Faculty regulations


1. Title: Faculty regulations policy

1.1 Policy number: CO-O-032.10

1.2 Category: Board

1.3 Approval date: October 2018

1.4 Revision date: October 2020

1.5 Unit responsible Office of the President and CEO

2. Policy declaration

These Regulations govern the establishment and conduct of the RACGP Faculties.

This policy is endorsed by Board.

3. Background

3.1 Context and interpretation

  1. Faculties are established as advisory bodies to the Board and to represent the members’ interests.
  2. Part 3 of the Constitution allows the Board to establish regional and other Faculties and make regulations governing the conduct of any Faculty.
  3. Part 7.1 of the Constitution appoints each Faculty Council Chair to be a Director.
  4. In the event of any inconsistency between these Regulations and the Constitution, the Constitution prevails.
  5. All references in these Regulations are to these Regulations themselves, unless otherwise indicated.

3.2 Definitions

Board” means the RACGP’s board of directors (previously referred to as a ‘council’).

Chair means the person holding office in accordance with clause 12.3.

Council” or “Faculty Council” means the Faculty Council (previously referred to as a ‘board’).

Deputy Chairmeans the person or persons holding office in accordance with clause 12.4.

ex officiomeans a position on the Faculty Council granted by virtue of holding another office.

Faculty Member Meeting” means a Faculty’s annual meeting, held pursuant to clause 6.1.

Immediate Past Chair” means the person holding office in accordance with clause 12.3(k).

Officer” means those Faculty Council positions stipulated in clause 12.2.

RACGP” means the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners.

Regulations” means these Faculty Regulations.

Regional Faculties” means the New South Wales and Australian Capital Territory Faculty; the Queensland Faculty, the South Australia and Northern Territory Faculty, the Tasmania Faculty, the Victoria Faculty and the Western Australia Faculty.

Resolution means a decision passed on a majority of votes of those present and eligible to vote, unless otherwise indicated, and “Resolve” has the corresponding meaning.

Other terms used in these Regulations have the meaning given to them in Part 11.9 of the Constitution.

4. Faculties

4.1 The RACGP Faculties approved by Board are the:

  1. National Faculty of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health;
  2. National Faculty of Specific Interests;
  3. National Rural Faculty;
  4. New South Wales and Australian Capital Territory Faculty;
  5. Queensland Faculty;
  6. South Australia and Northern Territory Faculty;
  7. Tasmania Faculty;
  8. Victoria Faculty; and
  9. Western Australia Faculty.

5. Faculty members

5.1 Faculty membership

  1. Part 3.2 of the Constitution explains every member resident in Australia is automatically a member of the Regional Faculty where they ordinarily reside from time to time.
  2. The reference to a “regional Faculty” in clause 23(d) of the Constitution is a reference to a Regional Faculty.
  3. For the purpose of clause 24(a) of the Constitution, all members may elect to join any or all of the National Rural Faculty, the National Faculty of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health or the National Faculty of Specific Interests.

5.2 Faculty members' rights

  1. All Faculty members are entitled to, in relation to their Faculty:
    1. receive all notices including invitations to Faculty Member Meetings; and
    2. attend Faculty Member Meetings.
  2. Only Faculty members who are Fellows, Members and Registrar Associates are entitled to, in relation to their Faculty:
    1. speak and vote at Faculty Member Meetings;
    2. participate in Faculty Ballots; and
    3. have their vote contribute toward the call for a Faculty Member Meeting pursuant to clause 6.2.

6. Faculty member meetings

6.1 The Faculty Member Meeting must be held prior to the RACGP’s Annual General Meeting each year.

6.2 Extraordinary Faculty Member Meetings may be called at any time (other than within 3 months of the Faculty Member Meeting) by Faculty Council Resolution or by request from at least 10% of Faculty members.

6.3 Notice of Faculty Member Meetings must be provided to all Faculty members at least 2 weeks prior to the event with details of the date, time, place and items for discussion.

6.4 The Provost will chair the Faculty Member Meeting. In the Provost’s absence, those Faculty Council members present must elect a chair from among their numbers. Or, if no Faculty Council members are present, the Faculty members must elect a chair from among those Faculty members present.

6.5 Ten (10) Faculty members constitute a quorum for Faculty Member Meetings.

6.6 If within half an hour of its start a quorum is not present, the Faculty Member Meeting must be adjourned or dissolved as the then chair may determine.

