The Australian Branch of the British Psychological Society was formed in 1944 and was later incorporated as The Australian Psychological Society Limited in 1966, formed as a company limited by guarantee registered in the State of Victoria, Australia.
The Society holds an annual general meeting of members in late September or early October of each year, usually in conjunction with the APS annual conference. The annual general meeting is held in a different state or territory each year to ensure that members are provided with the best possible opportunity to participate, no matter where they may reside.
Members of the Society holding the membership grades of Associate Member, Member, Fellow or Honorary Fellow may vote on items of business conducted at the annual general meeting, in person or by proxy.
The Society is governed by a Board. Most members of the Board are elected by the Members of the Society and the Board is accountable to the members for the successful performance and governance of the Society.
To assist the Board to fulfil its role and responsibilities, the Board is supported by Board Committees, Advisory Groups and Member Forums. Members of Board Committees are appointed by the Board and may include persons who are not members of the Society but who possess skills in the areas of focus for that committee. Members of Advisory Groups are also appointed by the Board after calls for expressions of interest and generally comprise members of the Society with expert knowledge in the strategic area of interest of the advisory group. Member forums are made up of the chairs of existing member groups.
The following diagram sets out the direct relationships between the Society’s Membership, the Board, the Board’s advisory bodies, the National Office and Member Groups.
To support members and promote the profession of psychology, all members of the Society are provided with the opportunity to participate in APS Member Groups. All members automatically belong to a Branch defined by postcode, which provide support at the state and regional level, allowing members to network with colleagues in their local area. Membership of Colleges and Interest Groups is optional, and joining requirements vary.
Colleges represent specialist areas in psychology. Each College promotes its area, maintains practice standards and quality assurance, and encourages and supports the education and professional development of specialist practitioners.
Interest Groups support members with special interests and assist communication between members interested in similar fields.
The role of the National Office is to conduct the operations of the Society in accordance with the overall strategic direction of the APS, as set out in the Strategic Plan. The National Office is managed under the guidance of the executive director, who provides the link between the National Office and the Board. Oversight of the day to day operations of the National Office falls to the general manager.
The Society is a public company subject to the provisions of the Corporations Act 2001. The Constitution of the Society is the document that sets out the rules governing the activities of the Society and its members, within the requirements of the Corporations Act.
The nature of the rules contained in the Constitution are those rules fundamental to the continued operation and smooth functioning of the Society, for example, the rules setting out how the Board will be formed, the number of Directors, the way Directors are elected and the general powers and responsibilities of the Board in conducting the business of the Society.
The Constitution allows for the Society to make General Rules for Member Groups, Specific Rules for APS Colleges and Standing Orders of the Board of Directors to supplement the rules contained in the Constitution.
The Society's Codes of Conduct have been developed to assist Directors and committee members in readily identifying their roles, responsibilities and obligations.