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 GOVERNANCE 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 (see link below) on the Website under About Us. 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 (About Us/Committees) provides a committee list that includes links to information for each committee. The Website (About Us/Committees) contains directories for committee chairs and committee members. Below are links to these site pages.Committee List Committee Members Directory
THE BOARD AND BOARD LIAISONS
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 at Large to be liaisons to specific committees, to facilitate communication between the Board and those committees. The Website (About Us/Board of Directors) provides a directory for the Board and describes board positions and responsibilities. The Website (About Us/Board of Directors) provides a list of current Board Committee Liaisons. Below are direct links to these site pages.
Committees are managed on a day-to-day basis by the President who works with the Office Manager to ensure that Committee administrative needs are met. The President operates under the broad oversight of the Board.
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 events that have been approved by the Board or in some cases by the President (see Committee Events/Activities below). The Office Manager manages communications including the Office E-News and periodic E-Blasts or Event Announcements. The Office E-News is sent to all members and includes a link to the Calendar of Events and also includes Committee Updates. E-Blasts may be used to publicize individual committee meetings and committee events/activities to members or contacts as appropriate. The Office Manager handles committee event registrations where a ticket fee is charged. It is the job of the Office Manager to remind committee chairs to timely submit committee minutes/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.
The Board creates operating committees as necessary to carry out the program activities of SDPA. Committees created by the Board may be terminated by the Board if the Board feels the committee no longer serves its 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.
The Board creates task forces as necessary to accomplish short-term specialized goals or projects. The Board establishes the purposes and terms of the task forces. The Board manages the task forces and develops policy related to their administration.
HOW DO YOU PROPOSE THE CREATION OF A NEW COMMITTEE?
Any SDPA member may propose a new operating committee! If you wish to create a new operating committee, please complete a New Committee Proposal form and submit to the SPDA office.
HOW DOES ONE BECOME A COMMITTEE CHAIR?
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 Professional Development (CPD) 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. The terms of office for the chairs of the CPD 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, any chair of a committee or task force may resign by giving written 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?
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 additional members which need not be members of SDPA. The Treasurer shall serve as chair. In appointing the additional members of the Committee, the Board considers whether the individuals have knowledge and experience in financial decision-making to provide meaningful guidance to the Board. Members of the Finance Committee serve for one year.
The SDPA Bylaws specify that the Governance Committee shall consist of three members appointed by the Board. In appointing the chair and members of the Committee, the Board considers whether the individuals have sufficient knowledge and experience from involvement in SDPA necessary to apply and provide meaningful guidance regarding governance principles. The terms for the Governance Committee chair and members are two years. The Board may reappoint the chair and members 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 the 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 individuals proposed possess appropriate knowledge and experience in applying ethical principles. Board policy is to appoint, in addition to the other members, an "associate" member, that is licensed at least two years but no more than five years, 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 Professional Development (CPD) Committee
The SDPA Bylaws specify that the Continuing Professional Development Committee (CPD) shall consist of as many members as the Board considers appropriate in its discretion. The members of the CPD Committee are appointed by the Board. Board policy is to maintain in any given year at least five members on the CPD Committee. Board policy is to give preference to recommendations for members made by the Committee. In appointing Committee members, the Board considers whether the individuals proposed possess appropriate knowledge and experience in reviewing proposals for continuing education courses. Board policy is to allow up to two additional SDPA members to attend CPD Committee meetings as non-voting trainees for future CPD Committee membership. Members of the CPD 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.
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 of a standing committee. Board policy is that the Ethics and Standards Committee will meet monthly with e-mail communication in between meetings if necessary. The December meeting may be missed.
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 operating are not covered by SDPA.
Minutes should be taken at regular committee meetings and submitted to the SDPA Office (see below) and to the Board liaison for the committee.
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 must allow all members of SDPA to participate. See Events/Activities Procedures Chart below. Committees must submit an Event/Activity Proposal form to the SDPA Office that includes a budget for revenues and expenses. The event/activity may be approved by the Board or, in some circumstances, by the President. Funding will be provided from the yearly budget. The Committee performs the logistics for the events/activities with support from the SDPA Office (see Chart for details). 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 SDPA Office may be asked to manage registration for an event/activity and MUST manage the registrations when there is a ticket fee involved.Events/Activities Procedures Chart
Most educational events produced by committees are informal and do not offer CE Credits. Sometimes, however, a committee may wish to sponsor an SDPA stand alone CE event. 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 15th.
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 are due to the SDPA Office by February 15th. Information from the Committee Action Plan will be included in the Office E-News in the Committee Updates 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. Information from the Committee Final Report will be included in the Office E-News in the Committee Updates section.
Committees should submit updates to the SDPA Office during the year to report on events/activities that have occurred or on those upcoming. These Committee Updates should be submitted to the SDPA Office no later than the 25th of the month for the following Office E-News. Committee Updates are included in the Office E-News in the Committee Updates section. 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 or interesting information presented. The Committee Updates might include requests to the SDPA membership for involvement in the Committee or in its events/activities.
Committees should 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 by the 25th of the month following the meeting. Chairs should keep copies of meeting minutes.
Committees are required to submit for Board approval (or President) proposals for events/activities (not committee meetings). 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 should be submitted for approval. The proposal must include a budget with a specific amount or request for funding from SDPA. Member requests for reimbursement submitted subsequently 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 by the SDPA Office (required where there is a ticket price. The proposal should be signed and dated by the chair of the committee and should be submitted to the SDPA Office at least 60 days prior to the event/activity. See Events/Activities Procedures Chart above.
Member Requests for Reimbursement
After an event/activity, members may submit requests for reimbursement to the SDPA Office. The amounts submitted for reimbursement must not exceed the budget approved for the event/activity 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: