The Constitution

Constitution For the Epilepsy Nurses Association  updated 21st july 2023

Name : Epilepsy Nurses Association – ESNA.

Mission statement

· “Through best practice, education and research, provide and maintain improved standards of care and support for both people with epilepsy (PWE) and professionals involved in their care.”


  •  Through best practice, research and education, provide support and information to professionals in relation to treatment and care of people with epilepsy (PWE).
  • Promote research, audit, education and peer support for professionals working within the field of epilepsy or related topics.
  • To provide and promote consistency of standards of care for PWE
  • To provide and promote Continuing Professional Development in epilepsy.


This association shall not discriminate on the basis of race, colour, religion, gender, age, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, disability.

Membership – is open to any registered health professional or Professional Allied to Health (AHP) in the United Kingdom and overseas who has a specialist interest or experience in epilepsy care.

A Health Care Professional is defined as a person associated with either a speciality or discipline and who is qualified and allowed by a regulatory body to provide a healthcare service to a patient (medical dictionary 2021)

Annual membership fee payable; failure to pay will result in membership suspended until the account is settled. If however, not settled within 6mths then membership fully terminated.

Honorary membership – given to professionals honoured by the Association for their work within the field of epilepsy and conferred at the discretion of the Executive Committee. There will be no membership fee in their lifetime.

Voting – each member shall have one vote.

  • Proxy and postal voting – is available to all members with the right to vote.

Termination of membership – The Executive Committee may unanimously and for good reason terminate the membership of any individual, provided that the member concerned shall have the right to be heard in accordance with the principles of natural justice, by an independent committee. Any such committee shall be made up of 3 persons, no more than 1 of which may sit on the Executive Committee. Reasons for termination of membership include; non payment of membership fee, professional misconduct, bringing the Association into disrepute.

Structure / organisation

  •  The Executive Committee shall consist of no more than 11 officers, of which at least eighty percent must be nurses, and members of ESNA as elected by the Association’s membership. However, there may be times – in exceptional circumstances when the executive committee by unanimous agreement, increase this number.
  • Before a member can apply to join the Executive Committee that must have been a member for a minimum of 2 years, unless in exceptional circumstances, agreed by the remaining committee members.

All serving officers of the Executive Committee shall have a designated role or roles, (defined in the appropriate office description accompanying the post). However, these roles can change and become fluid if the need or priority changes.

The Executive Committee offices are:

  • (a)Chair
  • (b)Vice-Chair
  • (c)Secretary
  • (d)Website co-ordinator
  • (e)Membership secretary
  • (f)Treasurer
  • (g)Resource and information officer
  • (h)Conference organiser
  • (i)Research and Development officer
  • (j) Locality, Charities, NICE and Alliance Lead
  • (k)At specific times there will be a need for a specialist within a subspecialty to take a lead on work – this will be delegated within the committee – by agreement.

1. At the ESNA AGM, 1 officer post will be up for re-election or election, if there is a current vacancy.  If an officer is re-elected, the term of office starts afresh.

2. This will be either an officer who wishes to resign or the longest serving officer will be up for re-election.

3. Two months prior to the AGM nominations to join the committee will be invited to apply.

4. Nominees will be elected to the committee on membership vote.

5. Once elected specific roles will be assigned by the committee.

6. If the Chair or Treasurer wish to resign they must give 6 months notice of resignation.

7. If treasurer or Chair are voted off as per No. 2, there will be at least 6 month transitional period.

8. No Committee member may become Chair/Treasurer unless they have at least 2 years experience in another position on the Committee.

9. Chair has the casting vote in the situation of a split vote.

10. The Elected Chair, cannot make decisions on behalf of the executive committee, without consulting with the full committee – or majority of the elected committee.

11. The roles of the committee should be reviewed on a rolling basis every 5 years.

12. Notice of any retirement will be sent to members along with election nomination forms 2 months prior to the annual general meeting.

13. The Executive Committee may appoint a member to fill a temporary vacancy if such vacancy occurs within 6 months of the AGM; such appointee shall stand for re-election at the next annual general meeting.

