There has been an increasing number of applications of engineering theory and techniques to biological and medical research and practice, made by numerous groups organized in various countries throughout the world.
In order to integrate these efforts and to expand co-operation on an international basis, an international non profit-making, scientific and educational organisation, a federation of the separate national societies and groups, was set up by the decision of the constituent assembly meeting in Paris, France, on the 24th of June 1959.
That federation is now titled the International Federation for Medical and Biological Engineering and operates under the following Constitution:
The name of this organization shall be the International Federation for Medical and Biological Engineering.
The office of the Federation shall be as specified in the Bylaws.
The objectives of the International Federation for Medical and Biological Engineering shall be scientific, technological, literary, and educational. Within the field of medical, clinical and biological engineering its aims shall be to encourage research and the application of knowledge, and to disseminate information and promote collaboration.
In pursuit of these aims the Federation may, in relation to its specific field of interest, engage in any of the following activities: sponsorship of national and international meetings, publication of official journals, co-operation with other societies and organizations, appointment of commissions on special problems, awarding of prizes and distinctions, establishment of professional standards and ethics within the field, or in any other activities which in the opinion of the General Assembly or the Administrative Council would further the cause of medical, clinical or biological engineering. It may promote the formation of regional, national, international or specialized societies, groups or boards, the coordination of bibliographic or informational services and the improvement of standards in terminology, equipment, methods and safety practices, and the delivery of health care.
In general the Federation shall work to promote improved communication and understanding in the world community of engineering, medicine and biology.
The members of the Federation shall be national societies or sub-groups thereof and transnational organisations who have a major interest in the field of medical and biological engineering, who have applied for membership in the Federation and have been accepted by the General Assembly under the conditions set out in the Bylaws.
National societies or sub-groups thereof are those who represent national interests in medical and biological engineering. Ordinarily, only one such organisation in any country may become a member, however, under extraordinary circumstances, special cases of membership may be considered. Transnational organisations are those whose membership comprises:
a) individual members drawn from several countries and/or
b) national societies or sub-groups thereof and/or
c) groups of national societies from two or more countries.
A transnational organisation may be regional or have a wider membership but has significant activities beyond the border of any one country.
To resolve special cases, the General Assembly, upon the recommendation of the Administrative Council, may, by special resolution authorize admission of more than one adhering body from a single country.
On occasion, there may be difficulty in determining the eligibility of a Society for membership, or time may be necessary to consider the advantages or disadvantages of membership to the Society or to the Federation. Under these circumstances temporary status as an Observer Group can be given at the discretion of the Administrative Council, pending clarification, subject to the conditions laid down in the Bylaws.
There are two situations when it might be well founded to accept an individual membership of the Federation;
1) There is no affiliated National Society of the country.
2) When the individual’s interest is outside of the scope of the National Society. Under these circumstances individual membership can be given at the discretion of the Administrative Council, pending clarification, subject to the conditions laid down in the Bylaws.
Honorary Life Members
Individuals who have rendered exceptional service to the Federation may have bestowed on them the title of Honorary Life Member.
5. Termination of Membership
Membership of the Federation may be terminated in any of the following ways:
a) by resignation, subject to such notice as may be prescribed by the bylaws, or
b) by default in the payment of contributions or subscriptions to the Federation for such period as may be prescribed in the Bylaws, or
c) by expulsion, by a two-thirds majority of the General Assembly, on the grounds that the continuation of membership would be detrimental to the interest of the Federation.
6. The General Assembly
The control and direction of the policy and affairs of the Federation shall be vested in the General Assembly. The General Assembly shall consist of the Delegates of the Member Organisations or their named alternates accredited as prescribed in the Bylaws, together with the voting members of the Administrative Council and such Chairmen of committees as the Administrative Council shall decide. No individual member of the General Assembly shall have more than one vote. The function of the General Assembly shall be:
- to establish the policy of the Federation,
- to elect the officers of the Federation,
- to elect members of the Administrative Council,
- to receive, and to approve or reject, reports and recommendations of the Administrative Council,
- to make recommendations to the Administrative Council as required,
- to add or to amend the Constitution and Bylaws as required, and
- to initiate action to further the aims and objectives of the Federation as set out in Article 3 of this Constitution by means consistent with the Constitution and Bylaws. A General Assembly shall be convened by the Administrative Council at such times and places as are prescribed in the Bylaws. A meeting of the General Assembly will be convened by the Administrative Council on petition of at least twenty per cent of the Member Organisations.