7. The faculty council

7.1 The Faculty Councils consists of:

  1. ex officio Council positions, being:
    1. Directors who are also Faculty members;
    2. the Faculty Censor;
    3. the Provost;
    4. the Assessment Panel Chair(s);
    5. the Immediate Past Chair (held in accordance with clause 12.3(k)); and (as applicable):
    6. the Education Committee chair; and
    7. for the National Faculty of Specific Interests, the chairs of each network endorsed by Council in accordance with clause 10.3;
  2. the Chair; and
  3. elected Faculty members, pursuant to clause 8; and
  4. individuals co-opted in accordance with clause 9.

8. Election of faculty council members

8.1 This clause 8 does not apply to the National Faculty of Specific Interests.

8.2 Faculty Elections will be conducted pursuant to the RACGP Elections Policy (CO-O-034), as updated from time to time.

8.3 If any Faculty Council positions remain vacant after the Faculty elections for whatever reason, the Faculty Council may, by Resolution, fill any remaining positions by appointing eligible Faculty members as casual vacancies, who will occupy that position from appointment until the Faculty Council member position they accept was due to expire.

8.4 The term of an elected Faculty Council member commences at the close of the first Faculty Member Meeting following their election and continues until the close of the second Faculty Member Meeting following their commencement.

8.5 There is no limit to the number of terms, consecutive or otherwise, to which Faculty members may be elected to the Faculty Council.

9. Co-opted faculty council members

9.1 Faculty Councils may by Resolution co-opt individuals.

9.2 For the purpose of clause 7.1(d), co-opted Faculty Council members must include (where practicable):

  1. a Fellow who has completed their Fellowship within the two year period prior to the date of their appointment to the Faculty Council;
  2. a Registrar Associate representative elected from among the Registrar Associates; and
  3. a registered medical student, and may include additional Faculty members, to an aggregate total number up to:
  4. for the National Faculty of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island Health, one half of total Faculty Council members; and
  5. for all other Faculties, one third of total Faculty Council members.

9.3 Co-opted Faculty Council members have and are entitled to exercise all the same rights and privileges as any other Faculty Council member.

9.4 The terms of co-opted Faculty Council members commence upon their co-option, and continue until the close of the next Faculty Member Meeting following their commencement, but are eligible for being co-opted again.

10. National faculty of specific interests network

10.1 Any National Faculty of Specific Interests member may, with the support of nine (9) other National Faculty of Specific Interests members, put to the National Faculty of Specific Interests Council the creation of a network, by submitting a proposal for such including all supporting information.

10.2 Upon receiving this proposal, the National Faculty of Specific Interests Council must, in its next meeting, assess whether:

  1. the proposed network is within a contextually, organisationally and/or clinically relevant area of general practice;
  2. the proposed network crosses-over with any existing network; and
  3. the creation of the proposed network would generally be appropriate for the RACGP.

10.3 If the National Faculty of Specific Interests Council resolves to support the creation of the proposed network, it must put it to the Board along with all supporting information.

10.4 If the Board Resolves to endorse the proposed network:

  1. it becomes an official network under the National Faculty of Specific Interests on and from that Resolution; and
  2. the proposer for the network becomes the initial chair of that network.

10.5 Networks may administer their activities as they see fit (within organisational boundaries).

10.6 The Board may by Resolution disestablish a formerly endorsed network.

11. Removal from a faculty council

11.1 The office of any Faculty Council member will become vacant if they: 

  1. have their RACGP Membership terminated;
  2. become bankrupt or enter into any arrangement or composition with their creditors or propose to do so;
  3. become of unsound mind or a person whose person or estate is liable to be dealt with in any way under the law relating to mental health;
  4. resign their office by notice in writing to the Faculty;
  5. are absent without the Faculty Council’s permission from 2 successive Faculty Council meetings, unless the Faculty Council Resolves their office not be vacated;
  6. for ex officio Faculty Council members, no longer hold an ex officio position;
  7. for Faculty Chairs, have their office of Councillor vacated pursuant to clause 69 of the Constitution; or
  8. cease to be a Faculty member.

11.2 Faculty members at a Faculty Member Meeting may by Resolution remove any Faculty Council member, before the expiration of their period of office.

