Guidelines for Writing Resolutions
For more help on writing resolutions, read Make A Difference: Write That Council Resolution.
The Council considers items in the form of resolutions. Resolutions set forth background information and propose a course of action.
Submission and Deadline
Resolutions can be submitted by e-mail, fax, or US mail. Receipt of resolutions will be acknowledged by e-mail or phone.
All resolutions should be submitted to:
Dean Wilkerson, JD, MBA, CAE
Executive Director & Council Secretary
American College of Emergency Physicians
PO Box 619911
Dallas, TX 75261-9911
Phone: 800-798-1822 x3202
Bylaws and regular resolutions are due 90 days before the annual Council meeting. The 2013 Council meeting will be held on Saturday, October 12 and Sunday, October 13 in Seattle, WA. Therefore, the deadline for resolutions for the 2013 Council meeting is July 15, 2013.
Each resolution must be submitted by at least two members of the College. In the case of a chapter or section, a letter of endorsement must accompany such resolution from the president or chair representing the sponsoring body. If submitting by e-mail, the letter of endorsement can be either attached to the e-mail or embedded in the body of the e-mail.
All resolutions from national ACEP committees must be submitted to the Board of Directors for review prior to the resolution deadline. This usually occurs at the June Board of Directors meeting. If the Board approves the submission of the resolution, then the resolution carries the endorsement of the committee and the Board of Directors.
Please contact Sonja Montgomery, CAE, firstname.lastname@example.org at ACEP headquarters, 800-798-1822, extension 3202, for additional information about preparation of resolutions.
The title of the resolution must appropriately reflect the intent. Resolutions begin with "Whereas" statements, which provides the basic facts and reasons for the resolution, and conclude with "Resolved" statements which, identifies the specific proposal for the requestor's course of action.
Background or "Whereas" information provides the rationale for the "resolved" course of action. The whereas statement(s) should lead the reader to your conclusion (resolved).
In writing whereas statements begin by introducing the topic of the resolution. Be factual rather than speculative and provide or reference statistics whenever possible. The statements should briefly identify the problem, advise the timeliness or urgency of the problem, the effect of the issue, and indicate if the action called for is contrary to or will revise current ACEP policy. Inflammatory statements that reflect poorly on the organization will not be permitted.
Resolve statements are the only parts of a resolution that the Council and Board of Directors act upon. Conceptually, resolves can be classified into two categories – policy resolves and directives. A policy resolve calls for changes in ACEP policy. A directive is a resolve that calls for ACEP to take some sort of action. Adoption of a directive requires specific action but does not directly affect ACEP policy.
A single resolution can both recommend changes in ACEP policy and recommend actions about that new policy. The way to accomplish this objective is to establish the new policy in one resolve (a policy resolve), and to identify the desired action in a subsequent resolve (a directive).
Regardless of the type of resolution, the resolve should be stated as a motion that can be understood without the accompanying whereas statements. When the Council adopts a resolution, only the resolve portion is forwarded to the Board of Directors for ratification. The "resolved" must be fully understood and should stand alone.
In writing a resolve for a Bylaws amendment, be sure to specify an Article number as well as the Section to be amended. Show the current language with changes indicated as follows: new language should be bolded (dark green type, bold, and underline text), and language to be deleted should be shown in red, strike-through text (
delete). Failure to specify exact language in a Bylaws amendment usually results in postponement for at least one year while language is developed and communicated to the membership.
The president, and not the Council, is responsible for determining the appropriate level of committee involvement for resolutions adopted by the Council. Additionally, the Council cannot “direct” another organization although the College can recommend a course of action to other organizations.
Council Actions on Resolutions
For the ACEP Board of Directors to act in accordance with the wishes of the Council, the actions of the Council must be definitive. To avoid any misunderstanding, the officers have provided the following definitions for Council action:
- Adopt: Approve resolution exactly as submitted as recommendation implemented through the Board of Directors.
- Adopt as Amended: Approve resolution with additions, deletions, and/or substitutions, as recommendation to be implemented through the Board of Directors.
- Refer: Send resolution to the Board of Directors for consideration, perhaps by a committee, the Council Steering Committee, or the Bylaws Interpretation Committee. A resolution cannot be referred to other College committees.
- Not Adopt: Defeat (or reject) the resolution in original or amended form.
- Postpone: Table action on original or amended resolution to a future Council meeting.
Board Actions on Resolutions
According to the Bylaws, Article VIII – Council, Section 2 – Powers of the Council:
"The Council shall have the right and responsibility to advise and instruct the Board of Directors regarding any matter of importance to the College by means of Bylaws and non-Bylaws resolutions, including amendments to the College Manual, and other actions or appropriations enacted by the Council. The Board of Directors shall act on all resolutions adopted by the Council no later than the second Board meeting following the annual meeting and shall address all other matters referred to the Board within such time and manner as the Council may determine.
