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Revised 23 March 2014
The organisation shall be called Institute of Guidance Counsellors, or in Irish, Institúid na gComhairleoirí Treorach.
2. Main Object
2.1 The main object for which the Institute is established is the advancement of the Personal, Social, Educational and Career Development of Individuals and Groups through supporting Guidance Counselling Practice; Discussing, Promoting and researching matters relating to guidance counselling services, and the sharing of the results of the Institute’s work with the general public, statutory bodies and government departments.
3. Subsidiary Objects
3.1 In furtherance exclusively of the main object, the Institute shall have the following subsidiary objects: to promote the highest professional standards pertaining in guidance counselling practice, training and the provision and delivery of guidance counselling services.
To the extent that the same are essential or ancillary to the promotion of the main object of the Institute as heretofore set out, the Institute may exercise the following powers:
4.1 To promote research in the field of guidance counselling.
4.2 To promote and assist the growth and development of regions/branch structures and of their members.
4.3 To liaise and cooperate with allied organisations in the field of preventative health, personnel services, and professional educational and psychological bodies, both national and international.
4.5 To seek donations, funds or other financial support for the main object of the Institute; to meet, represent and in particular to enter into negotiations and agreements with local authorities, Irish government departments, European Union bodies, organisations, agencies and other bodies or institutions in furtherance of the Institute’s main object.
4.6 To accept donations, gifts, or subscriptions for the purpose of furthering the main object.
4.7 To sell, improve, manage, develop, exchange, lease, mortgage, enfranchise, dispose of, turn to account or otherwise deal with all or part of the property and rights of the Institute.
4.8 To borrow or raise or secure the payment of money in such manner as the Institute think fit.
4.9 To effect insurances and take such other measures as may be considered necessary or expedient for the purpose of safeguarding and securing the Institute and its National Executive Committee and any property of which the Institute may be the owner, trustee, manager, agent, or custodian, against liability for loss and damage of any description.
4.10 To employ such persons as are deemed necessary from time to time in furtherance of the Institute’s main objects.
4.11 To adopt such means of making known the main object of the Institute as may seem expedient, and in particular by advertising by circulars, by purchase and exhibition of works of art or interest, by publication of books or periodicals and by granting prizes, rewards and donations.
4.12 To do all or any of the above things in any part of the world as principals, agents, contractors, trustees, or otherwise and by or through trustees, agents or otherwise and enter either alone or in conjunction with others.
4.13 To do such other things as the Institute may think incidental or conductive to the attainment of the aforementioned object.
5. Code of Ethics
There shall be a Code of Ethics, which may be amended from time to time.
6.1 Qualified Membership
Qualified membership (designated by the letters QMIGC) shall be open to all members holding qualifications deemed acceptable by the Membership and Qualifications Committee of the Institute and approved by the National Executive.
6.2.1 Chartered Membership
Chartered Membership (designated by the letters CMIGC) shall be open to qualified members who have been members of the Institute, and who have concurrently practised as guidance counsellors, for a period of not less than four years.
6.3.1 Fellowship, designated by the letters FIGC shall be open to all members deemed to have made a significant contribution to the advancement of guidance counselling.
6.3.2 Branches and Qualified Members may submit nominations for Fellowship.
A sub-committee, consisting of the officers of the National Executive, shall consider all such nominations and make recommendations for approval by the National Executive Committee.
6.3.3 Honorary Fellowship may be awarded to non-members who in the opinion of the National Executive Committee have made a significant contribution to the advancement of guidance counselling.
6.4 Retired Membership
Retired membership shall be open to Qualified and Chartered members who are no longer actively engaged in the profession of guidance counselling in any capacity or who have retired on grounds of age or ill health, but who wish to retain their association with the IGC.
6.5 Student Membership shall be open to those currently enrolled in training courses in guidance counselling, of not less than one academic year, or its equivalent part time, which are recognised by the Institute, and/or are under review. Student membership shall not extend beyond a three year period and all student applications must be approved by the National Executive Committee. Granting of student membership does not automatically confer entitlement to full membership.
6.6 Privileges and Responsibilities of Membership
Appendix I gives details of entitlements of the various grades of membership and requirements for maintaining membership status.
