Every three years, as another Council election approaches, our Election Committee reassesses the nomination and election process and examines a wide range of suggestions for improvements.
With feedback from members, the committee and staff review past procedures to analyze what went right and what presented some challenges so that we can make it work better for you.
The Council election is a chance for you to take part in choosing the people who will make the decisions affecting our profession for the next few years.
We know that you have a lot of other things on your mind and many things to do.
The College – like all regulatory bodies – hopes to catch the attention of members when nominations open and once voting is under way. We want to do everything we can to ensure that you understand Council’s role and are involved in choosing your Council members.
Since the last Council election in 2006, we have talked to College members about what engaged them – or didn’t – in the election, and the Election Committee has used that information as it sets the stage for 2009.
One of the things you’ve told us is that you are reluctant to vote for people you don’t know. Some think that if you can’t cast a vote for every position on your ballot, your ballot won’t be valid.
That’s why this time we will stress the fact that you do not have to vote for every position. If you are not comfortable casting a vote for one or more positions on your ballot, make the choices you are comfortable with and they will be counted.
You’ve told us that you want us to be more environmentally sensitive. In the last election, we ran the nomination form in the special election issue of Professionally Speaking, printing 220,000 copies when only about 100 were used. This time, we’ll make the nomination form available online, a more cost-effective and environmentally friendly approach.
We’ll offer space on our web site for candidates to post voice messages and leaflets, and to respond to a series of questions.
We’ll be running advertising in other publications that our members read to remind them of deadlines for nomination papers and voting.
Once again, we’ll be offering tours of the College to anybody who’s thinking about running for Council and wants to find out more about how we function.
Professionally Speaking and our web site will be the main sources of information about the election, but we will also include election information – as soon as it’s available – in our electronic newsletter, Your College and You. If you don’t receive the newsletter, you can sign up for it through your account in the Members’ Area of the College web site.
In case you can’t find the answers you want, we’ll have a dedicated phone line and e-mail box for your questions.
As Registrar, I know how important our Council members are to the work of regulating the teaching profession in the public interest. I also see that many of them find this work to be intensely interesting and satisfying – a wonderful opportunity to shape the future of our profession.