By-laws

Preamble

The Vocational Evaluation and Career Assessment Professionals (VECAP) association holds as its core belief that every individual has the right and opportunity to engage in meaningful and satisfying careers and employment that will contribute to his or her positive quality of life.  The association is committed to providing the highest quality of appropriate services to individuals who need and desire career assessment, vocational assessment, and/or vocational evaluation. Furthermore, its members are dedicated to advocating for and supporting efforts and activities that prepare professionals who are well-trained in the professions of career assessment and vocational evaluation.  Supporting the increase of qualified professionals who maintain exemplary ethical standards if part of the association’s commitment to the professions.

 Mission

The Vocational Evaluation and Career Assessment Professionals (VECAP)    association is committed to advancing and improving the fields of vocational evaluation and career assessment and representing the needs of the professionals who provide those services. Its scope of services will encompass a range of individuals who need assistance with career and vocational development, career decision making, and employment via appropriate assessment. Its membership will be open to all professionals who provide vocational evaluation, career assessment, and career services as well as others interested in these services and the field.

Purposes

  1. Provide opportunities to develop further the profession via education, training, and professional support.
  2. Contribute to building a body of knowledge that represents the profession and supports the preservation of this knowledge.
  3. Educate the general public and other professionals about the value, benefits, purposes, and availability of career assessment, vocational assessment, and vocational evaluation services.
  4. Encourage the development and use of research among practitioners (members of the professions).
  5. Ensure that national, state and local policies align with the best interests of evaluees (e.g., clients, consumers, or customers) of these professional services.
  6. Promote and engage in communication, cooperation, and collaboration among professionals, who are seeking training or who are trained and qualified to provide services.
  7. Provide opportunities for members and others to participate in networking, educational, and other relationship-building activities.

By-laws

The members and Board establish these By-laws to enable and implement the mission of the organization. The Board is the policy making and organizing body of the organization. It shall serve as the leadership group representing the total association membership. Members of the Board should have the best intentions of the entire organization in mind rather than representing a narrow or singular point of view. Board members should endeavor to be bridge-builders with, partners and advocates between other national organizations and groups. 

The VECAP Board is comprised of the Executive Council and other Board members as described later. The Executive Council includes the elected President, President-Elect, Past President, Treasurer, Secretary and the ad hoc representative of the association’s home office, if that position is filled. The VECAP Board is comprised of the Executive Council, two Board Members-at-Large and Committee Coordinators.   Committee Coordinators include chairs of the Communication, Education, Advocacy, Member Services, and Standards Committees. All Board members must be members of the association.

Responsibilities for implementing the work of the association shall be divided among members of the Board established within the By-laws. Members of the Executive Council, committee coordinators, and Board members-at-large will be drawn from the association’s membership. Each committee shall address a specific area of work for the organization. Each committee coordinator shall report its annual goals, achievements and needs to the Executive Council and other Board members on monthly teleconferences or at face-to-face meetings followed by a written report. 

Ad hoc committees, such as program, research, etc., may be established and coordinators may be appointed by the President. These committees will address short-term projects with well-defined goals and beginning and end dates.  If the work of an ad hoc committee is deemed essential to the on-going work of the association, the President may make a request of the entire Board to change the By-laws to reflect the addition of another permanent committee.  Any change of By-laws must be voted on and approved by the entire membership.

The Board (comprised of the Executive Council, committee coordinators, and two board members-at-large) shall, in accordance with these By-laws, be the policy-recommending body for all matters of the association. The Board carries out its purpose through involvement and commitment to work of the association and by promoting the profession with other disciplines. The Board will foster the development and application of ethical standards and best, or recommended practices for the field. They will expand awareness and visibility of vocational evaluation, vocational assessment and career assessment services that will meet the demands created by new legislation, populations in need, and in a variety of service settings. They may be involved in public policy development at the national, state and local levels. 

ARTICLE 1

Section 1. The name of this organization shall be the Vocational Evaluation and Career Assessment Professionals, Inc. (VECAP).

Section 2. The organization shall conform to the rules and regulations as set forth by the By-laws of the Vocational Evaluation and Career Assessment Professionals, Inc.

