The American College of Emergency Physicians has established a mechanism for members of the College who have a special interest in forming a section of membership. The following are functions of a section of membership:
- A forum for the exchange of information between members and the College.
- A forum for professional networking between members and other members on topics of interest.
- A means for the College to utilize the expertise of an identifiable group of members on specific issues.
- A forum for members with a special interest to speak as a unified group to the leadership of the College.
- A route to policy development.
- To coordinate activities with other organizations involved in emergency medicine at the invitation of the President and/or Board of Directors.
- To advance and publicize legislative issues related to emergency medicine.
- To provide a pathway for professional leadership development within the organization.
Parliamentary Authority: National ACEP Bylaws, Council Standing Rules, and the Section Manual.
Bylaws: ARTICLE VII — SECTIONS
The College may have one or more groups of members known as sections to provide for members who have special areas of interest within the field of emergency medicine.
Upon the petition of 100 or more members of the College, the Board of Directors may charter such a section of membership of the College. Minimum dues and procedures to be followed by a section of membership shall be determined by the Board of Directors.
Council Standing Rules
Councillor Allocation for Sections of Membership
To be eligible to seat a credentialed councillor, a section must have 100 dues-paying members, or the minimum number established by the Board of Directors, on December 31 preceding the annual meeting. Section councillors must be certified by the section by notifying the Council secretary at least 60 days before the annual meeting.
Task and Objectives Defined in the Section Manual
The designated authority/authorities appointed by the President will be tasked to meet specific objectives. They are:
- To monitor and enforce compliance with the Policy on Sections of Membership.
- May provide leadership development and training through an educational leadership luncheon during Scientific Assembly or some other appropriate event.
- May provide a section leader training session during the Leadership & Advocacy Conference to enhance section membership.
- To facilitate the development of new sections and perform a final review with a recommendation to the Board regarding new section petitions.
- To monitor section membership numbers and notify the designated authority or the Board of Directors when a section is no longer in numeric compliance.
- To monitor the submission of each section chair’s Annual Report.
- To provide a mechanism for sections to make their recommendations of courses to the appropriate authority responsible for Scientific Assembly and other educational activities of the College.
- To provide appropriate mentoring and leadership development of section members.
- To monitor and facilitate the timely publication of updates to section websites.
- To monitor and facilitate the appropriate use and conformity with College policy in the use of communication vehicles not limited to the communities platform, the section website, and the ACEP website.
- To plan and manage the section awards program including, but not limited to the awards of "Outstanding Content on Section Website,” “Service to College,” Service to Section,” and awards for the most growth (numerically and by percent) of a section.
- Facilitate support for each section’s Annual Meeting including the publication of the meetings minutes and the election of officers per the operational guidelines.
- Facilitate support for the development and submission to the Board of Directors of policies and Policy Resource & Education Papers (PREPS) for consideration.
- Provide a mechanism for a section to provide a request to the designated authority appointed by the President to consider an external relationship or liaison appointment.
The parliamentary authority for all proceedings of the section shall be the parliamentary authority approved for use for proceedings of the College. However, should conflicts or inconsistencies arise between the parliamentary authority and this instrument, this instrument shall govern.
Sections are a subcategory of national ACEP membership. As such, sections are part of national ACEP and do not have separate bylaws or formal incorporation documents. Sections shall establish operational guidelines that delineate the procedures that will be utilized in operating the section and remain in conformance with the Section Manual. The ACEP President, on behalf of the Board of Directors, must approve these guidelines, but may choose to refer this decision to the entire Board of Directors at their next meeting. The Board will ratify the President’s approval at their next meeting.
Establishing a Section of Membership
Upon formal petition of 100 or more or the minimum number of members of the College as evidenced by participation in a Member Interest Group (MIG), and completion by MIG leadership of the corresponding form, the designated authority appointed by the President will help facilitate development of the section and submit a recommendation to the Board of Directors regarding the petition. The Board of Directors may then charter a section of membership.
