SIRV
International Society for Vestibular Rehabilitation

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International Society for Vestibular Rehabilitation Statutes

New statutes, modified and approved at the 2013 General Assembly and Congress.

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VESTIBULAR REEDUCATION

Vestibular reeducation® is a treatment technique used in cases where subjects exhibit symptoms of vertigos and balance disorders as a result of one, or a number of input dysfunction of the balance system.

"Vestibular reeducation®" was the name given to this technique at its very first presentation at the 1972 edition of the “Entretiens de Bichat” – The Bichat Interviews. This new term replaced "anti-vertigo reeducation", the term that had been used until that time. Treatment approaches for similar ailments had been tried in the United Kingdom. The Anglo-Saxon technique developed by Cooksey and Cawthorne was a carefully guarded secret and had neither the specificity nor the excessive specialisation of the French technique. In the US, balance reeducation, without making any distinction between the sensory and motor function, did not appear until the middle of the 1980’s.

The authors are Alain SÉMONT and Jean Marc STERKERS. All the developments that have taken place since 1972 are exclusively the work of Alain Sémont, without the assistance of any other person; this claim is made without any risk of contradiction.

The specialised tools used for this discipline were built by CCA BIODIGITAL, nowadays AMPLIFON in accordance with the requirement specifications supplied by Alain Sémont. There is no conflict of interest.

In 1990, the first formal training structure, organised by a private company, SISMED, was implemented. Two sessions of refresher courses were held a year, allowing healthcare professionals to become certified "Vestibular Therapists".

This discipline is not included as part of the teaching syllabus for physiotherapists, or for that matter for any other healthcare professional. ENT doctor and neurologist training does include the sensory neurophysiology of balance, however the application of this know-how in the form of reeducation is not part of their coursework or their practical studies.

Although similar therapeutic techniques do exist, this does not allow those who practice them to call themselves a Vestibular Therapist®. Nor should these techniques be considered to be Vestibular Reeducation.

This is why it was decided to bring together all the healthcare professionals who have undergone "Vestibular reeducation®" training under a single association with the aim of becoming a Learned Society. It was given the name "the International Society for Vestibular Rehabilitation" (SIRV). The Society is open to all those with an interest in this field: doctors, neuroscientists and paramedical staff.

The logo that appears at the start of the text is the official logo of the Society.
 

AIM AND COMPOSITION OF THE SOCIETY

Art. 1. --- The current statutes replace any previous ones. This includes the Quality Charter in addition to a number of changes as to how the Society is to evolve.

Art. 1(a): The aim of the Society covers: the promotion, study and development, the training of treatment techniques for vertigos and balance disorders under the registered trademark of: Vestibular reeducation®.

Art 2. --- This association maintains its name: the "International Society for Vestibular Rehabilitation" (SIRV). It has its headquarters at: 29, rue de la Santé 75013 Paris, France; at the treatment centre of founder, Alain Sémont.

Art 3. --- The Society is comprised of Full Members, Associate Members and Honorary Members.

Art 4. --- When the association was founded, the President asked two vestibular reeducation professionals, François BRET and Jacques SAFONT to help with the administrative procedures. They are no longer members of the SIRV and as such there is no requirement to include founding members. Out of courtesy, therefore, their names will permanently appear at the end of the statutes, and in keeping with the present statutes, they are now formally Honorary Members.

Art 5. --- The number of Full and Associate Members is unlimited; as is the number of Honorary Members.

Art 6. --- Requisites for becoming a Full Member are:

1° Be a Healthcare Professional.

2° Show proof, when making the application, of training in Vestibular Reeducation® as well as a minimum of at least one refresher course. This, in principle, is equivalent to one year of practice of V.R.

3° Submit the certificate issued following training.

4° Be sponsored by at least one Full Member of the International Society for Vestibular Rehabilitation, who will act as guarantors, for which they are accountable, as to the accuracy of the statements made by the candidate concerning studies and practical experience contained in the above paragraphs, as well as to their professional reputation.

5° Submit a written request to the General Secretary together with a CV outlining their training, qualifications and work, as well as their methods.

The application shall be accompanied by a written note with the signature of the sponsor or sponsors of the candidate and shall be sent upon receiving the request for payment so that the list of new members can be read out at the General Assembly at the Congress of the same year.

Membership will be formalised at the Congress, barring opposition.

