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AGM 2016: Proposed rule changes

The HCSA Executive Committee has for the past year been examining the rules of the Association, both to update and revise some aspects of them. This has culminated in a number of proposed rule changes that will the subject of debate at the HCSA Annual General Meeting (AGM) taking place on the 22nd April 2016 at the Stratford Manor Hotel, Stratford-Upon-Avon, Warwick Road, CV37 0PY.

These proposals represent a comprehensive revision of the rules and we would urge all members to review these proposals in advance of the AGM. We have set out on the HCSA website all the proposals in detail for your information. You will find the existing rules, and a document setting out the proposed changes.

These are important proposals and as such need to be voted on at our forthcoming AGM and need a two-thirds majority of those attending to be confirmed.

If you have any questions or comments or would like any information about these proposals please contact our Head Office who will be able to assist and direct your query accordingly.

 

Notes regarding proposed rule changes

Proposed revisions are taken rule paragraph by paragraph. All sections numbers relate to the new version paragraph numbers as some have changed

General changes:
1 Formatting and layout made uniform throughout
2 Some rule numbering has changed in the new document because of the insertion, splitting, combining or deletion of paragraphs in the new version

In the original there was confusion about the term "officer" which was qualified by other terms such as national and Executive in different parts of the rules whilst referring to the same roles. This has been further confused by the employed support officers being renamed “National Officers”. To avoid confusion throughout this revision, the term “National Officer” is only used for members of staff who support members. (Elected) “Executive Officers” is used for members and Fellows who hold elected office or are Honorary Secretaries. The Chief Executive Officer is unchanged 

 

Table of current rules and proposed revisions

Rule 4: The principal objects  Old: b) to regulate relations between Members and the Employing Authorities. Revised: b) to regulate relations between Members and their employers or those who contract them (including Private Medical Insurers).
Rule 4: The principal objects  Old: f) to encourage and support the improvement and progress of medical practice; and to promote and do all such things as may be considered desirable in order to provide the general public the most efficient service. Revised: f) to encourage and support the improvement and progress of medical practice professional standards; and to promote and do all such things as may be considered desirable in order to provide the general public the most efficient service.
Rule 5: Changes to the definition of membership classes

Old: There shall be the following classes of Members:-

a. Ordinary Members

b. Retired Members

c. Fellows

All Members shall be eligible for Ordinary Membership: Ordinary members are defined as all members in clinical practice who have completed specialist training, whether they are on the Specialist Register or not, plus any trainee who has a nationally recognised training number in a hospital-based speciality.

Ordinary Membership shall also be open to individuals engaged in independent practice in the grade of Consultant as defined in Rule 2 of the Association: Members who are retired from all remunerated medical practice shall be eligible for Retired Membership: all Members and any other persons shall be eligible for Fellowship at the discretion of Council. For the avoidance of doubt a Fellow maintaining subscription payments as an Ordinary Member will be entitled to all benefits as applicable to Ordinary membership.

Retired Members shall be defined as those who are no longer in medical practice of any form and who had previously been an Ordinary Member.

Fellowships shall be proposed as a mark of esteem, be nominated by Council and awarded, by vote, at the AGM.

Revised: There shall be the following classes of Members:-

Ordinary Members

Retired Members

Fellows

Honorary Members

Fellows, Honoris Causa

Members (Ordinary Membership) shall be open to individuals as defined in rule 2 engaged in any medical or medicolegal practice, whether for the NHS, independently (private) or any other “Any Qualified Provider” employer. If a member is elected to HCSA Fellowship their rights and obligations as an ordinary member will remain so long as they are in active practice as above.

Retired Members shall be defined as those who are no longer in medical practice of any form and who had previously been an Ordinary Member and who request Retired Membership status formally via The Office. Retired Membership status will begin at their next annual renewal.

Fellowships and Fellowship Honoris Causa shall be proposed as a mark of esteem, be nominated by Council and awarded, by vote, at the AGM.

 
Rule 15: HCSA Fellows Old: not present. Revised: HCSA Fellows: 

a) Shall be elected by Council as a mark of esteem as in rule 5

b) A group of three Fellows will represent the views and opinions of all HCSA Fellows as the ‘Senior Fellows Group’. The first Senior Fellows Group will be co-opted from the immediate past Trustees.

c) Nominations for the roles of ‘Senior Fellow’ will be sought from all HCSA Fellows (starting early in 2017). If more than three are nominated, then a simple postal ballot will be held with all Fellows invited to vote in time to commence a tenure of 3 years from April 2017. Senior Fellows would not normally be in post for more than 2 terms but could be called upon to extend their tenure if no eligible candidate was elected.

d) The senior Fellows role is principally one of providing good counsel, providing insight related to longstanding ‘corporate memory’ of the Association. They will be involved in those areas of HCSA affairs where they can provide insight and guidance to the President and Executive.

e) The Senior Fellows do not have an executive role, and do not by right sit on Executive, Finance or any other standing committee of the Association, but will be invited as non-voting members to all council meetings and will receive agreed minutes from the Executive, Finance and any other standing committees. This ensures their independence from day to day issues, and allows them free rein to advise the President and Executive without any suggestion of conflict of interests. However, they may be seconded onto any committee of the Association, at the discretion of the relevant committee Chairman.

