Bylaws

Bylaws of the International Federation for Medical and Biological Engineering

The office of the Federation shall normally be at the address of the Secretary- General but may be changed at the discretion of the Administrative Council.

The Federation may hold international scientific meetings with the help of a committee based on a local Member Organisation and may participate in national, regional, and specialized meetings. In addition to any international meetings it may hold, it shall hold a major international scientific congress generally every three years, which will be the occasion for a session of the General Assembly.

The Federation may publish or enter into agreement with others to publish such journals, conference proceedings and major publications as may be authorized by the General Assembly.

The working language of the Federation is English. However, the Federation will accept a wide selection of official languages in addition to English for international scientific meetings wherever this is financially feasible.

The Federation may establish Working Groups to deal with specific and well-defined fields of particular interest to the Federation. Administratively, these Groups will be sub-groups of the Administrative Council which will define the mission and financial conditions under which they will operate.

The Federation may establish Special Divisions within the field of its interests to facilitate the growth and development of a branch of the subject and the holding of meetings and seminars on special topics. Administratively, divisions will be responsible to the Administrative Council which will define the terms of reference and the financial conditions under which they shall operate.

The Federation may from time to time wish to carry out special projects under Article 3 of the Constitution. Such projects shall be directed by the Administrative Council, but they must be reported on, together with the financial costs and implications, at each Session of the General Assembly.

a) Members
Members of the Federation under Article 4 of the Constitution must present evidence that they are carrying on one or more of the activities in an area or areas relevant to Medical and Biological Engineering: holding regular meetings, publishing a journal or proceedings meeting professional standards, and maintaining study groups. Such a member organisation must be formed on a non-profit basis, must maintain high ethical standards, must have a President, Secretary and Treasurer, or equivalent officers and a constitution and Bylaws or other official certification of its organisation and operation; Constitution and Bylaws shall be written in the spirit of the UN Declaration of Human Rights and membership and the position of Officer shall be open to all suitably qualified applicants without restriction or reservation based on distinctions such as race, ethnicity, gender, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. The organisation must present a census of membership and the names of the Officers with their contact information. UN Declaration of Human Rights quotes the list of unacceptable restrictions.
The Secretary-General shall assemble a folder on each application of membership with supporting documents, and shall submit it to the Officers, the Membership Committee and to the Constitution and Bylaws Committee for review and recommendations to the Administrative Council for approval. The completed application shall then be submitted to the General Assembly by electronic mail and shall require for approval a majority vote of those delegates of the General Assembly responding to the electronic ballot within fifteen days.

When, because of the size of the country or for other good reasons such as distinct areas of interest and specialization, there are several organisations in the field of Medical and Biological Engineering in a single country wishing to become Members of the Federation, the Federation may accept as a Member an affiliate of an existing National member society, or the Federation may accept as Member society more than the existing National member organisation from that country. The additional applicant must provide good reasons why they should be admitted in addition to the National member society. The National member society shall be asked to comment on the application of the additional Member society and shall do so within 60 days. The applicant must satisfy the conditions for membership contained in Paragraph 1 of this Article, above. In those countries in which there are more than one organisation, which are Members of the Federation, the subscription dues of each member organisation shall be based on the number of members of that organisation; the number of Delegates at the General Assembly shall be based on the number of the total membership of all organisations in that country that are Members of the Federation, as specified in Bylaw #12.

A Transnational organisation shall be considered for membership in the Federation, if its areas of interest and activities blend with those of the Federation, and if it has its member societies in different countries. However, the Transnational organisation shall not be considered for membership if its inclusion in Federation would bring the number of delegates for all Transnational organisations in the Federation above the limit of 25% of the total number of delegates to the General Assembly of the Federation. The location of the headquarters of a Transnational society shall be considered as the location for assignment to the corresponding region of the Federation.

b) Observers
The Administrative Council may grant the status of Observer to professional societies or organisations pending the determination of their acceptable application for membership. This is, however, a temporary status and in any event must be reviewed annually. The observers may be allowed to attend the General Assembly of the Federation but will not have the right to vote and cannot stand for an elected position in the Federation.

c) Individual members
As a special case, individual professionals/academics involved with biomedical engineering field interested in initiating the formation of the society for the membership in the Federation, may be granted an observer status.

d) Honorary Life Members
Honorary Life Members shall be elected as laid down in Bylaw 23. Honorary Life Members are allowed to attend the General Assembly as observers if they are not delegates to the General Assembly.

