1. Affiliation and membership

1.1 Preamble

These by-laws are primarily intended to protect the rights of student representative bodies to be represented to the Committee by bona fide representatives. They are not intended to act as obstacles to gaining Committee membership.

1.2 Affiliation

1.2.1 The Committee shall maintain an affiliation protocol and affiliation fee formula, that shall state the conditions a student representative organisation should fulfil in order to affiliate to the Committee. The protocol and formula shall be circulated to all members at least annually and available on request.

1.2.2 When a student representative organisation wishing to affiliate meets the requirements set by the affiliation protocol, the application to affiliate shall, in the first instance, be considered by the Chairperson, who may accept the affiliation, withhold the affiliation, or refer the decision to the Management Sub-Committee or Committee. An organisation who is granted affiliation may exercise all the rights and benefits of affiliation, including the right to nominate a Delegate Member, pending consideration by the Committee.

1.2.3 The Chairperson's decision shall be considered at the following General Meeting. In the event that an application for affiliation is disputed, the organisation in question shall have the right to nominate a representative to speak in favour of being granted affiliation. Prior to the General Meeting's decision, the Chairperson's decision may also be overruled by the Management Sub-Committee.

1.2.4 The Committee should not unreasonably withhold an application for affiliation. An organisation that believes its affiliation has been withheld unreasonably may appeal against the decision to the Constitutional Sub-Committee. The Committee may adopt guidelines on circumstances when affiliation should or should not be granted.

1.2.5 Any organisations that are late paying their affiliation fees shall have their rights as an affiliate suspended until the outstanding fee is settled.

1.3 Recognised and Associate Bodies.

1.3.1 The following organisations shall be Recognised Bodies, in accordance with Article 15 (b) of the Constitution:
(a) The National Union of Students
(b) The Mature Students' Union
(c) The Council for International Students
(d) The Coalition of Higher Education Students in Scotland

1.3.2 Organisations permitted to appoint an Associate Member under Article 23 of the Constitution shall be known as Associate Bodies. No organisation by simultaneously be a Recognised Body and an Associate Body. The Chairperson shall maintain a list of Associate Bodies.

1.4 Delegate Membership

1.4.1 Nominations for Delegate Members from authorised office bearers of affiliates shall be considered by the Chairperson, who may accept the membership, withhold the membership, or refer the decision to the Management Sub-Committee or Committee. A person who is granted Delegate Membership may exercise all the rights of Delegate Membership, including the right to vote up to and including the General Meeting’s ratification of his/her membership.

1.4.2 The Chairperson's decision shall be considered at the following General Meeting. In the event that a nomination for Delegate Membership is disputed, the nominees shall have the right to speak in his/her favour, or nominate another person to speak on their behalf. Prior to the General Meeting's decision, the Chairperson's decision may also be overruled by the Management Sub-Committee.

1.4.3 The Committee should not unreasonably withhold an application for Delegate Membership. A person who believes his/her membership has been withheld unreasonably may appeal against the decision to the Constitutional Sub-Committee. The Committee may adopt guidelines on circumstances when membership should or should not be granted.

1.4.4 A person may simultaneously be the Delegate Member for more than one affiliate, but they may attend and vote at a General Meeting in only one capacity. Such a person may not proxy his/her other vote(s) to other persons at the meeting.

1.5 Proxies for Delegate Members

Nominations by Delegate Members to proxy their vote to another person shall be considered by the same method as nominations for Delegate Membership, except that, if approved, the person(s) shall only have voting rights for the duration of that meeting.

1.6 Associate Members from Associate Bodies

Nominations for Associate Members from Associate Bodies shall be considered by the same method as nominations for Delegate Membership, except that this shall not give the applicant the right to vote.

1.7 Other Associate Members

1.7.1 The Committee shall be deemed to have granted Associate Membership to all elected office bearers upon their election, (and, if willing, appointed office bearers) for the duration of his/her term of office and/or employment, except for those who are already Honorary Life Members, subject to Associate Membership being suspended whilst a person is a Delegate Member.

1.7.2 The Past General Secretary, Past Chairperson and Past Treasurer shall be Associate Members unless the Committee expressly decides otherwise.

1.7.3 A person who holds Associate Membership solely in order to be a candidate in a Committee election shall, if not elected, only hold membership until the end of the meeting.

1.8 Honorary Life Membership

Nominations for Honorary Life Membership shall be invited in advance of each Annual General Meeting. Nominations may also be taken from the floor at any General Meeting.

1.9 Lapse of Membership

In circumstances where the Committee has had no contact with a Delegate or Associate Member for more than one year, the Committee may by resolution deem that member to have resigned their Delegate or Associate Membership.

1.10 Delegated Powers of the Chairperson

The Chairperson's powers in respect of accepting organisations into affiliation, accepting nominations for Delegate Membership and accepting nominations for Associate Membership may also be exercised by:

a) The Chairperson of the Scottish Sub-Committee where this is for the purpose of enabling business at a Scottish Sub-Committee meeting.

b) The Chairperson of the Welsh Sub-Committee where this is for the purpose of enabling business at a Welsh Sub-Committee meeting.

