British Infection Association Constitution
The British Infection Association has arisen from the fusion of the British Infection Society and the Association of Medical Microbiologists. These organisations have come together to enhance the prevention, management, and control of infection and to improve professional representation on national bodies formulating policy about training, continuing professional development and delivering health care in the field of infection.
The name of the new organisation shall be British Infection Association.
2. Aims of the Association
The Association aims to work to ensure the optimum delivery of healthcare to patients diagnosed with infection, and to represent the interests of its members. Specifically:
• To provide expert opinions and represent the views of specialists in infection to anybody seeking advice relevant to infection or infection professionals. Groups who might be expected to consult The British Infection Association include, but are not limited to, the Department of Health and similar bodies in the devolved governments, the Royal Colleges, NICE, statutory medical bodies, House of Lords select committees and other professional bodies
• To set and review standards in infection practice including the development of guidelines, working in collaboration where appropriate.
• To support members of the Association in the performance of their professional duties
• To develop and provide education and training in infection for all and in particular to support training grades.
• To foster excellence in all aspects of infection-related research.
• To support all aspects of communication between different branches of infection and to work towards the development of an integrated voice for infection specialists.
• To provide a public face for infection and represent infection opinions to the general public and to patients.
Membership will be open to all graduates in medicine and science and to members of other professional groups who are in support of the objectives of the Association.
There will be four categories of Membership as follows:
• Full membership, which has full voting rights, is open to Consultants in Medical Microbiology, and/or Infectious Diseases, Consultants in Public Health, and in Communicable Disease Control, and Associate Specialists in these disciplines, Clinical Scientists of equivalent seniority to the above, Professors, Readers, Senior Lecturers, and Lecturers in university departments. Others at the discretion of the Association's Council.
• Trainee Members who are medically qualified Doctors in Training in UK and Ireland who will have full voting rights.
• Retired full membership. Members of the Association who retire having been a full member for a minimum of ten years or at the recommendation of Council shall be eligible to apply for retired full membership. A retired member will receive copies of all papers circulated to full members of the Association and have the right to attend meetings, but will have no voting powers.
• Associate membership is open to non-medically qualified personnel including nurses, medical students, pharmacists, laboratory scientists, technical staff or other individuals with a professional interest in infection at the discretion of Council. Associate members will receive copies of all papers circulated to full members of the Association and have the right to attend the Annual General Meeting. Associate members will have full voting rights.
Full Members will have access to the Journal of Infection. All other categories of membership will be charged a subscription at a level set by Council.
Application for membership shall be made to the Membership Secretary of the Association who will be able to advise which membership category would be most suitable for any individual. Council reserves the right to exclude any person who is shown to be in contravention of the objectives of the Association.
The Council of the Association will manage the affairs of the Association in the furtherance of its aims. The Council of the Association shall comprise elected members from among the general membership.
a. The affairs of the Association shall be conducted by a Council consisting of the following elected members from among the general membership:
• President (Chairman of Council)
• Vice-President (President Elect)
• Meetings Secretary
• Clinical Services Secretary (Medical Microbiology & Virology)
• Clinical Services Secretary (Infectious Diseases & other disciplines)
• Membership Secretary
• Scientific & Research Secretary
• Manpower & Training Secretary
• Guidelines Secretary
• Communications Secretary (who may be the webmaster)
• Secretary for members from devolved UK administrations
• Trainee (Professional Affairs)
• Trainee (Meetings)
• Newsletter editor (this will be by co-option)
• Secretary for Associate members
b. Each member who agrees to become a candidate for election to Council shall be proposed and seconded in writing by Association members one of whom must be of at least 2 years' standing.
c. Members are nominated as Vice President (or President Elect) with the understanding that they become President on completion of their term of office.
d. The Editor of the Journal of Infection will be an ex-officio member and will be accountable to and appointed by Council.
e. Council reserves the right to alter its membership and to co-opt new members as and when this is deemed appropriate.
f. A quorum for Council business shall comprise a majority of its membership.
g. Members of Council will normally take up their positions at the Association's Annual General Meeting, normally held in the Spring.
5. Principal Officers of the Association
a. The posts of President, Vice President (President Elect), Treasurer, Secretary, and Meetings Secretary shall be designated as the Principal Officers of the Association.
b. Council should ensure that there are sufficient nominations for the posts of Principal Officers of the Association when these fall vacant. Additional nominations from the membership will also be welcomed. The Society should aim to include representation from the different disciplines concerned with infection on the Council.
c. Council may decide that one of its members shall become a Principal Officer in place of an Officer who has had to demit office prematurely.
d. The President shall serve for a term of two years and shall not be eligible for re-election for a consecutive term as President, except in exceptional circumstances.
e. The Vice President shall serve for a term of two years and shall subsequently become President on completion of his/her term of office.
f. The Secretary and the Treasurer shall serve a term of three years and shall be eligible for re-nomination.
