Campaign for a Royal College of Psychologists

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secret squirrel
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Campaign for a Royal College of Psychologists

Post by secret squirrel » Fri Mar 15, 2013 1:06 pm

Came across this recently: http://www.rcpsychol.com/
Campaign for a Royal College of Psychologists – Our Campaign
The aim of the campaign is to petition the BPS to work towards the status of becoming (or creating) a Royal College, such as “The Royal College of Psychologists” or “The Royal College of Chartered Psychologists”. The choice of name and associated membership grades, their privileges and responsibilities would ultimately be a matter for Council.

The principal reason for the BPS operating under the name of a Royal College is to bring the BPS in line with other Royal Colleges in the UK, e.g. Royal College of Physicians, Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists, Royal College of Nursing, Royal Pharmaceutical Society, Royal Institute of British Architects, Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors etc. With the new RCPsychol the professional interests of all psychologists will be seen to be substantively protected by psychologists. The BPS has all the infrastructure in place to do this, but the campaign feels that this is not been given the recognition it deserves by government, business stakeholders, international organisations and authorities, as the BPS is not perceived to be of the same status as other chartered institutions who have adopted a royal institutional title.

The BPS already has a Royal Charter since 1965, and is already doing what other Royal Colleges do but without the visible authority of a Royal College per se. The status of a Royal College of Psychologists will give the present BPS a well-deserved place among sister Royal Colleges, and raise it to the status of a definitive authority in the eyes of the public, both at home and internationally. It will also give visible regard to the Royal Charter granted to the Society 45 years ago.

The Campaign does not see the project as simply a rebranding exercise. It looks in the longer term to the Royal College of Psychologists re-homing the statutory registration of all psychologists, and protecting their respective titles, should this be the wish of the membership at that time.
I have mixed feelings about lobbying for professional privileges, but I thought it might be of interest, given a lot of talk on here about having psychologists' voices heard, etc.

They're looking for 500 people to add their name to the list of supporters, which you can do via their website ( http://www.rcpsychol.com/ ) but you do have to be a BPS member. I think the deadline or target date is 26th March.

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Re: Campaign for a Royal College of Psychologists

Post by BenJMan » Fri Mar 15, 2013 1:21 pm

I've said it before in another thread but I continue to be exceedingly annoyed by the fact that they are only valuing votes from BPS members. If they choose not to value my opinion because I'm a trainee then fine, but at least base it on people with HCPC registration as a clinical psychologist. I really want a royal college but I will not be joining the BPS anytime soon, trainee or qualified.

I should probably qualify what I just said by saying that I don't think converting the BPS is necessarily the best idea, I'd like to see a fresh start for a royal college, but even if it is converted, there could be a lot of people (like me) who have an opinion on it and would actively contribute to a royal college but are not BPS members :)
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Re: Campaign for a Royal College of Psychologists

Post by Borrowed Cone » Fri Mar 15, 2013 9:18 pm

Ben, the reason they are only "valuing" votes from BPS members is because you need to be a BPS member in order to petition them to change the charter. It isn't about your support not being valued. Quite the opposite, your support for the movement is important if you believe in what they are aspiring to change. It is just a fact that your vote won't be considered by the BPS if you aren't a member, and that is quite right too.

Do support the cause if you believe in the change they are talking about, because if the petition is ultimately unsuccessful then I imagine the cogs will start turning to create a new society (for which you won't need to be a BPS member!)


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Re: Campaign for a Royal College of Psychologists

Post by BenJMan » Sat Mar 16, 2013 4:07 am

Borrowed Cone wrote:Ben, the reason they are only "valuing" votes from BPS members is because you need to be a BPS member in order to petition them to change the charter. It isn't about your support not being valued. Quite the opposite, your support for the movement is important if you believe in what they are aspiring to change. It is just a fact that your vote won't be considered by the BPS if you aren't a member, and that is quite right too.

Do support the cause if you believe in the change they are talking about, because if the petition is ultimately unsuccessful then I imagine the cogs will start turning to create a new society (for which you won't need to be a BPS member!)


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I think I already stated / responded to this in the second half of my post :P The point of my point was that I find irony in a group trying to fundamentally change the BPS due to its perceived shortcomings by approaching it's members, rather than simply starting afresh.
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Re: Campaign for a Royal College of Psychologists

Post by HedleyLamarr » Sat Mar 16, 2013 10:41 am

BenJMan wrote:I think I already stated / responded to this in the second half of my post :P The point of my point was that I find irony in a group trying to fundamentally change the BPS due to its perceived shortcomings by approaching it's members, rather than simply starting afresh.
I think there are probably a whole host of very good reasons for this, not least because the BPS already has the infrastructure in place as the OP's quote mentions. Also, I'd be really worried that creating a brand new organisation would create the type of messy schism that would only be to the detriment of psychology as a whole.
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Re: Campaign for a Royal College of Psychologists

Post by Borrowed Cone » Sat Mar 16, 2013 1:12 pm

BenJMan wrote: I think I already stated / responded to this in the second half of my post :P The point of my point was that I find irony in a group trying to fundamentally change the BPS due to its perceived shortcomings by approaching it's members, rather than simply starting afresh.
You didn't, that's why I wrote what I did. You merely stated that you thought starting afresh was your preferred method. I was stating why it is necessary to be a BPS member in order to challenge the existing charter, which is the first step because, as Hedley has pointed out, this would be logistically easier than starting afresh (although that option is not off the table should BPS petitions fail, as I have said.


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Re: Campaign for a Royal College of Psychologists

Post by michael2806 » Sat Mar 16, 2013 2:51 pm

As I've said before, I think this can only be a good thing. The BPS as we all know has charity status, and therefore cannot take a stance in the political arena.

