The Constitution of the Namibian Chiropractic Association
To establish and maintain a professional association that represents the interest of the profession of Chiropractic and the practice of Chiropractic in Namibia.
1. DEFINITION AND INTERPRETATION
- 1.1 The following words and phrases, unless the context otherwise requires, shall have the following meanings:
‘Association’ means the Namibian Chiropractic Association
‘Act‘ means the Allied Health Professions Act, 7 of 2004 and the Regulations thereto;
‘Constitution’ means the Constitution of the Namibian Chiropractic Association
‘Council’ means the Allied Health Professions Council of Namibia;
‘Rules’ means the general rules of the association made in terms of this constitution;
- 1.2 In the constitution:
- Headings are for purpose of reference only and shall not be included in the interpretation of the content of the relevant clauses
- Words in the singular shall include words in the plural if same is relevant
- Words referring to the masculine gender shall include the feminine gender
- Words referring to persons shall include juristic persons where same is appropriate
2. ESTABLISHMENT AND OFFICE OF THE ASSOCIATION
- 2.1 It is hereby established the professional association known as the “Namibian Chiropractic Association”, which association shall also be known and referred to as “NCA”, which association shall collectively represent the interests of the profession of Chiropractic; and the interests of Chiropractors.
- 2.2 The office of the Association shall be in such place as is from time to time decided, provided that any change of business address or postal address of the association shall be made known to all members of the association by way of writing at least 60 (sixty) days before such change becomes effective.
3. OBJECTIVES OF THE ASSOCIATION
The policy of the association shall be to promote and foster the interests of its members and of the Chiropractic profession for the attainment and furtherance of the aforesaid policy. The objectives shall include, but not be limited to:
- 3.1 The protection and support of the professional interests of the members by addressing the professional needs of the members to enable them to practice as a Chiropractor to the best of their abilities.
- 3.2 The promotion for a greater appreciation of the benefits of Chiropractic among the general public and encouragement of the greater efficacy of Chiropractic in Namibia
- 3.3 The promotion of ethics and standards within the profession and amongst the members
- 3.4 The collective representation of the profession of Chiropractic with authority and credibility on behalf of the members
- 3.5 To act as a principal coordinating and negotiating body on behalf of the members for the profession of Chiropractic
- 3.6 To participate in the promotion of healthcare programmes for the benefit of the community by promoting health through the expertise and influence of Chiropractic
- 3.7 To encourage scientific research in the profession of Chiropractic
- 3.8 To promote, support or oppose any legislative or other measures touching the interests of the Association or the practice of Chiropractic
4. EFFECTING OF OBJECTIVES
- 4.1 The Association shall pursue its objectives through:
- 4.1.1 holding congresses, discussions and gatherings;
Instituting investigations; publishing scientific information; and performing such actions as are considered desirable;
- 4.1.2 striving for effective training through contact with universities and other institutions; and aiming for good opportunities of CPD through a broad contact base with professionals and scientists of all subjects of relevance to the profession;
- 4.1.3 formulating a code of ethics and promoting its adherence among members;
- 4.1.4 continuously evaluating relevant legislations, recommending alterations and initiating new legislation to improve the profession of Chiropractic as a science; as well as ensuring the continued supply of medicines / substances and instruments needed by the profession.
- 4.1.5 promoting and making known the services of Chiropractic; and
- 4.1.6 promoting, supporting, and advising on the production, importation, registration, continuous supply and availability of good quality chiropractic appliances and other substances.
- 4.1.7 maintaining contact with the Namibian Medicine Control Council and other relevant authorities.
5. POWERS AND FUNCTIONS
- 5.1 Institute and defend legal action in the name of the association
- 5.2 Enter into any legal contract, business or otherwise, in connection with the carrying out of the duties, functions and powers of the association
- 5.3 Engage in all financial activities necessary to run the business of the association, including but not limited to the opening and operating of a banking account provided that such activities shall not unnecessarily expose the association to financial risk
- 5.4 Pay or reimburse some or all costs and expenses incurred, where such costs and expenses are incurred in the furtherance of the objectives or interests of the association or the member
- 5.5 Employ and remunerate employees, as the association deems necessary
- 5.6 Afford legal or financial or other assistance to its members when such assistance is deemed necessary and appropriate.
- 5.7 Generally do all things incidental, conducive or legally necessary in order to achieve the objectives of the association
- 5.8 The publication of a newsletter or newspaper, information pamphlets. etc.
