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Minutes for the 5th General Assembly in Praque, CZECH
Saturday 18th -20 June 1997

MINUTES OF FIFTH GENERAL ASSEMBLY MEETING IN PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC

Present:
K Welzl-Müller (VR) Austria
P Govaerts (VR) Belgium
K Daemers (NVR) Belgium
M Laureyns (NVR) Belgium
J Prihodova (VR) Czech Republic
J Syka (NVR) Czech Republic
J Valvoda (NVR) Czech Republic
B Walter (VR) Denmark
A Jensen (NVR) Denmark
E Kjaerbol (NVR) Denmark
K Uus (VR) Estonia
M Sorri (VR) Finland
R Johansson (NVR) Finland
T Rahko (NVR) Finland
R Dauman (VR) France (VC)
L Collet (NVR) France
E Bizaguet (NVR) France
T Lenarz (VR) Germany
J Kiessling (NVR) Germany
I Vathilakis (NVR) Greece
A Psifidis (NVR) Greece
J Pytel (VR) Hungary
M Bergman (VR) Israel
L Tell (NVR) Israel
G Grisanti (VR) Italy
D Ballantyne (NVR) Italy
E Cassandro (NVR) Italy
I Uloziene (VR) Lithuania
K Poviloputis (NVR) Lithuania
J Verschuure (VR) Netherlands
T Kapteyn (NVR) Netherlands
J de Laat (NVR) Netherlands
E Laukli (VR) Norway
W Sulkowski (VR) Poland
A Pruszewicz (NVR) Poland
Z Szmeja (NVR) Poland
A Pascu (VR) Romania
G Tavartkiladze (VR) Russia
T Gvelesiani (NVR) Russia
M Profant (VR) Slovak Republic
Z Kabatova (NVR) Slovak Republic
J Vatovec (VR) Slovenia
M Cardenas (NVR) Spain
E Salesa (NVR) Spain
S Arlinger (VR) Sweden (C)
A Ringdahl (NVR)
A Fiebach (VR) Switzerland
A Fisiloglu (VR) Turkey
E Mihci (NVR) Turkey
S Ozgubar (NVR) Turkey
J Hazell (VR) United Kingdom
M Lutman (NVR) United Kingdom
C Burgess (NVR) United Kingdom

1. Welcome
The meeting began with a welcome from the Chairman Stig Arlinger and a presentation of the new logo which had been designed by a Czech draughtsman for the Prague conference. It was proposed to adopt this logo as the logo for EFAS, provided that there are no objections from EFAS representatives, or other proposals for a different logo ( subject of an email ballot).

An additional meeting time was set for Friday 20th June at 7.00 a.m. and the minutes from Bari general assembly (GA4 - Saturday 15th June 1996) were accepted.

2. Alteration to by-laws and possible changes to Council
The subject was introduced by Stig Arlinger who indicated that if there was a desire for an increase in the size of Council the by-laws needed to be changed and a proposal circulated three months ahead of the next general assembly. After discussion it was agreed to stay with the present five members of Council but to enable co-option of additional members as required.

(In a later discussion of council, it was agreed to officially amend the bylaws to cover this).

3. Accounts and auditing issues
The accounts of the past year were circulated by secretary/treasurer. After payment of expenses it was expected that a small profit would remain. However, there were some expenses that had been incurred in setting up the TEMPUS programme which might require further payment. There was a discussion about the management of the Federation's accounts. For example where is the money thought to be held, how would it move from one country to another? Should the money be held by a national society? It was decided to appoint two auditors from among members of the general assembly rather than to pay for professional auditing, and to keep the monies of EFAS as they currently are held in a "club account" at the Midland Bank in London.

4. Election of officers - Bergman
Bergman presented the activities of the nominations committee which had proposed two candidates for each of the posts of vice chairman, general secretary and member at large. The results were Vice Chairman - Laukli, Norway(16) Tavartkiladze, Russia (8). General Secretary - Hazell, UK (21) Sorri, Finland(3). Member at Large - Welzl-Müller, Austria(15) and Verschuure, Netherlands (9). Thus the new appointments were confirmed to follow immediately the current General Assembly. An open vote was held for members for the new nominations committee with the following results, Bergman Israel (21), Uloziene, Lithuania (15) and Kiessling, Germany (11). Two auditors were appointed by the general assembly de Laat, Netherlands and Pytel, Hungary.

5. Registration of EFAS - possible options
Hazell presented three possible options for registration of EFAS. (1) to stay as we are as an informal organisation (2) to register as a limited company in one or other country (3) to seek affiliation to a large European group such as UEMS. Discussion followed:UEMS was concerned only with the EEC (Pruszewicz). The group called 'The European Association of Service Providers for people with Disabilities (EASPD)' could be approached as they were concerned with all disabilities (Verschuure). Uloziene recommended independent status so that we could maintain our autonomy. Dauman said that we establish contact and dialogue with all appropriate groups, and this was generally agreed.

6. Bids for the European conference 2001
Four bids for the European conference on Audiology for the year 2001 had been received prior to the general assembly. Voting slips were delivered and counted on Friday 20th June; the results were as follows
Bordeaux France (Dauman) 15,
Innsbrück Austria (Welzl-Müller) 5,
Rome Italy (Fabiani) 3,
Göteborg Sweden (Ringdahl) 1.
The conference in 2001 will therefore take place in Bordeaux under the chairmanship of Rene Dauman.

7. Report on conference in Oulu 1999
A report was received from Marti Sorri which showed that the preparations for the conference were well in advance. The details of this conference are currently available on a web site:cc.oulu.fi/~korvwww .

