Member Survey 2024 – results highlights

RCPCH is delighted to highlight some of the results from our recent Member Survey. Learn more about member aspirations, goals and challenges and how we will use these insights to support our members.
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Introduction – purpose, approach and participation

Survey response | 3,000+ members took part | 18% response rate

This online survey, conducted between January and February this year, was designed to help your College learn more about our members. The survey asked about your ambitions and the challenges you are facing, as well as listening to feedback on how you view the College and how the College can best support you.

Many thanks to all members who took the time to participate. Over 3,000 members completed the survey —18% of our total membership. The respondents reflected the overall membership in terms of membership categories and work locations.

This gives the College confidence that the findings are generalisable to the wider membership and gives insight into what really matters to our members.

The survey asked many questions and here some key results are highlighted. Future updates will respond to survey results by highlighting activities which are already being undertaken by the College and what new activities we will start in response to the survey results.

Careers overview – aspirations, goals and challenges

Career aspirations: Our members are clear on their career priorities. Looking ahead, they prioritise the need for delivering excellent patient care, avoiding stress and burnout, and achieving a better work-life balance. Wanting to deliver the best patient care is the top priority for most membership categories and for both UK and International members.

Careers overview - aspirations, goals and challenges | 56% of members are looking to avoid stress and/or burnout | 48% want to achieve a better work/life balance | 63% want to continue to deliver the best possible care for patients

Daily challenges: Nearly all working members face challenges in their day-to-day role; achieving a work-life balance, inefficient IT systems and lack of time for activities such as research and training rank in the top three. On average, members selected at least four issues they face, indicating that the challenges are multifaceted.

Issues faced at work overall | 48% have an issue with balancing work and personal life | 45% want more efficient IT systems | 43%have a lack of time for activities such as research and teachinge

The challenges faced by different member categories vary. 60% of Junior members indicate they lack time to study. Almost half of Fellows (48%) believe there is a lack of qualified staff at the required levels, and 66% of Student and Foundation members cited inefficient IT systems as their biggest challenge.

Member perceptions of RCPCH

Members were shown a list of positive and negative adjectives and asked to select which they would choose to describe the College. Overall, the majority chose positive words, with educational (50%), professional (49%) and respected (35%) chosen by the greatest proportion. ‘London-centric’ is the highest-ranked negative descriptor.

Most members (63%) rate the College  as ‘excellent’ or ‘good’. Members who rated positively felt that the College communicates well with members, has a strong presence and provides access to a wide variety of training and learning resources.

79% of members agree that the College’s presence strengthens the profession, and 72% are proud to be RCPCH members. Almost three-quarters of members (72%) believe that the College understands what matters to the paediatrics and child health community.

Over half of members (58%) indicate they understand clearly what the College is aiming to do and achieve,  this rises to 75% amongst our Student and Foundation Affiliate cohort.

Member perceptions of RCPCH | 63% rate RCPCH as excellent or good | 79% agree that the RCPCH's presence strengthens the profession | 72% are proud to be RCPCH members

Member benefits and services

The survey explored the value members place on the different benefits and services provided to them as part of their membership. The Child Protection Portal and clinical guidelines are the benefits that the highest proportion of members regard as valuable.

RCPCH Learning, educational courses and other CPD opportunities rank third. Milestones magazine and subscription to Archives of Disease in Childhood (ADC) were also flagged as key member benefits.

Member benefits | 1 in 3 are not aware of concessions available with membership

There are several concessions available to RCPCH members. The majority of members are aware of at least one concession; one in three  are not aware of any. Details on all concessions available are on our Apply for a concession form.

New members were asked what their motivations were for joining. Those who became members in the last two years have typically done so to support their career progression (65%) and to be part of the appropriate professional body (53%).

Around one-third have joined to access the latest clinical research in paediatrics and child health and to access the benefits and services offered to members.

Member engagement and involvement

Many different factors influence a member’s involvement with the RCPCH community and engagement with its activities. The College recognises this and is working hard to create greater visibility and accessibility for all members, regardless of location, career stage, or sub-specialty.

Time constraints and uncertainty about how/where to engage with the College are the primary barriers preventing members from getting (more) involved with the College. Just under half (46%) feel they lack the time to be involved, and 40% are unsure what options are available to be involved. 28% are unsure what the benefits of becoming involved in College activities would be. 

Some members have told us they feel too inexperienced or underqualified to be involved in College activities. Many members are keen for greater involvement with College activities and initiatives. The College will use this information and work to inform members, so they feel empowered to become (more) involved.

Members would like more training courses, regional events and webinars. International members would like more webinars, training courses and half-day conferences. The survey results showed that 50% of members want support with management and leadership skills, and 47% want support with education.

We will continue to expand our educational offer and provide you with support throughout your career.

Future priorities

The survey explored members’ views on future College priorities. Supporting education, eLearning, and CPD is the highest priority (57%). This is closely followed by a cluster of ‘second tier’ priorities: advocating for child’s health in the media (47%), campaigning for the paediatric workforce (47%) and setting standards of care in children’s health services to support quality improvement (46%).

The survey asked members which areas they would like the College to advocate on. The emerging themes were clear and consistent across the membership. Support for the paediatric workforce is the top priority (81%), followed by a focus on improving child health services (75%) and children’s rights and safeguarding and protection (73%).

The College has established a new Workforce Planning Board, the remit of which was explored in the survey. Most members feel that the Workforce Planning Board should focus on activities around the retention of paediatricians (66%) and recruitment into the profession (50%). There is a close ‘third tier’ of priorities, which are sub-specialty workforce planning, rota planning and avoiding rota gaps and career support (selected by 42%, 42% and 41% respectively).

Future priorities | Supporting the paediatric workforce is the top priority that members feel RCPCH should advocate (81%) | Supporting education, e-learning and CPD is the priority members feel RCPCH should focus on (57%)

Moving forwards

Thanks once again to all who shared their views and helped us understand what really matters to our members and what is wanted and needed from us. The college is your membership organisation and your views inform and shape the College’s work. 

Your feedback will guide the development of the new RCPCH Strategy and enhance our support for members. We are committed to making changes based on your input and will keep you updated on developments and opportunities for involvement. 

If you have any further feedback or questions, please contact