Committee visitors scheme

Committee visitors can attend meetings and learn more about how committees discuss and influence decisions that affect the medical profession. For many, it's a chance to experience the process before deciding to stand as an elected representative.

Location: UK
Audience: All doctors
Updated: Wednesday 30 June 2021
Voting card article illustration

Do you want to learn more about influencing the BMA and how members have a say on how your profession is run? If you haven’t participated in BMA work before, the committee visitors scheme is a chance to experience what it’s like to serve on a committee and contribute to the future of the profession.

You can take part as a non-voting member, with the opportunity to attend a committee meeting and join the discussion.

Taking part in the scheme encouraged me to nominate myself as the committee's UCL representative, and I was successful. The scheme is a great way to try out the committee system, to see if it is something you would like to be part of.

Committee member

Participating committees

The scheme is currently available for the following BMA committees:

Visitors are unable to apply for executive subcommittees and BMA committees that are not included in this list.

I am a local medical committee chair, but I wanted to see the national interface, and the wider picture – how, as doctors, we can influence national policy. I also thought it would be good for my personal development; in particular, I wanted to develop my chairing skills.

GP Sally Johnston visited the GPs committee

Eligibility and guidelines

If applying for a seat on a branch of practice committee, you must be affiliated with that branch. 

The scheme is open to any current BMA member who:

  • has not previously participated in the scheme
  • has not previously nor is currently elected/appointed to a BMA UK committee (LNC members who are also BMA members will be able to participate in the scheme)
  • has not previously attended any of the selected committees as a representative, deputy or observer
  • has not stood for election to any of the committees that they are applying to.

The scheme operates annually, with visitors attending one committee for one meeting. There are three visitor seats available per committee for each meeting.

Seats are distributed on a first-come, first-served basis. 

If the committee you are applying to is full, you will be put on a waiting list. 

Remote participation is available via videoconference or teleconference.

When taking part in this scheme, you are not representing the committee or the BMA. A non-voting visitor seat has no formal designation, so when speaking on issues, you should not identify as a BMA representative (eg 'I am Dr McCoy, a BMA visiting member of the consultants committee'). You will speak in a personal capacity and should explicitly ask not to be identified as a BMA representative. 

Expenses including travel, accommodation and childcare are allowed, but honoraria is not included. 

How to apply

Download the application form, then send your completed form by email to [email protected].

If you have any questions about the scheme, please email the team or call 020 7383 6040.

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