The Swiss Psychological Society (in the following referred to as SPS) is a society according to Art. 60ff of the Swiss Civil Code.
Duration and Headquarters
SPS has been founded for an unlimited duration; the Society headquarters will be located in Berne.
As a professional association, the SPS pursues the protection of the interests of psychologists employed in education and research and the professional interests of its members. It particularly has the following roles:
- promoting psychological research
- promoting the academic education and training of psychologists
- promoting the practical application of scientific psychology
- organizing scientific conferences and congresses
- publishing and promoting scientific publications in the field of psychology
- supporting the collaboration between university institutes
As a national professional Society, SPS collaborates with national and international associations for the promotion of psychology.
Types of Memberships
The SPS has full, associated and student members as well as honorary members.
a) Full Members
Full members are individuals who have obtained a doctoral degree in psychology.
Exceptionally, individuals with a doctoral degree in another subject can become full members if they have been acknowledged in psychological research.
b) Associate Members
Associate members are individuals who obtained a university degree in psychology and who graduated with the academic degree of “Master of Science” or an equivalent academic degree.
c) Student Members
Student members are individuals who are enrolled at a Swiss university with a major in psychology.
d) Honorary Members
Honorary members are individuals who have been recognized for special merits in the area of psychology and who are appointed by the General Assembly (see article 6.3.). The number of cases is limited to 20.
Individuals wishing to acquire a membership must submit an admission application including the requested records and evidence to the administration office (by regular mail or electronically).
a) Admission Acceptance
The Board will decide upon the admission of new members.
b) Rejection by the Board
A rejection by the Board does not require justification, and there is no possibility of legal recourse directed at the General Assembly.
c) Honorary Member Appointment
By the proposal of the Board, honorary members are appointed by the General Assembly by secret ballot acting by a majority of two-thirds of its members.
d) Change of Membership Type
The Board will decide upon member requests to change the membership type. Full membership applications require the procedure according to article 6.1.
SPS members commit to respect the “SPS Ethical Principles for Psychologists”. All members except honorary members are obliged to pay their membership fee which is established yearly by the General Assembly. Members are obliged to communicate any change of residency or title to the administration office.
Voting and Elective Rights; Participation Rights in the General Assembly
At the General Assembly, every full member has the right to vote as well as the right to active and passive elections. This also applies to honorary members who were full members of the Society prior to their appointment. A delegation to vote is not possible.
All other members may participate in the General Assembly in an advisory capacity; however, they may not vote or elect.
Membership ceases through resignation or death of the member, cancellation by the Board, or by exclusion.
A resignation must be submitted to the Board in writing no later than 3 months before the end of the fiscal year. The resignation comes into effect at the end of the fiscal year.
b) Cancellation by the Board
A membership cancellation by the Board takes place if members do not meet their financial obligations despite repeated reminders.
The decision of the Board is definite.
A member can be excluded anytime without stating reasons. The Board decides upon the exclusion.
Excluded members have the right to request further processing of the exclusion by the General Assembly with a written reasoned submission to the Board until 30 days after taking note of the exclusion. Before a decision, the member concerned shall be allowed to comment.
The General Assembly will take a final decision by secret ballot acting by a majority of two-thirds of its members present at the General Assembly.
Bodies of the Society
Bodies of the Society are:
A. the General Assembly
B. the Board
C. the Auditors
D. the Committees
Call and Agenda Items
The General Assembly is the highest body of the Society. It will be carried out once a year.
Place and time of the General Assembly will be communicated to the members at least 10 weeks prior to the assembly. Email invitations are valid.
Proposals and requests for the agenda by the members must be submitted to the President at least six weeks before the respective General Assembly.
Agenda items will be sent to the members at least two weeks before the scheduled date of the General Assembly.
Upon request of one fifth of all full members or upon decision of the Board an extraordinary General Assembly can be called any time with a notice period of three weeks.
The General Assembly
a) Elects the President and other members of the Board
b) Elects the Auditors
c) Appoints the honorary members
d) Decides upon appealed memberships
e) Mandates the exclusion of Society members
f) Approves the Annual Report of the Board and the accounting of the Society
g) Approves the budget
h) Establishes the membership fees
i) Approves the editorial regulations of the “Swiss Journal of Psychology”
j) Determines the Society ́s accession to other national or international bodies
k) Decides upon any modification of the statutes as well as upon the dissolution of the Society (see article 24 and 25).
