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 committee 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.
- 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. External Invitations (non-ASSP Events)
- Invitations to the annual conferences of domestic and international safety professional organization partners, American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA), Intersociety Forum (ISF), Canadian Society of Safety Engineers (CSSE) and the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH), are to ASSP’s president and chief executive officer (CEO). ASSP will attend these conferences annually.
- The president may defer attendance to the other EC members.
- The EC travel budget for trips to AIHA, ISF, IOSH and CSSE will be limited to a total of $15,000 in the aggregate
- The ASSP CEO may defer attendance to other staff, if appropriate.
B. ASSP Member Community Events
- The Society will budget to plan for a board member and/or staff member to attend ASSP regional operating committee meetings.
- The EC will defer invitations to chapter meetings to regional vice presidents and the vice president, region affairs, unless the meeting event is deemed by the EC to be significant, such as a chapter milestone (e.g., 50-, 75-, 100-year anniversary).
- 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, or if the event is in conjunction with a meeting at which the board representative will already be in attendance.
C. Other Scenarios
When an invitation falls outside of the scenarios outlined above, the EC will use the following decision path to approve additional travel:
- Does this speaking engagement align with the ASSP strategic plan and what goals and key performance indicators will it help advance?
- Yes — Continue with the evaluation questions
- No — Decline invitation; if appropriate, offer attendance via web if they have the technology to support event
- Is this a budgeted activity or is it within the budgeted allotment for unplanned travel?
- Yes — Accept invitation; see attendance guidelines
- No — Continue with the evaluation questions
- Is there a potential dollar 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?
- Yes — Accept invitation; see attendance guidelines
- No — Decline invitation
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.
- 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 (other than to IOSH or CSSE) for the president shall be limited to $48,000.
- With approval of the EC, the spouse/domestic partner of ASSP’s president and CEO may attend the CSSE and IOSH international conferences, ASSP’s annual conference and the winter Board of Director’s meeting. ASSP will reimburse travel expenses of the spouse/domestic partner for attending these events.
- The EC will establish an annual budget of $15,000 each for president and CEO spouse/domestic partner travel under the Society governance budget
- 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.
- To encourage C-Suite public board member participation on the ASSP Board of Directors without compensation, the public board member is permitted to travel business class.
- With approval of the EC, the spouse/domestic partner of the public board member may be permitted to travel to ASSP’s winter Board of Director’s meeting and annual conference. The public board member shall request permission from the president for spouse travel. ASSP will reimburse travel expenses of the spouse/domestic partner for attending these events.
- A board member may travel business class if the total flight segments exceed 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.
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. 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 | 12/2019
Replaces Edition Dated: 05/2019
Next Revision Due: 12/2022