Terms of Reference

Counsellors SIG

Approved 2007

1. Preamble
In keeping with both the mission of CFAS and the mandate of Canadian legislation, counsellors strive to respond to the complex social, psychological, and ethical dimensions of Assisted Human Reproduction (AHR). Counsellors provide a range of psychosocial services including counselling, assessment, support, education, research, and consultation. The Counselling Special Interest Group (CSIG) encourages the development of the highest standards of counselling practice.
2. Purpose
The Counselling Special Interest group aims to:
i. Facilitate awareness and understanding of the role of counselling within the field of AHR.
ii. Promote opportunities for communication and networking between Canadian counsellors.
iii. Provide professional development through education and training.
iv. Support counsellors’ involvement in research activities.
v. Encourage multi-disciplinary collaboration and exchange.
vi. Develop standards of practice for counselling within the scope and context of the Assisted Human reproduction Act.
vii. Encourage counsellors working in AHR to become members of CFAS.
3. Membership
Membership is open to professionals with both academic credentials and clinical training in a counselling discipline. (eg. Psychology, Social Work, Marital and Family Therapy, Psychotherapy, Psychiatry, Counselling).

Members of the Counselling Special Interest Group must also be members of CFAS.

4. Executive
Initially, the CSIG is to be governed by a committee of 4 counsellor members: Chair, Co-chair, Communications, and Education. After the first term of 2 years, a 5th position will be created for the immediate past president.
5. Duties and responsibilities of committee members

Chair

Serves term of 2 years, then further 2 years as Honorary past chair.
Acts as primary liaison with CFAS President and Executive Director.
Provides an annual report to CFAS Executive Director to describe recent activities of CSIG, and goals for coming year.
Vice chair

Serves term of 2 years.
Assists chair with his/her duties and responsibilities.
Assumes duties of chair in event of his/her absence.
Communications

Serves term of 2 years.
Liaises with CFAS administration regarding website.
Records minutes of CSIG meetings.
Forwards copies of all minutes to members, and to CFAS Executive Director.
Receives applications for membership and maintains current membership list.
Responds to inquiries from public and media about infertility counselling.
Education

Serves 1 year term initially, and 2 years thereafter.
Identifies potential topics and subject matter for professional development.
Liaises with CFAS and CSIG executive to plan annual educational event.
Reviews research abstracts of a psychosocial nature submitted to the CFAS annual meeting.
Informs CSIG members of relevant educational opportunities.
6. Term of office
Chair, and Vice-Chair serve for 2 years. Communications and Education roles serve initially for 1 year, and thereafter for 2 years. After 2 years, immediate past chair remains on committee as Honorary past chair for further term, which will raise board membership to 5.

This allows for a staggered committee turnover such that:
Year 1 – 4 new members elected. (Chair and Vice Chair for 2 years, Communications and Education positions for 1 year).
Year 2 – 2 new members elected. (Communications and Education)
Year 3 – 2 new members elected. (Chair and Vice Chair. Immediate past chair remains on committee as Honorary past chair, raising number to 5)
Year 4 – 2 new members elected. (Communications and Education)

7. Re-election
Each position serves for one term of office, but a member may stand for re-election to a different position.

Note:
As the CSIG further develops, various sub-committees may be formed as needed.

8. Voting
Election of the executive committee will be held at the annual meeting, in conjunction with the CFAS annual conference.

All CSIG members are eligible to vote.

CFAS website and/or mailing will be used to invite nominations, and to announce candidates in advance.