Association of Surgical Assistants Bylaws


Article I: Name

Section 1. The name of this organization is the Association of Surgical Assistants (ASA).

Article II: Purposes

Section 1. The purposes of ASA are the following:

  1. To study, discuss, and exchange professional knowledge, expertise, and ideas in the field of surgical assisting.
  2. To promote a high standard of surgical assisting performance for quality patient care.
  3. To stimulate interest in continuing education for surgical assistants.
  4. To encourage employment of surgical assistants through cooperative efforts with other professional health care organizations and individuals.
  5. To promote and maintain communication and cooperative relationships with other professional health care organizations.
  6. To explore and encourage the diversified roles of the surgical assistant.

Article III: Membership

Section 1. Definition

As defined by the American College of Surgeons (ACS), surgical assistants provide aid in exposure, hemostasis, closure, and other intraoperative technical functions that help the surgeon carry out a safe operation with optimal results for the patient. In addition to intraoperative duties, the surgical assistant also performs preoperative and postoperative duties to better facilitate proper patient care. The surgical assistant performs these functions during the operation under the direction and supervision of the surgeon and in accordance with hospital policy and appropriate laws and regulations.

Section 2. Classification

A. Active Member

  1. One who has either (1) passed the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (NBSTSA) Certified Surgical First Assistant (CSFA) national certifying examination and maintains certification as defined by the NBSTSA; (2) passed the National Commission for Certification of Surgical Assistants (NCCSA) Certified Surgical Assistant (CSA) national certifying examination and maintains certification as defined by the NCCSAA: (3) or any other surgical assistant credential acceptable to the ASA.
  2. Active members have voice and vote.

B. Associate Member

  1. One who has passed the American Board of Surgical Assistants (ABSA) Surgical Assistant (SA-C) national certifying examination and maintains certification as defined by the ABSA. All current SA-C members of the ASA can retain their current active status.
  2. One who has passed the national certifying examination in the field of surgical technology offered by the NBSTSA to become a Certified Surgical Technologist (CST).
  3. One who has proof of either having completed or being currently enrolled as a student in a Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) accredited surgical assisting program or its equivalent.
  4. One who can provide notarized documentation from her/his employer that she/he is employed as a surgical assistant.
  5. One whose primary source of employment is teaching in a CAAHEP-accredited surgical assisting program or its equivalent.
  6. Associate members have voice but no vote.

C. Affiliate Member

  1. Any individual or organization that wishes to affiliate with ASA and is approved by the ASA as defined in the ASA Policy Manual.
  2. Affiliate members have voice but no vote.

D. Retired Member

  1. One who provides proof of reaching the social security retirement age or provides proof of permanent disability resulting in an inability to work.
  2. Voice and/or vote for a retired member will be based on the criteria in subsections A, B, or C of this section.

E. Honorary Member

  1. One who has served as a President of ASA.
  2. One who has rendered notable service to ASA and is approved by the Board of Directors.
  3. Voice and/or vote for an honorary member shall be based on the criteria in subsections A, B, or C of this section.

Section 3. Dues

  1. Dues shall be established by the Board of Directors, paid according to established procedure, and maintained by the national treasury.
  2. Dues may not be collected by any other entity other than the national headquarters.
  3. Membership benefits shall begin upon receipt of dues at the national headquarters.
  4. A member whose dues are not received at the national headquarters within thirty days from the renewal date shall be delinquent and forfeit all membership privileges. Reinstatement shall be effective upon payment of dues.
  5. Dues for student members and retired members shall be fifty percent of the established annual dues.
  6. Annual dues shall be waived for honorary members.

Article IV: Finance

Section 1. Fiscal Year.

The fiscal year shall be the calendar year.

Section 2. Budget.

With the recommendation of the Budget and Finance Committee, the Board of Directors shall adopt an annual operating budget covering all activities of ASA. The Treasurer shall be the Chairperson of the Budget and Finance Committee.

Section 3. Audit

  1. The accounts of ASA shall be audited annually, or as directed by the Board of Directors, by professional auditors who shall provide a report to the Board of Directors.
  2. Within sixty days following completion of the audit, a financial report for the fiscal year just concluded shall be published in a national publication.

Section 4. Bonding.

Trust or surety bonds may be furnished for the officers, Board of Directors members, or employees of ASA as directed by and in an amount determined by the Board of Directors.

Section 5. Liability Insurance.

Liability insurance may be furnished for the officers, Board of Directors members, or employees of ASA as directed by and in an amount determined by the Board of Directors.

Section 6. Check Signing.

