ARC intro

The CSP's Annual Representative Conference took place in Manchester on February 28. ARC is an important debating forum for members, and is one part of the Society's democratic structure.

It brings together representatives from across the profession to debate a range of issues – professional, clinical, educational, employment and social. Motions can be proposed by members through nominated groups, such as those representing clinical interests, students, assistants and regional stewards and safety reps. Motions passed at ARC are later debated by CSP Council and may inform the work of the Society over the coming year, but the motions are not in themselves CSP policy. We bring you six pages of reports from Conference, with more to come in the next issue. This year, for the first time (as an innovation and as part of a pilot), motions on the primary agenda (1-16) due to be debated at ARC were available in advance on interactiveCSP, the Society's member networking website, so that members could give their views on the issues for debate. So there was some lively debate online as well as live on the day at the conference. Members appeared to welcome the opportunity to be able to contribute through iCSP and to vote to express their opinions (it was made clear that this was only an indication and that the real vote was taken on the day). Delegates frequently quoted the online discussions in their speeches.  Some delegates at ARC felt concerned that those attending the conference were the democratically elected representatives and that formal 'voting' on motions was only appropriate after a live debate, which had been heard by the whole conference on the day. Other delegates felt it was very useful to be able to bring views from a greater number of members into the discussions at ARC. A motion was moved at the beginning of the conference that the total 'votes' on motions from iCSP should be given at the end of each motion debated, rather than at the beginning. There was a very close vote and the motion was carried. With only a couple of exceptions, the vote in the conference hall reflected the advance votes online.

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