Fairness and independence: what it takes to be a decision maker in healthcare regulation
14 March 2023
Andrew Harvey, Chair of GOsC’s Professional Conduct Committee and the Health Committee, talks about recruitment to both committees starting in April 2023, and his hopes to encourage a more diverse range of applicants.
Over the course of the next few months, I’m going to be spending time focusing on the recruitment of new osteopath and lay members for our regulatory decision-making committees. This is always an exciting period, meeting new people who want to help us in our task of protecting the public and maintaining standards in the osteopathic profession. It’s tinged, of course, with some sadness, because this means that valued colleagues will be coming to the end of their terms of office and leaving the committees.
People often ask me how I got involved in healthcare regulation and, to be honest, I can’t fully remember but I do recall that it was the principles of fairness and independence that attracted me. I get an immense sense of satisfaction from the work that we do to, ensuring that decisions made about allegations of professional misconduct are fair.
One of the rewards of being involved in our committees is getting to work with people from a diverse range of backgrounds. That’s something I will be really focused on when recruitment begins in April.
Although you might not expect it, there’s a very wide range of professional experience among our osteopathic members. We have osteopathic colleagues who work in busy, urban practices where they collaborate with other healthcare professionals, rural environments and academia to name but a few.
My lay member colleagues come from equally diverse backgrounds across the whole of the UK; some have a healthcare background, others don’t, some have worked in regulation and others have never done so.
When we begin recruiting in April, we will be looking at increasing that diversity. My personal aim, as a gay man, is to see our committees truly reflect the diversity of our communities across the four nations. Alongside that, I really want to see people with a mixed range of professional experience applying to join us.
GOsC provides a really first-class induction process, with the opportunity to observe hearings before you sit on a panel for the first time. There’s a great deal of support available and our annual Committee development day gives us all an opportunity to learn from each other and from other experts.
Of course, there are a number of really important attributes to being a healthcare regulatory decision maker. It’s vital to have a sense of fairness, of independence, to be able to grasp and weigh up evidence, and to understand the importance of protecting the public. But, also, you need to be able to appreciate the vital role that osteopaths play in healthcare.
In April we will be holding a webinar aimed at people who are new to these sorts of roles whether they are osteopaths who have never had a non-executive role before, or a lay person who is new to the world of regulation. Our hope is that we can help to demystify healthcare regulation and answer as many questions as we can. The aim of the event is simply to encourage as many people as possible to consider whether a role on one of our committees is right for them, regardless of experience. If I’ve whetted your appetite a little, I very much hope you will consider joining that event.
I’m so keen to find the very best candidates to join us over the coming months; if this might be a role you feel you would flourish in, then I hope you will consider joining us.