12. Faculty council operations

12.1 Powers and Duties

  1. The Faculty Council will:
    1. prepare and submit to the Board an annual report of its activities and the activities of its committees and advisory boards for inclusion in the RACGP annual report; and
    2. otherwise exercise those powers which are delegated to it by the Board..
  2. The Faculty Council must cause minutes to be made of all proceedings at all Faculty Member Meetings, Faculty Council meetings and of any committee or advisory board meetings. Such minutes must be approved by the Chair at the following Faculty Council meeting, and must be made available to the Board promptly upon request.

12.2 Officers

  1. The Officers of a Faculty Council consist of:
    1. the Chair;
    2. Deputy Chair(s);
    3. the Provost;
    4. the Faculty Censor; and
    5. the Assessment Panel Chair(s).
  2. In addition to any powers conferred by delegated authority or exercised in the context other than that of the Faculties, Officers have the powers, roles and responsibilities imparted upon them in the Appendix.

12.3 Chair

  1. The Faculty Council must by Resolution elect a Chair:
    1. at least one (1) month prior to the RACGP Annual General Meeting in which the current Chair is due to retire; or
    2. at any time the Faculty Council does not otherwise have a Chair.
  2. No business may be conducted by a Faculty Board unless it has a Chair.
  3. Nominations for Chair will only be accepted from those Faculty Council members:
    1. eligible to serve on a company board;
    2. who are willing and able to meet the role description requirements as approved by Council; and
    3. in the case of the National Faculty of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health, who identify as an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander person.
  4. Despite clause 12.3(b), if no Faculty Council members are eligible or willing to nominate for Chair, the Faculty Council may co-opt additional Faculty members (pursuant to clause 9) who are eligible and willing, until a Chair is elected. Acceptance of the Chair’s office is subject to the successful candidate satisfying clause 12.3(c).
  5. The Chair’s election must promptly be communicated to the Board.
  6. A Chair elected pursuant to clause 12.3(a)i commences on and from the close of the next Annual General Meeting following their election and, subject to clause 11.2, holds office until the close of the second Annual General Meetings following their commencement at which point they must retire but, subject to clause 12.3(i), are eligible for re-election.
  7. A Chair elected pursuant to clause 12.3(a)ii commences on and from election and serves out the term for the Chair they replaced, at which point they must retire, but are eligible for re-election. Any such period of Chair does not count for the purpose of clause 12.4J.
  8. The Chair is a Faculty Council member in its own right. If the Chair was an elected Faculty Council member, upon election their previous office becomes vacant and the Faculty Council may fill it as a casual vacancy, or in the case of the National Faculty of Specific Interests, the relevant network may elect a replacement chair.
  9. A Chair cannot serve in that office for more than three (3) consecutive terms. However, in the event of exceptional or extenuating circumstances then applying, a Faculty Council may elect a Chair for a fourth (4th) consecutive term.
  10. A Faculty Council may remove a Chair by Resolution.
  11. If a Chair loses Office for any reason other than by removal from the register of any medical or professional authority recognised by the Board, they instantaneously become the Immediate Past Chair, displacing any current Immediate Past Chair in doing so. The Immediate Past Chair is a Faculty Council member in its own right, for a period of 12 months, after which is eligible for co-option or election. The Immediate Past Chair has all the rights of a Faculty Council member.

12.4 Deputy Chair(s)

  1. The Faculty Council may by Resolution at any time elect or remove one or more Deputy Chairs.
  2. Deputy Chairs hold office on and from their election until the conclusion of the next Faculty Member Meeting.

12.5 Provost

The Faculty Provost’s appointment must be made pursuant to the Terms of Reference - RACGP Provosts.

12.6 Faculty Censor

The Faculty Censor’s appointment must be made pursuant to the Terms of Reference - RACGP Board of Censors.

12.7 Assessment Panel Chair

The Assessment Panel Chair’s appointment must be made pursuant to the Terms of Reference - Board of Assessment.

12.8 Education Committee Chair

The Education Committee Chair’s appointment must, where appointed, be made pursuant to the Terms of Reference – Education Committee.

12.9 Executive

  1. The Faculty executive consists of all:
    1. Councillors who are also Faculty members;
    2. Officers; and
    3. other Faculty Council members as resolved by the Faculty Council.
  2. By Resolution, the Faculty Council may delegate any of its powers to the Faculty executive to be exercised between Faculty Council meetings.
  3. By Resolution, the Faculty Council may alter, amend or remove its delegated authority to the Faculty executive, or amend or overturn a decision of the Faculty executive.