The exercise of these powers and subsequent decision must be ratified at the following General Meeting as per Article 41 of the Constitution.

2. Officer Remits

2.1 Regulations for all elected office bearers

2.1.1 All elected office bearers shall give the General Secretary contact details, and shall inform the General Secretary if he/she will be out of contact for a period of 7 days or more.

2.1.2 Any member of the Committee may ask a question of any office-bearer relevant to their remit by submitting a written question to the office bearer(s) concerned. The office bearer shall reply either in writing within a reasonable amount of time, or verbally or in writing to the next General Meeting of the Committee.

2.1.3 Any elected office-bearer shall submit a verbal or written report to the Committee if requested to do so by the Chairperson.

2.2 Additional regulations for Management Subcommittee members

2.2.1 All officers on the Management Sub-Committee (MSC) shall additionally be required, if possible, to attend General Meetings and MSC meetings. Any officers who cannot do so shall send apologies for absence to the General Secretary (or the Chairperson, who shall forward it to the General Secretary).

2.2.2 MSC officers (except the Chairperson, Minutes Secretary and Ordinary Executive Officers) shall report on their activities on behalf of the Committee since the last General Meeting to both Management Subcommittee meetings and General Meetings. The substantive of the reports from the General Secretary and Treasurer to General Meetings shall be submitted in writing. Other officers may report either verbally or in writing as they wish.

2.2.3 In addition, all MSC officers (except the Chairperson, Minutes Secretary and Ordinary Executive Officers) shall include in their report to the first General Meeting following their election a plan of their proposed work for the term of office, after the plan has been discussed by the MSC. If the plan is rejected by the General Meeting, a revised plan shall be presented to the following General Meeting until a plan is accepted.

2.3 General Secretary

2.3.1 The General Secretary shall:

General

a) Implement Committee policy, in conjunction with other Officers.
b) Remain informed on issues relevant to postgraduate students and bringing pertinent matters to the attention of the Committee.

Administrative

c) In conjunction with the Chairperson, organise Committee and Management Subcommittee meetings, and assist the host institution in the organisation of Committee meetings.
d) Assist the chairs of the other subcommittees in the organisation of their subcommittee meetings.
e) Prepare and distribute of the agenda and related documentation after they have been approved by the Chairperson.
f) Distribute minutes of Committee and subcommittee meetings.
g) Keep the records and archives of the Committee, including a complete set of minutes.
h) Maintain an up-to-date file of the policy of the Committee, and deal with enquiries about policy.
i) Maintain a list of contacts in qualifying institutions and recognised bodies.
j) Pursue affiliation fees, in conjunction with the Treasurer.
k) Dealing with correspondence which is not the responsibility of another Officer.
l) Be the line manager for all other employees and appointed office-bearers of the Committee, and deal with individuals and organisations to whom work is contracted out.

Representational

m) Liase with affiliated organisations and recognised bodies.
n) Promote the Committee, its aims and policies (to the general public, in particular), in conjunction with other Officers.
o) Represent the Committee to outside bodies and agencies, acting in a manner in accordance with Committee policy, and report pertinent information arising from meetings attended.

Education and Welfare

p) Provide support on request to officers of affiliated organisations on academic and welfare casework.
q) To give confidential academic advice and information to individual postgraduates on request.

2.3.2 The General Secretary may take executive action on behalf of the Committee where it is impractical to hold a Committee or Management Subcommittee meeting, provided that such action is in accordance with the policy of the Committee and a full report is made to the next meeting.

2.3.3 The General Secretary shall be responsible for all business of the Committee that is not expressly assigned to a specific officer, or that is assigned to an officer whose post is currently vacant.

2.3.4 The General Secretary shall be a full-time paid position and shall take office for one year from 1st October until 30th September.

2.4 Chairperson

2.4.1 The Chairperson shall:

a) Chair General Meetings and meeting of the Management Subcommittee, unless he/she demits the chair.
b) Be the line manager of the General Secretary and maintain regular contact with him/her.
c) Ensure that all officers act on behalf of the Committee in line with the Constitution, By-Laws and Committee Policy.
d) Ensure that motions passed by the Committee are implemented by the officer whom the Chairperson considers responsible for its implementation.
e) Convene meeting of the Constitutional Sub-Committee.
f) Consider applications for new affiliates and membership.
g) Submit a Chairperson's Address on the Committee's activities over the past year to the AGM.

2.4.2 In the absence of the General Secretary, the Chairperson shall also be responsible for representing the Committee to outside bodies.

2.4.3 The Chairperson shall, so far as is reasonably practical, consult the Constitutional Sub-Committee on all decisions relating to the democratic mechanisms of the Committee.

