Formation of new Interest Groups

An APS Interest Group is concerned with a special interest in emerging areas of professional practice, particular content areas, social issues or population groups.

As outlined in the Generic Rules for Interest Groups, an Interest Group has four (4) primary objectives:

  1. to implement the strategic plan of the Society as it applies to an Interest Group;
  2. to support coalitions of members in pursuit of special interests within the Society;
  3. to aid in forming and maintaining liaison among them;
  4. to provide advice to the Society as needed on issues related to the Interest Group’s area of interest.

Any proposal to establish an Interest Group must be approved by the Board of Directors and, if the Board is in favour of such a proposal, the proposal to establish the Interest Group is forwarded to the next AGM of the Society for consideration and approval by the full membership of the Society.

The criteria for formation of an Interest Group, as outlined in the Generic Rules for Interest Groups (Section 5) are as follows:

  1. Area
    1. The area of interest is of more than local concern, and not subsumed under any existing Constituent Unit of the Society.
    2. The area of interest and the specific aims and objectives of the proposed Interest Group are deemed by the Board to be appropriate for the Society, with this decision to be made on a case-by-case basis.
    3. The group should either be, or clearly have the potential to become, a nationally based group.
  2. Name
    1. The name of a proposed Interest Group will be "The APS Interest Group on <INSERT SPECIFIC AREA OF INTEREST>".   The name should not imply exclusion of any members, and should include the word “Psychology” in its title.
  3. Members
    1. The proposal is accompanied by the signatures of not less than fifty (50) Elected Member holding the membership grades of Honorary Fellows, Fellows, or Members, of the Society, from more than one State, indicating intended membership of the Interest Group.
      IG support form
  4.  Membership
    1. Membership of the proposed Interest Group is open to all Members of the Society;
    2. Interest Groups can opt to have subscribers who are not Members of the Society whose costs are covered by an annual subscription and who have no voting or office bearing rights.
    3. Membership records for Society members and non-Society subscribers of Interest Groups are maintained by the National Office.

Process of formation

The following steps are required for the formation of an APS Interest Group

  1. Terms of Reference
    1. The APS Member proposing the APS Interest Group must prepare a paragraph that clearly and comprehensively describes the area of psychology which the proposed Interest Group will cover as their focus.
    2. The APS Member shall also prepare the Terms of Reference for the proposed Interest Group, outlining the area of interest and the specific aims and objectives of the proposed Interest Group. 
    3. A range of Terms of Reference can be viewed on each Interest Groups’ webpage
    4. The Terms of Reference must be emailed to [email protected]
  2. Support for the formation of a new Interest Group
    1. Support from at least 20 APS Members, Fellows or Honorary Fellows from at least 2 different States must be provided.
    2. The proposer(s) of the new Interest Group need to request supporters to complete and submit the 'Support for the formation of a new APS Interest Group' form.
  3. Proposal to Board of Directors
    1. If the area of interest could be claimed as currently subsumed under an existing Member Group, the Executive Manager Member Groups may obtain advice from the existing Member Group to present to the Board of Directors.
    2. Upon receipt of 1a, 1b and 2a, the proposal to establish an Interest Group will be submitted by the Executive Manager Member Groups to the APS Board of Directors for review.
  4. Ratification at APS AGM
    1. If the proposal to establish an Interest Group is approved by the Board of Directors, it is presented at the next AGM of the Society for consideration and approval by the membership.
    2. Any proposal to establish an Interest Group must be received and approved by the Board within the timeframe for inclusion by the Executive Manager, Member Groups as a motion in the Agenda of the Society’s AGM which is typically held in September/October each year.
  5. Establishment of Committee
    1. If the formation of the new Interest Group is supported at the APS AGM, the Member Groups Administrator will contact supporters of the Interest Group to arrange for the casual appointment of Office Bearers to commence activities and encourage subscription to the new Interest Group.
    2. The casually appointed Office Bearers will be required to become familiar with the Member Group Committee Manual governance and processes for APS Interest Groups.
    3. The formal process of election of APS members to Office Bearer positions and the appointment of Committee Members will be held at the Interest Group’s AGM in the following year as outlined in the Member Group Committee Manual.