The Board of Directors shall take one of the following actions regarding a non-Bylaws resolution adopted by the Council:
- Implement the resolution as adopted by the Council.
- Overrule the resolution by a three-fourths vote. The vote and position of each Board member shall be reported at the next meetings of the Steering Committee and the Council.
- Amend the resolution in a way that does not change the basic intent of the Council. At its next meeting, the Steering Committee must either accept or reject the amendment. If accepted, the amended resolution shall be implemented without further action by the Council. If the Steering Committee rejects the amendment, the Board at its next meeting shall either implement the resolution as adopted by the Council, propose a mutually acceptable amendment, or overrule the resolution.
Bylaws amendment resolutions are governed by Article XIII of these Bylaws."
Three resolutions are provided as examples of well-written proposals.
Resolution 9(06) shows how to propose an amendment to the Bylaws. New language is shown in bold with underlining and deleted language is shown in strike-out format. The use of colors in the electronic file (red for strike-out and dark green bolded and underline for new language) is also helpful.
WHEREAS, The College Bylaws provides for an Executive Committee of the Board of Directors; and
WHEREAS, The speaker has informally served on the Executive Committee; and
WHEREAS, The Executive Committee would benefit from having more formal and standard composition, including the membership of the speaker and the chair of the Board of Directors; and
WHEREAS, The College would benefit from having an Executive Committee appointed every year; therefore be it
RESOLVED, That the ACEP Bylaws, Article XI – Committees, Section 2 – Executive Committee, be amended to read:
ARTICLE XI – COMMITTEES
Section 2 – Executive Committee
The Board of Directors may appoint an Executive Committee The Board of Directors shall have an Executive Committee, consisting of the president, president-elect, vice president, secretary-treasurer, and the immediate past president, and chair. The speaker shall attend meetings of the Executive Committee. The Executive Committee shall have the authority to act on behalf of the Board, subject to ratification by the Board at its next meeting.
Meetings of the Executive Committee shall be held at the call of the chair or president. A report of its actions shall be given by the Executive Committee to the Board of Directors in writing within two weeks of the adjournment of the meeting.
Resolution 23(06) shows how communication between the College and another organization can be stated.
WHEREAS, Emergency medicine is recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties as an independent specialty with a recognized, unique knowledge base and procedural skill set that is certifiable by board examination; and
WHEREAS, Emergency nursing, within the scope of nursing practice, is also a recognized subspecialty with its own unique knowledge base and skill set that is certifiable by examination, resulting in a Certified Emergency Nurse (CEN); and
WHEREAS, Unlike in emergency medicine, where specialized training and experience are required for a physician to take an emergency medicine board examination, any nurse practicing in an emergency department (ED) is able to sit for the CEN exam; and
WHEREAS, In many EDs throughout the country, the majority of emergency nurses working are not CEN certified; and
WHEREAS, The range of acuity of the emergency patients seen in emergency departments by emergency nurses can be from non-urgent to critically ill; and
WHEREAS, The expectation of patients who utilize emergency departments for their emergency medical care is that there is seamless, high quality medical and nursing care provided; therefore be it
RESOLVED, That the American College of Emergency Physicians works with the Emergency Nurses Association (ENA) to facilitate the development by ENA of a position paper defining a standard of emergency nursing care that includes obtaining CEN certification and outlines a timetable for an emergency nurse to attain such certification; and be it further
RESOLVED, That the American College of Emergency Physicians works with ENA, the American Hospital Association (AHA) and related state hospital organizations to provide resources, support, and incentives for emergency nurses to be able to readily attain CEN certification.
Resolution 16(99) shows how statistics can be used to lead the reader to your conclusion.
WHEREAS, According to the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators, the number of boating accidents involving alcohol increased 20% over a five-year period; and
WHEREAS, The number of deaths attributed to boating and alcohol has also increased 20% during this same time period; and
WHEREAS, A study of four states found 60% of boating fatalities had elevated blood alcohol levels and 30% were intoxicated with BAL greater than 0.1%; and
WHEREAS, The fault for boating fatalities can not be attributed to the boat operator in almost half of these deaths; and
WHEREAS, In 1991 46% of all boating deaths occurred while the boat was not even underway; and
WHEREAS, It has thus been suggested that intoxicated boat passengers are at independent risk for boating injuries; and this risk is assumed to be due to intoxicated passengers being at increased risk for falls overboard and risk taking behaviors; and
WHEREAS, Educational and enforcement measures have predominantly targeted boat operators and not boat passengers about the dangers of alcohol consumption and boating; therefore be it
RESOLVED, That the American College of Emergency Physicians promote and endorse safe boating practices; and be it further
RESOLVED, That ACEP promote educating both boat passengers and operators about the dangers of alcohol intoxication while boating.