Constitution of the Education and Training Platform for Laboratory Animal Science

to fulfil the requirements of Directive 2010/63/EU

 

Founded 2014, reviewed in June 2019

 

  1. Name

The name of the organisation shall be Education and Training Platform for Laboratory Animal Science (ETPLAS)

  

  1. Purpose of the Platform

In this context ETPLAS is concerned with Education and Training (E&T) for the use of all animals as defined in the EU Directive[1]. The focus of ETPLAS is on E&T which is an important contributor to the reduction, refinement and replacement of animals in research (the 3Rs) and is aimed at increasing the quality of both animal welfare and science. It is expected that every stakeholder supports the aims of ETPLAS.

  

  1. Aims

The aims of ETPLAS will be:

  • To facilitate the process of mutual recognition of education & training in Laboratory Animal Science (LAS).
  • To provide a forum for exchanging information on LAS education and training.
  • To provide stakeholders with the necessary information to establish training courses.
  • To conduct related tasks which might further the above aims.
  • To help to facilitate free movement of personnel involved in LAS.

 

  1. Stakeholders

ETPLAS is open to:

  • providers of education and training in LAS, named later as “course provider/s”. A course provider may belong to an academic institution, a commercial or non-commercial organisation, a scientific society or union.
  • organisations that accredit or approve education and training courses in LAS, named later as “accrediting body/ies”. An accrediting body may be a national, international, public or private body.
  • representatives of a National Competent Authority (NCA) or a National Contact Point (NCP)[2] within a Member State (MS) or an expert designated by the NCA/NCP.

 

All interested parties seeking information about E&T in LAS will be able to do so through ETPLAS’s website, which will be in part open access.  Information published on this site will be added with the agreement of the entity supplying the information once copyright requirements/restrictions have been considered, when applicable.

For these interested parties, the possibility to be entered into a Register of the Stakeholder Group will be offered.

 

  1. Equal Opportunities

ETPLAS will not discriminate on the grounds of gender, race and ethnic origin, religious belief, disability, age, and sexual orientation. (http://ec.europa.eu/regional_policy/en/policy/what/glossary/e/equal-opportunities)

  

  1. Executive Committee, Stakeholders’ Board and Stakeholder Group

ETPLAS will be composed of three main groups: Stakeholders’ Board, Executive Committee, and Stakeholder Group.  Below the activity and responsibilities of each group will be defined and their relationships will be explained.

 

6.1 Stakeholders’ Board

 

Role

The Stakeholders’ Board shall have sole control in all matters relating to the management and organisation of ETPLAS.  Reports from the AGM (and Extraordinary General Meetings (EGM)) will be shared with EU National Contact Points and interested parties listed in the Register of the Stakeholder Group.

 

Composition

The Stakeholders’ Board will nominally consist of at least 17 members including the members of the Executive Committee (see annex page 7).

Each stakeholders’ group, as defined under Article 4 is represented on the Board. Nominations of the members are the responsibility of each stakeholder:

 

  • MS are responsible for nominating four to five qualified representatives for Laboratory Animal Science Education and Training in respective MS. The Executive Committee is responsible for sending a call for nominations to the NCP at least 3 months before each AGM.

 

  • Course organizers are responsible for nominating five to six representatives. Representatives should come from academia and industry; a balanced mix of courses aimed to support the four Functions and other Roles should be ensured. The Executive Committee is responsible for sending a call for nominations to the course organisers at least 3 months before each AGM.  The call will include FELASA, ESLAV, ECLAM, EFAT, other commercial, non-commercial organisations and the Stakeholder Group active in the field of LAS education and training; this list is not exhaustive.

 

  • Accreditation Bodies are responsible for nominating at least two representatives. The Executive Committee is responsible for sending a call for nominations to the NCP, FELASA, UK Accreditation bodies (RSB, SAB, UAG and IAT), GV-SOLAS and the Stakeholder group at least 3 months before each AGM; this list is not exhaustive.

 

The stakeholders’ representatives will be appointed for a period of two (2) years and may be re-appointed on two occasions to serve further two (2) year periods.

In the event of a member standing down his or her term, a replacement will be appointed/proposed by the Stakeholders’ Board at an Extraordinary General Meeting or at the next Annual General Meeting.

The Stakeholders’ Board is not limited to 17 members. The development of the Stakeholders’ Board will be proportionate to the weight of each stakeholder group and will be defined in the by-laws. Changes to the number of representatives per stakeholder group will be adopted by the AGM or EGM.

 

6.2 Executive Committee

 

Role

The Executive Committee will be appointed by the Stakeholders’ Board to manage the general business of ETPLAS on behalf of the Stakeholders’ Board.

 

Composition

The Executive Committee will nominally consist of five Officers. The Officers will be appointed for a period of two (2) years. Officers may be re-appointed on two occasions to serve further two (2) year periods.  The presidency extends over a four year period, one year as president elect, two years as president and one year as past president. The absolute maximum term of office for any member of the Executive Committee is ten (10) years.

