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Management of RACMA Board Standing Committees

Management of RACMA Board Standing Committees
Approval Date: June 2015
Review Date: June 2018
Review By: Board

1. Purpose

This Regulation describes principles, responsibilities and procedures for the conduct and support of the Board Committees of The Royal Australasian College of Medical Administrators (RACMA).

2. Scope

This Regulation covers all Board standing committees and includes:

  • Education and training Committee (ETC)
    • Board of Censors
    • Continuing Education Committee
    • Curriculum Committee
  • Finance and Audit Committee
  • Policy and Advocacy Committee
  • Learning and Teaching Institute Management Committee

Since the 2014/15 Review of ETC and its sub committees a number of event/functional program panels have been formed to replace ETC sub committees. These event/functional program panels are operational and report to the Chief Executive (or delegated staff) to shape specific program content for specific purposes:

  • Faculty Workshop Panels
  • Accreditation of Training Post Panel
  • RPL Panel
  • National Annual Scientific program Committee

3. Relevant Documents

RACMA Constitution 2009, Section 11 & 14
RACMA Committee Terms of Reference
RACMA Policy: Declaration of Interests i.e. Conflicts of Interest
RACMA Policy: Implementing Change in the College Training Programs
RACMA Policy: Delegations Authority Manual

4. Policy

  1. The RACMA Constitution describes a number of standing Committees of the Board:
    • Education and Training Committee
      • Continuing Education Program Committee (CEP)
      • Board of Censors (BOC)
    • Finance and Audit Committee
  2. In addition the Constitution defines Jurisdictional Committees
  3. Most recently the Board has established the following ongoing/standing committees:
    • Policy and Advocacy Committee
    Learning and Teaching Institute Committee (LTI)
  4. From time to time the Board may establish ad hoc committees or working parties.
  5. RACMA’s committees are established as advisory committees to the Board. This means that they contribute to particular activities and guide RACMA strategies in various areas.
  6. The Board and its standing committees may establish ad hoc committees and/or working parties. When this happens the standing committee is advised to appoint a chair and membership and outline the specific purpose, timeline for reporting and wind up.
  7. Because of the important role of the Board’s committees in representing the perspective of the RACMA membership, high priority for appointments is given to member representatives and key stakeholders.
  8. No person serving on the RACMA Board shall also serve on a standing committee unless they are appointed under the RACMA Constitution (e.g. Chair Finance and Audit, Chair ETC, Chair CEP, Censor in Chief) , and in general a person should not serve the College in more than one capacity at any time.
  9. Standing committee membership will generally serve three-year terms, with one-third of the committee rotating off annually; terms begin and end at the College’s AGM. (Note: this contrasts with event/functional program panels are appointed for the planning cycle of a particular event).
  10. All Board standing committee appointments will be made with the approval of the RACMA Board, based upon recommendations from the relevant standing committee and following a careful consideration of a list of expressions of interest and recommendations, as well as other sources.
  11. All standing Board committee appointments will be made approximately three months in advance of the AGM. Newly appointed members will be added to RACMA committee email groups at that time, so that new members can prepare for their service in advance of their first committee meeting during the conference. (Note: Appointment timetables for event program committees are contingent on the planning process for the specific event).
  12. Standing Board committees may hold a face to face meeting once a year during the RACMA annual conference, with travel expenses being covered by individual members.
  13. THE Board of Censors will meet face to face more than once, with additional meetings usually held by teleconference. Expenses entailed in travelling to non-conference meetings will be reimbursed by RACMA in accordance with current Travel Policy.

5. Committee Member Responsibilities
In addition to specific roles required by membership on individual committees, members of Board standing committees are expected to actively participate in the work of the committee, provide thoughtful input to committee deliberations, and focus on the best interests of the College and committee goals rather than on personal interests.

6. Members should

  • Review all relevant material before committee meetings
  • Attend committee meetings and voice objective opinions on issues
  • Pay attention to College activities that affect or are affected by the committee’s work
  • Support the efforts of the committee chair and carry out individual assignments made by the chair
  • Work as part of the committee and staff team to ensure that the committee’s work and recommendations are in keeping with the general College mission and goals

7. Committee Chair Responsibilities
In addition to specific roles required by the activities of individual committees, chairs of Board standing committees are expected to guide their committees and work with staff to develop necessary work plans and meeting agendas. Chairs will

  • Approve agenda and minutes of committee meetings before their distribution
  • Report to the committee on decisions of the Board or of executive staff that affect the committee’s work
  • Where appropriate, guide the committee in proposing new activities and service that will further the mission and goals of the college expressed through the terms of reference of the committee
  • Where appropriate, make policy recommendations in the Minutes for communication to the standing committee and the RACMA Board (Attachment 2).

