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Successful representation is a two-way process

I write in response to Sid Dajani’s call on Twitter to rethink the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) Pharmacy Board elections (The Pharmaceutical Journal 2015;294:661). I was a member of the Transitional Committee established to develop a modern “fit-for-purpose” RPS. We spent a long time debating the governance of the professional body. We agreed the national boards needed individuals exposed to different areas of pharmacy.

As an industrial pharmacist, it was my expectation that it would be industrial pharmacists who would elect their representative on any of the boards but a working group agreed sectoral voting would be open to everyone from all sectors.

Successful representation in any organisation is a two-way process and individuals from minority groups need a voting system that will elect a candidate representing their area of practice. For industrial pharmacy, candidates will not put themselves forward for election and industrial pharmacists will not bother to vote unless they know their vote will elect a candidate representing industrial practice.

Jane Nicholson


Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2015.20068827

Readers' comments (2)

  • I fully support the decision to have reserved sectoral places on the EPB. My understanding is that if a pharmacist from the industrial area of practice had been nominated she/he would have been automatically elected to the Board and the Board would have had the benefit arising from that person's experience in the industrial sector - thus meeting the intentions of the Transitional Committee.

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  • I totally agree with Jane Nicholson's comments. In the first Industry vote I did a pole of 10 of my industry colleagues and ALL had voted for 1 candidate that had a long celebrated industry CV. This candidate by extrapolation, I believe, would have received the most votes from industry voters. The candidate that was finally elected had the least industrial experience of the 4 candidates. The next election there was no vote as there was only one candidate standing. This election there were no candidates. Until we have a system where only persons serving in a sector can vote for the candidate, minority groups will feel they they do not have a voice and there is no point even trying to stand for election.

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