The recommendation will include:
- The petition as submitted by the Member Interest Group applying for section status
- Prospective section objectives
- Description of the subject area that will be addressed by the section
- Description of how the establishment of a section will further the College’s ability to meet its objectives
- Proposed first-year activities.
The petition shall contain the names of the 100 members, who have agreed by their signature on the petition, to establish a section of membership with the understanding that they will be assessed a basic dues amount. A petition shall be accompanied by a document outlining the proposed objectives of the section, a description of the subject area which will be addressed by the section, a statement of how the establishment of the section will further the College’s ability to meet its objectives, and a statement of proposed first-year activities of the section. The Board of Directors, at their discretion, may make an exception to change the number required for a section from 100 to any number it deems appropriate. The section application form must designate who originated the request.
The Board of Directors will approve a charter for a section, by 2/3 vote. The designated authority appointed by the President will use the following criteria when reviewing a section charter:
- The objectives of the section will assist and be consistent with furthering and supporting the stated mission, values, objectives, strategic priorities, or policies of the College.
- The objectives of the section will be related to the clinical or administrative practice of emergency medicine.
- Qualifications for section membership will not be based on sex, age, race, religion, or any other protected demographic.
- Membership in a section cannot be limited by geography or employment by a single entity, or intentionally exclusive to any specific segment of ACEP membership.
- Sections may not duplicate chapters, MIGS, or membership categories that currently exist.
Upon approval of the Board of Directors, petitioning members will be notified of the decision. Along with this notification, each member will be sent an invoice for the dues amount. Upon receipt of the dues payment, the member will be considered a member of the section. Following Board approval, a MIG will officially become a section when 100 members or the minimum number of petitioners set by the Board have paid their section dues.
When an approved section fails to attain the required 100 dues-paying members during the period of one year following the Board of Directors approval date, the charter for that section will be revoked and it will remain a MIG. Section dues paid by those members will be credited toward their membership renewal. In order for the section to be reconsidered for a charter, the MIG must maintain at least 100 members for a period of 12 months before they may reapply and will be reconsidered by the Board of Directors.
In the event two or more existing sections agree to merge, the officers of each section must survey their members to determine their interest in such a merger. If a majority of respondents in each section are in favor of a merger, the officers of the individual sections should develop objectives for the new section. The section leaders must then submit a recommendation to the Board of Directors for a merger of the sections.
The Board sets minimum dues for activities supported by the College.
The following mechanisms for increasing project funds are available to sections:
- An allocation of 15% of total dues collected per section during the previous year
- A one-time per project voluntary special assessment
- Fund-raising from outside sources that do not present a conflict to ACEP.
Each section of membership will be subject to the following procedures:
- The individual who originated the section application will be the section chair until the next annual Scientific Assembly. Thereafter, each section will elect a section chair utilizing a section nominating committee.
- A section chair will be elected for one year or for the term specified in the section’s operational guidelines. The cycle will coincide with the dates of the annual Scientific Assembly. However, the first section chair will serve from the time the section reaches the official membership total required by the Board of Directors until the second annual meeting of the section. Section chairs may be re-elected for a second consecutive term.
- The section chair may be appointed by the College president to serve as a voting member of a College committee. The section chair and section members may apply through the usual College process for membership on any College committee. Section membership and section activities will be the criteria by which such appointments will be made.
- Section chairs are invited to attend Board of Directors meetings at their own expense. Section chairs will receive all minutes of Board, Council, and Steering Committee meetings, etc.
- Sections will have input into ACEP policy, meetings, and products through College planning processes and normal committee participation.
- Sections may develop policy statements or information papers for consideration by the College utilizing the process established by the Board of Directors.
- Requests for additional services beyond the basic member benefits package must be directed to the executive director.
- The section will appoint a member to be responsible for communications, including updating of the section website at least twice yearly.
- The section chair or communications lead is responsible for keeping the College informed of section activities via copies of agendas and minutes, which will be posted on the College’s Web site.
- All efforts on the part of a section to raise funds outside of dues mechanisms must be approved in advance by the College and meet the criteria established by the College.
