There's a lot to learn when you first join a committee and some of it can seem quite daunting and formal to start with. You can watch our short animation which explains the first steps once you join a BMA committee.
As well as getting to know your new fellow committee members, and understanding BMA structures and how to work with the staff teams, there are some technical terms and processes to get to grips with. For example, committee standing orders and the rules on debating and points of order.
You will be expected to prepare for meetings so that you can contribute to the debates and you may, depending on the committee and your expertise, be invited to lead or give your views on a particular issue.
You will be expected to report back to those you represent and to feed their views back to the committee and you will be expected to raise the profile of the BMA, your committee and your specialty or grade.
You will help the committee prioritise and plan its work and you will influence the development of BMA policy and negotiating strategies. Reflecting the views of your colleagues, raising the profile of your specialty and influencing the direction of travel are hugely rewarding which is why many members go on to seek office.
Support from the BMA
The BMA will help you to settle in and develop your medico-political and leadership skills. There is an induction session at your first meeting and you will be given a comprehensive pack of information to answer all your questions.
There is a mentoring scheme for new committee members. The valuing difference course will help you to support the BMA's behaviour principles and code of conduct and there are leadership courses which you are required to attend depending on your role.
At the end of a session, the BMA can provide a summary of the work you have done which you can add to your portfolio.