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EFAS General Assembly, Monday 20th June 2005, 17.30-19.00
Room Runan, Chalmers congress Center, Göteborg, Sweden      

AGENDA

1. Welcome from President
Hans Verschuure opened the meeting.
All participated EFAS representatives were welcomed to the GA, which had been postponed from the 19th to the 20th of June in order to make it possible for more representatives to be able to participate.

The representatives were asked to give their right contact addresses to the board if any incorrect addresses were found in the website, and inform the board if a representative of their country was changed to another person and forward the new address to the board.

2. Apologies:       
None received

3. Minutes of the GA meeting in Cernobbio (Como), Italy.
There were no notes in the minutes from the Cernobbio about the nomination committee. The former nomination committee expressed their wish to resign due to many years in office.
Since this note was not included in the minutes this lead to misunderstanding, whereas the board considered the nomination committee still were active, however, the nomination committee did not.

4. Congresses
a) EFAS Conference 2003, Hersonissos, Greece.
Gavalas, the president of the EFAS congress in 2003, was asked to present the financial outcome from meeting, however no information was given and Gavalas promised to inform the board as soon as possible. However, 200 delegates  were estimated to have been participating.

b) EFAS Conference 2005, Göteborg, Sweden
Kajsa-Mia Holgers, president of the present congress reported on the progress and the preparations of which had been followed the planned timetable. There were more than 400 participants registered.

c) EFAS Conference 2007, Heidelberg, Germany; 6-9 June 2007.
Lenarz reports that preparations are going smoothly. The registration fee will be about €300, due to the co-arrangements with the German Audiological Society.

d) Bidding for 2009
There were two countries bidding for the 2009 congress: London, UK and Tenerife, Spain.
The UK bid was presented by Linda Luxon and the Spanish bid presented by Jose Barajas. Both parties presented their venue and congress organization.
The election was made resulting in: 7 votes for London and 9 votes for Tenerife and additionally one blank vote,

As a conclusion the GA decided Tenerife, Spain as the venue for the EFAS congress 2009, provided a positive outcome of the coming site-visit.

5. Activities of working parties and links with other bodies in Audiology:

a. Secretary General
    Outcome of the member questionnaire
b. Treasurer
    text of Thomas’ report required.
c. President

  1. The three Presidents took the following tasks:
    Lenarz: European Hear day in collaboration with Gerry O’Donaghue. It did not work out because of internal UK political reasons. The attention for hearing problems and its presentations to policy makers (German and EU) and the press will be taken up at the congress in Heidelberg with political participation.  It will also involve patient groups
    Verschuure: Proposals on ethics and best practices have been circulated and based on the ethical policy decided by ISA
    The curriculum for the general audiologist was accepted by the GA and will be published on the website

Attias: Website. the cost of involving a management bureau or hire secretarial help was calculated to about 1000 € per year; which is above EFAS economy. Lenarz offered to provide secretarial support and technical support for the website from his department at MHH and the GA accept this offer gratefully

6. Questionnaires and future of EFAS

  1. Based on the outcome from the member questionnaire, the following procedure is proposed
    1. Starting point is the scope as stated in the EFAS bylaws
    2. These starting points should be translated in some general points
    3. Some focal points should be chosen from these
    4. Working groups should be proposed for to work on these focal points and persons should be appointed to moderate these groups
      1. If you are interested in participating, let moderator know, within a month.
      2. The composition of all working groups will be mailed to members
      3. The work in the groups should start by using e-mail
      4. The working groups can meet at some meeting in between General Assemblies.
    5. Working plan

Mission Statement of EFAS:

The scope of EFAS is to promote cooperation, exchange of experience and knowledge of audiology within Europe, both as a scientific field and as a hearing health service offered to the public. EFAS may also act as a common spokesman for European audiology in relation to other organizations.

