Committee Handbook

The Committee Handbook is A DRAFT ONLY!  It reflects the amended and restated SDPA Bylaws approved by the Board (2020) and revised SDPA Policies and Procedures currently in progress or under review and not yet approved by the Board.

The purpose of this handbook is to provide guidance for those who serve on SDPA committees or task forces.


SAN DIEGO PSYCHOLOGICAL ASSOCIATION (SDPA)

SDPA is organized under the California Nonprofit Mutual Benefit Corporation Law.  As a corporation, it is protected from liability so long as it follows the rules set out by California law related to these types of entities. SDPA is exempt from federal income tax under IRS Code Section 501(c)(6).  SDPA is exempt because it is not organized for profit and it operates as a business league, that is, its primary purpose is to advance a business interest common to members that is considered a benefit to the public, in this case the field of psychology.  All but an insubstantial amount of SDPA activity must be conducted for this purpose to preserve its tax exempt status.

SDPA is governed by rules that it must follow to be operating legally in California and to be tax-exempt for federal purposes.  These rules are as follows and are in order of priority:

California Law
Federal Income Tax Law
SDPA Articles of Incorporation   
SDPA Bylaws
SDPA Policies and Procedures

The latter three are considered the SDPA governing documents.  Links to the above are included in the Governance section under Members on the website.  Committee chairs and members should read through the SDPA governing documents to become familiar with the general rules related to SDPA.

Governance


MISSION STATEMENT  (SDPA Bylaws Article I Section 3)

Consistent with its specific and primary purpose, it is the Mission of SDPA to improve or advance the field of psychology and the benefit the public may derive from its work.  SDPA shall accomplish its Mission by the following means that are inclusive and not exclusive: a) encouraging psychology in all its branches and in the broadest and most liberal manner; b) promoting research in psychology and the improvement of research methods and conditions; c) improving the qualifications and usefulness of psychologists through high standards of ethics, conduct, education, and achievement; d) increasing and promoting psychological knowledge through meetings, professional contacts, reports, paper, discussions, and publications; e) fostering a professional community through networking; and f) supporting professionals in training.

DIVERSITY STATEMENT (SDPA Bylaws Article I Section 4)

In principal and in practice, SDPA values and seeks a diverse membership.  SDPA treats all people with respect and without discrimination and promotes full participation irrespective of gender, gender identity, race, religion, ethnicity, culture, national origin, age, sexual orientation, disability, language or socioeconomic status.  SDPA implements and adheres to policies and procedures that discourage harassment and other behaviors that infringe upon the freedom and respect that every individual deserves.


COMMITTEES

It is the Committees that do the work of SDPA in carrying out its Mission.  Article VI of the SDPA Bylaws sets forth rules related to Committees.  Chapter 4 of the SDPA Policies and Procedures sets forth policy related to Committees that further supplements the rules set forth in the Bylaws.  SDPA has two types of committees, standing and operating.  Standing committees do work that is fundamental for the functioning of SDPA and they are considered permanent.  Operating committees are created by the Board to work on specific programs.  Periodically, the Board will create Task Forces to accomplish specific short-term projects or goals.  The website provides a Committee List that includes links to information for each committee.  The website contains directories for Committee Chairs and Committee Members.

Committee List

Committee Chairs

Committee Members


PRESIDENT AND THE BOARD

Committees are managed on a day-to-day basis by the President who operates under the control of the Board.  The Board is responsible for overseeing the activities of SDPA to be certain that the Mission of SDPA is being well accomplished.  The Board is also charged with ensuring that SDPA activities are conducted in a manner consistent with state and federal law and the SDPA governing documents.  To effectively oversee the activities of the committees, the Board assigns each Board member to be liaison to specific committees.  The website provides a directory for the Board and describes Board Positions and Responsibilities.  The website provides a list of 2020 Board Committee Liaisons. 

Board of Directors 

Board Positions and Responsibilities

2020 Board Committee Liaisons


OFFICE MANAGER

The SDPA Office Manager provides support for the Committees under the management of the President.  The Office Manager manages the website.  The website Calendar of Events includes listings of committee meetings and events. The Office Manager manages communications including the Office E-News and periodic E-Blasts.  The Office E-News is sent to all members and includes the Calendar of Events and Committee Updates/Reports.  E-Blasts may be used to publicize individual events and are sent to all members and, if desired, other public contacts.  The Office Manager also handles website event registrations.  It is the job of the Office Manager to hold committee chairs responsible for timely submission of committee reports.

Office Manager


HOW ARE COMMITTEES AND TASK FORCES CREATED OR TERMINATED?  

Standing Committees
Standing committees are created by the SDPA Bylaws.  A standing committee can only be terminated by amendment of the SDPA Bylaws by the Board.  

Operating Committees
Operating committees are created by the Board and may be terminated by the Board if the Board feels the committee no longer serves a purpose.  The Board may decide to merge operating committees or to split an operating committee into two or more committees.  At any given time, operating committees may be active, inactive or in a state of proposal.  

Task Forces
Task forces are created by the Board and are terminated by the Board when the purpose of the task force is complete.


HOW DO YOU PROPOSE THE CREATION OF A NEW COMMITTEE?      

Any SDPA member may propose a new operating committee!  Please complete a New Committee Proposal form and submit to the SPDA office.

New Committee Proposal Form


HOW DOES ONE BECOME A COMMITTEE CHAIR?  

Committee Chairs/Members Chart 

Full Members Only
According to the SDPA Bylaws, all committee chairs, with the exception of the chair of the Graduate Student Committee, must be Full Members in good standing of SDPA.

Co-Chairs 
Committees may have more than one chair (co-chair).  Co-chairs are equal in status and the rules related to committee chairs apply to both equally.

Standing Committees
Chairs of some standing committees are specifically identified in the SDPA Bylaws.  The President is the chair of the Executive Committee, the Treasurer is the chair of the Finance Committee and the Immediate Past President is the chair of the Nominations, Elections and Awards Committee.  In the event that the Immediate Past President becomes unable to fulfill the duties of chair of the Nominations, Elections and Awards Committee, the President-Elect shall fill that role.  

Chairs of other standing committees are appointed by the Board.  With the exception of the Governance Committee, Board policy is to give preference to recommendations for standing committee chairs made by standing committee members.  In appointing chairs for the Ethics and Standards Committee and the Continuing Education Committee, the Board shall consider whether the individual proposed possesses appropriate knowledge and experience in applying ethical principles or in reviewing proposals for continuing education courses respectively.  If no recommendations for chair are made by the standing committee members, the Board will appoint the standing committee chairs on its own initiative.

Operating Committees
Chairs of operating committees are appointed by the Board.  Board policy is to give preference to recommendations for operating committee chairs made by the President.  If no recommendation for an operating committee chair is made by the President, the Board will appoint the operating committee chair on its own initiative.

Task Forces
Chairs of task forces are appointed by the Board. 

Terms of Office
Terms of office for committee chairs are generally one year however chairs may be reappointed for additional terms.  Chairs of the Executive , Finance and Nominations, Elections and Awards Committees serve until they leave that executive office.  The terms of office for the chairs of the CE Committee and the Ethics and Standards Committee are two years however those chairs may be reappointed for additional terms.   

Resignations/Removals
With the exception of the Executive Officers, a standing committee chair may resign at any time by giving notice to the Board.  An operating committee chair may resign by giving notice to the President.  A committee chair that takes office during the year shall count that year as a one year term.  With the exception of the Executive Officers, chairs of standing or operating committees may be removed by the Board at its discretion and without cause.  


HOW DOES ONE BECOME A COMMITTEE MEMBER?

Committee Chairs/Members Chart

Executive Committee
The SDPA Bylaws specify that the members of the Executive Committee shall be the Executive Officers that are the President, President-Elect, Immediate Past President, Treasurer and Secretary.  Members of the Executive Committee serve for one year. 

Finance Committee
The SDPA Bylaws specify that the members of the Finance Committee shall be the Treasurer, President, President-Elect and two Members-at-Large appointed by the Board.  Members of the Finance Committee serve for one year.

Governance Committee
The SDPA Bylaws specify that the members of the Governance Committee shall be the President, President-Elect, Immediate Past President, one Member-at-Large, and three Past Presidents.  The Board appoints the chair, Member-at-Large and the three Past Presidents.  Members of the Governance Committee serve for one year but may be reappointed for additional terms.

Nominations, Elections and Awards Committee
The SDPA Bylaws specify that the members of the Nominating, Elections and Awards Committee shall include the Immediate Past President, the President-Elect, one Member-at-Large, and two Full Members not currently serving on the Board.  The Member-at-Large and the two Full Members not currently serving on the Board are appointed by the Board.   Members of the Nominations, Elections and Awards Committee serve for one year.

Ethics and Standards Committee
The SDPA Bylaws specify that Ethics and Standards Committee shall consist of as many members as the Board considers appropriate in its discretion.  The members of the Ethics and Standards Committee are appointed by the Board.  Board policy is to give preference to recommendations for members made by the Committee.  In appointing Committee members, the Board considers whether the individual proposed possesses appropriate knowledge and experience in applying ethical principles.  Members of the Ethics and Standards Committee serve for two years but may be reappointed for additional terms.

Continuing Education Committee
The SDPA Bylaws specify that the Continuing Education Committee shall consist of as many members as the Board considers appropriate in its discretion.  The members of the Continuing Education Committee are appointed by the Board.  Board policy is to give preference to recommendations for members made by the Committee.  In appointing Committee members, the Board considers whether the individual proposed possesses appropriate knowledge and experience in reviewing proposals for continuing education courses.  Members of the Continuing Education Committee serve for two years but may be reappointed for additional terms.  

Other Standing Committees
Any member of SDPA may become a member of the other standing committees.  The Board appoints members of other standing committees.  Board policy is to give preference to recommendations made by the standing committee members.  Members of other standing committees serve for one year but may be reappointed for additional terms. 

Operating Committees
Any member of SDPA may become a member of operating committees.  Chairs of operating committees present to the Board names of SDPA members interested in becoming members of those committees. The Board certifies (determines that the individuals meet membership qualifications to serve) those individuals as committee members.

Task Forces
Chairs and members of task forces are appointed by the Board and need not be members of SDPA.  Chairs and members of task forces serve until they resign or are removed or until the task is complete.

Resignations/Removals
With the exception of Executive Officers, a member of any standing or operating committee may resign at any time by notifying the chair of that committee.  The chair notifies the SDPA office of committee member resignations so that the Committee Members directory can be updated.  With the exception of the Executive Officers, members of standing or operating committees may be removed by the Board at its discretion and without cause. 

President/President-Elect
The President and President-Elect serve as ex-officio voting members of all committees.


COMMITTEE MEETINGS

How Often?
Committees must hold regular committee meetings to accomplish the purposes of the committees.  The frequency of the meetings is determined by the committee.  Per SDPA Bylaws, two or more members of a committee may call a meeting.

Where?
Committees may use conference rooms at the SDPA office for meetings but the Office Manager must be notified ahead as a reservation must be made with the landlord for use of conference rooms.  

Meeting Expenses
Refreshment/venue expenses for regular committee meetings whether standing or operational are not covered by SDPA.  

Meeting Minutes
Minutes must be taken at regular committee meetings and submitted to the SDPA office (see below).

Voting at Meetings
There are times when a committee needs to take a vote to recommend chairs or to decide on various courses of action.  All committee members should be solicited for vote on an issue either in person at a committee meeting or by e-mail.  An affirmative vote by a majority of those officially certified as members of that committee (listed in Committee Members directory on website)  will carry a motion.


COMMITTEE EVENTS/ACTIVITIES

Committees are encouraged to hold events/activities to carry out the Mission of SDPA.  These events/activities may be, for example, for the purpose of professional education, professional networking, or community networking or education.  Events/activities may require a fee but must allow all members of SDPA to participate.  Committees must submit an Event/Activity Proposal form to the SDPA office for approval (see below).  Costs of committee events/activities may be covered by SDPA (see COMMITTEE FUNDING below). The SDPA office is available to help promote committee events/activities on the website or by E-Blasts and can produce flyers or other materials needed.  The SDPA office is available to help with staffing at the event/activity.  Committees must coordinate with the SDPA office in producing events/activities as SDPA is legally responsible for these activities/events.  Any promotional or educational information produced in service of the event/activity must be approved by the SDPA office.  The website can be used to register attendees for an event/activity and must be used when registrations involve a fee.  


COMMITTEE FUNDING

Each year, the Board approves an SDPA budget that includes funding for committees.  The costs of regular committee meetings are not covered by SDPA, however, the Board works hard to provide funds for committee activities/events as these are the primary way in which the Mission of SDPA is fulfilled.  The Board generally approves a total amount of funding for all committee events/activities for the year and may also set limits on the total amount per year that an individual committee may request or the amount an individual committee may request for a single activity/event.  Committees must specify in their Event/Activity Proposal an amount requested for the event/activity.  Event/activity proposals may be approved by the President if the amounts requested fall within the yearly committee budget limits.  Exceptions are major SDPA events including Spring Workshop, Summer Networking Party, Fall Conference and Year End Celebration and events offering APA accredited CE courses that require CE Committee review and Board approval.  If the amount requested for the event/activity exceeds yearly committee budget limits, the proposal must be approved by the Board.  The Board may in its discretion approve additional funds for a committee event/activity over and above the yearly budget if it feels that the event/activity is worthy and other SDPA financial needs permit.  The amount the Board approves for total committee events/activities changes each year. Contact the Office Manager for current budget amounts.  NOTE: Committee chairs or members are not allowed to sign contracts with vendors or venues on behalf of SDPA.  Only the President or Treasurer may sign contracts on behalf of SDPA.  


