CONSTITUTION OF ASSOCIATION FOR CHRISTIAN COUNSELLING (SINGAPORE)
This Society shall be known as the Association for Christian Counselling (Singapore), hereinafter referred to as the “Society”.
Place of Business
Its place of business shall be at "265 JOO CHIAT ROAD Singapore 427519" or such other address as may subsequently be decided upon by the Committee and approved by the Registrar of Societies. The Society shall carry out its activities only in places and premises which have the prior written approval from the relevant authorities, where necessary.
To promote the practice of Christian counselling in Singapore, thereby enhancing public awareness and acceptance of Christian counselling in the community;
To promote and assist in the research of integrative practices that support spiritual and bio-psycho-social wellness;
To promote and reinforce standards in education and training, competency and growth based on best practices described in ACCS's Code of Ethics which is subject to regular review and updates;
To foster co-operation, sharing of information and experience among Christians of different Biblical and Christian counselling approaches and specialisations.
In furtherance of the objects, the Society shall with the approval of the relevant authorities:
Organise, participate in, arrange, and provide for conferences, workshops, exhibitions, lectures and discussions on subjects of interest for persons interested in Christian counselling, and also to conduct and publish research relevant to Christian counselling;
Print, publish and circulate papers, treatise, books, pamphlets, leaflets or communications to the Society, and proceedings and accounts of the Society;
Keep a register of members, their qualification and appointments and particulars of their professional experience; and/or
Consider and advise on any question of policy related to the practice of Christian counselling referred to it for consideration by any member of the Society or by any other body/agency (government, non-government, public or private sector)
Adhere to the Personal Data Protection Act (PDPA) [https://www.pdpc.gov.sg] in the Society’s discharge of its objects and responsibilities spelled out in Sections 3.1 and 3.2.
The Society shall not engage in any activity that may undermine the racial or religious harmony in Singapore.
Statement of Faith
The Society believes that:
There exists only one God, creator and sustainer of all things, infinitely perfect and eternally co-existing in three persons - Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
The Scriptures, both Old and New Testaments, are the inspired, inerrant and trustworthy Word of God, the complete revelation of His will for the salvation of human beings, and the final authority for all matters about which it speaks.
Human nature derives from two historical personas, male and female, created in God's image. They were created perfect, but they sinned, plunging themselves and all human beings into sin, guilt, suffering, and death.
The substitutionary death of Jesus Christ and his bodily resurrection provide the only ground for justification, forgiveness, and salvation for all who believe. Only those who trust in Him alone are born of the Holy Spirit and are true members of the Church; only they will spend eternity with Christ.
The Holy Spirit is the agent of regeneration and renewal for believers in Jesus Christ. He makes the presence of Jesus Christ real in believers, and He comforts, guides, convicts, and enables believers to live in ways that honour Christ.
Man is a physical, social, psychological, and spiritual being. The ultimate goal of Christian counselling is to help others move to personal wholeness, interpersonal competence, mental stability, and spiritual maturity.
Membership Qualifications and Rights
Membership is open to persons who are above 21 years of age, profess the Christian faith, agree to the Society’s Statement of Faith, and are involved in the community or Christian counselling
All members shall have the right to vote and to hold office in the Society.
The Society shall consist of:
a) Clinical Members (ACCS-CM)
b) Pastoral Members (ACCS-PM)
c) Allied Members (ACCS-AM)
d) Student Members (ACCS-SM)
Clinical Members (ACCS-CM)
Counsellors, psychologists or social workers who have either one of the following:
At least a master’s level of educational qualification in Counselling, Psychology, Social Work or a related discipline.
Listing on the Singapore Association for Counselling Register as a Registered Counsellor.
Pastoral Members (ACCS-PM)
Pastors, elders, and full-time ministry staff who have:
theological training and/or counselling training and
a signed letter of verification from their church or ministry organisation.
Allied Members (ACCS-AM)
Individuals serving in a counselling-related position and who have:
a postgraduate diploma, undergraduate degree, undergraduate diploma or certificate in Counselling, Psychology, Social Work or in a related discipline and
a signed letter of endorsement / reference from their counselling ministry head or pastor.
Student Members (ACCS-SM)
Any persons currently undergoing training in counselling, psychology, theology or training in any of the mental health professions.
Application for Membership
Persons wishing to join the Society should submit his particulars to the Secretary on a prescribed form.
The Executive Committee will decide on the application for membership.
A copy of the Constitution shall be furnished to every approved member upon payment of the membership fee.
Membership Fees and Other Dues
A membership fee is payable within two (2) weeks of election to membership, in default of which membership may be cancelled by order of the Executive Committee.
Annual membership fees are payable by end January.
The membership fees shall be determined by the General Meeting on recommendation from the Executive Committee from time to time.
If members fall into arrears with their membership fees or other dues, they shall be informed within one (1) month of the arrears by the Treasurer. If they fail to settle the arrears within three (3) months of it becoming due, they will automatically cease to be members, or to receive any privileges of membership. The Executive Committee would, however, maintain the authority to act on complaints received about the members within one (1) year from the date of membership lapse.