The following privileges and rights are granted to Member Organisations:
a) Receiving and distribution of copies of any Federation newsletter to their members,
b) access to the register of other Member Organisations,
c) permission to indicate their Membership on their stationary, business cards and other relevant documents and announcements,
d) reduced rates of subscription to the Journal of the Federation and its publications, and reduced registration fees at conferences including the World Congress when such reductions are provided, for their members,
e) participation in all the activities of the Federation, including being candidates for elected positions, voting at the General Assembly, nominating for the Federation Awards,
f) representation on the General Assembly of the Federation, as provided by the Constitution and Bylaws.

Members shall:
a) pay their membership dues when requested to do so under Bylaw 29 and keep the society status active and in good standing,
b) disseminate to all their members any Federation calls for papers, news releases, conference notices, or other material for general circulation,
c) supply the Federation with information on their own meetings and activities,
d) notify changes of their elected officers, Constitution, Bylaws, or delegates to the Secretary-General,
e) appoint a member of their executive committee, usually the secretary, to be a member of the Council of Societies, and to act as liaison officer to the Federation.

The President of the International Federation for Medical and Biological Engineering shall preside over the General Assembly. In the absence of the President, the meeting shall be presided over by the Vice- President, or in the absence of the Vice-President, by the immediate Past-President.

The number of delegates, which may represent each Member Organisation at the General Assembly shall, to the nearest integer, be equal to the common logarithm of the number of individual members in that organisation, as follows:

Number of Members Number of Delegates
31 or less 1
32 to 316 2
317 to 3162 3
3163 and above 4

In those countries in which there are more than one organisation, which are Members of the Federation, the total number of Delegates at the General Assembly would be based on the number of the total membership of all the organisations that are members of the Federation. The distribution of the number of Delegates within this total number shall, to the nearest integer, be in direct proportion to the number of members of the individual organisations.

If an actual membership number cannot easily be determined, as for instance when the Member is a national liaison body of several societies, the Administrative Council may negotiate with the Member Organisation an agreed effective number of members for the purpose of arriving at dues and the number of Delegates to be appointed.

Delegates to the General Assembly shall be selected by each Member Organisation. The names of the selected Delegates shall be communicated in writing to the Secretary-General. Similarly, all changes of Delegates must be notified in writing.

If for any reason a Delegate cannot attend a meeting of the General Assembly, the Member Organisation can authorize an alternate delegate and inform the Secretary General two weeks before the General Assembly

The General Assembly shall have its normal Session at the time of the International Congress of the Federation, generally held triennially except when held at a different time due to situations beyond control (such as pandemic or force majeure). All meetings of the General Assembly held in connection with a given International Conference shall be considered to be a single General Assembly Session. An Extraordinary Session may be convened under Article 6 of the Constitution.

The agenda for a Session of the General Assembly shall be prepared by the Secretary-General on behalf of the Administrative Council and shall include, at least,
a) reports from the President, Secretary-General, Treasurer, and Editor of the Federation Journal, Medical and Biological Engineering and Computing.

b) reports from the Nominating Committee and the Awards Committee,

c) reports from other committees of the General Assembly, business presented by the Administrative Council, and

d) the agenda shall be sent to all members of the General Assembly at least 30 days before the first meeting of a Session of the General Assembly.

e) any new business not included in the announced Agenda of the General Assembly, presented in writing in advance of the General Assembly by any Delegate. The requirement for written presentation may be waived by the presiding officer of the General Assembly.

The delegates authorised by the Member Organisations of the Federation may attend the General Assembly and participate in its discussions.

