Since 1st April 2015, membership of the British Association of Retinal Screening has been free, with no charge to join the association or to maintain your existing membership. For more information on this change, please see the Special Announcement below.
Online registration is now available and is free.
Since 2001, the aim of the British Association of Retinal Screening (BARS) has been to support professionals involved in retinopathy screening for people with diabetes, via regular conferences, meetings, training days and educational activities.
For the first fourteen years, our work has been funded in part by an annual subscription paid by all members. Since the association's inception, however, the world of diabetic eye screening has changed considerably, and we have come to recognise that a wide range of roles - and accompanying variations in salary - now exist within the profession.
BARS Council believes it is vital that the association represents all professionals in the field, regardless of personal circumstances, and that whilst the membership fee might be easily affordable for some, it may be less so for others. If BARS is to achieve its aim of truly representing those working in diabetic retinopathy screening, it is therefore important for membership to be freely available to all. For this reason, BARS Council sought approval from its members to change the association's constitution and abolish the membership fee.
This change has now been ratified, and from 1st April 2015, there will be no charge to become an active member of the British Association of Retinal Screening.
Article 5 of the constitution will be amended to read as follows:
1. The annual subscription will be free to all applicants involved directly in the diabetic retinopathy screening pathway. The Council will review the financial viability of the subscription fee on an annual basis and feedback to its members at the Annual General Meeting.
There are considerable costs involved in the running of the association, but by removing the annual subscription fee, it is hoped that we will be able to increase the association's membership significantly and engage with more staff, better supporting our members and covering our costs elsewhere.
Despite foregoing this source of income, it is our intention not to significantly increase the cost of this year's BARS conference, but instead to grow our membership and rely on a good attendance to fund the association for another year. We therefore ask for the support of our members in order to make this constitutional change a success. Registration for the 2015 BARS Conference will open soon to coincide with the introduction of free membership, and we encourage all BARS members to spread the word about this change. More members means a stronger association, better equipped to support those working in the field of diabetic eye screening.
Details on how to join BARS for free will be published on this page in due course. Current members who pay by standing order or direct debit should ensure that this is cancelled with their bank before the end of March to avoid being charged. Members who have previously paid via WorldPay are unaffected and will not be charged this year.
BARS Council would like to thank all current and previous members for their financial support which has allowed the association to grow over the past fourteen years. We hope that you will continue to support us – and allow us to support you – as we move forward.