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Iraqi Medical Association (UK)

Constitution

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Constitution of the IMA (UK)

The Iraqi Medical Association in the United Kingdom is hereby formed and will be governed by the laws of England & Wales. The “Association” is a professional, non-political and not for profit voluntary organisation to cater for graduates of medical, dental, pharmaceutical and allied medical professions of Iraqi universities or Iraqi graduates of other universities of the above professions residing in the United Kingdom and Ireland. The central office of The Association will be situated in the United Kingdom. Other offices may be established as and when needed.

Mission statement

The Association is an independent global network of medically allied professionals established to look after the professional and social needs of the Iraqi healthcare community in the UK as well as to support the development of medical/nursing education and effective healthcare policy in Iraq.

Constitution

A. NAME

The name of the association shall be ‘The Iraqi Medical Association in the United Kingdom’, the ‘IMA’, the ‘Association’ or the ‘IMA(UK)’.

B. AIMS AND OBJECTIVES

1. To promote and maintain the interests of its members, and encourage networking among the Iraqi healthcare community in the UK.

2. To publish and circulate periodicals in the name of The Association with the object of promoting the social and medical goals of The Association.

3. To aid medically allied professionals and support them in optimising their career opportunities.

4. To provide better collective communications through The Association with local and central, medical and non-medicalbodies to maintain and promote the interests of the Members of the Association.

5. To promote, support and set up charitable health projects within Iraq.

6. To develop medical activities including medical services, teaching and research through organisation and co-operationbetween members and branches of the Association.

7. To exchange professional information, expertise and technologies between the Association branches and other medical organisations within and outside the United Kingdom.

8. To support and work alongside the Student Iraqi groups.

9. To support the development of healthcare education and policy in Iraq.

C. STRUCTURE

1. Membership

a. Categories:

i. Full members: Members in the UK and Ireland.

ii. Affiliated Members: Retired, unemployed and international members.

iii. Student Members: Those in full or part-time undergraduate study.

b. Members are required to attach themselves to a Regional Branch they live or work in.

c. Eligibility for full membership: Upon application, membership of the Association is open to any professional who shares the aims and objectives of the IMA(UK), subject to the approval of the National Executive Committee.

d. Suspension of Membership:

i. On defaulting subscription fees to the IMA(UK) for a period exceeding one month and after two written or electronic reminders.

ii. The membership may be suspended by the National Executive Committee on the grounds that the conduct of the Member is unconstitutional or detrimental to the reputation and interests of the IMA(UK)

iii. By resignation subject to written notice.

2. The National Executive Committee

a. The IMA(UK) will be run by the National Executive Committee (NEC) and the Annual General Meeting (AGM)

b. The National Executive Committee (NEC)

i. The NEC shall consist of seven officers to include:

1. President

2. Vice President

3. Secretary

4. Treasurer

5. Regional Coordinator

6. Events Coordinator

7. Communications & Public Relations Officer

ii. The NEC will provide minutes to be made available on request, including:

1. Names of attendees at each meeting

2. All resolutions and proceedings at all meetings of The Association, and of the Executive Committee.

iii. The NEC may meet together or regulate their meetings as they see fit provided always that The Executive committee shall meet at least every two months.

c.Elections of Members of the National Executive Committee

i. The National Executive Committee’s term of office is two years. The President has the right to nominate himself/herself for the maximum of three successive terms of office.

ii. Nominees for NEC President must have been a member of the NEC for at least one full term (two years). In the event that there is no willing candidate who has served in the NEC since the inception of the IMA(UK), then the position will be open to nominees in the following order of preference:

1. A past member of a Branch Committee who has served a full term.

2. A member of the IMA(UK) for the two consecutive years preceding the AGM

3. A member of the IMA(UK) for at least one year prior to the AGM.

iii. Nominees for Branch Representative must have been a member of the IMA(UK) for at least one year prior to the Annual Branch Meeting. In the event that there is no willing candidate who fulfils this criteria, the position is open to any member of the IMA(UK).

