BAOS Honorary Treasurer
Another annual conference is on the horizon as I write this and the AGM will be held as usual. It’s always heartening to see so many members of BAOS attend the AGM but I know it’s not possible for everyone. Therefore, I felt this article was a good opportunity to discuss the new annual membership fee structure that will be proposed for 2018 during the AGM. Also I’d like to remind the membership of all of the benefits of belonging to BAOS as well giving you an insight to the ‘behind the scenes’ work that Council members undertake on behalf of the Specialty.
The reason for proposing a different fee structure is that over recent years we have found a significant proportion of our administration team’s time has been taken up with keeping our membership databases up to date. Some members choose to renew their membership annually via cheque or Paypal payments rather than via direct debit. Direct debit membership fees are simple to monitor and require very little administrative input. Members who pay via cheque or Paypal require more administrative input. Those who renew their membership in January are relatively easy to manage but some members forget to renew straight away or renew when they apply to attend the annual conference. Those members take a lot more time as they have to be removed from the database at the end of January when they haven’t renewed and the administration team has to re-enter their details once the membership payment has been received.
To reflect this increased administration we have decided to propose the following fee structure. An annual membership paid via direct debit will cost £150. An annual membership paid via Paypal or cheque will cost £170. In an effort to support our trainees and newly qualified dentists we offer a half price membership fee for anyone in a Specialist Training Post, a Dental Core Trainee or Foundation Trainee role.
So, what does being a member of BAOS get you? Firstly, your membership fee allows the Council Members to work on behalf of the Specialty.
The Council meet 4 times a year to discuss ongoing issues, assess the outcome of any meetings that have been attended and plan ongoing strategy. Our first and foremost aim is the continued promotion of Oral Surgery in all Sectors of Dentistry and to foster the younger generation of Oral Surgeons that are coming through the ranks. We are actively seeking support to increase NTN numbers and have been working alongside the SAC to try to ensure that recruitment to an Oral Surgery Specialist Trainee post is a fairer process through the development of National Recruitment.
Many Council Members have additional roles within Council, for example, President, Secretary or Treasurer as well as being involved in sub-committees such as the Primary Care Group, Secondary Care Group, Website development, Editor of the Oral Surgery Journal, Social Media representative, Sponsorship liaison, Regional Representative Liaison etc.
All of these roles are carried out alongside our normal day-to-day jobs. All council members give freely of their time and the only recompense we have from BAOS is reimbursement of travel expenses.
Secondly, the Oral Surgery Journal continues to go from strength to strength and a recent membership survey has confirmed how highly valued it is. In a continued effort to ensure we are providing value for money for our members we asked whether you would prefer an online journal rather than a paper copy but the response was a resounding “no!”.
Thirdly, the organization of the Annual Conference which is always very well attended with on average over 300 delegates. The Council work very hard to ensure the Scientific Program is interesting, varied, topical & up-to-date. We are already planning the 2019 conference and 2018’s timetable is almost complete.
All of this work wouldn’t be possible without our dedicated administration staff who provide invaluable support to all that we do. BAOS has recently undergone a financial review as Council felt it prudent to have a third party look over our incomings and outgoings and highlight areas for improvement. The findings were confirmed that as an association BAOS is performing well but as we have grown some of our expenses have increased, such as more administrative support, an increased number of meetings to attend, an increase in our journal costs etc. Also with more delegates attending the conference we have had to look for larger venues which inevitably cost more per delegate than the very reasonable fee we were being charged by the Edinburgh College.
Lastly, another finding of the report was that BAOS represented excellent value for money given that members were entitled to a substantial discount on the conference fee, were able to attend Regional Study Days at reduced costs, were provided with the journal and on top of that had access to the wealth of information and teaching videos available on the BAOS website.
I hope this article has provided useful information into the current situation with BAOS and explained the reasons behind the proposed change to our membership fee structure. Furthermore, I hope that some of you may be curious as to exactly what goes on at Council & I would really encourage you to put yourself forward as Regional Representatives or for election as a Council Member because as an organization we need the continued input of our membership to keep pushing us forward!