INTERNATIONAL FEDERATION OF ASSOCIATIONS OF ANATOMISTS
(Nota Bene: The original IFAA Constitution was published in Acta Anatomica, 138: 273-278, 1990).
Chapter I – Name and Objectives
(1) The name of the society shall be the “International Federation of Associations of Anatomists” (hereafter called IFAA).
2) The purpose of the IFAA shall be to assemble the national and multinational Anatomical Associations that request membership and are approved as members.
Chapter II – Headquarters and Purpose
The IFAA shall have its headquarters at the institution of the Secretary-General.
The aims of the IFAA shall be the following:
(a) To further the development, and to promote progress, of all anatomical or biomorphological sciences;
(b) To encourage and increase scientific, technological, educational and administrative exchanges among anatomists worldwide;
(c) To provide general guidelines for educational, technological and scientific purposes and for issues of general interest to anatomical sciences;
(d) To coordinate and support the preparation, revision and publication of documents on the terminology of the anatomical sciences and biomorphology;
(e) To stimulate friendship and cooperation among members of Anatomical Associations;
(f) To promote international scientific congresses, symposia and other meetings of anatomical and morphological sciences.
Chapter III – Assets
The assets of the IFAA shall be the following:
(a) Membership dues paid by the Anatomical Associations (the dues are proportional to the number of members within an Association);
(b) Income received as a result of its activities;
(c) Income from publications;
(d) Physical resources of the IFAA;
(e) Any other resources obtained.
Chapter IV – Membership
(1) The members of the IFAA shall be the Anatomical Associations (and similar associations/societies), national or multinational, that apply for membership and that are admitted to regular status.
(2) Membership is contingent upon payment of the annual dues, as determined by the General Assembly. Associations that do not pay the annual dues, and are in arrears for two years, cannot be considered members of the IFAA and their representatives are not eligible to attend or vote at meetings of the General Assembly. Where an Association has difficulties in paying its dues for good reason, the Association must explain the reasons in writing to the IFAA Treasurer who can advise the Executive Committee about the Association’s membership status. Subsequent decisions of the Executive Committee concerning the membership status of Associations in arrears are final and are only subject to future discussions at the next meeting of the General Assembly.
(3) New Associations (or Renewal Associations whose membership of the IFAA has lapsed) can be admitted to the IFAA at any time following approval of the Executive Committee of the IFAA. Such Associations will receive provisional acceptance until ratification at the next General Assembly. Both New and Renewal Associations can contribute to all activities of the IFAA, including providing nominations for IFAA Officers and for venues for IFAA Congresses. However, such nominations can only be accepted after confirmation of their membership of the IFAA by the General Assembly. With approval of the Executive Committee, New and Renewal Associations can provide members of Federative International Programmes and Committees.
(4). The Executive Committee, by a two-thirds majority of its membership, may deem that a constituent member Association is insufficiently engaged in matters pertaining to the IFAA. Should a constituent member Association be deemed not to be so engaged, the Association should initially be asked for an explanation for the lack of engagement. Should the Executive Committee not accept the explanation, or be assured of a commitment to engage sufficiently in IFAA matters, the constituent member Association will be required to resign from membership of the IFAA. The Association may seek re-instatement to the IFAA at a General Assembly. The duties of an Association that define its engagement with the IFAA are described in the Conventions of the IFAA.
Chapter V – Administrative Organs
The organs of administration of the IFAA shall be the following:
The General Assembly
The Executive Committee
Chapter V(1) The General Assembly
The General Assembly shall represent the universality of the members of the IFAA and its decisions shall be final.
(1) The General Assembly shall be made up of representatives of every constituent member Association as determined in Article 5. Each Association shall appoint two named representatives for a five-year term, renewable once. The representatives may be changed during their term of office by their Association, provided that the Secretary-General is informed in writing of such changes.
(2) At the General Assembly, each Association shall have either one, two, or four votes. Decisions concerning the number of votes allocated to a particular Association is made by the Executive Committee (confirmed by the General Assembly, if needs be, ad referendum) and will be based upon the size of the membership of the Association (see Conventions of the IFAA). Associations with two or four votes may split these when balloting on IFAA matters.
