Article 1. Name
The organisation shall be known as the World Federation for NeuroRehabilitation (WFNR).
Article 2. A Non-Profit Organisation
The WFNR is not organised for profit and no part of the net earnings of the WFNR shall inure to the benefit of any private individual or member. The WFNR shall remain independent.
Article 3. Address of the WFNR
The address of the WFNR is the address of its business office.
Article 4. Objectives and Purpose
The objective of the WFNR shall be:
A. To advance the development and improve the quality of neurological rehabilitation across the world.
B. To stimulate collaboration between clinicians and others with an interest in neurological rehabilitation, including cooperation among National Scientific Societies addressing neurorehabilitation.
C. To facilitate exchange of knowledge and scientific research between clinicians and others with an interest in neurological rehabilitation.
The WFNR will achieve these objectives by:
- Producing a regular newsletter in order to stimulate communication between those with an interest in neurological rehabilitation.
- Arranging courses and training programmes in neurological rehabilitation.
- Developing and distributing guidelines for best clinical practice and education standards in the field of neurological rehabilitation.
- Organising a world congress in neurological rehabilitation to be held approximately every two years.
- Collaborating with NGOs and national or international political bodies, such as the WHO, to increase awareness of neurorehabilitation problems and perspectives.
- Sponsoring an official journal -
- Neurorehabilitation and Neural Repair
- Any other activity that will promote the development of neurological rehabilitation on a worldwide basis.
- The officers of the WFNR should represent the diversity of the organization (gender, geographic and professional distribution).
Article 5. Membership
A. The WFNR shall be open to all professionals with an interest in neurological rehabilitation irrespective of sex, religion, disability, philosophical or political opinions or nationality.
B. There shall be two categories of membership -
- Ordinary membership
- Extraordinary membership
i. Ordinary Membership
This category contains two sub-categories of ordinary membership.
a. Personal Membership
Membership of the WFNR shall be open to any professional with an interest in the development of neurological rehabilitation. Membership shall be defined by an entry in the mailing list of the WFNR Update. Personal membership carries voting rights at the General Assembly at each world congress or at an Extraordinary General Assembly that may be called from time to time. There will be a fee for personal membership and the level of the fee shall be determined by the Presidium.
b. National Society Membership
Any national society with an interest in neurological rehabilitation shall be eligible for membership in this category. The membership status of national societies shall be decided by the Presidium.There will be a fee for a national society to be affiliated to the WFNR and the fee level shall be determined by the Presidium. The President (or nominated representative) of each national society formally affiliated to the WFNR shall be a voting member of the Council.
The members of a national society affiliated to the WFNR will automatically be members of the WFNR with full voting rights. Existence of a national society of neurological rehabilitation in a particular country does not require personal members of the WFNR to be a member of that national society. Individuals could be personal members of the WFNR whilst not being members of their own national society. Such individuals will still carry full voting rights.
ii. Extraordinary Membership
This category is split into three sub-categories.
a. Honorary Membership
Honorary members shall be elected from amongst those who, in the opinion of the Council of the WFNR, have made an exceptional contribution to the global development of neurological rehabilitation. Honorary members shall be proposed by at least two members of the Council and shall be elected by a two thirds majority vote of the Council. Honorary membership shall be formally conferred at a world congress.
b. Corporate Membership
Any commercial organisation, company or foundation that has an interest in promoting the development of neurological rehabilitation can apply for corporate membership. Corporate members shall be elected by a majority vote of the Presidium. There shall be an annual fee for corporate membership and the fee level shall be determined from time to time by the Presidium. The Presidium, in accordance with the Board of Past Presidents, ensures no conflict of interest.
Corporate membership does not carry voting rights.
c. Institutional Membership
Organisations involved in health-care, (e.g. in-and out-patient hospital or clinics) science (research institutions or other academic institutions), education or politics (e.g. NGOs) related to the scope of the WFNR shall be eligible for institutional membership. A decision about membership is made by the Presidium. There shall be an annual membership fee. The fee level is fixed by the Presidium, taking the size of the organisation and other aspects into consideration. The Presidium, in accordance with the Board of Past Presidents ensures there is no conflict of interest.
Institutional membership does not carry voting rights.
A. The Presidium
The day-to-day activities of the WFNR shall be governed by the Members of the Presidium, each of whom shall have equal voting rights:
Members of the Presidium
Seven Members at Large
Executive Director (non-voting)
Chairperson of SIG Committee (non-voting)
B. The Federation Council
The Federation Council consists of
1. The members of the Presidium
2. Members not elected by the General Assembly. These include:
Presidents (or nominated representatives) of National Societies that are formally affiliated with the WFNR.
Editor of Neurorehabilitation and Neural Repair
Editor of the WFNR Update newsletter.
Chairperson of Organising Committee for next World Congress.
Chairperson of Organising Committee of previous World Congress.
Chairpersons of standing WFNR committees
Regional Vice Presidents
The Federation Council, as a minimum, must meet during each World Congress.
Intermediate meetings of the Federation Council may be called by the Presidium or when one third of the Council members indicate the need for such intermediate meetings. This must be requested by mail or email to the President.
The Council supervises the strategic decisions of the Federation, supports its international spread and elects members of the Nomination and Programme Committees.
Strategic decisions of the WFNR shall be made by simple majority of the Federation Council, unless a two-thirds majority is required according to the Constitution. In the event of a tie, the President shall have the deciding vote. A minimum of eight voting members shall be required for a quorum, either attending in person or by authorised email or videoconference.
C. Council of Past Presidents
A Council of all presidents is formed, chaired by the Past President who represents this Council in the Presidium.
The purpose of the Council is:
- To monitor the financial aspects of the Foundation.
- To evaluate utilization of donated funds to ascertain that donated funds are utilized according to the donor’s intention and not mixed up with main office daily business.
- To advise and help on potential fundraising opportunities.
Article 7. Officers
A. The officers of the WFNR shall be the President, Past-President, President-Elect, Secretary General and Treasurer.
B. Each officer shall serve for at least one term of office. A term of office is deemed to be the period of time between each world congress (see Article 6). Thus, terms of office shall normally be two years but may vary according to the date of the congresses. The outgoing President shall remain on the Presidium as Past-President until the incumbent President completes his/her term of office. When a President takes office at a world congress then at the same time there will be an election for the President-Elect. The President-Elect will be a member of the Presidium until such time as the President demits office when the President-Elect will beome President. Thus, the term of office of the President-Elect will be a period of time between two or three world congresses depending on the length of office of the incumbent President.
C. Any vacancy amongst the elected members of the Presidium during a term of office shall be filled by an individual appointed by the President on a majority vote of the remaining members of the Presidium. If the President demits office before completion of the term of office, then the President-Elect will act as President. That President shall remain until the next world congress at which point s/he shall be eligible for re-election. This interim period shall not count as a term of office.
If neither the President nor the President-Elect stay in office, the Secretary-General can act as an interim President until the next world congress.
D. All officers are elected by the general assembly at the world congresses. The maximum number of terms is limited to two.
In case there are no new nominees for the position of Treasurer and Secretary-General as defined by the Nomination Committee, they (after re-election by the general assembly) can stay for more terms.
Candidates will be solicited by the nominating committee, which will make a recommendation. (See Article 8).
Article 8. Committees
A. The WFNR shall have the following Standing Committees -
The chairpersons of the Standing Committees are allowed to apply for an annual budget to the Presidium. The budgets have to be handed in by 15 December for the following fiscal year. The Presidium decides on budgets for the Standing Committees not later than 31 January of the running fiscal year.
1. Research Committee
The task of the Research Committee is to coordinate the research activities of the WFNR. The Research Committee Chairman is appointed by the Presidium. The Committee is comprised of up to ten persons who also are appointed by the Presidium after nomination by the Federation Council and/or the Research Committee Chairperson. The Research Committee stays in office for at least the time between two world congresses.
2. Education Committee
The task of this Committee is to coordinate the activity of the WFNR in organisation of teachings (eg courses, flying faculty activities). The Committee consists of five persons including a Chairperson who are appointed by the Presidium after nomination by the Council. The members stay in office at least for the time between two world congresses.
The chairperson can decide to subdivide the Committee’s activity into subcommittees, (eg Flying Faculty, e-learning, best practice, etc) and can suggest possible subchairpersons to the Presidium for approval.
3. Finance Committee
The task of this committee is the prospective financial planning, budget structuring and reviewing, and fundraising for the WFNR. Set members of the Finance Committee are the Treasurer, the President-Elect and the Chairman of the next world congress. Additional members may be appointed by the Presidium.
4. Nomination Committee
The task of this Committee is to nominate candidates for positions as officers of the WFNR. Nominations for positions in the Presidium can be handed in by each member up to a deadline determined by the Nomination Committee. This deadline is communicated to the entire membership by email. Committee members will be appointed by the Presidium. The President-Elect will serve as the Chair of this Committee. Up to five more officers may be elected by the General Assembly at the world congress preceding the next world congress when elections have to be made.
5. SIG Committee
The Chairpersons of all SIGs (see Article 12) form the SIG Committee. This Committee should meet at least on occasion of the world congresses. The Committee elects a SIG Committee Chairperson who is a permanent member of the Scientific Programme Committee and a non-voting member of the Presidium (see Article 6 and below).
6. Scientific Programme Committee
The task of this Committee is to coordinate the scientific activities of WFNR and, together with the local organisers, to develop the programmes for the world congresses. The Scientific Programme Committee is chaired by the Secretary-General. Other permanent members of the Committee include the Chairpersons of the past and next world congress and the Chairperson of the SIG Committee. After nomination by the Council, the Presidium appoints up to five additional members. Up to five members (for preparation of the next world congress) also may be appointed by the local organisers of the next world congress.
Article 9. Management and Duties of Officers
A. The day-to-day management of the WFNR shall normally be delegated by the Management Committee to the President supported by the Past-President, President-Elect, Secretary General and Treasurer. The President is empowered to decide on all day-to-day matters. The President shall act in the best interests of the WFNR at all times. Important decisions, as determined by the President, shall be discussed by the Presidium. Open communication is required by the President to other Council members on a regular basis, usually by telephone, email or land mail. The President shall be accountable for his/her decisions to the Presidium and to the membership as a whole.
