You will have received a notice in the June issue of Commentary regarding the decision to move the AGM/Comitia from Wednesday 15 July 2020 to Thursday 24 September 2020 at 14.30–16.30hrs. Since then, the decision has been made to hold the meeting entirely virtually to ensure the safety of participants during the pandemic and allow maximum engagement. This has not been an easy decision but I hope you will understand the reasons for it. Below you will find details, as known at this time, regarding communication routes for additional and updated information; the chance to raise issues or questions in advance; and importantly details on the consultation to revise the bye-laws, which will form a major item at the AGM in September. The forced change to virtual is far from ideal and so we are learning as we go but we hope it will lead to a successful meeting of fellows and provide learning for future AGMs which could follow a physical/virtual hybrid model.
Virtual AGM/Comitia arrangements
Arrangements are currently being developed but we envisage a one-way video stream of addresses and updates to fellows accessible through their own computers or other electronic devices. Fellows in attendance will be able to submit written comments during the meeting and will be asked to vote, as appropriate, through online systems. Those wishing to attend would therefore need to have a suitable electronic device and adequate internet access.
Hard copy AGM papers will still be sent in September to all fellows but in the meantime, we will use email and other electronic routes to update fellows on meeting arrangements. This will likely include the following:
- pre-registration (as there will be a maximum number of virtual attendees) and security steps (to ensure only fellows attend and vote on the day)
- joining instructions and details on how to vote and submit questions online within the meeting
- how to access tabled papers via the website (see below)
We are aware that we do not hold email addresses for all fellows and are keen to extend RCP records so that everyone can receive timely electronic update. If you wish to add an email to your RCP record please contact email@example.com
AGM papers will be available online behind your login. This will allow the addition of any tabled papers to be accessible. Papers will be viewable by both fellows and members but with the caveat that AGM attendance and voting is a benefit of fellowship only. We hope that fellows and members find the information interesting but stress that it is confidential in nature.
AGM advance questions and issues
Please feel free to submit any advance questions to senior officers or general concerns in advance of the AGM to Simon Land, head of professional governance firstname.lastname@example.org. Senior officers will endeavour to answer all questions received (including those submitted on the day through virtual systems) at the AGM or post meeting should there be too many to respond to at the meeting.
Proposal to revise the RCP bye-laws
At this year’s AGM (Comitia) fellows will be asked to vote on a package of changes to the RCP’s bye-laws. In advance of the meeting, the proposals for change can be viewed online with the option to comment. Fellows are asked to note Council’s support for the changes, and at the AGM the fellows will be invited to approve the changes as a whole.
Professor Donal O’Donoghue