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IAFP Constitution


Revised July 2016

1.          Name


The name of the Association shall be the International Association for Forensic Psychotherapy or IAFP (hereinafter called “The Association”).



2.         Aims and Objectives of the Association


2.1       The aims of the Association are:


  • To promote and develop psychotherapeutic thinking and treatment in the practice of forensic psychiatry and in all forms of secure care and containment.

  • To promote education and continuing professional development amongst members of professions working with or caring for offenders, or others having a legitimate professional interest in the field, including an annual conference and associated seminars.

  • To raise funds to assist in the carrying out or support of research into the theory and practice of forensic psychotherapy and into the efficacy of existing skills and practices and to disseminate the results of such research for the benefit of the public.

  • To promote and encourage the use of psychotherapeutic understanding and treatment techniques and their relevance to offenders.

  • To promote education of the general public about the role and benefits of psychotherapy in caring for offenders.

  • To encourage the improved understanding of psychotherapy by offenders and their natural supports (i.e. friends and family members).

  • To convene an Annual General Meeting in order that the Association may appropriately represent the members in its ongoing work.


2.2       In the furtherance of these aims the Association shall have the power to:


  • Collate data on the use and facilities available to those working in such a manner in order to inform policy making and aid research and influence practice.

  • Assist in developing and accrediting training programmes.

  • Provide a wide and effective body of representation drawing from all agencies involved in the psychotherapeutic work with offenders and encourage collaboration between such agencies.

  • Act as a support network for the collation and dissemination of knowledge and experience and to provide opportunities for consultation.

  • Establish systems to provide a structure for the network that may include the maintenance of a website, the distribution of publications and the dissemination of news to the membership and/or the general public.

  • Monitor, encourage and influence the provision of resources.

  • Maintain an accurate and up to date database of the membership.

  • Provide education for members of the media and general public about the role of psychotherapy, including its aims and benefits, in the care and treatment of offenders.

  • Pursue any other scientific and public objectives promoting the aforementioned aims of the Association.


2.3       In furtherance of these aims and objectives the Executive Board shall have the power to expend such monies from the General Fund of the Association as it considers appropriate.



3.         Membership


Membership of the Association will be open to any person over the age of 18 interested in furthering the work of the Association and is available by annual subscription to the IAFP at the subscription rate fixed at the business meeting and thereafter fixed by resolution carried at each Annual General Meeting or Special General Meeting.  Membership will lapse if the annual subscription is not maintained. The Association reserves the right to remove from membership any individual who may be deemed by the Executive Board of the Association to have brought the work of the Association into disrepute.


4.         Offices


4.1       The offices of the Association shall be:


  • President

  • Vice President

  • Secretary

  • Treasurer

  • President Elect

  • Honorary Life President


Members of the Association shall fill the offices.  The elected officers will stand for three years. The maximum turn of continuous elected office will be for six years followed by a minimum of a two-year break .


Nominations for election to the offices shall be made in writing to the Secretary prior to the Annual General Meeting.  In the event that nominations exceed the number of positions vacant, a ballot shall be held at the Annual General Meeting.



5.         The Executive Board


5.1       The management of the Association shall be deputed to a committee (hereinafter called the Executive Board), which shall consist of the following office bearers:        


  • President

  • Vice President

  • Secretary

  • Treasurer


            Plus twelve other elected members, re-electable every three years, subject to the provisions of 4.1 above.


5.2       The Honorary Life President and/or the President Elect shall also be members of the Executive Board during their term of office.


5.3       The Executive Board shall have within its power the facility to co-opt such members as the Board may from time to time appoint according to its discretion, provided that no more than one third of the members of the Executive Board at any one time are co-opted members. Co-opted membership of the Executive Board shall lapse automatically after three continuous years, and will be reviewed annually at the Executive Board meeting that precedes the Annual General Meeting. Co-opted members may vote on all matters. 


5.4       Election to the Executive Board shall be at the Annual General Meeting of the Association.  Nominations for election to the Executive Board shall be made in writing to the Secretary prior to the Annual General Meeting.  In the event that nominations exceed the number of positions vacant, a ballot shall be held at the Annual Conference and its outcome ratified at the Annual General Meeting.


5.5       If the Board wishes to avoid a situation in which it would lose two or more Officers in the same year it will have the authority to recommend that Members vote accordingly.


5.6       Meetings of the Executive Board shall be called by the Secretary at least annually.  Additional meetings may be called by the Secretary whenever necessary and appropriate. Five members of the Executive Board shall constitute a quorum provided that they must meet in person and that at least two Officers of the Association must be present. 