 

The Officers’ roles are as follows:

  • President, who shall chair the Executive Committee meetings, the Stakeholders’ Board meetings and the Annual General and Extraordinary General Meetings.
  • President elect and past President who will assist the President to assure consistency and continuity through time of the Executive Committee work.
  • Honorary Secretary, who shall be responsible for the taking of minutes and the distribution of all papers.
  • Honorary Treasurer who shall be responsible for maintaining the company accounts.
  • Communication manager shall be responsible for keeping the register of the Stakeholder Group, and keeping the ETPLAS website up to date.
  • Co-opted Members, managing specific projects, who report regularly to the Executive Committee. There is no voting right linked to this role.

Decisions of the Executive Committee should be consensual; if no agreement is found, decision are taken at a majority of three out of 5.

Officers have the right to vote at the AGM (including EGM) and at the Stakeholders’ Board meetings. They do not represent stakeholders but are appointed in their own right.

In the event of an officer standing down his or her term, a replacement will be appointed at an Extraordinary General Meeting or at the next Annual General Meeting.

Any officer not attending a meeting without apology for three (3) months will be contacted by the President and asked to resign.

Officers should be required to give three months’ notice when wishing to stand down.

 

6.3 Stakeholder Group

 

Role

The role of the Stakeholder Group is to provide a source of experts in the field of LAS E&T for running the Platform, for participating in projects and working groups. The secretariat of the Executive Committee will send information on ETPLAS activities and perform surveys related to education and training documentation after approval by the Stakeholders’ Board with the aim to seek feedback on its activities.

 

Composition

Anybody providing education and training in LAS, being a body accrediting or approving education and training courses in LAS, being representative of a National Competent Authority or a National Contact Point within a Member State, or an expert designated by the National Competent Authority/NCP, or an organization with an interest in LAS or in LAS education or training can be part of the ETPLAS Stakeholder Group.

Details of the persons who wish to be registered as Stakeholders will be entered into a Register of the Stakeholder group which will be maintained by the Communication Manager. Any details provided to ETPLAS for the Register of the Stakeholder Group (which will be maintained separately from any course information supplied for the purpose of publication under Courses and Programmes) will be held under GDPR and will not be shared with any third party.

Members of the ETPLAS Stakeholder Group may resign at any time. Resignation must be made in writing to the Hon. Secretary in order for the Register of Stakeholders to be updated.

 

 

6.4 Relationship between and responsibilities of the Executive Committee, Stakeholders’ Board and Stakeholder Group

The Stakeholders’ Board represents ETPLAS and is responsible for any decision taken at the Annual General Meetings (AGM) and at Extraordinary General Meetings (EGM). An Executive Committee is constituted by members of the Stakeholders’ Board and appointed by the Stakeholders’ Board at the Annual General Meeting (AGM). The business of ETPLAS will be managed by the Executive Committee; its works consists of executing decisions taken at the AGMs and EGMs in accordance with the Constitution. The Stakeholders’ Board will retain responsibility for the approval of all outcomes arising from work that has been delegated to ETPLAS Working Groups before publication or circulation of information / findings to stakeholders.

Reports from the AGM (and Extraordinary General Meetings (EGM)) will be shared with EU National Contact Points and interested parties from the Stakeholder Group who are listed, with their agreement, in the Register of the Stakeholder Group.

 

6.5 Transition for ETPLAS reorganisation

A Stakeholders’ Board is to be established within 6 months of the date of adoption of this amended Constitution with a first meeting to be held within one year.

During the first AGM of the renewed organisation, in 2019, the election of the new Executive Committee is planned.

Article 6.5 will be deleted from the Constitution at the AGM in 2020.

 

7.0 Meetings

7.1 Executive Committee Meetings

Executive Committee Meetings will be held at least once every three (3) months or more often if necessary. These will normally be conducted by electronic means.

All Executive Committee members will be given two (2) weeks’ notice of such a meeting, giving the venue, date, time and agenda, and notice should be by email.

Executive Committee meetings are normally closed meetings but observers may be invited.

The Executive Committee comprises 5 voting members, the quorum is three (3).

 

7.2 Stakeholders’ Board Meetings

A Stakeholders’ Board meeting will be held twice a year, with the aim of having at least one face-to-face meeting per two years. It will be managed by the Executive Committee

All Stakeholders’ Board members will be notified in writing by the Executive Committee’ secretary at least three (3) months before the date of the meeting, giving the agenda, venue, date and time. Notification of the meeting will also be posted on the website. Observers may be invited as appropriate.

Meetings will be chaired by the Executive Committee President; in case of absence he/she will be replaced by Past-President or President elect. Minutes will be taken by the Executive Committee Secretary.