Resolution, Election, Protocol
The General Assembly has a quorum regardless of the number of members present. It can only decide upon items on the agenda.
Votes and elections require a simple majority of the given votes.
General Assembly resolutions are passed with a simple majority of given votes insofar as the statutes or the law do not require otherwise. A second vote will take place in the event of a tie vote. The President decides in case of a repeated tie.
Votes and elections follow the raised hand principle. Upon request of a member, a secret ballot will be carried out. Votes and elections will be recorded in written and delivered to all members.
Composition, Eligibility, Organization and Term
The Board consists of at least 6 full members, among them the President, the Vice President, and the Treasurer.
Whenever possible the psychology institutes of Swiss universities should be represented in the Board.
Except for the President, who is elected by the General Assembly, the Board is to organize itself.
The Board member term is 3 years. They can only be re- elected twice successively.
The Board takes care of ongoing operations, which are not explicitly reserved for the General Assembly or other bodies. This involves in particular:
a) Calling and preparing the General Assembly
b) Drafting the agenda items in consideration of the requests by the General Assembly
c) Preparing the budget
d) Establishing the policy of the Society
e) Appointing those individuals who will represent the Society with their signature externally and in other committees (cf. Art. 23)
f) Appointing and dissolving committees
g) Canceling memberships whose financial obligations have not been fulfilled under Article 9, section 2.
Calling and Resolution
The Board will generally meet three to four times a business year at the invitation of the President. Upon a written request of at least 2 Board members, an extraordinary meeting can be called within 20 days.
The written invitation stating all agenda items and including additional material for decision-taking if applicable takes place with a notice of 10 days.
The Board decides with a simple majority of the present members. It has the quorum if the majority of Board members are present. In case of a tie vote, the President decides.
Decisions can also be taken by mail ballot.
Election and Task of the Auditors
The General Assembly appoints the Auditors consisting of two or more full members for a term of three years. They can be re-elected.
The Auditors audit the annual financial statement, report to the General Assembly in a written declaration, and propose to approve or reject the financial statement.
The Auditors have access to the Society ́s entire documentation.
Board members and office managers cannot be elected to become Auditors.
Appointment and Role of the Committees
The Board can appoint committees and/or advisors for specific tasks. They will be given a clear assignment and are expected to report back periodically. Committee members or advisors will be elected by the Board.
SPS issues the “Swiss Journal of Psychology”. Its management is regulated by the editorial regulations, which are adopted by the General Assembly.
All members receive the journal.
The expenditures of the Society are financed by:
a) Membership fees
b) Third-party donations
b) Fiscal Year
The fiscal year corresponds to the calendar year.
c) Financial Liability
Only the Society ́s funds bear for the Society ́s liabilities. Any personal liability of its members is rejected.
d) Society Funds in case of Society Dissolution
In case of a dissolution of the Society, the last General Assembly will decide upon the use of Society funds at the request of the Board.
e) External Representation
The Society is legally represented by the joint signature of 2 members of the Board.
To facilitate business processes, the Board is entitled to change the way of handling the signature authority and may grant sole signature.
a) Statutes Changes
The statutes can only be amended by resolution of the General Assembly if at least 2/3 of the present voting members decide.
b) Dissolution of the Society
Before a potential dissolution of the Society, all full members are to be consulted in a strike vote. If two-thirds of the cast votes are in favor of the dissolution, the Board will prepare the liquidation of the Society (assets, archive, etc.) and will summon an extraordinary meeting for that purpose.
The dissolution of the Society is considered to be decided as long as two third of the members present at the extraordinary General Assembly agree with the dissolution.
These statutes were approved by the ordinary General Assembly on October 12th, 1995, in Berne, and partially revised at the General Assembly on September 8th, 2015.
Transitional Arrangements for the Amendment dated 08.09.2015
All present members with a doctoral degree in psychology will automatically become full members of the Society.
Full members at the time of the statute change on 08.09.2015 will keep their membership status as full members.