6.7 The Membership and Qualifications Committee
6.7.1 This committee shall be drawn from the National Executive Committee. It shall deal with all matters of membership and qualifications.
6.7.2 The Committee may from time to time draw up revised criteria for all grades of membership and recommend them to the National Executive Committee.
6.7.3 Application for membership may be made by completing an Application Form downloaded from the IGC website or by mail from Head Office. Each application must include a proposer and seconder, both of whom must be qualified IGC members.
6.7.4 Applications/nominations for all grades of membership shall be considered by the Membership and Qualifications Committee.
6.7.5 The committee shall make recommendations to the National Executive Committee on admission to the various grades of membership. The decision of the National Executive shall be absolute and final.
6.7.6 Where the Membership and Qualifications Committee refuses an application for qualified membership on grounds of insufficient qualification, it shall indicate to the applicant what areas of theory, practice or skills are seen as deficient. If the applicant provides evidence of having redressed the deficiencies, the Committee shall reconsider the application.
6.8 Register of Membership
A Register shall be kept of Fellow, Chartered, Qualified, Studen, Retired and Honorary Fellow members of the Institute.
6.9 Membership Fee
The annual membership fee and membership year shall be determined by the Annual General Meeting.
6.10 Cessation/Suspension of Membership
6.10.1 Persons shall cease to be members of the Institute if they fail to pay the annual fee one month prior to the holding of the Annual General Meeting, in the academic year in which the membership falls due.
6.10.2 There shall be a Professional Conduct Committee. It shall be established by the National Executive Committee and shall consist of five members.
Allegations of professional misconduct brought to the attention of the National Executive Committee shall be referred to the Professional Conduct Committee for investigation.
Such investigation shall be in accordance with the Code of Ethics of the Institute and the established process.
In the first instance, the Professional Conduct Committee shall decide whether or not to recommend the suspension of the member(s) for the duration of the investigation.
7 ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
7.1 The Annual General Meeting shall be the supreme governing body of the Institute.
7.2 The Annual General Meeting shall consist of:
(a) Members and incoming members of the National Executive Committee;
(b) Standing Orders Committee;
(c) Qualified Members.
7.3 Arrangements for the Annual General Meeting
7.3.1 The Annual General Meeting (AGM) shall be convened by the National Secretary.
7.3.2 It shall be held at a time and place chosen by the National Executive Committee.
7.3.3 There shall be a Standing Orders Committee which shall be responsible for the administration of the AGM.
7.4 Motions for the Annual General Meeting
(i) Motions shall be accepted from the Branches not later than three months prior to the Annual General Meeting each year. The National Executive Committee and each branch shall have the right to submit not more than three motions.
(ii) Urgent motions may be brought before the Annual General Meeting on receiving permission of the Standing Orders Committee.
(iii) Motions regarding changes in the Constitution shall be accepted every second year only.
7.5.1 The National Executive Committee shall issue an Agenda containing the motions, as decided by the Standing Orders Committee to each Branch Secretary for circulation to members at least four weeks before the Annual General Meeting
7.5.2 The Annual Report of the National Executive Committee including a report on the Implementation of motions passed at the previous AGM and the report of the National Treasurer shall be presented at the AGM.
7.6.1 The current President of the Institute shall chair the Annual General Meeting.
7.6.2 In the absence of the President, the Vice-President shall take the chair.
7.6.3 The Chairperson of the Standing Orders Committee shall chair the section of the AGM dealing with motions.
Forty  qualified members (not counting those members of the National Executive Committee who are present) shall constitute a quorum for the Annual General Meeting.
7.8 Right of Address
Any member may address the Annual General Meeting subject to procedures as laid down by the Standing Orders Committee.
8 Extraordinary General Meeting
A Special or Extraordinary General Meeting may be called by the National Executive Committee or on the requisition of two thirds of the branches. Thirty days’ notice shall be given of such meetings which shall be held within 90 days.
9 National Executive Committee
9.1 The functions of the National Executive Committee shall be:
9.1.1 To manage and direct all the activities of the Institute between Annual General Meetings;
9.1.2 To represent the Institute to outside bodies.
9.1.3 To implement the motions approved at the Annual General Meeting;
9.1.4 To refer ethical issues to a Professional Conduct Committee for its consideration and advice;
9.1.5 To ratify Continuing Professional Development (CPD) certification.
9.2 The Committee shall consist of the President and the Vice-President of the Institute and at least one representative from each branch. The Committee’s officers shall be the President, the Vice- President, the National Secretary, the National Treasurer and the National Public Relations Officer.
