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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 9.2: Professional Development Conference Planning Committee Operating Procedures

I. Roles and Accountability

The Professional Development Conference (PDC) Planning Committee helps sustain ASSP as the preferred source for education among safety professionals by assisting in the planning, development and implementation of a quality PDC where occupational safety and health (OSH) professionals can increase their knowledge and skills through educational sessions, exhibits and networking activities.

II. Committee Membership

  • Committee members shall be appointed by vice president, professional development, subject to the approval of the Board of Directors. The committee shall not exceed 10 members unless by exception.
  • At least one representative member of the local chapter of the city in which the PDC is being planned should be considered to serve on the committee.
  • Committee members serve a three-year term. Appointments are structured to allow for staggered terms.
  • The chair shall be designated by the vice president, professional development. The chair shall serve as an ex-officio member of the Council on Professional Development. The term of the chair is one year, renewable for a maximum of three consecutive years.

The committee may be structured to operate with subcommittees.

III. Committee Operations

A. Meetings

  • Method: The committee will primarily meet by teleconference/webinar.
  • Schedule: The schedule of meetings shall be drawn up by the committee chair and agreed to by the committee members.
  • Quorum: A quorum exists when at least one-half of the members of the committee are present at a meeting, one of whom must be the committee chair. If a quorum is present, a majority vote of members present shall be decisive when a vote it taken.
  • Committee Business: The committee may transact official business at meetings, conference calls and by electronic ballots. The committee will work with other committees and councils as necessary to meet the Society's needs and objectives to be accomplished during the conference.
  • Minutes: Minutes will be prepared for each committee meeting.

B. Budgeting and Finance

The committee operates within the Society budget, including travel, meeting and staff support expenses. Committees are funded through specific budget actions of the Board of Directors.

Addendum I: Program Development Guidelines

I. Purpose

Provide guidelines for the development of the program for the annual PDC. 

II. General Sessions

The selection of general session speakers for the PDC will be managed by ASSP staff, working with the chair of the PDC Planning Committee. Final approval for the general session speaker(s) will be made by the PDC Planning Committee chair in consultation as necessary with ASSP leadership who will preside over the conference. Procedures are as follows:

  1. Staff will contact appropriate speakers or speaker bureaus to obtain the names of potential speakers for review and approval by the committee chair. They shall manage the contract negotiations with the speaker(s) for the conference.
  2. The number of general session speakers will be in accord with the program planned by the PDC Planning Committee. The objective of the selection process will be to identify the speaker(s) nine months prior to the conference.

III. Concurrent Session Speakers

  1. In conjunction with staff, the PDC Planning Committee will research key issues and education needs for use in the selection of concurrent educational session speakers. Areas of focus:
  • Major topic areas of interest to the profession/membership
  • Selection criteria for respondents to the call for presenters
  • Specific presenters desired
  • Overall program direction and theme
  • Milestone dates for accomplishment of action items

2. The PDC Planning Committee will review all submissions, including those from practice specialties, common interest groups and other councils, and develop a rank order of scores of the speaker proposals based on the criteria above and guidance. Each proposal submitted will, if possible, be evaluated in a blind process (i.e., not knowing how other members evaluate the package). A rubric will be developed that delineates evaluation criteria and weighting factors.Late submissions need only be considered if time permits.

3. If so formed, a program development subcommittee will be appointed with a chair of the subcommittee and members from the PDC Planning Committee.

IV. Program

  1. The selection of speakers or presentations for the program will be designed to meet the conference objectives. Program objectives for each conference will be publicized in the call for presenters.
  2. The committee may develop other initiatives for events in addition to speaker proposals that support the conference objectives.
  3. The committee will select speakers based on:
  • Evaluation score of the proposal
  • Desirability of the topic
  • Past performance of the speaker
  • Limiting frequency of one speaker/organization

4.     After the individual evaluation of all submissions and initiatives, the committee will assemble a program for the final review of the PDC Planning Committee.

Addendum II: Logistics and General Arrangements/Event Experience

I. Purpose

Provide guidelines for the development of the exhibitor and attendee experience for the annual professional development conference.  

The PDC Planning Committee is responsible for considering the overall exhibitor and attendee experience.  Networking events, overall conference schedule and ancillary events, the use of technology, ambassador program, and hours of exclusive exposition hours are key areas to focus. If so formed, a logistics and general arrangements/event experience subcommittee will be designated to review these areas and look for opportunities to enhance.

Addendum III: Host Chapter 

I. Purpose

Provide instruction to the host chapter (if so formed) for the professional development conference and exposition.

Should the local chapter decide to participate, ASSP will provide the host chapter:

  • Up to five (5) complimentary full registrations.
  • One 10 ft x 10 ft chapter booth at the PDC in the year prior to the hosted PDC and in the host year staffed by chapter volunteers.

The participating host chapter will provide:

  • A chapter member to act as liaison with the PDC Planning Committee and serve on the PDC Planning Committee if requested.
  • Assistance in obtaining volunteers to act as welcome greeters, staff information booths at the convention center and nearby hotels during peak periods.

Approved By | Date: Board of Directors | 1/2023

Replaces Edition Dated: 12/2019
Next Revision Due: 1/2026

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