The Executive Committee is authorised to invite donations to the funds of the Society by lawful means, with the consent of the General Meeting of members, and to expend such sums of money as the Society may think fit in furtherance of the aims of the Society.
The income and property of the Society whensoever derived shall be applied towards the promotion of the objects of the Society as set forth in this Constitution and no portion thereof shall be paid or transferred directly or indirectly by way of dividend or bonus or otherwise howsoever by way of profit to the persons who at any time are or have been members of the Society or to any of them or to any person claiming through any of them.
Supreme Authority and General Meetings
The supreme authority of the Society is vested in a General Meeting of members presided over by the President.
An Annual General Meeting shall be held by June.
At other times, an Extraordinary General Meeting must be called by the President on the request in writing of not less than 25% of the total voting membership or 30 voting members, whichever is the lesser, and may be called at any time by order of the Executive Committee. The notice in writing shall be given to the Secretary setting forth the business that is to be transacted. The Extraordinary General Meeting shall be convened within two (2) months upon receiving the written request.
If the Executive Committee does not within two (2) months after the date of the receipt of the written request proceed to convene an Extraordinary General Meeting, the members who requested for the Extraordinary General Meeting shall convene the Extraordinary General Meeting by giving ten (10) days' notice to voting members setting forth the business to be transacted and simultaneously posting the agenda on the Society's notice board.
At least two (2) weeks' notice shall be given of an Annual General Meeting and at least ten (10) days' notice of an Extraordinary General Meeting. Notice of meeting stating the date, time and place of meeting shall be sent by the Secretary to all voting members. The particulars of the agenda shall be posted on the Society's website four (4) days in advance of the meeting.
Unless otherwise stated in this Constitution, voting by proxy is allowed at all General Meetings. General Meetings of members may be conducted by means of video conference, telephone conference or other methods of simultaneous communication by electronic, telegraphic or other similar means by which all persons participating in the meeting are able to hear and be heard by all the other participants without the need for physical presence. The minutes of such a meeting signed by the Chairperson of the meeting shall be conclusive evidence of any resolution of any meeting so conducted. The members participating in any such meeting shall be counted in the quorum for such meeting and, subject to there being a requisite quorum under this Constitution, all resolutions or decisions agreed by the General Meeting in such meetings shall be deemed to be as effective as a resolution or decision passed at a meeting in person duly convened and held.
The following matters will be considered at the Annual General Meeting:
The previous financial year's accounts and annual report of the Executive Committee.
Where applicable, the election of office-bearers and Honorary Auditor(s) for the following term.
Any member who wishes to place an item on the agenda of a General Meeting may do so provided notice is given to the Secretary one (1) week before the meeting is due to be held.
At least 25% of the total voting membership or 30 voting members, whichever is the lesser, present at a General Meeting shall form a quorum. Proxies shall not be constituted as part of the quorum.
In the event of there being no quorum at the commencement of a General Meeting, the meeting shall be adjourned for half an hour and should the number then present be insufficient to form a quorum, those present shall be considered a quorum, but they shall have no power to amend any of the existing rules.
Management and Executive Committee
The administration of the Society shall be entrusted to an Executive Committee consisting of the following to be elected at alternate Annual General Meeting:
An Assistant Secretary
An Assistant Treasurer
Four Ordinary Executive Committee Members
Unless with the prior approval in writing of the Registrar or an Assistant Registrar of Societies, majority of the Executive Committee Members shall be Singapore Citizens. In addition, the President, Secretary, Treasurer and their deputies shall be Singapore Citizens or Singapore Permanent Residents. Foreign Diplomats shall not serve as Executive Committee Members.
Names for the above offices shall be proposed and seconded at the Annual General Meeting and election will follow on a simple majority vote of the members. All office-bearers, except the Treasurer may be re-elected to the same or related post for a consecutive term of office. The term of office of the Executive Committee is two (2) years.
Election will be either by show of hands or, subject to the agreement of the majority of the voting members present, by a secret ballot. In the event of a tie, the Chairman of the meeting shall have a casting vote.
An Executive Committee Meeting shall be held at least once every three (3) months after giving seven (7) days’ notice to the Executive Committee Members. The President may call an Executive Committee Meeting at any time by giving five (5) days’ notice. At least 50% of the Executive Committee Members must be present for its proceedings to be valid.
Any member of the Executive Committee absenting themselves from three (3) meetings consecutively without satisfactory explanations shall be deemed to have withdrawn from the Executive Committee and a voting member may be co-opted by the Executive Committee to serve until the next Annual General Meeting. Any changes in the Executive Committee shall be notified to the Registrar of Societies within two (2) weeks of the change.
The duty of the Executive Committee is to organise and supervise the day-to-day activities of the Society. The Executive Committee may not act contrary to the expressed wishes of the General Meeting of members without prior reference to it and shall always remain subordinate to the General Meetings of members.
The Executive Committee has power to authorize the expenditure of a sum not exceeding $2,500 per month from the Society’s funds for the Society’s purposes.
