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Organisational Development Programme

Organisational Development Programme

A message from Society Chairman Debbie Delves

Dear Member

Readers of Podiatry Now and visitors to our website will be aware that, in April last year, Council made the decision to embark on an Organisational Development Programme.

This is an initiative to develop, modernise the organisation and to improve the support we provide to you as members, whatever sector you work in, to enable you to deliver the best possible services to your patients.

Our Interim Chief Executive Dr Rosemary Gillespie was recruited to take forward this work and took up her role in June 2016. Rosemary is a nurse by background and has a number of years’ experience, in the NHS and the voluntary sector, leading major change and improvement in organisations.

I would like to take the opportunity of this New Year to update you on progress on Council’s Organisational Development Programme and the work streams attached to the Programme.

Firstly, as our current Strategic Plan comes to an end in 2017, Council is thinking about our priorities for the next five years. This is particularly timely as there are currently a number of “big picture” issues that impact on the profession of podiatry and on the UK more widely.

For example, the impact of the loss of bursaries may significantly affect our ability to attract high quality recruits into the profession for the future. There are also uncertainties surrounding the current political climate, here and abroad. This winter, the NHS pressures and funding concerns have reached crisis point.  It is also still unclear what impact Brexit may have, especially on research funding and established partnerships.

There are also a number of real opportunities for podiatrists going forward, including the opportunity to position podiatrists as leaders in the areas of public health and patient safety.  

The challenges and opportunities facing us as a profession have never been greater and Council are determined that we are in the best placed position to face these.

We have started the process of identifying the priorities for the next five years for the Society and the College and the new Strategic Plan will be launched in Liverpool at the Conference later this year.  Three key themes of the new Strategy will be:


  • Developing our support for members, both as a trade union and through business development; and develop more commercial activities that will generate funds that we will plough back into services for members
  • Providing clinical leadership in podiatry, including in the areas of clinical practice, research into practice; and education, training and development
  • Promoting the role of podiatry in public health, both in terms of foot health and wider public health. 


The second part of the Organisational Development Programme will be to carry out a Governance Review of the organisation, to ensure we have the right, structure, leadership, expertise, oversight and monitoring in place on Council, and that our committee structure supports this and our identified outcomes. 

Working closely with the staff, the CEO has started work on a Secretariat Review and Change Programme, designed to improve the way our services are delivered and to better support you as members.  Feedback on this received through the Members’ Survey has been taken into account, as well as feedback from Council members and staff.

Using all this information, a number of projects have been prioritised that we believe are essential to improve services. These include improving the ways we communicate with members; and becoming more active in our Public Affairs and external influencing activity. We are also working to revise our Code of Conduct and improve management information processes and the way information is reported to Council.

As the work has progressed, it has become clear to Council that as well as developing our new Strategy and reviewing our Governance arrangements, we need to ensure we have the right resources in place to deliver on our aspirations for the future.  This includes ensuring the staff team have the right skills and experience to make this happen and Council have asked the CEO to undertake a review and restructure of the senior management team to ensure the right leadership roles are in place. We are currently consulting with staff about proposals to restructure the senior management team to enable this. 

The proposed changes include developing an Operations Directorate that will modernise and invigorate all our membership services. This will include reviewing and developing:


  • Business Development and Business Support services
  • Trade Union services;
  • Services for students;
  • International activity;
  • Commercial and entrepreneurial activity
  • Clinical Leadership roles


We also plan to change our approach to our external affairs activity in ways that we are confident will enable us to have more impact. This will involve bringing together our public affairs and political influencing (for all the nations of the UK); our marketing activity; and our external and internal communications activity, thereby creating a more integrated approach to all external affairs and information provision services. 

Council are confident that these changes will enable you to see in the Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists and the College of Podiatry, an organisation that provides value for money and excellent services for members.

Look out for further feedback on progress of Council’s Organisational Development Programme in Podiatry Now and I very much look forward to launching our new Strategic Plan with you at Conference in November in Liverpool.

Debbie Delves
Society of Chiropodists & Podiatrists

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