At its July 31, 2012 meeting in St. Paul, MN, the ASET Board of Trustees voted unanimously to adopt a Chapter Affiliate program. Under the program local, state and regional neurodiagnostic societies, and new neurodiagnostic grassroots organizations in development, may petition ASET to be charted as an ASET chapter. The board’s adoption of the Chapter Affiliate program was subject to endorsement by local, state and regional neurodiagnostic society presidents present at the August 3, 2012 Presidents Roundtable meeting in St. Paul. Those present at the meeting unanimously endorsed the Chapter Affiliate program. Societies represented at the meeting included the Indiana Society of Electroneurodiagnostic Technologists and Technicians, Tennessee Neurodiagnostic Society, Florida Society of Neurodiagnostic Technologists, Michigan Electroneurodiagnostics Technologist Society, Central Society of Electroneurodiagnostic Technologists, Illinois Society of END Technologists, Mid-Atlantic Neurodiagnostic Society, Southern Society of Electroneurodiagnostic Technologists, Western Society of Electroneurodiagnostic Technologists, North Eastern Society of Electroneurodiagnostic Technologists, and the Greater New Orleans Electroneurodiagnostic Association.
The ASET Board of Trustees adoption – and local, state and regional society endorsement – of the Chapter Affiliate program is the culmination of two years of development, including multiple cycles of reviews and comments by the local neurodiagnostic societies and related stakeholders, and open discussion by ASET members at the 2011 ASET annual business meeting.
The Chapter Affiliate program provides for the legal formalization of relationships between ASET and local, state and regional neurodiagnostic societies. While nothing in the affiliate agreement or chapter charter creates any association, joint venture, partnership, or agency relationship between ASET and local societies, the program does identify certain corporate formalities and tax and reporting obligations that local organizations must meet in order to be charted as an ASET chapter. It also identifies the specific obligations that ASET and its chapters have to each other.
There is no requirement for an established neurodiagnostic society to become a chapter of ASET. Petitioning to become a chapter of ASET is entirely a voluntary decision on the part of the local society boards and their memberships. However, there are certain advantages that will accrue to organizations that petition to become chapters, including assistance in membership renewal and collection and processing of chapter dues; assistance in chapter membership database maintenance; inclusion in ASET’s group non-profit tax exempt filing status; possible inclusion in ASET’s umbrella Directors & Officers Liability insurance coverage; improved promotion and visibility of chapter member programs and events; and membership growth at the local level.
Once a chapter has been established, there is no requirement that an ASET member who lives in the geographic territory covered by that chapter has to also become a member of that chapter. Similarly, there is no requirement for a member of a chapter to also become a member of ASET. Under the program adopted the decision to join both ASET and a chapter is entirely a voluntary one. There are no restrictions to the number of chapters that an individual may join. For example, if an individual resides in a state which has a state chapter, but that state also falls within a region which has been chartered as a chapter, the individual has the option to join just the state chapter, just the regional chapter, both, or neither. The Chapter Affiliate program does provide opportunity for cost-savings in member dues to individuals who join both a chapter and ASET, but it will be the prerogative of the chapter to establish the level of savings.
The Chapter Affiliate program not only provides a mechanism for established local, state and regional neurodiagnostic societies to transition to become an ASET chapter, but it encourages individuals interested in establishing a neurodiagnostic society in a territory or state for which no society currently exists to organize and become chartered as an ASET chapter. To that end, ASET has developed a Guide to Organizing and Developing an ASET Chapter that provides a roadmap and templates for organizing a chapter in those territories in which no local neurodiagnostic society currently exists. ASET also has developed a Guide to Becoming an ASET Chapter. This toolkit provides instructions and forms for petitioning to be chartered as an ASET chapter. Finally, to help local neurodiagnostic societies and ASET chapters plan and organize educational events, ASET has developed a Guide to Conducting an Educational Meeting. If you would like Word or Excel file formats of any of the documents and templates in any of the toolkit appendices, please email the ASET Governmental Advocacy & Grassroots Manager at infoaset.org.