2.5 Treasurer

2.5.1 The Treasurer shall:

a) Keep accurate financial records of the Committee's affairs, and ensure that past records are preserved.
b) Draft a budget for the financial year in consultation with the Financial Sub-Committee, present it to the AGM, and advise the MSC on its implementation.
c) Report on the financial status of the Committee to all General Meeting and MSC meetings.
d) Organise and control the finances of the Committee and supervise all persons to whom financial administration and accounting are entrusted.
e) Pursue affiliation fees, in conjunction with the General Secretary.
f) Prepare annual accounts of the Committee for the financial year for production within three months of the close of the financial year, which shall be considered by the Committee's Auditor.
g) Be the employer of all paid staff on the Committee.
h) Convene the Financial Sub-Committee.

2.5.2 The Treasurer shall, so far as is reasonably practical, consult the Financial Sub-Committee before making any decisions of significant financial importance.

2.6 Minutes Secretary

2.6.1 The Minutes Secretary shall:

a) Take minutes during General Meeting and MSC meetings, which shall include a record of all decisions made, and the figures of any vote where a count is requested.
b) Write up the minutes for presentation to the following General Meeting and/or MSC meeting.

2.6.2 The outgoing Minutes Secretary shall responsible for writing up the minutes at which his/her successor was elected.

2.7 Conference Secretary

2.7.1 There shall be a Conference Secretary who shall:

a) Organise the Annual Conference of the Committee, as directed by the Committee in conjunction with the General Secretary.
b) Bring pertinent matters relating to the Conference to the attention of the Committee.
c) Be the primary point of contact between the Committee and the host institution on matters relating to organisation of the Conference.

2.7.2 The Conference Secretary shall take office for one year from 1st October until 30th September.

2.8 Communications Officer

There shall be a Communications Officer who shall:

a) Develop the Committee's strategy for communicating with its members and subscribers.
b) Co-ordinate the publications of the paper and electronic publications for the Committee.

2.9 Equal Opportunities Officer

There shall be an Equal Opportunities Officer who shall:

a) Ensure that the Committee provides an environment which encourages and enables anyone to participate fully in its activities.
b) Co-ordinate campaigns of the Committee relating to access and equal opportunities for postgraduates, as directed by the Committee.
c) Remain informed on issues relevant to access and equal opportunities and bring pertinent matters to the attention of the Committee.

2.10 Project Officers

2.10.1 There shall be four Project Officers whose positions shall be initially without remit.

2.10.2 Project Officers shall include as the plan to their first General Meeting a proposed project. On approval, this shall become the Project Officer's remit.

2.11 Ordinary Executive Officers

2.11.1 The two Ordinary Executive Officers shall be without portfolio.

2.11.2 The Ordinary Executive Officers may not simultaneously hold office with any other position on the Management Sub-Committee. However, they may assist other officer-bearers with their work, and may simultaneously hold any other position on the Committee.

2.12 Other subcommittees

The responsibilities of members of other subcommittees and office bearers elected by subcommittees shall be defined in the subcommittee by-laws.

2.13 Representatives to meetings of external organisations

2.13.1 Members elected by the Committee to attend meetings of external organisations shall be encouraged to report to the Committee on the meeting.

2.13.2 Members elected by the Committee to represent the Committee as a member of an external organisation's committee shall be expected to report to the Committee at a frequency agreed with the Chairperson.

2.13.3 Unless otherwise specified by the external organisation, representatives shall hold office from their election to the end of the General Meeting following the meeting (or final meeting).

3. Appointed Officer Bearers

3.1 For the pursuance of its objects, the NPC may appoint office bearers, both paid and unpaid.

Creation of positions

3.2 Before a position may be advertised:
a) The creation of all staffing positions and the salary level must be approved by the Committee with the agreement of the Treasurer.
b) A job description shall be drawn up and a model contract shall be drawn up and approved by the Financial Sub-Committee.

Advertising

3.3 All positions shall be advertised by the General Secretary as widely as possible both through existing NPC communication methods and also through other methods as appropriate.

Selection

3.4 The Treasurer as employer shall engage the Constitutional Sub-Committee to serve as an Appointments Panel. The Constitutional Sub-Committee shall report their recommendation to the Treasurer.

3.5 The Treasurer may either
a) Appoint the recommended candidate
b) Take no action

3.6 The Treasurer shall inform all candidates of their decision. No other office bearer is authorised to make any binding communication on appointments.

3.7 The Equal Opportunities Officer may observe the selection process and may make a report to the Treasurer in advance of the Treasurer's decision. The Treasurer shall take any such report into consideration.

3.8 All records shall be held in confidence by the Treasurer and the General Secretary.

Employment and Line Management

3.9 All staff shall be employed by the Treasurer on behalf of the Committee.

3.10 All staff shall be line managed by the General Secretary. Complaints must be directed through them.

3.11 Complaints about the General Secretary as line manager shall go to the Chairperson as the General Secretary's line manager.