The quorum for the Stakeholders’ Board Meetings is a simple majority of the present members. Delegation of vote is possible.

 

 

7.3 Annual General Meeting (AGM)

An Annual General Meeting (AGM) will be held within fifteen (15) months of the previous AGM. This may be conducted by a face-to-face meeting if appropriate.

All Stakeholders’ Board members will be notified in writing at least three (3) months before the date of the meeting, giving the venue, date and time. Notification of the meeting will also be posted on the website. Observers are not permitted at the AGM.

Nominations for appointment to the Executive Committee may be made by the Stakeholders’ Board, to the Hon. Secretary, before the meeting (an invitation for nominations will be issued to stakeholders in advance of the meeting).

The names of those appointed to the Executive Committee shall be declared during the Annual General Meeting after vote, and they shall assume office on the first of the month following the AGM.

The quorum for the AGM will be two thirds (2/3) of the Stakeholders’ Board.

At the AGM the Executive Committee will:

  • Present a report of the work of the Platform over the year.
  • Present the accounts for the previous year.
  • Present the budget for the coming year.
  • Present the Officers of the Executive Committee for the next two year period.
  • Present any proposals, including those from working groups, given to the Secretary in writing at least seven (7) days in advance of the meeting.

 

All points above will be voted on by the Stakeholders’ Board for approval.

There may be other General Meetings called Extraordinary General Meetings (EGM) which the Executive Committee’ Secretary will call as necessary. Stakeholder members can call an EGM in the coming three months at the request of one third of the Stakeholders’ Board.

The minutes of the AGM (and EGM) (redacted if necessary) will be posted on the Platform’s website.

 

7.4 Working Groups

Any member of the Stakeholders’ Board can submit a working group proposal by submitting terms of reference with the assistance of the Executive Committee. The ETPLAS Stakeholders’ Board will vote on the proposals, and if approved, agree to the budget and on the choice of the convenor and working group members.

The convenor will report regularly to the Executive Committee and to the Stakeholders Board.

The Stakeholders’ Board will retain responsibility for the approval of all outputs or outcomes arising from work that has been delegated to ETPLAS Working Groups before publication or circulation of information/findings to stakeholders.

  

  1. Rules of Procedure for all meetings

The President of the Executive Committee or, in his/her absence, the past President or President elect shall be the chairperson of the meeting of the Executive Committee and its AGM/EGM. If neither is present at the commencement of any meeting, the members of the Executive Committee shall select a chairman for that meeting from amongst those present.

All questions that arise at any meeting will be discussed openly and the meeting will seek to find general agreement that everyone present can agree. If a consensus cannot be reached, a vote will be taken and a decision will be made by a simple majority of members present. If the number of votes cast on each side are equal, the chair of the meeting shall have an additional casting vote.

 

  1. Finances

An account will be maintained on behalf of ETPLAS at a bank agreed by the Executive Committee.

Records of income and expenditure will be maintained by the Hon. Treasurer and a financial statement given to each Annual General Meeting or whenever else the Executive Committee shall direct.

All money raised by or on behalf of the EU Platform is only to be used to further the aims of the group, as specified in item 3 of this constitution.

Income will be raised through fees for services to Stakeholder’s representatives, interested parties belonging to the register of Stakeholder Group and a number of other means e.g. grants, bursaries, donations, levies.

 

  1. Secretariat

The Executive Committee has powers to appoint a Secretariat to assist the day-to-day administration of the organisation in accordance with the aims of the organisation. The Executive Committee will remain responsible for the affairs of the organisation.

 

 

  1. Registered address:

Tomkinson Teal LLP Chartered Accountants

Hanover Court

5 Queen Street

Litchfield

Staffordshire, WS13 6QD

United Kingdom

 

  1. Amendments to the Constitution

Amendments to the constitution may only be made at the Annual General Meeting or at an Extraordinary General Meeting.

Any proposal to amend the constitution must be given to the Secretary in writing. The proposal must then be circulated with the notice of meeting.

Any proposal to amend the constitution will require a two-thirds majority of those present and entitled to vote.

 

  1. Dissolution

If a meeting, by simple majority, decides that it is necessary to close down ETPLAS it may call an Extraordinary General Meeting to do so. The sole business of this meeting will be to dissolve ETPLAS.

If it is agreed to dissolve ETPLAS all remaining money and other assets, once outstanding debts have been paid, will be donated to a charitable organisation involved in LAS E&T within the EU. The charitable organisation will be agreed at the meeting that agrees the dissolution and the decision reported to stakeholders.

 

[1]                     In this context LAS refers to research and testing involving any animals protected by Directive 2010/63/EU http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=CELEX:32010L0063

[2]                     National Contact Point/Competent Authority for the Implementation of Directive 2010/63/EU on the protection of animals used for scientific purposes, OJ L 276, 20.10.2010