Serving on the APTA Pelvic Health Board – What Does It Mean and What is Involved
When running for a position on the Academy of Pelvic Health Physical Therapy’s Board of Directors, there are important aspects for you to consider regarding the role, commitment and responsibilities involved. In order to make an informed decision, below is important information for you to consider.
APTA Pelvic Health is a non-profit, 501c6 organization governed by a Board of Directors and managed by an Executive Office team. APTA Pelvic Health is an independent organization but also a component of the American Physical Therapy Association. A federated governance structure provides for such a relationship between these organizations. As with any role on a non-profit Board, prior to committing to such service, you should familiarize yourself with how the organization is structured and understand its governance.
What is the role of a Director?
Each member of the Board has specific responsibilities based on their role (Communications, Research, etc.). However, all Directors share the same core responsibilities to ensure organizational oversight. The Board is charged with the governance of the APTA Pelvic Health (follow Bylaws and Articles of Incorporation), creates committees and charges them with initiatives, makes and follows a strategic plan, makes policies, sets goals and monitors progress and evaluates the Executive Director. Board members also have a legal/fiduciary responsibility to the organization. This includes following laws, acting in good faith for business decisions, complying with conflict of interest policies and ensuring the best interests of the organization.
How much time commitment will this role need from me?
The APTA Pelvic Health Board meets monthly for a 60-minute video meeting. In addition, there are actions that each Director needs to take to ensure their work and the work of their committees move forward. The workload may fluctuate between months. The Board also has 1-2 annual board retreat meetings that range anywhere from 4 hours to 2 days depending on the complexity of the business agenda. 2-day retreats are usually reserved for the development of the 3-year strategic plan while shorter meetings are reserved for discussing large proposals. The Director is also expected to read message updates, files and vote on Slack (third-party communication platform) on a weekly basis which can take anywhere from 30minutes-2 hours on Slack (there are months were more board votes/attention are required on matters i.e. budget proposal month).
What expectations are there for a Board member?
APTA Pelvic Health Board members are expected to regularly attend Board meetings (including preparing for the meeting by reviewing the agenda and all related supporting documents), stay apprised of issues/needs of the organization, carry out the actions/follow up related to your role and the committees that report to your role. Directors are expected to contribute to organizational discussions to ensure the best decisions are made and be available to vote on time-sensitive and important business items. Board members are expected to have read all materials and to be fully prepared to discuss proposals and business agenda items prior to voting.
What type of information is presented and discussed at the Board level?
The APTA Pelvic Health Board agenda includes strategic and operational discussion items. This may include updates on the status of the yearly goals for the strategic plan, committee reports and a report on the Academy’s financial health with recommendations from the Finance Committee. The Board discusses organizational priorities to ensure the needs of the membership are met while also deciding how best to utilize its resources. The Board agenda is prepared by the Executive Director and Board President with input from all Directors. Board Directors are encouraged to submit discussion topics at least 2 weeks prior to each Board meeting.
How are the meetings managed?
The APTA Pelvic Health Board President presides over all Board meetings and ensures the meetings are run by parliamentary procedure. The President facilitates productive business discussions and ensures meetings begin/end as scheduled. The Executive Director provides the full board with the meeting agenda and supporting materials to review at least 1 week prior to each monthly meeting. The Secretary records minutes (motions, votes) and provides a copy of the minutes to the Board within 1-3 days after the meeting.
What type of orientation is offered for new Board members?
New APTA Pelvic Health Board members are invited to a virtual orientation meeting facilitated by the President and Executive Director via Zoom. Information is shared on the organization, relationship to APTA, committee/SIG structure, financials, programs, Board communication and resources available. The prior Board Director is also a resource for new Board members. Additional orientation and welcome meetings facilitated by the Board may be scheduled.
How does serving on the Board differ from serving on a Committee or Task Force?
While a Committee or SIG leader tends to be focused on the specific responsibilities to that project or function, a Board member must consider the broader needs of the organization. Board members work on the ‘big picture’ level instead of the focused work of a Task Force/Committee. Although the Academy Board has specific board titles (i.e. Director of Research, Director of Education), each Board member has equal representation in voting power for all Board decisions. Board members also serve as Board Liaisons to committees/groups, they serve as a communication link between the committee/group and the Board. They provide guidance to committees to ensure that the committee’s planned work is in alignment with the organization’s mission, vision and strategic plan. Board members also have a legal/fiduciary responsibility to the organization. This includes following laws, acting in good faith for business decisions, complying with conflict of interest policies and ensuring the best interests of the organization
How is the Board kept apprised of important information?
It is important that the Board is kept up to date on organizational matters. The Board strives for open communication between Directors and also with the membership they serve. Each Board member is asked to communicate pertinent information with each other as well as the Executive Office. The Executive Office also works to ensure the appropriate information is brought to the Board’s attention. All internal Board communications and electronic votes are conducted via Slack while email is reserved for calendar meeting invitations and external communication with members, partners and other outside entities.
What type of experience should I have to serve on the APTA Pelvic Health Board?
While there aren’t specific eligibility requirements to serve on our Board, skills and experiences provide an important framework for the role. At a core level, an engaged APTA Pelvic Health member with a history of volunteer and leadership roles is essential. A Board member will need to have the organization’s best interests as their priority. Beyond this, prior experience working with others is key – experience on task forces, work groups, committees, or SIG groups. Knowledge of non-profit organizations and their governance is not required but helpful. Other valuable skills are strong communication, ability to think strategically, explore options, recommend action, implement initiatives, ability to collaborate with others
Board members have a fiduciary responsibility to the organization, what does this mean?
To serve on a Board is to take on some level of legal responsibilities in regards to the organization. The Directors take on ‘duty of care, loyalty, obedience’ in regards to their work in the name of the organization. Director’s actions must be consistent with laws and the best interest of the organization. In order to accomplish this role, Directors have expanded access to organizational information and staff resources.
What type of financial information is reported to the Board?
Financial oversight is an important part of the Board’s role. As such, the Board reviews, discusses and approves routine financial statements for the APTA Pelvic Health. The Board and the Finance Committee have access to a directory of all balance statements, income statements and investment information year-round.
How are conflicts of interest managed for APTA Pelvic Health?
All APTA Pelvic Health Board members will annually complete a conflict of interest statement and must disclose any new conflicts that arise year-round. These statements are shared with the Board to ensure unbiased decision making for the APTA Pelvic Health.
Serving on a Board of an organization you are committed to can be very rewarding. We hope you find this information helpful as you consider participating on the APTA Pelvic Health Board.
2021 Nominations are OPEN until April 30, 2021. Elections will run from May 15, 2021 – June 15, 2021. Explore our full list of available positions and consider running! View eligibility requirements and the full positions descriptions at www.aptapelvichealth.org/elections.
If you have any questions about elected board positions, please contact us.