Should their be opposition to a candidate, the opposing party and the candidate will appear before a hearing of the Standing Committee prior to the Congress to try to resolve any disputes. If not solution is found, the case will be put before the Assembly where a decision will be made via a secret ballot.

To be valid, admission to the Society, the candidate must receive a majority vote comprising three quarters of the members present.

Should admission still be impossible at this stage, the matter of the candidacy shall be carried forward to the following year, together with any supplementary information.

Art 6 (a) --- ENT doctors, neuroscientists, neurophysiologists, neurologists or any other healthcare professional whose daily activities help to provide additional knowledge and expertise to V.R. shall be eligible for Full Membership, if they make a formal application, upon approval by the Standing Committee.

Art 7. --- Associate Members are recruited from among the self-taught physiotherapists or those from a different field of training who wish to broaden their knowledge. They are eligible to attend the sessions, make presentations and take part in discussions.
They also pay an annual membership fee, which is different from that of Full members, details of which are outlined on the membership application form.

They are not however eligible for the preferential rates that Full Members receive.

They are able to take part in the General Assembly as a simple spectator.

They are able, if they make a formal application, to receive a diploma certifying that they are an Associate member of the SIRV.

To become an Associate Member, you must:

1° Send a written request to the General Secretary, together with a C.V. outlining their qualifications and publications and the source of any training received that enabled the candidate to provide vertigo and balance disorder reeducation services.

2° Should the candidate intend to undergo more comprehensive training to enable them to formally practice VR and become a Full Member, they must first submit a covering letter and undertake to respect the internal rules and regulations and best practices. The probationary period shall be three years at which time they shall submit a letter containing the signature of two sponsors. The sponsors shall ensure that the future Full Member has undergone a comprehensive training in vestibular reeducation.

3° If the Associate Member does not wish to go any further with their qualifications, they are welcome to remain in the Society for as long as they want.

Art 8. --- Eligibility to Honorary Membership extends to distinguished professionals from among all the various disciplines and who are renowned for their scientific publications and/or for their work in the field of Neurosensory disorders.

Both Full Members and Associate Members can be appointed Honorary Members if they have paid their membership for 20 years, have attended all SIRV congresses and events, have been exemplary in the quality of their work, and have expressed a desire to have such acknowledgement. Their candidacy application shall be submitted to the Standing Committee for approval.

Art 9. --- Only Full Members are entitled to vote. Only they can form part of the Bureau or any other kind of committee for that matter, created temporarily or permanently, by the administration of the Society.

Art. 10. --- All elections shall take place via secret ballot or by a show of hands should there be no objection.

Art. 10 (a) --- Any event jeopardizing the professional integrity of a member, on the condition that it has been duly established, either by a decision from the courts, or by a judicial order, or any other legally enforceable manner, could lead to the expulsion of the interested party.

Said expulsion will be decided via secret ballot during the session of the Ordinary or Extraordinary General Assembly by the meeting of the members of the Bureau and Committee chairs should there be one. The decision shall only become final if the motion is passed by a minimum of two thirds of the votes.

The interested party has the right to appeal. The Assembly will discuss the matter in a secret session.

All documents shall be sent to secretary of the SIRV for archiving and to update the Directory of Vestibular Therapists.
 

ADMINISTRATION OF THE SOCIETY

Art. 11. --- Management of the Society is entrusted to a Bureau comprising a President, one or several Vice-Presidents, a General Secretary, a Deputy General Secretary, and a Treasurer. Only the President, General Secretary and Treasurer shall be permanent positions. Should the post of Vice-President be vacant and the President is indisposed, the Treasurer shall act as President.

Art. 12 --- The Chairman shall be elected for five years. One of the Vice-Presidents shall organise the following year’s Congress. Said position will therefore change every year. Should the schedule of the Congress change to every two years, for example, the Vice-President will serve for two years instead. The second Vice-President is a position specially created for the partnership between SIRV and the Portmann Foundation. Dominique PATRIER has held this position since the statutes were created.

Art.12(a) --- The General Secretary is elected for three years. The Treasurer, taking into account their management responsibilities, the setting up of the account management through banking channels, and as an expert accounting resource, it is desirable that they are able to fulfil their duties without the added burden of electoral pressure. Consequently, the term of office of the Treasurer is 5 years (renewable) or until they ask to be relieved of their function if have not yet been granted final discharge at the Assembly.