Rules 16 & 17: Changes to Honorary Appointments

Old: Rules 15 & 16
15. Honorary Membership may be elected by the Council and shall be persons who need not be Ordinary or Retired Members but who by their services have furthered or are furthering the objects of the Association.

16. Honorary Appointments may at the discretion of the Council in each year:-

a. receive the literature of the Association

b. receive notice of meetings of the Association

c. attend, but not vote at, meetings of the Association

d. act in such other capacity (if any) in connection with the affairs of the Association as the Council shall from time to time prescribe provided that Honorary Appointments shall in no circumstances be eligible for election to or hold any office in the Association or in any Constituency of the Association or to vote in any election or any ballot of Members of the Association or any Constituency of the Association.

 

Revised: Rules 16 & 17
16. The following Honorary appointments may be made by Council:
a) Honorary Members may be elected by the Council and shall be persons who have not been Ordinary or Retired Members but who by their services have furthered or are furthering the objects of the Association.

b) Fellows Honoris Causa may be elected by the Council and shall be persons who are currently or have been Ordinary or Retired Members and who by their services have demonstrated some or all of:

i) The highest level of dedication and achievement in their work for the
Association or its aims ii) The highest level of support to the development of the Association or its aims iii) The highest level of work for the the Association or its aims

17. Honorary members and fellows may at the discretion of the Council in each year:-

a) receive the literature of the Association

b) receive notice of meetings of the Association

c) attend, but not vote at, meetings of the Association

d) act in such other capacity (if any) in connection with the affairs of the Association as the Council shall from time to time prescribe provided that Honorary Appointments shall in no circumstances be eligible for election to or hold any office in the Association or in any Constituency of the Association or to vote in any election or any ballot of Members of the Association or any Constituency of the Association.

Rule 21 c): Rights and obligations of members  Old: Rule 20 c)
A team of experienced industrial officers and advisers is available to deal with members’ problems arising from their employment. The HCSA does not deal with those professional or clinical matters which fall within the remit of medico-legal defence organisations. Employment issues will typically, but not exclusively, include:-
Revised: Rule 21 c)
A team of experienced National Officers and advisers is available to deal with member(s)’ problems arising from their practice. The HCSA does not deal with those professional or clinical matters which fall within the remit of medico-legal defence organisations. Employment issues will typically, but not exclusively, include:
Rule 21 d): Performance Standards

Old: Rule 20 d)
Members of the HCSA can expect as a minimum the following standards:-

i Office incoming Telephone – 95% answered within five rings; 100% answered by voice-mail where lines are busy or outside working hours.
ii Voice messages – responded next working day, providing contact number is given.
iii E-mails – all acknowledged by next working day and/or where comprehensive reply required answered in detail within 10 working days (with a holding response provided by the next working day)
iv Document turn round – five working days (or notice given where an extra five days time is required
v Written correspondence – as above
vi Meetings – arrangements made within two weeks of need being identified. No guarantees can be given that HCSA representation will be available where dates have been set without HCSA involvement
vii Advice Direct – response within two working days.

Revised: Rule 21 d)
This rule has been removed in its entirety and replaced by an Operational Standard Policy which is available by enquiry at HCSA Head Office

Rule 24: Rights of members

Old: Rule 23
Subject as hereinafter provided every Ordinary Member shall have the following rights:-
a. to vote in any election for any such office or in any ballot of Members of the Association or of any Constituency of the Association.
b. to attend, vote and take part in all General Meetings and all Constituency Meetings of the Association in such Member's Constituency.
c. to attend, with prior approval of the Executive Committee, speak at, take part in but not vote at all meetings of the Council.
d. Retired Members shall have the same rights and obligations as Ordinary Members as set out in Rules 23 (b) (c) and (d) above and may be invited to sit on Sub-Committees of the Association.

 

Revised: Rule 24
Subject as hereinafter provided every Ordinary Member shall have the following rights:-

a) to vote in any election for any such office or in any ballot of Members of the Association or of any Constituency of the Association.
b) to attend, vote and take part in all General Meetings and all Constituency Meetings of the Association in such Member's Constituency.
c) to attend, with prior approval of the Executive Committee, speak at, take part in but not vote at all meetings of the Council.
d) Retired Members shall have the same rights and obligations as Ordinary Members as set out in Rules 24 (a) except they may not stand for office (b), except that they are not permitted to vote and (c) above. They may be invited to sit on Sub-Committees of the Association.