- 6.1 Categories
The following categories of membership are hereby established:
- Full Member
- Student Member
- Life Member
- Honorary Member
- Affiliated Member
- 6.1.1 Member
A Full Member shall be, on approval by the association, a person registered as a Chiropractor or a Chiropractic Intern in terms of the Act, and shall possess the following rights and privileges:
- 22.214.171.124 The right to vote at general meetings;
- 126.96.36.199 The right to participate in the proceedings and the debates at general meetings;
- 188.8.131.52 The right to be elected as a member of the Executive Committee;
- 184.108.40.206 The right to participate in and the right to enjoy the benefits and general activities of the association
- 6.1.2 Student Member
A Student Member shall be, on approval by the association, a person registered as a Chiropractor or a Chiropractic Intern in terms of the Act, and shall possess the following rights and privileges:
- 220.127.116.11 The right to vote on items on the agenda at general meetings relating to student matters;
- 18.104.22.168 The right to participate in the proceedings and the debates at general meetings relating to student matters;
- 22.214.171.124 The right to participate in and the right to enjoy the benefits and general activities of the association
- 6.1.3 Life Member
- 126.96.36.199 Members who have been Full Members of the association for at least 25(twenty five) years in aggregate shall automatically become Life Members, and shall enjoy the same rights and privileges of a Full Member
- 188.8.131.52 Nothing in the clause shall preclude the Executive Committee from granting Life membership to a member whom the Executive Committee, in its discretion, deems such membership justified and appropriate even if the member does not meet the requirements of Life Membership
- 184.108.40.206 Nominations for such membership should comply with Criteria as identified in paragraph 6.2
- 6.1.4 Honorary Members
- 220.127.116.11 The association may confer Honorary Membership on a person who is not a Chiropractor, but who in the opinion of the association has made a valuable contribution to the advancement of Chiropractic, Chiropractic science or the welfare and benefit of the association.
- 18.104.22.168 Honorary members shall not enjoy any rights or privileges within the association.
- 22.214.171.124 Nominations for such membership should comply with Criteria as identified in paragraph 6.2
- 6.1.5 Affiliated Member
The association may confer Affiliated Membership only if Temporary Registration has been approved by the Council for educational purposes.
- 6.2 Criteria for Life / Honorary Membership
- 6.2.1. Life Membership awarded in terms of paragraph 126.96.36.199 of the NCA Constitution should only be awarded in exceptional circumstances, to exceptional individuals.
- 6.2.2 A member so honoured shall retain such membership for life and be exempted from paying any membership fees.
- 6.2.3 Such member may or may not be retired from active practice.
- 6.2.4 Such member shall be so honoured for his or her exceptional service, exemplary contribution and/or dedication to the Chiropractic Profession.
- 6.2.5 Such member shall be so honoured for his or her achievements, not only in the Chiropractic Profession, but also for his/her life achievements.
- 6.2.6 Such member shall be of high moral and ethical standing and respected for his/her professional and general integrity and conduct.
- 6.2.7 Such member shall be a highly esteemed and highly regarded individual both within the Chiropractic Profession and his/her community.
- 6.2.8 Such member should be an asset to the image of the NCA
- 6.2.9 Such honour should be bestowed upon a few for few shall satisfy the requirements for such honour.
- 6.3 Termination of membership
- 6.3.1 Membership shall be terminated by:
- 188.8.131.52.1 Death of a Member
- 184.108.40.206.2 Resignation of a Member:
Member may resign from the association, where such notice of resignation is in writing, and which resignation shall be effective on receipt of such notice. A member will not be refunded membership fees in full or pro rata on resignation.
- 220.127.116.11.3 Non-payment of fees:
If a member fails to pay annual membership fees within 90 days from the date on which such fees are payable and after ignoring a reminder.
- 18.104.22.168.4 Disqualification:
If a member for any reason, which reason may be temporary or permanent, no longer qualifies for membership in terms of clause 6.1.1 in respect of Full Members and clause 6.1.2 in respect of Student Members
- 22.214.171.124 Disciplinary Action
Subject to the provisions of clause 14, membership may be terminated as a result of formal disciplinary action taken by the Executive Committee, or if a member is convicted of a criminal offence and sentenced to imprisonment without the option of a fine.
