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Society Operating Guidelines

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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 11.2: 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). The required positions for the advisory committee are:

  • Administrator
  • Assistant Administrator
  • Secretary
  • Content Coordinator
  • Membership Chair
  • Awards and Honors Chair
  • Professional Development Chair
  • Government Affairs Chair (optional for common interest groups)
  • Standards Chair (optional for common interest groups)
  • Social Media Chair
  • Nominations/Elections Chair

Other positions may be established within a community and serve on the advisory committee as needed but are not required.

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. Advisory committee members are appointed, by the administrator, and serve for a one-year term. Advisory committee members may be reappointed. 

If an 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 administrator’s messages to be distributed to the respective community
  • Participate in the Council on Practices and Standards member recognition program (Safety Professional of the Year Awards)
  • Engage with community members at the annual professional development conference

B. Operational Requirements

  1. Fill the required advisory committee roles and submit the advisory committee roster to society headquarters 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 annual report to ASSP by June 30.
  5. Hold at least four advisory committee conference calls per year to discuss the operation and effectiveness of the community.
  6. Follow the requirements specified in ASSP's bylaws and Society Operating Guides.
  7. A representative from each community is required to attend and participate in all Council on Practices and Standards in-person and virtual meetings and activities. If the administrator cannot attend, they must appoint a proxy, such as the assistant administrator or another member of the advisory committee.
  8. A representative from each community is required to attend and participate in the House of Delegates meeting at professional development conference and any special actions or votes that may arise during the year. If the administrator cannot attend the in-person meeting, they must appoint a proxy, such as the assistant administrator or another member of the advisory committee.

Approved By/Date: Board of Directors | 12/2019
Replaces Edition Dated: 03/2016
Next Revision Due: 12/2022