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BCA Constitution


CONSTITUTION OF THE ASSOCIATION (As amended at the 2015 AGM) 1. NAME The Association shall be known as THE BIRKBECK COUNSELLING ASSOCIATION. 2. ADDRESS Department of Psychosocial Studies, Birkbeck, University of London, 30 Russell Square, London WC1B 5DT. 3. PURPOSES (a) To provide a range of meetings and events for the purposes of ongoing learning and continuing professional development (“CPD”). (b) To promote the application of psychodynamic/psychoanalytic ideas to a variety of occupational and professional settings, drawing upon the knowledge of individual, group and organisational processes which are unique aspects of the counselling training at Birkbeck, and/or relevant Birkbeck courses. (c) To help members sustain and develop contacts and networks both socially, and for professional purposes, including the possibility of client referrals. (d) To share and reflect on the experience of good practice in a broad range of work settings. (e) The BCA is accredited by the BPC (British Psychoanalytic Council) and acts as ‘gatekeeper’ for individual BCA members who wish to apply for BPC registration as psychodynamic counsellors. There is an application process for which fees (reviewed periodically) are payable to BCA in addition to the annual BPC membership fee. 4. MEMBERSHIP (a) Full Membership shall be open to people who are current students on or who have successfully completed a relevant Birkbeck course included in the list below, together with the staff and former staff of the listed courses and staff and former staff of the Birkbeck counselling certificate courses, upon payment of an annual subscription to be decided from time to time by the Executive Committee. This means that current students on the courses listed below have the option of becoming full members of the association on payment of a membership fee. Only full members will be entitled to vote or become full members of the Executive Committee.
  • Psychodynamic Counselling and Psychotherapy (MSc / Graduate Diploma)
  • Psychodynamic Counselling and Psychotherapy with Children and Adolescents (MSc / Graduate Diploma)
  • Psychodynamic Counselling (MSc / Graduate Diploma)
  • Psychodynamic Counselling with Children and Adolescents (MSc / Graduate Diploma)
  • Post-graduate diploma in Student Counselling
  • Post-graduate diploma in Adult Counselling, and Post-graduate diploma in Psychodynamic Counselling
  • Foundation Degree in Psychodynamic Counselling and Cognitive Behaviour Therapy
  • Psychodynamic Counselling and Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (BSc)
(b) Student Membership shall be open, free of charge, to all students registered on any of the relevant Birkbeck courses listed under 4(a), until they are no longer a student on a listed course. The Executive Committee shall be entitled to co-opt student members as a non-voting representative on the Executive Committee. Student members may be entitled to conference discounts, but this will be at the discretion of the Executive Committee.
5. EXECUTIVE OFFICERS The Officers of the Association shall be a Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson, Secretary, Treasurer, Networking Secretary, Events Coordinator and such others as are deemed necessary. 6. NOMINATIONS Nominations from full members for the Chairperson and for the Executive Committee may be made at the Annual General Meeting. Should nominees exceed vacancies, election shall be by ballot. 7. ELECTION OF THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE (a) The Chairperson and Executive Committee, consisting in total of not less than six or more than ten members, shall be elected at an Annual General Meeting by the Members. (b) The Chairperson and each member of the Executive Committee shall hold office for a period of 2 years from the conclusion of the Annual General Meeting at which they are elected, at the end of which they will stand down, but will be eligible to stand for re-election indefinitely. (c) One half of the Executive Committee shall be elected at each Annual General Meeting. 8. FUNCTIONS OF THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE (a) There shall be an Executive Committee consisting of a Chairperson and such other persons elected under Clause 7a. It shall be the duty of the Executive Committee to implement the general policy of the Association. (b) The Executive Committee shall have powers to co-opt members, provided that the number of such co-opted members shall not exceed one-third of the total of the committee. (c) The Executive Committee shall meet not less than three times per year. 9. APPOINTMENT OF COMMITTEES The Association and/or the Executive Committee may appoint such sub-committees as may be deemed necessary, and shall determine their terms of reference, powers, duration and membership. 10. MEETINGS OF THE ASSOCIATION (a) The Association shall meet for a General Meeting not less than once a year (including the Annual General Meeting). (b) When the Annual General Meeting of the Association is held, at least fourteen days clear notice shall be given in writing by the Secretary to the members, together with lists of nominations for the Executive Committee. Other meetings of the Association shall be held at such times as shall be decided by the Executive Committee. (c) An emergency meeting of the Association may be called at ten days notice at the written request of one-fifth of the total full membership, or by the Chairperson of the Association or by the Executive Committee. (d) At the Annual General Meeting of the Association the business shall include the election of members of the Executive Committee. The business shall also include a report from the Chairperson and the Treasurer and such other reports as seem necessary on the previous year’s activities. (e) Each full member of the Association shall have one vote. (f) Decisions taken at the General Meetings or Annual General Meetings shall be by a simple majority of a show of hands.
