During the 2019 Summer Board Meeting, the Board of Advisors came together to discuss potential guidelines for virtual chapter meetings and events. The goal of these guidelines was to ensure chapters could use virtual education to meet their members’ educational needs, while still prioritizing in-person meetings and maintaining the localized element of chapters. Of course, with the onset of COVID-19 and resulting safety regulations, some exceptions have been noted.
The guidelines also mention a “Zoom account provided by the APA” which has been implemented as an affordable resource for APA chapters, as well as for RCH accountability and eventual integration with the online recertification log. More information on purchasing a chapter Zoom account will be posted to the blog soon.
The full Chapter Event Guidelines can be found in the Local Chapter Guide, but here are the key updates:
Virtual Components of Regular Chapter Meetings
1) Virtual attendance of regular chapter meetings should only be offered to current chapter members. Non-chapter members are not permitted to attend a virtual chapter meeting. A special exception to this rule will be granted during state-mandated restrictions on in-person gatherings.
2) Virtually attended meetings must be offered through the Zoom account provided by the APA in order to ensure RCH eligibility.*3) Chapters may host in-person meetings with virtual speakers as often as desired.
Virtual Components of Study Groups
Chapters may host study groups in a virtual platform environment or in-person with virtual instructors through the Zoom account provided by the APA to ensure RCH eligibility*.
There is no limit on the number of times chapter study groups may meet virtually within a calendar year.
*Chapters may be allowed leeway on this guideline for approximately one year after its implementation (ending in July 2021), so they may finish any paid contracts with a different virtual platform and/or prepare for these changes. All exemptions must be approved by APA. To request an exemption, email APA’s Chapter Relations Department at email@example.com.
Virtual Components of Chapter One-Day Events and Multi-Day Education Seminars
1) Chapters may host virtually attended one-day events and multi-day educational seminars only if an in-person event or seminar cannot be held.
2) Chapters may host in-person chapter one-day events and multi-day educational seminars with virtual speakers as often as desired.
Virtual Components of Chapter Statewide/Regional Meetings
1) Chapters may not host virtually-attended statewide/regional meetings or sessions. A special exception to this rule will be granted during state-mandated restrictions on in-person gatherings.
2) Chapters may not host in-person sessions with virtual speakers for statewide/regional meetings. A special exception to this rule will be granted during state-mandated restrictions on in-person gatherings.