CONSTITUTION OF THE MEDICAL INSTITUTE OF TAMILS

GENERAL

1.1       The name of the organisation shall be: THE MEDICAL INSTITUTE OF TAMILS hereinafter called ‘the Institute’.

1.2       The membership of the Institute is open to all Tamil Medical and Dental Practitioners, and all those who subscribe to the objectives of the Institute

OBJECTIVES

The objectives of the Institute are:

2.1       The relief of poverty, sickness and the preservation and protection of the health of the Tamil community in the homelands, in the UK and elsewhere.

2.2  (a) To advance the education and training in the Tamil community in the science and art of medicine.

(b) To provide facilities in the interests of social welfare for recreation and other leisure-time occupation primarily for persons within the Tamil community with the object of their improving the conditions of life.

In furtherance of the objects but not otherwise the Management Committee may exercise the following powers:

2.3       The power to raise funds and to invite and receive contributions provided that in raising funds the Management Committee shall not undertake any substantial permanent trading activities and shall conform to any relevant requirements by law;

2.4       The power to buy, take on lease or in exchange any property necessary for the achievement of the objects and to maintain and equip it for use;

2.5       The power subject to any consents required by law to sell, lease or dispose of all or any part of the property of the Charity;

2.6       The power subject to any consents required by law to borrow money and to charge all or any part of the property of the Charity with repayment of the money so borrowed;
2.7       The power to employ such staff (who shall not be members of the Management Committee)
as are necessary for the proper pursuit of the objects and to make all reasonable and necessary provision for the payment of pensions and superannuation for staff and their dependants;

2.8       The power to co-operate with other charities, voluntary bodies and statutory authorities operating in furtherance of the objects or of similar charitable purposes and to exchange information and advice with them;
2.9       The power to establish or support any charitable trusts, associations or institutions formed for all or any of the objects;

2.10     The power to appoint and constitute such advisory committees as the Management Committee may think fit;

2.11     The power to do all such lawful things as are necessary for the achievement of the objects;

2.12     To serve as a co-ordinating centre to help hospitals, medical schools and health projects for Tamils.

2.13     To be an information centre for medical and para-medical undergraduates and postgraduates.

2.14     To establish a resource centre for Tamils seeking further education in Medical and Dental fields.

2.15     To provide a forum for exchange of medical knowledge.

2.16     To undertake health advice and research projects among the Tamil community.

2.17     To encourage and provide social and recreational activities.

2.18     To liaise with other professional and social organisations so as to achieve the above objectives.

2.19     To explore and establish methods for generating funds to support the various activities of the Institute.

STRUCTURE

4.1       Regional and Functional Divisions

4.1.1     There shall be a Central Office with a number of Regional Offices as deemed  necessary. Each Regional Office shall have an executive standing committee. The Regional Offices have to be approved by the Management Committee.

4.1.2     There shall be an educational wing of the Institute named the “Institute of Family Medicine” hereinafter referred to as IoFM”.

4.2       There shall be a Management Committee with executive powers which shall manage the affairs of the Institute.

4.3       The Management Committee shall be elected at the Annual General Meetings and the various tasks shall be taken up by choice from among the general membership in attendance at the AGM.

4.4       The Management Committee shall comprise:

1) President

2) Vice President

3) General Secretary

4) Treasurer

5) Editor

6) Co-ordinator – Overseas affairs

7) Co-ordinator – Community care / research

8) Co-ordinator – Education

9) Co-ordinator – Social! membership

The whole of the Management Committee would be trustees of the Institute.

In addition there will be two trustees appointed from outside the committee.

4.5       The members of the Management Committee are expected to:

1) Promote the aims of the Institute among the membership and the public.

2) Discharge the duties allocated to the best of their ability.

3) Function as a team and respect the skills and contributions of the colleagues.

4) Participate actively in educational activities to improve the quality of the Institute’s functions.

5) Ensure their personal beliefs do not prejudice their contribution to the Institute.

6) Ensure honesty and trustworthiness.

7) Form a team to ensure the efficient functioning of the Institute with the approval of the Management Committee.

4.6       The roles of the members of the Management Committee are as follows:

a) PRESIDENT – Shall:

i) Have the capacity to lead the organisation.

ii) Facilitate efficient functioning of the Management committee.

iii) Ensure the treasurer discharges his or her duty.

iv) Maintain excellent diplomacy and networking both inside and outside the institute.

b) VICE PRESIDENT – Shall:

i) Have duties assigned by the president
ii) Chair meetings in the absence of the President.
iii) Have similar functions to the President.

c) GENERAL SCRETARY – Shall:

i) Convene meetings (of the Management Committee and of the general membership) at appropriate intervals in Keeping with the aims and objectives of the Institute.

ii) Send communications to the membership at appropriate intervals in conjunction with the Editor.

iii) Keep a good record of all official meetings.

d) CO-ORDINATORS

OVERSEAS – Shall
i) Deal with all health and health related activities overseas especially in the north and the east of Sri Lanka, and among Tamil refugees in the Tamil Nadu.

ii) Maintain good links with NGOs, IGOs and Government organisations as well as generate funds for overseas activities.

