The EPS AGM reflected many of the issues that came up at the last NOC – National Operating Committee meeting – which was held at Easingwold, so this feedback covers both meetings.
Unfortunately, Jacqui Semple our EPS Chair couldn’t be with us due to a bereavement, so Martin the finance director chaired the AGM.
• There was much praise and thanks for all the volunteers working in the branches and a recognition that people give their own time to make the EPS work, especially when Brexit has added such an extra burden on many members.
• Bob Wade’s invaluable work to produce Resilience magazine won much praise and it will continue in both hard copy and e-copy.
• Lucy Easthope thanked for her academic oversight – Lucy led the Study Day – the Emergency Planning Journal, the academic journal, is now on the website.
• Membership dropped by 100 this year. Needs redressing. No padding left in our accounts, so we need new ideas. Finances stable but we can’t be complacent.
• Finance – EPS training account still has big loses. Eventually need to amalgamate this with EPS Ltd. Across the companies we have enough cash to run for another year if we gained no more income. No trends on expenditure. Director expenses published. We need to bring the membership numbers up. Audit costs reduced. If membership continues to decline, then we will be in deficit. Data when people leave is gleaned for those that reply. No trend offered except that employers don’t pay. Option to take back precepts if there not needed and amounts are flexible.
• International branch is growing
• Professional Marketing and Comms recognised as being essential if we’re to refresh the look of the society and attract new members so the Society will be going out to tender for a professional Marketing and Comms person to work on Work in progress to employ a company part time.
• Need a refresh on the paperwork. All in final draft
• Academic registry and a learning pathway will be on the web soon. Need to retain knowledge and experience.
• Branches asked to use website to share information. MOU now agreed with Irish branch for shared access
Ian Cameron Media & Communications Ltd
• Creating better relationships with relevant universities was something we urged last year, and the AGM and Study day being held at Wolverhampton’s Telford campus in the Emergency Management and Resilience Centre was cited as an example of building this relationship.
• Core competencies framework needs to be updated and linked to the learning pathway.
• Graduate apprenticeship needs progressing. A lot of work has been done to get an apprenticeship scheme off the ground but apparently there is so much red tape and so many hoops to pass through before we can start calling something an official apprenticeship scheme that it is proving very difficult. In addition, all 4 countries in the UK have different apprenticeship schemes rather than one common UK scheme. Caroline Wildish in the South West has been a great champion of an apprenticeship scheme as well as a mentoring scheme – so even if hurdles remain for the apprenticeship, there is no reason we can’t progress a mentoring scheme here in the South West.
• The membership process is being updated to make it more user friendly. IT glitch being worked on. Mid 2020 target date to make it an enjoyable process.
• Seeking a chair and more assessors to volunteer re upgrades.
• Fellow status. This will be a process by reward and seek nominations from branches with evidence. Also, Honorary Fellowship option for those outside the Society.
• Ian Cameron & Bob Wade have offered a one day media workshop including video literacy and countering fake news designed to raise EPS income, membership and profile. There will be 4 free places for EPS members at each target city with others paying £120 – £200 for the event. Venues will be sought via LRFs and targeting big local businesses to attract new members . Money would be split 50/50 with the EPS,
• All new policy will be in a standard template. Archive set up.
• Code of conduct drafted. Not issued yet.
• Statement on academic freedoms.
• Website will have a governance tab.
• Professional Working Groups (PWGs) – Sadly, Norman Powell, chair of the COMAH & pipelines died recently so he will be a big loss. In general, PWGs have Lots of experience but chairs don’t speak to media. First flood PWG meeting due soon. CBRN and human aspects are active. City Resilience is active. Next year there will be a review of groups as feeling they don’t reflect the modern world. Some PWGs are silo operating.
• Fast changes needed. The Telford national event was less well attended than some branch events. Option to use speakers at both national and local events in future.
• We need to be tweeting constantly. Raising our profile.
• Society has an accreditation process and now working with EA. Will charge for this soon.
• EPS also working closely with the EA, studying their Strategic Learning Outcomes and their 5 modules – Situational Awareness, Decision-Making, Communication, Leadership, Incident Management.