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Tenets for Committee/Council Management

Committee Charter/Policy – Committees and councils will have a written charter/policy identifying their purpose, responsibilities, membership criteria and term of service. Task forces will have a charge from the board, council or committee that clearly spells out their purpose and project.

Members/Terms – The President is responsible for appointing committee chairs who then appoint members of their respective committees/councils. Chairs are responsible for annually reviewing member terms, mentoring new members and advising on future committee/council leadership. Committee/council members will each have a defined term of service terms which will be reviewed on an annual basis in the last quarter of the calendar year to identify any terms that will be ending and to make plans for filling any vacancies.  Members of committees shall serve a three-year term with a limit of two consecutive terms, unless otherwise specified in Lamaze Bylaws.  Committee/council member lists will be posted on the Lamaze International website.  Member terms will be posted in the committee/council’s online community and a part of the minutes/notes from meetings.

Role Descriptions and Guidelines Policy – This policy outlines the roles of various positions and groups related to decision-making authority, the body to whom recommendations will be made for consideration, and where there are expectation for input and monitoring.

Meetings – Committees/councils will set regular meeting/call times to keep communication and work flowing.  Meeting/calls may range from twice a year, to quarterly or monthly, and some may only be on an as needed basis. The staff liaison to the committee will work with the chair to prepare the agenda for the committee/council meeting and will send that out to committee members at least three days in advance of the call/meeting.

Online Community – Each committee/council will have an online community to serve as a repository for meeting minutes, reports, committee rosters with terms, and other important documents for the work of the group.

Minutes/Notes – Minutes or informal notes will be taken on committee/council calls to track work progress and decisions or recommendations, and as a communication tool for those who may have missed the meeting/call.

Activities Consistent Strategic Plan – Committee/council initiatives must be tied to strategic priorities or key program initiatives and will be proposed to the board on an annual basis in conjunction with the budget planning process.  There may also be mid-year exceptions presented for consideration. 

Budget Planning – Each year the committee/council chair and staff liaison will discuss ongoing committee activities and proposed new initiatives tied to strategic priorities so that proper funding support can be built into the budget as part of the budget package for board approval.

Reporting – Committee/council chairs are responsible for contributing to the Lamaze annual report related to committee initiatives and accomplishments. Periodic meetings may occur with the Board of Directors in connection with the annual conference or by other means of communication during the year. The Strategic Initiative Scorecard is a compilation of organization wide strategic initiatives. Itwill be updated mid-year and year-end to serve as a cross-organization communication tool on activities and posted in the Member Reports section of the Lamaze International website.

Board/Staff Liaisons – Committees/councils will have a designated board and staff liaison to facilitate communication and implementation of committee initiatives.

Volunteer Orientation for Committee/Council Members – A volunteer orientation webinar will be hosted each year in the Jan/Feb timeframe for new members.  The session will cover key policies such as Conflict of Interest, Code of Conduct, Intellectual Property, Roles and Responsibilities.  New members will acknowledge they have read and understand the related policies by signing off on the orientation form.