NEW CHAIR, STATEMENT TO MEMBERS OF THE EMERGENCY PLANNING SOCIETY, 20 FEBRUARY 2018

Publish Date: 20th February 2018

I am delighted and honoured to be the new Chair of the Emergency Planning Society (EPS) and I look forward to connecting and engaging with you. My thanks to the outgoing Chair, Tony Thomson and best wishes to him for the future.

For those of you who don’t know me, my day job is as a resilience professional in local government. Having been a member of the EPS since 2001, I am passionate about all things resilience and making a difference!  I am highly qualified, conscientious, motivated, energised, dynamic and innovative in my approach.  I have extensive experience in leadership, management, crisis, emergency management, business continuity management, risk, events, safety advisory groups, training and development.  That’s enough about me, but it is important that as members’ you know a bit about who is to be leading the organisation and that I have the competence, credibility and integrity to do so.

I firmly believe, we are in a moment in time; the opportunity to shape and influence our direction, our vision and our future is now, we must think and act differently.

The EPS must have a strategy, vision and values which are owned by everyone; we must engage with “heart and minds” and our culture must change.

We all know that the world is changing; it is increasingly complex, dynamic and challenging; full of wicked problems. We must think differently about the future, “our” future, we must look ahead to consider what professional resilience practice will look like in the next 10-20 years and beyond. All that we do should consider the reach and innovation of our horizons. That means developing different skill sets and knowledge, with competence to the fore.

The EPS as the leading professional body must be positioned as the UK and global leader, for those who have the responsibility to deliver resilience within their organisations, across all sectors and levels of leadership and management. Our role, focus and vision must be to act as the authoritative independent “voice” of the profession. We must be the “go to” organisation and lead the way and support the improvement of standards, competence, education, research and practice.  We therefore must safeguard and embrace our role as the “body of knowledge”.

We have good foundations from which to build. We have great people, branches that are active, professional groups and lots of willingness to help support the next steps of the organisation.  Our two new Board members, Jeannie Barr and Stephen Arundell, bring a wealth of knowledge, qualifications and experience and will contribute with great enthusiasm along with the other board members who have been working tirelessly for the organisation.

So what are the priorities for me as Chair, the Board and for “new horizons”?

Here are the priorities I shared during the recruitment and election process for Chair:

  • To provide effective leadership.
  • To meet with the board and staff, review the current position (assess, plan and action) and our business model, (brand, change and deliver) and agree roles and areas of work.
  • Produce a strategic plan including robust governance standards and accountability embracing leadership and core values.
  • Agree set of deliverables, through the creation of a robust business plan, with key milestones and timescales outlining priority actions for the next 6 months, 1 year, 18 months and 3 years, and sharing and consulting with members.
  • Connecting and engaging with members as a priority; you need to see change.
  • Appoint a lead for education and academia and bring this work back to the fore; education, standards and delivery.
  • Quick wins – there are a few.
  • Deliver a conference; current topical and credible speakers; we must harness the future.
  • Consider technological and digital solutions for CPD and wider EPS business increasing use of our website.
  • Engage with key stakeholders; everything is about partnerships and collaboration and the facilitation of a professional practice event, to consider shared objectives and outcomes.
  • Resilience; sponsorship for publications; connecting and reaching different sectors. 
  • Pipeline opportunities: there are many including sources of funding.

All of the priorities must be embedded into the business plan and delivered; failing is not an option, winning is.

If you are a member on linkedin, you will have read a much shorter version of my statement and powerful quote:

“The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking” -Albert Einstein

I look forward to engaging with you, listening, communicating and delivering our new horizons!

Jacqui Semple

Chair, EPS