In This Section

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 6.1: Board Business Travel Guidelines

I. Policy Statement

The Board of Directors is regularly invited to attend conferences, meetings and other events. Attendance can strengthen our relationships with our membership and with other occupational, safety and health (OSH) organizations, enhance our reputation or promote our public policies as a global leader in the OSH profession. Board representatives will attend events with the intent to strengthen the link with volunteers, members, the OSH community and other stakeholders.

ASSP’s decision to participate in the meetings and events is guided by our strategic plan. To ensure that ASSP resources are applied for business purposes in a cost-effective manner, all invitations are evaluated by the Executive Committee (EC) to assess the benefits and costs to the organization of accepting the invitation.

ASSP has a brand and a voice in the OSH community. The ASSP brand is a visual and verbal representation of who we are and what we stand for. As such, it is one of the most important assets we have as an organization. Members of the Board of Directors represent this brand. To distinguish ASSP in the community, it is crucial that the Board of Directors adhere to the messaging platform developed for the organization.

Board participation at events should not create work-generating activity outside of the Society annual operating plan or commit resources, time, effort or money.

Approval by the EC is only required for invitations received by ASSP. It is not required when the event supports a board member’s role as an OSH professional. This includes representing their company, providing technical expertise or offering training and instruction. When invitations do not require Society funds or when a board member will attend in another professional capacity, the board member is still expected to follow the same guidelines to ensure consistency in board-level representation.

II. Process

  • Invitations must be submitted online. If an invitation is received directly by a board member and linked to their role on the Board of Directors, the board member is required to direct the sponsoring organization to submit the invitation online.
  • ASSP staff will review and evaluate each invitation against the guidelines presented. The EC will receive a summary of the evaluation before an answer is given to the inviting entity.
  • Using the guidelines detailed in this Society Operating Guideline, the EC will confirm the evaluation and engage in any additional discussions on the benefits, business purpose and, if accepted, who should attend.

III. Acceptance Guidelines

A. ASSP Member Community Events

  • Every effort will be made for a board member and/or staff member to attend ASSP regional operating committee (ROC) meetings. Attendance may be in person or virtual based on availability and budget.
  • The EC will defer invitations to chapter meetings. Invitations may be deferred to regional vice presidents, vice president, region affairs, or other ASSP leaders. The EC may accept invitations if board support is the most cost effective or the meeting event is deemed by the EC to be significant, such as a chapter milestone (e.g., 50-, 75-, 100-year anniversary) and is within budget.
  • The EC will consider invitations to chapter-sponsored professional development conferences (PDC) or regional PDCs if they are country, state or region wide and exceed a minimum expected attendance of 200 OSH professionals, if the event is in conjunction with a meeting at which the board representative will already be in attendance, or if the EC deems the event critical in advancing the ASSP strategic plan.
    • In the case where a board member is attending a chapter or regional PDC meeting to represent his/her/their company, provide technical expertise or present, the EC may request the board member to present on behalf of the Society. Travel reimbursement for this will be based on budget and staff will confirm what will be covered prior to confirmation of travel.

B. External Events/ Other Scenarios

When an in-person invitation falls outside of an ASSP member community event, the EC will use the following decision path to approve additional travel:

  1. Does this speaking engagement align with the ASSP strategic plan and what goals and key performance indicators will it help advance? Could acceptance of this invitation be combined with other nearby events to minimize costs and maximize exposure / impact?
    • Yes — Continue with the evaluation questions
    • No — Decline invitation; if appropriate, offer attendance via web if they have the technology to support event
  2. Is there a potential return on investment — specifically will the activity support a defined contract in place, a current customer, a customer considering a contract or a sponsorship event? Will it enhance our reputation or strengthen our role as a leading global OSH organization?
    • Yes — Continue with evaluation questions
      1. Rate this event as having high, medium or low impact on ROI
    • No — Decline invitation; if appropriate, offer attendance via web if they have the technology to support event
  3. Is this a budgeted activity or is it within the budgeted allotment for unplanned travel?
    • Yes — Accept invitation; see attendance guidelines
    • No — Decline invitation; if appropriate, offer attendance via web if they have the technology to support event

IV. Attendance Guidelines

  • The EC may consider other board members or Society officers for attendance if they have special expertise or are geographically closer to the event. The president shall make such recommendation to EC for approval.
  • If budget allows, ASSP staff may accompany EC members to significant governmental or international events where practicable to support the board member, to record our commitments and to provide for relationship continuity. The CEO will determine which staff member will participate in the trip.
  • The budget for travel for external events for the president shall be determined each year during the budgeting process.
  • The spouse/domestic partner of ASSP’s president and CEO may attend ASSP’s annual professional development conference. ASSP will budget for and reimburse travel expenses of the President’s and/or CEO’s spouse/domestic partner for attending this event.
    • Reimbursement of spouse/domestic partner travel expenses is a taxable benefit to the recipient. ASSP will reimburse such expenses at 128% to offset the additional tax burden.
  • A board member may travel business class on international travel if a single flight segment exceeds 6 hours.
  • Board members are to purchase international travel as far in advance as possible to get a more favorable airfare rate.
  • Board members will follow the Society Travel Expense Guidelines for all travel expenses.
  • Board members will not make reimbursable travel arrangements without written confirmation from ASSP’s CEO, Director, Membership & Communities or the Governance Manager.

V. Board Role at the Event

A. Event Preparation

  • Board representatives will attend events with the intent to strengthen the link with volunteers, members and the OSH community as well as those events that enhance our reputation or promote our public policies as a global leader in the OSH profession. Board representation should advance the strategic plan and be in alignment with agreed-upon messaging platform to support the ASSP strategic plan.
  • The ASSP public relations staff will serve as point of contact for messaging, scripting, and talking points to prepare board members.

B. Event Follow-Up

  • Board members in attendance will submit a short, written narrative to the ASSP governance manager, listing sessions and events attended, providing outcomes, observations, and recommendations for future participation within two weeks of the event. This report will be shared with the Board of Directors at the first board meeting following the event.
  • Finance and accounting staff will produce an annual report, as part of year-end, reporting board travel for that fiscal year.

Approved By | Date: Board of Directors | 06/2023
Replaces Edition Dated: 12/2019
Next Revision Due: 01/2026

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