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Give Your Opinion on Proposed SIOP Bylaws Changes!


by SIOP Administrative Office

Give Your Opinion on Proposed SIOP Bylaws Changes!

Online Discussion Forum Open to SIOP Members Through February 4

At its May 18 and September 26, 2014 meetings, the SIOP Executive Board voted to present three bylaws amendments to the voting membership that could result in major changes to the organization.

Per the bylaws, SIOP’s leadership is now soliciting members’ opinions on these proposed amendments during a 1-month comment period to run through February 4, 2015. All SIOP members are encouraged to post comments to the designated my.SIOP discussion board.

Full language of the amendment proposals as well as links to the discussion board can be found here.

The proposed bylaws amendments include:

  • Eliminating the prerequisite organization membership requirement-The Board approved a motion to recommend a bylaws change to remove the prerequisite organization membership (APA, APS, Canadian Psychological Association, European Association of Work and Organizational Psychology) requirement in order to become a member of SIOP.
  • Establishing a pathway to Member status for Associate members: The Board approved a motion to recommend a bylaws change to provide a pathway by which Associate members with master’s degrees can become full SIOP Members. 
  • Removing the listing of standing committees and other changes: The SIOP Executive Board voted to recommend a bylaws change to remove the list of standing committees from the bylaws and instead include them in the administrative manual, which contains all Executive Board policies.

Voting will be held February 5-March 7, 2015 on the SIOP website. Voting members (Members, Fellows, Retired Members, and Retired Fellows)* will be notified via email when voting begins. The amendments will be voted on separately, and an affirmative vote from the majority of those voting will be required for approval.

To learn more about the bylaws changes, read an interview with Eric Heggestad, who serves as Membership Services Officer on SIOP’s Executive Board, here. Heggestad, who researched and wrote the pathway to membership bylaw amendment language, also helped develop answers to some of the Frequently Asked Questions below. Please continue reading to answer some of the commonly asked questions about each proposed amendment.


Eliminating the Prerequisite Organization Membership Requirement:

Why eliminate this requirement?

The elimination of the prerequisite organization membership requirement reflects years of comments by SIOP members and potential members that this requirement is an undue burden to membership.

What does this mean for SIOP Members who are already members of APA and other organizations?

Although it is expected that many members will continue to be affiliated with APA and the other organizations, it will no longer be a requirement for new members.

Pathway to Membership for Associate Members:

What will the pathway to membership for Associates entail?

The Executive Board will approve a policy establishing the criteria for Associate members to become Members. Those criteria will include Associate member status for a period of at least 5 consecutive years, engagement in professional activities, letters of nomination, holding a master’s degree, and attendance at least three official SIOP meetings within the last 5 years.

What is the difference between Member and Associate status?

The bylaws spell out the qualifications for both society Member and Associate member status. Both of these membership types require that the applicant be actively engaged in professional activity related to the purpose of the society. What differentiates the two membership types is the level of education attained; while Associates have to have completed 2 years of study in psychology or hold a master’s degree, Members have to have attained a PhD degree.

What privileges do members have that Associates don’t?

Associate members are not allowed to (a) vote in SIOP elections, (b) hold office, (c) serve as chair of standing committees, and (d) be awarded Fellowship status. Based on the bylaws, these rights are not given to Associates because they do not have a PhD. This bylaws change would allow some associate members – those who are very active in the Society – to apply for status as a Member.

Why should Associates have a path to membership in SIOP?

The SIOP Executive Board has a number of reasons to propose the creation of a path to full Membership in SIOP, but one of the main reasons is inclusiveness. There are a number of Associate members who identify SIOP as their primary professional organization. These individuals attend the conference, feel a connection to I-O psychology, and are working in I-O-related jobs. Yet, they are not allowed to vote on the direction of the society, volunteer their time to serve their society by chairing a standing committee, hold office, or be recognized with Fellowship status.

How does SIOP’s membership criteria compare to peer organizations?

SIOP is more restrictive in giving rights and privileges to individuals with MA degrees than other organizations. SIOP’s membership categories were initially modeled after those of APA. As with SIOP, Associate Members of APA cannot vote or hold office. However, in contrast to SIOP, APA gives the right to vote to individuals who maintain 5 consecutive years of membership. Also, EAWOP and the CPA allow individuals with MA degrees to be Full Members.

How does SIOP’s current membership criteria affect total membership?

Our internal research indicates that retention rates of Associates are far lower than the retention rates of Members. SIOP’s leadership hopes that this change might help increase engagement of Associate members.

Removing the Listing of Standing Committees and Other Changes:

Why does SIOP want to remove the committee list from the bylaws?

We’re reflecting the reality of an organization that has to change quickly to meet the needs of its members. The current bylaws are out of date, not having been revised to reflect the current list of committees. This change will enable the list to be kept up to date without formal changes to the bylaws (which require a vote of the membership). Amendment 3 also includes “clean-up” changes to align the bylaws with contemporary practices and procedures and to remove superfluous language.

Questions regarding SIOP’s voting procedures can be directed to the SIOP Administrative Office at 419-353-0032.

*Please note that in accordance with the bylaws, SIOP Associates, International Affiliates, and Student Members are not eligible to vote.