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Opportunities for our Members to shape the future of herbal medicine

Over the last few months, we have been rethinking the way that the Institute is organised. The aim of this project was to:

  • Be more effective in achieving our goals for herbalists and for herbal medicine.
  • Enable our Members to more effectively contribute to these goals through our council, committees and project teams by making the expectations clear and providing more support to those working with us.
  • Widen opportunities for all of our members, from all backgrounds and all stages of their career to have their voice heard.
  • Make it possible for active members to receive expenses and in some cases additional financial recompense for their time, as well as the intangible benefits of networking and new skills.

Whilst we only have a limited number of opportunities at the moment, you can also sign up to be considered for future openings.

We hope that there will be a lot more of these soon. We have a RESOURCE WHICH LISTS OUR CURRENT OPPORTUNITIES, as well as giving the opportunity to let us know if you may have other ways to contribute.


  • Spaces on Council, including the leadership roles of Vice-President and Finance Officer/Treasurer
  • Spaces on the Professional Standards Committee, including the leadership roles of PSC Chair and Education Lead
  • Spaces on the Accreditation Board


1. The new Council will focus on overall strategy. It will step back from the day to day execution of this strategy, but will retain financial, legal and ethical oversight.

  • Council membership is ideally suited to people that can think strategically and with an interest in helping to shape the overall path of the Institute. It will consist of up to 8 Members, who will take on Directorships of the Institute as they do currently, plus up to 2 Independent Directors.
  • The President's primary role in future will be to chair these meetings, assisted by a Vice-President. There will also be a Finance Lead who replaces the current Treasurer role (subject to AGM approval).
  • Whilst working practices will be defined by the Council themselves, the initial suggestion is for full day face-to-face meetings 4 times per year. These meetings will focus on the overall strategy and reviewing progress towards meeting key objectives.
  • These are unpaid roles but travel expenses will be paid for attending meetings. This will include an overnight stay and evening meal wherever possible, in order to facilitate the creativity of informal discussions around each meeting.
  • The intention is that there will be very little input required of Council members between meetings. Day to day executive functions will instead be managed by the Exeter office team, with the input of PSC members and the relevant Project teams wherever professional herbalist expertise is required.
  • Council members will be free to join Project teams if they are particularly interested in specific areas but should realise that as Directors they will not be able to accept any payment in such roles.


2. The new Professional Standards Committee (PSC) will continue to take authority for the setting of all professional standards, including education, development, practice and conduct. It will advise the Project Teams and provide professional expertise for the office team where needed.

  • PSC will consist of 4-8 Members (usually 6) plus up to two Independent members. They will be supported by a Board Secretary for preparing agendas, meeting minutes, etc.
  • The team will include at least 2 named positions.
  • The PSC chair, who as well as chairing meetings will take over from the NIMH President in having the lead role in supporting the Exeter Office team to deliver the strategy set by the Council.
  • The Education lead will supervise Project teams linked to Education, and liaise between the PSC and the Accreditation Board, Student Council and Herbal Educators Forum. (Rather like the old Director of Education role on Council.)
  • We envisage 4 meetings per year, all online, although the PSC will itself keep this under regular review. Those in the named positions may also be asked to attend some or all Council meetings, either virtually or in person. Active membership of the PSC will attract some payments. The payment structure to be confirmed, but is likely to be similar to that currently offered to members of the Accreditation Board, with a small payment per meeting and additional payments for any substantial work outside meetings.
  • The PSC members will be available to the office team to offer herbal context where needed. This could be proactively (e.g. the team are considering a CPD offering and want to discuss relevance) or reactively (a member has contacted the office with concerns over a patient). The way that PSC is available will be agreed between its members and the office team.

 3. Project teams will be established where appropriate to focus on the delivery of specific strategic outcomes.

  • For example, possible areas of focus may include revamps of our mentoring scheme; development of a professional supervision scheme; development of our individual accreditation scheme for prospective members that have not completed an accredited course; or a review of our core curriculum for accredited schools.
  • The parameters for each Project, such as their timescales for delivery, the recommended size of the working team, and their budgets will be set by Council.
  • It is anticipated that payment will be available for those undertaking substantial work within Project teams, within the agreed budget for each project.