By Gareth Kitson, RPS Professional Development and Engagement Lead
My role at the RPS is vast and varied, it is a challenging but exciting post that allows me to connect with pharmacists across England. One aspect of my role is to provide support to our RPS Local groups (Local Practice Forums). RPS Locals help members engage with the RPS in their local areas. They aim to give members the opportunity to meet others face to face, provide peer support and networking opportunities (extremely valuable for the upcoming revalidation requirements) and offer professional support to pharmacists regardless of their career stage. In what other setting can a pre-registration speak to a newly qualified pharmacist about life as a practicing pharmacist, who can also talk to a chief pharmacist about their career pathway? If you are not involved in your local group thenI’d encourage you to take a look at our website and find a group that is local to you and start to engage!
Since starting in post, I have heard that people are very passionate about the RPS but many members would like us to shout louder about all the great work that we do. We can do this through a variety of ways, such as the website, emails or social media, however nothing substitutes face to face discussions. Enthusiasm is infectious and we want people who are enthusiastic about THEIR professional body to help demonstrate the benefits to others and showcase the variety of tools and materials we create to help support all pharmacists. I, like my colleagues, do this every time we meet a pharmacist, be they a member or not, but I want us to be able to do this as frequently as possible in as many different settings as possible.
Therefore, we’ve put our thinking caps on and created a new role – The RPS Ambassador. This will be a new way of trying to reach out and engage with members across England. This role is very varied and will primarily be introduced in areas of England that are geographically large, or areas where engagement opportunities exist and the RPS voice needs to be heard more frequently than we are currently able to support. The ambassador will be affiliated with the local area in which they either work or live, to ensure that they understand the needs of our local members. They will work closely with their own existing networks and with any other networks in their areas, including our RPS Locals to promote the excellent work of the RPS. We would love to invite applications from pharmacists from a variety of backgrounds to represent the true breadth and depth of the profession and would love someone who is comfortable using and engaging with members and non-members on social media.
The role we have in mind can be found here. If you are self-motivated, passionate about pharmacy and also, passionate about the RPS then this role could be for you. It will be a voluntary role, but we will set aside £1000 each year to say thanks for all your hard work and dedication.
We will provide you with all the resource you need to be a success, including presentations, printed materials and resources to showcase our work. If you are interested in this role, please send us a CV and tell us something about yourself and how you can help us spread our good work. This might be a blog, a short video, a more traditional covering letter or anything else you think might catch our eye. Be innovative and original and show us your passion for the RPS!