I think with services seeing cuts, and with the governments attempts to increase the role of private providers in healthcare, we need a strong voice which advocates for our profession, and states why we are worth employing. We have lots to offer, and in my previous experience psychologists are often the only voice in the MDT, advocating for a more humanising, psycho-social approach in work with clients.

I fear that cuts may shift services moreso toward a medical model, and that our profession needs to make its voice heard in an increasingly competitive environment, to make sure services don't take a step backwards.

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Re: Campaign for a Royal College of Psychologists

Post by reefflex » Mon Mar 18, 2013 6:21 pm

I'm sorry but this line about the BPS being unable to take any kind of principled stand because it is a charity is just rubbish. What are Amnesty International, Freedom from Torture and the World Wildlife fund all doing if not commenting on political issues?

The simple fact is that the BPS chooses not to take any kind of position on socio-political issues for its own reasons, and using this line to defend itself is disingenuous. The guidance on charities undertaking political activity is very clear:

(from http://www.charitycommission.gov.uk/pub ... s/cc9.aspx)

"To be a charity an organisation must be established for charitable purposes only, which are for the public benefit. An organisation will not be charitable if its purposes are political.

Campaigning and political activity can be legitimate and valuable activities for charities to undertake.

However, political campaigning, or political activity, as defined in this guidance, must be undertaken by a charity only in the context of supporting the delivery of its charitable purposes. Unlike other forms of campaigning, it must not be the continuing and sole activity of the charity. (Section D5 provides a fuller explanation.)

There may be situations where carrying out political activity is the best way for trustees to support the charity’s purposes. A charity may choose to focus most, or all, of its resources on political activity for a period. The key issue for charity trustees is the need to ensure that this activity is not, and does not become, the reason for the charity’s existence.

Charities can campaign for a change in the law, policy or decisions (as detailed in this guidance in section C4) where such change would support the charity’s purposes. Charities can also campaign to ensure that existing laws are observed."

Ive posted a few times about how the BPS completely fails to take any kind of principled stand even on the basis of advancing psychological understandings. eg this post

viewtopic.php?t=1511&highlight=

And this is why we need a Royal College instead, and indeed to start from scratch.

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Re: Campaign for a Royal College of Psychologists

Post by BenJMan » Tue Mar 19, 2013 3:28 am

Borrowed Cone wrote:
BenJMan wrote: I think I already stated / responded to this in the second half of my post :P The point of my point was that I find irony in a group trying to fundamentally change the BPS due to its perceived shortcomings by approaching it's members, rather than simply starting afresh.
You didn't, that's why I wrote what I did. You merely stated that you thought starting afresh was your preferred method. I was stating why it is necessary to be a BPS member in order to challenge the existing charter, which is the first step because, as Hedley has pointed out, this would be logistically easier than starting afresh (although that option is not off the table should BPS petitions fail, as I have said.

Allow me to rephrase.. You provided me with information I already have, am aware of and had taken into consideration when I posted. By discussing the idea that I don't think reshaping the BPS is the best way to go (as an addition to my original thought) I assumed it would be obvious that I was aware of why they are not considering non BPS opinions in this. Evidently that was not the case so I will say 'thanks, I knew that' and reiterate my general point which is neither intended to be against the cause (which overall I support or a rant against the BPS: By approaching only BPS members you take into account only a proportion of clinical psychologists in the UK. Were they to approach HCPC registered psychologists instead, they would reach their entire demographic and could then address the issue of whether to pursue the matter further and which road, approaching the BPS to change it's status or starting fresh, to take. By being removed from the discussions at this point, through non BPS membership, it is entirely possible that those who are not BPS members who would have been interested in the issue of a royal college, will become disinterested, as is happening to me.
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Re: Campaign for a Royal College of Psychologists

Post by Borrowed Cone » Tue Mar 19, 2013 10:39 am

What on earth made you think they aren't approaching non-bps members? Of course they are (and will be) but at this stage only Bps members' "votes", so to speak, are allowed by the BPS to count in terms of internal re-organisation. I agree that it is very important that non-BPS members' voices are heard.
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Re: Campaign for a Royal College of Psychologists

Post by michael2806 » Tue Mar 19, 2013 8:48 pm

I consider myself told reefflex, I wasn't aware that there were instances in which charities could take such principled political stances; it makes sense given the charities you mentioned.

This highlights why the creation of a royal college is all the more important. If the BPS has selectively taken a largely passive stance on political issues, despite the ability to do so, then we need a body created from scratch which has the impetus to do this; now more than ever given the corporate culture within the NHS which has been augmented by cuts.

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Re: Campaign for a Royal College of Psychologists

Post by Keyser_Soze » Sun Jun 09, 2013 7:31 pm

You'll have to excuse my naivety, but what precisely are the additional benefits of becoming a Royal College? I'm becoming increasingly aware of some of the shortcomings of the BPS, but feel a bit in the dark about what the alternatives would offer.

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Re: Campaign for a Royal College of Psychologists

Post by Gilly » Mon Jun 10, 2013 8:55 am

I think broadly the idea is to create a group that can push our agenda/needs more effectively and has greater flexibility than the current DCP within the wider BPS, and one that solely represents the needs of healthcare psychologists, because at the moment the BPS also has to account for other types (such as academic psychologists).
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Re: Campaign for a Royal College of Psychologists

Post by matt.berlin » Mon Jun 10, 2013 12:10 pm

Personally, I remain pretty unconvinced by the Royal College idead and think it would be better to work within the existing structures of the DCP/BPS. And as a republican, the name doesn't appeal either :wink:
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Re: Campaign for a Royal College of Psychologists

Post by BenJMan » Mon Jun 10, 2013 12:16 pm

But we would have the queen on our side! She would kick some butt for us.
I think a hero is any person really intent on making this a better place for all people ~ Maya Angelou.

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