It has been by far one of the busiest years for the Council and our members. Monitoring the outcomes of the first year of the changes in funding in England, advocating for continuation of the bursary in Wales, influencing REF panel nominations, publishing our first ever report on our members global engagement, supporting the regulatory changes for our disciplines and welcoming new regulatory bodies have been just a few of our foci this year. Add to that our internal changes with a new Chair, Vice Chair, Treasurer, Convenor in Scotland, Executive Regulation and Executive Research members and a completely refreshed and refocused staff team and we can talk about change being the norm.
Externally, I am delighted we have succeeded in having a voice and promoting our members agendas in parliament in both the Health Select and Education Committees in the House of Commons. We continue to highlight the importance of balancing recruitment and retention policy focus, reversing decisions in England about cuts to CPD and ensuring all routes to our professions are effective and meet regulatory standards while we are clear that the three year graduate degree route is the most effective way to registration.
Internally, I am pleased our larger staff team with a much wider variety of expertise can support and engage with members on more complex agendas across professions, themes and countries.
Our Chair has provided a good steer and challenge: we are a UK-wide multi-professional organisation with a clear strategy and anything we do must follow our strategic narrative and our complex environment.
We have taken on UK-wide and multiprofessional pieces of work around promoting Advanced Clinical Practice, delivering our #150Leaders Student Leadership Programme, influencing REF and initiating our global portfolio work. In parallel we have listened to the need from members to be more focused on policy agendas specific to allied health and have begun activity to engage more purposefully with this agenda by having more regular and strategic discussions with the AHP professional bodies, sitting at AHP strategic boards, and influencing agendas for strategic interventions for allied health professions.
Although workforce remains the portfolio area that occupies most of our time, we are clear that with increased capacity in our team we can now deliver work in parallel on research, global, regulation, education impact and workforce.
The year ahead will see our focus to continue on advocating for sustainable funding for our disciplines, strategic workforce planning and responses to regulation. We will also prioritise our strategic work on promoting the value of higher education graduate workforce and visibility of allied health professions.
I look forward to visiting as many members as possible and seeing many of you at our three Council events and various policy round tables.
Dr Katerina Kolyva, Executive Director, Council of Deans of Health