B. The President and Presidium may be supported by an Executive Director, who will report directly to the President, and be responsible for day to day organisational matters and general smooth running of the WFNR. S/he will be responsible for the administrative support to the Council, the standing committees and sub-committees as required. The office of the Executive Director will be responsible for collection of membership fees and for keeping, collating and distributing the appropriate membership database.
C. The Secretary General will coordinate organisational, legal and constitutional matters of the WFNR in support of the President. The Secretary General will need close liaison with the Executive Director as well as with the Treasurer and other officers of the WFNR. S/he also will be responsible for the coordination of the scientific programme of the world congresses and act as Chairperson of the Scientific Programme Committee.
D. The Treasurer will be responsible for the WFNR finances and be accountable to the Federation Council. The Treasurer will maintain accurate financial records and present a financial statement to the Presidium and to the Federation Council at each of their respective meetings, and to the General Assembly at each world congress. S/he shall submit financial accounts to an annual independent audit. S/he will need to liaise closely with the Executive Director and the other officers.
E. WFNR encourages the progress of scientific and service orientated activities in the field of neuro-rehabilitation around the world. To achieve this, the Presidium encourages the formation of regional structures such as Regional Federations of Societies or others. For regions without such structures, Regional Vice Presidents may be appointed by the Presidium in order to organise and coordinate work in certain regions. If necessary, the Presidium may allocate budgets to Regional Vice Presidents after they have applied for this.
For regions in which a national society or supranational federation has not been formed, WFNR Ambassadors can be appointed by the Presidium to facilitate neurorehabilitation activities in these areas with the aim of forming more structured activities.
F. The Presidium may appoint Liaison Officers for the WFNR to facilitate interaction and communication with other scientific societies, political entities, the media, etc.
Article 10. Finances
A. The fiscal year of the WFNR shall commence on 1 January and end on 31 December each year. The Treasurer shall be responsible to the Presidium and Council and to the membership as a whole for the finances of the organisation. The Presidium shall determine an appropriate bank account and appropriate cheque signatories and, through the Treasurer, shall make all arrangements for the prudent and open conduct of the financial affairs of the WFNR. The accounts shall be presented to the Presidium at each of its meetings, at least annually, and through the Update or at each congress, to the Council and General Assembly and to the membership at large on an annual basis. The accounts shall be audited. The Finance Committee will support the Treasurer in prospective and retrospective aspects of budgeting.
B. The WFNR shall be, as far as possible, financed from surplus income derived from the congresses and from ordinary and extraordinary membership dues and from any donations received from private persons or industry or from any publications.
Article 11. General Assembly
At each world congress there shall be a General Assembly of members. This will provide an opportunity for the membership to review progress, decisions and actions taken over the time since the preceding General Assembly. The General Assembly elects the Presidium members considering the nominations made by the Nomination Committee. Election is done by simple majority vote of the present voting membership. Election can be done for individual candidates or groups of candidates. New officers and members of the Federation Council shall be elected at each General Assembly by the membership. Election shall be a simple majority of the present voting membership.
Article 12. Special Interest Groups/Sections
The Presidium may approve the creation of Special Interest Groups (SIGs). The Chairperson of each Special Interest Group will be elected by the SIG membership. An important function of the SIGs is to propose content for each world congress.
Each Special Interest Group will recruit its members from the membership of the WFNR and others. The Special Interest Groups shall promote the development of their specific area of interest within the general aims of the WFNR. The purview of each SIG shall be formulated by that group, subject to the approval of the Presidium.
Each SIG elects a Chairperson. The Chairpersons of all SIGs form the SIG Committee (see Article 8).
The Presidium may require each SIG Chairperson to submit a mission statement, rule of operation concept and activity plan as well as an annual activity report.
The Presidium can decide if SIGs or groups of SIGs form thematically wider spread sections, which can be helpful to further structure WFNR activities.
Article 13. Affiliated Organisations
At the discretion of the Presidium, an organisation that has significant thematic relevance to neurorehabilitation may be designated an "Affiliated Organisation" and be accorded those privileges of membership deemed suitable.
Article 14. Amendments
Amendments to this Constitution may be proposed by any member of the WFNR. Amendments shall be submitted to the Secretary General at least three months prior to a Council meeting or three months prior to a world congress and will be posted on the WFNR website. Any amendment of the Constitution shall require a two-thirds majority of the Council.
Article 15. Dissolution
Voluntary dissolution of the WFNR may only be decided by a two-thirds majority vote of the Council supported by a two-thirds majority vote of the voting membership at a General Assembly. If necessary, an Extraordinary General Assembly may be called with three months’ notice being given to members by the Secretary General. Any assets of the organisation shall, in the event of dissolution, be donated to a non-profit organisation supporting neurological rehabilitation on a worldwide basis. These organisations shall be decided by a majority vote of the Council.
Jorge Hernandez Franco