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The OUPS Constitution

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1. Name

The name of the society shall be the Open University Psychological Society (hereinafter called OUPS).

2. Object

To advance public education in psychology amongst members of the Open University who are taking, have taken, or are proposing to take courses in psychology or cognate subjects with the Open University.

3. Powers

In furtherance of the foregoing object, but not further or otherwise, OUPS through its executive shall have the following powers:-

3.1 To pursue the above object by means of meetings, lectures, research, publications, exhibitions, films, conferences and residential courses.

3.2 To raise funds OUPS shall invite and receive contributions, subscriptions, covenants, donations and otherwise from any person or persons whatsoever, provided that OUPS shall not undertake any permanent trading activities concerned solely with the raising of funds for its primary object.

3.3 To promote and support local branches of OUPS

3.4 To do all such other things as shall further the said object.

4. Membership

4.1 Eligibility and membership types

4.1.1 Full membership shall be open to:

  • Past and present students of the Open University, including associate students
  • Past and present members of the academic staff of the Open University

4.1.2 Full members shall be required to pay an annual subscription.

4.1.3 The Executive Committee may, at its discretion, elect honorary members. Honorary members shall not be required to pay subscriptions. If eligible under clause 4.1.1, Honorary Members who desire the privileges of full membership may pay subscriptions and become full members.

4.1.4 Associate membership shall be open to all persons interested in psychology not covered by clauses 4.1.1, 4.1.2 and 4.1.3 and they shall enjoy the rights of membership other than the right to become an officer of OUPS or to sit on the Executive Committee. The subscription for associate members shall be as for ordinary members.

4.2 Admission of new members

4.2.1 Applications for membership may be required by the trustees to be made in any reasonable way that they decide.

4.2.2 The trustees may refuse an application for membership if they believe that it is in the best interests of OUPS for them to do so. In this case, they shall give the applicant their reasons for doing so, within 21 days of the decision being taken, and give the applicant the opportunity to appeal against the refusal.


4.2.3 Any such appeal shall be given fair consideration by the trustees, who shall inform the applicant of their decision. Any decision to confirm refusal of an application for membership shall be final.

4.3 Transfer of membership

4.3.1 Membership of OUPS cannot be transferred to anyone else.

4.4 Termination of membership

Membership of OUPS comes to an end if:

  1. the member dies; or

  2. the member sends a notice of resignation to the charity trustees; or

  3. any sum of money owed by the member to OUPS is not paid in full within six months of its falling due; or

  4. the trustees decide that it is in the best interests of OUPS that the member in question should be removed from membership, and pass a resolution to that effect.

4.4.1 Removal of membership

Before making any decision to remove someone from membership of OUPS:

  1. The Chair will appoint a subcommittee of not less than three members of the Executive Committee who will conduct such investigation, as they feel appropriate;

  2. The subcommittee will be empowered to decide whether the offence of which the individual concerned is accused is, in their opinion, injurious to the character of OUPS or its members and staff, or likely to bring the Society into disrepute;

  3. If in the opinion of the subcommittee the offence is proven, then they may make a recommendation of expulsion from membership which will be subject to endorsement by the Executive Committee once they have satisfied themselves that the appropriate procedures have been followed;

  4. A full report shall be given by the subcommittee to the member concerned of the reasons for its decision(s).

4.2.2 Right of appeal

Individuals who have been the subject of the disciplinary process described above shall have the right to appeal to the Chair, within 21 days of being informed of the decision.

  1. Appeals will only be heard on the grounds that the evidence provided to the first subcommittee was insufficient to allow them to reach the decision that they did or that the penalty awarded was not commensurate with the offence.

  2. The Chair will appoint a subcommittee of no less than three members. The subcommittee shall consist of the Chair along with Executive Committee members who have had no role in the original subcommittee;

  3. This subcommittee shall receive the report of the first subcommittee and shall consider at a duly constituted meeting any representations which the member makes as to why the member should not be removed;

  4. The member, or the member's representative, shall be invited to make those representations in person at that meeting, if the member so chooses. The outcome of any such appeal shall be given fair consideration by the trustees, who shall inform the applicant of their decision. Any decision to confirm removal of membership shall be final.

5. Government

5.1 Structure

5.1.1 The Executive Committee, defined in section 6.1, shall be responsible for the activities of OUPS and for policy making between General Meetings.


5.1.2 The Officers of OUPS, defined in section 6.2, shall be responsible for the management of OUPS.

5.1.3 The Working Committee of OUPS, defined in section 6.5, shall be responsible for running all OUPS events, programs, conferences, promotional activities, web site, newsletter and other activities.

5.2 General Meetings

5.2.1 An Annual General Meeting shall be held in each calendar year and within 18 months of the previous Annual General Meeting.