3.12 All appointed office bearers shall have associate membership conferred upon them for the duration of their office.

Staff-Member Protocol

3.13 For the purposes of compliance with employment law and fairness, a Staff-Member Protocol shall be adopted.

3.14 This protocol shall set down:
- The office bearers entitled to instruct staff
- The role of staff members to the democratic structures.
- The relationship of staff to members.
- The places where matters pertaining to staff may be discussed.
- Grievance procedures for staff against members

This list shall be non-exhaustive.

Disciplinary

3.15 All matters of staff disciplinary shall by handled by the disciplinary by-law.

3.16 All authority regarding the potential dismissal of staff is vested in the Treasurer.

4. Standing Orders for the Conduct of Meetings

4.1 Introduction

Standing orders are detailed rules for running meetings of the Committee. They are intended to facilitate and not restrict debate.

4.2 Introduction

4.2.1 Meetings shall be chaired by the Chair designated by the Constitution and By-Laws.

4.2.2 The Chair shall decide the order of priority in speaking and be responsible for keeping time.

4.3.3 For larger meetings a time-keeper may be appointed at the discretion of the Chair or the request of the meeting.

4.3 Conduct and Decorum

4.3.1 Persons present shall conduct themselves in an orderly manner, showing respect for others and the outcome of decisions.

4.3.2 Only one person may speak at any one time.

4.3.3 The Chair shall ensure that any time limits for speeches and agenda items are adhered to.

4.3.4 The Chair shall have the power to instruct any person or persons who are persistently and deliberately breaking these Standing Orders or preventing the course of business to remain silent until such a time as the business on the table is determined. If a person disregards this ruling, the Chair shall have the power to instruct him/her to leave the meeting.

4.4 Procedural Motions

4.4.1 The following procedural motions shall apply to all discussions and may be proposed by any member. In the event of more than one procedural motion being proposed, they shall be prioritised as follows:

(a) To instruct the Chair to vacate the chair;
(b) To challenge the Chair's ruling;
(c) That the question, as specified, be taken by roll call;
(d) That the question, as specified, now be put;
(e) That the question, as specified, not be put;
(f) To move to the next item on the agenda;
(g) To refer the item, as specified, to another meeting or a subcommittee;
(h) To overturn a guillotine for a specified period;
(i) To re-order the agenda;
(j) To close the meeting;
(k) To adjourn the meeting to a specified time and/or place;
(l) To exclude non-members from the meeting for a specified period;
(m) To remove speaking rights from non-members for a specified period;
(n) To suspend a specified set of standing orders for a specified period;
(o) That the question, as specified, be taken in parts, as specified.

4.4.2 Procedural motion (o) may apply automatically at the Chair's discretion or a majority vote. Procedural motions (a), (b), (j) and (n) shall require a 2/3 majority to pass. All other procedural motions shall require a simple majority to pass.

4.5 Points of order

Any person may make a point of order to the Chair at any time during a meeting, which shall take precedence over all other business. Points of order shall be strictly limited to how the meeting is being conducted.

4.6 Debate

4.6.1 The first speech in favour of a motion, and the summation, shall be made by the proposer the motion. These speeches may be waived to any person nominated by the proposer as a seconder. If the proposer is absent and no seconder has been nominated, the Chair may choose any other person willing to take the proposing and seconding speech.

4.6.2 The Chair shall call speeches in the following order: one for, one against. At the Chair's discretion, questions of the motion or factual points on the motion may be allowed, which shall not count towards the number of speeches made for or against.

4.6.3 At the Chair's discretion or by resolution of the meeting, the meeting may move into informal debate for a specified duration.

4.7 Financial Report

4.7.1 The Chair shall set a deadline for the submission of amendments to the budgets.

4.7.2 The Treasurer shall informally discuss the ramifications with the proposer of the amendment. The proposer and Treasurer may agree to revise the amendment.

4.7.3 If the proposer still wishes to table the amendment after this stage, the Treasurer shall have the first right to speak against the amendment.

5. Remote votes

5.1 Subcommittees may make decisions by remote vote on matters that are too urgent to await the next meeting of the subcommittee. Unless otherwise stated, these subcommittees may make any decision that they could make in a sub-committee meeting.

5.2 A remote vote may be called by the General Secretary, Chair, Treasurer, sub-committee chair or any other two members of the sub-committee, and shall be initiated within three days of the time the remote vote was called.

5.3 The remote vote shall be initiated by the chair of the subcomittee, unless the chair wished to delegate the responsibility to another subcommittee member. In the event that the responsibility is delegated in this way, all references to the "subcommittee chair" in this by-law shall instead refer to the person to whom the task was delegated.

5.4 The motion to be voted on shall be delivered to all members of the subcommittee. Motions shall be sent by e-mail unless any subcommittee member has agreed with the sub-committee chair an alternative method of contact.

5.5 Sub-committee members may vote by electronic mail, post, courier, telephone, facsimile, internet messenger service, or any other means approved by the subcommittee or subcommittee chair. All members should expressly vote for, against or in abstention to the motion, except the chair of the subcommittee, who shall only have the casting vote in the event of a tie.

