A Day in the Life of an RCSEd Honorary Secretary - Meet Stewart Barclay

A Day in the Life of an RCSEd Honorary Secretary - Meet Stewart Barclay

The RCSEd Dental Faculty is currently recruiting for an Honorary Secretary to take office from January 2025 following the retiral of Honorary Secretary Dr Stewart Barclay. 

RCSEd sat down with Dr Stewart Barclay, who has held the role since 2020, and learned more about his position as an Honorary Secretary and what he has brought to the table in his capacity. 

Stewart is a Consultant in Restorative Dentistry, recently retired from full time clinical activity, at Newcastle Dental Hospital. Over his career he was heavily involved in postgraduate education and training, with roles as TPD,  3 years as DCT Regional Adviser for HEE-NE, and a member of the SAC in Restorative Dentistry for 10 years, where he led the first iterations of the curricula in Restorative Dentistry and the Monospecialties, which have recently been revised. He had also been Honorary Secretary of RDUK (The consultants in Restorative Dentistry Group) for several years and had extensive committee experience with it and other specialty societies and our sister Colleges. He was an examiner for the RCSEd MFDS since 2003 and for ISFE in Restorative Dentistry since 2008. He has been a member of RCSEd, holding DRD and MRD, since the early 1990s. The experience of these roles was helpful as he took on this new appointment at the end of 2020.

What motivated you to take on this position?

The Dean approached me about the opportunity, believing I would be suitable, based on my experience across the profession, for this exciting and challenging role.

What knowledge and experience do you need for this role? 

Stepping into the role of Honorary Secretary presented an exciting new learning opportunity. While it is important to to be familiar with the rules, regulations, and laws of the College, I believe that lack of prior knowledge (as was the case for me) shouldn't deter anyone from applying. The College induction process was very helpful in this regard and the supportive staff team has always  been very ready to assist. I began my tenure during Covid, which limited face-to-face interactions, but this also highlighted how effective virtual meetings could be on Teams. Despite not being based immediately close to the College, the frequent and efficient online communication has ensured I have remained well-connected and involved.

 What set of skills and abilities do you require for this role?

I have viewed my role as the Honorary Secretary as providing complementary guidance and balance to that of the Dean. The two Deans I've worked with have been incredibly enthusiastic and energetic, and my role has hopefully contributed a considered , organised perspective to the Council and its business. A methodical mindset has been essential, especially during the wider College governance review, in which I was invited to represent the Faculty, which I found to be an engaging and educational experience. While some may see this as potentially boring it is an essential part of the work of the College as a charity and it has been an interesting and rewarding aspect of the role for me.

 What is the workload and how did you manage it?

The Honorary Secretary role offers a dynamic and engaging workload, which was perfect for me as I approached the end of my clinical career. There is regular email business and other tasks to be managed (usually with a degree of flexibility). It is important to state that it does make demands on one’s time and requires commitment. I would recommend visiting the College when possible and arranging frequent regular meetings and catch-ups with the other office bearers and the supportive staff team, who are always available to help and provide valuable advice.

What have been some of the parts you have enjoyed most, and would you recommend the role to others?

I have enjoyed being able to maintain an interest in a wide range of professional matters and hopefully making an effective contribution, interacting with our regulator, the GDC, and our sister colleges, and I have taken part in several international trips, including to Malaysia, Bahrain and Dubai. I have also supported some of the engagement work we are doing in Egypt and elsewhere  and ensuring Council is also contributing.

I would recommend this role to anyone who is keen to be involved in the work of the Faculty as it is very rewarding for someone who has the time and enthusiasm to give to it.

The Faculty of Dental Surgery is seeking applications for the position of Honorary Secretary. Should you be interested in applying for this role, please contact the Faculty for more information by emailing dental@rcsed.ac.uk.


back to top of page