ARTICLE II

Purpose

The purpose of the organization is to promote, improve and advance the field of vocational evaluation and career assessment services, particularly by promoting professional growth, research, legislation, information dissemination, technical assistance and interaction among professionals who provide vocational evaluation and career assessment.

ARTICLE III

Membership

Section 1. Any individual shall be eligible for membership, provided that such individual is engaged in or is interested in vocational evaluation or career assessment services. Application for membership shall be submitted to the Home Office. An individual shall be declared a member of the organization upon payment of the annual dues.

Section 2. There shall be only one type of membership: individual, of which there shall be four classes:


a. Professional members shall be those individuals actively engaged in the practice of some aspect of vocational evaluation or career assessment services. This shall include those individuals who are practitioners, immediate supervisors, educators, or researchers in the fields of vocational evaluation or career assessment services.

b. Associate members shall be those individuals interested in vocational evaluation or career assessment or related services, but who are not actively engaged in the practice thereof.

c. Retired members shall be those who have been former Professional or Associate members who are no longer performing full-time work in the field or those who worked previously in the field or a related one who is now retired from full-time employment or practice.

d. Student members shall be those individuals enrolled full-time (9 hours per semester or equivalent for undergraduate study, 6 hours or equivalent per semester for graduate study) in recognized educational programs preparing them for practice in the fields of vocational evaluation, career assessment, or related services.

Section 3. The association’s fiscal year shall be from January 1st to December 31st, however, the annual dues for professional, associate, retired, and student members shall be determined by the Board which may establish membership duration from the month of the initial membership to its anniversary date the following year

Section 4.  Members may pay dues annually or for two-year memberships.

Section 5 Any member desiring to resign from the organization shall submit his or her resignation in writing to the Secretary of the organization who shall present it to the Board for action.  Membership dues will not be returned to the member who is resigning.

Section 6. Membership in the organization may be revoked for failure to pay the annual dues or for engaging in practices in violation of the organization’s Code of Ethics.

The Board shall consider all cases wherein membership may be revoked and, in cases where violations of the Code of Ethics are charged and shall notify the member of charges, in writing, 90 days prior to the final decision by the Board. Said member shall have the opportunity to answer the charges either in person or in writing within that 90 days following notification of the charges. After this, said member shall be notified in writing of the Board’s decision within 14 days of said decision.

ARTICLE IV

Officers
Section 1. The officers of the organization shall be a President, a President-elect, an immediate Past-President, a Secretary, a Treasurer, two Board Members-at-Large, and five Committee Coordinators. These officers shall perform the duties prescribed by these By-laws and by the parliamentary (i.e., Robert’s Rules of Order) authority adopted by the association.

Section 2. The nomination and election of officers, committee coordinators, and at-large board members shall be conducted annually. All Board members shall be elected by vote of the general membership of the organization. Candidates receiving the largest number of votes cast for those officers shall be elected. The nominations and election shall be conducted by the provisions prescribed by these By-laws and such other provisions as may be adopted by the Board

Section 3. President-Elect and Secretary, shall be elected to service for one year or until their successors are elected.  Terms of office for one year offices shall begin on January 1 of the year immediately following elections and continue for one year until December 31. The terms for Treasurer, Board members-at-large, and Committee Coordinators will begin on January 1st of the year immediately following election and continue for two years until December 31st.  Should any Board member have to resign his/her position, the Executive Council may make a special appointment from the membership for the position.  The entire board shall approve the appointment, which shall last until the end date of the original board member’s term. 

Section 4. The Coordinators for Communication, Education, Advocacy, Member Services, and Standards Committees shall be elected to serve two years or until their successors are elected. Their terms of office shall begin on January 1st of the year immediately following their election and continue for two years until December 31st. The terms of office will be arranged in staggered terms so that not all coordinators are elected in any one year; this is an effort to ensure seamless continuity of the organization’s business and activities.

Section 5. No member shall hold more than one office or committee coordinator position at a time, unless he or she is fulfilling the Nominations and Elections chair role or the Program coordinator role (see Article VIII).  No member shall serve more than three consecutive terms in the same office, board member-at-large, or coordinator position.

Section 6.  All Board members are expected to uphold their duties to the best of their abilities for the duration of their elected terms.  If an officer is unable to effectively fulfill his/her duties, he/she may be removed via one of two methods:  1) voluntary resignation or 2) by majority vote of the Board.  If a Board member misses more than three consecutive board meetings or a total of five board meetings in a calendar year, the Executive Council shall confer to decide if the Board member should be asked to resign.  If a board member has difficulty attending monthly meetings due to the nature of his or her full-time jobs, that person may work out a routine and consistent form of communication with the President to ensure that work designated to the person is being completed in a satisfactory way.  If a Board member fails to perform duties described for the specific office or position for four consecutive months, the President may ask the Board to terminate the Board member’s term of office.

Section 7.  No board member shall participate in any discussion or vote on any matter in which he or she or a member of his or her immediate family has potential conflict of interest.  When such a situation presents itself, the officer must announce his or her potential conflict, disqualify him or herself, and be excused from the meeting until discussion is over on the matter involved. The President is expected to make inquiry if such conflict appears to exist and the officer has not made it known.

Section 8.  Each VECAP board member shall have an equal vote.  If there is more than one committee representative present for the board meeting or if voting by another method, the committee representatives must come to consensus on their one vote. The association tries to have two committee coordinators for each committee served at the same time. This approach is designed to create continuity of leadership for the association.  Having dual committee coordinators is not required, but preferred. Co-coordinators will designate and agree upon work efforts as they see fit.

Section 9.  All financial matters discussed during board meetings are to be treated as confidential, and should not be shared with external affiliates or members of other organizations.  Additional topics discussed during board meetings may be deemed confidential as well, and Board members will be informed by the President, at his or her discretion, to uphold the confidentiality of such matters.  Any breach of confidentiality as set forth in the By-laws may be grounds for removal from the Board.

ARTICLE V

Meetings

Section 1. There shall be a biennial membership meeting of the association. If members have occasion to meet annually, that is permitted and association work may take place at that time.

Section 2. The biennial meeting shall be held to conduct the business of the association.  If biennial meetings cannot take place, the Board can arrange for a distance conference (tele- or video-conferencing).

Section 3. Special meetings may be called by the President or by the Board and shall be called upon the written request of 25% members of the association. The purpose of the meeting shall be stated in the call for the meeting. Except in cases of emergency, at least 30 days notice for the meeting shall be given.

ARTICLE VI

National  Board
Section 1. The officers of the association shall constitute the Executive Council: President, President-Elect, Past-President, Treasurer, and Secretary. If a Home Office exists, a representative of the Office may serve as an ad hoc, non-voting member of the Executive Council.  Other members of the Board are the two at-large board members, and the five committee coordinators.

Section 2. The Executive Council shall have general supervision of the affairs of the association between its monthly board and bi-annual membership meetings, shall fix the time and place of special meetings, shall make recommendations to the association, and shall perform such other duties as are specified in these By-laws. The Executive Council shall be subject to the orders of the association, and none of its acts shall conflict with action taken by the association.

Section 3. Unless otherwise ordered by the Executive Council, regular meetings of the Executive Council and full board (including Committee Coordinators and Board Members-at-large) shall be held monthly either by distance (tele-or video-conferencing) or in conjunction with the biennial meeting of the association. Special meetings of the Executive Council can be called by the President and or by another member of the Executive Council via a request to the Council. Also, special board meetings may be called via a request to the President by any one of the five committee coordinators or members-at-large. All meetings may be conducted by telephone conference or face-to-face. Voting on business of the Executive Council or the whole Board may be conducted by voice vote, regular mail or electronic mail at the pleasure of the President or his or her designee

Section 4. The Board shall have the authority by majority vote of its own members to fill such vacancies as may occur on the Board between elections, except for the offices of President and President-elect. Officers so elected shall serve only until the next regular election.

Section 5. Should the Presidency become vacant, the President-elect shall assume the Presidency and complete the remainder of that term and the President-elect’s own natural term. A vacancy in the President-elect’s office shall be filled at the next regular election or by a special vote by the Board to appoint a person and at the next general election, the President-elect shall be voted on as new President. Should both the President’s and the President-elect’s offices become vacant at the same time, the Board shall have the authority by majority vote of its own members to elect a President Pro-tempore until the next regular election.