Under Article 6 of the Constitution voting is restricted to:
a) Members of the Administrative Council,
b) Delegates, or named alternates, under the conditions laid down by Bylaw 12.

Voting shall normally be by a show of hands unless a secret ballot is requested. In case that physical meetings of the General Assembly are considered not to be possible due to situations beyond control, the Administrative Council shall declare electronic voting following the framework established by the Administrative Council. The Officers may with the approval of the Administrative Council organize a hybrid or a fully virtual meeting of the General Assembly. All rules and procedures shall be retained also in case of a hybrid or a fully remote meeting.
In the case of a tie, the deciding vote shall be cast by the presiding officer.

Between Sessions of the General Assembly, if needed, various business including voting may be conducted by electronic mail with the approval of the Administrative Council. The President/Secretary of each Member Organisation and each Delegate must be notified by the Secretary-General of the business being conducted at a General Assembly or in between two sessions of the General Assembly and a majority vote of all voting members shall be required for the passage of a motion for all proposals.

A quorum of the General Assembly shall consist of at least one Delegate from at least half the number of Member Organisations.

Business may be conducted with the quorum, but decisions must subsequently be ratified by a majority vote of the voting members of the General Assembly, conducted by electronic means.

The Secretary-General or his designate shall keep the minutes of each meeting of the General Assembly. These minutes shall be sent to all voting members two months before the subsequent General Assembly. They shall then be approved or amended by electronic balloting and signed by the President. Copies of the approved minutes shall be sent to all Delegates, Member Organisations and Observers.

The Administrative council consists of:

The President, the President-Elect, the Secretary General, the Treasurer, the Past President, six elected members (6 years terms staggered, one elected member from each Regional Group (RGR) of the Council of Societies (3 years terms), Council of Societies Chairperson, Division Chairpersons (for all Divisions) and Chairperson of the International Academy of Medical and Biological Engineering.

The Vice-President shall be the President-Elect of the Federation.

a) The Vice-President, Secretary-General, Treasurer, and three members of the Administrative Council shall be elected by the General Assembly from a list of nominated members of the Member Organisations put forward by the Nominating Committee of the General Assembly. Also included in Administrative Council are three Administrative Council members elected at the previous General Assembly with a term of six years and three elected for six years starting from the General Assembly.

b) At least 60 days before each Session of the General Assembly, the Secretary-General shall notify the secretary of each Member Organisation of listed Delegates and shall request notification of any amendments. The Secretary-General shall also request from them the nomination(s) of any of their individual members interested in being considered for election for the position of the President Elect, Secretary General, Treasurer, and non-officer member of the Administrative Council of the Federation.

c) The Secretary-General shall forward to the members of the Nominating Committee a list of suggested candidates seeking election for open positions with appropriate supporting documents.

d) In preparing a list of nominated candidates for presentation to the General Assembly, the Nominating Committee shall first consider the list transmitted by the Secretary-General. It is then open to the Nominating Committee to add additional names to the list from the individual membership of the Member Organisations if the Committee considers that it would be in the interest of the Federation to do so.

e) The Nominating Committee shall prepare a final list of individuals for presentation to the General Assembly as nominated candidates. This final list should include, if possible, at least two candidates for election to each open position, together with at least two more nominations than the number of Council vacancies and should have an inclusive regional and international representation while conforming to the requirements of the positions.

f) The final list shall be presented to the General Assembly and voting shall proceed in the following sequence: Vice-President, Secretary-General, Treasurer, and other Administrative Council members (non-officer category). Candidates unsuccessful for the Offices of Vice-President, Secretary- General, and Treasurer, are eligible and may if they so desire, be added to the list of candidates for the Administrative Council members in the non-officer category. Voting shall be by a simple majority, in the case of a tie, the deciding vote will be cast by the presiding officer.

g) The voting for elected members of the Administrative Council in the non-officer category shall be done concurrently. Each member of the General Assembly may vote for the same number of candidates as the number of open positions.

