ACAT Constitution

1. Name
The name of the association is The Association of Complementary Animal Therapies (ACAT).

2. Objects and Powers
2.1 ACAT is established to lead and support the provision of a professional and caring service to the complementary animal health sector by providing a framework within which its members can work responsibly and safely to ensure the clients of ACAT members receive excellent care.
2.2 In furtherance of the foregoing objects but not further or otherwise ACAT shall have the following powers:
(a) to promote professional standards of complementary animal treatment in accordance with current legislation, agreed codes of ethics and practices;
(b) to lead and support all ACAT members in developing and providing innovative and high quality complementary animal care;
(c) to raise the profile of the profession;
(d) to protect and further advance the working lives of ACAT members;
(e) to promote good practice amongst ACAT members;
(f) to set appropriate standards of training and practice;
(g) to recognise accredited courses that meet ACAT standards;
(h) to disseminate continual professional development seminars/training opportunities;
(i) to provide the public with a register of approved practitioner members; and
(j) to do all such other lawful things as shall further the attainment of ACAT's objects.

3. Membership
3.1 Membership shall be open to:
(1) full practitioners who hold:
(a) an ACAT recognised qualification (such certificate to be produced on initial registration); and
(b) current Public Liability and Malpractice insurance (name of insurance company, certificate number and renewal dates to be entered on the ACAT database via the website);
(2) students who:
(a) are working towards an ACAT recognised qualification; and
(b) hold current Public Liability and Malpractice insurance (name of insurance company, certificate number and renewal dates to be entered on the ACAT database via the website);
(3) non-practitioners who will be classed as "Friends of ACAT", but will not be listed on the website.
3.2 The Executive Committee shall have the right for good and sufficient reason to reject an application for membership (for example, if requisite number of CPD points have not been obtained), and if the proposed applicant has not accepted the Code of Ethics and Code of Practice (valid at the time of the application) as notified to the applicant as part of the application process.
3.3 ACAT members may be required to pay an annual subscription of such amount and on such date as may be determined from time to time by the Executive Committee. Any member may by a unanimous resolution of the Executive Committee be exempted from payment of the annual subscription. Any such exempted member shall be known as an Honorary Member and shall have all rights of a member.
3.4 Any member may revoke their membership at any time in writing to the Membership Secretary. Any member who fails to renew their membership and pay their annual subscription fee within two months of the renewal date will be deemed to have revoked their membership of ACAT.
3.5 If not less than three-quarters of the members of the Executive Committee present at a meeting so resolve, the Executive Committee shall have the right for good and sufficient reason to terminate the membership of any member provided that the member shall have the right to be heard by the Executive Committee before a final decision is made.

4. Honorary Officers
At each Annual General Meeting, ACAT shall elect a Chairman, a Treasurer, a Membership Secretary and such other Honorary Officers as ACAT may from time to time decide. Each Honorary Officer shall hold office until conclusion of the Annual General Meeting of ACAT next after election to the post, but shall be eligible for re-election.

5. General Meetings of ACAT
5.1 ACAT shall in each year hold an Annual General Meeting at such time and place as the Executive Committee shall determine. Not more than 15 months shall elapse between the date of one Annual General Meeting and that of the next.
5.2 The business of the Annual General Meeting shall include:
(a) The minutes of the previous Annual General Meeting will be submitted;
(b) The election of Honorary Officers and members of the Executive Committee;
(c) The appointment where necessary of an auditor;
(d) Consideration of the report of the Executive Committee on the previous year's work and of the financial statements;
(e) Consideration of any resolution proposed by the Executive Committee or on the requisition of not less than one-twentieth of ACAT members having the right to vote at General Meetings provided that such requisition is received by the Secretary not less than 30 days before the meeting; and
(f) Proposals for the current year to be discussed together with any appropriate targets.
5.3 The Executive Committee may, and the Secretary shall within 21 days of receiving a request signed by not less than one-tenth of ACAT members and stating the purpose of the request, call an Extraordinary General Meeting of ACAT.
5.4 At least 28 clear days' notice of each Annual General Meeting or Extraordinary General Meeting shall be given via email to each member together with the business to be discussed, provided that accidental failure to notify any member shall not invalidate the meeting; provided also that a General Meeting called by shorter notice shall be deemed to have been duly called if so agreed:
(a) If an Annual General Meeting, by all members entitled to attend and vote;
(b) In any other case, by no less than 95% of all ACAT members entitled to attend and vote.

6. Proceedings at General Meetings
6.1 No business shall be transacted at any General Meeting unless a quorum is present. The quorum at any General Meeting shall be at least 6 members of ACAT, or such other number as ACAT may from time to time determine in General Meeting.
6.2 At any General Meeting a resolution put to the vote of the meeting shall be decided on a show of hands unless before or on the declaration of the result of the show of hands a poll is demanded by the Chairman or by at least two members present in person. The poll shall be taken at such time and place and in such manner as the Chairman shall direct.
6.3 Each member present in person shall have one vote on a show of hands and on a poll. In the case of an equality of votes, whether on a show of hands or on a poll, the Chairman of the meeting shall be entitled to a second or casting vote.

