CONSTITUTION OF THE CARIBBEAN AREA NETWORK FOR QUALITY ASSURANCE IN TERTIARY EDUCATION (CANQATE)
- Name and Nature of the Association
- Governance Structure/Management Governing Bodies
- Alterations to the Constitution
- Governing Law
The organisation was incorporated on August 14, 2009 as CANQATE Limited and the name was changed January 27, 2010 and the “Limited” removed (CANQATE granted charitable status).
1. Name and Nature of the Association
1.1 The Name of the Association is the Caribbean Area Network for Quality Assurance in Tertiary Education (CANQATE).
1.2 CANQATE is a professional body, established as a regional sub- network of the International Network for Quality Assurance Agencies in Higher Education (INQAAHE). Its aims and objectives are compatible with the purposes of INQAAHE.
1.3 CANQATE is a non-profit organisation which is registered as body incorporate by guarantee under the laws of Jamaica.
The purposes of the CANQATE are to:
2.1 express the collective views of its members on matters relevant to quality in tertiary education through contacts with international bodies and by other means;
2.2 promote the theory and practice of the improvement of quality in tertiary education;
2.3 provide advice and expertise to assist existing and emerging quality assurance agencies;
2.4 facilitate links amongst external quality assurance agencies
2.5 collaborate with other quality assurance networks;
2.6 promote and assist in the implementation of best practices in quality assurance (QA) in tertiary education;
2.7 facilitate mutual recognition among QA agencies in the Caribbean;
2.8 identify sources of funding to support members in their activities;
2.9 advocate for regional bodies in regional and international fora;
2.10 work with other professional bodies on matters of QA and accreditation;
2.11 support and advise CARICOM and other Caribbean regional bodies on matters pertaining to a regional framework for QA;
2.12 develop a cadre of professionals in the field of QA;
2.13 encourage and support research in the field of QA;
2.14 network regionally and internationally with similar organisations.
3.1 Membership in CANQATE is open to all countries in the wider Caribbean region.
3.2 CANQATE has four categories of membership: 1. Full 2. Associate 3. Individual 4. Honorary.
- Full members are organisations such as accrediting agencies, universities and other tertiary institutions, evaluation agencies and similar organisations within the region responsible for assuring the academic quality of tertiary institutions or educational programmes.
- Associate members are institutions of tertiary education and/or organisations with a major interest in evaluation, accreditation and quality assurance in tertiary education, but without the responsibility for assuring quality of institutions or educational programmes.
- Honorary members may be appointed at the discretion of the Board of Management from among persons who have made or are making distinguished contributions in keeping with the goals of CANQATE.
- Individual members are those persons who are interested in and/or who focus on quality assurance and standards but who do not have direct responsibility for them.
- All full and associate members shall be eligible to serve on the Board of Management of CANQATE.
3.3 To apply for membership in CANQATE, the applicant is required to complete a Membership Registration Form to be sent to the Secretariat of CANQATE. Included on this form is information pertaining to the applicant’s role, interests, responsibilities and operations.
3.4 The procedures for admission of members are as follows:
- The Secretariat shall verify that the request for membership complies with the terms of membership (full, associate or individual) and make a recommendation;
- The Secretariat’s recommendation shall be presented to the Board for approval.
3.5 Members may:
- Benefit from the Secretariat’s services;
- Collaborate in the attainment of CANQATE’s aims and objectives; and
- Exercise their rights according to the Constitution.
3.6 Members are obliged to:
- Abide by the Constitution of CANQATE;
- Comply with decisions and resolutions of CANQATE; and
- Remit, in due time, the subscriptions or any other contributions determined in accordance with the Constitution
3.7 Notwithstanding anything in the Constitution, no member organisation shall be expected, by virtue of its membership in CANQATE, to do anything contrary to the rules and requirements of that organisation.
