Volume 17, Winter 2011
The Association of Business Psychologists, 211/212, Piccadilly, London W1J 9HG
w w w . t h e a b p . o r g . u k a d mi n @ t h e a b p . o r g . u k 0 2 0 7 9 1 7 1 7 3 3
Welcome to the Winter edition of the ABP’s quarterly newsletter.
As we enter the year of the rabbit, we should all expect a gentler
3 Conference update! year of upward hops and better luck!
4 Raise the profile of business
psychology! What hops are the ABP making? This edition is rich with updates
from the ABP chair and board members. Read all about what’s
6 Our reserves
new with the ABP!
7 Your subscriptions
8 In the limelight Helen Watts, Editor
9 Help! We need somebody!
11 In the news This edition’s highlights…
12 Benefits of being an ABP member
p.8 In the limelight!
...read about the ABP’s fantastic work with the media!
p.9 Help! We need somebody!
... find out how you can become a volunteer and get more
involved with your Association.
Page 2 e-newsletter
The delectable platter of your ABP Board Members
Your Board members
Steve Whiddett (Chairman)
Carol Cole (Vice Chair and Chair of Standing Disciplinary Committee)
Mark O’Sullivan (Treasurer and Chair of Finance Committee)
Debbie Hance (Company Secretary and Chair of the Marketing and Communications
Dr. Stephen Benton (Chair of Membership Committee)
Rebecca Stevens (Conference Dean)
Richard Taylor (ABP Administrator)
We would also like to welcome Christine Miller to the ABP Board!
Secure your place now at the 2011 ABP conference by downloading the registration from
Surf the new website!
Our new website is finally up and running, so please do take a look. We are in the process
of filling the site with content and if you have any comments, ideas, suggestions, or would
like to be involved in the Communications and Marketing Committee going forward, we’d
love to hear from you. We’re particularly keen to hear from members who have case
studies they’d like to share, for inclusion in the site to demonstrate the value of business
psychology to the wider public.
There are several sections of the site which are ‘under construction’, so please bear with
us while we get them up and running. Soon to be available is the ‘Find a Business
Psychologist’ service (name yet to be agreed!), via which potential buyers of business
psychology will be able to search and identify practitioners who provide relevant services
in their area. We will also have a Member’s area, which will provide networking and
knowledge-sharing opportunities within our community, so watch out for these
Comments, case studies or suggestions?
Contact Debbie at email@example.com or Kieran at firstname.lastname@example.org.
e-newsletter Page 3
ABP annual conference 5th-7th May 2011
Psychology for Business: What it can do for You
At Wybosten, Bedfordshire
The conference features an outstanding selection of talks and workshops, with key
notes, presentations and workshops from some of the UK’s leading business
psychologists and business professionals.
We can now announce that our keynotes include:
Bridget Rosewell, Economist & Chairman of Volteera Consulting discussing
psychology and its value in economic modelling
Cliff Lansley and Aaron Garner of Paul Ekman International plc presenting Lie to
Me: emotional skills and deception
Professor Jo Silvester, Director of the Organisational Psychology Research Group
at City University London talking about her recent research on politicians
You will have a choice of 28 sessions to attend covering four main themes:
Fusion – Bringing together psychologists and experts from other fields illustrating
combined methodologies and approaches
Innovation – All that is new in business psychology
Stories – Powerful case studies demonstrating how businesses have applied
Appetisers – Taster workshops and practical sessions with an opportunity to learn new
techniques and skills to apply back in your organisation
Further information can be found here: www.theabp.org.uk/conference.
Keep up-to-date with conference developments via the ABP Linkedin group and look
forward to seeing you there!
Rebecca Stevens & Lylie Fitzpatrick
Deans, ABP Conference 2011
Page 4 e-newsletter
Raise the profile of business psychology!
During the last two years the ABP board has been working hard to define and develop what
the ABP is about, what we can offer the huge community of people who use business
psychology in their work, and how we can do so (given that we’re currently a small
organisation and almost entirely run by volunteers).
In 2010 we took the decision to post board meeting minutes onto the website and these will
be kept in the members’ area. This will keep decisions available for reference but I
recognise that members may not find minutes compulsive reading – so here’s a summary of
some of the things we have been doing and some decisions that you may need to know.
Late in 2009 we defined our purpose as:
“To champion the use of psychology to achieve effective and sustainable
performance for organisations and people at work.”
At the 2010 conference in May we asked members to vote on how much they agreed with
this strategy, and received whole-hearted support, with 92% agreeing or strongly agreeing.
