COBREG SOP


CONVENTION OF BIOMEDICAL RESEARCH GHANA


Standard Operating Procedures (SOP)


The COBREG SOP for overall governance shall be updated from time to time, but are subject to the provisions of the By Laws of the Convention.


Governance


The Board, chaired by the President is the policy making body of the Convention. The Board will be supported by various standing committees, as well as adhoc ones set up to deal with specific issues when necessary.


Board Meetings


As the Board membership may be domiciled in different locations, it is envisaged that most of its meetings will be by teleconferencing. It is, further, envisaged that there will be monthly meetings from September through to June. However, it is suggested the face to face meetings among the Board membership domiciled in Ghana will be useful from time to time. It is however, important that such meetings have in attendance at least one member of the Leadership team (defined below as the Presidium, consisting of the Vice-President, President, and Immediate Past President), whether such presence is physical or by teleconferencing (remotely).


Committees


Various standing Committees shall include the Presidium, Executive, Scientific, Advocacy, Mentoring, Finance and Membership. These Committees shall set up appropriate mechanisms for enhancing the legitimate activities and reputation of the Convention.


The various committees shall report to the President and Board of the Convention. The President and Secretary are ex-officio members of all standing committees, but do not have to attend meetings.


The Presidium (Leadership Team) shall consist of the President, Vice President, and Immediate Past President. The Leadership Team may invite other members to their discussions and deliberations as necessary. The Leadership Team shall determine agenda and processes ready for presentation to the full Board. This would ensure that decisions (especially minor ones) get made ahead of time, and improve focus, thereby reducing time wastage at the Board meetings. The Leadership Team may meet bi-weekly as necessary.


A Local Organising Committee (LOC) shall be set up annually to help with the organization of the annual Convention. The Chair of this committee shall preferably be domiciled at or near the venue of the next annual conference. It is envisaged that the larger membership of the LOC will also be from the host city for the conference, although there shall be ‘satellite’ members from the different institutions of higher learning or scientific organizations.


The LOC takes full responsibility for the logistics of the event after budget vetting by the full COBREG board. LOC chair or his/her designate also deals with sponsors. It is proposed that start-up companies be given a “one-time” break on the price of sponsorship, but be encouraged to return the following year with a paid sponsorship (this should be followed up on). Established organizations will not have fees waived for talking about products/services, whether they are non-profit or for-profit. Unusual activities that fall between science and commercial activity or involve some level of partnering with COBREG for an event should be discussed at the Board meeting.


The Scientific Committee (SC) shall be chaired by the immediate Past President or his/her nominee, and shall include persons with varied expertise to cover the wider biomedical field. The SC shall oversee the scientific content, including abstract selection and invitation of Key Note Speakers. The SC takes full responsibility for the scientific programme, including sending invitations to Key Note speakers, placement of talks, and special speakers. Any changes to the scientific programme should be coordinated through the SC chair who will consult his/her team.


The SC sub-committees will review abstracts in their area of expertise. The sub-committee is also responsible for rounding up the best abstracts and getting more submissions. The SC chair will inform each team of how many talks they are allowed. This chair will appoint the teams based on suggestions from the full Board and volunteers. It is suggested that SC and LOC have different people, no “joint” membership. However, SC members may be part of the satellite LOC. The goal is to expand participants by recruiting new people who have not been as active in COBREG or who may represent possible partner (s) such as societies, etc. However, this suggestion is not prescriptive.


The Mentorship Committee would promote mentorship within the Convention.


The Membership Committee will actively seek to promote and increase both membership categories of the Convention. The Membership Committee shall track membership and encourage payment of annual dues, and provide membership certificates. In addition, it shall make recommendations to the Board from time to time as to how to improve membership facilities and benefits. The Fund Raising Committee will actively seek sponsorship, and or other ways of enhancing the financial resources of the Convention, whilst the Finance Committee chaired by the Treasurer shall oversee the finances of the Convention. It is expected that the Treasurer shall be an ex-officio member of the Fund Raising Committee.


Advocacy Team shall actively lobby governmental and other related institutions for support of its activities. This team will liaise effectively with the Fund Raising Committee, and others as necessary.


Other than the Leadership team, the Chair of each committee shall serve a term of 3 years initially, but would be eligible to serve another term. Each of these committees shall have their membership determined by the Chair of the particular committee, in order to maximize its activities.


Members who are not active, and miss 3 consecutive meetings without good reason shall demit their membership.


It is expected that the chair of each committee will provide an annual report. These reports shall be uploaded to the web site before the annual business meeting. Questions regarding these reports or activities of the various committees may be fielded at the annual business meeting.


Annual Meetings


The annual business (general) meeting shall be chaired by the President, as part of the annual scientific conference, which shall be held at a location as determined by the Board.


Extraordinary meetings may be convened when necessary as stipulated in the By Laws.


Other meetings


Other meetings that may enhance the activities of the membership, and the Convention may be convened as necessary, subject to funding. These shall include, but not exclusively, seminars, webinars, tutorials held in different localities as deemed necessary.


Elections


The mechanisms for election shall ensure that nominations, and the ensuing elections are fair and without prejudice or discrimination.


Election of Officers shall be through an electronic ballot or through an emailing voting system as may be determined as appropriate at the time by the Executive.


The membership in good standing shall be informed by email on 1st March each year of all the positions which are to become vacant at the next annual Business Meeting.


The nomination process for the coming year’s elections shall open on the same day (March 1) and close on April 15 (a 6 week period). The open positions will be advertised with the associated responsibilities and statement about eligibility by email. Only members in good standing i.e. who have paid dues may nominate a fully paid member, who has served on the Board as indicted in the By Laws. Self-nomination is permitted. The nomination shall be endorsed by the nominee if not self-nominated. In cases of self-nomination, an endorsement by a full Member in good standing would be required.


The contact information for the nominee will be required, as well as that of the proposer. The Secretary will check for eligibility of both proposer and nominee and correspond with each nominee to find out if the person accepts the nomination. If the person nominated is not a member, the secretary can offer the nominee the opportunity to pay dues in order to become eligible to contest.


Each nominee would be expected to provide a short mission statement, stating, inter alia, his/her expertise, and what they intend bringing to the position, if elected.


Voting will take open electronically via Survey Monkey linked to the member’s email address within 1 week of nominations’ closure and completed by a deadline of July 1. Winners will be announced on the web site within 14 days of voting closure, and before the annual conference begins.


Documents


All documents adopted by the Convention shall be dated, appropriately signed and archived on the website.


Website


The website of the Convention shall have a public and a members’ only section. This later section shall only be accessible to members in good standing. The Members’ only site shall be used in matters of internal or confidential nature including the elections and posting of election manifestos and results.



November 2014