COMMUNITY CARE/RESEARCH – Shall

i) Function as a facilitator for improvement of chronic illnesses (i.e.: Heart Disease, Diabetes Mellitus and Mental Illness) among the Tamil community in the UK.
ii) Study and identify health problems and effect appropriate referrals.

iii) Have a good liaison with local health, social and voluntary organisations.

iv) Identify the funding organisations and generate funds to carry out community based research and service functions.

EDUCATION – Shall

i) Create and maintain educational activities for the Medical and Dental profession association with the regions.

ii)  Provide appropriate Health education for the Tamil community.

iii) Facilitate educational activity for the members of the Committee to enhance the Institute’s output.

SOCIAL – Shall

i) Organise, in conjunction with the regions, socio-cultural activities.

ii) Maintain and work towards further development of the membership of the Institute.

iii) Help to raise further funds from the above activities.

EDITOR – Shall

i) Ensure publication of the MIOT NEWS quarterly thus effectively
informing others of the activities and functions of the Institute.

ii) Have a collection of informative/educational materials publications/ journals! books relevant to the Institute’s activities.

iii) Shall propagate the message of the Institute and its activities to other national and international organisations via the MIOT NEWS and other special press releases/journalists/ press interviews.

The foregoing expectations and functional components of the various task oriented posts of the Management Committee are in no way complete but enlist most of the requirements of its members. There is bound to be overlaps.

4.7       The role of the chair/vice-chair is to lead the board of trustees, ensuring that it fulfils its responsibilities for the governance of the charity; to work in partnership with the chief executive, helping him or her achieve the aims of the charity; and optimise their relationship between the board of trustees and the staff/volunteers.

The responsibilities of the chair/vice-chair will include:
i)       Providing leadership for the board of trustees in their role of setting the strategy and policy of the charity.
ii)      Planning the annual cycle of board meetings.
iii)     Setting agendas for board meetings.
iv)     Chairing board meetings.
v)      Monitoring that decisions taken at meetings are implemented.
vi)     Liaising with the chief executive to keep an overview of the charity’s affairs and to provide support as appropriate.
vii)    Leading the process of appraising the chief executive’s performance.
viii)   Sitting on appointment and disciplinary panels.
ix)     Representing the charity at functions, meetings and acting as a spokesperson as appropriate.

4.8       In addition to the qualities needed by all trustees, the chair! vice-chair should also posses the following:

i)      Leadership
ii)      Experience of committee work
iii)     Tact and diplomacy
iv)     Good ‘people’ skills
v)      Impartiality, fairness and the ability to respect confidences

4.9      The vice-chair acts for the chair when the chair is not available and undertake assignments at the request of the chair.

4.10     The overall role of the treasurer is to maintain an overview of the Institute’s affairs, ensuring its financial viability and ensuring that proper financial records and procedures are maintained.

4.11     The roles of the treasurer will include

i)      Overseeing, approving and presenting budgets, accounts and financial statements.
ii)      Being assured and presenting budgets, accounts and financial resources of the charity meets its present and future needs.
iii)     The presentation and preparation of financial reports to the board.
iv)     Ensuring that appropriate accounting procedures and controls are in place.
v)      Liaising with paid staff and volunteers about financial matters.
vi)     Advising on the financial implications of the charity’s strategic plans.
vii)    Ensuring that financial investments are consistent with the aims and objectives of the charity.
viii)   Monitoring the charity’s investment activity and ensuring its consistency with the charity’s policies and legal responsibilities.
ix)     Ensuring that the accounts are prepared in the form required by law, included in the annual report and submitted to the relevant statutory bodies, e.g. the Charity Commission.
x)      Ensuring that the accounts are audited in the manner required by law, and any recommendations of the auditors implemented.
xi)     Keeping the board informed about its financial duties and responsibilities.
xii)    Contributing to the fund-raising strategy of the charity.
xiii)   Making a formal presentation of the accounts at the Annual General Meeting and drawing important points in a coherent and easily understandable way.
xiv)   Sitting on appraisal, recruitment and disciplinary panels as required.

