The name of this Association shall be the Virginia Association of Clinical Counselors (VACC), hereafter referred to as the Association.
This Association is organized as the Virginia state chapter of the American Mental Health Counselors Association (AMCHA). The name of the Association shall be employed in connection with all official business and activities. The Association’s name shall not be used by organizations, agencies, or individuals without the prior approval of the Associations Executive Committee.
The purposes of the Association, complementary to those of the parent organization, AMCHA, are as follows:
A) To promote the counseling profession and the practice of clinical counseling.
B) To exchange information pertinent to clinical counseling concerns with members and other appropriate persons through newsletters, regional groups, educational programs, and other mediums of communication.
C) To provide the public with information regarding the role and function of the clinical counselor.
D) To promote professional development activities for clinical counselors to expand or renew skills and help satisfy various requirements for re-certification. To advocate for high standards of professional preparation and development.
E) To monitor and take positions regarding legislation which affects clinical counselors or the practice of clinical counseling and to educate clinical counselors about legislative issues.
F) To provide a forum through which clinical counselors may advocate for the social and emotional needs of their clients.
G) To coordinate and ally with other organizations and counselors to promote the counseling profession and address matters of concern related to clinical counseling.
H) To monitor third party payment issues and initiate action as appropriate to represent the interests of clinical counselors.
I) To promote ethical standards and conduct among clinical counselors.
The Association shall be autonomous in conducting its affairs, consistent with the Bylaws of its national affiliate, AMCHA.
Classes of membership shall include clinical, regular, student, and retired. Any persons desiring to become a member of the Association shall make application and shall become a member of the Association upon certifying that the required professional standards have been met, approval of the application, and payment of dues.
- A) Clinical members must be in possession of a state license to practice as an LPC and be in good standing with the State Board of Counseling and must also be involved in clinical counseling, research, or education.
- B) Regular members must be in possession of a master’s degree related to counseling and be actively working towards a clinical license through the State Board of Counseling.
- C) Student members must be enrolled as graduate students in a program that focuses on clinical counseling, research, or education in a duly accredited institution of higher education learning.
- D) Retired members must be fully retired from the counseling field.
Voting requirements, rights, and privileges.
All Association members are eligible to vote in elections or for referenda and to serve in a voting capacity on the Board.
Annual dues shall be established and approved by the Association’s Board and are collected by the Association’s Treasurer. Student and Retired Association members qualify for a reduced dues payment as determined by the Association’s Board.
Severance of membership.
The following may constitute just cause for termination of Association membership, rights, and privileges:
- A) Non-payment of dues.
- B) Membership expulsion from AMCHA.
- C) License revocation or suspension by the Virginia Board of Professional Counselors.
- D) Falsely certifying that professional qualifications have been met.
Process for Severance of membership.
- A) Upon notification of cause for membership termination enumerated in III.4 above, the President of the Association shall inform the member of the facts. She or he shall be provided with the choice of requesting a hearing regarding the matter or voluntarily resigning as an Association member.
- B) If the member elects to be heard or fails to submit a letter of resignation within 15 calendar days of indicating an intention to do so, the President shall appoint a special committee of three Board members to hold a hearing and determine appropriate action.
- C) Within 30 days of initial contact with the member, the special committee chairperson shall provide the member in question with written notice of the proposed action and advise that s(he) may make an oral or written response and present any facts to dispute the charges. The member will be given 15 days to provide a written response or request to give an oral statement. A hearing must be held within 10 days of this deadline.
- D) Two-thirds of the committee must concur with regard to the findings and disposition in order for membership to be severed.
- E) The committee chairperson shall concurrently provide the President and subject with written notice of the findings and disposition within 10 calendar days following the conclusion of the hearing.
- F) The subject shall have 10 days following the notification of the committee’s decision to note an appeal to the Executive Committee of the Association. The member wishing to be heard shall submit a letter to the President stating any points of variance with the special committee’s findings and/or disposition.
- G) The president shall arrange a meeting of the Executive Committee within 21 calendar days of receiving written notice of the member’s wish to appeal. The President shall notify the member in writing of the date and time of the Executive Committee meeting and advise the appellant of the opportunity to make a statement or present the facts.
- H) Any member of the Executive Committee who sat on the special hearing committee shall be excused from deliberations and voting in the Executive Committee regarding this matter.
- I) If the President is the subject of the allegation(s), the President-Elect shall carry out these procedures.
- J) The decision of the Executive Committee shall be final with regard to Association membership.
Establishment of regional groups.
In order to offer additional support and promote the profession in a more local area, regional groups may be established upon approval of the Association’s Board. Regional groups must have purposes that are consistent with the purposes of the Association.
- A) Regional groups shall encourage and promote Association membership.
- B) Regional groups are free to have officers, establish bylaws, collect dues, and conduct business consistent with the Association’s purposes, objectives, and bylaws. A copy of the by-laws for any regional group and revisions thereto shall be furnished to the Association President upon request.
- C) Presidents of regional groups must be Association members in good standing
- D) Regional Presidents will be asked to serve on the Association’s Board of Directors.