Rule 25: Subscriptions

Old: Rule 24
Subject to any directions which may be given from time to time by a General Meeting the Council shall have power:-

a. from time to time in its absolute discretion to fix, and if and when thought fit, increase or reduce the amount and the mode of payment of the annual subscription and other subscriptions (if any) to be paid to the Association by the respective classes of Members of the Association.

b. to exempt any Member or Members individually or any class or classes of Members from the payment of all or any of the subscriptions which, but for such exemption, would be payable by such Member or Members or such class or classes of Members.

Revised: Rule 25
Subject to any directions which may be given from time to time by a General Meeting the Council shall have power:

a) from time to time in its absolute discretion to set, and if and when thought fit, increase or reduce the amount and the mode of payment of the annual subscription and other subscriptions (if any) to be paid to the Association by the respective classes of Members of the Association.

b) to exempt any Member or Members individually or any class or classes of Members from the payment of all or any of the subscriptions which, but for such exemption, would be payable by such Member or Members or such class or classes of Members.

c) any Ordinary Member who is not fulfilling a role which gained them eligibility for Ordinary Membership (Rule 2, Rule 5) for more than three calendar months may apply to The Office for a pause to be put on their subscription renewal date, up to a maximum of 12 months. The Office will assess the request and approve where reasonable. Any queries will be referred to the next meeting of the Executive Committee for a decision. They will be obliged to inform The Office of their return to eligibility for Ordinary membership and their subscription year will recommence from the date that eligibility returns. Any subscriptions incurred by the member from the date of recommencement will be the responsibility of the member and if unpaid will result in removal of membership from the date of the delayed subscription due date.

Rule 49: Changes to The Council

Old: Rule 48
The Council shall consist of the prescribed number of Members as defined in
Regulation 1, elected every four years from each Constituency. For Council to discharge its responsibilities effectively its Members are encouraged to attend all Council meetings. A register of attendance will be kept. A member of Council will be required to relinquish his/her office in the event of a failure to attend three consecutive meetings of Council.

Revised: Rule 49
The Council shall consist of the prescribed number of Members as defined in Regulation 1, elected every four years from each Constituency. For Council to discharge its responsibilities effectively its Members are encouraged to attend all Council meetings. A register of attendance will be kept. A member of Council may be required to relinquish his/her office in the event of a failure to attend three consecutive meetings of Council without adequate reason.

Rule 50: Changes to Council tenure

Old: Rule 49
Members of the Council shall hold office for four years and shall be eligible for reelection provided that:-

a. no Member shall be entitled to serve as a member of the Council for a period exceeding in total twelve years.

b. Members of the Council who are elected to any office in the Association having a tenure of four years:-

i. shall continue to hold office as Members of the Council

ii. may throughout that period relinquish being a representative of the Constituency for which they were elected or in which they subsequently practise. Where that discretion is exercised that period of office shall count in the determination of Constituency representation on the Council.

 

Revised: Rule 50
Members of the Council shall hold office for four years and shall be eligible for re election provided that: 


a) Council members may be elected to represent in any of the five categories of membership described in Rule 2 and may not normally serve as a member of the Council for a period exceeding four terms in each category:

b) but could be called upon to extend their tenure if no eligible candidate was elected

c) they are elected to any office in the Association, when they:

i) shall continue to hold office as Members of the Council
ii) may elect during that period to relinquish being a Council member for the Constituency for which they were elected or in which they subsequently practise. Where that discretion is exercised that period of office shall count in the determination of Constituency representation on the Council.

Rule 68: HONORARY NATIONAL APPOINTMENTS
(no rule change, simply for consistency of appearance)

 

Old: Rule 67
67. a. The Annual General Meeting shall have the power to confer the title of Fellow of the Association upon Members, and others, who have given distinguished service to the Association.

b. The title of Fellow shall be conferred for life.

Revised: Rule 68
The Annual General Meeting shall have the power to confer the title of Fellow of the Association upon Members, and others, who have given distinguished service to the Association. The title of Fellow shall be conferred for life.
Rule 80: THE TRUSTEES

Old: Rule 79
a. The Trustee or Trustees for the time being of the Association shall be appointed by, and may at any time be removed from office by, the Council acting in its absolute discretion.

b. All of the real and personal estate belonging to the Association shall be vested in the Trustee or Trustees.

c. It shall be the duty of the Trustee or Trustees to execute and do all such deeds, documents and things as may be requisite for giving effect to any decision relating to any of the real or personal estate belonging to the Association, made in accordance with these Rules by the Council or by any National Officer of the Association and every person ceasing to be such a Trustee shall be bound to execute, and do and to concur in executing and doing all such deeds, documents and things (if any) as may be requisite for transferring any such real or personal estate to the Trustee or Trustees for the time being.