iv. Eligible members must complete the Nominee’s application form and be seconded by two other IMA(UK) members. The completed forms must be in the hands of the NEC at least fourteen days before the Annual General Meeting.

v. All nominees must declare any conflict of interest to their work in the NEC at the AGM.

vi. The Election shall be presided over by the Election Committee (Section E 5).

vii. Members of the NEC shall be elected individually for each office by secret ballot on the day of the AGM.

viii. The above rules from i-vii apply to elections held in Regional Branches of the IMA(UK).

ix. In the event that there is a vacancy in the NEC or a Regional Branch either during elections or following resignation, the elected NEC members may fill the vacancy with any IMA(UK) member.

3. The Advisory Council

a. The Advisory Council (AC) shall provide advice and guidance to the NEC.

b. The AC shall only be comprised of past NEC member of the IMA(UK) who have served a full two year term.

c. The AC can provide one representative to be present at all NEC meetings, in an advisory capacity. This representative can be rotated round between the members of the AC, or elected from amongst themselves.

d. The AC does not hold voting rights for NEC decisions.

e. The AC can intervene to organise the election of a new NEC if the existing NEC ceases to function by a vote ofnon-confidence by the membership.

 

D. SUBSCRIPTIONS

1. The National Executive Committee shall determine the annual subscription rate as it deems necessary from time to time. This requires the approval of the AGM. (Subscription should be paid before or at the Association’s Annual General Meeting).

2. Each years Subscription shall entitle the Member to all the privileges of membership of The Association.

3. The National Executive Committee may waive the subscription for one year to any member of The Association in special circumstances.

4. Types of Subscriptions for Various Memberships:

a. Full Members pay full subscription.

b. Students entitled to Student Membership will be exempt from payment.

c. Affiliated members (Section C 1a) may be entitled to a reduced subscription rate, or exemption from payment, as decided by the National Executive Committee.

E. Elections

1. Only Full Members who have paid their subscription to the Association are entitled to vote.

2. Voting is conducted through secret ballot. Ballot papers must be numbered in a colour different from the text and signed by all members of the Election Committee (Section E 5). Photocopies are considered void.

3. Nominations

a. Candidates may nominate themselves for three positions, and must include their preferred positions in numerical order.

b. Elections and positions will be determined based on these preferences.

c. Each position will be voted for in turn in the order set out as follows: President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, Regional Coordinator, Events Coordinator, Communication and Public Relations Officer.

d. Names of unsuccessful candidates in the first bout will be carried forward to the second bout of their preference, and then to the third.

e. In the event that a position has only one candidate, that person will automatically be appointed into that position without a need for a vote to be held.

f. In the event that a position has no candidates, this position will be voted at the end of the elections, after all other positions have been allocated. Names of unsuccessful candidates from the election will be carried forward to the vacant position for election.

g. In the event that a candidate holds the highest number of votes for a number of positions, their appointment will be based on their preference. In the event that their numerical preference is in reverse to the order of election positions as set out above, allocation of positions will be withheld till the end of the election process (see Annex: Examples 1 & 2).

4. A notice may be in person or by proxy. No member may hold more than one proxy. Proxy papers must be received by the time designated by the National Executive Committee.

5. The Election Committee

a. The election is supervised by an Election Committee that consistent of three full members who must be chosen through random selection of ‘names from a hat’ from the membership present at the AGM.

b. The three independent observers must not be nominees and any conflict of interest with the nominees must be declared. The role of the independent observers shall be to ensure fair, accurate and transparent vote counting and that the election is carried out according to the constitution.

6. A vetted updated list of all the members eligible for voting shall be given by the National Executive Committee to the Election Committee.

