Leaders’ Insights: Valerie Vaughan-Dick, Chief Operating Officer, Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP)
1) How has your association responded to the covid-19 pandemic in terms of how you communicate with members?
The RCGP were quick to adopt a digital first approach, which led to the following implementations and achievements:
- A digital first approach led to the utilisation and advancement of the College’s digital platforms including website, email communications, and social media;
- Dedicated webpages were developed quickly to provide members with the latest COVID-19 guidance in each of the four nations and present key information to in multiple format, including documentation, FAQs, written blogs and video content;
- The COVID-19 resource hub, hosted in the College’s eLearning platform, was created to support GPs in understanding and managing the pandemic. The hub is now home to a range of resources to upskill and support GPs and their teams to respond to COVID-19. The hub during the pandemic’s initial peak (March to May) was viewed over 100,000 times and the College’s eLearning platform saw a 170% increase in users.
- The membership forum was a new addition and was developed incredibly quickly to ensure members were provided with a platform to share their thoughts, ideas, questions and experiences in relation to the pandemic. Members quickly took to the forum and since its creation over 4,000 have registered.
2) What changes have you made as a result of Covid-19 in the managing of your association which you won’t be changing back when things are back to normality?
Our ability to work remotely, and at pace to support members’ needs, has been brought about having adopted improved governance structures which aimed to consider and take action in more effective and time sensitive ways, whilst also adopting a digital first approach to way we interact and communicate with our members. We moved away from face-to-face activity in order to focus on digital communication channels and have seen engagement increase significantly as a result. Going forward we intend to capitalise upon the development of our members forum to develop inclusive and interactive online communities. We to have enhanced reporting mechanisms and streamlined governance structures to ensure quicker and more transparent outcomes during the pandemic and hope for this to continue long-term.
Valerie Vaughan-Dick is a judge at the 2021 Association Excellence Awards