The organization of the IAPM is based essentially on the provisions of the Constitution and the IAPM, by-laws, together with the rules and regulations approved by the International Council at request of the Board of Directors. As the diagram shows, the IAPM has one organizational structure which allows it to develop a quadruple mission: legislative, representative, executive and scientific missions.
The International Council (IC), which includes the Academy’s 30 permanent or regular Fellows, is the institution’s highest governing body. In accordance with article 11 of our Constitution, the IC “sets the overall criteria to be used by the Board of Directors to achieve the IAPM’s objectives; approves, audits or amends the accounts; supervises and monitors; releases statements, etc”. Additionally, “the IC alone has the capacity to appoint new regular, associate or honorary Fellows, as specified” (article 13).
The Board of Directors (BD) is the permanent body responsible for governing, managing and representing the IAPM. It must act in accordance with the Constitution (articles 14-16). The BD comprises seven Fellows, with specific roles at the Academy: President, 4 Vice-Presidents, General Secretary and Treasurer. The members of the BD are elected by the IC for a period of five years, with the possibility of re-election.
The President runs the IAPM, acts as the Academy’s legal representative and chairs meetings of the IC and BD. However, any decision taken by the President during his/her tenure must subsequently be submitted to the governing bodies for review and approval. The Vice-Presidents shall distribute their duties amongst themselves in accordance with current needs and its the President’s agreement.
The General Secretary shall carry out the IAPM’s administration and shall be responsible for its day-to-day affairs, in consultation with the President and Vice-Presidents. The General Secretary shall be in charge of drawing up both the agenda and the minutes of each meeting held by the Council or the Board.
The Treasurer shall be responsible for all the Academy’s financial affairs
The IC shall hold an ordinary plenary meeting at least once a year. Additionally, an extraordinary meeting can be convened at the instigation of the BD, or on the request of three or more regular Fellows. The agenda of the IC’s plenary meeting must include the following items: reading of the previous meeting’s minutes and the President’s, General Secretary’s, and Treasurer’s reports. The IC shall adopt resolutions by simple majority vote, the President having a casting vote in the event of a tie. Regular Fellows must be elected by unanimous vote of IC members; associate and honorary Fellows can be elected by consensus among all current members. Certain matters, such as amending these Statutes, moving the IAPM’s head office, totally or partially revoking appointments to the Board and dissolving the Academy, can only be taken at an extraordinary meeting of the IC, where motions shall be adopted by a simple majority vote.
The Board of Directors shall convene two meetings a year and a meeting shall be considered valid if at least four members thereof are present, including the President. Motions are adopted by the Board on simple majority vote of the members present.
In practice, the annual meeting of the IAPM comprises three very different meetings: the administrative meeting, which is no more than the plenary meeting of the IC described above; the ceremonial meeting, which is normally held at an appropriate location (the chapter house, amphitheatre or great hall of an academic institution) and where new fellows (both regular and associate) are sworn in, medals and diplomas are awarded and funeral orations are pronounced to honor of deceased academics; and finally, the scientific meeting, which has a schedule of lectures and round tables generally devoted to a single subject.
In everyday practice, the International Council’s function is legislative and representative, the Board of Director’s is executive and the scientific function is shared between the regular fellows who make up the study groups and those who organise the annual scientific meetings in accordance with the BD’s directives, along with the institutions that work together with the Academy to organise courses and symposiums (see chart pag. 127).
As indicated in section (d), article 3 of the constitution of the IAPM, one of its objectives is “to promote the formation of working groups focusing on perinatal medicine”. In order to fulfill this aim and as proposed by the Board of Directors, the International Council has established 7 study groups, whose main purpose is to study their chosen subjects in depth, in order to make recommendations concerning clinical matters, or aspects for investigation and to draw up statements for the health authorities, scientific societies, etc., if that is thought to be desirable. These study groups must activate interacademian activities of the IAPM.