An article authored by Maria Gardner, Founder of Psychology Works. Today is National Sickie. Less of an endorsement of absenteeism for work without reason, more a timely reminder that, everyone, at times needs a day off to rest, recalibrate and reset. It's not about glamorising…
We were delighted to be able to sit down with our brand new Chair Clodagh O’Reilly, to discuss her past, present and future and what she has planned to ensure the ABP remains the home and voice of Business Psychology.
Clodagh was elected Chair on 16 September 2023.
Can you tell us about your background with the ABP? Where did it all start?
I have a long history of volunteering for the Association for Business Psychology, dating back to 2000 when it was first founded and called the Association of Business Psychologists. At that time I was responsible for Association administration and onboarding all founder members. I subsequently volunteered on Conference committees, and attended Conferences whenever I could. I first joined the Management Board by co-option in 2012, with the remit of Newsletter publication. I was elected Chair in 2013, when I oversaw the introduction of ABP University Course Accreditation, the Association’s name change and rebranding, and production of the second ABP Book, “Business Psychology in Action”. I founded the Workforce Experience Awards and led the Awards programme for the ABP until early 2017, although I resigned as Chair in 2015.
After stepping down as Chair did you continue to stay involved with the Association?
I still remained involved with the ABP by publishing four collections of case studies based on Awards submissions, and returning as an Awards Judge each year. I also undertook the ABP Certification process, achieving ‘Certified Principal Practitioner’ status. When the Biz Psych Cup was launched, I was a Pro Coach Angel in the first year, and then a Judge in the second. The Association’s Management Board generously recognised my contribution in 2020, when I was given Honorary Membership of the ABP.
What has been your main focus since becoming Chair?
I’ve been working closely with all Board Members to clarify and amplify our strategy. Our commitment to delivering value for all our Members is taking shape around a three part model.
Setting Standards of Practice
A high priority for the Association is setting standards for the practice of Business Psychology and supporting their application. So our Volunteers in the Standards team will continue to invest heavily in our standards framework, expanding its deployment and application.
- In the coming year we plan to provide more clarity on how standards apply by level of practice in our Certification process (i.e. entry, certification, principal and fellow).
- We’ll continue to expand our University Accreditation scheme, ensuring the next generation of Business Psychologists are supported in pursuing their ambitions.
- We’ll more closely reflect Certification standards in the judging criteria for both the ABP Awards and our Biz Psych Cup.
With these programmes and related work, we’re effectively setting, applying and celebrating standards for best practice in Business Psychology. I’m sure you’ll agree that is entirely aligned to our purpose, to be “the home and voice of Business Psychology” in the UK.
The value of having clearly defined standards of practice is that they can inform a structured approach to learning and development. You’ll see this come to life in our training, events and conference next year. This matters because it will enable us to deliver a standards-framework-based solution for members’ Continuing Professional Development. This is an ambitious goal, but essential. So look out for more news in due course!
With a more clearly defined Member enablement offering, we’ll do more to ensure our members can easily derive value from their membership. We have new Board Members joining who will focus explicitly on Member care, including Corporate Member support. And we’re delighted to have a former Chair of the ABP, Ben Williams, returning to the Board to take the lead in Industry Advocacy; that is to ensure business leaders hear about Business Psychology in relevant and helpful ways.
How do you feel about the future of the ABP?
There is no doubt that these plans represent a lot of hard work. But I am confident that our highly engaged and motivated Management Board are committed to their success.
Nevertheless, we remain a not-for-profit organisation, heavily reliant on Volunteers to achieve our plans. So our members’ continued support is particularly valuable to us.
What do you hope to achieve in 2024 and beyond?
For my part, I will do my best to ensure our plans succeed. I know what the ABP stands for – what it means to the Industry and our Members – and the potential it has for reinvention. I will keep that front-of-mind for all of our Board Members and Volunteers as we collectively realise the Association’s purpose.