The business of the General Assembly may be carried out by postal or electronic mail as specified in the Bylaws.
The officers of the Federation shall be:
a) the President,
b) the Vice-President,
c) the Secretary-General, and
d) the Treasurer
8. Administrative Council
The affairs of the Federation shall be administered by an Administrative Council, whose voting members are:
- a) the officers,
- b) the immediate Past-President, and
- c) eight members, elected by the General Assembly from the membership of the Member Organisations.
The Editor, the Deputy Editor, and all Committee Chairmen may attend Administrative Council Meetings if they so wish.
The President and the Administrative Council may both invite individuals to attend meetings of the Administrative Council.
The Administrative Council shall have full power to act on behalf of the Federation and to take such action in all matters of administration and policy, including conference policy, not expressly reserved by these Articles for the General Assembly, but in all its actions shall be responsible to the General Assembly.
A meeting of the Administrative Council shall be convened by the President or by a petition of at least thirty per cent of the voting members of the Administrative Council.
The business of the Administrative Council may be carried out by postal or electronic mail, as specified in the Bylaws.
9. Amendment to the Constitution or Bylaws
The introduction, deletion or amendment of articles of the Constitution or of Bylaws may be proposed:
a) by the Administrative Council, or
b) in writing, by at least ten per cent of the voting members at a meeting of the General Assembly.
The Secretary-General shall submit such proposals to the General Assembly by postal or electronic mail, and shall set for the ballot a closing date not less than sixty days after postal mailing or not less than thirty days after electronic mailing. In the case of a change to the Constitution a two-thirds majority of those responding shall be required for acceptance; in the case of a change in the Bylaws a simple majority of those responding shall be required.
10. Appointment of Committees
The General Assembly and the Administrative Council shall both have the power to appoint committees other than those specified in the Bylaws, and to give them powers under the General Assembly or the Administrative Council as they see fit provided that these powers do not contravene the provisions of the Constitution or of the Bylaws.
11. Establishment of Working Groups
The Administrative Council shall have the power to establish or terminate Working Groups on specific topics, and give them such powers under the Council as they see fit, provided that these powers do not contravene the provisions of the Constitution or the Bylaws.
12. Establishment of Special Divisions
The Administrative Council shall have the power to establish or terminate Divisions within the body of the Federation concerned with branches of medical, clinical or biological engineering in all its aspects, and give them such powers under the Council as they see fit, provided that these powers do not contravene the provisions of the Constitution or of the Bylaws. Such Divisions shall remain constituent parts of the Federation and will act under the Constitution and Bylaws of the Federation.
13. International Organisations
The Administrative Council shall represent the Federation in dealings with other organisations. The Administrative Council may make arrangements for co-operation with other organisations having mutual or parallel interests but proposals which would involve affiliation with other bodies must be referred to the General Assembly.
14. Financial Transactions
The Federation may accept gifts, donations, grants, subventions, and other funds, invest them, disburse them, or otherwise dispose of them for purposes in accordance with the aims of the Federation as set out in Article 3.
A decision to dissolve the Federation may be taken at a meeting of the General Assembly, or in the case of necessity, by postal ballot, and shall require a two-thirds majority of the voting members of the General Assembly. Liquidators shall be appointed by the General Assembly. Any assets from the liquidation shall be distributed to such non profit-making Member Organisations, as the liquidators shall decide.
16. Rules of Order
In questions of procedure the President or the Chairman of a meeting shall decide the order of business.
AMENDMENTS TO CONSTITUTION AND BYLAWS –
ratified by General Assembly vote, mail ballot completed April 15, 1990, February 21, 2003.