Chair's Update Spring 2016

All successful organisations must be prepared to change and keep moving forward. In my view, the ability to adapt and improve is the key to the evolution of a relevant and valuable society, which is how I hope the BSA is widely regarded.

There has certainly been plenty of change for our society over the last 12 months. The closure of the BSA’s Reading office last year and partnership with Fitwise has enable us to focus on the issues that really matter, and to turn our gaze outwards instead of inwards. One example of successful change has been the move and re-shaping of the annual conference which took place very successfully last week at the Ricoh arena, Coventry. This meeting was very well attended and all the feedback I have heard so far has been universally positive. It was a bold move to change the time of year for the annual conference, and I think we can now safely say that it has worked. The structure of the meeting, with sessions organised and chaired by each of the BSA’s special interest groups, worked very well indeed; this allowed those attending with specific interests in areas of audiology and hearing science to hear from the world experts in that field about the latest thinking and research. Following the conference, the organising committee will think through what worked well and what could be changed for next year’s conference, which has already be announced and will be in June 2017 at Doncaster. I am convinced that we have now demonstrated that the new, improved model for the structure of the conference, at a new time of year, is successful and will now go from strength to strength. A huge thank you to Mel Ferguson, Laura Turton and the rest of the organising committee for the enormous amount of work that went into making this event such a success.

Another change for the BSA has been the re-structuring of what was formerly the PPC (Professional Practice Committee). For many years (going back to the early 1970’s), the PPC has been a core and important part of the BSA’s activities and has worked with great patience and conscientiousness on the commissioning, development, writing and reviewing of recommended procedures, guidance and other important documents, for which the BSA is internationally known. The PPC has now been re-launched as the Professional Guidance Group (PGG). Responsibility for accreditation of training will be taken forward by the LEG (Learning Events Group), allowing the PGG to focus on the core workload of document processing. I would like to thank Graham Frost and the other members of the PPC, including Robert Rendell, Fiona Barker,   Wayne Ellis, Barry Downes, Jills Kurian and David Greenberg, for everything that you have done over the years for the PPC and the BSA. This work has required great persistence and dedication and is much appreciated. We wish the newly formed PGG led by Donna Corrigan the very best in taking forward this important workload.

The BSA’s advisory role has grown considerably in recent times, led by one of our trustees, John Day. John, and Helen Pryce, who represents the BSA on the Alliance on Deafness and Hearing loss, have been playing a key role in contributing to some rapidly evolving national policy making in relation to the commissioning framework for hearing loss. The BSA has a key part to play in this process, in collaboration with BAA and other friends. The rest of the Audiological community look to the BSA for sound, unbiased, sensible advice and information about any issues related to hearing loss, and John and Helen, along with other BSA members, have demonstrated how to do that well.

Finally, the BSA depends for its evolution and success on enthusiastic, motivated people from within our membership to take forward our strategic aims and ideas. In September (only 4 months away!) there will be vacancies for trustees and also for a Vice-Chair. The latter is a vitally important position to fill. If you want to help take the BSA forward to even greater success please consider taking the plunge and putting your name forward. If you’d like to find out more about what this entails and the commitment then please contact me: we look forward to hearing from you.

Best wishes to all

Huw Cooper


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