5.2.2 A Special General Meeting shall be convened by the Chair or Secretary within 28 days of the receipt, by either of them of a request therefore, signed by 30 members of OUPS, stating the objects of such a meeting.

5.2.3 A quorum for Annual and Special General Meetings shall be 20 members.

5.2.4 Not less than 49 days written notice of the date, time, place and agenda of the Annual General Meetings, and 14 days written notice of the Special General Meetings of OUPS shall be given by the Secretary to members.

5.3 Voting at General Meetings

5.3.1 All members of OUPS shall be entitled to speak and vote on any matter at a General Meeting.

5.4 Online voting

5.4.1 All members of the society shall be entitled to vote online on any of the following:​​

  • Proposed changes to the constitution

  • Election of Officers and Ordinary Committee Members

  • Other motions deemed appropriate by the Executive committee

5.4.2 The notification for online voting will be emailed to members at least 3 weeks prior to the required voting deadline (e.g date of the Annual General Meeting)

5.4.3 Any OUPS member who votes online shall not be entitled to vote in person at the Annual General Meeting for any motion(s) on which they have already voted.

6. Officers and committee members

6.1 OUPS Executive Committee

6.1.1 The Executive Committee of OUPS shall consist of:


  • The Officers

  • A Regional Representative

  • Up to nine Ordinary Committee Members

6.1.2 The Executive Committee of OUPS is the Trustee Board of the charity and its elected members (Officers, Regional Representative and Ordinary Committee) assume responsibility for the general control and management of the charity as Trustees on taking office.

6.2 Officers

The Officers of OUPS shall be:

6.2.1 Invited officers:​​

  • President

  • Up to two Vice-Presidents

6.2.2 Elected Officers​​

  • Chair

  • Vice-Chair

  • Secretary

  • Treasurer

6.2.3 Two of the four Elected Officers shall be elected at the Annual General Meeting and shall take up office after the Annual General Meeting holding office for a term of two years. The positions elected shall alternate on successive years with the Chair and Secretary being elected on one year and the Vice-Chair and Treasurer being elected on the following year.

6.2.4 All Elected Officers must be Full or Honorary members of OUPS.

6.2.5 The Executive Committee shall invite a member of the academic staff of the Open University's Psychology Department or other suitable candidate who will bring prestige to OUPS to be President. This position shall be reviewed annually by the elected officers. Invitees shall become honorary members of the society for the length of time that they hold office.

6.2.6 The Executive Committee shall invite up to 2 members of the academic staff of the Open University's Psychology Department or other suitable candidates who will bring prestige to OUPS to be Vice-Presidents. These positions shall be reviewed annually by the elected officers. Invitees shall become honorary members of the society for the length of time that they hold office.

6.3 Other Executive Committee Members

6.3.1 A Regional Representative may be selected in accordance with clause 9.9.

6.3.2 Three of the six Ordinary Committee Members shall be elected at the Annual  General Meeting and shall take up office after the Annual General Meeting holding office for a term of two years. The Executive Committee may, at its discretion, co-opt up to three additional Ordinary Committee Members who must be Full or Honorary members of OUPS. Co-opted Ordinary Committee members shall have the same voting rights as other members of the Committee but shall not be Trustees other than by agreement with the Executive Committee.

6.3.3 In the event of any elected committee member resigning, the Committee shall have the power to fill the vacancy until the next AGM.

6.3.4 All Executive Committee members must be Full or Honorary members of OUPS.

6.3.5 Nominations for all elected positions must be received at least 5 weeks prior to the Annual General Meeting to allow time for the online voting process.


6.4 Executive Committee Meetings


6.4.1 A quorum for meetings of the Executive Committee shall be 7 members including at least two officers.

6.4.2 The powers of any meeting of the Executive Committee that finds itself inquorate shall be limited to deciding upon a date and venue for a future meeting and for deciding on a series of votes to be put to the Executive Committee for a vote notified by email and carried out online.


6.5 OUPS Working Committee


6.5.1 The OUPS Working Committee shall consist of​​

  • The Executive Committee

  • Additional volunteers as needed to carry out the roles necessary to run events, newsletters and other OUPS activities through the year

6.5.2 The additional volunteers on the OUPS Working Committee shall be invited to attend OUPS Executive Committee Meetings and provide advice and guidance, but shall have no vote.


6.6 Sub-Committees


6.6.1 The Executive Committee shall have the power to appoint sub-committees consisting of members of the Society. All sub-committees shall carry out their work under the general direction of, and be responsible to, the Executive Committee, provided that all acts and proceedings of any sub-committee shall be promptly reported back to the Executive Committee.

6.7 All national and regional committee members shall abide by the OUPS Code of Conduct and by OUPS policies and practises.