9.3 The Committee shall select from its membership persons to fill the positions of National Secretary, National Treasurer, National Public Relations Officer and two Auditors (who shall have the right to examine all accounts).
9.4 Where a vacancy arises (including any created through the operation of Articles 9.10.10 and 9.10.13), the Committee shall, in consultation with the relevant branch, co-opt a member of the Institute to fill the vacancy until the next AGM. (This provision does not affect the nominated person’s entitlement to serve a further period of three terms of two years if that is the democratic wish of the relevant branch)
9.5 Seven members shall form a quorum at meetings of the National Executive Committee.
9.6 The Committee may appoint sub-committees for particular purposes and shall determine their membership (which may draw on the membership of the Institute), except where otherwise specified in this Constitution. (e.g. Standing Orders Committee, where membership is drawn from branches).
9.7 The Committee shall meet at least nine times a year. It may hold additional meetings whenever issues of critical importance need to be decided.
9.8 The National Secretary shall summon a Special Meeting at any time on the written request of 50% of the members of the Committee, which shall be held within 30 days.
9.9 Nominations to the National Executive Committee
9.9.1 All persons holding Qualified or Chartered membership, for at least two years, shall be eligible for nomination to the National Executive Committee.
9.9.2 Nominees to the National Executive Committee shall serve for a maximum of three consecutive two-year terms, taking a break of at least two terms before seeking re-election.
9.9.3 Each Branch shall elect nominees for the Committee on the basis of one nominee per 50 members, up to a maximum of two members per branch.
9.9.4 Where a branch has a membership of less than 50, it shall be entitled to elect one Nominee to the Committee.
9.9.5 Suitably notified Nominees for the Committee shall be ratified at the Annual General Meeting.
9.9.6 For ratification to take place, the names of nominees must be sent in writing to the National Secretary by the Branch Secretary three months prior to the Annual General Meeting. Where such proper notice has not been given, the National Executive Committee may accept the nominee of the branch at any meeting prior to the AGM, provided due procedures have been followed.
9.9.7 The term of office of duly elected members shall commence and terminate after the morning session of the National Executive Meeting following the Annual General Meeting
9.9.8 Each branch shall have the right to nominate one person for the position of President and one for the position of Vice-President. The names of nominees must be sent to the National Secretary by the Branch Secretary three months prior to the Annual General Meeting.
9.10 Election and Term of Office of the President and Vice-President
9.10.1 The President and Vice President shall be elected to hold office for a continuous two-year term and shall be eligible for re-election to these posts for one further consecutive term. After completing the specific period, the office holders shall be ineligible for re-election to these posts for a period of six years.
9.10.2 The outgoing President may remain a member of the National Executive Committee until the morning session of the first National Executive Meeting after the AGM following the cessation of his/her term of office and will be ineligible to become a member of the National Executive in any capacity for a period of two terms.
9.10.3 The outgoing Vice President will be ineligible to become a member of the National Executive in any capacity for a period of two terms, except in the role of President.
9.10.4 All Qualified, Chartered, Retired and Fellow members shall be eligible to vote in these elections.
9.10.5 The election of the President and Vice-President shall be decided by a postal ballot of all eligible (Qualified, Chartered, Retired and Fellow) members, using the system of proportional representation of a single transferrable vote.
9.10.6 The ballot shall be conducted by the Standing Orders Committee, under the supervision of an External Auditor of the Institute, who shall act as Returning Officer.
9.10.7 The Standing orders Committee, on behalf of the National Executive Committee, shall make provision for the secure holding of the sealed ballot papers.
9.10.8 The ballot shall take place by 1ST May of the year in which the office falls vacant, and the candidates elected shall assume office on 1st July of that year.
9.10.9 The External Auditor shall conduct the counting of votes observed by the Chairperson of the Standing Orders Committee and two other members of the National Executive Committee. Candidates or their representative may attend at their own expense.