The symposium being held in Tromsø , Norway by Laukli, (International Evoked Response Audiometry Study Group.) would take place in the preceeding week and transport could be arranged from Tromsø to Oulo (800km) for those wishing to attend both meetings.

8. Possible venues for the General Assembly 1998
Three possible venues were proposed and voted upon following discussion by the chairman. The consensus conference on infant hearing screening (Milan) gained a majority score of 13 votes ahead of 9 votes for Buenos Aires (ISA) and 2 votes for the fourth European symposium on paediatric cochlea implants in The Netherlands. The exact timing of the general assembly will be circulated but is likely to be at the end of the conference on Sunday 17th May 1998 in Milan.

9. Reports from working groups
Reports from two working groups were presented (1) Rene Dauman on the training of medically qualified audiologists and (2) Hans Verschuure on the training of non-medically qualified audiologists. The details of these reports are to be circulated separately. It was noted that there was some missing data and corrections which were needed for the second working group report and these would be attached before the report is circulated and placed on the web site.

The meeting continued at 7.00 a.m. on Friday 20th June.

It was reported that the third working group had not achieved anything, no work having been done. Kunigunde Welzl-Müller suggested that it was of extreme importance to make contact with other professional groups that may be doing similar work. The group was formed of the following Welzl-Müller, Pruszewicz, Lenarz (Convenor), Salesa, Govaerts, Walter, Laureyns .

10. Proposal by Moe Bergman
Proposal for a working committee to draw up:
1. Standards, requirements and guidelines for educational programs for audiology, and
2. Plans for the establishment of a European commission on standards for education in audiology
NOTE:It is anticipated that the proposals will focus on encouraging the formation of EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS and that individual licensing and certification would remain the prerogative of the individual country, which would adapt or add requirements of its own, e.g. M.D., Ph.D., etc.
MAIN CHARGE to the working committee is to propose standards, requirements and guidelines for educational programs for audiology.
These would include at least the following:
1. Developing a set of required competencies for AUDIOLOGISTS and AUDIOLOGICAL ASSISTANTS,
2. Proposing a minimum study/training curriculum to develop the competencies in students.
3. Developing guidelines and procedures for accrediting educational programs/institutions.
4. Recommending procedures for the establishment of a European commission on standards of education in audiology.
IT IS PROPOSED, for approval by this assemble, that:
a) A three - member committee be appointed, to include:
1. A representative of medical audiology
2. A representative of non-medical audiology
3. A member of the EFAS council
b) The committee report on its proposal at the next meeting (in two years) of the general assembly of EFAS.
Discussion followed in the following areas. The possibility of credit accumulation and transfer from one country to another (Lutman), integration with the Erasmus programme (Pruszewicz) and how to link this work with working groups 1 and 2 (de Cardenas).
It was decided to form a new working group (4) which would address the issue of the Bergman proposal. The proposal by Bergman of a three member committee was later augmented (by council) to a six member committee to ensure that at least one participant from each professional group would always be present. Medical members Lionel Collet, Bo Walter, Non medical members Jürgen Kiessling, Bert van Zanten, council members Einar Laukli and Kunigunde Welzl-Müller.

11. EFAS communication strategies
EFAS now has a domain site on the Internet www.efas.org This would link to other pages and other sites where information about EFAS related matters was contained. de Laat announced that one of his group would maintain a linked site with a wide variety of information about audiology. This was widely welcomed. Verschuure publishes the new ISA newsletter both in paper and on the internet and urged members to submit papers and information to it. It was recommended to make lists and links to the web pages of those national societies that owned them, on the EFAS home page.

12. Report on TEMPUS programme
Arlinger announced that this programme was now in the second year. The first year had involved the training of 5 students from Romania, 2 from Czech Republic and 1 from Slovak Republic. There was now a training programme in Bucharest establishing a school of Audiology there, and training 20 students in audiology in Romania. This programme had been visited by Arlinger and was doing well. Pascu thanked EFAS for their help in setting up the programme, he announced that there would be a diploma in audiology awarded through the national council of continued education for nurses in Romania.

12. NATASHA programme
Hans Verschuure reported that the request for money for standardisation of audiological tests and the development of a working station for psychoacoustic and speech testing had been turned down by Brussels. However the programme had been moved to a programme for standardisation in Medicine and rewritten accordingly and it was currently being reviewed. Members of the general assembly were urged to seek support from their national representatives on DG13.

13. ISA changes in structure (Verschuure) + general discussion
An outline of the changes that had occurred in ISA was given by Verschuure, in particular that personal membership was increased, the journal publishers had changed and affiliated membership was being arranged with EFAS. The PanAmerican Society of Audiology had already joined. The EFAS logo, when ready, would be printed together with the PASA logo on the front of Audiology, the official journal of ISA. There was agreement that EFAS should join ISA as an affiliated member, but that this should not indicate any loss of autonomy.

Arlinger said that there had been some problems with the establishment of national societies. Some countries had more than one national audiology society but that this should be sorted out on a national level and not by EFAS. Contacts with the International Federation of the Hard of Hearing had not proved very successful, this was a society for patients. Pruszewicz requested that a booklet be prepared about EFAS as people were asking for this. The European Academy of Otology and Neuro-otology was identified as a relatively new European group concerned with otology and some aspects of audiology. Lenarz was to liaise with this group.

14. Provisional date of next General Assembly Sunday 17th May 1998 in Milan
These minutes have been verified by all members of EFAS Council

Jonathan Hazell
Gen Secretary EFAS.
11th July 1997