G. DUTIES of the NATIONAL EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE:

1. Duties of the National Executive Committee

a. The function of the NEC is to oversee the day-to-day running of the IMA (UK) and its Regional Branches. It represents the highest executive authority in the IMA(UK). It acts on the authority of the membership to execute the aims and objectives of the constitution and decisions of the AGM.

b. To present the Annual Report to the Annual General Meeting.

c. To keep financial records, present annual financial reports and maintain bank accounts on behalf of the Association.

d. To manage the Association’s properties and assets.

e. To keep membership records.

f. To oversee the activities and running of Regional Branches

g. To represent the members and specialities affiliated with the IMA(UK) in regional and international committees and groups.

2.Duties of the President

a. To chair the meetings of the Annual General Meeting.

b. To chair the meetings of the National Executive Committee.

c. To oversee the affairs of the Association and its Branches.

d. To control payments and approve financial expenditures with the Treasurer.

e. To take decisions on urgent matters that cannot be delayed until the next meeting of the National Executive Committee.

f. To liaise with other organisations of similar aims to the IMA(UK) and improve global outreach.

g. To maintain and develop communication streams with relevant organisations within the UK and Iraq.

3. Duties of the Vice President

a. To assist the President in his duties and act as President in the absence of the President.

b. To assist the Secretary and Regional Coordinator in their duties.

c. To oversee the educational activities of the IMA(UK), working in partnership with the Branch Scientific Officers

d. To assist with secretarial roles in the absence of the secretary.

4. Duties of the Secretary

a. To prepare the written invitations and agenda for the meetings of the National Executive Committee and the AGM.

b. To prepare minutes of the meetings of the National Executive Committee and the AGM.

c. To keep and update a central Register and Database of all IMA(UK) members in coordination with Branch Membership Officers.

d. To be registered to handle data in accordance with data protection law in the UK, and to ensure that anyone else in the NEC or Regional Branch who handles data is also registered.

e. To execute the decisions of the National Executive Committee.

f. To keep copies of all the Association’s correspondence, application forms, documents, minutes and stamps.

g. To assist the Communications and Public Relations Officer in his tasks including developing the e- newsletter and running of the website

h. To liaise with the Regional Coordinator to maintain efficient communication between the Executive Committee and the committees of all Regional Branches.

i. To assist the Events Coordinator in his tasks including the delivery and implementation of IMA(UK) social and scientific events.

5. Duties of the Treasurer

a. The Treasurer must be competent in the IT and financial skills required for the role, or willing to attend a basic financial management course (provided by the IMA), including the use of

i. Excel

ii. Internet Banking

b. To supervise the income and expenses, collect subscriptions, supervise the financial records and deposit all of the income into the Associations bank account.

c. To prepare an Annual Financial Report to the AGM. Keep all records of income and expenditure, as well as any other financial documents.

d. To carry out the financial decisions of the National Executive Committee ensuring that they are in accordance with the annual budget.

e. To countersign with the President’s cheques and payment orders.

f. The treasurer of the NEC should be in regular communication with the Regional Branches with regard to overseeing their financial activities.

6. Duties of Regional Coordinator

a. To liaise with all the Regional Branches and work with them to expand membership.

b. To ensure the IMA(UK) aims and objectives are met by the Regional Branches

c. To ensure the NEC and Regional Branches identify and address the needs of local members.

d. To be a point of contact for all the Regional Branches of the Association.

e. To ensure all the Regional Branches have access to the resources of the IMA(UK).

7. Duties of Events Coordinator

a. To coordinate the delivery and implementation of IMA(UK) events including, but not limited to, Social, Scientific and AGM events.

b. To respond to the needs of the members through provision of events.

c. To have authority to work with members or National Executive Committee to build teams to deliver the events.

d. To budget events to ensure that IMA(UK) members are provided with good value, without reducing funds available to the IMA(UK).

e. To assist and liaise with Regional Branch Event Officers.

