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Constitution

Society Constitution

The Society

The Society shall be known as the British Maternal and Fetal Medicine Society.

Hereafter in the document it will be referred to as “The Society”.

Aims

The Society aims to provide a forum where issues of relevance to Obstetricians and other professionals involved in maternity care are discussed. In particular, the Society seeks to:

  • Disseminate knowledge
  • Promote research and audit
  • Establish good quality training programmes
  • Encourage development of clinical guidelines.

The ultimate goal is to encourage improved standards of maternity care.

The Society will provide a Maternal and Fetal Medicine input to the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) including advice on training in obstetrics and special interest / subspecialty training in Maternal and Fetal Medicine.  The Society will also make representation to other Colleges and national bodies when appropriate, including providing relevant stakeholder feedback on relevant national documents and guidance.

The Society will develop links to other relevant professional societies with the aim of disseminating knowledge and improving standards of care for pregnant women.

Membership

Membership is open to any professional involved in maternity care.  There will be no limit to the size of membership.  To become a member, a completed application form must be submitted to the Society’s Coordinator, along with the appropriate annual subscription fee.  Subscription rates are set by the Society and revised periodically. Concessionary membership rates will be available for midwives and non-clinicians.  Continued membership involves the payment of the annual subscription fee. Membership will be terminated if there is failure to pay the annual subscription.  The Committee has the right to terminate membership under exceptional circumstances.

Society Officers and Committee Structure

Roles of Officers

The President will:

  • Be the principal spokesperson for the Society
  • Be the named stakeholder when the Society registers involvement in discussions with other Societies or national bodies
  • Chair the Committee meetings
  • Chair the Annual General Meeting
  • Be responsible for the accuracy of the minutes of meetings

The Secretary will:

  • Be responsible for coordinating the activities of the Committee
  • Be responsible for the production of the minutes of the Committee and Annual General Meetings
  • Collaborate closely with the appointed Conference Organiser
  • Act as deputy to the President in terms of representing the Society at relevant meetings

The Treasurer will:

  • Be responsible for the Society’s finances and producing an annual audit of accounts at the Annual General Meetings.
  • Advise the Committee about financial issues eg when subscription rates need to be raised
  • Advise about the registration fee or any surcharge necessary for Annual Meetings of the Society, to ensure that these Meetings do not run at a financial loss and generate some income for the Society

The Committee will comprise of 23 members, drawn wherever possible from England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

Appointment of Committee Members

  1. Notification of vacancies or new appointments to the committee will be circulated to Society members (by email or web posting).
  2. Candidates, with their agreement, must be nominated by 2 Society members (by postal or e-mail return of signed nomination paper)
  3. A voting paper with details of candidates will be circulated (by email or web posting).
  4. Votes will be registered by return of a signed ballot paper to the BMFMS office or by web-based voting.
  5. Members can only vote once for each vacancy advertised.

The Society’s Officers and Committee members will be elected by the membership of the Society for a term of three years. The President may not be re-elected, but other Officers and Committee members may be re-elected once for a second three-year term. After the first three-year tenure, if a committee member wishes to stay on for another three years, and is supported by two other committee members, then the post need not be advertised for re-election. The post must be advertised for re-election after the committee member has been in post for six years. Elections for the positions of Hon Secretary and Treasurer must be advertised.

A willing person can serve a third term, if no other candidates come forward for election. The Committee reserves the right to allow flexibility in the timing of appointments, to ensure continuity within the Committees. It is anticipated that no more than four committee members will change in one year.

Committee Membership:

  • President
  • Prize Co-ordinator
  • Honorary Secretary
  • Maternal Medicine representative x 2
  • Treasurer
  • Labour & Delivery representative x 2
  • Scientific representative
  • Pregnancy Outcome representative x 2
  • Trainee representative x2
  • Fetal Medicine representative x2
  • District General Hospital representative x2
  • Education and Training representative
  • Abstract Co-ordinator
 

In addition, there may be up to four ex officio members:

  • The outgoing President
  • Representative of the Royal College of Midwives (RCM)
  • Representative of the British Association of Perinatal Medicine (BAPM)
  • Website co-ordinator
  • Technology co-ordinator

The outgoing President will be an ex-officio member for a period of one year only, to allow a smooth transition period.  Ex-officio members representing the RCM and BAPM will be elected by their respective organisations for a period of three years but may be re-elected once for a second three-year term. The appointment of other ex-officio members is at the discretion of the Committee. Such appointments will usually be for a period of three years. 

In addition to the above a representative of the Conference Organiser may be invited to attend Committee Meetings where appropriate.

12 out of 23 members, with at least 2 officers, would be quorate.

The Committee will meet at least twice during the year, as necessary to fulfil its functions. The functions of the Committee will be as follows:

  • Development of Maternal and Fetal Medicine special interest and subspecialty training
  • Identification / provision of BMFMS representatives for RCOG and other relevant national committees
  • Organisation of the Annual Meeting of the Society
  • Organisation of joint meetings with other Societies /Groups.

Working Groups

The Executive Committee may draw up small Working Groups, usually chaired by a Committee Member, where an issue is identified needing consultation and discussion.  Members of these Groups will be co-opted from the Society’s wider membership. These Groups will report to the Committee and their continued existence will be reviewed on an annual basis.

Society Coordinator

The Society will employ a Coordinator whose functions will be:

  • Keeping a full and up-to-date membership list
  • Collecting the annual subscriptions
  • Deal with the day to day financial matters pertaining to the Society
  • Keeping a permanent record of the Minutes of all Society Meetings
  • Keeping on file copies of all correspondence relevant to the Society, including Committee minutes.
  • Communicating with the Society’s members via mail, website posting or email when there are items of news to be disseminated from the Officers or Committees, or where the members’ views need to be canvassed about a subject.
  • In liaison with the Website Coordinator, maintaining an up-to-date Society website, in liaison with any persons or company employed for that purpose

The Society Coordinator will usually be present at Committee meetings.

Conference Organisers

The Committee will appoint Conference Organisers to deal with the practical arrangements of their Annual Meeting (selecting conference venues, negotiating rates of hire, identifying suitable accommodation, publicity, registration, trade exhibitions etc).  The Committee will review contracts periodically.

The Conference Organisers will participate in parts of Committee meetings relevant to Conference Organisation and take minutes accordingly.

Change in Constitution

  1. Any change in the Constitution must be proposed at least two months in advance of the Annual General Meeting to the Committee and have a “seconder” who must also be a Member of the Society.
  2. The decision on the proposal will be on the basis of a straight majority vote of those attending the Annual General Meeting.
  3. These amendments to the Constitution were agreed by vote at the AGM in April 2016.