Since then we have established working groups to deliver the ABP strategy. Those of you
who expressed an interest in helping with these will be contacted soon. There is a great deal
of enthusiasm among members to enhance what we do for each other and for raising our
profile. Can you contribute to one or more of the following groups? If you want to get
involved or want further information, email me at: email@example.com. The
working groups are establishing their terms of reference and here are snapshots of the five
key strategy delivery groups and their leaders names and email addresses if you want to
contact them directly:
Events Volunteers needed to design, manage, and promote events in London and in
the regions and volunteers willing to give talks on their particular specialities.
Group leader: Peter Burton – firstname.lastname@example.org
External engagement This group was formed in response to the need for greater
clarity around how the ABP promotes itself and the wider profession/practice of business
psychology. We want to engage with key stakeholders, the media, other professional
bodies, Government, organisations and influential individuals.
Group leader: Debbie Hance – email@example.com
Internal communications A large percentage of the value of being a member of the
ABP is delivered through internal communications. It is core to achieving the overall
vision and purpose of the ABP and it is the means by which we can:
o Capture insights and understanding of members’ needs
o Engage with and inform members of developments, initiatives and opportunities
o Create and manage a pipeline for professional development.
Group leader: Steve Carter – firstname.lastname@example.org
e-newsletter Page 5
Membership Increasing and retaining the ABP membership. Promoting the benefits of
being a member, reviewing the criteria for membership and making it easier for
members to manage every stage of their membership.
Group leader: Trisha Cochrane – email@example.com
Education and research Promoting the academic and professional credibility of formal
programmes in Business Psychology. Recognising appropriate HE Business Psychology
courses. Seeking recognition of the ABP as the national and international professional
body for Business Psychologists and for those who use business psychology in their
Group leader: Steve Benton – firstname.lastname@example.org
But the Board has been busy in other areas as well. At the end of 2010 we decided to
simplify the subscription handling process by standardising the subscription year: on this
you should have received an email from our Treasurer, Mark O’Sullivan, which is reproduced
elsewhere in this Newsletter. Our hard-working administrator, Richard Taylor, becomes
even more hard-pressed than usual as the year goes by, since he has to chase outstanding
subscriptions. Please make his life easier by paying your renewal fee promptly – or, even
better, help to reduce our admin costs by signing up for direct debit.
There were some difficult decisions to be made in 2010 about where new applicants fit into
our membership categories. The broad picture is clear enough, but the more detailed
criteria we have been working with can be confusing, and the Board has been looking at
them again over the past few months. We have been seeking in particular to move more
clearly away from formulations developed by the BPS, and towards something more
transparently oriented towards the needs and practices of our business clients. Our work on
this continues and will soon be posted on the ABP website - we would welcome any views
Work developing the website also continues, prominent new aspects being legal advice on
the terms and conditions needed to protect the Association, and an imminent launch of the
“Find a Psychologist” function (under this or another title).
We are also in dialogue with other organisations. The last few months have seen us
exploring possibilities for collaboration with the Society for Coaching Psychology and the BPS
Special Group in Coaching Psychology, making experts available to advise a journalist
writing in the Guardian’s Saturday Work supplement, maintaining a watching brief on
International Standards Organisation moves in the assessment field, and talking to the Law
Something to add to your business cards – please use the initials MABP to let people know
you are a member of the ABP. If you want to know more about the board and its members
visit the website where all board members’ profiles are in the process of being updated.
A survey of your needs and interests as a member of the ABP is being planned for later this
Plans for the 2011 conference are well under way and you will be receiving regular updates
from the very busy and very productive conference committee.
Steve Whiddett, ABP Chair
Page 6 e-newsletter
At the AGM in September, a number of members expressed some concern at the size of the
Association's reserves. Why, they asked, did the ABP need to keep so much money by, and
continue to ask for membership subscriptions? There may be others asking themselves the
Our reserves have been built up not from membership subscriptions, which only cover a part
of our administration costs, but from surpluses over a number of years at our highly
successful annual conference.
The reserves now stand at about £120,000. In one sense, it is no small sum, representing
about £200 per member. In another, it is not all that large – the cost of the conference
alone is anything up to about £70,000 a year, and if that was to go badly wrong in a
particular year that would make a big hole in the reserves.
More importantly, however, the Association is standing at the doorway to a new future. At
the conference last year, in a well attended session, the chairman asked members whether
they wanted the ABP to stay as it was, or to engage with the outside world with a convincing
case for the importance and the merits of the use of psychology at work. Members greeted
this proposal with overwhelming enthusiasm, and the Board will shortly bring to members a
strategy to give effect to this endorsement.
