College Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM)

The College Officers will hold two webinars to explain the proposals being put to the RCPsych EGM on 8 September and to take questions.

At the EGM, proposed changes to College rules will be put forward to extend voting rights to Affiliates, who are mostly SAS doctors, and to enable the College to hold online AGMs and EGMs as a matter of course.

The webinars will be held on Thursday 21 July at 4pm and Tuesday 2 August at 4pm.

President Dr Adrian James will address both events, while Treasurer Professor John Crichton will address the one on 21 July and Registrar Dr Trudi Seneviratne will address the one on 2 August.

A special edition of RCPsych Insight will be sent to all members late next week to provide full information on how the voting at the EGM will work, how members can register to attend the EGM and why the proposals are being made.

Between 21 July and 15 August the College will run a consultation, via our website, on the two EGM proposals – extended voting rights and enabling online general meetings.

While College members only recently voted on these matters, at last month’s AGM, it is felt important that a vote at an EGM in September is held as:

  • the morale of SAS doctors in psychiatry has been damaged by the debate around the AGM, and we need to repair the damage as quickly as possible
  • many members voting at the AGM said they were sympathetic to the idea of extending voting rights for Affiliates but needed more information – this is what will be providing through the webinars and the special edition of RCPsych Insight
  • there were IT glitches on the day, with some members struggling to attend the AGM online and others reported finding it hard to vote digitally
  • at the AGM, a whole range of different issues were put together in one package and while many were sympathetic to extending voting rights for Affiliates they had concerns about some other proposals – which have now been removed from this vote
  • even with the conflation of issues, there was strong support for the reforms, with a 62% share of the vote among those expressing a view.

The College held online AGMs in 2020 and 2021 having, like all charities, received special dispensation from the Charity Commission to deviate from its usual rules for holding AGMs, due to the pandemic. It also received legal advice that it would be able to hold last month’s AGM as a hybrid event due to the severe train strikes taking place on that day, as well as the rising COVID infection rates.

However, as the College rules say that AGMs and EGMs should be held face-to-face, we have been advised by our lawyers that we need to hold the EGM in person.

To enable as many people to attend the event as possible, we will hold it in parallel at a range of locations, including at the RCPsych main office in Prescot Street, and in Edinburgh, Cardiff, Belfast, Leeds, Birmingham and Exeter.

It is due to the College’s old-fashioned rules, around having to hold face-to-face AGMs and EGMs, that a proposal to change that stance is being proposed.

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