Guidelines for Special Interest Groups
Academic Pediatric Association Policy for Special Interest Groups (SIGS)
APA Special Interest Groups (SIGs) were instituted to provide a forum for interested members to collaborate and facilitate communication in a particular area of general pediatrics. The APA Board of Directors has provided an operational template for these SIGs.
The SIGs have provided a valuable venue for our membership to network with other colleagues with similar interests, to provide a forum to discuss issues concerning relevant topics to the SIGS, and work towards goals that will benefit the membership of the Academic Pediatric Association at large. Some of the outcomes of the SIGS have included annual innovative meetings, invited speakers at the national PAS Meeting, development of research awards, topic specific manuals, collaborative research projects and collaborative policy statements.
Over the years a very diverse set of SIGs has been established in a variety of disciplines. Their structure varies from a cohesive group of individuals focused on curriculum development, program enhancement or research initiatives to the smaller group that facilitates more informal networking opportunities at the annual meeting. The APA Board of Directors is supportive of each of the individual SIGs, acknowledging that each SIG's continuing success in fueled by the contributions of its individual members.
Guidelines for SIGs
- SIG membership is open to all APA members.
- Each SIG shall have a chair. SIG Chair terms will be limited to two consecutive three-year
terms beginning May 1, 2004. The members of the individual SIG will determine the
manner of selection.
- The SIG Chair is responsible for:
- Developing the SIG agenda for the annual PAS meeting
- Coordinating correspondence among its members
- Attending the SIG Chairs luncheon at the annual PAS meeting to facilitate communication between the APA Board of Directors and the SIG membership
- Each SIG should submit a minimum of 2 SIG specific reports per year to the APA newsletter
- The SIG will send an annual report to the Chair of Workshops/SIGS by June 1 of the academic year, for review by a subset of the APA Board, (SIG Review Board). The report should contain the following:
- Description/agenda of the PAS SIG meeting held
- Number of participants at the meeting (on list, identify APA members)
- Evaluation of annual SIG meeting by members
- Description of additional SIG meetings with information including items a-c.
- Accomplishments of the SIG from the previous year. Possibilities include:
- SIG sponsored workshop(s)
- SIG sponsored abstract(s)
- SIG sponsored manuscript(s)
- List of SIG members who participated in workshop or abstract review
- SIG sponsored documents- clinical practice guidelines, directories, content specific manuals
- Documentation of how SIG funds were utilized
- The Association will provide an annual stipend not to exceed $300 to support reasonable SIG activities. This funding can be used for the creation of educational materials/supplies needed for the SIG meeting, to pay for a speaker or a poster that is produced by SIG members. It cannot be used for nutritional needs during the meeting. All SIG-generated bills must be submitted to the National Office for payment. Unused funds do not carry over from one year to the next. Unusual expenses over the $300 stipend may be submitted to the Board for special consideration. These require pre-approval by the Board.
- The Association will provide the customary audio-visual support for SIG meetings at the
- Solicitation of outside funding to support SIG activities requires approval by the Board of
Directors. All monies raised by the SIG will be submitted to the APA National Office for
crediting to their appropriate account.
- SIG Chairs may be asked to participate in other Association activities, as needed, i.e.,
abstract review for the annual meeting.
- A member of the APA Board of Directors is elected to provide oversight of all SIG activities.
- A request for the formation of a new SIG should be submitted in writing to the SIG Board member for presentation for approval by the full Board of Directors.
Criteria for SIG Merger
If the SIG does not meet the following minimal criteria, they will be asked to merge with another SIG
- Does not meet for 2 consecutive years at the PAS meeting, without extenuating circumstances
- SIG has less than 10 active members
- SIG does not provide the annual report
- SIG does not provide at least 2 submissions to the APA newsletter
Initiation of a New SIG
The Academic Pediatric Association regularly receives requests from groups who desire to establish a new Special Interest Group. It is important to have criteria in place for the establishment and maintenance of each SIG. This will help ensure the long lasting viability of the SIG, minimize redundancy between SIGS and prioritize resources related to our SIG structure.
Criteria for Initiation of a New SIG
- State the name of the SIG
- List explicit goals of the SIG
- Explain why the SIG is important and in what ways it will benefit the membership of the APA
- List names and signatures of a minimum of 20 APA members who would join
- Identify the SIG Chair (and/or Co-Chair)
The APA SIG Review Board will discuss the application for a new SIG, and vote on the application.
The SIG Review Board will include the following APA Board members:
- Chair of Workshops/SIGs
- Chair of Membership
- Past President
SIG Name Change Procedure:
Because special interest groups represent the interests of a group of APA members, SIG chairs should seek member input before requesting to change their SIG's name. If a SIG is wishing to change its name, the chairs of that SIG should present the name change to its SIG members (e.g. via listserv and/or wiki) to request member input. This request for input can be through either a vote or through a request for comments. Based on the collective input of members, SIG chairs can present their name change request to the APA Board member in charge of SIGs. This request should include the following:
- Old name
- New name
- Reason for change
- Short description of process for obtaining input from SIG members.
The SIG review board will review the proposal. If approved, the SIG chairs should submit a letter to the APA newsletter announcing this change.