3.8 Membership may be terminated if the member
- Resigns, in writing, to the Secretariat; or
- Fails to maintain the conditions as outlined in Section 3.6 of the Constitution; or
- Acts in CANQATE’s name without prior authorisation.
- Misrepresents their association with the Network as implying any level of recognition (beyond the criteria that allowed its admission to the Network); or on a recommendation of the Board.
4. Governance Structure/Management Governing Bodies
4.1 The governing bodies and authorities of CANQATE are the General Assembly and the Board of Management. (The Board will co-opt persons to work on special projects from time to time.)
4.2 All members may participate in the Administration of CANQATE, and in the General Assembly of CANQATE.
4.3 Only those who qualify for full and associate membership have voting rights.
4.4 The General Assembly is the senior policy and decision-making body of CANQATE. It is composed of members of CANQATE, each represented by one nominated person.
4.5 The President of CANQATE presides over the General Assembly. In the President’s absence, the Board of Management shall elect one of the Board Members to preside.
4.6 The General Assembly shall hold an Ordinary Meeting at least once every year as part of the regular conference of CANQATE.
4.7 The responsibilities of the General Assembly are to:
- At an Annual General Meeting to elect the President and other members of the Board of Management at an Annual General Meeting;
- Exclude, on the recommendation of the Board, any member who disregards the Constitution;
- Establish the courses of action and make the decisions or recommendations necessary for the satisfactory operation of CANQATE, within the framework of the Constitution;
- Consider and approve reports;
- Consider annual subscriptions and any other contributions to be paidby members;
- Consider and approve CANQATE’s audited financial statements;
4.8 The members present at a meeting of the General Assembly constitute a quorum for the meeting.
4.9 The decisions of the General Assembly shall be adopted by a simple majority of voting members.
Board of Management
4.10 The Board of Management shall be responsible for the strategic and operational affairs of CANQATE.
4.11 The Board of Management of CANQATE shall be comprised of ten (10) persons, including the Regional Co-ordinators and the immediate past president. The President shall be elected from an external quality assurance agency. The immediate past president shall serve as an ex officio member of the Board, without voting rights. All Directors must be from full member organisations.
4.12 No two (2) elected Directors should be from the same member organisation.
4.13 Membership of the Board shall include the President, Vice President, Secretary and the Treasurer.
4.14 Replace any member (s) of the Board who resigns between the Annual General Meetings. When the Board appoints a director to fill an occasional vacancy, the appointed director will serve out the terms of office of the departed director and will have the same rights and responsibilities of the director they replaced.
4.15 decide, to remove by a majority vote of the full Board, any director who does not fulfil the obligations outlined in this Constitution.
4.16 The President assumes responsibility for the secretariat of CANQATE.
4.17 The President is the senior official representative of the CANQATE with responsibilities to
- preside over the meetings of the General Assembly and the Board;
- perform any resolutions, decisions or specific mandates set by the General Assembly or the Board;
- execute any function provided for in this Constitution;
- cast the deciding vote in the event of an equality of votes;
- assume other responsibilities, as agreed by the Board, notprovided for in the Constitution; and
- maintain collaboration between regional and international organisations in furtherance of quality assurance activities and advancement of the CANQATE.
4.18 The Vice President has responsibility for information and communication and acts on behalf of the President, as required.
4.19 The Secretary is responsible for administrative functioning of CANQATE, which includes: preparing the minutes for meetings and notifying members of meetings.
- Keeping the Network’s files and minutes;
- Arranging for CANQATE’s publications;
- Arranging for CANQATE’s database;
- Preparing the annual reports;
- Preparing, organising and convening CANQATE meetings;
- Preparing and organising the Board’s meetings;
- Collecting fees and subscriptions; and
- Assuming other responsibilities, as agreed by the Board, not provided for in this Constitution
4.20 The Treasurer is responsible for the upkeep of financial records of CANQATE, specifically to
- Prepare and submit the Network’s financial statements at least two (2) weeks before the Board and General Assembly meetings;
- oversee the preparation of the budget; and
- propose subscriptions rates to the Board for endorse and presents to the General Assembly for approval.
