Article I: Name and Purpose

Section 1: Name

The name of this organization shall be the Division of State, Provincial, and Territorial Psychological Association Affairs.

Section 2: Purpose

The purpose of this Division shall be to advocate for and to advance the affairs of each State, Provincial & Territorial Psychological Association (SPTA)in their involvement with the American Psychological Association and in relation to advancing the creation, communication and application of psychological knowledge to benefit society and improve people's lives by the promotion of information exchange and coordination of activities, leadership development within and among the various state/provincial/territorial associations, and by the promotion of interaction between the SPTAs and the community in the broadest sense.

Article II: Membership

Section 1: Classes of Membership
There shall be two classes of memberships, individual and association. The individual membership classes shall consist of: Fellows, Members, Associates, and Affiliates, Graduate Student/Professional in Training Affiliates, and State/Provincial/Territorial Psychological Association Chief Executive Officers. The association class of membership comprises the SPTA Affiliates.

Section 2: Fellows

Fellows of the Division shall be persons who meet the requirements for Fellowship in the American Psychological Association, who are Members of the Division and who, in addition, have made significant and sustained contributions to psychology through state/provincial/territorial psychological affairs. Fellows shall be entitled to vote and hold office.

Section 3: Members

Members of the Division shall be persons who are (a) Members in good standing of the American Psychological Association, and (b) are Members in good standing of a state/provincial/territorial psychological association affiliated with the American Psychological Association, and (c) have expressed an interest in state/provincial/territorial psychological affairs. Members shall be entitled to vote and hold office. The designation Member as used in these Bylaws shall be deemed to include Fellows.

Section 4:Associates

The Associate category is designed to encourage participation of those individuals who are presently Associates of the American Psychological Association who have expressed interest in participating in the work of the Division. Associates will be encouraged to apply for regular membership as soon as they meet the requirements set forth in Section 3:. Associates will be non-voting members of the Division but will be able to vote after 5 years (following APA guidelines. They will not be eligible to hold office.

Section 5: Affiliates

Affiliate members shall be persons who are Fellows, Members, Associates or Affiliates of SPTAs who are not Fellows, Members or Associates of the American Psychological Association, but who have expressed an interest in the work of the Division. Affiliates will be non-voting members of the Division and will not be eligible to hold office.

Section 6: Graduate Student/Professional in Training Affiliates

Graduate Student/Professional in Training Affiliates shall be persons who are (a) engaged primarily in a graduate school or program in psychology that is of recognized standing, (b) student members in good standing of the American Psychological Association, (c) student members in good standing of a SPTAs affiliated with the American Psychological Association, and (d) have expressed an interest in SPTA psychological affairs. The Student Representative to the Division 31 Board will be elected by Division 31 student members. The Student Representative will have voting privileges and will be able to serve on any committee but not as chair except for a committee designated for student members. The Student Representative will not be able to run for any other leadership position or hold other offices of the Board.

Section 7: State, Provincial,&Territorial Psychological Association Professional Staff Members

SPTA Professional Staff Members are those professional staff of State, Provincial & Territorial Psychological Associations who are interested in the work of the Division. SPTA Professional Staff Members will have all Divisional rights and privileges except those expressly reserved for Fellows, Members or Associates of the American Psychological Association (e.g. election as the Division's APA Council Representative).

Section 8: State, Provincial &Territorial Affiliates

SPTA Affiliate Members shall be (a) those SPTAs recognized by the American Psychological Association and, (b) who express an interest in the work of the division. SPTA Affiliates will be represented by their Executive Director, who will have full voting rights.

Section 9: Expulsion from the Division

Any category of member may be expelled from the Division for those causes set forth in Article II, Section 1:8 of the APA Bylaws, by a two-thirds vote of Members present and voting at a Division meeting. Such vote shall be taken only upon written recommendation by a special committee composed of the President, Past-President and President-Elect and after the special committee's recommendations have been reviewed and approved by a majority vote, taken by secret ballot, of the Board of Directors. Notification to all Members of such proposed vote must be made at least three (3) months preceding the regular meeting.