h) On occasion, due to a resignation, death, or other circumstances leading to inability to retain the mandate, it may be necessary to hold an election between two sessions of the General Assembly. This shall be carried out by electronic means and the procedure shall be the same as that for the election at the General Assembly; however, the timing of the stages in the election process shall relate to the date on which it is proposed to send out the ballots and the balloting is completed, and the results are finalized.

i) To ensure continuity the Administrative Council may decide to hold the election for the post of Secretary-General or Treasurer of the Federation in advance of the next Session of the General Assembly at the triennial congress at a special General Assembly conducted remotely or in a hybrid mode. The Administrative Council must make this decision and notify all member societies latest one month before the next Session of the General Assembly. An officer so elected will be known as the Secretary-General Elect or Treasurer Elect and will not formally take the office until the next General Assembly; the term of office will therefore commence at that Session of General Assembly. The procedure of election shall be the same as that for a normal election; the timing of the stages of the election process shall relate to the dates on which it is proposed to send out the ballots and the deadlines for the response votes.

a) Each elected officer of the Federation shall hold office from the end of the Ordinary Session of the General Assembly at which the officer was elected, or took up office, until the subsequent General Assembly when the successor takes office.

b) An elected Council member shall normally hold office from the end of the Ordinary General Assembly, which elected him/her until the end of the second succeeding Ordinary Session of the Ordinary General Assembly. Normally four members shall be elected at each session of the Ordinary General Assembly and no member may be re-elected as a Council member immediately upon the completion of a full term.

c) The Vice-President shall be eligible for election for a single term of office, after which two full terms must elapse before the Vice-President is again eligible for that office.

d) The Secretary-General and Treasurer shall normally be eligible to hold office for two successive terms only but due to exceptional circumstances may hold office for a maximum of three successive terms. After completion of term of office two terms must elapse before they are again eligible for the same office.

e) If a new council member is elected to fill a position left open by a council member leaving office before the term of office is completed, then the newly elected council member is eligible for re-election for one term at the subsequent General Assembly.

f) The Regional group representatives and the chairperson of the Council of Societies are elected in conformance with the charter of the Council of Societies and become “ex officio” members of the Administrative Council.

g) The Division Chairpersons and the IAMBE Chairperson are “ex officio” members of the Administrative Council.

The Secretary-General shall be the executive officer of the Federation. He or she shall be responsible for the general conduct of the affairs of the Federation, and the maintenance of liaison with Member Organisations. The Secretary-General shall maintain the following documentation and shall make them available to the Council and the General Assembly as required.

a) An electronic folder of the minutes of the meetings of the General Assembly,

b) An electronic folder of the minutes of the meetings of the Administrative Council,

c) An electronic dataset of Member Organisations, including for each, the names and addresses of their current officers and Delegates to the General Assembly, and their current number of members,

d) An electronic folder containing the current Constitution and Bylaws of each Member Organisation,

e) An electronic record of Observer Groups and the relevant officers,

f) An electronic dataset of Honorary Life Members with their current contact information,

g) An electronic folder of the Chairs and members of each Division, Committee and Working Group within the Federation,

h) An electronic dataset of past officers with their current contact information if these can be obtained.

The Treasurer shall be responsible to the Administrative Council for the financial management of the Federation. The Treasurer shall maintain the finances of the Federation in such bank accounts and other deposits as shall be directed by the Finance Committee, shall be responsible for the collection of dues and other funds as directed in the Constitution and Bylaws, and shall maintain such electronic records and accounts as the Council shall require. The working currency of the Federation shall be decided by Finance Committee with endorsement from the Administrative Council based on the recommendation of the Treasurer. The Auditors of the accounts shall be appointed by the Officers based on the recommendation of the Finance Committee.

In the event of the resignation or death during the term of office of an officer or one of the members of the Administrative Council, the Administrative Council shall make such appointment or other provision as may seem appropriate for the discharge of the duties of the office concerned until an election can be held either at the subsequent Session of the General Assembly in person or remotely by electronic means, Bylaw 18.

Appointments made in this fashion shall not be considered in determining eligibility for election under Bylaw 19.

