Local Chapters are an essential part of the Society, and offer many benefits to individual members. Therefore, we encourage the establishment of active and enthusiastic Chapters around the globe. The Chapter Management Guide provides useful information on how to successfully operate and sustain a Chapter, and the Society officers and directors are available to offer guidance and support. For more information on creating or maintaining a Chapter, please contact Director of Chapter Services Jerry Banister at 760-377-4434.
Local Chapters benefit the Society by:
Local Chapters benefit members by:
Chapters conduct a wide range of activities, including meetings, tours, speakers, mini-symposia, field trips and panel discussions. Many Chapters also produce newsletters, on-line bulletin boards and Web sites designed to keep members informed of the latest developments in system safety procedures and technology. Each Chapter evolves its own personality and culture, finding new and innovative ways to promote the professional development of its members.
Each Chapter is required to have a Chapter Charter. The System Safety Society's Executive Council (EC) must approve each Chapter Charter, and may revise or revoke charters when necessary.
Chapter Constitution and Bylaws
Each Chapter must have a written Constitution and set of Bylaws that define the Chapter's organization, objectives and operating procedures. The local Chapter Constitution and Bylaws must not conflict with the Society's Constitution and Bylaws.
Most Chapters serve a specific geographical area, and new members of the System Safety Society are automatically assigned to a Chapter if they live in an area served by an active Chapter. However, new Chapters are being formed throughout the year, and members may request to join or remain with any Chapter they wish. (For example, a member who moves in order to change jobs may choose to remain with his or her original Chapter, join the one in the new area, or join another one entirely.) There are strong advantages to membership in the nearest Chapter, in order to attend meetings and other events, but members are welcome to seek out the Chapter that best serves their needs and interests.
Forming New Chapters
New Chapters may be formed whenever a:
The following steps are helpful in initiating a new Chapter:
As a minimum, each Chapter will have the following officers:
Although not required, the following Chapter positions are recommended:
Chapter programs should be interesting and of a quality that will attract guests and prospective members as well as current ones. Invite quality speakers or expert panels. These do not have to be safety professionals. Experts in related areas, such as legislative affairs or environmental issues, can make for an interesting program.
Hold monthly meetings, if possible. Meetings at least bimonthly are recommended to maintain continuity and momentum. Restrict meetings to two hours (or less for a luncheon meeting), and conduct them on a fairly strict timetable. For example, a suggested agenda for a dinner meeting might include a short social with cocktails, dinner, a short business meeting, a program with a speaker and a short question-and-answer session.
Chapters that hold at least two meetings per year and submit a Chapter Annual Report (including a Chapter financial statement) are considered active. The Chapter's Annual Report will include a completed SSS Chapter Reimbursement Request Form. Additionally, an annual financial statement must be submitted. A guide for completing this form can be found in the Operations Manual, Appendix Q, Chapter Annual Financial Statement.
Chapters that fail to have at least two meeting per fiscal year or fail to submit a complete Annual Report are considered inactive. The Director of Chapter Services shall notify the Chapter officers in the event that a Chapter becomes inactive. If no action is taken within two months of the notification, the Director may poll the respective Chapter members to determine their wishes. If the members wish to reactivate the Chapter, the Director, with EC concurrence, can establish a nominating committee for that Chapter and preside over a Chapter election and installation of new officers. While inactive, the Chapter President is not eligible to vote on EC matters. Reinstatement requires the Chapter to provide proof that two official meetings were held. Chapters that remain inactive for three consecutive years will have their Charters revoked by the EC.
Chapter Annual Report
Each Chapter produces an Annual Report for the Society that must be submitted to Society Headquarters by July 15. The report should include a summary of:
The purpose of the Chapter's Annual Report is to provide the input for preparation of the Society's Annual Report and of the Society's taxes. In addition, it serves as documentation for ensuring that the minimum requirements for an active Chapter have been met. It also serves as the primary input for presentation of the Chapter of the Year Award.
The minimum requirements for the Chapter's Annual Report are documentation of two Chapter meetings (for example, a copy of the Chapter newsletter and meeting minutes), an annual financial statement and a completed SSS Chapter Reimbursement Request Form.
Each year, the EC will determine the amount of funds to return to the Chapters. Inactive Chapters are not eligible for reimbursement. The requirements for Chapter reimbursement are:
The Chapter's Annual Report must include a completed SSS Chapter Reimbursement Request Form in order to receive reimbursement for Chapter members.
Chapter Oversight and Services
The following Society positions and offices are among those available to support/assist local Chapters as needed:
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