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Case Study: Supporting a Professional Body Build Consensus on Royal Commission Submission

A peak medical sector professional body was preparing to finalise their submission to a Royal Commission and required support to call out divergent views, distil feedback and build consensus across the membership on the draft submission.


Following a recent period of difficulty engagement members and building consensus, the professional body was preparing to finalise a submission to a Royal Commission.

Similar inquiries had created ongoing tension between the professional body and elements of their membership who felt previous submissions had not reflected their views either through omission or actively not including their feedback. Members had actively disagreed with the organisations’ submissions in public forums which created confusion and diminished the credibility of the professional body. For a profession with a high profile and members with significant seniority, ensuring their voices were heard while creating a consolidated position was a difficult and fraught task for the executive and staff of the professional body.

FPL Advisory was engaged to provide advice on how to manage this dynamic and to undertake an inclusive engagement session in the form of a facilitated workshop.


Through our credibility and insight into government policy decision making, FPL were able to set a clear scope that incorporating all views was an impossible challenge, but the session was a key step in ensuring the consensus view was accurately reflected in the submission and aligned with achieving real change. Under our ‘active facilitation’ approach, we were able to consistently bring participants back to the core objective of achieving reform through the submission through consensus not inclusion of every perspective.

We prepared a tight agenda, a pre-workshop briefing note for participants and sought questions from participants in advance to refine the workshop content. The three-hour workshop attracted over 50 participants (a record for the organisation) and covered diverse content ranging from general principles to specific technical questions.

We prepared a post workshop report to provide an independent view of the workshop discussion, outcomes and consensus which became an important input into the submission to the Royal Commission.


Despite the diverse views, tensions and high expectations, the tight agenda and facilitation ensured members views were heard while staying aligned to the content and objectives. As a result, the workshop outcomes achieved broad consensus from the participants. Survey responses indicated an 80% positive response to workshop feedback. There was acceptance the resulting submission, which was developed from the insights of the post-workshop report, would accurately reflect the professional body’s position to the Royal Commission.

The executive of the professional body indicated their strong support for the workshop approach and feedback from the executive outlined that this process had been the most effective in securing member endorsement and final sign off on a submission into a major inquiry.

FPL Advisory supports clients across many industry sectors to resolve risks, create opportunities and support government engagement.