Committee Formation Protocol

Owner: Governance & Policy Committee
Originally Board Approved: February 26, 2018
Last Revised: N/A
Last Reviewed: N/A

1. PURPOSE

This document exists to guide the formation of MODS committees and working groups, by outlining the conditions and protocol by which such groups are assembled and enacted. Where not specified, the word ‘committee’ is meant to refer to either a committee or working group.

2.PROTOCOL

It is acknowledged that as much as possible (and by default), MODS is committed to empowering staff with respect to operational matters. Committees or working groups are formed to support staff activities only when there’s a particular need to do so. 

2.1 IDENTIFYING NEED 

This section concerns the need for creation of a committee/working group and the choice between the two.

  1. A committee or working group is required only when there is a need that:
    1. Can't be filled by staff capacity; or
    2. Requires particular subject-matter expertise; or
    3. Requires specific perspectives (e.g. for underrepresented groups); or
    4. Requires impartiality (e.g. where there is staff conflict of interest).
  2. A working group is for when there is a defined project that has a specific start and end date.
  3. A committee is for ongoing organizationally critical matters.

2.2 COMMITTEE FORMATION

Committees and working groups are created and approved as follows:

  1. Any staff member or director drafts terms of reference for a committee/working group and brings them forward for board consideration;
  2. Staff and board are invited to discuss the proposed terms (including whether sufficient need exists to create the group at all).
    1. Identify an owner – staff member or director – who will either sit on the group or be the reporting liaison. This person need not be the chair of the group, but will report to the board on behalf of the group.
    2. Revise terms and discuss, iteratively, as needed.
  3. After discussion/revision, proceed to board vote re: adoption of terms of reference.
  4. Any disagreement between staff and board on working group/committee creation not resolved by the above process is escalated to the Personnel Committee.

2.3 COMMITTEE CONSTRUCTION

Committee and working group members are appointed/removed as follows:

  1. Notice of the position(s) is posted for public viewing by MODS members, for a minimum of one week on a minimum of one type of media (website, newsletter, social media, etc.)
    1. The group’s owner — or any other person — is also empowered to actively recruit members.
  2. After the specified notice/posting period, owner leads committee selection as follows:
    1. Owner sends email to board and staff, summarizing applicants and recommending member(s) to be selected.
    2. Board and staff are given 48 hours to voice any objections:
      1. If none, selection(s) is approved;
      2. If there are objections, proceed to board/staff discussion and board vote.
  3. Committee/working group members may be removed as follows:
    1. Request for removal of member is brought to owner (by chair or otherwise). Owner reviews the request and, as appropriate, informs board and staff (who, why).
    2. Board and staff are given 48 hours to voice any objections:
      1. If none, proceed to removal.
      2. If there are objections, proceed to board/staff discussion and board vote.

2.4 REVIEW OF TERMS

Terms of reference for committees/working groups are reviewed/revised as follows:

  1. Working groups are evaluated according to timelines and deliverables laid out in the group’s terms of reference. By design, the group is dissolved at a certain date. Re-formation of the group follows the process outlined above.
  2. Committee terms of reference are reviewed once annually (January) by the Governance & Policy Committee. If committee has not reported to the board in prior calendar year, Governance & Policy Committee to lead discussion/decision of whether to dissolve. Dissolution is to be approved by board vote.

2.5 OUTLINE OF TERMS - WORKING GROUP

Terms of reference for working groups should contain the following: 

  1. Statement of purpose
  2. Responsibilities/Deliverables (as specific as possible, including timelines)
  3. Start & end dates
    1. Include meeting dates (timeframe) and goals, as applicable
  4. Reporting requirements
    1. Timing, content and to whom submitted (owner, unless otherwise stated)
    2. “Lessons learned” to be documented in writing upon expiry of the group, particularly in view of terms of reference (did we achieve what we set out to?)
    3. Owner responsible for uploading written documentation to SharePoint for storage
  5. Composition (roles & incumbents, if applicable)
    1. Must identify owner of group, per 2.2.b.i above.
    2. As appropriate, composition to reflect MODS Gender Equity Policy.

2.6 OUTLINE OF TERMS - COMMITTEE

Terms of reference for committees should contain the following:

  1. Statement of purpose
  2. Deliverables (as specific as possible, including timelines)
  3. Meeting dates (timeframe)
    1. Minimum one meeting per year
    2. Specify meeting goals, as appropriate
  4. Reporting requirements
    1. Minimum one report per year
    2. Timing, content and to whom submitted (owner, unless otherwise stated)
    3. Owner responsible for uploading written documentation to SharePoint for storage
  5. Composition (roles & incumbents, if applicable)
    1. Must identify owner of group, per 2.2.b.i above.
    2. As appropriate, composition to reflect MODS Gender Equity Policy.
    3. Minimum/maximum number of members
    4. Specify duration of member term