Article III: Board of Directors

Section 1: Composition

There shall be a Board of Directors composed of officers of the Division, APA Council Representatives elected by the membership of the Division, three members at large, a student representative, and non-voting/ex-officio members as specified in the Procedures Manual. The officers shal l be nominated by a nominating committee composed of the President, the Past-President and the President-Elect and chaired by the Immediate Past President and elected by the Members of the Division in the annual American Psychological Association election. Officers shall assume their respective offices at the beginning of the calendar year immediately following their election to office.

Section 2: Responsibilities of the Board of Directors

The responsibilities of the Board of Directors shall consist of the following:

  • It shall supervise the affairs of the Division.
  • It shall be the policy making body of the Division and shall execute such actions as are necessary to implement policy.
  • It shall keep the governing body of each SPTA and the Division membership at large informed of its policy decisions and actions.
  • It has the authority to decide upon the means to meet and the means to cast votes, to include in-person, electronic, telephone, or other media it deems appropriate. 
Article IV: Officers and Members of the Board of Directors

Section 1: Officers

The officers of the Board of Directors shall consist of the following voting members:  President, President-Elect, Past-President, Secretary, Treasurer, three Members-at-Large one of whom shall be a CESPPA (Council of Executives of State and Provincial Psychological Associations) Representative (see Section 2: below), and any APA Council Representatives elected by the membership of the Division. Only those members of the Board elected or ratified by the entire membership or, in the event they cannot fulfill their term, their duly appointed alternate shall have a vote. Duties of each office shall be described and maintained in a Procedure Manual.

  • President. The term of office for the President shall be one year. At the end of the term of office, the President shall become the Past-President.
  • President-Elect. The term of office for the President-Elect shall be one year. It shall be the duty of the President-Elect to preside in the absence of the President. At the end of the term of office, the President-Elect shall become the President.
  • Past-President. The term of office for the Past-President shall be one year.
  • Secretary. The Secretary shall be elected for a term of three years.
  • Treasurer. The Treasurer shall be elected for a term of three years.
  • Members-at-Large. The three Members-at-Large shall be elected for staggered three year terms. One Member-at-Large position shall be slated for an executive of a state, provincial or territorial psychological association who will serve as a liaison between the division and CESPPA.  That individual must be a member of Division 31 and a member of CESPPA. The Division 31 Nominating Committee shall request a nominee from CESPPA.  The candidate shall be submitted to the entire division membership for ratification on the same ballot as for the other division officers. The other two Member-at-Large positions will be slated to provide broad and diverse representation based upon the current needs of the Division.
  • Student Representative shall be elected for a three year term.
  • APA Council Representative. (See Article V.)

Section 2: Non-Voting Members of the Board of Directors

There will be non-voting and ex-officio members of the board.  These members, their method of appointment, term of office, and duties will be specified in a Procedures Manual.

Section 3: Vacancies

  • Presidency.
    In the event that the President does not serve his/her term for any reason, the President-Elect shall succeed to the unexpired remainder thereof and continue through his/her own term as President. In the event that the President-Elect shall not be able to serve out the term as President, the Board of Directors will designate an Interim President and arrange that both a President and President-Elect be nominated and elected at the time of the next scheduled election. Anyone assuming the office as Interim President shall resign from any other office held in the Division.
    In the event that the Past President cannot serve the full term, the office shall be left vacant until the next President assumes the office.
    In the event that the President-Elect shall not be able to serve out the term, the Board of Directors will designate an Interim President-Elect and arrange that both a President and President-Elect be nominated and elected at the time of the next scheduled election. Anyone assuming the office as Interim President-Elect shall resign from any other office held in the Division.
  • Other Offices.
    In the event that the Secretary, Treasurer, Student Representative or APA Council Representative(s) cannot serve the complete term, the Board of Directors shall by majority vote elect a successor to serve out the term. In the event that any member at large shall not be able to complete his/her term, that office will be appointed by the president and approved by the Board.
  • Leave of Absence.
    In the event that an elected officer requests a temporary leave of absence, the Board of Directors shall appoint an interim replacement until the next scheduled Board of Director's meeting, at which time the Board of Directors shall, by majority vote, elect a interim replacement.
  • Removal from Office.
    Any officer may be removed from office before the expiration of a term if five percent (5%) of the members of the Division in good standing petition the Board of Directors to place this issue before the membership by means of a mail ballot. The issue of removal presented by mail ballot will be decided by 2/3 vote of those voting.
Article V: Division Representative(s) to The American Psychological Association Council Representatives