5.6 The remote vote shall close seven days after the voting was opened. Any members who have not voted after this time shall be deemed to have abstained.

5.7 The quorum for a remote vote shall be one third of its members. If less than one third of subcommittee members vote for or against a motion, or expressly abstain, the vote shall be invalid.

5.8 The chair of the subcommittee shall declare the result as soon as possible after the result closes.

5.9 The result may be declared before the vote closes if the outcome of the vote is certain irrespective of how members who have not yet voted may vote. However, votes shall still be accepted up to the scheduled close of the ballot.

5.10 The chair of the subcommittee shall keep on record how sub-committee members voted in remote votes for at least 12 months after the vote was taken. This list shall be made available to any member of the Committee on request.

6. Elections

The Chair shall act as Returning Officer for all elections required by this Constitution. In advance of any meeting at which an election is due to take place, the Chairperson shall for each election decide the form of nomination and the deadline, if any. If a written nomination is required, or if a deadline is set, this shall be announced at least 21 days in advance of the deadline, or the meeting if there is no deadline. The Chair shall decide the form of nomination for any election which arises during a meeting.

The following clauses apply to each election:
a) All elections shall be held by Single Transferable Vote, including Re-Open Nominations as an option, by the method approved by the Electoral Reform Society.
b) If, after the election, there are still positions vacant (due to either RON achieving quota or a lack of candidates), the Chair may re-open nominations for the vacant positions. A candidate who was defeated by Re-Open Nominations may not stand again for that position during the meeting.

7. Sub-Committees

7.1 Management Sub-Committee

7.1.1 The Management Sub-Committee shall be responsible for the running of the Committee between General Meetings. In particular, it shall:

a) Hold officers to account between General Meetings.
b) Monitor the finances of the Committee in relation to the budget in conjunction with the Finance Sub-Committee.

7.1.2 The membership of the Management Subcommittee shall be:

a) The Chairperson, who shall be the chair of the Subcommittee,
b) The General Secretary,
c) The Treasurer,
d) The Minutes Secretary, who shall takes minutes of the meetings,
e) The Conference Secretary,
f) The Communications Officer,
g) The Equal Opportunities Officer,
h) All Project Officers,
i) All Ordinary Executive Officers
j) The Chairperson of the Scottish Subcommittee, or his/her appointee from the Scottish Subcommittee, and
k) The Chairperson of the Welsh Subcommittee, or his/her appointee from the Welsh Subcommittee

In addition, the following shall be members of the Management Subcommittee as and when they exist:

l) The General Secretary-elect,
m) The Conference Secretary-elect, and
n) Any other person co-opted to the MSC.

7.1.3 The Management Sub-Committee may make any decision on behalf of the Committee that could be made by a General Meeting other than:

a) decisions that the Constitution, By-Laws or Committee Policy expressly requires to be made at a General Meeting
b) altering or rescinding Committee policy formed at a General Meeting.

However, the Management Sub-Committee may discuss such matters and/or propose any such motion to this effect to a General meeting.

7.2 Finance Sub-Committee

7.2.1 The Financial Sub-Committee shall:

a) Advise the Treasurer and the Committee of the financial affairs of the Committee.
b) Scrutinise the work of the Treasurer, in conjunction with the Management Subcommittee.
c) Present a budget to the AGM for the financial year ahead, for consideration by the Committee.
d) Recommend a salary for the next General Secretary to the AGM.
e) If it sees fit, make recommendations to the Treasurer on any financial matter, or, if the Treasurer disagrees with the recommendation, propose that the MSC and/or Committee overrules the Treasurer's decision.

7.2.2 The membership of the Finance Subcommittee shall be:

a) The Treasurer, who shall be the chair of the Subcommittee,
b) The General Secretary,
c) The Chairperson,
d) The Conference Secretary,
e) The Past Treasurer,
f) Two ordinary members elected by the Committee,
g) The Treasurers of the Scottish and Welsh Subcommittees,

In addition, the following shall be members of the Finance Subcommittee as and when they exist:

h) The General Secretary-elect,
i) The Conference Secretary-elect, and
j) Any other person co-opted to the Finance Subcommittee.

However, any member of the subcommittee deemed to have a conflict of interest under Article 13 of the Constitution may be required by the subcommittee to withdraw from the meeting during the discussion of such a transaction.

7.3 Constitutional Subcommittee

7.3.1 The Constitutional Sub-Committee shall:

a) Review the constitution and by-laws and draft changes as required.
b) Scrutinise the work of the Chairperson, in conjunction with the Management Subcommittee.
c) Act as the selection panel for appointment of staff and appointed office-bearers.
d) Consider appeals against:
i) Rulings of the Chair on interpreting the constitution & by-laws
ii) Decisions of the Committee on grounds of:
ii.i) Procedural irregularity
ii.ii) Inadequate information provided to decision-makers
or
ii.iii) Undeclared conflicts of interest.
iii) Decisions of the Treasurer on appointing and dismissing office bearers, on grounds of:
iii.i) Procedural irregularity;
iii.ii) Inadequate information provided to decision makers;
or
iii.iii) Undeclared conflicts of interest.