Art. 13 --- All members of the bureau can be re-elected, once their term of office is over. All functions are non-remunerated.

Art. 14 --- A Standing Committee for the Society is created comprising members of the Bureau in addition to the person in charge of external relations and the person in charge of the web page.

The Committee meets at least once a year prior to the holding of the Congress. It can meet at any time of the year at the request of any of its members, should there be good reason to do so, with the request made to the President who in turn, will contact the members via registered mail with acknowledgement of receipt (or any other legally accepted legal means with acknowledgement of receipt.)

Art. 15 --- The General Secretary is in charge of the administration of the Society. They are kept informed of events regulating the life of the Society by the paid Secretary of the Society. Under the guise of the President, they represent the Society before any social or judicial administrative bodies. They report on their activities once a year before the Bureau and/or before the General Assembly.

Art. 16 --- The Treasurer collects the revenue, ensures payment of the standard expenses, and oversees the funds of the Society.

These are obligatorily deposited in a postal or bank account set up in the name of the International Society for Vestibular Rehabilitation. They present the Bureau and the General Assembly with the accounts for the financial year ended as well the budgetary forecasts for the next financial year.

They can not delegate their powers without the permission of the President and of the Secretary General.
 

ANNUAL CONGRESS AND WORK OF THE SOCIETY

Art. 17 --- The Society meets once a year. Said meeting is known as the SIRV (Annual) Congress.

Art 18 --- The Society is a registered Publishing Company. Effectively, it shall publish the papers presented at the Congress in the form of presentations, communications, workshops and posters. For this reason, a summary format of the presentations should be communicated to the Scientific Committee prior to the Congress. The publication, with the title "Minutes from the SIRV Congress 20…" shall comprise the full text version of the presentations. The authors shall receive, as expected, a final corrected proof prior to publication.

Exemptions shall be made when the publication is sourced from a professional magazine or any other organisation acting on behalf of community with close ties to vestibular reeducation professionals, upon presentation of the proposed text to the Standing Committee.

Art 19 --- SIRV revenue stems from:

    Fees from full members,
    Fees from associate members,
    Fees paid by visitors to the Congress,
    Fees from exhibitors at the Congress
    The Sale of any derivative products,
    The annual publication containing the papers from the Congress,
    Grants, gifts and bequests made to the Society.
    E-learning products.

Art 20 --- A huge task by the community must be undertaken each year. The work year goes from congress to congress. It consists of regrouping and pooling together the information, observations, numerical values and statistics from a variety of different means from their daily practice, in order to quantify from this very large sample the results achieved by the vestibular therapists.

The results presented each year will be used as a bibliography and reference books for vestibular reeducation.

Suggestions presented at the General Assembly will be put to the members present who will vote on the focus of future papers.

The person making the winning suggestion shall be in charge of overseeing the work. The paper will be presented with the person in charge as first author, followed by the text "and the SIRV".

Exemption from the list of authors might be granted should there be limited participation in the paper.

Said paper can be presented by a Full Member if it is a contribution to a post-graduate course or similar event it has been asked to be included in.

Any SIRV member not having taken part in this work for three years, afterwards, shall not be eligible to use the presentation.

Art 21 --- Any patient undergoing vestibular reeducation treatment should be able to receive identical results regardless of the SIRV healthcare professional providing the service. Tools have been manufactured according to requirement specifications. It is standard practice for new tools for medial use to be assessed, and submitted for approval by official certification agencies.

A committee will be entrusted with awarding equipment the "SIRV Stamp" guaranteeing users both the usefulness and the effectiveness of the tool. The tool to be assessed, for the purpose of being awarded the quality seal, can be put forward by a member of SIRV or by a manufacturer.

Once proposed, the committee shall draft the requirement specifications as well as a series of evaluation tests. Evaluation can be carried out as part of the day-to-day activities, with the tool “lent” by the manufacturer for the purpose of testing.

Conflicts of interest are prohibited, and as such any professional receiving support, in any form, by the manufacturer or by the instigator of the evaluation of the tool will be subject to immediate expulsion from the SIRV.

Depending on the scope of the assessment, the committee might consider some form of indemnity payment based on an hourly rate for the work, decided at the Annual General Meeting, for the evaluator and their collaborators.

The Committee shall determine the evaluation protocol, any costs (where pertinent), and reserve the right to ask the manufacturer for a contract to stipulate indemnity that is not dependent on the outcome.
 