6. Other Members of Council
a. All other posts on Council, with the exception of Newsletter Editor, shall be elected from among the Association's general membership.
b. The Clinical Services Secretary (MM&V) will chair the Clinical Services Committee (MM&V), the membership of which comprises representatives from the various regions.
c. The post of Newsletter Editor, who will normally be a training grade member, will be appointed by co-option by Council on the advice of the Chair of the Trainees' Committee.
d. Training grade members of Council shall serve for two years each; ideally, one will be from Microbiology and one from Infectious Diseases (or in either case a joint Microbiology or Virology/Infectious Diseases trainee). In the event of promotion to a consultant or equivalent post such members will be entitled to complete their term of office.
e. The Secretary for Associate members shall be open to scientifically-qualified members of the Association who are not medically qualified.
f. The Secretary for members from UK devolved administrations shall be open to members working in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.
g. All non-training grade members of Council shall serve for three years each.
h. Retiring Council members shall not be eligible for immediate re-election except in exceptional circumstances (exception: see 5f above).
i. Council shall have the rights to establish and dissolve specific Committees, Sub-Committees or working groups as deemed appropriate for the advancement of the Association's business.
j. If, in the view of Council, a Council member is unable to fulfil their role due to illness or other unforeseen factors, the Council member will be required to resign from Council within 30 days. A member of the Association may be co-opted onto Council to fulfill the role but would be required to formally stand for election at the next opportunity.
The committees may be:
• Executive Finance Committee (Chair: President)
• Clinical Services Committee, Medical Microbiology (Chair: Clinical Services Secretary for MM&V)
• Meetings Committee (Chair: Meetings Secretary)
• Scientific Affairs Committee (Chair: Scientific & Research Secretary)
• Manpower & Training Committee (Chair: Manpower & Training Secretary)
• Guidelines Committee (Chair: Guidelines Secretary)
• Communications Committee (Chair: Communications Secretary)
• Publications Committee (Chair: Secretary or Treasurer)
• National Clinical Excellence Awards Committee (Chair: appointed by the President)
• Trainees Committee
The terms of reference of each committee will be available separately. The Clinical Services Committee will be a forum for advice and representation on professional issues relating to medical microbiology. It will have broad regional representation and may involve others relevant to the practice of medical microbiology e.g. public health authorities and antimicrobial pharmacists. The Clinical Services Secretary (Infectious Diseases and others) should be involved in this committee and may form a separate similar committee to address specific infectious disease issues if deemed appropriate. If so, the Clinical Services Secretary for Medical Microbiology will sit on this committee. In all cases the 2 Clinical Services Secretaries should work closely together and regional opinions from members should be sought wherever possible.
8. Journal of Infection
The Association shall publish the Journal of Infection. The Journal, its title and copyright shall be owned by the Association. The Association shall be responsible for providing the services of the Editor(s), and any changes in the Editor(s) or Editorial Board shall be determined by the Association in consultation with the Publishers. The Association and Editor(s) shall mutually agree upon the scope of the Journal. The formulation of editorial policy and any changes to Editorial policy shall be subject to mutual agreement between the Publishers and Association.
9. Annual General Meeting
• An annual general meeting will be held and will be open to all Members, including Associate and Retired Members of the Association.
• A quorum for business at the AGM shall comprise at least 5 per cent of the full voting membership.
• The annual accounts of the Association will be presented by the Treasurer for approval by the AGM.
• The AGM will be held on a date and at a time decided by Council. Due notice, of not less than one month, should be given of any general meeting of the Association.
• The AGM will ratify elections and appointments to Council
• The AGM will set the subscriptions for membership of The Association.
10. Scientific Meetings
• The Association shall hold regular scientific meetings, which shall be open to all members and to other bona fide persons on application to the appropriate meeting's organiser.
• The format of the regular meetings of the Association will primarily be contributory, competitive and of a high scientific content. No relevant subject shall be excluded from consideration.
• Additional meetings may be promoted by the Association, which may be of a regional, national, or international nature.
• Registration charges for regular Association meetings will be kept to a minimum and whenever possible educational grants will be sought to ensure low cost. Other than in exceptional circumstances, registration costs for training grade members will be waived.
• The proceedings of meetings shall not be communicated to outside, public or private bodies, or to the news media, without consent of Council and the presenter.
11. Alteration to Constitution
• Proposals to alter the Constitution must be forwarded in writing to the Secretary for consideration by the Council of the Association before the Annual General Meeting.
• To be accepted, changes must receive the agreement of at least two thirds of those voting: members may vote on constitutional changes in person at the AGM or by postal or electronic vote, which must reach the Honorary Secretary before the advertised starting time of the AGM.
• No amendment shall be made which would cause the Association to cease to be a charity at law.
There shall be an annual subscription, the rates to be recommended by Council and approved by the membership, payable to the Treasurer. This will include electronic subscription costs for the Journal of Infection for Full Members.
13. British Infection Association trading company
The Association may establish a company limited by guarantee whose directors shall be 3 of the Principal Officers of The Association. The profits of the Company shall be covenanted to the Association.
The Association may be dissolved by a resolution passed by two-thirds majority of those voting in person or by proxy at an Extraordinary General Meeting convened for this purpose, of which 28 days' notice shall be given to the members. Such resolution shall give instructions for the disposal of any assets held by or in the name of the Association provided that if any property remains after the satisfaction of all debts and liabilities, such property shall not be paid to or distributed among the members of the Association, but shall be given or transferred to such other charitable institution or institutions having objects similar to some or all of the objects of the Association.