The purpose of this handbook is to provide guidance for those who serve on SDPA committees or task forces. The handbook reflects rules set forth in the SDPA Bylaws and SDPA Policies and Procedures. See these documents for more detail related to committees.
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 to advance the field of psychology. Regulations under 501(c)(6) specify that the activities of the organization must be directed to the improvement of the business (field of psychology) generally rather than the performance of particular services for individual persons. Individual persons includes not only members and their individual practices but also individuals and entities who are not members. 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:
Federal Income Tax Law
SDPA Articles of Incorporation
SDPA Policies and Procedures
The latter three are considered the SDPA governing documents. Links to the above are included in the Governance section on the Website. Committee chairs and members should read through the SDPA governing documents to become familiar with the general rules related to SDPA.
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.
It is the committees primarily 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 to 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 Members
PRESIDENT AND THE BOARD
Committees are managed on a day-to-day basis by the President who operates under the broad oversight 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 individual Board members to be liaisons to specific committees. The Website provides a directory for the Board and describes board positions and responsibilities. The Website provides a list of current Board Committee Liaisons.
Board Positions and Responsibilities
The Office Manager provides support for the committees under the management of the President. The Office Manager manages the Website Calendar of Events that includes listings of committee activities 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 committee meetings and 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.
HOW ARE COMMITTEES AND TASK FORCES CREATED OR TERMINATED?
Standing committees are created by the SDPA Bylaws. A standing committee can only be created or terminated by amendment of the SDPA Bylaws by the Board.
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 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.
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.
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.
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 will fill that role.
Chairs of other standing committees are appointed by the Board. 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 will 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.
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.
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.
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
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, Treasurer-Elect and Secretary. Members of the Executive Committee serve for one year.
The SDPA Bylaws specify that the members of the Finance Committee shall be the Treasurer, Treasurer-Elect, President, President-Elect and two Members-at-Large appointed by the Board. Members of the Finance Committee serve for one year.
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 maintain in any given year at least five members on the Committee. 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. Board policy is to appoint, in addition to the other members, an "associate" member on recommendation of the Committee. The associate member does not vote or participate in Ethics on Call. Members of the Ethics and Standards Committee serve for two years but may be reappointed for additional terms. Board policy is for no more than three and no less than two members to rotate off the Committee each year to assure continuity of experience. See ETHICS AND STANDARDS chapter of the Policies and Procedures for more detail related to this Committee.
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 maintain in any given year at least five members on the CE Committee. 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. Board policy is to allow up to two additional SDPA members to attend CE Committee meetings as non-voting trainees for future CE Committee membership. Members of the Continuing Education Committee serve for two years but may be reappointed for additional terms. See CONTINUING EDUCATION chapter of the Policies and Procedures for more detail related to this Committee.
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.
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. Board policy is to consider relevant experience however no formal specialty certification is required.
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.
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.
The President and President-Elect serve as ex-officio voting members of all committees.
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. Board policy is that the Ethics and Standards Committee will meet monthly with e-mail communication in between meetings if necessary. Board policy is that the CE Committee will meet at least four times per year with e-mail communication in between meetings if necessary.
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.
Refreshment/venue expenses for regular committee meetings whether standing or operational are not covered by SDPA.
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.
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 (The Governance Committee is currently drafting a proposal for revision of rules related to 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. 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.
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
COMMITTEE CHAIRS MEETING
The President conducts one or more meetings each year 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 first Committee Chairs Meeting meeting of the year 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.
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 E-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.
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.
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:
BOARD COMMITTEE LIAISONS TO DO LIST: