The legal basis for a branch or network existence is found in Section XV of the AIA Bylaws. Each Branch and Network must ensure that they operate within the requirements of Section XV. Branches and Networks exist to further the Alberta Institute of Agrologists (AIA) Ends and are a legal arm of the Institute. The Institute Ends are the goals or objectives that direct all of AIA actions and activities. These Ends are directly linked, and are subject to, the legislation (Agrology Profession Act and Agrology Profession Regulation) and all the associated regulatory requirements that AIA must achieve. The Ends are described on AIA’s website.
Specifically the three main or mega Ends are: - Ethical Competent Practice of Agrology - Public Confidence - Advancement of the Profession of Agrology
Though Branches and Networks are managed by Institute members throughout the province, the Institute is legally responsible for all actions and activities of these bodies. All Branches and Networks represent the Institute and are therefore subject to the AIA Code of Ethics. Branches and Networks exist for continuing professional development and networking opportunities for all regulated members.
NOTE: Branches and Networks are not an advocacy body.
To establish a Branch or a Network, the following MUST be completed AND provided to the CEO for “acceptance” BEFORE a network will be put in place.
- NAME: Give the Branch or Network a name
- PURPOSE: State the purpose of the Branch or Network. The purpose should be short and simple: For example: “To further the knowledge and understanding of soils in Alberta and to allow members to share their experience through activities such as meetings, field trips and seminars”.
- INSTITUTE ENDS: Indicate clearly which Institute Ends the network will support. There can be one or more End identified (The Institute office can help with this!).
- 10 SIGNATURES: Obtain a minimum of 10 P.Ag. or RTAg. signatures supporting the Branch or Network. Emails sent into the Institute office by each regulated member will work.
CHAIR: Select a “Chair” for the branch or network and identify this individual to the Institute office as soon as possible.
Secretary/Treasurer: Select a secretary/treasurer and identify this individual to the Institute office as soon as possible.
NOTE: The Secretary/Treasurer (ST) will be signed on in contract to the AIA office. A total stipend of $1000 will be paid annually to the ST in two payments of $500.00 every July and January (ONLY AFTER reporting documentation is received for what has transpired for the two month periods).
- MEETINGS: Provide a brief outline of meetings to be held. As soon as possible after the first network meeting, provide a general idea of the activities that will occur for the year. Make sure that all activities are posted on the web throughout the year so that other AIA members have the opportunity to participate or join the network.
You may belong to one or more Network throughout Alberta. You may only belong to one Branch throughout Alberta.
All Branches/Networks will be allocated $3000 at their initial startup. A $3000.00 balance will be maintained each year. These funds are to be used to assist branches/network activities, including but not necessarily limited to:
- Branch/Network administration (conference calls, booking meeting rooms for network administration meetings etc)
- Student events
- Promoting events
NOTE: If there is any doubt about how funds should be used, please contact the Registrar/CEO directly. EVENT CHARGES: Where possible, ensure that EACH event is budgeted so that the charges, per member attending, cover costs for the event (ie speakers, meals, venue rentals etc). In this way, the $3000 can be used to offset events where charges are not possible (student events, network promotion, network administration such as conference calls etc).
- Event Assistance
The Institute will endeavor to assist each network with resources needed (personnel, venues needed, instructors if required etc.). Assistance will be based on available AIA office resources.
- Web Support
The Institute will support each Branch or Network by providing web space, web training for web space use and ongoing web content where needed.
- Start up and Dissolution
The Institute will assist each Branch or Network with any startup issues or clarification. As well, if a Branch or Network wishes to dissolve, the Institute office will ensure that proper closure occurs. All financial records and any remaining funds OR outstanding debt documentation must be sent to the Institute office prior to dissolution. Article XVI, section 5 of the Institute Bylaws state: “Upon dissolution of a Branch or Network, all debts and assets shall revert to the Institute”.
- Financial Management
The Institute office will manage all finances for each Branch and Network, EXCEPT the collection of funds from event attenders and the booking of facilities. Branches or Networks will be able to deposit funds at any TD outlet in Alberta. Each Branch and Network will receive a small package:
- Expense form
- Template bank deposit
- Template for income and expenses for each meeting
The Institute office will specifically manage the following for each Branch and Network:
- Payment for venues or larger ordering items (cheque or credit card)
- Tracking expenses each month
- Contract payout for Secretary/Treasurer
- Managing Bank Accounts
- Providing receipt books for each Branch/Network
- Payment for speakers or outstanding expenses
- Contract arrangements with venues
NOTE: All payment requests must be substantiated by either receipts or a purchase order. Expenses should be documented using the expense form provided by AIA – attached as Appendix A.
Branches and Networks will be responsible for:
- Planning and booking events
- Taking any payments from walk in registrations and banking payments
- Arranging speakers and participants at events
- Advising AIA office of payment arrangements to be made
- Ensuring that all activities that have payment claims are accompanied by invoices or purchase orders
Please discuss any financial issues with Jennifer Mathieu, AIA’s Manager, Finance and Administration.
- Payment for Activities
Payments by those attending Branches or Network events may occur in TWO ways:
a. Credit Card Payment: AIA members can pay for all events posted online via credit card.
b. Cash Payment: Members can pay cash at the door. However, an AIA receipt MUST be used to receipt the cash payment. These receipts are triplicate in copy (one for the member paying, one for the network administrators and one for the AIA office). These receipts will be sent to networks each fiscal year.
- Vendor Payment
The Institute MUST know where all events are held to assist the Institute with financial tracking when invoices are received. Vendors can be paid by:
a. Vendor Invoice the AIA Office: Branches or Networks can request that the vendor invoice the AIA office for costs relating to the event.
b. AIA Credit Card: Where vendors require immediate payment, Branches or Networks can request that the vendor contact the AIA office and the office will provide the vendor with the AIA credit card for immediate payment.
Branches and Networks MUST provide the Institute with a record of ALL sponsored events and the financial arrangements associated with the sponsorship. Sponsorships are treated as a donation and must be recorded for GST and tax purposes. Sponsorship funding and associated financial transactions will not occur through the Institute office. Sponsors must be responsible for their own financial records for all events sponsored.
AIA office must receive a one page report describing the activities that occurred for the previous calendar year by January 15 in order for this material to be included in the annual report.
Each Branch and Network will be asked to make a brief presentation at the AIA annual AGM.
All Branches and Networks are to use, as a guide, the Articles and Bylaws [ attached ] that have been produced by the Institute. Remember, all Branches and Networks are subject to the Agrology Profession Act, the Agrology Profession Regulation and the Bylaws of the Institute.
In the event of any dispute, the Alberta Institute of Agrologists CEO shall have the final say and decision for any issue arising from Network activities.