Each week throughout January we will be looking at different aspects of our regional committees and how different roles contribute to their success.
We want to hear from you on how you think these groups can be most successful and how they can best support you as a member.
This week, we are focusing on the organisational aspects of professional communities. If you have ever been involved in a committee, you will know that it can be difficult to ensure that everyone’s voice is heard, that actions are carried forward in a timely manner, that meetings are scheduled and recorded effectively, and that all members of the team remain motivated.
What are the challenges and opportunities that you have found in organising a committee or professional group? What strategies did you find worked well or were not so successful? What do you think are ideal qualities for people in organisational roles? What would you like to see from your regional committee?
Looking ahead to the future, what developments would you like to see within your regional groups? Are there any changes or new initiatives that you would like to see? Every member of BAOT is automatically a member of their regional group, so the activities of these committees has an impact on every single member!
Let us have your comments!
This week we are profiling the roles of Chairman and Secretary:
The Committee Chairman is the key leader for all of the committee work. However, although you have been appointed to run a committee that does not mean that you are responsible for all the work. This is why people have volunteered, so take the time to learn each person’s talent or skill and delegate tasks.
The Chair’s role is not necessarily one of bringing technical expertise to the group. The chair must be organized and know how to organize – both projects and people and motivate the committee members.
Other responsibilities of the chair include:
- setting agendas,
- calling meetings,
- ensuring that a successor is inducted in to assume the chair’s role sometime in the future.
The Chairman’s role is a great opportunity to hone your skills as a leader, manager and group coordinator. If any of these are areas you’d like to develop in your OT job, workplace and career, then this role is for you!
Taking on the role of being secretary of a committee is a rewarding and worthwhile commitment. It is more than just turning up for a meeting and taking some notes. The role of the Secretary is to support the Chair in ensuring the smooth functioning and management of the Committee. These include:
Ensuring meetings are effectively organised and minuted
- Liaising with the Chair to plan meetings
- Receiving agenda items from committee members
- Circulating agendas and reports
- Taking minutes
- Circulating approved minutes
- Checking that agreed actions are carried out.
Maintaining effective records and administration
- Keeping up-to-date contact details (i.e. names, addresses and telephone numbers) for the committee and the College of Occupational Therapists Membership Development Secretary, Olivia Lokko.
- Keeping a record of the committees activities
- Keeping a diary of future activities
Communication and correspondence
- Responding to all committee and BA/COT correspondence
- keeping a record of any of the BAOT publications (e.g. leaflets, promotional materials, banners) relevant to the work of the committee.
This is a role for someone who enjoys organising and being the central hub for information and activities. If you’d like to progress your career to a senior band, are thinking of multi-tasking such as supervising a student OT in your practice, or enjoy keeping things orderly, then this is the role for you!
For more information on becoming a part of a regional committee, visit the COT website.