Our Board of Governors are elected, appointed or co-opted to oversee our strategic direction and the management of the Association. They represent, and are accountable to, our members, so their role is to provide strong leadership, enhance decision making and make sure we achieve our objectives.

In this new update, we’re introducing some of the members of our Board through a Q&A, so you can find out more about them, their work and their own experience as a BACP Trustee.

How long have you been a BACP Governor?

I’ve been a Governor since November 2022 and was elected at the last AGM.

Why did you want to become a Governor?

When I was working on placement as a counselling student, I saw the importance of BACP in taking counselling forward in the years to come and also working with members in present times.

There are real challenges with the spiralling mental health crisis in the UK and with life and political experience, I wanted to try and help our profession meet these challenges and set the gold standard in the counselling field.

How did you find the election process?

The election process was straightforward and easy. There was guidance every step of the way.

How have you found the experience of being a Governor?

I’ve really enjoyed the experience and it’s certainly been challenging. I’ve always been someone who prefers to experience things at the deep end, rather than on a gradual gradient.

Professionally, it’s showing me the importance of BACP and how it can be the gold standard in counselling. It’s also showing me that there are many challenges ahead in our field, especially with the after effects of Covid.

I’ve attended a number of events hosted by BACP, most recently the annual research conference, and seen first hand the excellent work being undertaken which will help face these challenges. I’m now even more excited about the evolvement of counselling and BACP. 

What sorts of things have you done as a Governor?

I’ve attended a number of meetings, both in person and online. I was welcomed into the board from the first meeting and while many of BACP’s objectives were in place before I joined, I’ve had the opportunity to contribute ideas and thoughts.

Rather than talking about my individual achievements, I feel it’s more beneficial to speak about the Board’s achievements as a whole. During my time on the Board so far, we’ve discussed the newly announced research grants, the bursary scheme for training and the equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) strategy. We’ve covered much more than that but they’re just some of the areas we can be proud of.  

Has becoming a Governor been what you expected?

The biggest challenges have been in learning about everything BACP does, including the internal structure, divisions, staff roles and more. Whenever I’ve had a question, the staff have been excellent and there’s always been someone that can help explain things.

There’s been a lot of change recently, but I truly believe that BACP will be in a stronger place in the future and that everyone will be proud to be a member of, or working for, the Association.

Naturally there’s a time commitment as Governor, and this can go up and down, but again I enjoy the experience.  

On a weekly basis – how much time do you spend doing work relating to your role as a Governor?

It’s hard to quantify this on a weekly basis. Quarterly Board meetings involve travel and are held over two days. We can also have additional ad hoc meetings online. I also attended the recent research conference in Leeds at the end of May, which was over two days. 

This week I’ve had meetings with the Communications team, given a quote for the Nursing Standard journal on active listening, written this article, and I’m also writing a blog for International Men's Health Week. 

What are you looking forward to over the next six months?

Over the next few months, we’ll be overseeing the delivery of our five-year strategy, the implementation of SCoPEd and our AGM will take place in a few months.

There’s also concern over the funding awarded to colleges in Scotland, which if reduced may affect their counselling education provision.

What would you say to encourage members to nominate themselves to stand for election to the Board in 2023?

BACP is a welcoming Association with excellent staff who are only too willing to help anyone. You can be assured of this help and a warm welcome from the Board.

We all have our own skills such as financial, political and professional counselling, that together make us a strong team. It’s about trying to do more than our best and help steer BACP in the exciting and challenging times ahead.

What I would say is that if you have the enthusiasm and passion to help on that voyage then consider nominating yourself.

Ewan Irvine talks about his experience as our newest Trustee

Ewan Irvine talks about his experience as our newest Trustee