- E) The Association’s Board may, for good cause, disqualify any regional group after providing notice to the Regional President and granting representatives an opportunity to be heard in response to any expressed concerns.
Officers of the Association shall be the President, President-Elect, Immediate Past President, Secretary, and Treasurer. All officers shall be members of the Board and the Executive Committee thereof.
Terms of the office shall be on a fiscal year basis commencing July 1 and ending the following June 30. Hence, subsequent use of the term year refers to fiscal year.
- A) The President shall serve one year as President-Elect, one year as President, and one year as Immediate Past President. The President-Elect shall automatically become President one year after commencement of the office as President-Elect, or upon the incapacity, death, or resignation of the President.
- B) The Secretary shall serve one year and assumes office in the year of election.
- C) The Treasurer shall serve two years, and assumes office in the year of election.
- D) In the event of the resignation, incapacity, or death of the Secretary or Treasurer, the Board shall have the authority to appoint a qualified Board member in good standing to fulfill the remainder of the term of office.
Duties of the Officers
1) Will convene and preside over Association Board and Executive committee meetings.
2) Will appoint chairpersons of Association special or outstanding committees.
3) Will transmit the name of Association officers to the President of AMCHA upon verification of their election.
4) Will issue notices of all Board and Executive Committee meetings.
5) Will maintain a printout of Association members and a current roster showing the names and addresses of Board members, Executive Committee members, as well as standing and special committee chairpersons.
6) Will monitor the progress and activities of Association committees and serve as an ex-officio member thereof.
7) Will conduct the business of the Association consistent with the bylaws and subject to the direction of the Board or Executive Committee.
8) Will transmit Association files or photocopies thereof to the President- Elect in a timely manner, preferably by July 1, to ensure the transition of leadership and continuity of business.
9) Will submit the AMCHA annual report and transmit the names of Board members to AMCHA after the Association’ annual election.
1) Shall perform the duties of the President in the absence or incapacity of the President
2) Will perform other duties as the President, Board, or Executive Committee may designate.
Immediate Past President-
1) Will serve as Chairperson of the Nominations and Elections Committee.
2) Will perform duties as requested on a mutually agreeable basis to assist the President, Board, or Executive Committee in the smooth transition of Association business.
1) Will record the minutes from Executive and Board meetings including the approval of the minutes from the previous Board meeting, the place, date, and time of the current meeting, and all participants at the meeting. Minutes will be a record of what was considered and accomplished at a meeting.
2) Will distribute minutes from Executive and Board meetings to all Board members within 30 calendar days of the adjournment of each meeting.
3) Will transfer the files of the Association minutes not later than June 30th to the Secretary-Elect.
1) Will receive, deposit, and disburse Association funds and ensure that these monies are utilized to conduct official business and comport with Board approved budget and fiscal policies.
2) Will prepare a monthly financial report regarding revenues and disbursements and present these written reports at each Board meeting.
3) Will maintain a record of revenues and expenditures including receipts for money spent.
4) Will invest Association funds as approved by the Board.
5) Will arrange for an annual internal audit of Association revenues and expenditures. Audit will include a team of at least three Association officers or members. This team will provide a report of their audit to the Board within 30 days of the end of each fiscal year.
6) Will meet filing requirements for any federal or state taxes.
7) Will provide tax identification number or other such reports to regulatory agencies as required.
8) Together with the Board will develop an annual budget at the beginning of each fiscal year.
9) Will provide an end of the year financial report demonstrating expenditures and revenues consistent with the annual budget.
10) Will transfer all Association funds and fiscal records to the newly elected Treasurer within 15 calendar days of their assumption of office.
Removal of Officers
An elected officer, Board member, or Executive Committee member:
1) Shall be considered ineligible to serve if removed as an Association member pursuant to Article III, Section 5.
2) May be removed for unsatisfactory performance of their designated responsibilities. Removal for unsatisfactory performance shall be subject to the following procedures:
- a) Three letters from members of the Association in good standing documenting unsatisfactory performance shall be transmitted to a member of the executive committee.
- b) Upon receipt of the required written documentation, the recipient will notify the Officer of the allegations and will offer him/her the opportunity to be heard by a special committee or the chance to voluntarily resign their position.
- c) If the Officer wishes to be heard or fails to submit their resignation within 15 days of indicating an intention to do so, the Executive Committee shall appoint an ad-hoc committee of three Board members to hear the facts and make a report and recommendation(s) for consideration by the full Board.
- d) Within 30 days of the appointment of the ad-hoc committee, the committee chairperson will schedule a hearing and notify the Officer accordingly.
- e) The committee will meet, consider the facts, and will prepare a report of findings and recommendations for the Board. If the committee finds no basis for further consideration of the complaint(s), the Committee shall declare the allegations dismissed and so inform the Officer. If the committee finds just cause for the complaint(s), the committee will schedule a special Board meeting within 21 calendar days following transmittal of the committee’s findings and recommendations.
