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Society Operating Guidelines

About ASSP

Our Society Operating Guidelines describe in detail the manner in which American Society of Safety Professionals is structured and governed. They are intended to accompany and be consistent with ASSP bylaws.

Section 10.2: Practice Specialty and Common Interest Group Operating Procedures

I. Purpose and Objectives

ASSP practice specialty communities provide members an accessible, virtual network of peers focused on developing and sharing technical and professional content and applying it to solve common safety challenges to become better safety professionals.

ASSP common interest group communities provide members an accessible, virtual and diverse network of peers brought together by shared experiences, to become better safety professionals and promote inclusive safety cultures.

In fulfilling its purposes, the practice specialty and common interest group shall have the following objectives:

1. Help members grow professionally, by offering opportunities where member can:

  • Take advantage of career advancement opportunities
  • Develop leadership skills
  • Attain certifications and earn CEUs to continuously improve their performance and elevate the value of the OSH profession
  • Expand their global network of safety professionals
  • Grow their technical knowledge

2. Facilitate the exchange of collective technical and professional knowledge and expertise by connecting members to people who, and resources that:        

  • Provide solutions to common safety challenges
  • Help them grow professionally and reach the highest level of performance

3. Promote positive safety cultures by fostering a supportive network of OSH professionals who:

  • Share similar experiences or face similar challenges
  • Want to develop solutions that make the world a safer, healthier place, and learn how to effectively build and sustain diverse safety cultures 

II. Definitions

  • Officers: The elected administrator and assistant administrator of each practice specialty or common interest group, as defined in the ASSP bylaws.
  • Advisory Committee: Standing committee within each practice specialty or common interest group consisting of members who advise and assist the officers with the operation of the community, ensuring that the activities align with their respective value statement.
  • Community leaders: The officers, advisory committee members and other members who work toward aligning community activities with their respective value statement.
  • Member value requirements: Experiences provided annually by the community that deliver value to the members.
  • Operational requirements: Operational items required to effectively deliver the expected member value.

III. Advisory Committee

The Advisory Committee shall be a standing committee within the community. Practice specialty and common interest group advisory committees serve as the community leaders. They plan, organize and manage member benefits aligning with their respective value statement (found in Section I of this guideline). Elected Administrators and Assistant Administrator will be elected members of the advisory committee, with the Administrator serving as chair. 

Advisory committee members are appointed, by the administrator, and serve for a one-year term. A minimum of 5 members shall be appointed each year. Advisory committee members may be reappointed. 

The advisory committee shall serve as advisors to the officers in the management and operation of the practice specialty or common interest group. One member may hold more than one position simultaneously.  Position descriptions are provided for recommended and commonly used advisory committee roles in common interest groups and practice specialties.

If an appointed advisory committee member fails to perform their duties, the administrator of the community has the authority to remove the member from the position and find another member to fill the vacancy.

The administrator may establish other subcommittees for the purpose of carrying out detailed activities that meet the objectives of the community, the community’s operational plan and ASSP's strategic plan. Subcommittees can be dissolved once their objectives or tasks have been completed.

IV.  Maintenance of Practice Specialty and Common Interest Group Requirements

As part of ASSP, each community will follow the requirements specified in the ASSP bylaws and Society Operating Guides.

Community leaders will operate in a manner that demonstrates an ability to provide and continuously improve on the benefits and experiences available to their membership. To ensure continued operation and success, communities will, at a minimum, do the following:

A. Member Value Requirements

1. Organize at least one virtual educational session, that facilitates members achieving at least one of the following:   

  • Expanding their technical knowledge
  • Developing leadership skills
  • Providing solutions to common safety challenges
  • Growing professionally and reaching the highest level of performance
  • Attaining recertification points and/or CEUs

2. Build a welcoming and supportive virtual community, through communications to members, ASSP online communities and social media platforms.

  • Develop a minimum of four community messages to be distributed to the respective community that includes at least three (3) of the following:
    • Greeting and introduction from an advisory committee member
    • News item or featured resource relevant to the industry/interest of the community
    • Information about upcoming community education event(s)
    • Information about other upcoming community events
    • Other ways to get involved and stay connected with the community
  • Maintain a member recognition program
  • Engage with community members through virtual programming or networking

B. Operational Requirements

  1. Appoint at least five advisory committee members and submit the advisory committee roster to ASSP by May 31.
  2. Develop and submit an annual operational plan to ASSP by Aug. 15.
  3. Develop and maintain a written succession plan to identify qualified candidates for contested elections, and submit to ASSP by Aug. 15.
  4. Submit the Community Annual Management and Planning Tool (CAMPT) to ASSP by June 30.
  5. Hold at least four advisory committee virtual meetings per year to discuss the operation and effectiveness of the community.
  6. Follow the requirements specified in ASSP's bylaws and Society Operating Guides.

Approved By/Date: Board of Directors | 06/2023
Replaces Edition Dated: 12/2019
Next Revision Due: 06/2026

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