that involves. But it is also inevitable that members will stop thinking about people in terms of where they live or their job role and start looking at who are the best leaders to take the whole profession forwards.
What is most gratifying for me is that we have a record number of candidates putting them forwards for election, with more choice for the electorate than ever before, and no one will be elected unopposed. That has to be a good thing for democracy.
Of course democracy is most effective with a high voter turn-out. Some members have commented on the numbers voting at the AGM, a small percentage of the whole electorate. Believe it or not this was the biggest recorded turn-out. It shows we have engaged more members in this change, but it also shows we have a long way to go. 2018 marks 100 years since the UK parliament passed a law allowing all men and some women to vote for the first time. Surely therefore it’s fitting to call on all members to engage in the governance of our professional body and trade union by using their vote to elect the 12 best leaders from those standing as candidates for CSP Council. Don’t complain about the turn-out or the outcome if you haven’t even voted yourself!
It’s also really encouraging to see more members identifying themselves as leaders. Whether or not individual candidates are successful in this election, I hope they will still want to use their leadership qualities and motivation to further our profession’s vision and influence. We need visible, vocal, inspiring physiotherapists to be delivering real change, demonstrating how we can provide large scale solutions for health and social care, outside as well as within the profession.
So thank you and good luck to the candidates who have put themselves forward. Now it’s over to the rest of us to use our votes, and use them wisely.
Catherine Pope is the CSP Chair of Council. Follow her on Twitter
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