14. Members of the Executive Committee shall not receive any fee save for out-of-pocket expenses incurred following presentation of receipts.

15. Members of the executive committee will notify the committee before any such expenses are incurred.

16. members of the Executive Committee shall cease to hold office if:

  • they becomes incapable by reason of mental disorder, illness or injury, of managing and administering their affairs;
  • the functional role within the Executive Committee is not being executed appropriately;
  • they are absent from 3 consecutive meetings without apologies to the Executive Committee, and the Executive Committee resolve that the office be vacated; or
  • they notify the Executive Committee in writing of a wish to resign.

17. All officers must receive reasonable notice of executive meetings.

18. A quorum of a meeting will be five members.

19. Proceedings will not be invalidated due to vacancies.

20. Additional executive committee members will serve no longer than one year – without the full agreement of the membership.

Executive committee powers/ governing rules:

  • promote research and development to improve services for those with epilepsy;
  • assist in the development of any local or national epilepsy guidelines;
  • raise funds and to invite and receive contributions – for the purpose of providing continuing professional development for members of the association and other professionals in the field of epilepsy. PROVIDED THAT in raising funds the Association shall not undertake any substantial permanent trading activities and shall conform to any requirements of law;
  • rent, acquire or sell any property or other asset necessary for the achievement of the object and to maintain and equip such property or other asset for use;
  • employ such persons (who shall not be members of the Executive Committee) as are necessary to ensure the associations ability to provide and promote continuing professional development;
  • to work with charities, voluntary organisation and statutory authorities to promote best practice, research and education;
  • constitute such advisory committees as the Executive Committee may consider fit;
  • do all such other lawful things that are necessary or (in the agreed view of the Executive Committee) ancillary to the achievement of The purpose of the association;
  • the constitution may be altered, amended or changed, with the agreement of at least 75% of the membership;
  • the Constitution will be reviewed by the full committee every 5 years. In addition to this, there will be a brief review of any raised points, annually, at the first meeting of the year.


  • Executive meetings are held not less than four times per year. One of these is the annual general meeting.
  • The secretary or other person acting as secretary shall keep a full record of proceedings at every meeting.
  • A special meeting may be called at any time by the chairperson or by any two members of the Executive Committee upon not less than 14 days notice being given to the other members of the Executive Committee regarding the matters to be discussed.
  • The chairperson shall act as chair at meetings of the Executive Committee. If the chairperson is absent from any meetings, the vice-chairperson will assume this role. If the vice-chairperson is also absent, the members of the Executive Committee present shall choose one of their number to be chairperson for the duration of the meeting. This needs to be decided before any business is transacted.
  • Every matter that requires a decision will be determined by a majority of votes cast by the members of the Executive Committee present. If a deciding vote is necessary, the chairperson shall have a second or casting vote.
  • The Executive Committee may, as the Association’s needs dictate, alter the rules for the conduct of their business, but no rule may be made which is inconsistent with this constitution.
  • The Executive Committee may appoint sub-committees or working parties to investigate or perform a function or duty, which in the opinion of the Executive Committee is necessary for the Association to develop or adopt a change of policy. The sub-committee or working party must proceed and act in accordance with other meetings, recording and reporting all meetings and activities promptly to the Executive Committee.
  • At the first meeting of the year, all locality Group leads will be invited to attend the meeting.


  • There shall be an annual general meeting of the Association held within 12-15 months of the previous annual general meeting.
  • The Executive Committee shall call every annual general meeting. The secretary shall give at least 3 months’ notice of the meeting to all members of the Association. All the members of the Association are entitled to attend the meeting. All members shall be entitled to vote at the meeting.
  • The Executive Committee shall present the report and accounts of the preceding year at each annual general meeting.
  • Members can nominate a person to have a proxy vote on their behalf, but the secretary must receive notification in writing 2 days before the meeting, including the name of the person nominated.
  • For an agenda motion to be carried, it needs a simple majority of votes to be cast in favour.


  • The Executive Committee shall call an extraordinary general meeting, within seven days of written demand by fifteen percent of the members. At least 21 written days’ notice of such meeting must be given to all members. The notice must state the business to be discussed and only this business shall be dealt with at the special meeting.