Authorization for signing checks and the amount shall be defined in the ASA Policy Manual.

Article V: Nominations and Elections

Section 1. Nominations

  1. At least ninety days prior to the national meeting, the Credentials Committee shall present a list of candidates for each office to be filled at the annual meeting accompanied by a curriculum vitae and a written consent of the nominees to serve if elected. All nominees who meet the qualifications for office shall be placed on that list after their credentials have been verified by the Credentials Committee.
  2. A member holding an elective position may not be nominated for another position for which the term would begin before expiration of the term of the current position unless the member resigns from her/his current elective position.
  3. A member employed at national headquarters shall not be nominated for a national elected position.

Section 2. Elections

  1. Elections shall be by electronic ballot available on the ASA website thirty days prior to the start of the ASA annual meeting. Online voting will be closed at the end of the first business session. ASA will determine the date and hours of voting at the annual meeting.
  2. Election of officers shall be by a majority vote. In the event a second ballot is needed to establish a majority, the two candidates receiving the highest number of votes shall be placed on the second ballot.
  3. Election of members of the Board of Directors shall be by plurality vote. In the case of a tie, a decision shall be by ballot of the tied candidates and plurality shall elect. In the event of a second tie, a decision shall be by lot.
  4. A Tellers Committee shall be appointed by the President with due regard to representation and geographic distribution.
  5. Before the polls open, the Credentials Committee, as defined in the ASA Policy Manual, shall provide the Tellers Committee with a list of all members eligible to vote.
  6. The President, Vice President, Treasurer, and two Board members shall be elected in odd-numbered years. The Secretary and three Board members shall be elected in even numbered years.

Article VI: Officers

Section 1. Officers

The officers of ASA shall be the following: President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer.

Section 2. Eligibility of Officers

  1. A candidate shall have been an active member for one year immediately preceding nomination and, if elected, shall maintain that active status.
  2. A candidate for an officer position shall have served at least one term on the board of directors in the last six years.

Section 3. Term of Office of Officers

  1. The President shall serve for a term of two years or until a successor has been elected. The Vice President shall serve for a term of two years or until a successor is elected.
  2. The Secretary and Treasurer shall serve for a term of two years or until their successors have been elected.
  3. All newly elected officers shall assume office at the close of the final business session at the annual meeting.
  4. No officer may serve more than two full terms in the same office.
  5. Any amount of time served that equals more than half a term shall be considered a full term of office.

Section 4. Duties of Officers

  1. The President or her/his designee shall be the official representative of ASA at all times and places.
  2. The officers shall perform the duties prescribed by the ASA Policy Manual, and the parliamentary authority adopted by ASA.

Section 5. Vacancies of Officers

  1. A vacancy occurring in the office of President shall be automatically filled by the Vice President.
  2. A vacancy occurring in the office of Vice President shall be filled at the next annual meeting.
  3. In the event there is a vacancy in both the offices of President and Vice President, the office of President shall be filled by the Board of Directors from among the Board members, with the office of Vice President remaining vacant. Both offices shall then be elected at the next annual conference.
  4. A vacancy occurring in the office of Secretary or Treasurer between annual meetings shall be filled for the unexpired term by the Board of Directors with an individual meeting the eligibility requirements for the office.

Article VII: Meetings

Section 1. Annual Meeting

ASA shall meet annually and that meeting shall be known as the annual meeting, the date and place of which shall be determined by the Board.

Section 2. Voting

The voting body of the annual meeting shall be the active members. Voting by members shall be in person or online and each active member will be entitled to one vote.

Section 3. Business Meetings

  1. There shall be a minimum of one business meeting at each annual meeting.
  2. Business meetings shall be open. Every member shall have voice, but only active members may make motions and vote.
  3. Five percent of the total active members of the ASA shall constitute a quorum for a meeting of the membership.
  4. Special Meetings
    1. During the annual meeting, special meetings of the membership may be called by the President or upon written request of five members of the Board of Directors or by one-third of the total number of active members of the ASA in attendance.
    2. Between conferences, special meetings of the membership may be called by two-thirds of the Board of Directors or by two-thirds of the active members credentialed for the previous conference. Thirty days’ written notice of the time, place, and business to be considered at the special meeting shall be given to all members.

Section 4. There shall be educational sessions provided at each annual meeting.

Article VIII: Board of Directors

Section 1. Board of Directors

The Board of Directors shall consist of the officers and five other elected members of the Board of Directors.

