Constitution of the Education and Training for Laboratory Animal Science to fulfil the requirements of Directive 2010/63/EU

Founded 2014

1. Name

The name of the organisation shall be Education and Training for Laboratory Animal Science (ETPLAS)

2. Focus

In this context ETPLAS is concerned with Education and Training (E&T) for the use of all animals which are used or intended to be used in procedures, or bred specifically so that their organs or tissues may be used for scientific purposes as defined in the EU Directive1.   The focus of ETPLAS is on E&T which is an important contributor to the reduction, refinement and replacement of animals in research (the 3Rs) and is aimed at increasing the quality of both animal welfare and science.

3.  Aims

The aims of ETPLAS will be:

  • To facilitate the process of mutual recognition of education & training in Laboratory Animal Science (LAS)
  • To provide a forum for exchanging information on LAS education and training
  • To help facilitate free movement of personnel involved in LAS
  • To provide stakeholders with the necessary information to establish training courses
  • To conduct related tasks which might further the above aims

4. Stakeholders

ETPLAS is open to anyone who:

  • Provides education and training in LAS
  • Accredits or approves education and training courses in LAS
  • Is a representative of a National Competent Authority or a National Contact Point2 within a Member State or an expert designated by the National Competent Authority/NCP

Details of the persons from the above 3 categories will be entered into a Register of Contacts which will be maintained by the Secretary.  Information in this register will be held in confidence by ETPLAS and will not be disclosed to any third party.

All interested parties seeking information about education and training in laboratory animal science will be able to do so through ETPLAS’s open access website.  Information published on this site will be added with the agreement of the person supplying the information once copyright requirements/restrictions have been considered.

Stakeholders may resign at any time. Resignation must be made in writing to the Secretary in order for the Register of Contacts to be updated.

5. Equal Opportunities

ETPLAS will not discriminate on the grounds of gender, race, colour, ethnic or national origin, sexuality, disability, religious or political belief, marital status or age.

6. Steering Committee

6.1 Role

The business of ETPLAS will be managed in accordance with this constitution by a Steering Committee appointed at the Annual General Meeting (AGM). It shall have sole control in all matters relating to the management and organisation of ETPLAS. Reports from the AGM (and Extraordinary General Meetings (EGM)) will be shared with EU National Contact Points to facilitate communication and seek comments on activities.

6.2 Composition 

The Steering Committee will nominally consist of ten (10) Steering Committee members who are representatives of the stakeholder community listed in 4.  Steering Committee members will be appointed for a period of three (3) years. Up to two (2) additional Steering Committee members may be co-opted onto the Steering Committee at its discretion. The Steering Committee will have at least five (5) Officers who will be appointed for a period of three (3) years.  Officers and Steering Committee members may be re-appointed on one occasion to serve a further three (3) year period of office.

The Officers’ roles are as follows:

  1. Chair, who shall chair both general and committee meetings
  2. Vice-Chair, who shall deputise in the absence of the Chair and may undertake additional duties
  3. Secretary, who shall be responsible for the taking of minutes, the distribution of all papers and the keeping of records of stakeholders
  4. Treasurer who shall be responsible for maintaining accounts
  5. Website coordinator who shall be responsible for uploading information to the website

In addition to the Officers, above, the immediate past Chair will be invited to continue as a member of the Steering Committee for one (1) year following their resignation as Chair.

With their prior consent, stakeholders in good standing may be identified by the Steering Committee to serve as Chair, Vice-Chair, Secretary, Treasurer or Website coordinator or ordinary members of the Steering Committee. It will be important to maintain a balanced representation of all stakeholder groups on the Steering Committee.

In the event of an ordinary member or officer standing down during the year a replacement will be appointed at an Extraordinary General Meeting or at the next Annual General Meeting.

Any Steering Committee member not attending a meeting without apology for three (3) months will be contacted by the Committee and asked if they wish to resign.

