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Issue 140 Summer 2021

Endocrinologist > Summer 2021 > Society News

Strengthening member representation: an update on our governance review

| Society News

In July 2020, Council agreed to conduct a review of the Society for Endocrinology’s governance, including the structure of Council and the Committees and other decision-making groups, the breadth of expertise represented and the underpinning processes involved in the running of the Society.

Importantly, this review was not commissioned to address a particular problem or set of issues, but rather to ensure our Society is fit and well-equipped to serve its members and champion the field of endocrinology in the most impactful way into the future. The field of endocrinology is incredibly broad, and our Society must represent a diverse community that spans the scientific–clinical spectrum. We must, therefore, continually work hard, in order to meet the challenge of representing the voices of all the members we serve, if we are to satisfy our charitable aims, which are:

  • To advance scientific and clinical education and research in endocrinology for the public benefit
  • To attract high quality scientists, doctors and nurses into endocrinology and support their professional development to advance science and medicine
  • To engage the public with endocrinology and its impact
  • To raise the profile and be the voice of endocrinology in the UK
  • To promote and support the global endocrine community through collaboration

Following my appointment by Council as Chair for the review, an open call was put to the membership to recruit a working group to oversee the review process. The participants in the group (see panel) were chosen based on their interests and experience in governance and, as far as possible, to represent the breadth of the membership. Only two members of the group were currently serving on any of the Society’s Committees, though several had done so in the past. Three subgroups were set up to explore particular areas in more detail – leadership, decision making, and equality, diversity and inclusion – with their outputs brought back to the working group for discussion and agreement.

The working group used the Charity Governance Code as a framework for the review and considered the Society’s performance against its seven areas, listed in the graphic. The recommendations of the group were reviewed by our external governance consultant and refined with the benefit of her expertise.

To inform the conversations of the working group, I held a total of 22 interviews with members who were currently serving (or had previously held positions) within the Society’s governance structure, and who represented a range of member categories and backgrounds. In addition, a survey was distributed to all Committee members, over a 2-week period, to gather views on Committee effectiveness.

Four main themes have begun to emerge from these consultations, as areas for development:
1. Better representation of members and their interests across all areas of practice, both clinical and scientific, as well as meeting societal needs; and the role of the Endocrine Networks within the governance process
2. More inclusive election processes to foster better member engagement and diversity with the governance of the Society at all levels
3. Focusing on the future generation and ensuring that early career members have more of a voice in the Society’s decision making
4. Education and training.

An initial report and set of recommendations were taken before Council at the end of May 2021 at an Extraordinary Meeting. Following this, all members will be able to express their views on this report through a consultation process which closes on 18 July 2021. A final report and recommendations will go back to Council then before a clear and robust plan is put in place to implement the recommendations.



Read the full report with recommendations and complete the survey to provide your feedback by 11:00pm on Sunday 18 July 2021.

Read full report and recommendations

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