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Issue 139 Spring 2021

Endocrinologist > Spring 2021 > Society News

Fit for the future: a health check for your Society

| Society News

As the Society celebrates its 75th anniversary, it’s astonishing to think how much the field of endocrinology has developed in that time and how diverse our community is across the scientific−clinical spectrum. It’s a tough job for a Society to cater for so many different and constantly evolving needs.

Last year, I was appointed by Council to chair a working group to conduct a review of the Society’s governance, including the structure of our Council and Committees and other groups, the breadth of expertise within them, and the processes that underpin them. It is equally important to consider how transparent that governance is to the membership. Ultimately, the purpose of this review is to ensure that the Society is fit for purpose now and well into the future.

It’s important to say that this review has not come about because of any complaints or instructions to do so, but simply because we know it is best practice to regularly review these things. With the increasing importance of diversity and inclusion within organisations (even more so for a field as broad as endocrinology!), it felt timely to review our governance as a whole.

In October 2020, we put out an open call to the membership in order to recruit a group of members to oversee the review process. Our group is being supported and guided by an external consultant who specialises in governance for learned societies and charities. She is ensuring we approach the review objectively, based on sound governance principles.

Broadly, the working group will review the Society’s governance against all aspects of the Charity Governance Code, namely:

  • leadership
  • integrity
  • decision making, risk and control
  • board effectiveness
  • equality diversity and inclusion, and
  • openness and accountability.
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Aside from a few technical matters, good governance is mostly about upholding common sense, integrity and fairness. Some of the specific areas we have started to consider are our processes for appointing key roles within the Society (e.g. Officers or Committee Chairs), the data we capture about our members to enable us to better monitor diversity and inclusion, whether our Endocrine Networks should be a more formal part of our governance structure, and how we can encourage more diversity on our Committees.

We are busy gathering member feedback on all aspects of governance through a series of individual interviews, focus groups and surveys. All of this will be considered, alongside examples of good practice in other organisations, to help us draft a series of recommendations for change. We will be inviting all members to feed back their views on these recommendations before they are presented to Council.

In the meantime, if you have any particular areas that you feel should be addressed by the working group, please let us know at [email protected] or [email protected], and we will make sure your points are considered.

The end result of this process will be an even more robust, representative and transparent Society that can continue meeting its members’ evolving needs well into the future!


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