It shall focus on the following points:

  • Provide guidelines for education in Audiology in relationship to the Bologna process
  • Provide guidelines for the quality of service delivery
  • Provide the possibility of exchange and dissemination of knowledge
  • Promote the visibility and leverage of Audiology to policy makers

To this end it shall:

  • Put together a curriculum for training audiologists and update the present published curriculum
  • Put forward a system of continuing education, professional integrity and quality control
  • Provide guidelines for protocols in the professional work of clinical audiologists
  • Promote European cooperation in research projects
  • Participate actively in meetings and conferences for
    • Exchange of scientific information
    • Updates for topics
    • Courses for basic education
  • Make information on these points available to its member societies

The following focal points were identified:

  • Update of curriculum and identification of the role of EFAS in the Bologna process; moderator Holgers
  • Improve internal structure like representation and website; moderator Attias
  • Ethical issues; moderator Verschuure
  • Communication on European projects; moderator Verschuure

Structure

  • Identify societies, ask them to send a board member and link to their website
  • Identify individuals in other countries and publish cv

The mission statements were discussed.
Daumann , France, stressed the importance that individuals in different countries should start the discussion on the education of professionals in audiology.
Kollmeier, Germany, stressed the importance to work through the Universities, the professions will follow the lines of the universities.
Govaerts, Belgium, expressed his opinion that EFAS as an organisation has little influence on the education in audiology and wanted to see a further discussion among its memebers.
Holgers, Sweden, stressed the importance of carefully follow the process of audiological education in the different member countries.

An discussion was also held on the types of membership for EFAS, individual or as national societies. However, the GA decided to stick to membership of national societies;

7. Links with other professional bodies.

  1. Relationship with ISA (Verschuure)
    1. Verschuure reports that the papers on ethical issues have been developed in close cooperation with the Ethics group within ISA. The papers on ethical conduct and best practice are adopted from ISA and adapted for EFAS, ISA in turn has adopted and adapted the curriculum for general audiologist. This action means that the publications of both organizations are largely in line.
    2. The president of EFAS, was appointed by the GA to represent EFAS at the ISA General Assembly, and Attias will consecuently represent EFAS in Innsbruck in 2006 and will participate in the election of a representative of the affiliated societies to the Executive Committee of ISA.

    3. EFAS relation to other ENT professional organizations (Lenarz), Lenarz stressed the importance of a good relationship with Otological Societies. The UEMS has met in Nice and proposed a new academy for training people in the fields of otology and Audiology. It is important that we keep in touch and see whether we can cooperate with them.
    4. WHO (Verschuure)
      Lenarz has tried to get into touch with the European office of the WHO in Copenhagen. There has been no response from this organization. However through Verschuure and ISA there are links with WHO in Geneva. An important initiative is WWHearing, cooperation between WHO and CBM. The goal is to provide cheap hearing aids in the developing world through an existing facility for a deprived group. This program seems to become effective next year
    5. Participation in European projects (Verschuure).
      EFAS participates in the European project Hearcom. The purpose of the project is to use modern means like GSM/GPRS and internet to provide services all over Europe. The service will include a classification of the hearing impaired person and its relevant environment (acoustics etc) and to provide rehabilitative services through advise on hearing aids, assistive devices and acoustic advise. EFAS members will be asked about their opinion on the website, the use of tests and translation of certain parts of the website. Details will follow later in the project
    6. EFAS in other international meetings (Lenarz)
      The Board of EFAS has participated in some meetings. However the possibilities of presenting EFAS at the EUFOS congress was organized but his experienced difficulties to fill the available slots.
      Kollmeier stressed the importance of also participating in congresses and activities of organizations involved in Medical Physics.
      It was further suggested to approach the European Section of IAPA

8. Elections
For president-elect: Holgers was elected by the GA

No suggestions for secretary, or treasurer were made, why the board suggested that the present secretary (Kise) and treasurer (Spillmann) remained in office until the next EFAS congress. This was accepted by the GA. The same strategy was suggested for the auditors and proposed that Pascu and Sulkowski were to continue as auditors and they were elected by the GA.
For the nomination committee: Pitt, Stephan and Tavartkiladze were proposed by the GA and elected.

The President thanked the former nomination committee  (Govaerts, Uliazione and Arlinger) for their 5 years in office.

9.Transfer of Presidency
The President thanked the general assembly for confidence. He mentioned that two years is a short period to realize objectives and we should focus more on the total period of six years in the presidency. He also expressed his feeling that EFAS was going through its puberty: we have problems with our identity and this seems a normal process at this point. Nevertheless we have to come through puberty by continuing the discussion on relevant subjects and by formulating new questions. This meeting was an update of older matters and the acceptance of new matters. We should focus on the future.
Next he thanked the outgoing past-President Thomas Lenarz and transferred the Presidency to Joseph Attias

10. The GA was thereafter closed by the new president  who thanked for the confidence