8. Duties of Communications and Public Relations Officer

a. To be responsible for official communications between the Association, its members and third parties, whether in written or electronic format. To be responsible for maintaining and enforcing the IMA(UK) Communications policy.

b. To develop quarterly e-newsletters.

c. To be responsible for maintenance and improvement of the contents of the website.

d. To develop and maintain efficient avenues of communication between the IMA National Executive Committee and the committees of the Regional Branches.

e. To work closely with the Branch Publicity Officers

f. To liaise with organisations of similar aims to the IMA(UK) and improve global outreach.

g. To maintain and develop communication streams with relevant organisations within the UK and Iraq.

H. THE ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING (AGM) or Extra-ordinary General Meeting

1. The AGM is the highest authority of the Association which determines the policies of the Association. Decisions of the AGM cannot be reversed by the National Executive Committee.

2. The Association shall hold an Annual General Meeting.

a. The Annual General Meeting (AGM) shall appoint a date and place at which the next Annual Meeting shall be held.

b. Not more than twelve months shall elapse between the date of the current Annual General Meeting and that of the next.

3. The quorum for the AGM is 30% of the full Membership or twenty Full Members, whichever is less.

4. The National Executive Committee or at least 20% of Full Members can call for an emergency General Meeting if deemed necessary (Extra-ordinary General Meeting).

5. The quorum for the above meetings is thirty full members provided that written invitations for the meetings are distributed six weeks prior to the meeting.

6. All business shall be transacted at any General Meeting only when a quorum of Members is present at the time when the meeting proceeds to business.

7. The President of The Association shall preside as a Chairman at every General Meeting of The Association. If the President or Vice President are not present, or are unwilling to act as a Chairman, the members of The Executive Committee present shall elect one of their members to be Chairman of The Meeting.

8. At any General Meeting a resolution put to the vote of The Meeting shall be decided on a show of hands unless a poll is demanded by (a) The President or (b) by at least ten Members present in person.

9. Decisions of the Annual General Meeting are taken by simple majority. Each representative member has one vote. In case of equal votes, the president’s choice wins.

10. Duties of the Annual General Meeting:

a. To approve the constitution and any amendments to the constitution made thereafter,

b. To supervise the performance of the National Executive Committee.

c. To be in charge of all major financial decisions and of the general finances of the Association including the approval of the financial report of the previous year and the financial plan for the following year.

d. To discuss and approve the annual report of the National Executive Committee and approve the work plan for the following year.

e. To discuss all other matters presented by the National Executive Committee.

f. To discuss all suggestions put forward by the membership and submit decisions to the National Executive Committee for implementation.

g. To supervise the activities of the Association and its publication.

I. BRANCHES

1. The National Executive Committee will have the right to establish Regional Branches for the Association anywhere in the United Kingdom subject to demand by the local eligible community in that area.

a. The Regional Branch will be run by the Branch Committee (BC) and the Annual Branch Meeting (ABM), and is overseen by the NEC.

b. The NEC is responsible for setting membership, communication and financial policy and strategy throughout the organisation. Regional Committees must work with and support the NEC.

c. The Regional Branch shall consist of a Branch Committee (BC) of seven officers to include:

i. Branch Representative

ii. Branch Secretary

iii. Branch Membership Officer

iv. Branch Events Officer

v. Branch Publicity Officer

vi. Branch Scientific/Education Officer

vii. Branch Student Representative

viii. The term “Branch” will be substituted for the name of the region eg. Wales Events Officer.

d. The Branch Committee may meet together or regulate their meetings as they see fit provided that they meet at least every two months.

2. Duties of the Branch Committee

a. Branch Representative

i. To chair BC meetings and the ABM

ii. To represent the association locally within the region and nationally to the NEC

iii. To oversee Branch social and scientific activity

iv. To produce an Annual Report of regional activity to the NEC Regional Coordinator

v. To liaise with the NEC Treasurer for the provision of funds for regional activity

vi. To be in charge of submitting additional monies collected through Cheques/Cash, etc to the NEC Treasurer, or directly to the IMA(UK) Central Bank Account

vii. To work in partnership with the NEC President

b. Branch Secretary

i. To prepare written invitations, agenda and minutes for BC meetings and the ABM

ii. To keep copies of all of the Regional Branch correspondence, application forms, documents, minutes and stamps.

