Chapter Office Checklist


Is the potential location accessible to and from all important areas (airports, interstate highways)?

Was the distribution of chapter members a consideration in the choice of office location?

How often is the chapter office expected to be utilized for committee and board meetings? Or will most meetings be held in hospitals and hotel conference facilities?

Should the office be located in a downtown or suburban area?

Is the potential location "easy to find" for members or visitors?


Who pays for utilities?


What is the frequency and who pays for janitorial services?

Is the service bonded?

What is the extent of their cleaning duties? Do they only clean and vacuum the floor or do they dust the desks, etc.?


Is unlimited and free parking available adjacent to the office location?

Are validations available for visitors, guests, etc.?

Will the chapter pay the parking expenses of the staff?


During what periods of time is air conditioning available?

Is the cost included in the quoted rate?


Is there a charge for non-usable space such as that found in common corridors, lobbies, etc.? (There should not be such a charge.)


What is included in the cost of office partitioning?

Who pays for the installation of electrical and telephone outlets and additional lighting?


What are the possibilities of additional space adjacent to or near the considered office?


What is the method of lighting and who pays for fixtures, replacement tubes, and ballasts?

Eighty (80) foot-candles at desk height is generally considered as adequate for standard office work.

Can ceiling fixtures be easily relocated to accommodate various office arrangements and desk placements?


Where do you take your problems? Who is the contact for any complaints, repairs, questions, emergencies?


If you are not anticipating having a conference room inside the potential rental space, is there a "common" conference room available in the building which can be scheduled?

Is there an additional charge for the use of this conference room? How much?


Where can employees relax?

Are vending machines available?


Is traffic congestion a problem in the area?


What is the cost per square foot? How does that compare to similar properties in the area?


What is the length of the minimum lease available?

Is there a financial advantage to going with a longer lease? (2 or 3 years as opposed to 1 year leases.)

What are the cancellation clauses? Cancellation dates?

Are there automatic renewal clauses?

Have you had legal review of the lease? Often "standard" leases have "catch clauses" cancellation and renewal paragraphs. Make sure you clearly understand the lease before signing.


What is the minimum space you will need? Is there ample space for future expansion?

This is really a function of what the office and your chapter staff will be doing. An area of 640 square feet should give enough room for at least a secretary, a storage/work room, and a reasonably large board/executive room/office.

Do you want or need a reception area?

Can the board/executive/conference room be utilized as a work room?

Do you want to purchase a "board table" or smaller tables that can be separated and utilized as additional work space during non-board meeting times?

Do you want to purchase large conference chairs or would folding, padded chairs be enough? (It depends on how frequently the room will be utilized as a conference room versus available work space.)

Remember, multi-use rooms save money.


What type of office furniture do you need? Will you purchase or lease it?

Some furniture considerations:

Administrative Secretary needs:

  • Desk with typing "L" or modular computer desk
  • Secretarial chair
  • Plastic mat for floor
  • Wastebasket
  • Bookcase
  • Computer

Executive needs:

  • Executive conference-type desk (with overhang)
  • Executive chair
  • Plastic mat for floor
  • Wastebasket
  • Bookcase
  • Credenza (may also serve as bookcase)
  • Two side chairs (for visitors)
  • Computer

General office needs:

  • Filing cabinets
  • Work tables
  • Board table (if necessary)
  • Enough chairs
  • Coffee stand for coffee machine (if needed)

Dictating equipment (if needed). Your preference and local maintenance are the determining factors. You may also want to consider a transcriber unit.


What are your copying needs? There are many types of copy machines available with any number of lease plans. Be sure to check on service availability/rent/purchase plans.


Do you need a coffee machine or service?

Again, the number of meetings that you anticipate holding in the chapter office would determine the size of your coffee needs. You may also want to consider a small refrigerator for ice and soda beverages.


The following publications would serve as an excellent basic library for general chapter office use:

  • standard dictionary
  • medical dictionary
  • Sturgis Standard Code of Parliamentary Procedure
  • secretarial handbook
  • The Principles of Association Management
  • meeting or conference management guide
  • American College of Emergency Physicians Graphic Standards & Style Manual

Contact national ACEP for information on computer hardware and software compatible with national ACEP. Include printer, monitor, and other essential electronic equipment.


Postage meter and scale. Both of these devices will, in the long run, save the chapter money.

Calculator that can produce a paper tape of figures. This can also be done on a computer.

Telephone answering device. If the office is staffed anything less than full-time, an answering device is definitely indicated. Check for local maintenance availability.


The chapter office, if it will be staffed full-time, should have a minimum of two lines.

Consider long distance services and conference call capabilities and services. Consider whether a long distance toll-free number should be available to chapter members.


How will the chapter receive its mail? Through direct delivery or through a post office box?

In addition, if the office is closed, is there a mail slot in the door?

What type of mailing permits are necessary? Contact ACEP if you have questions on obtaining mailing permits.


Here is a list of people who should be located very soon after consideration is given to opening a chapter office:

  • Office supply company (which delivers at no or little charge*)
  • Printers (two types: one for small, quick jobs and another for the larger jobs*)
  • Attorney/legal counsel
  • Accountant
  • Mailing service (for large quantities)
  • Sign maker (for conference signs)

*These should have permanent accounts opened in the name of the chapter.


Here is a list of organizations that should be made aware of the chapter office:

  • ACEP headquarters
  • State hospital association
  • State medical association
  • EMS office of the appropriate state agency
  • Other state and local specialty societies (AAFP, ACS, etc.)

Will the chapter be sharing office space and management services with any other organizations such as the state coordinating council of ENA, the state EMT association, the local or state EMS council?

What are the advantages and disadvantages of this association? Consider the political as well as economic implications.

Positive: united action; close liaison; reduced overhead

Negative: perception of domination by one organization; possible problems with division of available staff time between organizations; conflict on issues


The chapter should enroll its staff in their own professional organizations or, at the least, strongly encourage them to join on their own. Organizations such as the American Society of Association Executives and the Professional Convention Management Association.


Should the chapter stationery have the officers and Board of Directors listed or should the stationery have only the chapter office address?

What quantities of stationery and envelopes are needed? It is generally less expensive to order larger quantities at one time rather than several small quantities.

Envelopes should be printed with the words "Address Correction Requested."


Several types of insurance may be available for the chapter.

Check with various companies about a "business package" of insurance.

The package should contain at least the following:

  • Comprehensive Automobile Liability
    • Owned automobiles
    • Non-owned automobiles
    • Hired automobiles
  • Office Contents (fire, theft, etc.)
  • Special Provisions (check on availability)
    • Travel accidents (to and from conferences)
    • Conference materials (damaged or destroyed)

Check with your business insurance representative for detailed information and for something that isn't covered in this list.


What about bonding? Any employee of the chapter who handles monies (probably everyone) should be bonded.

Excerpted from Fundamentals of Association Management, ASAE, October 1982.

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