7.0 Meetings

7.1 Steering Committee Meetings

Steering Committee Meetings will be held at least once every three (3) months or more often if necessary. These will normally be conducted by electronic means. All Steering Committee members will be given two (2) weeks notice of such a meeting, giving the venue, date, time and agenda, and notice may be by telephone or email. Steering Committee meetings are normally closed meetings but observers may be invited. Two (2) Officers and any four (4) other members of the Steering Committee shall constitute a quorum.

7.2 Annual General Meeting

An Annual General Meeting (AGM) will be held within fifteen (15) months of the previous AGM. This may be conducted by a face-to-face meeting if appropriate. All Steering Committee members will be notified in writing at least four (4) weeks before the date of the meeting, giving the venue, date and time. Notification of the meeting will also be posted on the website. Observers may be invited as appropriate. Nominations for appointment to the Steering Committee may be made by stakeholders, to the Secretary, before the meeting (an invitation for nominations will be issued to stakeholders in advance of the meeting).

The names of those appointed to the Steering Committee shall be declared during the Annual General Meeting, and they shall assume office on the first of the month following the AGM. The quorum for the AGM will be 80% of the Steering Committee or eight (8) Steering Committee members, whichever is the greater number.

At the AGM the Steering Committee will:

  • Present a report of the work of the Platform over the year
  • Present and approve the accounts of the Platform for the previous year
  • Confirm the Officers and Steering Committee for the next year
  • Discuss any proposals given to the Secretary at least seven (7) days in advance in writing of the meeting

The minutes of the AGM (and EGM) will be posted on the Platform’s website. There may be other General Meetings called Extraordinary General Meetings (EGM) which the Secretary will call as necessary.

8. Rules of Procedure for all meetings

The Chair of the Steering Committee or, in his/her absence, the Vice-Chair shall be the chairman of the meeting of the Steering Committee or its AGM. If neither is present at the commencement of any meeting, the members of the Steering Committee shall select a chairman for that meeting from amongst those present.

All questions that arise at any meeting will be discussed openly and the meeting will seek to find general agreement that everyone present can agree. If a consensus cannot be reached, a vote will be taken and a decision will be made by a simple majority of members present. If the number of votes cast on each side are equal, the chair of the meeting shall have an additional casting vote.

9. Finances

An account will be maintained on behalf of the EU Platform at a bank agreed by the Steering Committee.

Records of income and expenditure will be maintained by the Treasurer and a financial statement given to each Annual General Meeting or whenever else the Steering Committee shall direct.

All money raised by or on behalf of the EU Platform is only to be used to further the aims of the group, as specified in item 3 of this constitution.

Income will be raised through a number of means e.g. grants, bursaries, donations, levies.

10. Secretariat 

The Steering Committee has powers to appoint a Secretariat to assist the day-to-day administration of the organisation in accordance with the aims of the organisation. The Steering Committee will remain responsible for the affairs of the organisation.

11.  Registered address:

Tomkinson Teal LLP Chartered Accountants
Hanover Court
5 Queen Street
WS13 6QD

12. Amendments to the Constitution

Amendments to the constitution may only be made at the Annual General Meeting or an Extraordinary General Meeting.

Any proposal to amend the constitution must be given to the Secretary in writing. The proposal must then be circulated with the notice of meeting.

Any proposal to amend the constitution will require a two-thirds majority of those present and entitled to vote.

13. Dissolution

If a meeting, by simple majority, decides that it is necessary to close down ETPLAS it may call an Extraordinary General Meeting to do so. The sole business of this meeting will be to dissolve ETPLAS.

If it is agreed to dissolve ETPLAS all remaining money and other assets, once outstanding debts have been paid, will be donated to a charitable organisation within the EU. The charitable organisation will be agreed at the meeting that agrees the dissolution and the decision reported to stakeholders.

Constitution amended and updated at the ETPLAS EGM 2 October 2017