7.3.2 The membership of the Constitutional Subcommittee shall be:

a) The Chairperson, who shall be the chair of the Subcommittee (except when considering appeals against a Chairperson's ruling),
b) The General Secretary,
c) The Past Chair
d) Three ordinary members elected by the Committee, who shall not be Delegate Members of the Committee.

In addition, the following shall be members of the Constitutional Subcommittee as and when they exist:

e) The General Secretary-elect between the AGM and 1st October,
f) Any other person co-opted to the Constitutional Subcommittee.

However, any member of the subcommittee who is applying for a position appointed by the subcommittee shall withdraw from the meeting during discussion of the appointment. The subcommittee may also require the Chairperson to withdraw from the meeting whilst discussing an appeal against a Chairperson's ruling.

7.4 Scottish Subcommittee

7.4.1 Name

There shall be a Scottish Subcommittee of the National Postgraduate Committee, to be known as National Postgraduate Committee Scotland.

7.4.2 Remit

The Subcommittee shall:

a) Advise the Committee on issues affecting the education of postgraduate students within Scotland, especially with regard to matters administered by the devolved institutions in Scotland.
b) Have the power, delegated by the Committee, to participate in public debates and consultations on matters concerning postgraduate education within Scotland.
c) Have the power, delegated by the Committee, to offer information and guidance to public bodies in respect of practices in postgraduate education within Scotland.

7.4.3 Membership

The members of the Subcommittee shall be:

a) All delegate members nominated by students' representative organisations administered or partly administered within Scotland;
b) All delegate members nominated by recognised bodies wholly or almost wholly administered within Scotland;
c) All associate members nominated by organisations wholly or almost wholly administered within Scotland.

7.4.4 Meetings

The Subcommittee shall aim to meet at least twice per academic year. One of these meetings shall be an Annual General Meeting, at which office bearers of the Subcommittee will be elected.

7.4.5 Office bearers

The Subcommittee shall elect a Chairperson, a Depute Chairperson & Secretary, a Treasurer and other officers at its Annual General Meeting. The results of these elections will be subject to ratification by the full Committee at its next meeting.

Each office bearer shall serve until the subsequent AGM of the Subcommittee. The constitutional provisions governing elected office bearers of the Committee shall apply to the elected office bearers of the Subcommittee. The Subcommittee shall be granted the following powers:

a) If an elected office bearer of the Subcommittee has not attended two successive Subcommittee meetings without submitting written apologies to the General Secretary, he/she shall vacate office.
b) If a motion calling on an elected office bearer of the Subcommittee to resign is passed, by a two-thirds majority, at a meeting of the Subcommittee, that office bearer shall vacate office.
c) In the event of a vacancy, the Committee shall delegate its constitutional right to elect replacement office bearers to the Subcommittee.
All decisions taken as a consequence of these powers will be subject to ratification by the full Committee at its next meeting.

7.4.6 Remits of office bearers

The remits of the office bearers shall be as follows:

7.4.6.1 Chairperson:
a) To chair the Scottish Subcommittee meetings.
b) To represent the interests of the Scottish Subcommittee to the Committee and outside bodies on issues affecting postgraduates within Scotland.
c) To make and report all rulings of the Scottish Subcommittee to the Chairperson of the Committee.
d) To implement policy affecting postgraduates within Scotland in liaison with the General Secretary.
e) To sit as a full member of the Management Subcommittee.

7.4.6.2 Depute Chairperson/Secretary:

As Depute Chairperson:
a) To deputise the Chairperson in the performance of the chair's duties as and when necessary.

As Secretary:
b) To engage in all correspondence pertaining to the Scottish Subcommittee.
c) To publicise the Scottish Subcommittee actions and resolutions to the media.
d) In liaison with the General Secretary, to receive items for inclusion in the agenda, to circulate minutes in good time in accordance with any stipulations laid down by the constitution, to take the minutes at meetings when not in the chair.

7.4.6.3 Treasurer:

a) To oversee and administer the budget and accounts of the Scottish Subcommittee in consultation with the Treasurer of the Committee.
b) To sit as a full member of the Financial Subcommittee.

7.5 Welsh Subcommittee

7.5.1 Name

There shall be a Welsh Subcommittee of the National Postgraduate Committee, to be known as National Postgraduate Committee Wales or Pwyllgor Cenedlaethol Ol-Raddedigion Cymru.

7.5.2 Remit

The Subcommittee shall:

a) Advise the Committee on issues affecting the education of postgraduate students within Wales, especially with regard to matters administered by the devolved institutions in Wales.
b) Have the power, delegated by the Committee, to participate in public debates and consultations on matters concerning postgraduate education within Wales.
c) Have the power, delegated by the Committee, to offer information and guidance to public bodies in respect of practices in postgraduate education within Wales.