- Rules governing use of the ACEP name and logo, approved by the Board of Directors, will apply to all uses of the section name and the ACEP name and logo. Use of the section name on any publication, correspondence, or for any other purpose, must always clearly indicate that the section is a subcategory of national ACEP membership. In addition, use of section initials should always be preceded by ACEP.
Benefits of Section Membership
The College will make available to all sections certain basic services. These services will include the following:
- Assistance in updating the section website at least twice per year.
- Notice of meetings in ACEP communication vehicles, provided the request is made by the chair at least 30 days in advance of the publication date.
- Meeting space will be made available during the annual Scientific Assembly and other national meetings upon request of the section chair, provided the request is made by the chair at least 90 days in advance of the meeting.
- A national ACEP staff member will provide staff support for each section.
Maintenance of a Section
Each section must at all times function in accordance with the goals and objectives of the College and assure that the best interest of the College is always maintained. The following will be required of each section based on their operational guidelines and reviewed by the designated authority appointed by the President on an annual basis. Sections found in non-compliance with these requirements may be placed on probation in accordance with the procedures in the charter suspension-revocation section of this policy:
- Sections must have an annual meeting at which time officers of the section will be elected.
- Sections must provide new website content at least every six months.
- The section chair will submit an annual report to the College President and executive director. This shall consist of a list of achievements and activities of the past year and goals and objectives for the coming year.
- Minutes of all meetings of the section will be posted on the College’s website.
- The Board must approve all major section plans, goals, objectives, budgets, and meetings before they can be implemented by the newly chartered section.
- Any printed material will be reviewed by the College prior to its release.
- The president of the College will assign a Board member to each section to serve as a liaison between that section and the Board.
- The president is the formal College spokesperson and is responsible for communicating College positions. The section chair must realize that section publications and activities will be perceived by others as representing the opinions of the College. While the President may delegate functions to the section chair, the section chair is not empowered to commit College resources or support positions of other organizations.
Policies and positions of other organizations that the section wishes to support should be forwarded for consideration by the Board of Directors, which has final authority for policy decisions.
Each section must maintain a critical mass of at least 100 or the minimum number of members and complete annual section maintenance requirements to remain in good standing. If the Board has approved a special section with less than 100 members or the minimum number of members required in the Bylaws, it must maintain that approved number to remain in good standing. If the membership level of a section falls below the minimum required number for the section, the following will occur:
- The designated authority appointed by the President would notify the section chair, in writing, that the membership requirement is not being met.
- At that time, the section will enter a probationary status. During this time, the section will be entitled to the usual basic services, including support with website updates, promotional literature, and meeting space during the annual Scientific Assembly. It will also be expected to continue to file meeting agendas and minutes and the annual activity report.
- If the section membership again exceeds the required number of members within one year from probationary status, the probationary period will expire, and the designated authority appointed by the President will notify the section chair that the section has returned to good standing.
- If, within one year, the section fails to increase its membership to the minimum number of members (or the number approved by the Board), the section may petition the designated authority appointed by the President for special review of their activities. The petition shall, include a delineation of the benefits provided by the section, and an action plan to increase section membership to the required minimum. The designated authority appointed by the President will review the plan and provide recommendations to the Board of Directors. The designated authority appointed by the President may recommend to the Board that the section be given an additional year to come into compliance or that the section’s charter should be revoked and transitioned to a MIG. MIGS may reapply for section consideration after meeting the minimum number of members for a period of one year.
The designated authority appointed by the President will review each section on an annual basis and based on this review may recommend charter suspension or revocation to the Board of Directors in accordance with the procedures in this policy.
The charter of any section may be suspended or revoked by the Board of Directors when any of the following occur:
- The actions of the section are deemed to be in conflict with the Bylaws or the Policy on Sections of Membership.
- The section fails to comply with all the requirements of the Bylaws, the Policy on Sections of Membership, or with any lawful requirement of the College.
- The actions of the section are determined not to be in accordance with the goals, objectives, or in the best interest of the College.
Amended and approved by the Board of Directors: June 2022; June 2017; April 2008; June 2002; July 2001; June 1996; October 1993; June 1992; January 1992; May 1990; originally approved January 1989.