This is the current IAFPA Constitution which was approved by the Members in August, 2012.


The Association shall be known as the International Association for Forensic Phonetics and Acoustics.

2   AIMS

The aims of the Association shall be:

  1. To foster research and provide a forum for the interchange of ideas and information on practice, development and research in forensic phonetics and acoustics;
  2. To set down and enforce standards of professional conduct and procedure for those involved in forensic phonetic and acoustic casework.


There shall be two categories of Membership: Full and Student;

  1. Full Membership shall be open to established phoneticians and acousticians with operational and/or academic interests in forensic applications of phonetics or acoustics;
  2. Student Membership shall be open to Students undertaking a course in Higher Education in phonetics, acoustics or in a subject closely related to those disciplines;
  3. Full Members who attended any two of the 1989, 1990 or 1991 Annual Conferences on Forensic Phonetics in York shall be entitled to use the designation ‘Founder’ when stating their Membership;
  4. Applications for entry to both categories of Membership shall be in a form approved by the Association and supported by two referees, both Full Members of the Association, and both having knowledge of the applicant’s qualifications and work [we have amended the process for student members so that only one referee is required, this may be a Supervisor or an IAFPA Full Member – the EC];
  5. Upon entry to the Association Members shall agree to be bound by the Association’s Code of Practice;
  6. Student Members wishing to become Full members must apply to the Membership Secretary submitting an updated CV;
  7. Only Full Members shall have voting rights on matters of policy; voting on matters of policy shall be carried out by suitable electronic means via the internet;
  8. Members wishing to end their IAFPA Membership should send a written notice by September 30th of the year preceding the year they wish their membership to end. If no notice is given and subscription of the current year is not paid by September 1st of that year, Members will deemed to have lapsed;
  9. Lapsed Members may rejoin the Association without going through the membership application procedure but will be required to pay any arrears in subscription in addition to the subscription due for the year in which they re-join. Failing this, lapsed members will be treated on equal footing with other aspiring Members, in that they have to go through the normal application procedure.


  1. There shall be an Annual General Meeting of the Association;
  2. Papers concerning aspects of forensic phonetics and acoustics shall be represented by Members at the Annual Conference of the Association.
  3. Attendance at the AGM is restricted to Members and Student Members of the Association. However, where it is considered by the EC that a non-member has a particular contribution to make on a point scheduled for discussion, (s)he may, exceptionally, be invited to attend in order to speak on the point in question.
  4. Items for discussion at the AGM shall, wherever possible, be circulated to Members and Student Members at least four weeks before the due date.
  5. Draft minutes of the AGM shall be circulated to all Members and Student Members within twelve weeks of its having taken place.


In respect of all committees, attempts will be made to ensure a representation of phoneticians and acousticians that reflects the proportional interests of each discipline within the general membership.

  1. There shall be an Executive Committee of the Association consisting of:
    The Honorary Chair
    The Honorary Secretary
    The Honorary Treasurer cum Membership Secretary
    and two other members
  2. Members of the Executive Committee shall be Full Members of the Association;
  3. Candidates for the Executive Committee shall be proposed, seconded and elected by Full Members of the Association;
  4. If the number of nominations is no greater than the number of vacancies, nominees shall be deemed elected;
  5. Members of the Executive Committee shall be elected for a period of three years and may be re-elected;
  6. Notice of vacancies within the Executive Committee shall be given by suitable electronic means. Information concerning candidates will be circulated in the same way. Where more than one candidate is nominated for a post, an election shall be held by suitable electronic means via the internet;
  7. A quorum of the Executive Committee shall be three Members at least one of whom shall be the Honorary Chair or the Honorary Secretary;
  8. The Executive Committee shall ordinarily meet twice a year, in order to plan and review the activities and policies of the Association;
  9. Extraordinary meetings of the Executive Committee may be convened as necessary;
  10. The Executive Committee shall consider applications for Full and Student membership of IAFPA. Where necessary, the Executive Committee may consult phoneticians and acousticians, or other relevant professionals from outwith the Association in relation to membership applications.
5.2  General
  1. All Committees shall report all policy decisions and proposals to the membership, to whom they are accountable;
  2. Each Committee shall elect its Chair. The election shall be by ballot of the whole Committee. The result shall be determined on a simple majority basis. If the result of the election is undecided, the decision shall be made by the Executive Committee;
  3. The Committees shall hold elections for their Chairs every three years;
  4. All Committee members shall be notified by the relevant Chair in writing of the points to be discussed at each forthcoming meeting;
  5. Committee meetings shall be considered quorate if more than half of the members are present.
5.3  Individual Committees
  1. Research Committee (seven Full Members)
    1. The Research Committee shall consist of a Chair and six other Members, each being a Full Member of the Association;
    2. The Research Committee shall meet at least once a year;
    3. The Research Committee shall serve to promote research activities within the Association by:
      • Considering and making recommendations to the Executive Committee on Members’ applications for Association funding for research projects;
      • Co-ordinating research proposals from networks of Members and assisting in the presentation of those proposals to external funding bodies.
  2. Conference Committee
    1. Conference Committees may be convened on an ad hoc basis in order to facilitate mounting of the Association’s Annual Conference;
    2. A Conference Committee shall normally incorporate at least one Member of the Executive Committee. The Conference organiser and/or Executive Committee member on the Conference Committee shall liaise with the Treasurer and the Executive Committee in order to establish a conference budget.


  1. The Association shall elect a President from among its Full Members;
  2. Candidates for the Presidency shall be nominated by Full Members of the Association. Where more than one candidate is nominated, an election shall be held by suitable electronic means via the internet;
  3. The President shall be elected for a period of three years and may be re-elected.


  1. The Executive Committee shall, through its Treasurer, ensure that true accounts are produced of the receipts and expenditures of the Association and of matters in respect of which receipts and expenditures take place and of the assets, credits and liabilities of the Association;
  2. The financial year shall run from July 1st to June 30th;
  3. An annual statement of accounts shall be undertaken internally by the Treasurer and presented to the Executive Committee for approval to the Membership at the Annual General Meeting;
  4. The Executive Committee shall consider claims by Officers in respect of expenditure incurred on the Association’s behalf;
  5. Cheques drawn upon the Association’s account shall be signed by the Treasurer.


  1. Other academic and professional organisations may be deemed “affiliated with” IAFPA subject to approval by the Membership by ballot through suitable electronic means;
  2. For an organisation to be deemed “affiliated with” IAFPA it must satisfy IAFPA that its aims are compatible with those of IAFPA;
  3. The Executive Committee shall have responsibility for deciding whether or not an organisation which is a candidate for affiliation has compatible aims.


  1. Changes to the Constitution of the Association shall be made by vote of Full Members;
  2. Voting upon proposed changes shall take place by ballot through suitable electronic means;
  3. In order for a proposed change to be effected, half of the Full Membership shall vote upon the proposal and a majority of those voting shall be in favour.