Immediately after each Session of the General Assembly a Nominating Committee shall be established, consisting of a Chair appointed by the President and three members appointed by the Administrative Council, and four other members, co-opted by the Chair. Active membership in a Member Organisation of the Federation is a requirement for the eligibility to serve as a member of the Nominating Committee.

The Nominating Committee shall be responsible for preparing and presenting to the next Session of the General Assembly a list of candidates eligible for election as Officers and other Members of the Administrative Council. Such a list shall be prepared at such times and in such a manner as prescribed in Bylaw 18.

The Nominating Committee shall also be responsible for soliciting nominations for Honorary Life Membership from the Member Organisations, for the preparation of a list of candidates under Article 4 of the Constitution, and for the presentation of this list to the General Assembly. The list shall be accompanied by a citation of the qualifications of each candidate. The Nominating Committee can itself originate nominations for Honorary Life Membership. The Nominating Committee is considered to be dissolved following an election of new officers and other members of the Administrative Council, and the new President shall proceed to appoint a new Chair of the Committee, and the Administrative Council to appoint the new members. Membership of the Nominating Committee shall be inclusive in terms of representation of IFMBE Regions, gender and ethnicity to the extent possible.

The General Assembly shall appoint a committee to be responsible for the review of the Constitution and Bylaws.

The President shall appoint a Credentials Committee with representation from each of the IFMBE regions to examine and approve the credentials of the Delegates to the General Assembly.

The Administrative Council shall appoint:

The Editor of the Journal of the Federation, by a vote on a recommendation of a Special Search Committee set up for the purpose by the Chairman of the Federation Journal Committee.

From time to time, it will be necessary to appoint a Deputy Editor; the same procedure of appointment will be followed in his or her case as in that of the Editor.

The Federation Journal Committee (FJC) will be responsible for all aspects, except editorial matters, of the journal of the Federation and of related publications, published by the Federation. The membership of the committee shall consist of a Chair and three other members, the Editor and Deputy-Editors, the Chair of the Publications Committee, and the Treasurer of the Federation.

The Administrative Council shall appoint the following committees:

a) A Finance Committee with responsibility for the Federation budget and for advising on financial policy,

b) A Publication Committee responsible for all aspects of all other publications of the Federation and a Publicity Committee responsible for all aspects of publicity for the Federation. The Chairman of the FJC is a member of the Publications Committee,

c) The Council of Societies (CoS) shall operate in conformance with the Charter of the Council of Societies approved by the Administrative Council of the Federation.
1. Every Constituent Society appoints one of its GA Delegates as an Ordinary Member of the CoS according to the Society’s rules. The term ends when the Society appoints another person. To ensure continuity, a term of about three years to coincide with the World Congress GA would be preferable.

2. The Council of Societies Chair is elected by the delegates of the IFMBE GA at the General Assembly for about a 3-year term, till the next IFMBE GA, renewable once. Nominees for the Chair of the CoS must have a written letter of support from their respective Societies.

3. Regional Representatives to the IFMBE AC are elected by the delegates of the corresponding Region. Election will normally take place at the General Assembly or by electronic ballot at a time set by the AC in consultation with the CoS Executive Board. Election will be for a 3-year term, renewable once. RG Representatives are ex officio members of the Administrative Council of the IFMBE. Candidates must have a written letter of support from their respective Societies.

4. The Nominating Committee of IFMBE will check that candidates for CoS Chair and RG Representatives are eligible to be elected.

5. For the CoS meetings, a Vice-Chair and a Secretary are chosen from the RG Representatives. It is to be noted that the Vice-Chair is not automatically the CoS Chair elect in succession.

6. In case of midterm replacement, the same rules for the total time in office apply as those for Members of the Administrative Council.

d) The Administrative Council may establish or dissolve other committees or working groups from time to time to meet the needs of the Federation.

All committees established under this Bylaw shall have the status of sub- committees of the Administrative Council and shall be considered to be dissolved following an election of new officers and other members of the
Administrative Council except after elections held under Bylaw 18(h) or 18(i). Chair and other members of committees are immediately eligible for reappointment if committees are reconstituted.