Revised: Rule 80
Role and duties of the Trustee(s)

a) The Trustee or Trustees for the time being of the Association shall be appointed by, and may at any time be removed from office by, the Council acting in its absolute discretion.

b) All of the real and personal estate belonging to the Association shall be vested in the Trustee or Trustees.

c) It shall be the duty of the Trustee or Trustees to execute and do all such deeds, documents and things as may be requisite for giving effect to any decision relating to any of the real or personal estate belonging to the Association, made in accordance with these Rules by the Council or by any National Officer of the Association and every person ceasing to be such a Trustee shall be bound to execute, and do and to concur in executing and doing all such deeds, documents and things (if any) as may be requisite for transferring any such real or personal estate to the Trustee or Trustees for the time being.

d) A Trustee or Trustees may not sit on Council or the Executive Committee or any of its sub committees. A Trustee or Trustees may be invited to attend Council or Executive for the purpose of discussion about their duties or matters arising from their duties. A Trustee or Trustees may not take part in any vote in those committees.

Rule 84: General Meetings Old: Rules 83 and 84. Revised: Rules 83 and 84 combined into rule 84 but no changes in wording or meaning.
Rule 93: Expenses

Old: The travelling and other out-of-pocket expenses incurred in the performance of his/her duties in connection with the affairs of the Association by any Member of the Executive Committee may at the discretion of the Council be repaid to him/her out of the funds of the Association.

Revised: The travelling and other out-of-pocket expenses incurred in the performance of his/her duties in connection with the affairs of the Association by any Member of the Council, Executive Committee or other subcommittee, may be repaid to him/her out of the funds of the Association in line with the HCSA expenses policy.

Rule 98: ACCOUNTS AND AUDIT

Old: Copies of such accounts, balance sheet and reports (all of which shall be prepared and framed in accordance with any statutory requirements for the time being in force and relating thereto) and of any other documents required by law to be annexed or attached thereto or to accompany the same will be presented to the Annual General Meeting. Notice of the presentation of these accounts shall be given not less than twenty-one days before the date of the Meeting:

a. to the auditors and to all other persons entitled to receive notices of General Meetings, and

b. will be published in an Association journal which is available to all Members

 

Revised: Copies of such accounts, balance sheet and reports (all of which shall be prepared and framed in accordance with any statutory requirements for the time being in force and relating thereto) and of any other documents required by law to be annexed or attached thereto or to accompany the same will be presented to the Annual General Meeting.

Notice of the presentation of these accounts shall be given not less than twenty-one days before the date of the Meeting:

a) to the auditors and to all other persons entitled to receive notices of General Meetings, and

b) will be published in an Association journal or on its website which is available to all Members.

Rule 108: Breach of rules by Executive Officers 

Old: BREACH OF RULES
Any Member may at any time complain in writing to the Executive Committee that action contrary to these Rules has been taken by the Association or by any officer or official of the Association.

 

Revised: BREACH OF RULES BY ELECTED EXECUTIVE OFFICERS
Any Member may at any time complain in writing to the Executive Committee that action contrary to these Rules has been taken by the Association or by any elected Executive Officer of the Association.

Rule 113: INSTRUCTIONS FOR INDUSTRIAL ACTION

Old: The Council may at any time give instructions to Members for industrial action by a resolution passed by a majority of the votes of the Members of the Association in Secret Postal Ballot. Voting papers which shall contain a question to be answered by “yes" or "no" shall be sent to all Members, who may be called upon to take action, not more than four weeks before that proposed action is due to commence. Any such action must comply with the law on industrial action as defined in Sections 219 - 246 of the Trades Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992 or its successors.

Revised: The Council may at any time give instructions to Members for industrial action by a resolution passed by a majority of the votes (or as subsequently modified by any statute in England or the devolved nations where HCSA has members) of the Members of the Association in Secret Postal Ballot. Voting papers which shall contain a question or questions to be answered by “yes" or "no" shall be sent to all Members, who may be called upon to take action. Any such action must comply with the law on industrial action as defined in Sections 219 - 246 of the Trades Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992 or its successors.

Regulations

There are many changes to the regulations to correct historical tortologies and nonsequitors to bring them into line with the new rules.

Both old and new regulations are thus downloadable below in their entirety for review.

 

Downloadable resources

PDF Download Image Current Rules 2016

PDF Download Image Proposed Rules 2016

PDF Download Image Current Regulations 2016

PDF Download Image Proposed Regulations 2016