CONTINUING EDUCATION

Most educational events produced by committees are informal and do not offer APA accredited units.  Sometimes, however, a committee may wish to sponsor an SDPA stand alone CE course.  Procedures for proposing SDPA CE courses are included on the website.

Continuing Education


THE SAN DIEGO PSYCHOLOGIST

The San Diego Psychologist is the official newsletter for SDPA.  Committees are encouraged to contribute articles to The San Diego Psychologist as part of their work to carry out the Mission of SDPA.

The San Diego Psychologist


COMMITTEE CHAIRS MEETING

In January of each year, the President conducts a meeting for all committee chairs.  Board committee liaisons are invited to attend as well.  The purpose of the meeting is to familiarize committee chairs with rules and procedures related to committees and to provide an opportunity for committee chairs to network and collaborate with each other and with their Board committee liaisons in carrying out the Mission of SDPA.  It is very important that all committee chairs and Board committee liaisons attend the Committee Chair Meeting as the meeting kicks off the committee year and sets the stage for submission of Committee Action Plans that are due to the SDPA office by February 1st. 


COMMITTEE REPORTS       Committee Forms

Committee Action Plan
Committees are each required to submit a report at the beginning of the year outlining the committee action plan for the year. This report should include the name of the committee, the names of the chair(s) and members of the committee at the beginning of the year.  The report should request any desired changes in the information presented on the website for the committee. The report should describe plans for regular meetings including dates and locations if available at that time.  The report should describe any events/activities planned for the year based upon information available at the beginning of the year.  If the information is available, the report should include Event/Activity Proposal forms.  The latter forms may be submitted later in the year as events/activities are planned.  Finally, the report should include a statement as to how the committee action plan will help SDPA to fulfill its Mission.  Committee Action Plans as due to the SDPA Office by February 1st.  The Committee Action Plan will be included in the website in the Committee Updates/Reports section.

Committee Final Report
Committees are each required to submit a report at the end of the year summarizing the committee events/activities for the year and reporting on how the committee met its goals for the year contributing to the Mission of SDPA.  The report should include the name of the committee, the names of the chair(s) and whether there will be new chair(s) for the upcoming year.  The report should describe activities/events that occurred during the year including information about attendance at events/activities and general income/expenses related to events.  The report should make recommendations for activities/events for the committee for the following year if any.  The report should include any additional comments or questions for the SDPA Office.  Committee Final Reports are due by January 31st of the following year.  The Committee Final Report will be included in the website in the Committee Updates/Reports section.

Committee Updates
Committees should submit updates to the SDPA Office during the year to report on events/activities that have occurred.  These Committee Updates should be submitted to the SDPA Office no later than 30 days following an event.  Committee Updates are included in website in the Committee Updates/Reports section and are also included in the Office News that is sent to all members. Committee Updates might include a report on events/activities with pictures.  Committee Updates might include a report on a recent meeting and important decisions that occurred.  The Committee Updates might include requests to the SDPA membership for involvement in the Committee or in its events/activities.

Committee Minutes
Committees are required to submit to the SDPA Office minutes for each regular committee meeting.  Minutes should include the date, time and location of the meeting and should state those Committee members present at the meeting and those absent.  The minutes should describe any motions or decisions made by the Committee.  Minutes should be submitted to the SDPA Office within 60 days of the meeting.  Chairs should keep copies of meeting minutes.

Event/Activity Proposals
Committees are required to submit for President or Board approval proposals for events/activities that will involve individuals outside the membership of that Committee.  The proposal should include the name of the committee with contact information for the chair. The proposal should include information about the proposed event/activity including date time and location, and expected number and type of attendees.  The proposal should indicate how the event should be promoted, by listing in the website Calendar or E-blast to designated recipients.  Any flyers intended to be distributed to potential attendees or participants must be submitted for approval. The proposal should include request for budget for the event with as much detail regarding the costs as possible.  The proposal must state a specific amount of budget request.  Subsequent member requests for reimbursement may not exceed the budget amount approved for the event.  The proposal should indicate whether committee members will pay for expenses for an event and then seek reimbursement or whether the Office Manager needs to make purchases on behalf of SDPA for the event.  The proposal needs to indicate any requests for Office Manager staffing for the event and whether the registration should be handled on the website (required where registrations include a fee).  The proposal should be signed and dated by the chair of the committee and should be submitted to the SDPA Office at least 30 days prior to the event/activity.