All key office-bearers of the President, Vice-President, Secretary, Assistant Secretary, Treasurer and Assistant Treasurer shall not belong to or be employed by the same organisation, agency or local church.
There shall be no more than two (2) members belonging to or employed by the same organisation, agency or local church in the Executive Committee.
Duties of Office-Bearers
The President shall chair all General and Executive Committee meetings, and represent the Society in its dealings with outside persons.
The Vice-President shall assist the President and deputise for them in the latter’s absence.
The Secretary shall keep all records, except financial, of the Society and shall be responsible for their correctness. They shall keep minutes of all General and Executive Committee meetings, and maintain an up-to-date Register of Members at all times.
The Assistant Secretary shall assist the Secretary and deputise for them in the latter’s absence.
The Treasurer shall keep all funds, collect and disburse all moneys on behalf of the Society, as well as keep an account of all monetary transactions and be responsible for their correctness. The Treasurer is authorised to expend up to $2,500 per month for petty expenses on behalf of the Society and will not keep more than $1,500 in the form of cash, and money in excess of this will be deposited in a bank to be named by the Executive Committee. Cheques, etc. for withdrawals from the bank will be signed by the Treasurer and either the President, Vice-President or the Secretary.
The Assistant Treasurer shall assist the Treasurer and deputise for them in the latter’s absence.
Ordinary Executive Committee Members shall assist in the general administration of the Society and perform duties assigned by the Executive Committee from time to time.
Audit and Financial Year
One (1) voting member, not being a member of the Executive Committee, shall be elected as an Honorary Auditor at alternate Annual General Meeting and will hold office for a term of two (2) years and shall not be re-elected for a consecutive term. The accounts of the Society shall be audited by a firm of Public Accountants and Chartered Accountants if the gross income or expenditure of the Society exceeds $500,000 in that financial year, in accordance with Section 4 of the Societies Regulations.
Will be required to audit each year's accounts and present a report upon them to the Annual General Meeting.
May be required by the President to audit the Society's accounts for any period within their tenure of office at any date and make a report to the Executive Committee.
The financial year shall be from 1st January to 31st December.
If the Society at any time acquires any immovable property, such property shall be vested in trustees subject to a declaration of trust.
The trustees of the Society shall:
Not be more than four (4) and not less than two (2) in number.
Be elected by a General Meeting of members.
Not effect any sale or mortgage of property without the prior approval of the General Meeting of members.
The office of the trustee shall be vacated:
If the trustee dies or becomes a lunatic or of unsound mind.
If the trustee is absent from the Republic of Singapore for a period of more than one (1) year.
If the trustee is guilty of misconduct of such a kind as to render it undesirable that they continue as a trustee.
If the trustee submits notice of resignation from their trusteeship.
Notice of any proposal to remove a trustee from their trusteeship or to appoint a new trustee to fill a vacancy must be given by posting it on the Society website at least two (2) weeks before the General Meeting at which the proposal is to be discussed.
Visitors and Guests
Visitors and guests may be admitted into events organised by the Society without obligation of being admitted into the privileges of the membership. All visitors and guests shall respect the Society's objects, statement of faith, and prohibitions as detailed in this Constitution.
The funds of the Society shall not be used to pay the fines of members who have been convicted in a court of law.
The Society shall not engage in any trade union activity as defined in any written law relating to trade unions for the time being in force in Singapore.
The Society shall not attempt to restrict or interfere with trade or make directly or indirectly any recommendation to, any arrangement with its members which has the purpose or is likely to have the effect of fixing or controlling the price or any discount, allowance or rebate relating to any goods or service which adversely affect consumer interests.
The Society shall not indulge in any political activity or allow its funds and/or premises to be used for political purposes.
The Society shall not raise funds from the public for whatever purposes without the prior approval in writing of the Head, Licensing Division, Singapore Police Force and other relevant authorities.
Amendments to Constitution
No alteration or addition/deletion to this Constitution shall be made except at a General Meeting and with the consent of two-thirds (2/3) of the voting members present at the General Meeting, and they shall not come into force without the prior sanction of the Registrar of Societies.
In the event of any question or matter pertaining to day-to-day administration which is not expressly provided for in this Constitution, the Executive Committee shall have power to use its own discretion. The decision of the Executive Committee shall be final unless it is reversed at a General Meeting of members.
In the event of any dispute arising amongst members, they shall attempt to resolve the matter at an Extraordinary General Meeting in accordance with this Constitution. Should the members fail to resolve the matter, they may bring the matter to a court of law for settlement.
The Society shall not be dissolved, except with the consent of not less than three-fifths (3/5) of the total voting membership of the Society for the time being resident in Singapore expressed, either in person or by proxy, at a General Meeting convened for the purpose.
In the event of the Society being dissolved as provided above, all debts and liabilities legally incurred on behalf of the Society shall be fully discharged, and the remaining funds will be disposed of in such manner as the General Meeting of members may determine or donated to an approved charity or charities in Singapore.
A Certificate of Dissolution shall be given within seven (7) days of the dissolution to the Registrar of Societies.
Updated on 01 December 2023