Digitising the accreditation process and other developments
At the Annual General meeting I will end my term as President of the Association after a period of two years. A very different experience to what I anticipated when I became President Elect almost four years ago! Like everyone else I had to adapt to the world of online working and meetings, a consequence of which has been that I have had very little opportunity to meet many members in person and only very occasional in-person meetings with fellow Trustees. A source of regret for me personally. That said, as I write, I am optimistic that our Annual Conference in Cardiff in March, a hybrid event, will afford the opportunity of meeting at least some members and fellow Trustees in person.
In the last edition of ETQ I mentioned the key priorities that the Board of Trustees have been working on this year and highlighted some of the improvements that we as a Board have continued to work on. These priorities include improvements to our: Services to Members; Governance and Research capability.
Services to members
I mentioned in the last edition of ETQ that the editor of ETQ, Omar Sattaur, has decided to step down from his role as Editor after a period of more than eleven years. We are continuing the recruitment process for a new editor and I hope that this will be completed by the time we meet in Cardiff.
The promotional video outlining the benefits of being a member of the Association is now available on the Association website. This is intended for use by Regional Groups at CPD events; shown by Trainers and used at webinars to promote the Association so please use it whenever you have the opportunity. Also, please check out the ‘News and Media‘ section of the website regularly for new stories from individuals who have benefited from EMDR Therapy and who have shared their stories. Our PR and media team add new features on a regular basis. Related to this is our plan to develop our social media presence. At the September meeting the Board approved the appointment of a social media expert for an initial period of six months to work with our PR officer, Katy Bell and members Laura Beech and Victoria Walford. Phase 1 of the social media plan will be to utilise LinkedIn to engage with Association members; EMDR trained therapists and therapists using content from the website (news, podcasts, videos) with a launch in January 2022.
Work on digitalising the accreditation system to make the process available online is well underway. A prototype of the proposed ‘EMDR Hub’ (Forum and Resourcebank) has been produced which will tested by a small development team before trialling with a larger testing group early in 2022.
An important new development is that the Association now has an Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee (EDI). Thanks are due to Bea Carrington, Rob Hawkes, Heena Chudasama, Sayed Ali Naqvi, Kathryn Gough and Helen George for agreeing join the committee. Russell Hurn and Louise MacKinney (Trustees) are also members of the committee.
The Scientific & Research Committee (SRC) continues to meet every three weeks. There are two important developments to report. At its September meeting the Board approved the appointment of a Research Officer to support the work of the SRC and in January the Board ratified the appointment of Beverly Coghlan as our new Research Officer. Beverly will take up the post in March 2022.
In addition, the Board accepted a proposal from the SRC to provide one year of funding towards the development and running of an EMDR research database for members. Following due diligence, the contract to develop the database was awarded to the University of Sheffield. Once developed, the intention is to embed the database in the membership section of the Association website.
Both these developments are part of the wider research strategy and will enable members to engage better in research activities and use this resource to advocate for EMDR.
Finally, another reminder that from 1st January 2022 the annual membership fee will increase to £80. As I have mentioned elsewhere this is the first increase in more than a decade and is in line with inflation over that period. The additional income generated from the new Annual subscription together with other income-generation projects will help the Association to pursue the research objectives agreed by the Board and help fund other initiatives to improve services to all our members.
Thank you for renewing your membership and best wishes for a safer and healthier 2022.