GENERAL PROVISIONS

Art 22 --- The Society forbids discussing any matters that are unrelated to the goals of the institution.

Art. 23 --- No important motions are to be discussed or adopted without preliminarily being addressed to the members of the Bureau and then being added to the agenda of the next Assembly.

Art. 24 --- Any request to a modification to the statutes should be made in writing and signed by at least fifteen members. It should be addressed to the members of the Bureau who will review the contents prior to any presentation before the Assembly.

Art. 25 --- Should any major decision need to be taken concerning any modification to how the Society is administered: an Extraordinary Committee may be set up comprising 20 Full Members of the Society who are chosen at random. The Committee will provide guidance as to how to proceed and what measures to take. The findings of the Committee will be added to the agenda of the next General Assembly (at least one month prior). The vote shall only be valid if taken at a plenary session, with a three quarters majority vote by the Full Members present.
 

TRAINING

Art. 26. --- Training in vestibular reeducation and all activities that come under said heading is provided by the SIRV.

Art. 27. --- Any SIRV Full Member in good standing and up-to-date with membership fees can ask to be an instructor. Preliminarily, they should have passed an evaluation exam to assess their expertise. Evaluation is carried out by way of multiple-choice questions (MCQ). The MCQ consists of ninety questions and the exam is three hours long.

Marking shall be carried out by the author of the exam when available, or failing that by the head of the Training Committee. Marking shall be undertaken using one of two procedures: either using the grid response method, or by a weighted adjustment method should this be more advantageous for the candidate. The highest score achieved by a candidate for the Inter-university Diploma was 15.5/20, whereas the minimum score to be accepted as an instructor is 17/20.

Marking is carried out in such a way that a correct answer gets full marks, while an incorrect answer scores a zero, unless the application of the therapy contained in the answer supplied has adverse consequences, in which case the answer will be scored negatively.
As per standard protocol, completed exam papers shall be stored in the SIRV archives and only the results in the form of a "receipt" or a "slip" shall be issued.

Art. 28. --- Once the instructor candidate has received the results of their assessment, they should address a covering letter to the Training Committee explaining  how they propose to carry out the teaching.

Art. 29. --- The Training Committee comprises members who have already been evaluated and who are experienced teachers. It will provide the candidate with the official syllabus that must be strictly adhered to.

Art. 30. --- If the candidate does not pass the evaluation, they can sit the exam again in two years.

Art. 31. --- Disregard of these provisions, in other words: and SIRV member, acting on their own, without having undergone evaluation, without  notifying the Training Committee, without notifying the Standing Committee, and without adhering to the syllabus shall be expelled from the SIRV, facing all the consequences of a non-accredited practitioner working in a regulated professional field.
 

INTERNAL RULES AND REGULATIONS

Bureau Allocation.

Art. 1. --- The Society, when it is not sitting, is represented by the Bureau.

Art. 2. --- The President chairs the Assemblies, counts the votes, announces the decisions of the Society; validates and names the members of the Temporary and Standing Committees.

Art. 3. --- In the absence of the President, they shall be represented by the Vice-president, or failing that, the Treasurer.

Art. 4. --- The General Secretary drafts the agenda of the General Assembly. Each year they write a report on the activities of the Society. Said report is put to a vote and points contained therein can be disputed.

They are in charge of the Congress publication.

In their absence, they shall be substituted by the Assistant Secretary-General if the post is filled, and failing that, by a member of the Bureau or the Standing Committee.

Art. 5. --- The Committees oversee a variety of different matters: the Scientific Committee, the Teaching Syllabus Committee, the Disciplinary Committee as well as other Committees, which under exceptional circumstances can be temporary in nature. Members having taken part in a committee can be called upon to do so again in the future. If they are called upon, it is due to their expertise in the specific field in question. Thus, at times, a professional from another discipline might, in exceptional circumstances, be asked to form part of a Committee.
Being part of the committee is considered an honour and is a non-paid position.

Art. 6. --- The Treasurer is in charge of the accounting, and each year presents a detailed report of the management of the Society.

If, for personal reasons, the Treasurer should relinquish their duties for an indeterminate period of time, but less than a year, they can resort to using an administrator. This can be done if agreed to by the Standing Committee. One of the members of the Standing Committee can also relieve the Treasurer.

