FAQs: Volunteer Appointment Process | Heart Rhythm Society

FAQs: Volunteer Appointment Process

The Society is fortunate to have dedicated and committed members with an interest in sharing their expertise and time to support its strategic initiatives. Regrettably, more members are interested in volunteering than there are positions available. The purpose of these Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) is to assist you in understanding how positions are assigned and the process for applying to them.

Getting Involved

How does one enter the Contributor Track?

A few committee opportunities are announced in the fall for positions to begin in the spring; however, the majority of the Society’s limited number of committee positions will be announced in the spring for assignments beginning October. Additionally, ad hoc opportunities (e.g., working groups, task forces, microvolunteering assignments) may become available at any time for those interested in becoming involved as a volunteer. A variety of considerations are given to assigning members to the Contributor Track, including the needs of the position, diversity, expertise, conflicts of interest, and the competencies and skills being sought. In addition, the following information is maintained in the membership database and reviewed for those individuals being considered for volunteer assignments:

  • The Volunteer Interest Form, which can be updated throughout the year
  • Call for Volunteers Form (for interest specific to committee assignments – available in the fall and the spring)
  • Feedback from leadership and staff (for those with HRS volunteer experience)
  • Recommendations from members and staff
  • Past and present involvement within the Society and other non-HRS organizations
How does one progress to the Leadership Track?

While some members may prefer to remain in the Contributor Track, others may wish to progress to the Leadership Track by becoming a Chair or a Board member. The skills and behaviors expected for these roles are included in each job description and are defined within the Volunteer Competency Framework. Not all skills and behaviors are expected or required upon entering the leadership track, but should be developed as one serves in these leadership positions. Other factors are also considered in making assignments to the leadership track, including succession planning, performance, expertise, and diversity.

Are volunteer positions available throughout the year?

While Board and committee positions are assigned at designated times, ad hoc volunteer assignments, such as working groups, task forces or microvolunteering opportunities, may arise throughout the year.

When can I submit my interest in volunteering?

There will be two separate Calls for Volunteers for the 2023 term: one in the fall for limited committee positions, and a second in the spring for the majority of committees. Additionally, the Volunteer Interest Form on your member profile allows you to update your interests at any time.

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Selection Process and Timeline

How long does the assignment process take?

The committee appointment process takes about five months, beginning with the Call for Volunteers: one in the fall for a limited number of committees and ending with new appointments beginning in May, and a second for most committees in the spring, and ending with new appointments beginning in October. Other volunteer activities have a much quicker assignment process.

Who makes the assignments?

The President is granted the authority by the Board to make committee appointments, with consultation from the Immediate Past President, Chief Executive Officer, sitting and incoming Chairs, and Staff Liaisons.

Certain ad hoc assignments may be made by the President, Board, or a committee with the President’s approval. Board members and officers are voted in by the voting members, after Board approval of the Nominations Subcommittee’s recommendations. Microvolunteering opportunities are assigned as they develop.

How are volunteers selected?

Careful consideration is given to the selection process, taking into account a number of contributing factors. Committee and subcommittee appointments are distributed as equitably as possible, to ensure a manageable workload for individuals, and that opportunities for volunteer engagement and development are maximized.

Appointments are made based primarily on the needs of the position, along with the member’s expertise, competencies and skills, performance, and prior involvement in the Society and other non-HRS organizations. Wherever possible, appointments reflect a diverse mix of backgrounds, occupations, demographics (i.e., geography, ethnicity, gender), and interpersonal communication and problem solving styles.

Are interest forms kept beyond the year in which they are submitted?

Yes, committee preferences will be retained, yet members will have the opportunity to update their preferences each year. In addition, general, non-committee-specific interests are maintained on the Volunteer Interest Form of each member’s HRS profile and can be updated at any time.

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Term of Service

When does a term of service begin and end?

While ad hoc positions will vary in term length, most committee terms last for one year with eligibility for appointment for two additional consecutive one-year terms. Reappointment is not automatic, as the committee make up is carefully reviewed annually to ensure the needs of the committee continue to be met.

Are only HRS members allowed to volunteer?

While preference is given to HRS members, experience or expertise outside of the membership may be beneficial to certain assignments. In such cases, non-member volunteers will be considered.

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Committee Service

What is expected of committee members?

All committee members are expected to:

What is the expectation for committee meeting attendance?

While it is understood that it may not be possible to attend all committee meetings, if circumstances prevent one from contributing as expected, the member should discuss his/her personal situation with the Chair as appropriate.

Is additional guidance provided to new members to help them perform their duties?

The committee chair will hold a brief orientation as part of the first committee meeting or separately for new committee members, to include anything unique about the committee and its operations. In addition, the staff liaison will orient new members to the history, responsibilities, and expectations of the committee.

What if I have additional questions about the process?

Ask a colleague who serves in a leadership position as they should be familiar with the process. All Committee members, including chairs, and Board members are listed on the HRS website. Or you are welcome to reach out to governance@hrsonline.org.

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