The British Orthopaedic Trainees Association (BOTA) Committee is a group of individually elected representatives from around the United Kingdom. This committee represents the views of 1,400 BOTA members and trainees in Trauma & Orthopaedic Surgery in the UK. Each committee member has an important role within the committee, which is chaired by the President.
To be elected onto the committee, each candidate must put himself or herself forward for the position at the BOTA annual conference, the Educational Congress. This is done by writing your name on a large board under the position(s) you wish to be considered for. To be an eligible candidate, one must be a full BOTA member (i.e. paying member and ST3+ with a National Training Number, NTN), except for the position of Junior Representative (FY1-CT3, without a NTN). Secondly, to be eligible for any position, 2 full BOTA members must put themselves forward as your proposer and seconder. The election then takes place for each committee position at the Annual General Meeting (AGM), which is also held at the conference. BOTA Executive committee positions (President. Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer) can only be undertaken by those with one year of experience being on the BOTA committee previously.
At the AGM, each candidate for each position will be invited to present a short (<1 minute) speech as to why they wish to take up the position they have put themselves forward for, and what makes them suitable for the role. This is done for each candidate for a particular position, and then after the candidates have left the room, his or her proposers stand up and propose why the electorate should vote for their candidate. Voting then commences and the candidate with the most votes wins. If two or more candidates are tied, then a run-off vote is held until a clear majority winner is elected. If only one candidate is put forward for a particular position, then voting will continue with an option to vote for “no confidence”. All full BOTA members are allowed to cast their vote, or abstain. Junior members can only cast their vote for the candidates running for the position of Junior Representative.
The number of committees that require trainee representation in the UK at a national level is significant. The meetings of these committees usually number 1 – 5 per year. Hence, a key role for each committee member is to attend an assigned committee that requires trainees’ representation. Table 1 outlines these below.
The BOTA Committee meets six times per year (including at the annual conference). Expenses for travel and accommodation can be claimed where appropriate.