The ABP cannot engage with such a wider role without using more resources. Volunteers
have given much in the past, and will respond if called on again. But some work cannot be
done without money. £120,000 will not go far in that. The work on the strategy is being
accompanied by work on how it is to be resourced. But the reserves we already have will
have a vital part to play in giving us the ABP that we want in the future.
Mark O'Sullivan, Hon Treasurer
e-newsletter Page 7
I am writing to you about three things: VAT, the membership year, and direct debit.
As you know, the VAT rate rises from 17½% to 20% on 1 January 2011. The ABP annual
subscription itself remains, as before, at £30 a year, but as a result of the tax increase the
gross amount in which we invoice you will have to rise from a rate of £35.25 to one of £36.00.
All subscription payments, whether by cheque, by standing order or by direct debit, will
therefore have to change.
You will also know that a member’s membership year with the ABP runs for twelve months
from the date they joined. As the Association grows, it becomes more difficult to justify the
complexity of dealing with this arrangement under accruals accounting, and we are therefore
moving in the course of 2011 to a standard membership year which will run from 1 January to
31 December. At their 2011 renewal, all members will pay the appropriate proportion of the
annual subscription to renew their membership up to 31 December 2011 (for example,
including VAT, a member who joined on 1 July will pay £18, and a member who joined on 1
November will pay £6). On 1 January 2012, all members will be asked to pay a full year’s
subscription, which will last them up to 31 December 2012; and similarly in subsequent years.
As you will know, organisations are making every effort to persuade you to pay subscriptions
by direct debit rather than by cheque. I’m afraid the ABP is no different in this respect. The
ABP remains a very small organisation which counts its pennies, and is trying this year to do a
lot more with much the same money as ever. We still ask all our members to pay no more
than £30 a year for membership, and we think that the value for money which we offer
improves every year. Every time someone forgets to renew, it is not just they who lose the
benefits of membership: the ABP loses £30 which it can ill afford to do without, and our
Administrator has the substantial additional effort of chasing missed payments. Ultimately, as
you will have read, we shall all be driven away from cheques by the banks refusing to continue
the system. I would ask you to bring that date forward a bit by this year authorising a direct
debit; there is a form enclosed with this letter. Please consider this carefully.
If you have any queries on the technicalities, please get in touch with Richard Taylor at the
Piccadilly address. If you would like to discuss the subscriptions policy, or of course the ABP’s
finances more generally, please give me a ring.
Page 8 e-newsletter
In the limelight!
As the ABP’s strategy gains momentum and our membership grows, we are finding
that we are attracting increasing attention from the media. Since our last Newsletter,
ABP members have been quoted in the Guardian. If you missed them, you can read the
Secret to asking for help at work
Secret to being creative at work
We have been approached with a number of other media opportunities. Such
opportunities usually need to be responded to very quickly, and we would like to be
able to provide the contact details of members who are willing to speak or write things
on behalf of the ABP. These are excellent opportunities to promote both business
psychology and the benefit it can have within organisations, as well as your own
knowledge and expertise. If this is something you have experience of, if you have had
any media training, or are interested in promoting business psychology to a wider
audience, please e-mail Debbie Hance (email@example.com) with your areas of
particular interest/expertise, a summary of your media experience and whether you are
interested in TV, radio, press (or any combination of those!) or other promotional
opportunities, like speaking at events, blogging or writing case studies. We look
forward to hearing from you!
Chair, Marketing and Communications Committee
e-newsletter Page 9
Help! We need somebody!
The ABP relies heavily on volunteers to deliver services to members. For those considering
volunteering, this note sets out what might be involved, apart from the obvious facets of giving
up some time and knowing that one is making a useful contribution to one’s professional
Current opportunities are mainly as website contributors, as members of working groups, and
(for more senior members) as members of the Management Board.
The website editor aims to build up its resources reporting and commenting on current news of
interest to business psychologists, and offering information on research, best practice and
contacts. If you would be prepared to volunteer copy for this purpose or to write it to
commission, please get in touch. Contributions will carry an acknowledgement of the author
(unless they request otherwise), which will bring them to the attention of colleagues. No fee is
payable. Help, on similar terms, would be welcomed with contributions to the newsletter.
