New Board Member Orientation
New Board Member Orientation
Welcome! We are very excited you are here! This letter is to help you transition to being a board member and some of the responsibilities you will be taking on.
- The board is designed to protect consumers and ensure that therapists licensed by the board are providing ethical/legal services.
- Be aware that you are now a part of something that is open to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). Any time you are communicating during or outside a board meeting with another board member either in person, on the phone, email or text messaging, it is open for the public to FOIA when requested. Be mindful of what you say and do (FOI Handbook p.18).
- All board meetings are open to the public. They have to be advertised on the state’s website and in the media (newspaper, radio, TV, etc.) three days in advance so that anyone in the public can attend if they desire. In the event there is a need for an emergency board meeting there has to be a notice of two hours (FOI Handbook p.13). Due to this requirement, anytime board members communicate about board business outside of an advertised board meeting it is not appropriate and could be considered a board meeting. Whispering and side conversations during board meetings is discouraged, as this could be construed negatively by the public.
- Board members are allowed to meet/communicate outside of board meetings concerning non-board related topics (FOI Handbook p.28).
- Any notes you take or documentation you create during a board meeting is open to FOIA. Consider the following: Public records are those REQUIRED by law to be kept and that constitute a record of performance or lack of performance of official functions.
- Any forms, oral interview question sheets or licensee documents are not to be copied, taken from the board meeting or distributed in any way without a FOIA request.
- The only instance the board can close a meeting to the public is when conducting executive session to discuss personnel issues concerning the paid employees of the board (FOI Handbook p.22).
- If a board member misses three consecutive board meetings without notice and without excuse voted on by the Board, the Governor’s office must be contacted and the board member will be replaced. In order for the board to conduct business it is necessary for as many board members to be present as possible. There must be at least five board members present to conduct business and vote on motions, so it is very important for you to attend meetings. Please schedule all personal events around board meetings when possible. If it is necessary for you to miss a board meeting contact the Executive Director and give the reason requesting Board approval for your absence.
- Appropriate attire for attending board meetings is Business Casual. Friday wear the shirt provided by the board. Saturday wear business casual.
- The state reimburses each board member for mileage to and from the board meeting and meal expenses while at the board meeting. You may be eligible for a stipend for your service to the profession. The budget for meal expenses is up to $28.00 per day for dinner and up to $13.00 per day for breakfast. The state provides hotel accommodations for board members traveling in from certain distances. These accommodations are available the night before the board meeting starts and each night while the board meeting is being held.
- When the board comes together be respectful of others concerning time management. Many board members travel great distances, the more efficient business can be conducted, the quicker everyone can leave at the end of the board meeting.
- At certain times, the Executive Director may ask board members to attend legislative sessions with him/her. If at all possible for you to attend, do so.
- On occasion, board members must be willing to participate in conducting workshops, presentations and attending conferences on behalf of the board. May also be asked to attend national conferences germane to licensure and credentialing.
- Board members must be willing, when nominated, to serve as an officer of the board (Chairperson or Secretary).
- It is helpful to bring your laptop to the board meetings. The Director has all interviewee information on thumb drives that you can review on your laptop. It is not required to bring a laptop, but might be helpful to you.
- When conducting oral interviews, ensure that you sign your interview sheet and date it. Vote as you feel comfortable voting, it is alright if you are the only one who does not pass an interviewee.
- At the end of the oral interview, turn in your sheet to the person who will be filling out the motion form.
- If you are filling out the motion form, collect all the interview sheets, total votes and document if interviewee passed or is invited back for another interview. Make note if the interviewee’s statement of intent was approved or needs revision. If the statement of intent needs revision, document on the motion what needs to be corrected on the statement of intent. Ensure that the motion is signed at the top by who moved and seconded.
- If any board members recuse/abstain during an interview, document this on the bottom of the motion form. If you feel it is necessary for you to recuse/abstain consider the following:
Abstain if there is a conflict of interest present. Conflicts of interest prohibit the board member from participating in, voting on, influencing, or attempting to influence an official decision if the member has a pecuniary interest in the matter. Penalty is removal from office. A conflict of interest includes the following: Personal knowledge of facts, relationship to licensee-professional or personal, bias or prejudgment concerning issues of fact about the parties in a particular case if bias is strong enough, attitudes for or against a party if strong enough, personal interest or standing to gain or lose by a decision.
- If an interviewee passes the oral interview, mark passed at the top of the motion form beside what they were interviewing for (LAC, Supervision, LAMFT, Specialization, LPC, etc.). In the motions section document if interviewee was approved for supervision of 3000 CCH, approved with the following stipulations to be addressed in supervision, etc.
- If an interviewee is invited back for a second interview, document in the motion section what interview topics the interviewee needs to be prepared to answer at next interview.
- On the last day of the board meeting, turn in your thumb drive and complete your reimbursement sheets, handing in all receipts.
Arkansas Freedom of Information Handbook, 17th Edition, December 2015.
Arkansas Board of Examiner in Counseling, Rules and Regulations, Revised 2016.
Created August 2016