Committees of the Administrative Council have only such powers as shall be specifically delegated to them. No such delegation of powers shall contravene the provisions of the Constitution or the Bylaws.

a) The Administrative Council shall be convened at intervals generally in the range of between three and three and a half years. The Secretary-General shall draw up the agenda for meetings of the Administrative Council and shall circulate it to all members not less than 30 days before each meeting.

b) A majority of members of the Administrative Council shall constitute a Quorum of the Administrative Council meeting.

c) Voting shall be by a show of hands unless a secret ballot is requested, and a simple majority shall be sufficient to carry a decision. In the case of a tie the Chair shall cast the deciding vote.

d) The Secretary-General shall keep minutes of the proceedings of each meeting of the Administrative Council. Copies of the minutes shall be sent for comment to all members of the Administrative Council about two months before each Administrative Council meeting. They shall then be approved or amended by electronic balloting, and then approved by the President. Copies of the approved minutes shall be sent to all Delegates, the Editors, and others in attendance at meetings of the Administrative Council, and the secretaries of the Member Organisations.

e) Between meetings, business may be conducted by electronic means. A majority vote of the voting members of the Administrative Council shall be required for the passage of a proposal.

f) The Administrative Council may co-opt one or two persons to serve as its members without voting rights for a term which shall be fixed by the Council, but which shall not exceed that of an elected member.

g) The President and the Council may both invite any person or persons to attend its meetings and to speak to relevant matters of business, without the right to vote.

h) If an elected Administrative Council member fails to attend 2 consecutive meetings of the Administrative Council without justified reason, then that member is removed from office and the member’s position is to be declared vacant.

Annual dues from Member Societies of the Federation are based on the number of individual members in their organisation. Before 1st September each year, each Member Organisation shall inform the Treasurer of their membership numbers. The amount payable shall be in accordance with the current table appended to the Bylaws and sent by the Treasurer. Before January 1st of each year the Treasurer shall send to the secretary of each Member Organisation a request for payment of the appropriate dues based on the most recent information, and a request for information about changes in the number of individual members. In case of difficulties because of special circumstances, the Administrative Council is empowered to determine an extension of payment date or reduction in the dues for that Member organisation.

If for any reason the annual subscription of a Member in any year has not been paid by 1st June, the Member shall be notified by the Treasurer that the dues are in arrears. If the subscription in arrears has not been paid by 1st December of that year, the matter shall be reported to the Administrative Council by the Treasurer. Unless there are exceptional circumstances, while the Member Organisation remains in arrears, the Delegates of that Member Organisation shall forfeit the right to vote on IFMBE matters; however, in ballots such Delegates shall be allowed to attend the General Assembly and take part in discussions.

The expenses of individuals attending Administrative Council meetings and Officers meetings and carrying out special tasks authorized by the Administrative Council, or the President may be reimbursed in accordance with the reimbursement guidelines set by the Administrative Council. Such reimbursements may only be paid for additional expenses after due allowance has been made for any other funding which the individual may have received for attendance at a meeting or conference, and only if authority has been received in writing from the President, or from the Treasurer acting on behalf of the President.

The expenses of Delegates attending Sessions of the General Assembly shall not be a charge on the funds of the Federation.

a) Should a Member Organisation wish to resign it must give three months’ notice to the Secretary-General in writing and shall be responsible for the annual subscription until the effective date of the resignation.

b) If for any reason the annual subscription of a Member in any year has not been paid by 1st June of the year following the first request for payment and unless there are exceptional circumstances, the Administrative Council shall recommend to the General Assembly the termination of the Membership.

The Treasurer shall be responsible for filing the necessary documents to maintain the non-profit/tax-exempt status of the Federation, currently done in France.

The Federation will provide a PDP policy document that defines how the Federation manages personal data according to GDPR. The document will be updated continuously by a Data Protection Officer appointed by the IFMBE AC. This officer will also be responsible to check the adherence of PDP policy of the Federation.

AMENDMENTS TO CONSTITUTION AND BYLAWS – ratified by General Assembly with balloting completed on May 19, 2022.