SAPC Constitution

1. The Society 

The Society will be called “The Society for Academic Primary Care” (name changed from “The Association of University Departments of General Practice” in November 2001).

2. Our Aims

The aim of the society is to champion expertise in Academic Primary Care and drive improvements in Primary Care provision.

3. Membership

Membership of the Society shall be open to all individuals who support the aim of the Society.  Individuals must apply for membership on their own behalf and may be asked to provide evidence of professional activity that supports the aims of the Society.  Eligibility to membership shall be at the sole discretion of the Executive.

Members will have voting rights and may attend Annual General Meetings. They will receive the Society’s newsletter and other benefits, and shall be liable for payment of an annual subscription.

Honorary life membership of the Society may be bestowed on those from within or outside the Society who have made a significant contribution to the Society or to academic general practice and primary health care.  Nominations for honorary life membership can be proposed and seconded by members of the Society.  Election will be by simple majority of members attending the Annual General Meeting.  Honorary life members of the Society will have the same rights as ordinary members.

4. Scientific Meetings

An Annual Scientific Meeting of the Society will be organised through the Society’s central Secretariat.  Regional and other meetings may be held as appropriate.

5. General Meetings

At the Annual Scientific Meeting, adequate time shall be allocated for an Annual General Meeting.  At the Annual General Meeting, the Executive will present its annual report and Treasurer’s report for discussion and approval.  Notice of additional matters for discussion should normally be given one month before the Annual General Meeting.  Any later notice is at the discretion of the Executive.  The venue of the next Annual General Meeting should be agreed and confirmed.  The annual subscription should be agreed at the Annual General Meeting.  The results of the postal ballot for election of officers and members of the Executive as described in paragraph 8 shall be announced. Any vacancies still existing at the time of the Annual General Meeting may be filled at that time by co-option. A quorum will be 50 members, and voting on matters presented to the Annual General Meeting shall be by simple majority of members present, except for matters relating to constitutional change, where a quorum will be 66 and a majority of two-thirds of members shall be required.

Exceptionally, and at the discretion of the Executive, members may be asked to take part in a postal ballot to approve constitutional changes outside the Annual General Meeting, in which ballot a minimum of 66 votes must be returned and a majority of two-thirds of votes shall be required.

Extraordinary General Meetings of the Society may be held at the discretion of the Society’s Executive.

6.  Election of Officers and Members of the Executive

Vacancies for membership of the Executive and the Vice-Chair shall be filled by postal nomination and ballot prior to the Annual General Meeting. Three calendar months before the Annual General Meeting, the Secretary will circulate the members seeking nominations for any vacancy.  Nominations will be proposed, seconded, signed by the nominated member, confirming their willingness to serve, and returned to the Secretary two calendar months prior to the Annual General Meeting.  Appropriate ballot papers will be sent to members six weeks before the Annual General Meeting and returned to the Secretary three weeks before the Annual General Meeting.  The results of the ballot will be announced at the Annual General Meeting.

The Executive may co-opt additional members to fill vacant positions as necessary.

7. Officers

Members of the Executive will be elected to serve for three years.  The Members of the Society shall elect a Vice-Chair every three years who will serve as Vice-Chair for a year and Chair for three years.  The Chair will not then be eligible for re-election at the end of this term.  The Executive of the Society shall appoint a Secretary and a Treasurer who shall be existing members of the Executive, and will serve for three years, and be eligible for a further three years if re-appointed by election.  In the event of any officer being unable to continue in office, the Executive may appoint one of the Committee to fill the vacancy.  All members of the Executive shall be eligible for re-election for a further three years after they have stood down.  An elected or co-opted member of the executive should serve no more than two consecutive terms unless elected Chair or Secretary, although they could be re-elected after 6 years (two terms).  If a member is co-opted in the capacity of their professional job role, then a period of one term should elapse before renomination to the Executive.

8. The Executive

Between Annual General Meetings, the affairs of the Society shall be conducted by the Executive.

The Executive will, from time-to-time and as appropriate, establish working groups and sub-committees to oversee the main functions of the Society, including research, finance, education, membership, communication and publication, workforce and academic career issues, the organisation of the Annual Scientific Meeting and other meetings.  Members of these working parties and sub-committees will be co-opted by Chairs nominated by the Executive.

9. Composition of the Executive

Eight elected members including:

Secretary

Treasurer

In addition:

Chair

Vice-Chair (only during the 3rd year of office of the Chair)

Up to seven co-opted members at the discretion of the Executive

Non-voting observers from organisations sharing the aim of the Society, at the discretion of the Executive.

10. Legal Status and Dissolution

A) The Society is a not for profit unincorporated association. .

B) If the Members resolve to dissolve the Society, the Executive Committee will remain in office to wind up the affairs of the Society.  The funds should be donated to an organisation with similar aims and interests and the funds should be used in the interests of clinical and non clinical academics in primary care.  It is expected that this group would be the Heads of Departments of Primary Care at the Universities and organisations belonging to that group.