Section 2. Eligibility of Board of Directors Members

  1. A candidate for the Board of Directors shall be an active member and, if elected, shall maintain that active status.
  2. A candidate for the Board of Directors shall have served on an ASA committee in the last four years or actively demonstrated personal engagement with ASA by attending three workshops or annual meetings.

Section 3. Term of Office of Board of Directors Members

  1. Board of Directors members shall serve for a term of two years or until their successors have been elected.
  2. All newly elected Board of Directors members shall assume office at the close of the final business session at the annual meeting.
  3. No Director may serve more than two full terms in the same office.
  4. Any amount of time served that equals more than half a term shall be considered a full term of office.
  5. Any Director who misses more than two Board of Directors meeting may be asked to resign by the ASA Board of Directors.

Section 4. Vacancies of Board of Directors Members

  1. Vacancies for Board of Directors members occurring between annual meetings shall be filled for the unexpired term by the Board of Directors.

Section 5. Duties of the Board of Directors

  1. Shall have the authority to transact business between meetings of the membership.
  2. Shall formulate policies and procedures to be included in the ASA Policy Manual.
  3. Shall foster the growth and development of ASA.
  4. Shall have the authority to establish Board of Directors standing committees, the composition and duties of which shall be stated in the ASA Policy Manual.
  5. Shall review all committee reports and determine action to be taken.
  6. Shall submit a written report to the membership for all Board of Directors activities.
  7. Shall contract for the services of an Executive Director.
  8. Shall authorize the sale and exclusive use of the official insignia of ASA.
  9. Shall fulfill any other duties as specified in these policies.

Section 6. Meetings of the Board of Directors

  1. The Board of Directors shall hold at least two meetings per year.
  2. Special meetings may be called by the President or upon written or electronic request of three members of the Board of Directors. Written or electronic notice of such a special meeting shall be sent at least thirty days prior to the meeting unless waived by a majority vote of the Board of directors.
  3. Five members of the Board of Directors, at least two of whom are officers, shall constitute a quorum of the Board of Directors.
  4. Minutes of all Board of Directors meetings shall be distributed and maintained as prescribed in the ASA Policy Manual.

Section 7. Board Voting

Voting by the Board of Directors shall vote by either voice, mail ballot, telephone conference call, fax, or any other form of electronic transmission.

Article IX: Committees

Section 1. Standing Committees

  1. The standing committees shall be Bylaws, Education, and Nomination and Leadership and shall be appointed by the President with the approval of the Board of Directors.
  2. Committee term
    1. Committee members may serve for a term of two years, with a maximum of three terms on the same committee.
    2. All newly appointed committee members shall assume their appointed positions at the close of the final business session at the annual meeting.
    3. Any amount of time served that equals more than half a term shall be considered a full committee term.
  3. Duties. The duties and composition of these committees shall be as stated in the ASA Policy Manual.

Section 2. Special Committees

  1. A special committee may be appointed by the President, as the need arises, to carry out a specified task, at the completion of which it ceases to exist.
  2. Guidelines for such committees shall be as stated in the ASA Policy Manual.

Section 3. Eligibility of Committee Members

  1. Members of the Bylaws, Education, and Nomination and Leadership Committees shall have active membership status in ASA.
  2. Special committees may include active, associate, or affiliate members of ASA or nonmembers.
  3. Committee members may be removed by the Board of Directors based on failure to perform, as defined in the ASA Policy Manual.

Section 4. The President shall be an ex-officio member of all committees.

Article X: Official Publication

Section 1.

The official publication of ASA shall be The Surgical Assistant and it shall be available to each member of ASA.

Article XI: Parliamentary Authority

Section 1.

The latest edition of Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised shall govern ASA in all cases not covered by these policies.

Article XII Amendments

Section 1.A.

The ASA Bylaws may be amended at the annual meeting by two-thirds of the active members present and voting.

  1. All proposed amendments shall be submitted to the Bylaws Committee by the end of the preceding year and to all ASA members via the official publication at least sixty days prior to the annual meeting at which they will be voted upon.
  2. The Board of Directors and/or the Bylaws Committee may declare an extraordinary need and present a previously unpublished amendment for consideration at one business session, provided that such amendment shall be voted upon at a following business session and gain approval by a three-fourths affirmative vote of the active members present.

Section 2.

Amendments to the ASA Bylaws shall be reflected in state association bylaws.

Article XIII: Dissolution

Section 1.

In the event of the dissolution of the ASA, all ASA assets shall be assigned to the AST National Treasury. None of the funds shall inure to the benefit of individual members.

Updated May 2012; May 2014; October 2015