British Hypertension Society - Constitution

Adopted: 21st October 1983

Amended: 24th September 1984, 15th September 2009, 9th September 2013, 22nd September 2014, 21st September 2015, 20th September 2016

1. The name of the Society shall be the British and Irish Hypertension Society (BIHS).

2. The Society shall promote the advancement of knowledge and dissemination of information concerning the pathophysiology, epidemiology, detection, investigation and treatment of high blood pressure and related cardiovascular diseases.

3. Ordinary and Associate Membership and Fellowship shall be open to all registered healthcare professionals providing hypertension care, or individually active in research into high blood pressure or cardiovascular disease in the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland.

4. Prospective new members, once their application has been approved by the Executive Committee, will be invited to join the Society forthwith. Membership will begin upon receipt of the annual membership fee, which will be adjusted pro rata for the first year, depending how much of that first calendar year remains. Members and Fellows in good standing who subsequently move outside of the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland shall continue to enjoy the benefits of full membership.

5. Associate membership will be open to students (undergraduate and postgraduate) during the tenureship of their training period. Associate membership will permit membership of the Society with similar rights to full membership, but will be at a reduced rate.

6. Overseas affiliate membership may be granted to healthcare professionals residing outside the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland at the discretion of the Executive Committee. Affiliate members will enjoy some of the benefits of full membership as agreed by the Executive Committee.

7. Members of a least 5 years’ standing may apply to the Executive Committee for ‘Fellowship’ Status. Fellowship shall be granted at the discretion of the Executive Committee on consideration of the applicant’s Curriculum Vitae, which should demonstrate expertise and considerable experience in the management of or research into hypertension and or cardiovascular disease.

8. Honorary Membership and/or Fellowship may be awarded, where appropriate, to distinguished individuals.

9. Ex-Presidents of the Society will be awarded lifetime Honorary Membership/Fellowship on retirement from their main remunerated employment.

10. Members and Fellows shall pay an annual subscription of an amount to be determined by the Society. The Executive Committee reserves the right to waive fees upon application.

11. Only Ordinary Members and Fellows resident in the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland are eligible for election to the Executive Committee.

12. Members and Fellows must be in good standing in order to enjoy the privileges of membership.

13. At least one scientific meeting shall be convened in each calendar year, at which a business meeting shall also be held.

14. The Executive Committee may issue a certificate of recognition to those Fellows and Members in good standing who are active as clinicians with a special interest in hypertension or are non-clinicians who mainly research or work in the area of high blood pressure, CV risk, public health or education upon request. A ‘Certification Committee’ of members, chaired by the President, the Vice President or the Secretary of the Society, will make recommendations to the Executive Committee. The issue of a certificate of recognition should not be construed as evidence of specific expertise, skill, training or specialist accreditation.

15. An Executive Committee of nine persons shall be formed on behalf of the Members and Fellows. This shall consist of the office bearers, namely the President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer, one Young Investigator representative and 4 other ordinary members. The Committee will be formally elected at the Annual Business Meeting. Nominations for all vacant positions, with the exception of President, will be invited prior to the meeting, and in the event of more than one nomination for each position, a ballot will be held of all Members and Fellows before the meeting and the results announced at the Annual Business Meeting. Nominees will be invited to submit a one page notice in support of their nomination, which will be circulated to all Members and Fellows with the ballot notice. Subject to formal ratification by the Members and Fellows present at the Annual Business Meeting, the Vice President will assume the role of President.

16. The President shall not be eligible for re-election after two years in office. The Vice President shall not be eligible for re-election after two years. The Secretary and Treasurer shall not be eligible for re-election after four years in office. Ordinary members of the Committee shall retire after three years, but remain eligible for election as office-bearers. Ordinary members of the Committee who have retired become eligible for re-election after two years. The Young Investigator representative shall retire after two years but remain eligible for election to the Committee as an Ordinary Member after two years.

17. The Executive Committee shall supervise the affairs of the Society and arrange the scientific meetings.

18. The President of the Society shall serve as chairman of the Executive Committee. In his/her absence, the chair will be taken by the Vice President. In the absence of both the President and the Vice President, the members of the Committee present shall elect an acting chairman.

19. Nominations for election to the offices of President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer and Young Investigator representative and to Ordinary Membership of the Executive Committee shall be supported by at least three Members and submitted in writing to the Secretary, at least three months before the annual business meeting.

20. Members of the Executive Committee who retire before the end of their term of office may be replaced by co-option at the discretion of the remaining members of the Executive Committee.

21. Five members of the Executive Committee shall constitute a quorum.

22. A ballot may be held on any relevant issue at the discretion of the Executive Committee.

23. Changes to the Constitution must be proposed in writing to the Secretary at least one month before the annual business meeting. For an amendment to be adopted it must be passed by a two-thirds majority of the Members and Fellows present and voting at the annual business meeting.

24. The Society may be dissolved by a Resolution passed by a two-thirds majority of those present and voting at a Special General Meeting convened for the purpose, of which 21 days' notice has been given to the Members and Fellows. Such resolution may give instructions for the disposal of any assets held by or in the name of the Society provided that if any property remains after the satisfaction of all debts and liabilities such property shall not be paid to or distributed among the Members and Fellows of the Society, but shall be given or transferred to such other charitable institution or institutions having objects similar to some or all of the objects of the Society as the Society may determine and if and in so far as effect cannot be given to this provision then to some other charitable purpose.

25. Working Parties
i) At least one member of the BHS Executive Committee should sit on each Working Party, although the Working Party Chairman does not have to be an Executive Committee member. The Chairman will be appointed by the Executive Committee

ii) The Working Party Chairman decides the membership of the Working Party, but the suggested list of members must be approved by the Executive Committee

iii) Membership of Working Parties should be reviewed at the discretion of the Chairman

iv) A report from the Working Party should be presented at every Executive Committee meeting by the Executive Committee representative on the Working Party

v) The Terms of Reference, including an estimate of expenditure, should be approved by the Treasurer or another officer of the Executive Committee in advance

vi) The Executive Committee reserves the right to dissolve the Working Party at any stage

26. Young Investigator Network
i) A Young Investigator is defined as an undergraduate or postgraduate student or employed in a training-grade post up to and including specialist registrar level or at early career researcher level, or equivalent, as deemed appropriate by the Executive Committee.

iii) The Network will be led by the Young Investigator representative on the Executive Committee who shall chair an organisational group of up to four members.

ii) A meeting of the Network shall be held annually, usually to coincide with the Society’s Annual Scientific Meeting, to encourage participation of younger members in the Society’s activities.

iv) A report from the Network should be presented at every Executive Committee meeting by the Young Investigator representative.