The assistance provided is without remuneration and shall stop at the request of the Treasurer and can not be refuted by the replacement.

If the Treasurer is unable to carry out their functions, the President delegates the powers of the Treasurer to the General Secretary until the following General Assembly.


Rules and regulations of the sessions and congress.

Art.7. --- The Congress will be held once a year, each year in a different location. The General Assembly will be held during the Congress.

The sessions are public in nature, but seats must be reserved and priority is given to members in good standing and up-to-date with membership fees.

The growth in the number of members means that professional event organisers are required for the Congress. The SIRV organiser therefore simply has to ensure that the venue has the capacity to accommodate all the members. Vacant spaces left empty by non-attending members shall be taken up by speakers and by other professionals wishing to attend the Congress.

Registration is reserved for SIRV members until March 1 prior to the Congress. For non-members, pre-registration will be provided. After this date, spaces will be filled on a first-come first-served basis. Those who have pre-registered will have priority.

The General Assembly shall be reserved for members, according to their corresponding powers and limitations. In exceptional circumstances, a guest speaker might be accepted if the Society requires the expertise of an outside professional.

Art. 8. --- A supplementary meeting of the Standing Committee can be called during the year, for example, with members of a particular Committee, for example.

In exceptional circumstances, the Annual Congress might be cancelled following a vote by the General Assembly or in the case of force majeure.

Art. 9. --- The President chairs the debates at the Assembly. Having consulted the Assembly, the agenda can be modified for reasons of courtesy.

During the General Assembly, the President presents the agenda and adheres to it. They ask questions and takes note of the answers. They call for a vote, where necessary, and count the results. They announce the results and validate the motions. Should there be a debate, their job is to ask speakers to respect time limitations and eventually asks if the matter be brought to a vote. Voting is carried out by a show of hands.

At any point in time, the Assembly can ask for the vote to be carried out by a show of hands or by secret ballot.

Should the matter taken to a vote not be resolved, the matter shall either be dropped or debated by the Standing Committee. When voting, the President has the deciding vote.

Art. 10. --- Individuals who are not part of the Society can not make a presentation without first making a formal request. The President has the authority to accept or reject said request.

Art. 11. --- The length of the presentations shall be governed by the programme schedule.

Presentations should not be read, with the exception of the conclusions. Speakers can use any digital support they require. They must first enquire about the availability of any tools they require.

The congress organiser should be notified of the title of the presentations before the designated “deadline”. An “abstract” should be included for presentation to the Scientific Committee who will then either accept or reject it. The speaker may be asked to modify their topic or to present it in the form of a poster presentation.

Art. 12. --- Any presentation must be followed by a Q&A. The length of the Q&A session will vary according to the number of questions asked while respecting the allotted times and schedules.

Art. 13. --- Any off-topic discussions are forbidden. The President will call to order anyone who strays off topic. Should there be any major issues, the session can be suspended.

Art. 14. --- Papers not presented at the Congress are not eligible to appear in the Minutes. Unless the author, unable to attend due to force majeure, can be presented by one of their peers who will summarise the presentation so that it can proceed to Q&A.

Art. 15. --- The full text version of the presentation should be submitted to the Congress organiser for publication once the paper has been presented and discussed. Poster presentations should be submitted in a digital format to be included as part of the Congress publications.

Art. 16. --- The text of the presentation shall be in the format recommended by the publisher all the while respecting suggestions received from the authors. If the text is not in keeping with that presented at the session or is not submitted within the established timelines, it might not be eligible to be included as part of the Congress publications.

Art. 17. --- As video sequences can not be published, authors are recommended to draft a short summary of the sequence including a still image that best represents the sequence. As one of the goals of SIRV is to look to the future, it is conceivable that in the future when the majority of presentations are dynamic, paper publications will make way for an alternative support such as video CD or DVD.

Art. 18. --- The Congress publications are provided free of charge to:

    Authors, both SIRV members and non-members
    Full Members in good standing and up-to-date with membership fees for a period of three years.

Art. 19. --- Authors can request additional copies. Any additional copies will have a cost. This also goes for any other unusual requests not covered by the publishing contract. Only the person in charge of publication for each Congress and chosen by the congress organiser shall decide if the request be upheld or not.

Founder: Alain SÉMONT
Treasurer: Alain LAUER
Head of External Relations: Jérôme GRAPINET.

 

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