  • Locality sub-groups may be formed from within the membership as the need arises for local networking and support and report back to the Executive Committee through the locality group co-ordinator.
  • Locality sub-groups must abide by the rules and objectives of the constitution.
  • At least one member of a locality group must be an association member.


  • ·Minutes of the last annual general meeting and extraordinary general meeting shall be circulated to the members along with forms inviting proposals for the agenda, at least six weeks before the next annual general meeting. Any proposals for the agenda must be received 2 weeks prior to the AGM to the Secretary or Chair.
  • Minutes of Executive Committee meetings can be accessed via the Association’s website.
  • Or, if appropriate, via email upon request to the Secretary.


  • The Treasurer and Chair of the Association will have joint access to the finances and joint responsibility of accounts and operate within the law of the land.
  • The Treasurer will produce both yearly and quarterly reports of finances at the executive meetings.
  • The annual Membership Fee shall be approved by the Association members at the annual general meeting.
  • Failure to pay membership will result in suspension of membership, until account settled. If however, not settled within 6mths. then membership fully terminated.
  • Use of the Association’s name for promotional materials, study days, bank accounts and publications must be approved by the Executive Committee.


  • If the Executive Committee is of a view that it is necessary or advisable to dissolve the Association, it shall call an extraordinary general meeting of all members of the Association, of which not less than 21 days notice shall be given. If the proposal is confirmed by 75% majority of the members entitled to vote, the Executive Committee will dissolve the association.
  • Any assets remaining, after the satisfaction of all liabilities shall be distributed to such bodies having objects similar to the objects of the Association as the Executive Committee shall deem (or as the members of the Association may determine) appropriate or, failing that applied for charitable purpose.

The constitution will be reviewed every five years by the executive committee.


Executive committee roles.

Office and Role

Chair To provide leadership, direction and facilitation of ESNA, within the executive committee and the wider association. To promote and represent (or delegate to other committee members) ESNA to the wider epilepsy professional community. To act in accordance with and uphold the Constitution. To have joint responsibility, with the Treasurer, of the financial aspects of the association, ensuring that the association acts in accordance to the law of the land.

Vice-Chair To assist the Chair in all aspects of ESNA, as defined above. To act as a replacement, when necessary, in the absence of the Chair.

Secretary To coordinate executive and annual general meetings. To provide an agenda’s and accurate minutes of meetings. To ensure meetings run on time and bring back discussions, when appropriate. To alter/change minutes, once agreed. To ensure appropriate documents are available for discussions at meetings.

Website co-ordinator To ensure smooth running of website. To co-ordinate with other members of the executive to add or remove items, as agreed. To liaise with web designer for agreed changes, adding and removing information as agreed.

Membership Secretary To develop and maintain up to date records of membership. Manage renewals. Highlight those that do not comply with agreed constitution. Bring to the committee any outstanding debts, breaches or misdemeanours in relation to members. To ensure privacy of member’s details – unless agreed by the membership. To design, provide or investigate promotional material for members and conferences.

Treasurer To maintain the accounts of the association in accordance to the law of the land. To produce both annual and quarterly reports for the membership and executive committee. To have joint responsibility, with the Chair, of the financial aspects of the association, ensuring that the association acts in accordance to the law of the land.

Conference Organiser To develop and organise an annual conference for members in relation to epilepsy and the wider impact on life. To organise venues, sponsorship and speakers, in association with other committee members. May call on other committee members to assist.

Resource and information officer To review and co-ordinate information for members and website. To promote development of resources that may be beneficial to other professionals or PWE. To support conference organiser, when necessary.

Locality /Charities NICE and Alliance Lead To co-ordinate with locality group leads in promotion of their groups and ESNA. To provide information and support for locality groups. To bring problems, questions or query’s to the executive committee on behalf of the locality groups. To liaise in developing research, audit or best practice within locality groups. To act as a point of contact for ESNA with regards to Charities, NICE and Alliance Lead

Research and development officer To promote, co-ordinate and develop research in the field of epilepsy. To ensure that new research published or being undertaken is made available for members – via the website. To support conference organiser as and when necessary.