BASI Members Working Groups

Decisions Made by the Review Panel and Next Steps 

As you are aware, the BASI Staff have been hard at work making sense of and dealing with the aftermath of BrexitHowever, we have also been busy collaborating with the Members’ Working Groupthat were formed last year and who have been thinking about the various ways that BASI could improve in terms of the topics that were highlighted as important during last year’ Members Survey.  

Here’s a reminder of what has occurred:

  • Members were asked if they were willing to take part in Working Groups in the Members’ survey in January 2020
  • Working Group topics were Product Development, Equality & Inclusion, Member Experience, Communication & Engagement, Environmental and Mental Health
  • Those who wanted to get involved were placed into groups with the topic which either best suited their skills/qualifications or their stated interests
  • Working Groups came together in late May 2020 for an initial briefing & then set about deciding how to self-organise and select the specific issues in their topic to focus on 
  • A diverse Review Panel was formed which consisted of members not already in Working Groups, Trainers, BASI staff and some Board members 
  • Working Groups presented to the Review Panel in September 2020 

The Review Panel used the following criteria to assess the content of presentations and identify what BASI would start to work on as a priority:

  • Could it be achieved in a relatively short time scale?
  • Would it represent a step change in terms of how things are currently done at BASI?
  • Does it make commercial sense?
  • Will it drive membership engagement?
  • Is it genuinely innovative?
  • Is there evidence that this actually makes a difference?

The Review Panel were hugely impressed with the time, effort and dedication that the Working Groups put into the work and are extremely grateful for everything that has been done thus far.

Using the criteria above, the Review Panel identified 7 specific initiatives which have been taken from 5 of the 6 Working Groups for immediate action. A suggestion from the 6th Working Group has been identified for action soon after the others. This means that all 6 Members’ Working Groups will have some aspect of their recommendations translated into action.

Several Working Groups suggested plans & strategies which were a set of clearly interconnected actions; where this was the case, the overall strategy presented will also be incorporated into BASI’s longer term development work, but the plan is to start with the quick wins. This is just the beginning!

Mental Health: The Working Group presented a clear, over-arching strategy with initiatives designed to make a difference at all levels over time. However the Review Panel felt that the right place to start is (1) on creating awareness, appreciation & value for mental health in the Trainer community as a priority,and (2) build their capability over time through education so that they can, in turn, continue to ensure BASI courses are always psychologically safe learning environments. This can then be swiftly followed by (3) showcasing our “hero” members who have achieved in the industry despite their own mental health challenges, and (4) building educational mental health content into the course resources.

Product Development: This Working Group stated that they believed the current “Course in a Box” method of making courses easily available to students could be rapidly and easily improved. The panel agreed, and concurred that it should become a professional “pack” including videos, email templates and helpful content to truly help a Trainer operate independently when able. This is all the more important right now, now that many trainers find themselves alongside students in resort and people are keen to get courses running with minimal travel.
Equality and Inclusion: This Working Group also presented a very clear, multi-level approach to how changes to BASI’s courses, governance, policies, behaviour and language could all be combined to ensure we foster an inclusive environment which values difference. BASI would also like to extend our particular thanks to Renelle Mortimer, Amanda Pirie and Tess Swallow; who have consistently & constructively pointed out certain aspects of BASI’s current operations where we could be acting in a far more inclusive manner, especially when it comes to areas such as uniform, maternity policy and our Quality Assurance processes. None of these parties should have had to shout as loud as they have done for us to take action. Their suggestions overlap with the Working Group’s recommendations, which were presented as overall strategy and a set of inclusive policies which could be crafted over time. However, the panel were of the view that actions speak louder than words and that “visibility” needed clear action, namely (1) the appointment of a Non-Executive Inclusion Director at Board level to drive the focus in this area, (2) a marketing strategy which is built upon inclusive content and increases representation of female trainers on all BASI’s social media channels and website, (3) a clear commitment to the next BASI Trainer’s uniform being one which enables all users to select the kind of cut and fit they choose, and (4) make changes to the course report forms to ensure that our Trainers get timely feedback about their ability to create inclusive learning environments. Point 4 has in fact already been done.
Marketing & Communications: This Working Group felt that the priorities for their area were the engagement of “inactive” & non-teaching members, finding ways in which to engage members from the other disciplines, and also finding ways in which changes to communication and engagement could restore trust in BASI. The Review Panel decided to focus on (1) their recommendation to increase the amount of user-generated content for use on BASI social media channels, but to do it in a way which supports the Equality & Inclusion strategy and approach. This would enable not only a diversity of approach in terms of gender representation, but would also enable BASI to showcase all disciplines more equally and to challenge the usual stereotypes. The panel also selected (2) their recommendation to explore the reasons why so many members (Associate and others) seem to be “inactive”, i.e.  do not have a current teaching licence. Why is  this? BASI needs to understand and see what, if anything, it can do to encourage them to get more involved.
Environmental: This Working Group was very much of the view that BASI should adopt a clear stance on the topic, by declaring a climate emergency – then focus on its internal operations, the behaviour of its members and help its members to influence the behaviour of their clients. The Panel felt that BASI could make swift change in this area by helping to inspire and educate members, by (1) making our stance on climate change and the emergency very clear, (2) ensuring all our Trainers attend the Protect our Winters CPD course, and (3) blending the environmental and sustainability message into our marketing and communication campaigns. These were all actions which could be addressed swiftly and effectively, but could be followed up by a series of climate pledges and clear choices in our suppliers and operational service providers – for example, when our next Trainers’ uniform needs to be replaced with the version mentioned above under Equality & Inclusion, making sure that it is “debranded” and placed into the cyclical economy rather than being thrown away.

Again, we want to reiterate that many of the groups presented clear joined up strategies and much of these are being folded into the overall BASI strategy going forward – but we wanted to make the quick wins and actions very clear so people can see what we’re doing & can get behind them. As these projects develop we will be approaching the Working Groups again in order to help us flesh them out, but that doesn’t stop any other Members from getting involved if they haven’t already done so!