7.5.3 Membership

The members of the Subcommittee shall be:

a) All delegate members nominated by students' representative organisations administered or partly administered within Wales;
b) All delegate members nominated by recognised bodies wholly or almost wholly administered within Wales;
c) All associate members nominated by organisations wholly or almost wholly administered within Wales.

7.5.4 Meetings

The Subcommittee shall aim to meet at least twice per academic year. One of these meetings shall be an Annual General Meeting, at which office bearers of the Subcommittee will be elected.

7.5.5 Language

Meetings shall be conducted either in Welsh, in English or preferably bilingually; appropriate translation facilities shall be provided where possible. Agenda papers and minutes shall be produced in both Welsh and English.

7.5.6 Office bearers

The Subcommittee shall elect a Chairperson, a Vice-Chairperson & Secretary, a Treasurer and other officers at its Annual General Meeting. The results of these elections will be subject to ratification by the full Committee at its next meeting.

Each office bearer shall serve until the subsequent AGM of the Subcommittee.

The constitutional provisions governing elected office bearers of the Committee shall apply to the elected office bearers of the Subcommittee. The Subcommittee shall be granted the following powers:

a) If an elected office bearer of the Subcommittee has not attended two successive Subcommittee meetings without submitting written apologies to the General Secretary, he/she shall vacate office.
b) If a motion calling on an elected office bearer of the Subcommittee to resign is passed, by a two-thirds majority, at a meeting of the Subcommittee, that office bearer shall vacate office.
c) In the event of a vacancy, the Committee shall delegate its constitutional right to elect replacement office bearers to the Subcommittee.
All decisions taken as a consequence of these powers will be subject to ratification by the full Committee at its next meeting.

7.5.7 Remits of office bearers
The remits of the office bearers shall be as follows:

7.5.6.1 Chairperson:

a) To chair the Welsh Subcommittee meetings.
b) To represent the interests of the Welsh Subcommittee to the Committee and outside bodies on issues affecting postgraduates within Wales.
c) To make and report all rulings of the Welsh Subcommittee to the Chairperson of the Committee.
d) To implement policy affecting postgraduates within Wales in liaison with the General Secretary.
e) To sit as a full member of the Management Subcommittee.

7.5.6.2 Vice-Chairperson/Secretary:

As Vice-Chairperson:
a) To deputise the Chairperson in the performance of the chair's duties as and when necessary.

As Secretary:
b) To engage in all correspondence pertaining to the Welsh Subcommittee.
c) To publicise the Welsh Subcommittee actions and resolutions to the media.
d) In liaison with the General Secretary, to receive items for inclusion in the agenda, to circulate minutes in good time in accordance with any stipulations laid down by the constitution, to take the minutes at meetings when not in the chair.

7.5.6.3 Treasurer:
a) To oversee and administer the budget and accounts of the Welsh Subcommittee in consultation with the Treasurer of the Committee.
b) To sit as a full member of the Financial Subcommittee.

8. Equal Opportunities and Grievances

8.1 Equal Opportunities

8.1.1 There shall be an Equal Opportunities policy approved by the Committee at a General meeting, stating the behaviour expected of members and guest at meetings of the Committee and other events, and the course of action members and guests should take in the event of wishing to make a complaint.

8.1.2 The Equal Opportunities Policy may be altered at a General Meeting by a simple majority.

8.1.3 Copies of the Equal Opportunities Policy shall be made available at all General Meetings and other events. The Chairperson shall take such other steps as necessary to ensure that all members and guests are aware of this policy.

8.2 Procedure applying to all grievances against individuals

8.2.1 Grievances should, in the first instance, be brought to the General Secretary, Chairperson or (in the case or breaches of the Equal Opportunities Policy) Equal Opportunities officer, who will, in the first instance, encourage the parties to settle the matter informally. Complaints made against staff members or appointed office-bearers shall be dealt with through the General Secretary, unless the staff member or appointed office-bearer is willing to address the complaint directly.

8.2.2 If the matter cannot be settled between the parties involved informally, the formal grievance procedure shall be initiated. The person who made the original complaint shall always have the right to decide that this procedure should be started.

8.2.3 The arbiter for the formal grievance procedure shall be the Chairperson, unless the Chairperson is already involved in the grievance, either as the compliant or the person whom the complaint has been made against. In this case only, the grievance shall be handled by a designated reserve arbiter, who shall not be a member of the Management Sub-Committee, Constitutional Subcommittee or Finance Subcommittee (including officers who deputise for an ex-officio member). The reserve arbiter shall be appointed by the Constitutional Subcommittee, subject to ratification by a General Meeting, as an appointed office bearer. The Constitutional Subcommittee may appoint additional reserve arbiters as they consider necessary.

8.2.4 If the formal grievance procedure is invoked, the arbiter shall formally arbitrate the dispute by liasing with both the complainant and the subject of the complaint, to ascertain the nature of the complaint and any defence given by the person concerned. Both parties may nominate someone to speak on their behalf if they wish. The Constitutional Sub-Committee shall be kept informed of such proceedings. The arbiter may call witnesses as necessary.