5.7       Every Member of the Executive Board shall have one vote on any motion. In the case of an equality of votes the President or other member presiding shall have a second or casting vote.


5.8       Minutes of the proceedings of the Executive Board shall be taken and shall be read and confirmed at the next Executive Board meeting.


5.9       Members of the Executive Board are required to attend two meetings per calendar year, either in person or by video/audio conference, in order to remain in good standing.  Failure to attend the required number of meetings may result in a vote by the Executive Board to remove the member from his/her position.



6.        General Meetings


6.1       The Annual General Meeting of the Association shall be held at the Annual Conference at such a date and time designated by the Executive Board, but will take place at least annually.  A General Meeting of the Association shall include:


  • Considering the reports and accounts of the past year.

  • Election of office bearers and Board members where posts fall vacant.

  • Reviewing and if necessary revising the rules of the Association and determining the membership subscription for the next year.

  • The Executive Board may at any time call a Special General Meeting of the Association and shall do so forthwith upon the requisition of any fifty members in writing stating the purpose of this meeting.

  • At all General Meetings of the Association the duly appointed President will preside.  If unavailable the immediate past President will preside.  If both are unavailable the longest-serving Vice President will deputise.

  • All officers of the Association and all paid up organisational members of the Association shall be entitled to one vote upon any motion provided they are present when the motion is put. In the case of an equality of vote the President shall have a second or casting vote.



7.        The Quorum


The Quorum at any Annual or Special General Meeting shall be one tenth of the number of members at the time being or twenty members, whichever is the smaller.


8.        Finance


8.1       All monies received by the Association or falling due to the Association shall form the General Fund and shall be under the control of the Executive Board.  The income of the Association including all donations, contributions and bequests, shall be paid into one or more Treasurer’s Accounts including Currency Accounts operated by the Executive Board in the name of the Association, at such a bank as the Executive Board shall from time to time decide.


8.2       The financial year of the Association shall be from 1 March to 28/29 February. 


8.3       The Treasurer shall be authorised by the Executive Board to cause the annual accounts and financial statements of the Association to be examined by an appropriately qualified External Examiner who must not a member of the Association or be closely related to any member of the Executive Board. The Treasurer shall provide a copy of this report along with the Treasurer’s Report at the Annual General Meeting.


8.4       All monies raised by or on behalf of the Association shall be applied to further the objectives of the Association and for no other purpose provided that nothing herein contained shall prevent the payment in good faith of reasonable and proper remuneration to any employee of the Association not being a member of the Association or the repayment of reasonable out of pocket expenses.


8.5       The Treasurer shall propose and submit and obtain approval from the Executive Board of financial regulations to control the finances of the Association, with due regard to the appropriate financial legislation in the country where the bank accounts are held.


8.6       Cheques on behalf of the Association may be signed on behalf of the Executive Board by two out of three co-signatories, who will be the Treasurer, the Secretary and one other person designated by the Executive Board. In circumstances where each co-signatory resides in different countries, a fourth co-signatory may exceptionally be designated to assist the Treasurer in conducting the day-to-day business of the Association. The co-signatories may have access to internet banking facilities in relation to the Accounts of the Association as appropriate.


8.7       Telephone banking transactions are sometimes necessary and these may be made only by the Treasurer. The Treasurer may effect such transactions on his own authority but the written approval of a co-signatory is required for the records by means of a counter-signature of authorisation made against the bank’s written confirmation of the transaction. 


10.       Alterations and Dissolution


10.1     Alteration to this constitution and by-laws shall receive the assent of two thirds of the members present and voting at an Annual or Special General Meeting.  A resolution for the alteration or amendment to the constitution must be received by the Secretary of the Association in writing not less than twenty-one days before the meetings at which the resolution is to be brought forward.  At least fourteen days notice of such a meeting must be given by the Secretary to the membership and must include notice of the alteration proposed.


10.2     The Association may be dissolved by a Resolution passed by a two-thirds majority of those present and voting at a Special General Meeting convened for the purpose, of which twenty-one days’ notice shall have been given (to the members). Such resolution may give instructions for the disposal of any assets held by or in the name of the Association, provided that if any property remains after the satisfaction of all debts and liabilities such property shall not be paid to or distributed among the members of the Association but shall be given or transferred to such other charitable institution or institutions, having aims similar to some or all of the aims of the Association, as the Association may determine and if and in so far as effect cannot be given to this provision then to some other charitable purpose.

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