In the last few issues of Surgical News we have provided updates on the One College Transformation – an infrastructure enhancement initiative that will make your interactions with the College easier and more personalised.
Our vision is of a robust, integrated RACS governance, management and infrastructure, one that supports all Fellows and provides greater opportunities to be involved in, and feel part of, the capability the College offers the Fellowship, aspiring Fellows and the surgical profession.
The Transformation team had their efforts disrupted to an extent due to COVID-19 and its accompanying restrictions. Considering this, their achievements over the first 12 months are even more impressive. While some projects were pushed to the back burner for the time being, the team found innovative ways to progress the Transformation program’s objectives while working remotely. Their work, under the oversight of former vice president Richard Perry, has placed us in good stead for the next stage of the program.
I will provide an update on the program’s first 12 months and outline what you can expect in the next phase of the program.
We are making the College’s systems and ways of working more efficient and responsive. Our technology infrastructure is ageing and dated, providing us with the opportunity to create a more receptive and enabling organisation – one that continually strives to help you achieve your best.
The One College Transformation program gave us a strong digital footing when the COVID-19 pandemic caused College staff to work remotely. We were able to quickly implement Microsoft products, such as Microsoft Teams, which allowed staff to communicate and collaborate effectively.
We upgraded our phone system, replacing our ageing and unsupported telephony system. Our new system has improved features, such as enhanced conferencing and collaboration facilities that will be linked to our new audiovisual systems, supporting a modern way of working.
We also enhanced the College website, moving to a more stable, flexible, scalable and secure platform. The roadmap of this upgrade offers the ability to personalise users’ experiences based on the data we hold.
The Governance stream of the One College Transformation program sets the parameters for decisive action by streamlining decision-making and enabling new opportunities for more members to participate in College business.
We are re-examining the opportunities through which Fellows can engage with the College, beyond committees. We want to streamline our governance model, ensuring committees and approval pathways are fit for purpose.
This will reduce our administrative overhead, allowing us to be focused on outcomes, giving our members more value, and better supporting the strategic priorities of the College.
Under Richard’s leadership, with Councillor support from Annette Holian as Chair of Global Health, and executive support from Emily Wooden, the Global Health Governance Structure was revised. The new structure now consists of the International Engagement Committee, the Global Health Section and the Global Health Programs Steering Group, each with specific functions and objectives.
Corporate committees were also rationalised, with the Resources Committee and the Risk Management and Audit Committee merged into a dedicated Finance, Audit and Risk Management Committee of Council.
We are also reviewing our policy framework. Simplifying the categories of documents that govern College operations will clarify responsibilities, minimise risk and free up Council to focus on the strategic work of the College. Governance documents will be easier to find, understand and apply. There will be one source of truth, rather than different versions and conflicting rules.
People and Culture
The People and Culture stream is charged with leading a College-wide cultural change by inspiring a positive and future-ready mindset, and enabling a more collaborative and flexible workplace.
Our experience during COVID-19 demonstrated the appetite and enormous capacity of our staff to adapt to new and more flexible ways of working. Post-COVID-19 we envisage that staff will retain many of the positive elements of flexible working to increase levels of employee wellbeing and member engagement.
To drive collaboration and engagement we have launched our new intranet Pulse, which has quickly become an essential platform to share important information among staff.
We are working on many new initiatives to support a positive workplace culture. These include new learning and development initiatives, a refreshed reward and recognition program, plus a focus on diversity in our recruitment activities.
By maintaining a focus on employee wellbeing and engagement, our members will ultimately benefit.
What’s coming next
We have a lot more exciting work that will continue to improve how you engage with the College. This includes projects such as eHub, a new membership portal that will replace the current ePortfolio. eHub will personalise content and provide you with a 360 degree view of your information and overall journey with RACS.
Our new website will also offer personalisation opportunities and room for upgrades in the future. Our audiovisual system upgrade will enhance the College’s collaboration across different teams and office locations, making it easier to run meetings remotely – ultimately, reducing the need for travel.
Come on board with us as we seek to support and advance your needs in today’s rapidly changing world.
You are welcome to send feedback and suggestions to the One College Transformation program team: 1CT@surgeons.org. I look forward to providing you with regular updates on the progress of the program.
Associate Professor Julie Mundy
This article was first published in Surgical News July/August edition.