9.10.10 The newly elected President and Vice President, if not already members of the National Executive Committee, shall have the right to attend its meetings as non-voting observers prior to assuming office.
9.10.11 In the event of the office of President becoming vacant, the Vice President shall assume the office of President and shall complete the remainder of the term of office.
9.10.12 The National Executive Committee at its next ordinary meeting shall elect a new Vice President from amongst its members.
9.10.13 In the event of the offices of President and Vice President becoming vacant simultaneously, The National Executive Committee shall, at its next ordinary meeting, elect a new President and Vice President from among its members to complete the remainder of the terms of both offices.
9.10.14 Following consultation with the Branch where a newly elected President or Vice-President is a member, the National Executive Committee shall co-opt a member from the relevant branch to fill each vacancy arising.
9.10.15 In the cases of Articles 9.10.10, 9.10.11 and 9.10.12, the persons so elected as President and/or Vice-President shall be entitled to serve a further period of two terms of two years if elected.
10 The Standing Orders Committee
10.1 Standing Orders Committee shall consist of:
(i) One member from each branch, excepting members of the National Executive, whose names shall have been forwarded to the National Executive three calendar months prior to the Annual General Meeting.
(ii) One member of the National Executive Committee who shall act as non-voting Chairperson to the Standing Orders Committee.
10.2 The Standing Orders Committee shall be convened by the Chairperson and shall hold its first meeting within one calendar month of receipt of motions, and shall hold office for at least one year from the date of being convened.
10.3 The Standing Orders Committee shall abide by the procedures set out in Appendix II.
11.1 Branches of the Institute shall be constituted in geographical areas defined by the National Executive Committee.
11.2 It shall be the function of each Branch to promote within the Branch area the objects of the Institute, to uphold its Constitution and Code of Ethics and to report to the National Executive
11.3 Every member of the Institute shall be a member of a branch. Eligibility to be a member of a particular branch shall be determined by place of employment or principal private residence. Requests to be a member of an alternate branch must be approved by the National Executive Committee.
11.4 The National Executive Committee shall draw up Bye-laws for the running of branches, which must be submitted to the Annual General Meeting for approval.
11.5 Branch Officers, Branch Executive Committee and Meetings
11.5.1 Each branch shall hold its Annual General in September or October each year.
11.5.2 The members of the Branch Executive Committee shall be elected at the Branch’s Annual General Meeting.
11.5.3 The Branch Executive Committee shall consist of the Branch Officers (Chairperson, Secretary, Treasurer, Public Relations Officer and National Executive representative) and any additional members as required (such as organisers of CPD and counselling supervision). Only qualified members of at least two years’ standing shall be eligible for election as branch officers.
11.5.4 The Branch Executive Committee shall convene a full Branch meeting at least five times per year.
11.5.5 At least five members but not less than 15% of the members shall form a quorum at Branch Meetings. The Branch may, at its discretion, increase the numbers required to form a quorum.
11.6 Branch Finances
11.6.1 Each branch shall open a bank account in the name of the branch with three named signatories (the Treasurer, one other branch officer and one branch member), two of whom must sign every cheque issued by the branch. All transactions shall be recorded and receipted. Each branch shall hold a maximum of three accounts, to include a current and deposit account. Each branch shall present an internally audited set of accounts to the Branch Annual General Meeting and shall forward a copy together with supporting documentation to the National Treasurer for national audit
11.6.2 On the dissolution or cessation of a branch, the moneys, property and records in its possession shall be handed over to the National Executive Committee.
12 Income and Property
12.1 The income and property of the Institute shall be applied solely towards the promotion of its main object as set forth in this Constitution. No portion of the Institute’s income and property shall be paid or transferred directly or indirectly by way of dividend, bonus or otherwise howsoever by way of profit, to the members of the body. No Officer shall be appointed to any office of the body paid by salary or fees, or receive any remuneration or other benefit in money or money’s worth from the body.
