How to Setup an Association

Guidelines for professional tourist guides wishing to found an association. This document is also useful for associations already established but needing directions for developing their association.

What procedure should be followed
A small group of Guides with the initiative to set up an Association should first have informal meetings with simplified procedures to discuss and to act on the following (It might be useful to seek support from the tourist board or other local authority as this will encourage more Guides to join in the proceedings. Remember that the aim is co-operation of the various parties involved and not confrontation):

1. Obtain and get acquainted with the law, if any, concerning the establishment of professional Associations in your country and carefully study the regulations.

2. Discuss the goals of the Association and how to pursue and archieve them. Then create an overview of general interests for tourist guides and their community.

3. Work with legal assistance, if required, on the drafting of a constitution after studying other constitutions of professional bodies with more or less similar objectives. (See below, summary of provisions). Remember to check on all legal requirements, if any, and be sure to conform with them.

4. You may wish to design an emblem for the Association. Make two or three sketches which you think reflect the character, goals and ideals of the Association

5. You should then proceed to establish a Temporary Committee (Chairman, Secretary and Treasurer). Be sure that they are qualified for the post. It is very important that the Treasurer understands the basic principles of book-keeping and placing money to the best advantage for the Association. Just any committee member will not do. It is best 10 seek out in advance both a secretary and treasurer suitable for the job, The secretary should keep minutes and record the decisions at the end of each meeting. It is always better for the decisions to be unanimous, especially until the Association becomes legalised.

6. Make a list of licensed or qualified Guides (according to the existing situation in the particular country) in order to convene the first general meeting and invite them lo attend. Trace as many as possible and secure their addresses.

7. Prepare an estimate and possible expenses and determine the subscription and annual membership fees. i.e. Enrolment tee, annual subscription, fees for a half-day and a full-day lour. Etc.

8. Fix the date and place of the first formal meeting. (Secure a good place anti make sure that there will be no charge!)

9. Send invitations with agenda and perhaps, a copy of the draft constitution for study by the founding members. Make sure you invite more than the minimum number required by the regulations concerning the establishment of an Association and the approval of the constitution, in case not everybody turns up.

10. Depending on the type of members sought, local newspapers, radio or television may also he an additional good way of inviting otherwise untraced Guides, (find the cheapest way to do it, and remember that usually newspapers do not charge in the reader's columns).

Selections from the booklet: