(a) (i) The delegate conference shall be the supreme policy making instrument of the Association. The policy of the Association shall be determined by the delegate conference, which shall have the power to rescind or vary any decision taken previously by the Association.
(ii) For the purpose of these Rules the term “delegate conference” includes both annual and special delegate conferences.
(b) (i) The delegate conference shall consist of the Executive Committee, the Standing Orders Committee and accredited delegates elected by and from Branches in the numbers indicated below, and notified to the General Secretary:
(a) Branches with 30 members or less – Two delegates;
(b) Branches with more than 30 members –one delegate for the first 30 members and, thereafter, one delegate for 30 members or part thereof.
(ii) For the purpose of this rule, branch membership shall be the number of members at the end of the last complete financial year. In exceptional circumstances the Executive Committee may specify some other date for the purpose of assessing branch membership.
(iii) Delegates to a delegate conference shall be elected at a branch meeting to be held in accordance with Rule 22(f) or (h). In the case of an Annual Delegate Conference the names and addresses of delegates shall be notified in writing by branch secretaries to the General Secretary not less than 21 days before the date of the Conference. The General Secretary shall then issue each delegate with a credentials card, stating the name and branch. It shall however, be in order for a Branch to nominate a replacement for any delegate originally nominated by that Branch, in the event of such delegate being unable to attend conference for any reason.
(iv) Any member of the Association not being a delegate shall be entitled to attend a delegate conference but shall not speak or vote thereat.
(v) Such other persons as the Executive Committee invite may attend conference but may not vote thereat.
(c) The Annual Delegate Conference shall be held not later than 31 May in each calendar year on a date and at a venue to be determined by the Executive Committee.
(d) (i) The General Secretary, not later than fifteen weeks prior to the date of the Annual Delegate Conference, shall advise Branch secretaries of the date, time and venue of the Annual Delegate Conference and invite Branches to submit nominations and motions to form part of the agenda for the delegate conference. A Branch may make nominations for the offices of Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson and Treasurer and for membership of the Executive Committee and Standing Orders Committee to be filled at the conference and every nomination shall be accompanied by the written agreement of the person nominated. Subject to (iii) below, nominations and motions shall be submitted to and received by the General Secretary not later than nine weeks prior to conference. Motions sent to the Association Headquarters by electronic mail will be deemed to be received by the General Secretary on the same day as the mail was sent provided that evidence of sending is provided by the sender.
(ii) The Executive Committee shall not have power to make nominations but shall have power to put down motions.
(iii) The General Secretary shall issue, not later than six weeks prior to the Annual Delegate Conference, a draft agenda of business including motions to be discussed at conference and shall invite Branches and the Executive Committee to submit amendments to the motions. At the same time the General Secretary shall set out the nominations received for the offices and places on the Executive Committee and Standing Orders committee to be filled. If on the due date there are insufficient nominations for any or all of the offices or places, then notwithstanding anything contained in subparagraph (i) it shall be open to a Branch to submit a nomination for such offices or places in respect of which no nomination has been made. Such nominations and amendments to motions must be submitted to and received by the General Secretary not later than four weeks prior to the conference.
(iv) A final agenda, together with the recommendations of the Standing Orders Committee and a copy of the annual report, shall be issued by the General Secretary to all Branch secretaries and to all delegates not
later than two weeks prior to conference.
(e) Additions to the final agenda may be accepted by the Standing Orders Committee only when it receives a motion deemed by it to be of such extreme urgency and importance to the interest of the members that the matter warrants inclusion on the agenda for conference. Any such motion of urgency shall be submitted to the Standing Orders Committee who shall decide on its acceptability and its place on the agenda.
(f) The business of the annual delegate conference shall include:
(i) Adoption of Standing Orders and Standing Orders Committee Report;
(ii) Consideration of the annual report and accounts of the Association;
(iii) Election of officers, namely Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson and Treasurer;
(iv) Election of twelve ordinary members of the Executive Committee;
(v) Election of Standing Orders Committee;
(vi) Consideration of motions and amendments thereto;
(vii) The appointment on the nomination of the Executive Committee of an Honorary President and Honorary Vice Presidents on such terms as may be recommended by the Executive Committee;
(viii) Consideration of any other business as may be submitted by the Executive Committee and allowed by the Standing Orders Committee.
(g) (i) Ballot papers for elections shall be issued to each delegate on presentation of his or her credentials card, and to each of the members of the Executive Committee.
(ii) A candidate for any elective office at a delegate conference may not be appointed a teller at that conference.
(h) (i) Accredited delegates and members of the Executive Committee shall have the right to vote.
(ii) Save as may otherwise be provided for in these rules voting at conference shall be decided by a simple majority of accredited delegates showing credentials cards and the members of the Executive Committee.
(iii) The quorum for a delegate conference shall be one third of the total number of accredited delegates nominated by Branches and notified to the General Secretary in accordance with Rule 9(b)(i).
(i) The order of business at the Annual Delegate Conference shall be determined by the Standing Orders Committee.
(j) A Special Delegate Conference shall be held:
(i) on the direction of the Executive Committee.
(ii) on the direction of a previous Delegate Conference, or
(iii) within 28 days of the receipt by the General Secretary of a requisition for, and stating the purpose of, such a conference from at least 5 branches representing at least 15% of the total membership of the Association. Each such Branch requisition must have been approved by general meetings of the members in the Branches concerned.
(k) The business of the Special Delegate Conference shall be stated in the notice convening the conference which shall be sent to all Branches not later than 7 clear days before the conference. No other business shall be transacted by the Conference.
(l) Names of delegates nominated by Branches for the purpose of the Special Delegate Conference shall be notified to the General Secretary not later than one day before the conference.
(m) If a quorum is not present after one hour of the stated time for a delegate conference, the conference shall stand adjourned for not less than 7 days and not more than 28 days. Rule 9(h)(iii) shall not apply to an adjourned conference. At least 5 days notice shall be given to Branches of the time date and venue for the resumption of the adjourned conference.