(3) The members of the Executive Committee attend the sessions of the General Assembly without the right to vote. However, the President of the session (see Article 9) shall have a tie-breaking vote.
(4) The representatives may be contacted by the Secretary-General, acting on behalf of the Executive Committee, to vote on policy issues, including Constitutional matters (in line with Article 29). In such cases, the representatives are required to consult with their Association in order to decide its vote.
(5) The General Assembly can, at the start of its meeting, vote to allow observers to be present. These may be invited to speak on issues by the President of the session but shall have no voting rights.
The session of the General Assembly shall normally be chaired by the President of the IFAA, who shall have as a recording secretary one of the Secretaries of the IFAA. In the absence of the President of the IFAA, the Chair of the General Assembly will be decided in line with Article 23(1).
The General Assembly shall make decisions on the following matters:
(a) Election of the President of the IFAA and of the members of the Executive Committee for a five-year term, beginning at the time of a Federative International Congress. Reinstatement is possible once. See article 10(d) for reinstatement of Officers of Federative International Programmes and Committees. Nota Bene, in line with IFAA Conventions, the Vice-Presidents of the IFAA are appointed in relation to the organisation of IFAA Congresses and therefore are not reinstated for a second term of office.
(b) Ratification of any alterations to the IFAA Constitution that have not previously been ratified or approved ad referendum by representatives of the constituent associations.
(c) Creation and dissolution of Federative International Programmes and Committees and approval of their rules and reports. This includes ratification of Federative International Programmes and Committees appointed ad referendum of the General Assembly by the Executive Committee.
(d) All members/associates of Federative International Programmes and Committees are recommended by the Executive Committee and ultimately approved by the General Assembly. They serve for a term (usually 5 years) that begins at the time of a Federative International Congress. Members/associates are eligible for reinstatement. As for Officers of the Executive Committee of the IFAA, Chairs of programmes and committees are normally only eligible for re-election once. However, in the event that the Executive Committee considers by a two-thirds majority of its members that a Chair of a programme or committee should continue to ensure successful completion of important tasks, such a Chair might be allowed to continue beyond a two-term period of office but shall NOT have voting rights in the Executive Committee of the IFAA. This requires approval of the General Assembly. A Federative International Programme or Committee shall initially nominate its Chair and Secretary. Such nominations shall be considered for approval by the Executive Committee and then by the General Assembly (ad referendum if necessary).
(e) Approval of the reports on IFAA and Programme and Committees activities, budget and balance.
(f) Determination of the amount of annual membership dues.
(g) Approval of admission to membership of Anatomical Associations.
(h) Approval of the place, date and designation of the President of subsequent Federative International Congresses upon proposal of the Executive Committee.
(i) Deliberation on all matters submitted by the Executive Committee or by any member Association of the IFAA.
(1) The final decision on the election of the place, date and President of Federative International Congresses shall be made by the General Assembly after having received the list of candidatures inscribed in the agenda.
(2) Each candidate to host a Federative International Congress shall have ample time before the vote (approximately 10 minutes) to provide information on the organization of the meeting.
(1) The sessions of the General Assembly are to be held at each Federative International Congress of Anatomy, when the majority of its members is present, and it shall begin 15 minutes later with any number of its members.
(2) The decisions of the General Assembly shall be by secret ballot and majority vote. Voting papers (that acknowledge one, two or four votes for each Association) will be issued at the registration of representatives (see Article 8(2)) before commencement of the General Assembly meeting.
(3) The agenda of the General Assembly shall be sent by the Executive Committee to each member Association of the IFAA at least three months prior to the beginning of the session. It shall include:
- the names of the Associations applying for membership of the IFAA (Nota Bene, in accordance with Article 5(3), New/Renewal Associations can make nominations – as for all other Associations that are full members – for the next General Assembly of the IFAA. However, these nominations will only be accepted if the Association’s membership is first confirmed by the IFAA General Assembly);
- the names and addresses of the persons presented for election of Officers in the Executive Committee (Nota Bene, in accordance with Article 5(3), New/Renewal Associations can make nominations – as for all other Associations that are full members – for the next General Assembly of the IFAA);
- the names of the Associations and of the places candidating for organization of the subsequent Federative International Congress (see Article 11);
- indications of any constitutional changes needed to be ratified by the General Assembly (i.e., those not previously decided ad referendum).
Chapter V(2) The Executive Committee
The Executive Committee administers the IFAA.
(1) The Executive Committee consists of a President, two Vice-Presidents, the Immediate Past President, a Secretary-General, at least two Secretaries, a Treasurer, an Editor for the IFAA’s newsletter, and Chairs of Federative International Programmes and Committees. The main duties of the Officers are provided in Articles 15 to 18 (see also the Conventions of the IFAA). Chairs of Federative International Programmes (but not of Federative International Committees) shall be designated as Secretaries of the IFAA. All members of the Executive Committee are normally elected by the General Assembly for a term of 5 years, renewable once. However, with regard to a Chair of an International Programme or an International Committee, where the Executive Committee confirms that there are important issues not yet completed that require the Chair to remain in office, then, should the Executive Committee approve by a two-thirds majority the continuation of a Chair beyond the second term, the Chair may remain in office to perform her/his duties and be a member of the Executive Committee but without voting rights. This action requires approval by the General Assembly.
(2) The President assumes duties following her/his election at the General Assembly of the Federative International Congress.
(3) The decisions of the Executive Committee are made up of the majority of its members, the President having the privilege to break tied votes.
(4) The President can sanction the presence of observers at a meeting of the Executive Committee. These may be invited by the President to speak on issues but have no voting rights.
(5) Nominations for the election of Officers of the Executive Committee (i.e. President, Secretary-General, Treasurer, Secretaries, Newsletter Editor) who have completed their term(s) of office will be sought by a Nominating Committee. In line with article 10(d), nominations for Chairs and Secretaries of Federative International Programmes and Committees come, in the first instance, from the Programmes and Committees themselves, subsequently requiring the approval of the Executive Committee and of the General Assembly. Furthermore, in line with Conventions of the IFAA, the Vice-Presidents will normally be appointed from the Presidents of the two IFAA Congresses. In line with Article 15(d), the Nominating Committee will be chaired by the President of the IFAA (members of the committee will be chosen to represent all continents of the world and nominations for this committee shall be sought from the constituent member Associations. The process of nomination of Officers shall begin by notifying constituent member Associations of vacancies and by soliciting suitable candidates. Following deliberations of the Nominating Committee, a short list of names shall be forwarded for consideration by the Executive Committee and hence to the constituent member Associations for their comment. The names forwarded shall have the prior approval of the nominees who shall provide brief descriptions of their academic credentials and of their aspirations/plans for taking up a position as an Officer of the IFAA. Following further deliberations of the Nominating Committee, constituent member Associations will be informed of the nominations to be placed before the General Assembly of the IFAA. The General Assembly shall then finally decide on the election of the Officers of the IFAA by secret ballot and majority vote (in line with Article 10).
(6) The Executive Committee, by a two-thirds majority of its membership, may decide that a member of the Executive Committee is insufficiently engaged in matters pertaining to the IFAA and his/her position in the committee (see also Conventions of the IFAA). Should a member of the Executive Committee be deemed not to be so engaged, he/she should initially be asked for an explanation for the insufficient engagement. Should the Executive Committee not accept the explanation, or be assured of a commitment to engage sufficiently in IFAA matters, the member of the committee will be required to resign from membership of the Executive Committee. Unless the Executive Committee has 6 months or less in office, the Executive Committee shall appoint a replacement member to serve for the remaining term of office.
(1) The main duties of the President (in her/his absence, of a Chair decided in line with Article 23.1) shall be:
(a) To provide leadership to the IFAA by fostering its main aims and objectives and its traditions and by ensuring strategic development to enhance anatomy’s national and international reputation.
(b) To represent the IFAA at all events
(c) To preside over the sessions of the General Assembly and of the Executive Committee.
(d) In line with Article 12(5), to chair the Nomination Committee for the election of Officers of the Executive Committee.
(2) The main duties of a Vice-President shall be:
- To carry out he functions of the President in her/his absence in line with Article 15(1) and Article 23.
- Following approval from the Executive Committee relating to ONE of the Vice-Presidents, to be charged with matters relating to communications between the IFAA (including its Executive Committee) and member Associations. This responsibility will be assisted by ONE of the Secretaries of the Executive Committee as outlined in Article 17.
The main duties of the Secretary-General shall be:
(a) To substitute for a Vice-President in her/his absence.
(b) To ensure that the decisions of the General Assembly and the Executive Committee are executed.
(c) To monitor the daily routine activities of the IFAA.
(d) To prepare the report of the activities of the IFAA.
(e) With the President, to set the agenda for meetings of the IFAA (i.e. General Assembly and Executive Committee).
(f) With the Treasurer, to maintain a list of contacts (e.g. representatives; see Article 8) for constituent Anatomical Associations that are full members of the IFAA.
(g) To monitor the activities of a Nomination Committee set up to provide names for election for the Executive Committee.
The main duties of the Secretaries who are not Chairs of Federative International Programmes shall be to record and prepare the minutes of the sessions of the General Assembly and of the Executive Committee as well as to substitute the Secretary-General and/or the Treasurer in cases of absence. The Secretaries shall also register the attendance of representatives of national Associations that are members of the IFAA at the General Assembly and shall organise the voting at the General Assembly.
The main duties of the Secretaries who are Chairs of Federative International Programmes shall be to take responsibilities for coordinating the daily activities of their Programmes.
In line with Article 15(2), ONE of the Secretaries shall assist ONE of the Vice-Presidents in ensuring good liaison with member Associations of the IFAA.
The main duties of the Treasurer shall be:
(a) To take responsibility for the resources of the IFAA.
(b) To collect and deposit the income into bank accounts of the IFAA.
(c) To maintain the financial records of the IFAA (including the bank accounts, all records of deposits, expenditures and withdrawals, and any and all costs relating to maintaining such records).
(d) To advise the Executive Committee of the membership status of national Anatomical Associations.
(e) With the Secretary-General, to maintain a list of contacts for Constituent Anatomical Associations that are full members of the IFAA.
(f) To pay such sums of money that are authorized by the Executive Committee to individuals and/or organisations (in line with the aims of the IFAA).
(g) To present the IFAA accounts at each annual meeting of the Executive Committee and at the General Assembly at the IFAA’s International Congress.
(h) Three months prior to the General Assembly of the IFAA, to appoint a certified public accountant to perform a review procedure on all of the IFAA’s accounts and financial statements.
Besides its meetings during a Federative International Congress, the Executive Committee will hold twice-yearly ordinary meetings (see Conventions of the IFAA). Additional, extra-ordinary meetings of the Executive Committee may be held at other times at the request of four or more of its members.
The duties of the Executive Committee shall be:
(a) To prepare, and send out at least three months in advance, the agenda of the forthcoming General Assembly meeting.
(b) To obtain funds and financial support for the IFAA.
(c) To recommend to the General Assembly the amount of annual membership dues.
(d) To receive applications from candidates seeking to organize Federative International Congresses.
(e) To announce and publicize the Federative International Congresses.
(f) To receive applications from Anatomical Associations for membership of the IFAA.
(g) To give publicity to directories and newsletters of the IFAA.
(h) To support all publications of the IFAA.
(i) To publish the report of activities, prepared by the Secretary-General, and to submit the balance sheet of accounts, prepared by the Treasurer.
(j) In line with Article 14(5), to assist a Nominations Committee in the nomination of the members of the Executive Committee.
(k) To keep and update the inventory of historical resources.
(l) To take initiatives of general interest and implement resolutions approved by the General Assembly.
(m) To designate, for approval by the General Assembly, the President, the place and date of the following Federative International Congress.
(n) To receive, and debate, reports, resolutions, action plans and proposals from Federative International Programmes and Committees.