Section 1: Representatives

Division representative(s) to the American Psychological Association Council of Representatives shall be Division Members, nominated by the Board of Directors and elected by the membership.

Section 2: Election

The names of all such nominees shall be submitted by the Nominating Committee, approved by the Board of Directors to the Election Committee of the American Psychological Association for election by the members of Division 31 . Election of Division representative(s) shall be by all Members of the Division and shall be conducted by the Election Committee of the American Psychological Association.

Section 3: Term of Office

The term of office of Division representatives shall be three (3) years.

Section 4: Responsibilities

As an officer of the American Psychological Association, it shall be the duty of the Division Representative(s) to: (a) discharge responsibilities specified in the American Psychological Association Bylaws and (b) carry out such duties as may be required by the President and Board of Directors.

Section 5: Coalitions

For purposes of representation on the American Psychological Association Council of Representatives, the Division may participate in a coalition or caucus. The seated number of the coalition shall be determined by a prearranged formula.

Article VI: Sections

As many as five (5) Sections may be organized to represent interests that lie within the Division. Establishment of a Section will be considered whenever the Board of Directors receives a petition signed by two (2) percent of the membership or ten (10) percent of the participating state/provincial/territorial psychological association governing bodies. A majority vote of those present at any meeting of the Board of Directors is required for establishment of a new Section. The Board of Directors may create such Sections provided they represent an active interest of a group of members and their proposed objectives fall with the scope of the purposes of the Division.

Section 1: Name

The name of the Section shall include reference to its status as a Section of Division 31 and must be approved by majority vote of the Division's Board of Directors. All members of a Section shall be members, in good standing, of the Division.

Section 2: Membership

Any member of the Division may apply for membership in the Section under the rules of eligibility and selection established by Section Bylaws.

Section 3: Dissolution

A Section may be dissolved by the Division 31 Board of Directors when the Section votes to recommend dissolution, when the number of members falls below ten, or when the Division 31 Board of Directors by majority vote, determines that the activities of the Section have been incorporated into the overall activities of the Division or are no longer consistent with the purposes of Division 31.

Section 4: Bylaws

Each Section shall develop and maintain its own Bylaws that shall be consistent with Division 31 Bylaws. A Section may elect such officers and establish those committees necessary to conduct business. The Section will provide the Bylaws to the Division Secretary and a majority vote of the Division Board of Directors will be required to ratify the Section Bylaws or any subsequent amendments. The Section will keep the Division Secretary apprised of the names of the current officers and other individuals serving in the Section governance. Section policies will be reviewed by the Division Board of Directors to ensure that, if adopted, they will be consistent with Division 31 policies and not detrimental to Division 31 constituent groups.

Section 5: Dues

A Section may establish dues. Section dues will be collected in the same manner as the Division dues and financial records will be maintained by the Division. The monies collected on behalf of the Section activities, less reasonable administrative expenses, will be available for section activities. The Section will present an annual budget to the Division Treasurer for approval and the Division Treasurer will disburse funds.

Section 6: Representative to the Board of Directors

Each Section shall elect a voting representative to the Division Board of Directors. Expenses associated with the representative shall become part of the Section budget. The representative shall serve a term of three (3) years. In the event a Section representative cannot attend a meeting of the Board of Directors, the Section may appoint a voting alternate.

