Like any professional organisation the BPSA has governance structures that ensure it undertakes the role it is supposed to, and is working in the best interest of pharmacy students. Not only do we have a Constitution and a set of Regulations but we also have a number of review and auditing committees that work independently from the Executive, to whom they provide feedback and recommendations.
In 2013 the BPSA Ambassadors was formed to give expert advice to the Executive and ensure the BPSA is acting in the best interest of its members. The BPSA Ambassadors is made up of past Executive members and key members of the pharmacy profession.
The BPSA’s Constitution sets the foundation of everything that the Association does and is. This ranges from defining its overall aims and objectives to describing the structure of the Association. The Executive aims to follow the Constitution as closely as possible and only in extreme circumstances can it be deviated from. Because of the importance of this document it cannot be changed without the agreement of members, so changes are only ever made at the BPSA Annual Conference.
The BPSA’s Regulations aim to add bulk to the Constitution and give specifics around finance, events and services, and the roles of the Executive members. The Executive aims to follow the Regulations as closely as possible but sometime innovative ways of working are developed that are not included in the Regulations. If these new ways of working are successful they may be incorporated into future versions of the Regulations. It is easier to change the Regulations as opposed the the Constitution but still need agreement from representatives of the members at Annual Conference or Extraordinary Meetings.
During the BPSA Annual Conference each member of the BPSA’s Executive presents a report of the work done since the July changeover. At the end of the reports the delegation of Annual Conference ask questions regarding the quality and nature of the jobs undertaken by the Executive members, and in essence hold them to account on behalf of the membership. Each Executive member must develop a list of recommendations to ensure the Association improves year-on-year and remains fit for purpose. Questions and suggestions made by the delegation often become part of the official recommendations.
Annual Conference is the main time of the year for pharmacy students across the country to voice their opinions on a platform built for developing policy and making change. Many motions debated during the conference relate to education and training as well as the profession as a whole. However, many motions focus on the nature of the Association. Changes to the BPSA’s services, events, and political standing have been made by the membership voting through such motions.
It is of paramount importance that the BPSA is managing its finances appropriately and spending money in the best interest of its members.
The Finance Review Committee (FRC) aims to review the financial year and work out how much the BPSA is spending per member in all areas of activity. If there appears to be an imbalance in spending the FRC will make recommendations to the Treasurer and the Executive on what changes could be made.
The Finance Audit Committee (FAC) is formed during the BPSA’s Annual Conference. It uses the work of the FRC and also audits the accounts for discrepancies and problems. The FAC can question the nature of spending and whether certain expenditures should have been made. This committee also presents a report to the conference delegation and makes recommendations regarding finances, which are then accepted by the membership present at conference.
There are certain members of the BPSA and the profession as a whole who have gone above and beyond the call of duty and have made significant impacts to the Association. Such members can be made Honorary Life Members (HLMs) of the BPSA in recognition of their work. HLMs often become prominent members of the pharmacy profession and are an extremely source of advice to current BPSA Executives and members. It is for this reason that honorary life membership is highly regarded and mechanisms are in place to restrict the numbers who form their ranks.
During the BPSA’s Annual Conference the delegation is able to submit nominations for someone to be made an HLM. The HLM Committee reviews the nominations and judges whether the individuals nominated truly deserve to become HLMs.