8 October 2021

Details of the RCSLT’s October Board meeting which considered a number of big issues for the profession and the RCSLT.

The Board were joined by several members, who took part in the meeting as one element of the Future Leaders programme that they are currently on: Dharinee Hansjee, Senlika Steulet and Ilyeh Nahdi.

In addition to receiving formal papers and reports for discussion and decision, trustees worked to finalise the RCSLT’s draft 5 year vision for the profession, and agreed a new way forward for appointing RCSLT Board and committee members in the future.

The meeting opened with an inspiring member story from Dharinee Hansjee, who talked about the challenges and opportunities she has experienced during her successful career in speech and language therapy.

A new 5 year vision

The Board went on to discuss the new 5 year vision for the profession and the RCSLT. The Board had a lively discussion about the draft vision, offering comments and feedback before approving it for further consultation with members.

The draft vision sets out aspirations for the RCSLT and the whole profession, including:

  • Progress towards greater equality, diversity and inclusion, and embed active anti-racism, in the profession and in service provision
  • Support speech and language therapists in reducing health inequalities, and reducing the impact of social disadvantage on access to speech and language therapy
  • Build back better from the COVID-19 pandemic, so that lessons have been learned and provision is better than before
  • Build research capacity and develop the speech and language therapy evidence base in collaboration with service users
  • Support the growth and development of the speech and language therapy workforce
  • Champion the value and impact of speech and language therapy
  • Empower members to lead the profession in partnership with RCSLT
  • Be an excellent organisation
  • Ensure co-production with service users

Working towards a more diverse and inclusive Board

Next, the Board discussed plans to make our Board of Trustees more diverse and inclusive.

They concluded that the current system of selecting Board and committee members – election of each position – carries a risk of unconscious bias and can limit diversity.

They agreed that to navigate the rapidly changing world we live in, we need trustees with different backgrounds and experience, in order to encourage debate and to make better decisions.

To address this, the Board voted to create a new Nominations Committee to take the lead on all Board and committee appointments. It will be responsible to the Board for developing a diverse and representative pipeline of future leaders, advertising roles effectively, and ensuring we have the right mix of skills at Board and committee level to take the RCSLT into the future.

New Board and committee members selected would then be ratified by members at a general meeting.

Members will be asked to vote on whether to go ahead with this new approach at the AGM in November, and we hope everyone will come along and vote.

Get involved

We encourage all members to help to shape the future of the profession and develop their own careers by getting involved in the RCSLT’s work – joining an RCSLT hub or clinical excellence network is a great way to start.

If you’d like to find out more about the Board meeting, the minutes are available to all members on request. Please email info@rcslt.org.