Each year the ABP’s outstanding conference, a keystone of its finances, is organised by a team
of volunteers. These are often fairly recently qualified members who welcome the fun of being
part of an enthusiastic team, the excellent opportunities for networking and for expanding their
contacts in the profession, and the management experience of helping to run a significant
project with commercial risks. A fee is not payable, but reasonable travelling expenses are
met and there is a small fund for motivational rewards, related to the amount of the
conference surplus. Meetings are generally in London. In addition to the conference committee,
a small team of students help out with the conference on the day, and receive a concessionary
From time to time there are vacancies in working groups, set up recently in the course of
strategy development, and addressing membership, education, and internal and external
communications issues, along with events other than the conference; as well as on the Finance
Committee. Such work can provide useful networking opportunities and the chance to
maintain or build a favoured area of expertise. No fee is payable, but reasonable travelling
expenses are met. Meetings are generally in London. There is also a standing Disciplinary
Committee, but this usually draws its membership from the Board or from outside the
profession, rather than from other volunteers.
Page 10 e-newsletter
The Management Board is the governing body of the ABP. Elections are held for Management
Board membership every year, in accordance with the Association’s Articles and Regulations.
However, there are also opportunities for co-option to fill gaps in expertise or resource which
the Board has identified. Co-option lasts until the next AGM, when a co-optee has the
opportunity to offer themselves for election, or the Board may wish to renew the co-option.
Membership offers networking opportunities at senior level and experience of working at such a
level. All Board members are expected to make a real input to the Board’s work, and to take
this into account when considering applying, though the Board is anxious that the contribution
of all members should be arranged so as to sit comfortably with their other commitments. No
fee is payable, but reasonable travelling expenses are met. Meetings are generally in the
evening in London during the working week.
Other roles supporting the ABP become available from time to time. A small fee or honorarium
may be payable for such tasks, depending on the case.
Making a move
Members wanting to find out more about volunteering to help the ABP, to register interest in a
possible vacancy, or to make an application, should in the first instance contact Richard Taylor,
the ABP administrator.
Contact Richard at firstname.lastname@example.org ASAP!
e-newsletter Page 11
In the news
Scratch and Scroll
How many times in your working day
do you scrabble around for a pen, but
can't find one? The brainy people
behind the Scratch-n-Scroll have come
up with an ingenious solution - write it
on your mouse mat!
Once you've scribbled down your great
idea, you can then simply erase what
you've written by flipping up the
opaque sheet that covers the pad.
It'll work fine with any optical or ball
mouse that you might push across it.
(taken from www.iwantoneofthose.com)
Page 12 e-newsletter
The benefits of being an ABP member!
Are you taking advantage of your ABP membership benefits? …
Right to refer to oneself as a Member/Principal Member of the Association of Business
Use of the ABP logo on stationery and website
Access to extensive presentation resources from previous Events and Conferences
Opportunity to host events that showcase the member’s own services, insights or
specialist approaches to business psychology
Opportunity to attend events free or at a reduced cost, to support you in your CPD
Remember… ALL members benefit from…
Networking opportunities with other members including the opportunity to meet with
and work with members on subcommittees to help develop the profession of business
Right to form or join existing branches, in Ireland, Scotland, Wales, The Midlands and
Opportunity to form or join Special Interest Groups e.g. Business Leaders group
Attendance at the acclaimed Members Only Annual Conference
Advance access to online jobs listings
Mentoring services for new and junior members
Continuing Professional Development – access to CPD activities & training courses
The seasonal e-newsletter, full of interesting and useful features
New services coming soon! ...
Placement of a personal business link on the links page of the public website
Access to the Members’ Area of the ABP website and Association information
Access to the Members’ Area Jobs and Opportunities page
The right, by Principal Members, to place their expertise information, email and website
links on the Find a Psychologist service
Access to the ABP Message Board
Not yet a member? Join us!
Being a member of the Association of Business Psychologists brings a host of benefits and
applying is simple. To join as a full ABP member you should be a person who either manages,
is partner in, or employed in, a business providing psychological services to business or the
public sector. Alternatively, you maybe employed as a psychologist in a relevant capacity (e.g.
in HR) in a business or in the public sector. We also offer affiliate membership. Go to the
membership levels page to find out the full requirements. The subscription for all categories of
membership is the same - £30 plus VAT. This is great value for money, and low in
comparison with other professional membership organisations. To apply to join the ABP please
download the WORD application form or PDF application form. To pay your membership fees
by direct debit please download the Direct Debit form.
Why not visit our LinkedIn page? Visit our LinkedIn page for your chance to network, socialise,
and share any ABP thoughts and comments with other members.