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Rules of Association

In this section, you will discover the rules of AGS (HK). Read more to understand how we operate.

Article III - Membership

Section 1    Classes of Membership

(1)    Member Organisation
(2)    Associate Member Organisation
(3)    Personal Member
(4)    Honorary Life Member
(5)    Affiliate Member

Section 2    Eligibility

(1)    Member Organisation
To qualify as a Member Organisation, the following shall be met:

(a)    Be an organisation or a clearly identifiable sub-division of such organisation, providing a service as a client, consultant, contractor, designer, educator, regulator, reseracher, supplier of specialist service, or manufacturer, within the range of Geotechnical Engineering and/or related technology.

The service must be provided in at least one of the following specialist areas:

     (i)    advisory services

     (ii)    design

     (iii)    education and training

     (iv)    laboratory and testing services

     (v)    procurement of design and construction services

     (vi)    provision of specialist materials

     (vii)    regulation

     (viii)    research and development

     (ix)    specialist contracting

     (x)    supervision of works

The AGS(HK) Executive Committee (hereinafter referred to as the "Executive Committee") must be satisfied that applicants can demonstrate relevant experience, financial stability, and a firm commitment to quality and quality assurance based on defined levels of competence. Furthermore, all applicants must agree to abide by any Codes of Practice (approved by majority vote at an Annual General Meeting).

(b)    Have a registered office in Hong Kong.

(c)    Have practised in a manner and in a field of work acceptable to the Executive Committee for a period not less than three years.

(d)    Have a commitment to set, maintain and enhance quality standards and procedures for the industry and thereby to improve the quality of professional services.

(e)    Employ no fewer than three full-time Geotechnical Specialists, as defined herein. At least one of the three should have a minimum of 10 years' appropriate experience. For the organisation to qualify each of the Geotechnical Specialists must:

     (i)    be resident in Hong Kong; and    

     (ii)    be a member of an appropriate association or institution involved in Geotechnical Engineering approved by the Executive Committee (e.g. the Hong Kong Institution of Engineers, the Association of Engineering Geologists, etc.); and    

     (iii)    have a minimum of three years' appropriate experience practising in Geotechnical Engineering.

and    additionally, each of the Geotechnical Specialists must have at least one of the following:

     (iv)    a Masters degree in an appropriate subject, e.g. geotechnics (soil mechanics, rock mechanics, foundation engineering, geoenvironmental engineering), engineering geology, geophysics, geochemistry, hydrogeology, and related disciplines; or

     (v)    a Doctor of Philosophy degree on a relevant topic in one of the subject areas described above; or

     (vi)    two years' appropriate experience practising in Geotechnical Engineering, in addition to that in (iii) above.

or    when (ii) to (vi) above do not apply the individual must have a minimum of 10 years appropriate experience practising in Geotechnical Engineering.

(2)    Associate Member Organisation
To qualify as an Associate Member Organisation, the following shall be met:

(a)    Comply with (1)(a) to (d) above.

(b)    Employ at least one full-time Geotechnical Specialist defined in (1)(e) who should also have a minimum of 10 years appropriate experience.

(3)    Personal Member
To qualify as a Personal Member, the following shall be met:

(a)    In the opinion of the Executive Committee, be a sufficiently experienced Geotechnical Specialist, practising and normally residing in Hong Kong; and

(b)    Be active as an individual within an organisation which is in itself unable to fulfil the requirements of Member Organisation/Associate Member Organisation/Affiliate Member, or has not joined the Association. In the event of the organisation joining the Association, the Personal Member would cease to be a Personal Member.

(4)    Honorary Life Member
An Honorary Life Member shall be a retired member of a Member Organisation, Associate Member Organisation, or Personal Member, who has been and wishes to remain active in the affairs of the Association.

(5)    Affiliate Member
An Affiliate Member shall be an organisation having employees with academic and professional experience which satisfies the Executive Committee. The firm must be sympathetic to the objectives of the Association, and demonstrate interactive participation with the geotechnical activities of members.

Section 3    Applications and Resignations

(1)    Acceptance into Membership
It is understood that by applying for and being granted membership in the Association, an organisation or individual accepts all provisions of these Rules, and waives any and all legal recourse against the Association, its Officers, Executive Committee, members, and staff for actions resulting from application of such provisions.

Every application for membership must be submitted to the Administrator on the appropriate form. Such application for membership must be proposed and seconded in writing by two existing Member Organisations. Applications for Associate Member Organisation/Personal Member/Affiliate Member must be proposed and seconded in writing by two existing members (Member Organisation/Associate Member Organisation/Personal Member/Affiliate Member). The proposers and seconders shall vouch for the quality assurance intentions of the applicant.

Election to membership in the Association shall be by a majority vote of the Executive Committee. The Executive Committee which may, at its option, delegate such responsibility to the Membership Sub-Committee*, but reserves the right to review the judgement of and overrule the Membership Sub-Committee.

* Should we still have a Membership Sub-Committee to handle routine membership matters such as approving membership application. I understand the Membership Working Group is formed on an as-hoc basis to promote membership. The Working Group can be absorbed into the Sub-Committee or formed under the Sub-Committee. Otherwise, when the Working Group finishes its function, we may need to change it back to Sub-Committee.

(2)    Re-application
An applicant whose application has been rejected shall have the right to re-submit an application one year or more after rejection. A member who previously was a member of the Association but whose membership lapsed shall on rejoining pay, in addition to other fees and dues, any amount still owed to the Association by virtue of previous membership, unless such provision shall be waived by the Executive Committee.

(3)    Termination of Membership
Termination of membership will be determined by the Executive Committee, as appropriate. Any member whose membership is terminated for any reason shall lose all rights and interests, if any, in any funds or other assets of the Association. Causes for termination shall include:

(a)    Resignation
An organisation or individual may resign upon written notice to the Chairman or Administrator of the Association. If a member gives less than three months notice terminating on 31 December of any year of his intention to withdraw from membership of the Association, he shall meet any financial liabilities in respect of the Association for the current year and any outstanding liabilities for previous years.

(b)    Non-Compliance
An organisation which, or individual who, no longer meets membership criteria will not be eligible for continuation of membership in the Association.

(c)    Non-Payment of Dues
Dues are payable on 1st January. If dues are not paid by 1st April, the Member Organisation/Associate Member Organisation/Personal Member/Affiliate Member who has not paid, and who has been notified of the arrears, shall have membership terminated automatically.

(d)    Breach of Ethics
Membership may be terminated for any breach of ethics, such breach to be determined by the Executive Committee.

Section 4    Authorised Representative

An Authorised Representative is a Geotechnical Specialist nominated by a Member Organisation or Associate Member Organisation for the purpose of voting on Association matters. Each Member Organisation shall be eligible to nominate one Authorised Representative plus one Authorised Representative, up to a maximum of two, for every ten individuals employed who are members of an appropriate association or institution involved in Geotechnical Engineering approved by the Executive Committee (maximum total number of Authorised Representatives per Member Organisation is three). Each Associate Member Organisation shall be eligible to nominate one Authorised Representative.

Personal Members, Honorary Life Members, and Affiliate Members cannot nominate Authorised Representatives, but can nominate the individual members representative of their groups on the Executive Committee, as at Article IV, Section 2.

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