Section 10.1

Council on Professional Affairs Operating Procedures

I. Purpose and Responsibilities

The Council on Professional Affairs is one of the Councils created under the Society Bylaws. Councils have permanent and continuing functions in the management and administration of Society programs and operate under the Society Board of Directors with assistance from Society staff.

The Council has oversight responsibility for Society programs related to advancement of the OSH profession.

The Council is responsible for planning, organizing and setting priorities for Society resources to provide programs, procedures and operational support for the OSH profession and professional OSH practitioners.

Three standing committees report to the Council: Government Affairs, Technical Professional Recognition and Risk Assessment. The Council accomplishes it work through its own efforts and through delegation to its standing committees. Specific responsibilities include:

  1. Advancing the profession, including:

    1. Developing and implementing programs that enhance the OSH profession and place the Society in a leadership position in the management of the OSH profession.

    2. Pursuing opportunities to gain and achieve recognition for the OSH profession/professional, including:
      1. Assisting in the development of public relations programs which promote the advancement of and recognition for the OSH profession.
      2. Identifying and pursuing opportunities to promote the profession in public policy and through government agencies, business, digital communications and other avenues.
      3. Forming partnerships with other professional organizations for purposes of promoting and seeking recognition for the OSH profession.
      4. Assisting other Councils in identifying programs or program elements that help promote and advance the OSH profession. Seeking input from other Councils on professional affairs programs.
    3. Promoting OSH as a career, including:
      1. Monitoring professional entry and maintain data on numbers of individuals entering the OSH profession.
      2. Maintaining data on future job potential for professional OSH positions.
      3. Creating an environment suitable for potential practitioners to enter the profession.
    4. Monitoring state, national and international activities and issues affecting professional OSH practice and making appropriate recommendations for action and intervention to the Congress of Councils and Society Board of Directors.
  2. Standards of Practice
    1. Developing, maintaining and promoting professional standards for the OSH profession (with approval of the Board of Directors), such as those used for establishing qualifications of practitioners in government laws, regulations and standards, in consensus standards, and in registration, certification and licensure.
    2. Providing direction for programs relating to professional OSH competency, credentials, certification and licensing.
    3. Maintaining the Society's Code of Professional Conduct (with approval of the Board of Directors and the House of Delegates).
  3. Professional Recognition, including administering Society Fellow award program in accordance with Society Bylaws.
  4. Government Affairs, including:
    1. Identifying and pursuing opportunities to promote the profession in public policy and through government agencies, business, and other avenues.
    2. Monitoring legislative and regulatory activities affecting or potentially affecting professional OSH practice and the OSH profession and communicating this information back to membership.

II. Council Membership

  1. The Vice President, Council on Professional Affairs, shall serve as the Chair of the Council.
  2. The Council shall be composed of the Chair and six members at large.
  3. The members at large shall be appointed by the Vice President, Council on Professional Affairs, with approval by the Board of Directors.
  4. The members of the Council shall elect a Vice Chair of the Council, from among the Council members.
  5. Council standing committee Chairs and members are appointed by the Council Chair.
  6. Council task group Chairs and members are appointed by the Council Chair. All new members, upon invitation and prior to acceptance, will be sent new member packets including current SOG and any other documents deemed significant.
  7. The President, President Elect and Executive Director shall be ex-officio members of the Council.
  8. The terms of office for Council members shall be as follows:
    1. The Vice President, Council on Professional Affairs serves for two years and may not serve more than two consecutive full terms.
    2. Council members at large serve full two-year terms and may be reappointed for a maximum of two consecutive terms. Terms for members are staggered so that some continuity for the Council activities is maintained.
    3. Council committee Chairs and members are appointed for one-year terms and may be reappointed for terms coinciding with the committee's specific operating guide.
    4. Council task force Chairs and members serve for the duration of the task for which the task group is constituted.

III. Council Functions, Committees and Task Groups

A. Council Functions
Within the purposes and responsibilities identified above and which may be delegated to its standing committees, the Council is responsible for the activities stated in Section II, “Purposes and Responsibilities.”

To achieve program objectives, the Council shall establish and operate committees and task groups as needed.  Emphasis will be given to minimizing the use of standing committees and maximizing the use of task groups.

B. Council Committees and Task Groups

The Council will regularly evaluate its program needs and funding and establish committees and task groups suitable to operate and maintain its programs. 

Standing Committees shall have written operating procedures that are approved by the Council.

IV. Council Operations

A. Meetings

Frequency: The Council shall meet at least twice a year.

Schedule: The schedule of meetings shall be drawn up by the Council Chair and agreed to by the Council members.

Quorum: A quorum exists when at least one-half of the members of the Council are present at a meeting, one of whom must be the Chair or Vice Chair as the presiding officer.  A majority vote of members present shall be sufficient for Council actions, except as otherwise specified by these rules.

Motions and action items: The Council is authorized and required to act on business items that do not require Board action.  The Council will regularly report to the Board of Directors.

Ballots: Official business of the Council may also be transacted by email ballot. For approval, a majority of the Council must vote in favor of any ballot initiative. Council members must be notified of the deadline for ballot voting, which must be no less than 10 days from the date the ballot is received.

Minutes: The staff liaison will prepare minutes for all Council meetings and distribute the minutes to all Council members for review, comment and approval.  Minutes of the previous Council meeting will be on the agenda for approval at the subsequent meeting.  Copies of approved minutes will be distributed to Chairs of other Councils, to Council committee and task group Chairs and to the Board of Directors.

B. Reports
Reports for Council meetings will be requested from Council members, committees, task groups and staff liaison prior to each scheduled Council meeting.  The reports will give progress on Council programs and activities or provide background information for agenda items.

The Council Chair and Chair of each of its committees and task groups will prepare a written annual report of activities and accomplishments.  Task groups will prepare a report at the end of their program assignment.

C. Staff Liaison
The Council will be assigned appropriate staff liaison by the Executive Director.  The staff liaison is responsible for:

  1. Issuing calls for meetings and Council reports
  2. Preparing agendas in coordination with the Council or committee Chair
  3. Preparing meeting materials for Council and committee members
  4. Researching proposed action items and obtaining cost estimates where needed
  5. Keeping minutes of Council and committee meetings and preparing and distributing copies to Council or committee members
  6. Recommending programs and actions for achieving Council objectives and functions
  7. Carrying out funded Council programs and assigned Council actions
  8. Reporting on program progress and expenditures
  9. Coordinating development of the Strategic Plan and budget for the Council and its committees and task groups


D. Budgeting and Finance
The Council operates within the Society budget, including travel, meeting and staff support expenses.  Committees and task groups are funded through specific program plans and budget actions of the Council or Board of Directors.

With assistance from staff liaison, the Council participates in the Society budgeting process and cycle, requesting funds for Society and Council programs and operations that are included in the Society Strategic Plan.

Approved By/Date: Board of Directors 10/17

Replaces Edition Dated: 2/11

Next revision due: 10/2020


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