7. Executive Committee
7.1 The affairs and property of ACAT shall be controlled and managed by an Executive Committee which may exercise all such powers of ACAT as are not required by this constitution to be exercised by ACAT in General Meeting.
7.2 Unless otherwise determined by ACAT in General Meeting, the Executive Committee shall consist of the Honorary Officers of ACAT and not less than four and not more than nine other members provided that at least half of the members of the Executive Committee shall be full practitioners. Each member of the Executive Committee shall hold office until the end of the next Annual General Meeting.
7.3 The Executive Committee may from time to time appoint a member of ACAT as a member of the Executive Committee to fill a casual vacancy or by way of addition to the Committee provided that the prescribed maximum is not thereby exceeded. Any member so appointed shall retain office only until the end of the next Annual General Meeting when he or she may stand for election in his or her own right.
7.4 No member of the Executive Committee or any subcommittee shall supply or be interested in the supply of goods or services to ACAT except by way of free gift or on a basis which shows no profit or gain directly or indirectly to the member concerned, provided that this clause shall not apply to the repayment to any such member of reasonable out-of-pocket expenses.

8. Proceedings of the Executive Committee
8.1 The Executive Committee may regulate its meeting as it thinks fit but shall hold at least two meetings a year and not more than seven months shall elapse between the date of one meeting and the next. Such meetings may take place with members of the Executive Committee being present using Skype or such other visual device.
8.2 A meeting of the Executive Committee at which a quorum is present shall be competent to exercise all the powers vested in the Executive Committee generally. A quorum shall be four members provided at least a bare majority are full time practitioners.
8.3 The Chairman of the Executive Committee shall be entitled to preside at all meetings but if at any time the Chairman is not present within five minutes of the appointed time, or if present is unwilling to preside, the members of the Executive Committee present shall choose one of their number to be the Chairman of the meeting.
8.4 The proceedings of the Executive Committee shall not be invalidated by any defect in the election or appointment of any member.
8.5 The Executive Committee may at any time delegate any of its powers to committees and may make regulations for their proceedings. Subject to any such regulations, any committee so appointed shall conform to the regulations applicable to the proceedings of the Executive Committee. Any such committee shall report all acts and proceedings to the Executive Committee as soon as possible and shall incur expenditure only within the budget approved by the Executive Committee or with the prior approval of that Committee.
8.6 A resolution in writing signed by all the members for the time being of the Executive Committee shall be as valid as if it had been passed at a meeting of the Executive Committee duly convened and held. Any such resolution may consist of several documents in the like form each signed by one or more of the members of the Executive Committee.

9. Finance
9.1 The income and property of ACAT shall be applied solely towards the promotion of its objects.
9.2 The Executive Committee shall cause such proper accounting records to be kept as are necessary to give a true and fair view of the affairs of ACAT and to explain the transactions relating to its assets and liabilities and its income and expenditure. The books of account shall be kept at such place as the Executive Committee shall think fit and open to the inspection of members of the Executive Committee.
9.3 The accounts shall be reviewed annually. The financial year shall end on 31 March in each year. The Executive Committee shall cause an account of ACAT's receipt's and payments for the previous financial year to be submitted to the Annual General Meeting. The accounts shall be preserved for at least seven years after adoption by the Annual General Meeting.
9.4 A bank account or accounts shall be opened and maintained in the name of ACAT with such bank or banks as the Executive Committee shall from time to time decide. Such account or accounts shall be under the control of the Executive Committee which shall provide for its or their method of operation but so that the signatures of at least one member of the Executive Committee, one of whom shall be either the Honorary Treasurer or the Chairman, shall be required.
9.5 All funds of ACAT shall be paid into an appropriate bank account of ACAT immediately on receipt.
9.6 The Executive Committee shall make and to the best of its ability enforce adequate regulations for internal control and the safe custody of all moneys, securities and other documents belonging to ACAT and may from time to time appoint trustees to hold any property or assets of ACAT.

10. Alterations to the Constitution
This Constitution may be amended by a resolution of not less than three-quarters of the members of ACAT present and voting at a General Meeting. The notice of the meeting shall specify the alteration to be proposed.

11. Indemnity
In execution of the Trusts hereof no member of the Executive Committee or any subcommittee thereof shall be liable for any loss to the property of ACAT arising from reason of any improper investment made in good faith (so long as he/she shall have sought professional advice before making such investment) or for the negligence or fraud of any agent employed by him or by any other member of the Executive Committee hereof in good faith (provided reasonable supervision shall have been exercised) by reason of any other matter or thing other than wilful and individual fraud wrongdoing or wrongful omission on the part of the member of the Executive Committee who is sought to be made liable.

12. Notices
Any notice may be given by ACAT to any member either personally or by sending it through the post in a prepaid letter addressed to the member's last known address in the United Kingdom and any letter so sent shall be deemed to have been received within two days of posting, or by way of electronic communication so that any email sent shall be deemed to have been received on the date of transmission.

13. Dissolution
13.1 ACAT may be dissolved by a resolution of not less than three-quarters of the members of ACAT present and voting at a General Meeting called by not less than 21 days' notice stating the terms of the resolution to be proposed.
13.2 On the dissolution of ACAT any assets remaining after the satisfaction of its liabilities shall be paid to or distributed amongst the members of ACAT but if agreement cannot be reached then they shall be given or transferred to such other institutions having objects similar to ACAT as the Executive Committee may determine.
ACAT members please note:
Please download the pdf version of the Constitution here, complete the form at the foot of the page to confirm that you have read and agree to adopt this Constitution, then return it to the address shown.
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