11. FINANCE (a) All monies collected for the purposes of the Association shall be held in a bank account. (b) Outgoing cheques shall require two signatories chosen by the Executive Committee. (c) Accounts shall be presented annually at the Annual General Meeting and shall be available for inspection by the membership. (d) Any monies left over at the dissolution of the Association shall be donated to counselling charities by the then Executive Committee. 12. QUORUM The quorum for a meeting of the Executive Committee shall be one-half of that Committee, and for meetings of the Association, shall be 20 members, or such other number as the members in general meeting may from time to time decide in respect of subsequent meetings. 13. DISSOLUTION The Association may at any time be dissolved by a resolution passed by a two-thirds’ majority of the total membership: (a) at a Special Meeting of the Association, of which at least fourteen days notice shall have been given to all members of the Association by the Secretary or (b) by a postal ballot in accordance with the procedure set out in paragraph 15. 14. ALTERATIONS TO THE CONSTITUTION Alterations to the Constitution shall receive the assent of not less than two-thirds of the Association present and voting. A resolution for the alteration of the Constitution shall be received by the secretary at least fourteen clear days before the meeting at which the resolution is to be brought forward. At least seven clear days notice in writing of such a resolution together with notice of the proposed alterations shall be given by the secretary to the membership of the Association. 15. POSTAL BALLOTS (a) If the Executive Committee thinks fit, it may at any time require the voting on any resolution to be conducted by postal ballot to be held in accordance with the provisions of this paragraph. (b) The words “ballot” or “postal ballot” mean that postal ballot taking place in accordance with the procedure set out in this paragraph in relation to the resolution in question, whether it be a resolution made under sub-paragraph (a) above or under paragraph 13. (c) Where a postal ballot is to take place the following provisions of this paragraph shall have effect: (i) Notices of a postal ballot shall be given not less than 21, nor more than 56 days, before the date which the Association specifies as the final date for the receipt of complete ballot papers (referred to in this paragraph as “voting day”). (ii) Notice of a postal ballot shall be given to every member of the Association who would be entitled to vote on the resolution if the voting day for the resolution fell on the date of the notice. (iii) Note of a postal ballot shall contain such other notices relating to the resolution and shall be accompanied by: (A) a voting paper to be used in the ballot together with notification that the voting paper shall be returned by the voting day and the name and address of the person to whom the voting paper shall be sent; and (B) such other documents, as would be required to be given or sent to a member in connection with notice of a meeting, had it been intended to hold the vote on the resolution at a meeting instead of by postal ballot. (iv) Accidental omission to give notice of a postal ballot or to send any document required by sub-paragraph (f) above to accompany such notice, to any person entitled to receive it or non-receipt of such a notice or document by such a person, does not invalidate the postal ballot. (v) Unless otherwise provided, either elsewhere in this Constitution or by resolution by a meeting, a postal ballot shall be determined by a simple majority vote. 16. JOURNAL/NEWSLETTER Should the Association at any time wish to publish a journal or newsletter, the Executive Committee of the Association shall co-opt an additional officer as Editor.

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