iii. To maintain good communication with all Branch Committee members

iv. To coordinate the delivery and implementation of Regional Branch social and scientific events

v. To work in partnership with the NEC Secretary

c. Branch Membership Officer

i. To work to increase membership within the regional division

ii. To be responsible for identifying members’ needs by engaging with members and collecting feedback for the purpose of improving services and facilities

iii. To coordinate with the Branch Publicity Officer to increase membership

iv. To coordinate with the Branch Events Officer to improve member events

v. To update the NEC Secretary with member information

d. Branch Events Officer

i. To respond to the needs of members through the provision of regional events

ii. To organise a minimum of 2 events per year– excluding the ABM.

iii. To produce prospective event cost estimates and retrospective financial reports to the Branch Representative to review and submit to the NEC Treasurer

iv. To work in partnership with the NEC Events Coordinator

e. Branch Publicity Officer

i. To be responsible for publicising activities of the Branch to the local community

ii. To be responsible for official communications between the Branch Committee and regional members

iii. To liaise with the NEC Communication and Public Relations Officer and assist in the production of articles for IMA(UK) publications

iv. To assist the NEC Communication and Public Relations Officer in liaising with organisations with similar aims to the IMA(UK) and develop communication streams with relevant organisations both within the UK and Iraq.

v. To work in partnership with the NEC Communication and Public Relations Officer

f. Branch Scientific/Education Officer

i. To work with the Branch Events Officer to provide regional scientific meetings

ii. To organise student teaching locally – where possible through direct contact with local student organisations.

iii. To liaise with the NEC Regional Coordinator to assist in the provision of scientific speakers should none be available locally.

iv. To liaise with the NEC Communication and Public Relations Officer to assist in the production of scientific articles for IMA(UK) publications

v. To work in partnership with both the NEC Vice President

g. Branch Student Representative

i. To represent the needs of students in the regional division

ii. To coordinate with the Branch Publicity Officer in publicising events and activities of the Branch to local students and increase awareness about the IMA(UK) amongst students

iii. To help recruit students to assist with IMA(UK) activities

iv .To coordinate student teaching programs with the Branch Scientific/Educational Officer.

3. The Regional Sub-Committees shall abide by the Constitution of the Association.

4. The Branch Representative and Branch Secretary are responsible for submitting an Annual Report of the activities of the Branch to the NEC and to the Annual Branch Meeting (ABM).

5. Finances:

a. All financial activity will be centralised through the IMA(UK) account

b. The responsibility of maintaining this account remains with the NEC Treasurer

c. The Regional Branch will have direct liaison with the NEC treasurer for financial support and advise.

d. The Branch Events Officer will be charged with providing annual summaries of financial activities in both their local ABM, but also to the Regional Branch Representative who will provide this information to the NEC Treasurer.

e. The NEC Treasurer will grant financing of events provided the events are financially feasible.

f. Financial support of IMA(UK) regions will be allocated based on demonstration of successful and financially sound regional activity and with consideration to the number of Full Members within that region.

g. Profits made regionally will be safeguarded in the IMA(UK) account, however, such profits will be easily accessible to regional divisions for further activity.

h. Should a regional division pursue financial activities which are deemed reckless by the NEC, the NEC Treasurer will intervene to coordinate safe spending.

6. Branch Committees will be elected by their Branch Membership during the Annual Branch Meeting

7. The Branch Representative may attend NEC meetings but their presence is not necessary for quorum and they will have no voting rights.

J. ACCOUNTS

1. The resources of the Association and its Branches shall be spent in realising the aims of the Association as seen fit by the National Executive Committee.

2. The National Executive Committee shall maintain proper accounts of all sums of monies received and spent by the Association. These accounts will be made available for inspection by the membership at the AGM.