4.12     The board of trustees is the governing body and it holds ultimate power and responsibility. The Board is made up of volunteers who have to set aside their personal interests, giving their time and carrying out their duties for no payment. The charity benefits from the objectivity such a board brings, as well as from the skills and experience of its members. The board’s duty is to act in the interest of the beneficiaries. It should ensure that the Institute has a clear direction and purpose and sense of urgency to get on with the work it was established to do.

4.13      The board’s main roles are to:

I)        Ensure that all the charity’s activities are within the law.
ii)       Ensure that all the charity’s come within its charitable objects.
iii)       Determine the charity’s mission and purpose.
iv)      Guard the charity’s ethos and values.
v)       Develop and agree the charity’s policies.
vi)      Develop and agree the charity’s strategic plan.
vii)      Agree the budget and monitor financial performance.
viii)     Ensure the charity has adequate resources.
ix)      Ensure the charity’s property, assets and other resources are protected and managed efficiently.
x)       Monitor the charity’s programme and services.
xi)      Ensure accountability as required by law (the Charity Commission, Inland Revenue, Customs and Excise, Registrar of Companies)and to others such as donors beneficiaries, staff,
volunteers, and the general public.
xii)      Review annually the performance of the board of trustees.
xiii)     Appoint the chief executive and annually review his or her salary and other benefits.
xiv)     Support the senior staff team and review his or her salary and other benefits.
xv)     Act as a court of appeal on personal matters.
xvi)     Support the senior staff and review their performance.
xvii)    Act within its powers as set out in the governing document.

4.14     In order to carry out its role the board must:

i)        Meet as often as is necessary for the proper administration of the charity.
ii)       Seek professional and other expert advice where necessary.

4.15     The board of trustees will need skills and experience in the following areas:

i)       Setting targets, monitoring and evaluating performance and programmes in commercial and non-profit responsibilities.
ii)       Financial management.
iii)      The type of work done by the charity.
iv)      Legal matters.
v)       Recruitment and personnel management, including a knowledge of employment legislation.
vi)      Public relations.
vii)     Marketing.
viii)    Computers and information technology.
ix)      Campaigning.
x)       Education and learning.

4.16     The duties of the trustees are:

I)        To ensure that the Institute complies within its constitution, charity law and any other relevant legislation or regulations.
ii)       To ensure that the charity pursues its charitable objects as defined in its constitution.
iii)       To ensure the charity applies its resources exclusively in the pursuit of its objectives, i.e. the charity must not spend any money on activities which are not in its own objectives, no matter how worthwhile or charitable those activities are.
iv)       To contribute actively to the board of trustees’ role in giving firm strategic direction to the organisation, setting overall policy, defining goals, setting targets and evaluating
performance against agreed targets.
v)       To safeguard the values and good name of the charity.
vi)       To ensure the effective and efficient administration of the charity.
vii)      To ensure the financial stability of the charity.
viii)     To protect and manage the property of the charity and to ensure the proper investment of the charity’s funds.
ix)       To appoint the chief executive and monitor his or her performance.
x)       In addition to the above statutory duties of all trustees, each trustee should use any specific knowledge or experience they have to help the board of trustees reach sound decisions. This will involve scrutinising board papers, leading discussions, focusing on key issues and providing advice and guidance requested by the board on new initiatives or other issues relevant to the area of the charity’s work in which the tussle has special expertise.

4.17     Each trustee must have:

i)        a commitment to the charity.
ii)       a willingness to devote the necessary time and effort.
iii)      integrity.
iv)      strategic vision.
v)      good, independent judgement.
vi)      an ability to think creatively.
vii)     a willingness to speak their mind.
viii)    an understanding and acceptance of the legal duties, responsibilities an liabilities of trusteeship.
ix)      an ability to work effectively as a member of a team.

4.18     The President and Vice-president shall hold office for a maximum period of two consecutive years. Other officers (including the Trustees) shall hold office for a maximum period of three consecutive years. All Officers, however, shall be elected annually at the Annual General Meeting. All Officers shall be honorary officers.

4.19     The Officers of the Regional Committee shall be the Chairperson Vice-Chairperson, Secretary, Treasurer and a minimum of three other committee members. The Regional Constitution approved by the Management Committee.

4.20     Nominations for the officers of the Management Committee shall be in the hands of the Secretary in time to allow their circulation to all members at least 28 days before the Annual General Meeting. Each nomination shall be proposed and seconded in writing and shall have the written consent of the candidate.

4.21     When an election is contested the outgoing management committee shall elect a returning officer (who is a non-contestant) who shall send a ballot paper to all eligible paid up members of MIOT to be returned to him/her by post before the AGM. A protem chairman shall be elected at the AGM who will be assisted by the returning officer to count the ballot papers and announce the results.

4.22     Any officer shall be permitted to resign or retire on giving not less than three months notice to the Secretary. Interim arrangements shall be made by the Secretary, in consultation with the President and Vice-president, to cover the work of the officer concerned until the office is filled.

4.23      In the event of serious illness or death of an officer the Secretary in consultation with the President and the Vice-president may temporarily co-opt a member to fill the above vacancy until either the officer resumes his or her duties or pending an election as appropriate.

MEETINGS

5.1       The Institute shall meet at a convenient place at least once a year and this meeting will normally be the Annual General Meeting.

5.2       The quorum for this meeting shall be at least one fifth of the total membership at the time of the meeting.

5.3       The President, or, in his or her absence, the Vice-president, or 30 full members may on the grounds of urgency call an Extraordinary Meeting of the Institute.

5.4       The Regional Committees shall meet as often as business dictates but at least three times a year.

5.5       The Management Committee or Regional Committees may co-opt other persons as appropriate, or invite other persons to attend particular meetings.

5.6       It shall be the duty of the Secretary to:

 a)   Ensure that accurate minutes of each meeting and the agenda for the next meeting are prepared and circulated to members at least fourteen days before the next meeting
b)   Receive nominations for office bearers as described in 4.9.

 5.7       The Officers of the Management Committee and the Regional Executive Committee shall have executive powers between meetings.

5.8       All decisions taken at meetings shall be by a majority vote. The Chairperson of the meeting shall have a casting vote.

5.9       Observers and speakers may be invited as appropriate.

STANDING ORDERS

The Management Committee shall have the power to adopt and issue standing orders and/or rules for the use of the Institute. Such standing orders shall come into operation immediately provided that at all times they shall be subjected to review by a General Meeting of the Institute and shall not be inconsistent with the provisions of the Constitution.

AMENDMENT OF THE CONSTITUTION

7.1       Subject to the following provisions of this clause the constitution may be altered by a resolution passed by not less than two thirds of the members present and voting at a general meeting. The notice of the general meeting must include notice of the resolution setting out terms of the alteration proposed. 

7.2       No amendment may be made to clause 1, 2, 8 or this clause without prior consent in writing of the Commissioners. 

7.3      No amendment may be made which would have the effect of making the Charity cease to be a charity at law.

7.4      The Management Committee should promptly send to the Commissioners a copy of any amendment made under this clause.

DISSOLUTION

8.1      The Institute may at any time be dissolved by a resolution supported by not less than two thirds of those present and voting at a meeting of the Institute of which at least twenty-one clear days notice in writing shall have been sent to all members of the Institute, stating the terms of the resolution to be proposed thereat. Such resolutions may give instructions for the disposal of any property held by or in the name of the Institute, provided that if any property remains after the satisfaction of all debts and liabilities such property shall not be paid to or distributed among the members of the Institute but shall be given or transferred to such other institution or institutions having similar objectives as the Institute as decided at the General Meeting.

FINANCE

9.1      The Institute’s financial year shall run from July 1st to June 30th of the following year.

9.2      The Institute shall have the power to obtain, collect and receive money and funds by way of contributions, donations, subscriptions, legacies, grants, loans, the sales of publications or by any other lawful method and accept gifts or property of any description whether subject to any special trusts or not. 

9.3      The income and assets of the Institute, whensoever derived, shall be applied solely towards the promotion of the objectives of the Institute as set forth in clause 2 and no proportion thereof shall be paid to any member of the Institute, Management Committee, Regional Committees or any other providing that nothing herein shall prevent the payment in good faith of reasonable and proper remuneration to any Honorary Officer or Member of the Institute or the repayment of out-of-pocket expenses.

9.4      The Treasurer shall keep proper accounts of the finances of the Institute.

9.5      The Institute will have its accounts scrutinised in compliance with the UK Charity Commission requirements. The accounts will be audited by one or more qualified auditors if its annual income exceeds £1,000,000 in a reporting year.  If the annual income remains below £1,000,000, its accounts shall be scrutinised by an independent examiner.  The annual accounts shall be submitted for consideration at the next Annual General Meeting of the Institute.

TERMINATION

10.1     A member of the Institute may be removed by a meeting of members for the reason that the conduct of such a member is not conducive to the promotion of the objectives of the Institute. Such removal should have the approval of two thirds of the Members attending and voting at an Annual General or an Extraordinary Meeting convened specially for such purpose.

10.2     If, after adequate reminders, a member fails to pay his or her annual subscription he or she may be removed from membership of the Institute.

OMISSIONS

11.1     In matters not provided for in these rules the Management Committee may decide on the steps to be taken and such steps should be set out in the report of the Institute.

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