4.21 Board Members shall be elected by the General Assembly for a period of two (2) years (a term of office), and shall be eligible for re- election. They may however be elected for no more than two (2) consecutive terms.
4.22 The Board of Management shall meet at least twice per year, once as part of the CANQATE Annual Conference, and at least once more during the year.
4.23 Five (5) persons, including President or designate shall constitute a quorum for a meeting of the Board of Management.
4.24 All Board Members are expected to represent the Network by
- maintaining relations with other similar associations; promoting of work of CANQATE;
- contribute to Board discussions;
- carrying out regular work for the network;
- involvement in working groups; and
- carrying out any specific mandates of the General Assembly, the Board, or the President within the terms of this Constitution.
5.1 All money raised by or on behalf of CANQATE, including subscriptions fees, shall be applied to further the objectives of CANQATE and for no other purpose, provided that nothing contained in this Constitution shall prevent the payment in good faith of reasonable and proper remuneration to any employee of CANQATE or the repayment of reasonable out-of pocket expenses.
5.2 The Treasurer shall keep proper accounts of the finances of CANQATE, and shall procure contributions for the Network through annual subscriptions, donations, covenants, subventions, grants or other forms.
5.3 A bank account shall be opened in the name of CANQATE. The Board of Management shall authorize in writing, two (2) BOARD members to sign cheques on behalf of CANQATE.
5.4 CANQATE funds, not immediately required for use, shall be invested in such low risk investments and securities as may be thought fit, subject nevertheless to such conditions (if any) as may for the time being be imposed or required by the law of the country where CANQATE is for the time being registered.
5.5 CANQATE may set fees and levy charges for its publications and information disseminated by other means, for example conferences and workshops.
5.6 Membership fees will be set at a level decided from time to time by the General Assembly.
5.7 CANQATE may seek and receive donations and other forms of financial support in furtherance of its objectives.
5.8 The General Assembly shall at annual general meeting appoint a financial auditor for the next financial year. The Board and all members of CANQATE shall receive a copy of the audited financial statement.
5.9 The funds of CANQATE shall be:
- from bona fide sources and shall satisfy the requirements of the Board
- applied exclusively to the purposes of the Association.
6. Code of Conduct
Vote of No Confidence of a Board Member
6.1 A vote of no confidence in a Board Member may be submitted by any member and must be seconded before any decision can be made.
6.2 Votes of no confidence may be entered at a General Assembly on any executive member for not fulfilling his/her responsibilities as outlined in the Constitution. These votes require a 2/3 majority of the members present.
Alterations to the Constitution
6.3 Any alteration to this Constitution shall require a two-thirds majority of all those participating in a ballot of all full members of the Association. A member wishing to propose an amendment to the Constitution must give the Secretary at least one hundred and twenty (120) clear days’ notice in writing. This notice shall include a copy of the proposed revised text.
7. Dispute Resolution
7.1 Any dispute over the interpretation of this Constitution shall be resolved by simple majority vote by the Full and Associate Members at a General Assembly.
8.1 If the Board of Management, by a simple majority, decides at any time that it is necessary or desirable to dissolve CANQATE, it shall hold a ballot of all members who have the vote; not less than ninety (90 days’) notice of such a ballot shall be given. If such decision shall be confirmed by a simple majority of those voting in such a ballot, the Board of Management shall have power to dispose of any assets held by or on behalf of CANQATE. All assets remaining after the satisfaction of any proper debts and liabilities shall be given or transferred to such charitable institution or institutions as the Board of Management may determine.
9. Governing Law
9.1 The Constitution shall be governed by the law in force in the country where CANQATE is for the time being registered.
10.1 Any notice required to be served under this Constitution may be served personally or by sending it through the post in a prepaid mail, confirmed fax addressed, or confirmed electronic mail.