- 6.3.2 Subject to clause 14, once membership has been terminated in terms of clauses 14.2.1 a person requiring reinstatement of membership shall be required to apply for membership in terms of clause7.2
- 7.1 Meetings of the Members: Annual general meetings The association shall hold a general meeting of its members at least once annually, which meeting shall be convened by way of notice as provided in clause 7.3 and shall be described as an annual general meeting of the association
- 7.2 Meetings of the Members: Special general meetings
- 7.2.1 The Executive Committee may convene a special general meeting and notice shall be provided in terms of clause 7.3
- 7.2.2 A special general meeting shall be convened on request of at least 30% (thirty percent) of the Full Members of the association, provided such request is in writing and which request states the reason for such meeting. Such special meeting shall be held within 90 (ninety) days from the date on which the Executive Committee received notice of such request, and notice of such meeting where so far as possible shall be given in terms of clause 7.3
- 7.3 Notice of meetings
- 7.3.1 Members shall be given at least 21 (twenty one) days written notice of an annual general meeting, and where so far as possible 14 (fourteen) days written notice of a special general notice
- 7.3.2 Such notice of meetings shall include the agenda for such meeting together with any documentation necessary and relevant to such meeting.
- 7.3.3 In the event of the short notice of a meeting, and subject to the provisions of clause 7.3.1 such notice may be considered valid provided that at least 75% (seventy five percent) of the members present at such meeting condone such short notice
- 7.4 Proceedings at meetings
- 7.4.1 Quorum
- 126.96.36.199 A quorum at a general meeting shall be 30% (thirty percent) of the membership entitled to vote.
- 188.8.131.52 If there is no quorum present after 30 (thirty ) minutes from the time the meeting should have commenced, then-
- If such meeting is an annual general meeting, the meeting shall be postponed to a time and date to be determined by the Executive Committee, and where the members then present shall constitute a quorum; or
- If such a meeting is a special general meeting, as provided for in clause 7.2, then such meeting shall be dissolved
- 7.4.2 Chairperson of the meeting:
The President of the association shall preside as Chairperson at every meeting of the members. In the event that the Chairperson is unable to attend the meeting the Vice- President shall preside as Chairperson of the meeting. In the event that both the President and Vice-President are unable to attend the Secretary General shall preside as Chairperson. In the event that neither of these three persons are able to attend the meeting the members shall elect a member to preside as Chairperson of the meeting.
- 7.5 Voting at general meetings
- 7.5.1 Any resolution put to the vote shall be decided by a show of hands by the members so entitled to vote as per clauses 6.1.1, 6.1.2, and 6.1.3.
- 7.5.2 The Chairperson of the meeting shall declare a resolution passed or rejected, and only such declaration shall be recorded in the minutes of the meeting.
- 7.5.3 In the case of an equality of votes the Chairperson of the meeting shall have a deciding vote
- 7.5.4 Voting by the members so entitled to vote as per clause 6.1.1, 6.1.2 and 6.1.3 for purposes of electing office bearers shall be by way of secret ballot.
- 7.5.5 Only those members present at the meeting shall be entitled to vote.
- 7.5.6 In the event of excused absence of an Association Member, proxy vote is permitted. A signed proxy form has to be submitted.
8. SPECIALIST COMMITTEES
- 8.1 Appointment of Specialist Committees
- 8.1.1 The Executive Committee or the Full Members at any general meeting may from time to time appoint and establish such Specialist Committees as may be deemed necessary to investigate and report to the Executive Committee on matters falling within this scope of function or directives.
- 8.1.2 Nothing contained herein shall prohibit the establishment of permanent Specialist Committees.
- 8.1.3 The Chairperson of each Specialist Committee shall be a Full Member of the association.
- 8.1.4 Nothing contained herein shall prohibit the appointment of a non-Member of the association to serve on a Specialist Committee
- 8.2 Powers and Functions of Specialist Committees
The Executive Committee may delegate to any Specialist Committee such powers and functions as it may determine from time to time, provided that the Executive Committee shall not be divested of any powers so delegated and may amend or set aside any decision of such Specialist Committee.
9. EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
- 9.1 Composition of the Executive Committee
The Executive Committee shall consist of the President, the Vice-President, a Secretary-General, and one Executive Committee Member.
- 9.2 Powers and Functions of the Executive Committee
- The Executive Committee shall have executive powers to execute the powers and functions of the Association and to act on behalf of the Association
- The Executive Committee shall perform the day-to-day management and tasks of the Association.
- 9.3 Meetings of the Executive Committee
- 9.3.1 A Member to the Executive Committee may at any time call a meeting of the Executive Committee.
- 9.3.2 A quorum for meetings of the Executive Committee shall be 3 (three) members of the Executive Committee.
- 9.3.3 The meeting procedures, including voting and notice of such meetings shall be determined by the Executive Committee and shall be contained in the general rules.