ARTICLE VII

Governance
Section 1. Each member (a) has full voting privileges; (b) shall act in the name of the association; (c) shall serve as a part of the law-making and policy-making body of the association; (d) shall vote to adopt rules of procedure for the conduct of the meetings of the association; (e) shall read all reports of the officers and committees of the association; (f) shall vote to adopt resolutions; (g) vote to adopt amendments to these By-laws; (h) shall have the authority to take such other actions as are required to carry out the provision of these By-laws.  A mail or electronic mail ballot of the membership may be used to determine the above issues.

Section 2. Each member shall have one vote on any matter before the association.

Section 3. Voting shall be by voice, by mail, by electronic mail, or by other special rules adopted by the association. Voting will be decided by a simple majority, 51% of votes cast. A minimum of 10% of the total Vocational Evaluation and Career Assessment Professionals, Inc. membership must vote on any action.

ARTICLE VIII

Standing Committees

The association shall have seven (7) standing committees: Program, Nominations and Elections, Communications, Membership, Education, Advocacy, and Standards.  Committee coordinators shall be elected to the Board for the following committees:  Communications, Membership, Education, Advocacy, and Standards. 

Section 1.  A Program Committee shall work in concert with the Education Committee Coordinator.  It shall be the duty of this committee to plan, organize and direct the bi-annual Issues Forum and any additional educational or training activities where members of the association gather. The President and Education committee coordinator shall appoint the coordinator(s) or chair(s) of the program committee. The program committee coordinator is not a voting member of the Board unless they are fulfilling another Board member role.

Section 2. A Nominations and Elections Committee shall be the responsibility of the immediate past President. This committee shall conduct the call for nominations and the election of officers for each office which shall become vacant. This committee shall prepare a full ballot of candidates to run for vacant offices annually. First, the committee shall put out a call for nominations (candidates) at least 60 days prior to an election; it also shall ensure that the ballot is sent to the entire membership 30 days prior to the election. The committee shall attempt, as much as possible, to seek candidates that represent all geographic areas of the country. 

Section 3. A Membership Committee shall be the responsibility of the Member Services Coordinator. It shall be the duty of this committee to plan, organize and direct the recruitment and maintenance of members of the Organization. This committee coordinator shall make and post monthly membership reports. The committee chair may ask other Board or association members to assist with recruitment of members.

Section 4. A Standards committee shall be the responsibility of the Standards coordinator.  Under this committee’s jurisdiction the following functions will be established and coordinated: Ethics and By-laws,   

4.1 The Ethics committee shall whenever possible have a separate un-elected, volunteer coordinator. It shall be the duty of this committee to make recommendations to the Board regarding the association’s Code of Ethics and notices of ethical infractions by members or others.

4.2. A By-laws Committee shall be the responsibility of the Standards Coordinator. It shall be the duty of said committee to review and make recommendations to the Board regarding: (a) amendments to the association’s Charter and/or By-laws; (b) amendments to the chartered units By-laws; and (c) proposed By-laws of organizations seeking charter as VECAP units. Said committee shall also maintain the official copy of the Organization’s charter and By-laws and a file of all the Unit and Regional By-laws.  If the Standards coordinator chooses, he or she may appoint a By-laws committee chair for the duration of the Standards coordinator’s term of office or annually.

Section 5. The Communications committee coordinator shall oversee a Publications Committee, including the editors of the official publications of the association. This committee shall make nominations to the Board for the appointment to the positions of editor or editors of the Organization’s official publications. Said committee shall make policy recommendations to the Board regarding the official publications of the Organization. The communications coordinator and committee shall try to maintain constant and consistent visibility for the Association on social media in accordance with the purposes of VECAP.

Section 6. The Advocacy Committee shall oversee the activities of general advocacy promoting the Association’s purposes and goals with the general public and with other professional associations.  In addition, the committee shall oversee and monitor governmental or policy issues by educating governmental officials, policy makers, and others about vocational evaluation and career assessment services and the Vocational Evaluation and Career Assessment Professionals association.  The committee shall also strive to increase writing, research and training in the field related to multi-cultural concerns.