3. The National Executive Committee shall from time to time cause to be prepared and to be laid before The Association in General Meeting such profit and loss accounts, balance sheets and reports as necessary.

4. The Association’s income is generated from:

a. Annual subscriptions.

b. The income from the Association’s activities and conventions.

c. Other incomes approved by the Executive Committee.

5. The National Executive Committee shall decide from time to time the level of annual subscription and submit it to the AGM for approval.

6. The financial year starts on 1st April and ends on 31 March of the following year.

7. No money should be spent without a proper payment order properly signed by the Treasurer and The President.

L. AMENDMENTS

1. Suggestions regarding amendments of the Association’s constitution can be submitted via the Executive Committee of the Association or by a petition signed by three full members of the Association if these members fulfil the membership requirements at the time of the petition.

2. Requests for constitutional amendments shall be lodged with The Secretary of the Association at least two months prior to the meeting of the Association General Meeting. These requests should be circulated to the members who have voting rights at least 30 days prior to the meeting of the General assembly.

3. To amend the constitution, a simple majority of all full members present during the Association’s AGM or Extra- ordinary Meeting is required to pass the proposed changes.

M. DISSOLUTION

1. A decision to dissolve the Association shall be taken only in the extraordinary AGM by a majority of 75% of all members who have fulfilled membership requirements. Notice must be given to all members by email or post of the suggestion to dissolve the Association at least 3 months in advance of the AGM.

2. In the case of the dissolution of the Association, the National Executive Committee shall, after settlement of all financial obligations, distribute the proceeds of the Association’s assets among the full members that have fulfilled the membership requirements at the time.

N. AFFILIATION

The Association may affiliate to any other medical association or similar body subject to discussion and the agreement of The National Executive Committee.

O. ADDITION AND AMENDMENT OF THE MEMORANDUM

1. The National Executive Committee reserves the right to add, remove or amend one or more articles subject to discussion among The Members of The Association and approval at The General Meetings.

2. The National Executive Committee reserve the right to co-opt members to the ‘Committee’ for special tasks or to fill a vacancy created by the resignation of a Committee Member. The NEC also reserves the right to fill a vacancy in a Branch Committee created by resignation.

3. The chosen Member shall be from the unsuccessful nominees with the highest number of votes or in the absence of such persons from the General Membership for specific tasks and based on their merits.

4. Co-opted Members have no right of voting on Committee’s decision except if they held the highest non winning votes at the election.

5. In case of failure to fill a vacancy, the Executive Committee shall seek election to fill the vacancy following the procedure set by the Constitution.

 

Appendix A

Voting Examples (Section E)

Example 1:

Dr A. nominates herself for (1) Vice President, (2) Treasurer, and (3) Regional Coordinator.

• First bout of elections proceed, a President is voted in.

• Second bout of elections proceed, a Vice President is voted in. Dr A is one of the nominees but is unsuccessful; her name is carried forward to her second preference.

• Third bout of elections proceed, a Secretary is voted in.

• Fourth bout of elections proceed, Dr A is successfully voted as Treasurer. Her name is removed from the list of nominees.

Example 2:

Dr B. nominates himself for (1) Regional Coordinator (2) Treasurer, and (3) Vice President.

• First bout of elections proceed, a President is voted in.

• Second bout of elections proceed, Dr B holds the highest number of votes as Vice President, however this is not his first preference.

• Third bout of elections proceed, a Secretary is voted in.

• Fourth bout of elections proceeds; Dr B is unsuccessful, another candidate is successfully voted in as Treasurer.

• Fifth bout of elections proceed; Dr B holds the highest number of votes as Regional Coordinator.

• As Dr B’s preference was Regional Coordinator, he is allocated this position.

• As Dr B was awarded the highest number of votes as Vice President, and he has been allocated a different position, his name is removed from the candidates for Vice President.

• Vice President is awarded to the candidate with the next highest number of votes, based on their preference and the original voting results.

• The original count of votes is used in this process. A new vote is not required.

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