I am sending this email to share some insights and observations with you.
I believe our role as a committee is to work towards a counselling strength across Australia that is based on approved qualified practitioners, sound research and quality systems, structures and processes whilst maintaining relationships, communication and identity with our membership. This document is to bring you up to date with the current state of QCA and some exciting ways forward for consideration.
Since becoming QCA president, I have had a somewhat confronting education around the reality of the functionality of QCA. I have learnt much:
- More than any other time in our history QCA is struggling to get people to commit to the significant time investment to be a voluntary committee and sub-committee members.
- Less than 4% of the members volunteer to be on the committee. They are expected to VOLUNTARILY do all the work.
- The paid staff do the following tasks:
- Ros:-looks after all the administrative work, enquiries, payments including bills, registration payments, ATO payments, web hosting, PD costs, zoom meeting costs, certificates, reminders, correspondence and has a huge amount of history and knowledge of QCA. She also stores (free of charge 30 + years of membership history and files in her house).
- Paul: – attends to all membership matters, queries and issues.
- Florence: – attends to all IT matters – maintains the QCA website, blogs, newsfeed and manages the webinars.
- Laurie: – marketing and membership support.
- We also have a Committee made up of volunteers:
- President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, three members as well as a Student Representative, and a Professional Development sub-committee and Ethics committee.
- Prior to, or at the 2019 AGM, we will lose the Secretary, Treasurer and at least one member as well as our PD Committee Chair and possibly two of our paid members who are wanting to retire.
- If we stay as QCA, Member Association of PACFA, a new wave of members must take up the volunteer roles and, probably, several of the paid positions. Our experience to date is that whilst people express an “in theory” willingness to help, the reality of the huge time commitment soon takes its toll.
- It appears likely that sooner or later – compelled by logistical, financial and political factors, we will need to transition to being part of the national, well-established peak body, PACFA. Amalgamating is probably inevitable. PACFA would then take care of the administration, membership, ethics, marketing and assist with the PD events. I believe if members really understood the issues and the significant negative consequences of not amalgamating, there would be wide and willing acceptance of the decision.
- At the last AGM, only a small number of our 209 members voted. Whilst an email poll of members was larger in number the decision making was only possible by attendance at the AGM. PACFA currently has 252 direct members in Qld and 84 registrants via QCA and 54 from other Qld. Member Associations.
- Queensland is currently the only State that has not moved across to PACFA. Nine former Member Associations have become PACFA Branches and Colleges. There is a structured transition process which is clear and simple. PACFA enters a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the transitioning Association setting out the arrangements for the transition. Colleges are for those specialist modes of counselling and psychotherapy that members can choose to belong to e.g. The College of Counselling Educators, College of Relationship Counsellors. As a PACFA member, you can choose to become a member as well as be part of one of the colleges if you qualify.
- If we made the transition, all members would be invited individually to transition across and as our membership chair is very diligent in ensuring our high standards are met, we would be able to transition our members across to PACFA’s categories which are Life, Clinical, Provisional, Student and Affiliate. A special bulk transfer arrangement occurs.
- We would have a PACFA QLD page on the website and the library of information, resources, PD recordings, articles etc that are currently on the QCA website could be transferred to the Queensland state page on the PACFA website or Florence is exploring archiving with the Queensland State Library so all our history is maintained.
- We would then have 400 strong Queensland Counselling body that is supported by our National body and managed locally by a Leadership team. A State Leadership Team is established to maintain the presence in the State with similar activities that QCA currently undertakes. PACFA provides the training and process for the establishment of the State Leadership team. Each State has its page on the PACFA website which maintains its local presence and to give you an example, the South Australia Leadership Team activities include:
- Providing continuing professional development
- Providing opportunities for networking and peer support
- Undertaking local outreach
- Promoting PACFA to local education providers and students
- Building a vibrant community of practitioners in a particular geographic area
- Providing opportunities for practitioners in regional and rural areas to participate
- If you want to continue as QCA into the future then it is essential that you consider your commitment to be an active part of the committee, PD team, or various other roles across the Association.
- If members agree that it is time to transition it would take a good year to ensure that all members are transitioned across, all legislative requirements are adhered to and all files are managed in line with the State’s legal requirements.
- A transition process would not be rushed through as there is no time to manage a transition process before this year’s renewal process however if it was agreed that we could set up a planning process, that keeps you informed of all the details and steps along the way then the transition process would begin asap and gradually by 2020 renewal time, we would have completed the transition.
- Please consider this email, discuss with your colleagues and email your thoughts, queries and ideas to the committee via the following email firstname.lastname@example.org
Endorsed by the Committee on 22/05/2019