Section 7.  The Education committee shall be responsible for soliciting, developing, and offering education and training programs and activities for members and others who may be interested.  The committee shall also coordinate obtaining pre-approval for training and education from national accrediting bodies, such as the Registry of Professional Vocational Evaluators (RPVE) or the Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification (CRCC) or appropriate state continuing education programs.  The committee shall also communicate with members or others who have taken the training to ensure receipt of their continuing education units or other credentialing credits.

The Education committee shall also be responsible for supporting the Program committee’s work in offering the biennial National Forum on Issues in Vocational Evaluation and Assessment and shall be responsible for arranging the continuing education units or credentialing credits for the Forum.

Section 8. Such other Committees shall be appointed by the President, subject to the approval of the Board, as the association or the Board shall from time to time deem necessary to carry on the work of the association. The President shall be an ex-officio member of all committees except the Nominations and Elections Committee.

Section 9. The two Board members-at-large shall be assigned special projects and activities by the President and shall represent as much as possible the interests of the general membership. 

ARTICLE IX

Subdivisions
Section 1. Subdivisions of the Organization may be formed. Such subdivisions shall be known as Units and shall coincide geographically with the boundaries of the various states, commonwealths, or territories; or shall be known as Regions and shall comprise such several states, commonwealths or territories as the Board shall designate. The purpose of such subdivisions shall be to promote greater membership participation in the achievement of the objectives of this association.  Unit or regional subdivisions shall offer education and training that is accessible to members (and interested parties) at geographic or local levels.

Section 2. Units or Regions may be formed when a significant number of association members living in a given state, commonwealth, or territory, or in several such states, commonwealths or territories, shall file a petition for charter with the President of this association. The Board shall grant a charter for such units or regions as may seek charter providing that: (a) all members of said organization are members of this association, and (b) the proposed By-laws of said organization shall not be found in conflict with this association’s charter or these By-laws.

Section 3. Chartered subdivisions shall submit to the Executive Council in their annual report to the Board by December 31st of each year any amendment of its By-laws, names of its officers and membership chairperson, and an annual accounting of its receipts and expenditures to the Board. A chartered unit making said report shall be entitled to a per person rebate approved by the Board for each professional and associate member’s dues.

Section 4. Chartered subdivisions shall be autonomous in the conduct of their affairs provided that said subdivision’s By-laws and activities are not in conflict with this association’s charter and these By-laws. National VECAP has no financial responsibility related to a unit’s or region’s financial solvency.

Section 5. The Board may revoke the charter of a subdivision for failure to comply with these By-laws.

ARTICLE X

Publications
The official publications of the association shall be The Vocational Evaluation and Career Assessment Professionals Journal, which will be published at minimum twice a year and the VECAP Newsletter, which shall be published at least four times per year. Additional communications with members shall be provided via various online sources and reputable social media sites. When the Proceedings of the National Forum are not bound separately, they may be published as a Special Issue of the Journal.

ARTICLE XI

Parliamentary Authority
The rules contained in the current edition of Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised shall govern this association in all cases to which they are applicable and in which they are not inconsistent with the association’s charter or these By-laws and any special rules of order the association may adopt.

ARTICLE XII

Amending the Bylaws
These By-laws can be amended by a majority vote of the members provided that the amendment has been submitted to the membership in writing at least 30 days prior to the vote.

Adopted September 21, 1976
Hollywood, FL

Amended September 26, 1978
Salt Lake City, UT

Amended September 18, 1979
Chicago, IL

Amended August 28, 1980
Louisville, KY

Amended August 19, 1984
Atlanta, GA

Amended November 17, 1991
Louisville, KY

Amended December 6, 1992
San Diego, CA

Amended November 1995
Dallas, TX

Amended March 14, 1997
Colorado Springs, CO

Amended January 26, 1998
Colorado Springs, CO

Amended May 1, 2000
Mail Ballot, Colorado Springs, CO

Amended July 2003
Mail Ballot

Amended November 2006
Email Ballot

Amended September 2010

Email Ballot

Amended December 2012

Email Ballot

Amended October 2017

Email ballots plus paper ballots at Forum