Claire Arditto explains the thinking behind the recent ARC review and summarises its outcomes
This year’s ARC (the CSP’s Annual Representative Conference) was the 30th. It is tempting to assume that its longevity is indicative of its value but a milestone is always a good place to stop and take stock. Hence the recent ARC review.
Both council and ARC agenda committee had identified a number of reasons to look in detail at the conference. Attendance, particularly among some member groups and professional networks, has been falling in recent years, and there have been reports that the criteria for motions was frustrating, leading to some topical issues being excluded.
In essence, reviewing gave us the evidence and direction to plan future events that are more effective, and which are valuable to more - and more representative - CSP members.
A wide-ranging group of members – including stewards and network members, students and associates – undertook the review. We took part in a workshop and discussions; drew on feedback from CSP members who had attended ARC and some who hadn’t; and looked at evidence and information from previous events and from other organisations’ conferences.
We found some things that are working well - like the frequency and length - and suggested that these remain unchanged. We also recommended that its status – as advisory to Council – shouldn’t change but should be more purposeful, so there’s greater engagement between ARC and Council on policy and other relevant matters. Our recommended changes were agreed by members at this year’s ARC.
The ARC of the future will be a flexible, inclusive event, reflecting the issues of the day and using a mixture of styles and formats for greater involvement.
What we would like to see in the ARC of the future is more flexibility
Our aim is that it will include a more diverse mix of delegates, with different perspectives and skills so that a variety of views are presented.
And more people are being appointed to the Agenda Committee, bringing fresh ideas and experience. In September, they’ll be starting to make some firm plans for ARC 2020 and beyond.
- Claire Arditto is vice chair of CSP Council and chaired the ARC review group
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