- 10.1 Appointment of the Secretary-General
- 10.1.1 The Executive Committee shall appoint a Secretary-General at its first meeting after the General Meeting and such appointment shall take into consideration the administration skills of the applicants.
- 10.1.2 The Secretary-General shall be a Full Member of the association.
- 10.1.3 The Executive Committee shall further appoint any other person or persons necessary to assist the Secretary-General with the administration of the association.
- 10.1.4 The Executive Committee may determine payment and other allowances to the Secretary-General or any person appointed to assist the Secretary-General.
- 10.2 Powers and duties of the Secretary-General
- 10.2.1 The Secretary-General shall be responsible for the day-to-day administration of the association, ensuring that the activities of the association and the Executive Committee are managed in an organised manner according to sound management policies.
- 10.2.2 The Secretary-General may act as an official representative of the association.
- 10.2.3 The Secretary-General shall be a standing member of the Executive Committee.
- 10.3 Disqualification of the Secretary-General
The Secretary-General shall cease to hold office if –
- 10.3.1 The Secretary-General ceases to be a member of the association as provided in clause 6.3;
- 10.3.2 The Secretary-General is, in the unanimous opinion of the Executive Committee, mentally or physically impaired to such an extent that the Secretary-General can no longer fulfil the duties as a Secretary-General.
- 10.3.3 The Secretary-General resigns from his office provided that such notice of resignation is in writing;
- 10.3.4 A written notice requesting the removal from office is signed by at least 50% (fifty percent) of the Full Members of the association and is delivered to the office of the association; and
- 10.3.5 Any disciplinary action is taken against the Secretary-General in terms of the constitution; and
- 10.3.6 The estate of the Secretary-General is declared insolvent in terms of an Order of Court.
11. PRESIDENT OF THE ASSOCIATION
- 11.1 Appointment of the President
- 11.1.1 The Executive Committee shall appoint the President at its first meeting after the General Meeting and such appointment shall take into consideration the leadership and management skills of the applicants.
- 11.1.2 The President must be a Full Member of the association.
- 11.1.3 At the first General Meeting, the Executive Committee shall elect from the already appointed members an acting President, who shall act as President of the meeting, as well as all subsequent meetings of the Executive Committee.
- 11.1.4 The President shall hold office for a period of 12 months, and may be appointed for any further periods as the Executive Committee may determine.
- 11.1.5 The Executive Committee may determine payment and other allowances to the President.
- 11.2 Disqualification of the President
The President shall cease to hold office if –
- 11.2.1 The President ceases to be a member of the association as provided in clause 7.3;
- 11.2.2 The President is, in the unanimous opinion of the Executive Committee, mentally or physically impaired to such an extent that the President can no longer fulfil the duties as a President.
- 11.2.3 The President resigns from his office provided that such notice of resignation is in writing;
- 11.2.4 A written notice requesting the removal from office is signed by at least 50% (fifty percent) of the Full Members of the association and is delivered to the office of the association; and
- 11.2.5 Any disciplinary action is taken against the Chairperson in terms of the constitution.
- 11.2.6 The estate of the President is declared insolvent in terms of an Order of Court.
12. LIMITATION OF LIABILITY
The Secretary General, Executive Committee, Vice-President and the President shall not incur any personal liability for any act or action performed bona fide in the course or scope of his functions or duties and shall deemed to be indemnified against all claims and losses by the association, provided such claims and losses are not as a result of fraudulent or dishonest actions.
13. DISCIPLINARY PROCEDURES
- 13.1 Suspension of Membership for Unprofessional Conduct
- 13.1.1 The Executive Committee shall have the authority to immediately suspend the membership of a member if the Executive Committee is of the opinion that the misconduct of a member is of such a serious nature where the member’s physical or mental condition, or the member’s professional conduct shows the likelihood of harm to the safety of the patient or the quality of patient care.
- 13.1.2 The Secretary-General shall notify the member of his suspension by way of a formal notice, which suspension shall be effective 7 (seven) days after the said notice has been sent.
- 13.1.3 The notice of suspension shall detail the reason for suspension and inform the Member that he has 30 (thirty) days to appeal against such suspension, which appeal shall be in writing addressed to the office of the association.
- 13.1.4 The Executive Committee shall review the matter, and should the Executive Committee deem it appropriate, it shall convene a disciplinary hearing at a date, time and place to be determined, provided such hearing shall take place within 90 (ninety) days from date of reviewing the matter.
