Article 1 – Name, Aims, and Official Language
Section 1 - Name
The name of the Association is: The International Association of Forensic Toxicologists (TIAFT). The Articles of Incorporation were established in 2003 in Luxembourg. It is registered with the United States Internal Revenue Service as a 501(c)(3) public charity.
Section 2 - Aims
The aims of the Association are to:
- Provide an organization for professionals engaged or interested in the field of forensic toxicology or related areas of analytical toxicology, including the interpretation of the results of these analyses.
- Provide a forum for the discussion and exchange of professional experiences in forensic toxicology and related areas of analytical toxicology between forensic toxicologists and all other interested parties.
- To promote education and training in forensic toxicology and related areas of analytical toxicology.
- Promote cooperation and coordination of effort among members.
- Encourage research in and the practice of forensic toxicology and related areas of analytical toxicology.
These aims will be pursued throughout the world.
Section 3 – Official Language
The official language of the Association is English.
Article 2 – Membership
Actions concerning membership in TIAFT shall be taken without regard to an individual’s age, race, color, religion, disability, gender, sexual orientation, or national origin.
Section 1 - General
Membership shall be limited to those persons who, at time of application, are actively engaged in forensic toxicology or related areas of analytical toxicology, or who have made significant contributions to the above fields. Application for membership requires the support of two TIAFT members in good standing, as well as endorsement of the Regional Representative or at least one member of the Executive Board.
Applicant must not have been convicted of a felony or a crime that involved dishonesty or false statements in the past 10 years.
Section 2 – Membership Categories
Standard Members: Members in this category must pay annual membership dues. Standard members receive mailed hardcopies of the TIAFT Bulletin, as well as online access to the Journal of Analytical Toxicology.
DCF Members: Members from developing countries are excused from paying annual TIAFT membership dues if payment will have a significant financial impact. DCF Members will receive online access to the TIAFT Bulletin, but do not receive online access to the Journal of Analytical Toxicology.
Retired Members: Members who have retired from the full-time practice of forensic toxicology are eligible for Retired Member status if they have been a TIAFT member in good standing for at least 25 years and are at least 65 years old. Retired members are excused from paying annual TIAFT membership dues. They will receive online access to the TIAFT Bulletin, but do not receive online access to the Journal of Analytical Toxicology.
Individuals who feel they qualify for Retired Member status must notify the Secretary the year prior to the request for membership change. The Executive Committee will confirm the member’s eligibility and notify the member of the decision. Honorary Members: Members who have served TIAFT in an outstanding manner are eligible to become Honorary Members of the Association. They are nominated by the Executive Board. Acceptance will be by vote of the membership at an annual Business meeting. Honorary members are excused from paying annual TIAFT membership dues but continue to receive mailed hardcopies of the TIAFT Bulletin, as well as online access to the Journal of Analytical Toxicology.
Section 3 – Voting and Office-Holding Privileges
All members in good standing will carry voting privileges. “Good standing” is considered if the member is one who has paid all membership dues and agreed to the TIAFT Code of Ethics.
Only Standard and DCF Members are eligible to hold office.
Section 4 – Termination of Membership
A member may terminate TIAFT membership by written notification to the Secretary or to the Treasurer.
Standard members with unpaid membership dues of two or more years will be removed from the TIAFT membership list.
A member may be censured or expelled from TIAFT for unethical or other conduct detrimental to the profession of forensic toxicology, or conduct detrimental to TIAFT as an organization.
Article 3 - Executive Board
Section 1 – Board Members and Terms of Office
The Executive Board of the Association shall consist of a President, a President-Elect, the immediate Past-President, a Secretary, a Treasurer and three other elected Board Members. They shall serve for three-year terms.
The Executive Board is responsible for conducting the affairs of the Association. At any meeting of the Board, a majority of the Board members shall constitute a quorum. The Executive Board shall appoint a Webmaster and a Bulletin Editor from within or outside its ranks.
The President, the President-Elect, and Past-President shall serve a single term in these positions. All other elected positions (Secretary, Treasurer and elected Board Members) shall serve a maximum of two terms in any one position.
Section 2 – Nominations and Elections
Any member can nominate candidates for office by writing to the President at least 30 days before the annual Business meeting held at the triennial meeting in which elections will occur. Elections shall be held during the annual Business meeting of the triennial meeting ( 2017, 2020, 2023, etc.).
Section 3 – Duties of Executive Board Members
President: The duties of the President are to preside at all Association and Executive Board meetings, to represent the Association publicly and to other organizations. The President calls Business meetings, Executive Board meetings, and any other required Association meetings. The President also serves as a mentor to the President-Elect, is the Executive Board liaison to the Ethics Committee, oversees changes to the TIAFT Constitution, and is an ex officio member of all committees. President-Elect: The duties of the President-Elect are to liaise with the organizing committees of upcoming annual and regional TIAFT meetings and to assist the President in their duties. The President-Elect automatically follows the President in office after their term ends.
Past President: The duties of the Past President are to oversee the awarding of TIAFT Achievement Awards and to serve as a mentor to the current President. The Past-President also serves as a link between the past and current Boards. Secretary: The duties of the Secretary are to prepare minutes of Association meetings called by the President, to publish the minutes of the annual Business meeting in the TIAFT Bulletin, to process membership applications and to maintain the membership database, and liaise with TIAFT Regional Representatives.
Treasurer: The duties of the Treasurer are to maintain accurate financial records and accounts of the association, to establish and receive dues payments or other payments to TIAFT, and to pay association expenses to include awards and travel grants. The Treasurer shall prepare a financial report for presentation at the annual Business meeting, which shall be published in the TIAFT Bulletin. Every third year, a suitable, independent trained auditor or licensed accountant shall audit the Treasurer's accounts presented at the annual meeting and his/her report bears the name and signature of this person, as well as the date of the audit. The auditor may be paid a fee as agreed upon by the Executive Board. The finances of TIAFT are kept in an internationally acceptable currency.
Board Members: The duties of the other Executive Board Members will be determined by decision of the Executive Board. At a minimum, each of the other Executive Board Members should serve as a Board liaison to one of the TIAFT Committees.
Section 4 – Vacancies
In the event of a vacancy in the office of President, the President-Elect shall succeed to the presidency for the remainder of the unexpired term and will continue as President for their elected term.
Vacancies in any other office shall be filled until the next business meeting by appointment of the Executive Board of a qualified Standard or DCF Member to serve for the remainder of the term. Service by a member to fill an unexpired term shall not affect the member’s eligibility for subsequent election to the same position.
Article 4 - Annual Membership Dues
Section 1 – Amount
The Treasurer shall set the amount of the annual dues for each category of membership with the agreement of the Executive Board and with the approval of the voting members present at the annual Business meeting. This amount shall be reviewed in relation to the Association's financial position each year. The dues are waived for qualifying DCF members. The list of countries that qualify for DCF status is determined by the board.
Section 2 – Currency
Members’ dues payments shall be set in U.S. dollars. Payment should be in this currency, but other currencies may be accepted at the discretion of the Treasurer.
Section 3 – Failure to Pay
Any member who fails to remit annual membership dues by the payment deadline will be assessed a late fee.
If membership dues are more than 60 days late, membership privileges will be suspended.
If membership dues are more than two years late, the member may be removed from the membership list. Before removing a member for failure to pay membership dues, the Regional Representative from that country shall be consulted.
Individuals who have been removed from TIAFT membership for failure to pay the annual dues are eligible to rejoin the Association one time. Such individuals will be assessed a rejoining fee, in addition to the current year’s membership dues payment.
Article 5 - Regional Representatives
Section 1 – Appointment
The Executive Board shall appoint Regional Representatives for a renewable three-year term. The Executive Board may ask a group of TIAFT members from a geographical area to nominate a representative. Regional representatives shall be members of TIAFT.
Section 2 – Duties
The Regional Representative assists the Executive Board in their area of the world. They process requests for TIAFT membership, are responsible for liaison with related scientific societies in his/her area, and serve their local TIAFT members as needs arise.
Section 3 – Removal
Regional Representatives may be removed from this position at the discretion of the Executive Board.
Article 6 - TIAFT Bulletin and the Website
Section 1 – TIAFT Bulletin
The Association shall publish and circulate the TIAFT Bulletin to its members under the responsibility of the Editor(s). It is considered as one of TIAFT’s official forms of communication with its members. With the approval of the Executive Board, the Editor(s) may appoint an Editorial Board to assist in the publication of the TIAFT Bulletin.
Policy matters concerning the TIAFT Bulletin shall involve consultation between the Executive Board, the Editor(s), and the Editorial Board.
Section 2 – Website
The Association shall maintain a website at www.tiaft.org. It is considered as one of TIAFT’s official forms of communication with its members.
The Communications Committee is responsible for maintaining the website.
Policy matters concerning the website shall involve consultation between the Executive Board and the Communications Committee.
Article 7 - TIAFT Conferences
Section 1 – Frequency
The Association strives to hold at least one scientific conference per year. The annual meeting of the Association shall be the official TIAFT Conference.
Section 2 – Selection of Location and Chairperson(s)
Selection of the location of TIAFT Conferences and Chairperson(s) will be by the membership during the annual Business meeting. The Executive Board will ensure that all candidate locations have met minimum criteria. The selection of the conference location will occur at or by the time of the Business meeting at least two years prior to the anticipated date of the event.
The Chairperson of the conference shall be a member of TIAFT.
Section 3 – Financing and Organization
The financing of the TIAFT Conference is the full responsibility of its Chairperson. The Association has no financial obligations towards the conference. The Executive Board can make exceptions to this rule.
The organization of the TIAFT Conference shall be undertaken by the Chairperson in consultation with the Executive Board.
The Chairperson may appoint a local organizing committee to help organize the TIAFT Conference.
TIAFT conferences may be organized jointly or in conjunction with other relevant scientific meetings, with the approval of the Executive Board.
Article 8 - Business Meetings and Conduct of Business
Section 1 – Annual Business Meeting
The Association shall hold an annual Business meeting during the TIAFT Conference.
The date and place of the Business meeting shall be announced in the program of the TIAFT Conference.
The agenda of the Business meeting shall be announced and approved at the beginning of the meeting.
Section 2 – Business Meeting Rules
The Business meeting shall be held with the President, the President-Elect, or one of the other Executive Board members serving as the Chair.
The meeting is open to all members, as well as to other interested persons. Parts of the meeting may be limited to members only, if requested by at least two members.
Only members carry speaking and voting privileges, but speaking privileges may be granted to other attendees by the Chairperson.
Five percent of members in good standing shall constitute a quorum for any items requiring a vote.
Issues may be decided upon by acclamation or by vote if requested by at least two members.
Voting shall be done in the open, by counting members in favor, those opposed, or abstaining, unless specified otherwise. A written ballot of those in attendance shall settle election of Board members, as well as other matters considered sensitive by the Chairperson.
Decisions shall be taken by simple majority of the valid votes cast. When the votes are equally divided, the Chairperson shall cast the final vote.
The Chairperson may appoint a voting committee to assist in carrying out the balloting and in counting the votes.
All other issues pertaining to the proper running of the meeting shall be settled at the discretion of the Chairperson.
Article 9 - Committees
TIAFT committees report to the Executive Board. Committee activities shall be presented and discussed at the annual Business meeting.
Section 1 – Standing Committees
Communications Committee: The Communications Committee is responsible for disseminating timely and accurate information about the Association’s policies, programs, and services, as well as TIAFT-sponsored activities and events. The operating procedures of the Communications Committee shall be approved by the Executive Board. The Executive Board shall appoint the members of the Communications Committee for renewable three-year terms coinciding with TIAFT elections.
Ethics Committee: The Ethics Committee investigates complaints brought against TIAFT members and recommends actions, if any, to the Executive Board. The operating procedures of the Ethics Committee shall be approved by the Executive Board. The Executive Board shall appoint the members of the Ethics Committee for renewable three-year terms coinciding with TIAFT elections.
TIAFT Bulletin Committee: The TIAFT Bulletin Committee is chaired by the editor(s) of the Bulletin. The Committee is also composed of Regional Editors from the continents of Australia, Africa, Asia, Europe, North America, and South America. Regional Editors are appointed by the Executive Board and serve a renewable three-year term that coincide with TIAFT elections. The operating procedures of the Bulletin Committee shall be approved by the Executive Board. The TIAFT Bulletin Committee is responsible for ensuring the TIAFT Bulletin is published at least three times a year.
Young Scientist Committee: The Young Scientist Committee is responsible for providing a scientific and social platform for young scientists (less than 41 years of age) that are members of the Association to engage with their peers. This is accomplished by providing a forum for young scientists during the annual TIAFT Conference. The committee is also responsible for awarding TIAFT young scientists who offer the best oral presentation and best poster presentation at the annual conference, as well as the TIAFT young scientist that publishes the best scientific paper for the year since the last conference. Members of the committee are suggested to the Executive Board by the Young Scientist Committee, and the Executive Board shall approve and finalize all appointments to the committee. The operating procedures of the Young Scientist Committee shall be approved by the Executive Board.
Section 2 – Ad Hoc Committees
As required, the Executive Board may appoint ad hoc committees to assist with particular issues.
Article 10 - Awards
As required, the President, after consultation with the Executive Board, may confer awards on persons who have made extraordinary contributions to the Association or to forensic toxicology in general.
Requests for nominations are published in the TIAFT Bulletin and on the TIAFT website. Members can nominate individuals by writing to the chair of the committee.
Article 11 - Archives
The Association shall maintain archives of all relevant materials.
The archives shall at least include, but not be limited to: important correspondence of the Executive Board, the minutes of all Executive Board meetings and Business meetings, the Treasurer's reports, past issues of the TIAFT Bulletin, and the membership lists.
The archives shall be managed by one of the Board members and be kept at an appropriate place.
Article 12 – Amendments to the Constitution
Proposals for amending the Constitution must emanate from the Executive Board or from 10% of the total full-voting membership. Notice of each proposed amendment shall be given by mail or other means to all voting members at least thirty days prior to the meeting at which such amendments are to be considered, or at least thirty days prior to the stated deadline for receipt by the Secretary of returned mail or electronic ballot votes.
The Constitution may be amended by a two-thirds majority of the voting members present at any annual Business meeting where a quorum exists, or by a two thirds majority of voting members casting a mail or electronic ballot.
Article 13 - Liquidation
Liquidation of the Association requires the same procedure as described for adoption of amendments of the Constitution (see Article 12).
The assets and income of the organization shall be applied exclusively to the promotion of its objectives and no portion shall be paid or distributed directly to the members of the organization except as bona fide remuneration for services rendered or expenses incurred on behalf of the organization.
In the event of the organization being dissolved, the amount which remains after such dissolution and the satisfaction of all debts and liabilities shall be paid and applied by the organization with its powers to any organization which has similar objectives and which has rules prohibiting the distribution of its assets and income to its members.