12.2 However, nothing shall prevent any payment in good faith by the Institute of:
12.2.1 reasonable and proper remuneration to any member of the body (not being an Officer) for any services rendered to the body;
12.2.2 interest at a rate not exceeding 5% per annum on money lent by Officers or other members of the body to the body;
12.2.3 reasonable and proper rent for premises demised and let by any member of the Institute (including any Officer) to the Institute;
12.2.4 reasonable and proper out of pocket expenses incurred by any Officer in connection with attendance to any matter affecting the Institute;
12.2.5 Fees, remuneration or other benefit in money or money’s worth to any company of which an Officer may be a member holding not more than (one-hundredth part) 1% of the Issued capital of such Company.
13. KEEPING OF ACCOUNTS
Annual audited accounts shall be kept and made available to the Revenue Commissioners, on request.
14 WINDING UP
If, upon the winding up or dissolution of the Institute, there remains, after the satisfaction of all its debts and liabilities, any property whatsoever, it shall not be paid to or distributed among the members of the Institute. Instead, such property shall be given or transferred to some other charitable institution or institutions that have main objects similar to the main objects of the Institute. The institution or, institutions, to which the property is to be given or transferred, shall prohibit the distribution of its or their income and property among its or their members, to an extent at least as great as is imposed on the Institute under or by virtue of clause 12 hereof. Members of the Institute shall select the relevant institution or institutions at or before the time of dissolution, and if and so far as effect cannot be given to such provisions, then the property shall be given to some charitable object.
15 ADDITIONS, ALTERATIONS AND AMEMDMENTS
15.1 Proposals to add to, amend or remove the foregoing clauses may be considered only at the Annual General Meeting. A two-thirds majority of those voting shall be required to effect such changes.
15.2 No addition, alteration or amendment to Articles 2, 3, 4, 12, 13, 14, 15 shall come into force until it has been approved in writing by the Revenue Commissioners.
Entitlements and Conditions of each Membership Grade.
Subject to the prescriptions for membership detailed in 6 above, any person who undertakes to accept and abide by the Constitution and Code of Ethics of the Institute in the performance of their duties may join the Institute on payment of the annual membership fee and shall remain a member by:
(a) Continuing to comply with the Institute’s Code of Ethics
(b) Renewal of the annual membership fee
(c) In addition, new members who are practising as guidance counsellors are required to provide evidence of attendance at counselling supervision in order to maintain membership for each of the five years following their acceptance as members of the IGC.
1 Student Membership:
Student members shall be entitled to Guideline. Their names shall be included on the mailing list for general information. They may attend conferences and seminars.
2 Qualified Membership:
Qualified Members shall be entitled to all the benefits of the Institute of Guidance Counsellors. They have full voting rights and may hold office as outlined in Article 12 of the Constitution. Qualified membership will be subject to an annual review. To maintain Qualified Membership the following conditions must be met:
1) Ten hours of CPD annually in an area pertinent to the work of a Guidance Counsellor, i.e. Personal, Social, Educational, and Vocational Guidance Counselling.
2) Members must conduct the practice of Guidance Counselling in a professional manner in compliance with the Code of Ethics of the Institute of Guidance Counsellors.
3) Members must comply with IGC procedures for monitoring the annual review.
3 Chartered Membership:
Chartered Members, in addition to receiving the entitlements of Qualified Members, shall have their names included on the Register of Professional Practitioners. Chartered membership will be subject to an annual review. To maintain Chartered membership the following conditions must be met:
1) Fifteen hours of CPD annually in an area pertinent to the work of a Guidance Counsellor, i.e. Personal, Social, Educational, and Vocational Guidance Counselling.
2) Members must conduct the practice of Guidance Counselling in a professional manner in accordance with the Code of Ethics of the Institute of Guidance Counsellors.
3) Members must comply with IGC procedures for monitoring this annual review.
4) During each of these years, (Article 6.2.1) the member shall have undertaken at least eight supervision hours per year.
5) Evidence of participation in on-going CPD and branch activities during these four years (Article 6.2.1) must be provided.
4 Fellow Membership:
Fellow Members shall enjoy the full entitlements of Chartered Membership and this grade shall be registered on the Register of Professional Practitioners.
5 Honorary Fellowship:
Honorary fellows shall receive appropriate communications as decided by the National Executive.
6 Retired Members:
Retired members shall be entitled to Guideline. Their names shall be included on the mailing list for general information. They may attend conferences and seminars. They shall have full voting rights and shall pay half fee.