Member Requests for Reimbursement
After an event/activity, members may submit requests for reimbursement to the SDPA Office.  The amounts submitted for reimbursement must be for items included in the original proposal for the event/activity that was approved and must be backed up with receipts.  Member Requests for Reimbursement must be submitted to the SDPA Office no later than 60 days after the date of the expenditure.


COMMITTEE CHAIRS TO DO LIST:

  • Attend the Committee Chairs Meeting in January.
  • Read the SDPA governing documents.
  • Maintain regular contact with your Board committee liaison.  Let them know about committee events/activities and any needs for Board help and support.
  • Review the information about the committee included in the website linked to Committee List to be sure it is up to date and best reflects the purpose of the committee.  Review the Committee Chairs and Committee Members directories to be sure they reflect updated information about your committee.
  • Review past Committee Updates/Reports for your committee included on the website under Committee Updates/Reports to see what the events/activities have been in the past.
  • Recruit members for the committee.  Be certain that interested individuals are presented to the Board committee liaison to be certified by the Board so they may be included as members of the committee in the website directory Committee Members.  Talk to the Office Manager regularly to get the names of any new SDPA members who have indicated interest.
  • Submit the Committee Action Plan to the SDPA Office and to the Board committee liaison by February 1st.  This will be included on the website in the section Committee Updates/Reports.
  • Conduct committee meetings regularly.  Be sure to put the meetings and committee events/activities on the website Calendar.
  • Submit to the SDPA Office and to the Board committee liaison copies of Minutes for regular committee meetings. 
  • Submit Event/Activity Proposals as needed during the year.  Submit to the SDPA Office and to the Board committee liaison. Following events/activities submit Member Request for Reimbursement forms with receipts.
  • Submit Committee Updates to the SDPA Office and to the Board committee liaison following meetings or events/activities to be published in the Office E-News. Include pictures and requests for volunteers for an event/activity or requests for committee chairs or members.  In addition to being published in the Office E-News, these updates will be included on the website in the section Committee Updates/Reports.
  • Consider producing a committee sponsored SDPA stand alone CE course.
  • Consider contributing an article to The San Diego Psychologist.
  • Attend SDPA major events including Spring Workshop, Summer Networking Party, Fall Conference and Year-End Celebration.
  • Submit the Committee Final Report to the SDPA Office and the Board committee liaison by January 31st.  This will be included on the website in the section Committee Updates/Reports.
  • Work with new committee chairs to prepare them to take over the following year.


BOARD COMMITTEE LIAISONS TO DO LIST:

  • Attend the Committee Chairs Meeting in January.  Be certain all liaison committee chairs have received the information provided at the Committee Chairs Meeting and answer any questions they might have.
  • Read the SDPA governing documents.
  • Maintain regular contact with the liaison committee chairs.  Advise them of Board decisions and Board communications of help and support.
  • Review the information about the liaison committees on the website linked to Committee List to understand their purposes.  Discuss possible changes with the liaison committee chairs.
  • Review past committee updates/reports for liaison committees included on the website under Committee Updates/Reports to see what the events/activities for those committees have been in the past.
  • Help liaison committee chairs to complete Committee Action Plans and report to the Board any requests by the liaison committees for help and support during the year.  
  • Help to recruit members for your liaison committees.  Be certain that interested individuals are presented to the Board to be certified so they may be included as members of the committee in the website directory Committee Members. 
  • Help to recruit new liaison committee chairs as needed and present to the Board.  Receive liaison committee recommendations for new chairs if offered and present to the Board. 
  • Read the copies of minutes for regular committee meetings for your liaison committees and include in your report to the Board.
  • Read Event/Activity Proposals submitted during the year by your liaison committees.  Facilitate approvals by the President or the Board as needed.
  • Discuss with the President, the Board and the Office Manager ways in which the liaison committee event/activities can be supported.
  • Attend liaison committee regular meetings and events/activities where possible to be of support! 
  • Read Committee Updates from liaison committees following meetings or events/activities and report to the Board. 
  • Encourage liaison committee chairs and members to attend SDPA major events including Spring Workshop, Summer Networking Party, Fall Conference and Year-End Celebration.
  • Assist the liaison committee chairs to complete the Committee Final Report and be sure the report is included on the website in the section Committee Updates/Reports.
  • Work with the new Board committee liaison for your committees to prepare them to take over liaison responsibilities.



Contact Us:
San Diego Psychological Association
4699 Murphy Canyon Rd.  Suite 105
San Diego, CA 92123

Tami Magaro (Office Manager)
Office
(858) 277-1463
Fax (858) 277-1402
E-Mail
sdpa@sdpsych.org

San Diego Psychological Association is a 501(c) 6 non-profit organization.
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