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Survey of IAFP Members

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

In an effort to get some feedback from our members and others who visit the web site, we recently carried out our first ever online survey.

This was very informative, and gave us lots of ideas for how to improve the IAFP.  93 of you responded, 70% from the UK – which tells us that we need to reach out and recruit more international members.  70% of you are psychotherapists, psychiatrists or psychologists, and 50% work for a public sector health service. You also told us that we ought to look to develop greater links with the prison service. To do this, we will need to improve the way we publicise the IAFP and its work: simple lack of knowledge about us was one of the main reasons for not joining.

High on the list of requests was that the IAFP should become more efficient in the way we process membership applications, and how reliably we respond to queries. The development of our new web site will make for big improvements in these areas. This is also how we will connect better with members – via all-electronic communications, an online discussion forum, listings of publications and downloadable conference presentations and papers. All of these were popular requests made via the survey, and 80% of you were willing to pay a slightly higher membership fee for such benefits.

Our annual conferences and one-day seminars are very popular for the interesting themes and the quality of speakers, although these days many of you find it difficult to persuade your organisation to fund your attendance at such events. Offering a lower rate for students and trainees was a proposal that we are actively considering.

Perhaps the most important message from the survey was that we need to make a real effort to be inclusive: there were suggestions that we should have a much wider range of speakers, allow more time for discussion, and make a real effort to welcome people who are attending for the first time.

Finally, we need to tell you more clearly what happens at the IAFP’s Annual General Meeting – held annually at every conference – and make sure you know that everyone is welcome: member or not.

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