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Joining a BMA committee

Junior doctors conference 2016 14 May

Thinking about joining a BMA committee?

Members are at the heart of the association and our elected members, supported by expert staff, play an important part in all our work.

As an elected representative - whether you are a council or committee member, or perform other functions - you will play a vital role in representing doctors' interests and ensuring that their voices are heard, nationally, locally and in the workplace.

You will be supported in the work you do as a representative of your colleagues, peers and the BMA.

 

Already a member of a committee?

Your role and input is invaluable to the profession and our organisation.

Find helpful advice and resources for new committee members and current committee members.

 

Steps to get involved

  • Things to consider

    There are lots of things to consider before taking on such an important role. Here you will find some helpful advice and resources to support you with getting involved with the BMA.

    If you would like to get some experience of being on a committee before standing for election the BMA runs a committee visitor scheme. You can find out more information about the scheme and download an application form.

    You can also listen to some of our committee members talk about why they got involved in committee work and what it means to them. Click on the Listen to your peers tab below.

    As a committee member you can claim expenses and honoraria and the rules are available here. We also offer child and dependent care to enable you to attend meetings.

  • How to get elected

    There are a number of routes to becoming an elected member - through regional elections, elections at branch of practice conferences and at ARM.

    Find out about the different committees and contact the committee secretary who can give you information about the elections timetable.

    As a member you will receive emails and newsletters from us about upcoming elections. You can also keep an eye on the website where we announce elections.

  • Standing for election

    You might wish to stand for election because you want to make doctors working lives better.

    You could be involved in contract negotiations, influence BMA policy making, represent your branch of practice or specialty and help make their voices heard, and of course you could develop your medico-political and leadership skills.

    Find role profiles for the chair, deputy chair, executive member and member of a committee or council to help understand the duties and responsibilities and skills you will need to develop.

    You will also be expected to abide by the BMA behaviour principles and code of conduct.

  • Getting the votes

    There are a number of ways you can boost your nominations. Read some tips on writing good personal statements.

    You can improve your chances of being elected by increasing your visibility at your place of work.

    You should also make sure you understand the work of the committee, the roles and skills needed to fulfill the role, and the voting system for the positions you are keen to fill.

  • Making a difference

    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.

     

    Expectations

    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.

  • Listen to your peers

    Find out what it's like to be on a BMA committee

    Listen to Public Health Medicine committee Deputy Chair Mark Lim talk about he's learned.

     

    Hear what Ami Banerjee, Medical Academic Staff Committee executive member has to say about making his voice heard.