12.10 Committees

The Faculty Council may by Resolution establish any number of committees consisting of Faculty members and subject matter experts, and may determine their terms of reference, membership and officers. Committees act in an advisory capacity to their Faculty only.

13. Faculty council meetings

13.1 The Faculty Council may meet together for the dispatch of business, adjourn and otherwise regulate its meetings as it thinks fit.

13.2 A third of the total number of Faculty Council members constitutes a quorum for a Faculty Council meeting.

13.3 Any Director who is not a Faculty member may attend any meeting of a Faculty Council. They are entitled to speak and vote at the meeting but are not counted in a quorum.

13.4 At any Faculty Council meeting, Resolutions are decided on a show of hands, unless a Ballot is required by the Chair or by any 5 Faculty Council members. In the case of an equality of votes the motion is not carried. The declaration by the Chair of the motion’s result must be recorded in the meeting minutes. Circulating resolutions will be deemed to have passed if all Faculty Council members sign a document stating they support the motion. 

13.5 Faculty Council members are deemed present at any Faculty Council meeting if participating by a means (including electronic) allowing all persons participating in the meeting to hear each other and interact.

14. Notice

14.1 An invitation or notice sent by email is deemed served if sent to the email address last supplied to the RACGP by that Faculty member, unless the sender is notified, by whatever means, the email was not successfully delivered.

15. Dispute resolution

15.1 This clause 15 relates only to disputes or issues concerning the construction or interpretation of these Regulations.

15.2 In the event of a dispute or issue, an aggrieved party may refer it to the President for resolution. The President must then convene a resolution committee, consisting of the President, the Vice President and another Councillor, to determine the dispute or issue.

15.3 The President will chair the resolution committee, save that should the President be conflicted in accordance with clause 15.4, the Vice President will chair.

15.4 In the event of any conflict of interest involving the dispute or issue, the relevant Councillors must step aside in favour of another non-conflicted Councillor.

16. Administration of this policy

16.1 Access to published policy

This policy will be available on the RACGP website and internal RACGP intranet.

16.2 Review of this policy

This policy will have a review cycle of three years.

Appendix

Roles and responsibilities for faculty officers*

* The below roles and responsibilities relate to Faculty Council operations only. For full roles and responsibilities refer to the appropriate terms of reference.

1. The chair

The Chair will:

  1. chair all Faculty Council meetings and oversee the Faculty Council’s committees and networks to ensure they function properly;
  2. provide leadership to enhance the Faculty Council’s effectiveness;
  3. foster a sense of cohesiveness among Faculty Council members and encourage open debate and discussion of issues;
  4. set agendas for Faculty Council meetings and teleconferences;
  5. work with the Board to oversee the strategic direction of the Faculty and the RACGP;
  6. have an outreach role in representing the interests of the RACGP;
  7. engage and consult with Faculty Council members;
  8. in relation to Regional Faculties:
    1. work closely with the chairs and senior staff of general practice organisations at a state level; and
    2. seek to meet regularly with the State Health Minister, and the state department of health;
  9. work closely with senior staff of University Medical schools at a state level, networking with important stakeholders; and
  10. as required, convene State conferences and educational events.

2. The deputy chair(s)

The Deputy Chair(s) will:

  1. support the Chair in their overall responsibilities; and
  2. chair the Faculty Council meetings if the Chair is absent.

3. The faculty censor 

The Faculty Censor will:

  1. be the spokesperson for the Faculty on all assessment-related issues; and
  2. represent the Board of Censors to the Faculty.

4. The provost

The Provost will:

  1. chair all Faculty Member Meetings;
  2. represent the President to the Faculty;
  3. officiate at all major RACGP functions, including the Annual Dinner and Academic Ceremonies for Regional Faculties when held;
  4. contribute advice to the Faculty to enhance the strategic direction of the Faculty and the RACGP;
  5. act as an advocate for the RACGP, internally and externally, and play a key role in providing counsel to Chairs and Faculty Council regarding past resolutions of the RACGP; and
  6. be responsible for the creation and maintenance of an atmosphere that contributes to excellence in all endeavours of the Faculty.

5. The assessment panel chair

The Assessment Panel Chair will:

  1. ensure the standards for conduct of the RACGP assessments are upheld within the Faculty;
  2. ensure Faculty assessments accord with the strategic directions and regulations of the RACGP;
  3. ensure the logistical and administrative requirements for the RACGP assessments within the Faculty are met; and
  4. represent the Board of Assessment to the Faculty.

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