Section 7: Newsletter

A Section may petition the Division to establish and operate a Newsletter or journal within the parameters established by the American Psychological Association Bylaws.

Section 8: Division Newsletter

Space in the Division Newsletter will be allocated to each Section by the Newsletter Editor and the associated costs will be included in the Section budget.

Section 9: Convention Program Time

The amount of Division convention program time to be allocated to a Section will be determined each year by the Board of Directors upon the recommendation of the Convention Program Chair.

Section 10 Annual Report

The Section will provide an annual report to the Division Board of Directors at its August meeting.

Article VII: Meetings

The Board of Directors of the Division shall meet as needed to conduct the affairs of the Division and shall be required to meet at least twice per year. The Board of Directors will meet annually at the general time and place of the Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association, at the particular location and time decided by majority vote of the Board of Directors. The second meeting shall be a midwinter meeting. A quorum for both meetings shall consist of a majority of the voting Board members. The membership of the Division shall be notified of these meetings at least thirty (30) days in advance.


The Board of Directors may meet at other times:

  • When the Board of Directors of the Division, by majority vote, considers a face to face meeting to be necessary or beneficial to all Members of the Division. Notice of such meetings shall be delivered to all Board members at least one month in advance. A quorum shall consist of a majority of the voting Board members.
  • When the President is petitioned by five (5) percent or more of Members to call a meeting. Notice of such meetings shall be delivered to all Members at least thirty (30) days in advance, by the Secretary or Executive Director. A quorum at a duly called meeting shall consist of a minimum of 10% of the voting Members of the Division.
Article VIII: Committees

Committees of the Division shall consist of such standing committees or special committees as are established from time to time by the Board of Directors of the Division and/or the President.

Article IX: Dues and Assessments

The assessment for each membership category shall be determined by a majority vote of the Board of Directors present and voting at a regularly scheduled Board of Directors meeting.

Article X: Rules of Order

The rules contained in Keesey's Modern Parliamentary Procedure shall, except when modified by special rules of order adopted by the Board of Directors of the Division, govern the conduct of all meetings of the Division.

Article XI - Referenda and Amendments

Section 1: Amendments

Amendments of these bylaws may be proposed (a) by the Board of Directors of the Division by two-thirds vote of Board members present at a meeting of the Board, or by mail ballot of the Board, or (b) by petition signed by two (2) percent of the Members of the Division, or (c) by petition of ten (10) percent of the participating state/provincial/territorial psychological association governing bodies. Within two (2) months of a Board of Directors proposal to amend these bylaws or receipt of a petition, the Board of Directors of the Division shall submit the amendment to the Members of the Division by mail ballot.

Section 2: Voting for Amendments

The Bylaws of the Division may be amended by a three-quarters vote of the Board of Directors or by two-thirds of the Members voting in a mail or electronic ballot and shall be closed sixty (60) days after the date of distribution. Bylaw amendments shall become effective immediately upon certification.

Section 3: Referenda

Upon petition by five (5) percent of the Members of the Division or of the governing bodies or twenty (20) percent of participating state/provincial/territorial psychological associations, a referendum on any action or policy will be conducted by the Board of Directors of the Division by mail or electronic ballot of the Divisional Members. The polls shall close after sixty (60) days of the date of distribution. If two-thirds of the Members voting by mail or electronic ballot approve the proposal, it shall then be enacted by the Board of Directors of the Division.

Section 4: Membership Votes

Voting by electronic means shall be allowed.

Section 5: Proxy Votes

Voting by proxy shall not be allowed.

  • Adopted - January 1969
  • First Revision - October 1977
  • Second Revision - June 1983
  • Third Revision - August 1988
  • Fourth Revision - July 1989
  • Fifth Revision - November 1990
  • Sixth Revision - January 1998
  • Seventh Revision - January 1999
  • Eighth Revision - August 2002
  • Ninth Revision - April 2005
  • Tenth Revision – January 2010
  • Eleventh Revision – January 2014