7. Business administrator

7.1 A Business Administrator may be appointed at the discretion of the Executive Committee to provide administrative support to the activities of OUPS.

7.2 The Business Administrator shall be remunerated at a rate consistent with the duties undertaken. The amount of this remuneration shall be reported clearly and accurately in the OUPS annual financial report to members.

7.3 The Officers of OUPS shall be responsible for ensuring that all applicable employment laws are met in full by OUPS in respect of the employment of the Business Administrator.

8. Finance

8.1 OUPS' financial year shall run from the 1st January to 31st December.

8.2 The subscription for membership shall be such a sum as the Executive Committee shall from time to time determine. Such subscriptions shall run for one calendar year from the date of payment.

8.3 The Treasurer shall be responsible for the conduct of all financial matters and shall maintain the accounts of OUPS. The accounts shall be made available upon reasonable notice for inspection by any member of OUPS.

8.4 The Society's accounts shall be reviewed by a firm of accountants appointed by the Executive in accordance with the requirements of the Charity Commission for England and Wales. No persons being officers, members of the Executive or Regional Representatives, should be employees or directors of the said firm of accountants.

8.5 All expenditure shall be in connection with the aims of OUPS.

8.6 Any Bank(s)/Building Society(ies) accounts held must be implemented in such a way as to require at least two signatories from amongst the Executive Committee

9. Regional structure

9.1 The Regions of OUPS shall be geographically aligned to those of the Open University. However neighbouring regions may combine together to form a viable committee and then shall count as one region for the purposes of this constitution. Such a combination, and any subsequent demerger, shall be subject to the agreement of the Executive Committee. In the event of a demerger, the Executive Committee shall decide on how any assets or liabilities shall be split between the new regions concerned.

9.2 In each region a regional committee may be formed, which shall have the power to organise regional events and to raise and administer funds for this purpose in accordance with the same conditions stipulated in section 3.2. A regional committee must consist of a minimum of three officers: a chair, a secretary and a treasurer.

9.3 At the end of each OUPS year Regional Treasurers must submit a detailed account of all income and expenditure to the National Treasurer, even if a grant is not being applied for. This should include details of the Bank(s)/Building Society(ies) accounts held.

9.4 All Bank(s)/Building Society(ies) accounts held must be implemented such as to require the signature of at least two officers.

9.5 No person shall be allowed to act or continue to act on a Regional Committee unless a member of OUPS.

9.6 Once formed, the Regional Committee members shall be subject to annual re-election by OUPS members living in, or associated with the Region in question, at a Regional Annual General Meeting organised by the outgoing Regional Committee.

9.7 If upon a Regional Committee being dissolved, whether by a Special General Meeting or the Committee becoming inactive, there remains after satisfaction of all debts and liabilities any assets whatsoever these shall be given to the OUPS Executive Committee to be held in trust for any future committee covering that region. If the Executive Committee has already become dissolved the remaining assets should be dealt with as under section 10 (Winding up) of this constitution. The last elected officers will be held responsible for ensuring compliance with this paragraph.


9.8 In the event of dissolution of a region the OUPS treasurer shall have the power to close the regional account and transfer funds to the OUPS central account.


9.9 A single Regional Representative may be elected by the Regional Committees to represent them at the Executive Committee if this role is required by the Executive Committee, or if there are more than five regional committees of whom a majority vote in favour of having this role. If the elected Regional Representative is unable to attend an Executive Committee meeting a substitute may be nominated. This substitute may act and vote on behalf of the Regional Committees.


9.10 A representative of each Regional Committee may attend Executive Committee Meetings but shall have no vote.


10. Winding up

OUPS may be dissolved by a resolution passed by a two-thirds majority of those present and voting at a Special General Meeting convened for the purpose of which 21 days notice shall have been given to the members. Such resolution may give instructions for the disposal of any assets held by or in the name of OUPS, provided that if any property remains after the satisfaction of all debts and liabilities, property shall not be paid to or distributed amongst members of OUPS but shall be given to or transferred to some other charitable institution or institutions having objects similar to some or all of the objects of OUPS. Nothing in this constitution shall authorize an application of the property of the charity for purposes which are not charitable in accordance with section 7 of the Charities and Trustees Investment (Scotland) Act 2005.

11. Amendments

This constitution may be amended by a two-thirds majority of members present at any Annual General Meeting, provided that details of the proposed amendments have been given to the Secretary not less than forty-nine days before the meeting if such a proposed amendment is not already on the published agenda for the said meeting. No such amendment shall have the effect of permitting expenditure of funds of OUPS for any non-charitable object and no alteration shall be made to Clause 2 (Object) and 10 (Winding up) or to this Clause except with the prior consent of the Commission.

As amended by the AGM 2019

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