(o) In line with Articles 5(4) and 14(6), to vote on whether Associations or Officers are sufficiently engaged in IFAA activities.
The Executive Committee may coordinate activities among Anatomical Associations. However, this will only be done at the specific request of the Anatomical Associations involved.
(1) The Executive Committee may propose appointments of specialized Federative International Programmes and Committees ad referendum of the General Assembly.
(2) Each specialized Federative International Programme or Committee shall be comprised of representatives of as many Anatomical Associations as possible, provided they are members of IFAA.
(1) In the absence of the President, her/his functions shall be performed temporarily by a Vice-President chosen by the Executive Committee. The same applies to a Vice-President, who shall be represented by the Secretary-General. The same applies to the Secretary-General who shall be replaced by one of the Secretaries.
(2) In case of the resignation or incapacitation of the President, and prior to re-election/reappointment, her/his function will be taken over by a Vice-President chosen by the Executive Committee. In case of the resignation or incapacitation of a Vice-President, her/his function will be taken over by the Secretary-General (Note Bene: since the Vice-President is in post ex officio as the President of a Congress, the Executive Committee should, in the event of a resignation of an incapacitation, request the association organising the appropriate Congress to nominate a new Congress President and IFAA Vice-President). In case of the resignation or incapacitation of the Secretary-General or the Treasurer, and prior to re-election/reappointment, their functions shall be performed respectively by the Treasurer or by one of the Secretaries. In all circumstances, the Officer taking over the responsibilities of a resigning/incapacitated Officer shall retain the title given when she/he was elected/appointed.
Chapter VI – Federative International Congresses
(1) There shall be two Federative International Congresses during the 5 year term of office of the Executive Committee. At each of these Congresses, there shall be a meeting of the General Assembly of the IFAA. Only during the General Assembly meeting at the Congress marking the termination of the 5 year term of office of the Executive Committee shall there be election of Officers and election of the venues for the Federative International Congresses.
(2) Applicants to organize a Federative International Congress shall send in writing their proposal, including the site date and name of the President, to the Secretary-General at least three months before the beginning of the next Congress that marks the termination of the 5 year period of office of the Executive Committee.
(1) The President of the Federative International Congress shall be nominated by the respective Anatomical Association in whose country(ies) the Federative International Congress will take place. She/he shall normally begin her/his term after her/his election by the General Assembly and she/he shall complete it on the last day of the Congress.
(2) A Federative International Committee will be established to monitor the progress of preparations for the upcoming Federative International Congress in order to assist the President of the Congress and to support any local organizing committee. The President of the Congress shall serve ex officio as the Convenor of the committee, which normally should include three members of the IFAA Executive Committee and three members the local organizing committee.
The IFAA shall meet during a Federative International Congress. Should a Federative International Congress that normally marks the end of the term of office of the Officers of the IFAA occur BEFORE 5 years, the elected Officers’ term of office shall be reduced correspondingly.
Chapter VII – Limitation of Action
The IFAA shall not lend any part of its income, without receipt or adequate security, and shall not pay any compensation for salaries, honoraria or gratuities to any of its Officers for personal services rendered. The Officers shall serve on a voluntary basis.
Chapter VIII – Termination
(1) By proposal from the Executive Committee, the General Assembly may decide to terminate the IFAA by two-thirds of its members present and voting.
(2) Upon dissolution of the IFAA, the Executive Committee shall distribute the assets to the Members according to the decision of the General Assembly.
Chapter IX – Amendments
Between Federative International Congresses, and with the approval of the Executive Committee, the Constitution can be amended ad referendum. At the referendum, a proposal for a Constitutional change must have at least a two-thirds majority from the IFAA representatives who voted. Further Constitutional changes must be ratified by at least a two-thirds majority vote at a General Assembly of the IFAA (see also Conventions of the IFAA).
Chapter X – Unforeseen Cases
Cases not considered by this Constitution shall be decided by the Executive Committee and, when necessary, ad referendum of the General Assembly.
Amended and approved by the General Assembly (December 15th, 2019) and following ad referendum procedures.
Immediate Past President of the IFAA