8.2.5 There shall be guidelines approved by the Committee on the conduct of formal grievance cases. The guidelines may be altered by a simple majority at any General Meeting.

8.2.6 If the matter cannot be settled during the formal arbitration stage to the satisfaction of both parties, the Chairperson shall report the outcome of the arbitration to the Committee. The Chairperson shall report the case of both parties, and whether any officer or subcommittee has taken action as a result of the complaint.

8.2.7 Any decision taken as a result of a grievance may be appealed to the Constitutional Sub-Committee.

8.2.8 This procedure shall not apply to appeals against the interpretation of the Constitution, or decisions taken by the Committee as a whole, which shall be directly referred to the Constitutional Sub-Committee.

9.0 Appeals

9.1 The Constitutional Sub-Committee shall hear appeals made in the following circumstances:

a) Against decisions of the Committee including but not limited to:
- Withholding of an application for affiliation.
- Terminating the affiliation of an organisation.
- Withholding of an application for delegate membership.
- Taken as the result of the grievance procedure.
- Taken to expel any individual from membership.

b) Against decisions of the Chair:
- In rulings on the constitution and by-laws and motions relating to grievances.

c) Against decisions of the Treasurer on appointing and dismissing office bearers, as outlined in the appointed office bearers by-law.

9.2 When hearing appeals the Constitutional Sub-Committee shall first of all require all members with an interest to withdraw.

9.3 Where the Chairperson withdraws, the Constitutional Sub-Committee shall appoint an acting Chair from amongst its acting members.

9.4 In the case of appeals arising from decisions on appointments, where the Constitutional Sub-Committee has acted as an appointments panel, all members who participated in the appointments panel decision shall withdraw from the hearing.

9.5 In the event that the withdrawal of members would result in there being less than six members of the Constitutional Sub-Committee available to hear the appeal, it shall co-opt reservists for the purposes of hearing the appeal only. The reservists shall be invited in strict rotation. The Constitutional Sub-Committee shall maintain a standing list of reservists and shall submit recommendations for additions or deletions to General Meetings for approval.

9.6 Only those present throughout the hearing shall participate in the final decision. At least four individuals must be present at all points of the hearing. This shall be the quorum for an appeal hearing. In the event of this not being satisfied the hearing shall reconvene at a later date.

9.7 When hearing appeals, the Constitutional Sub-Committee shall consult:
a) The appellant, or a representative on their behalf.
b) For decisions taken by a meeting, the Chair of that meeting
c) For appeals against decisions of the Chairperson, the Chairperson who took that decision.
d) For appeals against decisions of the Treasurer, the Treasurer who took that decision. All parties have the right to be heard in person. The Constitutional Sub-Committee may additionally consult any witnesses or experts as it feels necessary.

9.8 The Constitutional Sub-Committee shall serve as a panel of judicial review to determine whether the appeal should be upheld. For appeals against decisions of the Committee or decisions of the Treasurer an appeal may only be upheld on grounds of:
a) Procedural irregularity
b) Inadequate information provided to decision-makers
or
c) Undeclared conflicts of interest.

9.9 The Constitutional Sub-Committee may uphold or dismiss the appeal. For appeals against rulings on the constitution and by-laws a two-thirds majority shall be required to uphold the appeal; at any time during such an appeal, the current Chairperson may rescind the ruling.

9.10 If an appeal against a decision of the Committee is upheld, the Constitutional Sub-Committee is empowered to take one or more of the following courses of action:
a) Quash the original decision
b) Refer the matter back.
c) Require the decision making body to take a specified action.
or
d) Prohibit the decision making body from taking a specified action.

9.11 If an appeal against the ruling of the Chairperson is upheld, the Constitutional Sub-Committee may:
a) Rescind the ruling.
b) Make a revised ruling

9.12 If an appeal against a decision of the Treasurer on appointments or dismissals is upheld, the Constitutional Sub-Committee shall report this verdict, and their reasons for reaching it, to the Committee.

9.13 When adjudicating on appeals in accordance with this by-law, all decisions of the Constitutional Subcommittee shall be final and are not subject to challenge.

10. Interpretation

10.1 The Constitution and By-laws shall be liberally interpreted to ensure the smooth running of the Committee in a balanced fashion.

10.2 The Constitution and By-laws shall be interpreted by the Chairperson, who shall rule on all questions concerning their interpretation.

10.3 The Chairperson shall delegate the interpretation of the constitution and by-laws relating to a subcommittee, and the running of its meetings, to the chair of the respective subcommittee. The subcommittee chair shall report such a ruling to the Chairperson. The Chairperson shall not overturn such a ruling unreasonably.

10.4 Any member of the Committee may appeal against a ruling of the Constitution or By-laws. In the first instance, their Chairperson should be asked to reconsider the ruling. If the member is dissatisfied with the response, or does not receive a response, he/she may appeal to the Constitutional Subcommittee.

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Last amended on 11/6/05 at an OGM at Birkbeck, University of London.