- 13.1.5 On review of the member’s appeal, the Executive Committee may deem it appropriate to revoke the suspension and proceed with a disciplinary hearing in terms of clause 13.2
- 13.2 Disciplinary Action
The Executive Committee may take disciplinary action against a member when –
- The activities or conduct of the member is deemed by the Executive Committee to be detrimental to the safety of patients or the delivery of quality patient care;
- The activities or conduct of the member may bring the association, its members or the professions into dispute;
- The Executive Committee is aware of unethical or unprofessional conduct by the member;
- The member is convicted of a criminal offence and where the member is sentenced to imprisonment without the option of a fine;
- The Executive Committee is of the opinion that a member is mentally or physically incapable of continuing to practice as a Chiropractor;
- The member has contravened or violated the provisions of the constitution or the rules of the association.
- 13.2.1 Disciplinary Procedure
- Notwithstanding the provisions of clause 13.1, disciplinary action may be taken against a member-
- When such action is initiated by the Executive Committee on its own initiative;
- On the request or recommendation from a member of the association;
- On the request or recommendation from a member of the public;
- As a result of an investigation undertaken by the Executive Committee or a committee established for purposes of such investigation.
- On receipt of a complaint against a member, the Executive Committee shall notify the member of such complaint in writing, and request that the member provide a written explanation to such complaint. The member shall be permitted 30 (thirty) days in which to provide such written response.
- On receipt of the notice of complaint, the member may –
- Admit guilt to the complaint
- Provide a reasonable explanation as to the complaint; or
- Deny the content of the complaint
- Should the member admit guilt, the Executive Committee may impose a sanction on the member in terms of clause 13.2.2
- If the Executive Committee is of the opinion that the matter can be decided on the papers, the Executive Committee may resolve the matter accordingly, either by dismissing the matter, or alternatively imposing a sanction on the member in terms of clause 13.2.2
- If the Executive Committee deems it appropriate, the member shall be called before a disciplinary hearing, which disciplinary hearing, shall be conducted in the manner prescribed in the general rules.
- All notices under this clause shall be sent to the member by way of registered post, alternatively by way of hand delivery.
- 13.2.2 Disciplinary Sanctions
If a member pleads guilty to the charges, alternatively the Executive Committee deem it appropriate, alternatively the member is found guilty at a disciplinary hearing, the following sanctions may be imposed on such member:
- May be cautioned and or reprimanded
- May have his membership suspended for a period of time determined by the disciplinary privileges in terms of the constitution and rules thereto;
- May be fined;
- May have his membership terminated.
- 14.1 Membership fees
- Members shall be required to pay membership fees on an annual basis. Failure to pay such fees within 90 (ninety) days from the due date shall result in termination of membership.
- Membership fees shall be determined from time to time and notice of such fees shall be sent to the members.
- Any arrear membership fees may be recovered by way of legal action, which the cost thereof shall be for the account of the member.
- 14.2 Financial year-end
The financial year of the association shall be from the first day of March, until the twenty-eighth day of February.
- 14.3 Financial statements
An independent auditor or Certified Financial Accountant (CFA) shall on an annual basis audit the financial statements of the association only once the association is in the financial situation where annual auditing is required by law.
- 15.1 General rules
The Members present at a general meeting, the Executive Committee may make general rules relating to:
- The terms of office to the Executive Committee, the Secretary-General and other office bearers;
- The conduct of meetings and procedures;
- The disciplinary hearing procedure, including the composition of a disciplinary panel;
- The allowances paid to office bearers;
- The manner and terms relating to the identification and appointment of specialist committees;
- Provisions specifically provided for in the constitution;
- Matters that are considered necessary to give effect to the objectives of the association.
- 15.2 Amendments
Any provisions of the constitution may be amended by resolution at a general meeting of members or a special general meeting of the members, provided such resolution is supported by at least 75% (seventy five percent) of the Full Members present at the meeting
- 15.3 Implementation
The constitution shall be considered enacted form date of signature and shall persist for the duration of the continued operation of the NCA pending further amendment.
- 15.4 Dissolution
- The association may be dissolved, provided the desire for such dissolution shall be recorded in writing and signed by at least 75% (seventy five percent) of all the members of the association.
- On dissolution the assets of the association shall be transferred to an organisation or association with similar objectives and purposes, alternatively the assets shall be distributed to the members according to the provisions of a general resolution so passed by the members.
THUS SIGNED BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE ASSOCIATION ON THIS THE 1ST DAY OF NOVEMBER 2009