8. Structuring the Meeting

  • With the help of the staff liaison, provide an agenda sheet with the beginning and ending times for the meeting, meeting location, a list of committee members, and the agenda of topics.
  • Sequence agenda items thoughtfully. Start the meeting with topics that will unify the committee, and with topics that will require mental energy, creativity, and clear thinking. Do not put difficult topics back-to-back.
  • For full day meetings make the first few topics after lunch quick-action items. Build in breaks at logical places (at least every two hours). End with topics that should unify the committee.
  • Provide at least minimal written background information for each agenda item.
  • Indicate whether the item is for discussion only or if action is expected.
  • Identify the person who is presenting each item.

9. Chairing the committee meeting

  • The committee belongs to the College, not to the chair: the chair’s primary role is as facilitator.
  • During meetings, the chair should remain neutral and maintain order. If a chair needs to become directly involved in a contentious issue, control of the meeting should be delegated to the vice chair or another member. This is the best way to run an effective meeting without unnecessary influence.
  • Guide, mediate, probe, and stimulate discussion. Monitor talkative members and draw out silent ones.
  • Encourage a clash of ideas, but not of personalities. If emotions run high over a difficult issue, return the floor to a neutral person, seek a purely factual answer, or take a break.
  • Keep discussions on track; periodically re-state the issue and the goal of the discussion.
  • In moving toward a decision, call on the least senior or vocal members first to express their views. Discussions tend to close down after senior members express strong views.
  • Seek consensus; unanimity is not required.
  • Announce the results of actions taken and explain the follow-up to be taken and by whom.
  • Close the meeting by noting achievements
  • Following adjournment, meet briefly with the staff liaison to agree on follow-up actions and locus of responsibility.
  • Ensure the committee works within delegated powers e.g. appoint a sub-chair, distinguish between decisions which require Board approval and those which relate to the internal workings of the committee (Attachment 1).

10. Notes of Committee Meetings

  • Include the date, time, and place of the meeting.
  • Note the name of the chair, members present and absent and other key people in attendance.
  • Note all formal motions (Proposed and Seconded) and report on passage or defeat. See appendix for nomenclature
  • Note all committee decisions reached, including motions passed and follow-up actions to be taken, with deadlines for implementation. Use nomenclature: Include brief summary of discussions. Do not attribute comments to members except possibly where formal motions are introduced.
  • Provide information on the time and place of the next meeting
  • Meeting reports should be prepared as soon as possible (and within 30 days) after the meeting. They may be shared with the committee with a request that members contact the chair or staff liaison if errors are noted.

11. Staff Executive Support
Each committee has one staff members who serve as liaison and performs a variety of critical administrative support tasks, including:

  • Contacting individuals to offer them committee appointments
  • Providing orientation for each new committee member and chair about their responsibilities and work schedule. This may include a committee manual (in print or electronic form), and will include a committee roster, access information for the committee listserv and private-access Web site (where appropriate), minutes of previous committee meetings, background on recent committee activities, information about key people with whom the committee or chair is likely to interact.
  • Developing and maintaining committee descriptions, procedural information, and minutes and activity reports for committees on the RACMA web site, as well as updating committee information in the RACMA committee management database
  • Working with the chairs of the committees to ensure that committee responsibilities are fulfilled and meeting agendas are set, papers are prepared to support agenda items and the actions flowing from meetings are implemented
  • Maintaining a current Action List (Attachment 3).
  • Providing administrative assistance to the chair in setting up and conducting meetings
  • Tracking committee performance in fulfilling its terms of reference
  • Monitoring membership participation, terms of office and advising the chair on member performance
  • Facilitating communications between committees and RACMA management

12. Committee responsibility for regulations and procedures
In RACMA Board standing committees have responsibility to develop and review College-wide functional policy.

A register of regulations and policy is maintained. This will be monitored so that current policy is reviewed each three years and the review and amendments recognised in committee minutes and approved by the appropriate authority – most often the Board.

There are Board approved delegations for Board committees. These delegations outline committees’ authorities.

It is the role of National Office executive support staff to bring policy to the committees for review, amendment and to develop new policy with the committee chair.