Standing Orders Protocol
1. The Chairperson of the Standing Orders Committee shall be the nonvoting National Executive representative.
2. Prior to the Standing Orders Committee meeting, the Chairperson shall examine the motions submitted and allocate them to different categories to be approved by the Committee.
3. Motions must be drafted according to the format supplied by the Standing Orders Committee Chairperson and approved by the National Executive. They must be proposed and seconded by the branch members and signed by the Branch Secretary and Chairperson.
4. Branches shall be given four months’ notice of the Annual General Meeting / Conference together with the necessary forms for motions and nominations to Standing Orders Committee and the National Executive.
5. The Standing Orders Committee shall
(i) examine motions submitted for the Annual General Meeting
(ii) propose composite motions where appropriate
(iii) edit and/or re-draft any motions which are phrased ambiguously, but without altering the original meaning
(iv) edit and/or re-draft composite motions/amendments for submission to the Annual General meeting
(v) arrange motions into groups under general topic headings according to descending order of priority, and specify which motions, and in which order, are to be discussed at the Annual General Meeting.
(vi) decide what urgent motions if any should be brought before the annual General Meeting.
(vii) meet under the supervision of a representative of the External Auditors of the Institute of Guidance Counsellors, who shall act as Returning Officer, to count the votes for the elections of President and Vice-President at a time and place set by the National Executive which shall make provision for the secure holding of the sealed ballot papers
6 The Standing Orders Committee may make such other necessary rulings in relation to motions as are necessary for the proper conduct of the business of the Annual General Meeting.
7 Motions referring to pay and condition of service are dealt with by the Trade Union Movement.
8 The Standing Orders Committee shall decide whether or not to allow inclusion with the printed list of motions, of any supplied brief written statement or explanatory notes.
9 The Standing Orders Committee shall ensure that all who are issued with voting cards are bona fide Fellow, Chartered, Qualified or Retired Members of the Institute.
10 The Standing Orders Committee shall act as tellers during voting on motions at the Annual General Meeting, and at the request of the President they shall assist the National Executive in any other work for the proper and efficient running of the Annual General Meeting.
11 The Standing Orders Committee shall present a report to the National Executive after each Annual General Meeting.
Standing Orders – AGM of the Institute of Guidance Counsellors
Conduct of Elections
This Appendix refers to Article 9.10 of the Constitution.
1 The National Secretary shall invite nominations for the office of President and Vice-President in September before election year. Nominations must reach the National Secretary in writing at least 3 months prior to the AGM.
2 Where 2 or more nominations are received for the office of President and/or Vice President an election will take place. The Ballot shall be conducted in accordance with Article 9.10.4.
3 A list of eligible members shall be drawn up – See Articles 6.10.1 and 9.10.3.
4 Ballot Papers shall be prepared and distributed to the preferred address of each eligible member by post in the month of April and completed ballots must be returned before the date designated on the ballot paper.
5 Each ballot paper will be accompanied by 3 envelopes – one shall be marked Voting Paper. The completed ballot paper should be placed into this envelope. That envelope should then be placed into the envelope which requires the member’s name, membership number and branch to be written on the flap. Finally this envelope should be placed into the envelope addressed to the IGC auditors and should be stamped and posted to reach the auditors by the date designated on the ballot paper.
6.1 On a date agreed between the External Auditor and the Chairperson of the Standing Orders Committee, the ballots shall be counted using the following procedure:
6.2 Ballots shall be removed from the envelopes addressed to the auditors.
6.3 The name and membership number shall be checked against to register of eligible members. Any envelope not containing the required membership details shall not be included in the vote.
6.4 The External Auditor shall remove the envelope marked Voting Paper so as to ensure anonymity to the vote.
6.5 The ballot paper(s) shall be removed from the envelope marked Voting Paper, and ballot papers separated into bundles for President and Vice-President.
6.6 The Chairperson of the Standing Orders Committee and the 2 representatives of the National Executive shall observe the count.
6.7 The votes shall then be counted by the External Auditor and the outcome determined using the system of Proportional Representation by single transferrable vote
6.8 The outcome of the vote shall be declared by the External Auditor, and circulated to the membership by the Chairperson of the Standing Orders Committee.
7 Candidates or their representative may attend the count at their own expense.