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Rules of the Association

Governing Body

The association shall be governed by a Governing Body of three Directors who shall be responsible for ensuring compliance with all legal and regulatory matters relating to the management of the association, setting of the rules, the appointment of the Secretary General, the Executive Committee and budgetary control.

Executive Committee

The Executive Committee shall be appointed by agreement with the Governing Body. It shall consist of:

  1. The three members of the Governing Body, who shall include the Chairman
  2. No more than six Members, including the first three founding Members.
  3. No more than one co-opted Affiliate Member
  4. The Secretary General

A member of the Executive Committee shall cease to be a member if he fails to pay his renewal fee, resigns or is asked to resign from the association or leaves the Governing Body. Membership of the Executive Committee is reviewed on an annual basis by the Governing Body.

Each member of the Executive Committee, other than the Secretary General, shall have one vote. The Chairman shall have a second, or casting, vote in the event of equality.

The Executive Committee together with the Secretary General shall be responsible for:

  1. Formulating the policy of the association
  2. Acting as ambassadors for the association
  3. Setting and upholding the Professional Standards of the association
  4. Reviewing applications for Affiliate membership
  5. Dealing with complaints about its Members or Affiliate Members
  6. Dealing with any breach of the association Rules, Code of Ethics and Code of Conduct

The Executive Committee shall meet 4 times a year and members of the committee shall be expected to attend a minimum of 3 meetings in the year.

Chairman

The Chairman of the association shall be elected by the Governing Body.

Secretary General

The Secretary General, with the assistance of the Secretariat, shall have day-to-day responsibility for the management of the Associationís affairs. General day-to-day administrative affairs e.g. membership recruitment and relations shall be handled by the Secretariat Ė the principal focus of the Secretary Generalís role shall be government and inter-industry relations, the development of policy and regulatory responses, recording and ensuring the requirements of the Governing Body, the Executive Committee, Sub-Committees and Projects Groups in these areas are carried out.

Secretarial Support

The Governing Body shall be responsible for appointing the Secretary General and the Secretariat.

Finances

The finances of the association shall be controlled by the Governing Body. The Governing Body shall set a budget and be responsible for managing it. This shall include setting the joining and renewal fees for the various levels. Guidance on fee levels may be sought from the Executive Committee.

Sub-Committees and Project Groups

The Executive Committee can set up and appoint members of sub-committees and projects from among both Executive Committee members, members and Affiliate members as it deems fit from time to time in order to deal with specific issues such as responses to industry consultations.

Membership

There shall be two classes of membership Ė full and Affiliate.

Full membership is only open to those companies or individuals who are active in the referring of clients to debt solutions providers.

Affiliate membership is open to those, including debt solutions providers themselves, involved in, or interested in the debt solutions introducer market but who are not, themselves, introducers.

Full Members

Full members must hold, and provide to the Secretariat, either a valid licence under the Consumer Credit Acts 1974 and 2006 and/or an FCA authorisation. Members must also hold and provide to the Secretariat an appropriate notification under the Data Protection Act 1998.

Full members are bound by the Associationís Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct.

Full member benefits:

  1. the right to attend and vote at the AGM
  2. the right to stand and vote in elections to the Executive Committee
  3. the right to be considered for appointment to sub-committees or task forces
  4. the right to respond to consultation papers issued by the Association
  5. the right to use the Associationís full membership logo in any manner approved by the Association
  6. the right to have details included in the register of members on the website
  7. the right to receive the Associationís newsletter
  8. the right to participate in any beneficial arrangements made by the Association for its members

Affiliate members

Affiliate membership is open to other firms operating in the financial services industry such as solicitors, accountants and lenders at the discretion of the Executive Committee and on payment of the appropriate annual fee. Their decision shall be final.

Affiliate members are bound by the Associationís Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct where applicable.

Affiliate members must, where appropriate, hold, and provide to the Secretariat, either a valid licence under the Consumer Credit Acts 1974 and 2006 and/or an FCA authorisation. Affiliate members must, where appropriate, also hold and provide to the Secretariat an appropriate notification under the Data Protection Act 1998.

Affiliate member benefits:

  1. the right to attend but not to vote at the AGM
  2. the right to raise issues with the Executive Committee
  3. the right to be considered for co-option to sub-committees or task forces
  4. the right to respond to consultation papers issued by the Association
  5. the right to use the Associationís Affiliate membership logo in any manner approved by the Association
  6. the right to have details included in the register of Affiliate members on the website
  7. the right to receive the Associationís newsletter
  8. the right to participate in any beneficial arrangements made by the Association for its members

Reports and information

The Executive Committee shall provide updates to its members by use of the monthly newsletter. The Executive Committee may, where it deems it appropriate, circulate information to all members by means of email and other communication methods as well as publishing information on the association website.

Complaints

Complaints may be brought to the association as follows:

a) Against full or Affiliate members

Complaints received by APDSI against Full or Affiliates members which allege a breach of the Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct of APDSI or which may bring the reputation of APDSI into disrepute shall be investigated by a Complaints Committee set up by Governing Body. Members shall co-operate with any investigation of the complaint and shall comply with any ruling of the Committee. In extreme cases the Complaints Committee shall have the power to recommend to the Executive Committee that the member be expelled from APDSI.

b) Against debt solutions providers

For the protection of clients the Association encourages, but cannot compel, members to only use those who are members of a relevant trade association representing debt solution providers or those who are members of one of the eight recognized professional bodies representing insolvency practitioners. The association shall consider assisting members with genuine complaints against debt solutions providers where the Executive Committee believes that the complaint has merit. Members shall need to provide all relevant information and a letter of authority to enable the association to act. Spurious or unsubstantiated claims shall not be entertained. The association cannot investigate individual complaints about service issues although it may, at its discretion, raise with a debt solutions provider matters which appear systemic in nature.

Rights to use the associationís logos

Entitlement to the use of the relevant the association logo ceases immediately on leaving the association either by resignation, failure to pay the renewal fee or being expelled by the Executive Committee. Firms must take all appropriate steps, including immediate destruction of stationery, changes to websites etc, to cease the use of the association logo in such circumstances. Any former member willfully misusing the associationís logos or making inappropriate reference to membership shall, at the discretion of the Executive committee, be reported to the FCA or other appropriate regulatory body.

The conditions of use of the respect association logo are set out in the association Brand & Marketing Guidance notes. Logos and the guidance notes can be downloaded from the member area of the association website.


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