- f) The committee will notify the Officer in writing of their summary of findings, the recommended disposition, and the date, time, and location of the special Board meeting. The Officer may appear in person and/or submit a written statement of any variance with the committee’s findings and recommendation(s).
- g) The Board shall meet in closed session to consider the facts and the subject Officer shall be excluded from said deliberations. The Board may immediately remove the Officer from elective office by a 2/3 affirmative vote of all currently occupied Board positions.
- h) The Executive Committee shall notify the Officer of the Board’s decision.
- i) In the event of removal, the Executive Committee shall convene to appoint an Association member in good standing to fill the remainder of the term, except in the case of the President’s removal at which time, the President-Elect shall assume office. If the President-Elect is removed or otherwise becomes unable to assume the office of President, the Nominations and Elections committee shall proceed to arrange a special election, which shall comport with the same general requirements outlined in Article VI, Section 5.
Composition and Qualifications
- A) The Board of Directors, elsewhere referred to as the Board, shall be comprised of the President, President-Elect, Immediate Past President, Secretary, Treasurer, Presidents of regional groups, at-large members, and continuing members. The Board may consist up to 18 members including the executive committee.
- B) At large members shall be solicited from the general membership and regional groups. Candidates must be Association members in good standing, demonstrate interest and leadership potential in the clinical counseling field, and be of sound judgment and reputation. At-large candidates must provide a copy of their curriculum vitae and must be recommended by a current board member.
- C) Presidents of Board approved regional groups should be Association members in good standing.
- D) Continuing members shall consist of past Association Officers, Board members, or Association committee members.
Terms of Office for Board Members
- A) Association Officers shall serve during the tenure of their respective terms of office.
- B) At large members, regional group Presidents, and continuing members may serve indefinitely at the mutual pleasure of the member and the Executive Board.
Functions and Authority of the Board of Directors
- A) The Board shall formulate and approve policies within the provisions of the bylaws.
- B) The Board shall be responsible for the execution of all Association business including but not limited to the formulation and/or approval of: an annual operating budget, expenditures, contracts, resolutions, dues, and other matters consistent with Association purposes and bylaws.
- C) Board members shall serve without compensation except for reasonable expenses necessary to conduct official Association business consistent with bylaws and policies.
Meetings and Board of Directors
- A) The President shall serve as Chair of the Board.
- B) The Board shall meet often enough to carry on official Association business and not less than once each quarter or as otherwise called by the President or any three members of the Executive Committee. Meetings shall be held at such time and place as designated by the President or any three members of the Executive Committee.
- C) Notice of a Board meetings shall be e-mailed to each Board member at least fifteen calendar days prior to a scheduled meeting. Board members may request that they receive written notice of Board meetings in the mail if they so desire.
- D) The Board shall have a quorum equal to a simple majority of currently occupied positions to transact any business.
- A) Executive Committee
1) The Executive Committee of the Board of Directors shall be the Association President, President-Elect, Immediate Past President, Secretary, and Treasurer.
2) The Executive Committee shall have the following duties, responsibilities, and authority:
- a) Monitor the activities of committees and regional groups to assure that they are consistent with Association purposes.
- b) Establish the agenda for Board meetings.
- c) Monitor the budget and expenditures; review and authorize bids and contractual agreements.
- d) Screen and approve Board members. Screening and approval for Regional Group Presidents shall be limited to determining that they are Association members in good standing.
- e) Fill un-expired terms for Board members or Officers who resign or are removed, except for the President who is automatically succeeded by the President –Elect.
- f) Call Board meetings with the concurrence of three members.
- g) Act for the Board when such action is deemed necessary to carry out Association business or achieve Association purposes and there is insufficient time to permit consideration by the full Board due either to the exigency of the situation or time constraints for making a decision. All such actions shall be reported to the full Board at its next meeting.
- h) Appoint special committees as deemed necessary to conduct Association affairs.
- B) Government and Relations Committee-
Monitors and recommends positions regarding legislative issues of interest and concern to clinical counseling. Provides reports to general membership.
- C) Ethics and Standards Committee-
Addresses quality of care issues in the practice of clinical counseling. The committee also informs and educates members regarding matters of ethical and professional concern.
- D) Professional Development Committee-
Plans professional development conferences consonant with instructions by the President and the Board.
- E) Professional Advocacy Committee-
Advocates on behalf of the clinical counseling profession in regards to recognition, reimbursement, and employment issues.
- F) Membership Committee-
Recruits members. Files and maintains membership records. Manages renewal notices. Provides current membership list on a monthly basis to the Association’s President and Treasurer. Interfaces with the Web-Master and Treasurer in regards to membership issues.
- G) Communications Committee-
Oversees communication such as the Association’s newsletter and website.
Article XI :: Amendments to the Bylaws
Section 1: Notice
Board members shall be provided with 15 days notice of any proposed by-law amendments.
Section 2: Approval of Amendments
Amendments to these bylaws shall be approved by a 2/3 affirmative vote of all currently occupied Board positions.
Section 3: Implementation Time
Amendments shall take effect immediately, unless otherwise stipulated, upon adoption by the Board.