Get involved in the work of the HRA: help us plan for early, for inclusive and impactful involvement.

Last updated on 28 Oct 2022

Important change

We have listened to your feedback and have decided to change our planning meeting in January next year to a hybrid event. This will mean that more people will be able to be involved. This event is a very important part of our annual decision-making processes so it is crucial that we are able to invite everybody to be involved in as inclusive way as we can.

People who have already applied do not need to apply again, your applications will be saved, and we will select the successful applicants after the new closing date of 21 December.

Get involved in our business planning

When it’s planned late, public involvement is less likely to make a difference, and more likely to be a difficult experience. We want to change this.

Every January, the HRA’s Directors and Heads of the different teams (the Senior Management Group) meet to look at draft plans for the work we will do in the next finance year, which begins in April. Proposals are submitted from across the organisation, and the group discuss priorities, overlap, risks and benefits.

What's the activity?

We would like three members of the Public Involvement Network to join the planning meeting on 31 January 2023, which will be held as a hybrid event in person at our London office and online via Zoom. This will be the first time we have involved people in the planning of our work. Your role will be to act as a ‘critical friend’ and help us to ensure that the work we are planning is true to our new strategy to make it easy to do research that people trust. We would also like you to help us think about which aspects of the work we are planning would benefit from involving service users, patients, carers and other members of the public.

What will be involved?

  • background reading: it will help you to contribute if you can do some background reading in advance of the meeting. The papers for the HRA’s Board meetings are published on our website and we will advise you which ones will help you to understand how the HRA plans, manages and reports on its work. This is likely to take you up to half a day at most, and we will be available to help you
  • briefing meeting: take part in a Zoom call of up to an hour a week before the planning meeting to hear more about how the meeting will be run and so that you can ask any questions. This will be with Catherine McCarthy (Head of Corporate Portfolio Office – this means she heads up the team responsible for business planning and reporting across the HRA) and Karen Williams (Deputy Chief Executive and Finance Director)
  • attend: on 31 January, attend the ‘business planning meeting’, either in person, or remotely via Zoom. This meeting will take up the whole day and may involve travelling the day before or after depending on where you live
  • survey and reflection: complete a survey and take part in at least one Zoom call in the week after the planning meeting with Catherine and Karen to talk about how the meeting was for you and to discuss whether, if the opportunity arises, you would like to be involved in working on any of the specific plans. We can’t say yet whether that will happen and if it does how much further work that might be and there is no obligation to do more than you want to

What difference will it make and how will I know?

This is the first time we have involved members of the public in our yearly planning processes. Your input will tell us how well our planned activity reflects our aims. We will keep in touch with you after the planning meeting to let you know what happens next and there will be opportunities for you to tell us what difference you feel you have made in a future edition of this newsletter.

What support will I receive?

This is a first for us. The HRA has never involved members of the public in its business planning. We will try and reduce the jargon and clarify the process as far as possible. We will ensure that you are able to ask questions in the run up to the meeting and that there will be a named contact for you in our London office and on Zoom on the day of the planning meeting.

What skills or experience do I need to take part?

You don’t need to be an expert in business planning or project management. However, to add value and hopefully enjoy this work, you will need to be confident that you can:

  1. read some background documents and attend the briefing call before the planning meeting as indicated above
  2. familiarise yourself with the HRA’s strategy and be able to assess whether plans are likely to deliver on its ambitions, with a particular focus on public involvement, and equality, diversity and inclusion
  3. identify where and how public involvement (steering groups, working groups, consultation etc.) could increase the likelihood of the individual plans achieving their stated aims
  4. listen to different perspectives and share your views in a meeting alongside HRA staff and other members of the public with different life experiences and perspectives
  5. give clear, constructive, and helpful feedback to people you are working with

How do I apply?

To apply to help us plan early for inclusive and impactful involvement, please email the public involvement team by noon on 21 December 2022.

In no more than 400 words, please let us know how you meet the criteria above.

Please use ‘HRA planning meeting' in the email subject line.

How will you decide who will be involved in the planning meeting?

Your name will be removed from your application. Two HRA staff will score what you have written against the five criteria. We will invite the people with the highest scoring applications to join the planning meeting.

Will I receive payment?

Yes. In line with our policy, we can offer a fee of £150 per day for an initial two days (£300 in total), as follows:

  • one day to cover the reading in advance, briefing call before the planning meeting and then call to feed back after the planning meeting
  • one day to cover the planning meeting itself

This is an initial estimate of the time we think will be needed. However, if in consultation with you we agree that this activity will need for additional time, we will cover that too.

There may also be an opportunity to get involved in more detailed planning of specific areas of work following the planning meeting. If you wish to do that the amount of time that will take will be discussed and agreed with you then.

Will my expenses be covered?

Yes. We will arrange public transport for you and cover any other travel expenses (for example, car travel to a railway station and parking, the cost of printing, arranging for additional childcare, or for a carer or personal assistant) as well as subsistence costs whilst travelling. If the distance you need to travel to London necessitates an overnight stay, we will arrange that for you and cover meals and any other reasonable expenses. We also offer an allowance of £5 to cover any incidental expenses for attending online meetings.

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