Association of Critical Heritage Studies - Rules and Procedures

The Association of Critical Heritage Studies (ACHS) represents an international network of academics, researchers, practitioners and policy makers working in the broad and interdisciplinary field of heritage studies. Its primary aim is to promote heritage as an area of critical enquiry.

Summary of Activities

ACHS holds a biannual conference. The timing of this conference may change following the agreement of the majority of the ACHS Executive Committee (see below).

ACHS maintains an active web presence that includes:

  • The Association’s website – http://criticalheritagestudies.org/

  • Semi-regular Newsletters sent to all members and published on Association website

  • Social media accounts (e.g. Twitter, Facebook)

This web presence is managed by the Communications Sub-Committee (see below).


1. ACHS Membership

ACHS membership is free and life-long [1}. The registration process is managed through the main ACHS website (http://criticalheritagestudies.org/). Members who wish to update their information or resign their membership must do so via this website.

The ACHS Biannual Conference is not restricted to ACHS members, though Conference attendees will be invited to become members if they are not already.

Regional Chapters and thematic Networks of ACHS members may be established from the existing ACHS membership. The aim of such Chapters and Networks is to provide a more specialised or localised focus for events and communications. These should be run by one or more Coordinators who liaise with the Chair of the Membership Sub-Committee (see below) to ensure consistency across ACHS platforms and mediums. Any person wishing to be a member of an ACHS Chapter or Network must first register as a full ACHS member.

2. ACHS Executive Committee

2.1 Overview

An international Executive Committee oversees the Association, and is comprised of twelve standard members, a Secretariat Officer, a Vice President, and a President (fifteen Executive Committee members in total).

The role of the Executive Committee is to advertise and promote the aims of ACHS, and to develop and engage in activities to promote research, debate and networking for members. The Executive Committee will also provide advice and general oversight to ensure the continuation of the biannual conference program, also serving as part of the Scientific Committee for that conference.

To best meet these aims, the Executive Committee is arranged into three Sub-Committees for Communication, Membership, and Conference and Events. Each Sub-Committee is comprised of a Chair and three additional members who are appointed from the twelve standard members of the Executive Committee.

2.2 Term of Service

A term of service on the ACHS Executive Committee should normally be two years. Standard members of the Executive Committee are limited to three consecutive terms. If, after completing three consecutive terms on the Committee, a person wishes to continue to serve as a member of the Executive, they will be deemed eligible for re-election after taking a one-term absence.

The positions of President and Vice President are limited to two consecutive terms. The President and Vice President should not be located in the same country.

If an Executive Committee member resigns their post prior to the end of their term, the President and Vice President (in consultation with the Executive Committee) may choose to co-opt temporary additional members in order to fill the vacancy until the next election.

The Executive Committee should meet a minimum of twice a year virtually or in person. A meeting will also be held during the biannual conference.

2.3 Nomination Rules and Process

The Executive Committee election is held in conjunction with the ACHS General Meeting (held at the biannual ACHS conference). Existing members of the Executive who wish to continue in their role at the end of the two-year term will stand for re-election.

The Secretariat Officer (in consultation with the standing President and Vice President) is responsible for communicating the nomination process to all ACHS members via the ACHS website’s mailing list. Nominations are to be sent to, and collated by, the Secretariat Officer.

Nominations for the Executive Committee should be called no later than one month prior to the biannual conference. Nominations should be open for a two-week period; late nominations will not be accepted unless prior arrangements for late nomination had been agreed between the nominee and standing Executive Committee.

Nominees are required to provide a short statement that outlines relevant experience and their aims for ACHS. These statements will be circulated prior to and during the election process.

It is understood that by submitting their application, nominees have considered their availability (i.e. time) to serve on the Executive Committee, and are committed to contributing in an active manner.

2.4 Election Rules and Process

The Secretariat Officer, having collated all nominations (including those from existing Executive Committee members seeking re-election) at the end of the two-week nomination period, will determine whether,

a) There are more nominations than available positions, thus requiring a formal vote, or

b) There are the same number (or less) nominations than available positions, thus allowing the election of all nominees to be formalised at the General Meeting.

In order to expedite the process, all nominations for President and Vice President will also be considered nominations for the standard positions on the Committee, such that: the election of President and Vice President be held first, and that all unsuccessful candidates for these roles be able to contest the remaining positions along with those nominated for the standard positions only.

Once elected, the Executive Committee will meet with the new (or re-elected) President and Vice President, at which point tasks and aims will be organised.

3. ACHS Communications

ACHS maintains an active web presence that includes:

  • The Association’s website – http://criticalheritagestudies.org/

  • Semi-regular Newsletters sent to all members and published on Association website

  • Social media accounts (e.g. Twitter, Facebook)

This web presence is managed by the Communications Sub-Committee.

Additional websites may be developed by ACHS Chapters/Networks and by ACHS conference organisers, providing the information presented on these websites is consistent with the content published on the main ACHS website (http://criticalheritagestudies.org/).

With the exception of ACHS Conference Organisers’ communications with conference delegates, all communication with ACHS Members should be made via the main ACHS website’s email list. This includes communication by and for ACHS Chapters and Networks.

4. ACHS Biannual Conference and Events

Conferences are held every two years (though variations are permitted due to climate and other extenuating factors specific to the host institution).

Other events, such as regional or thematic symposiums, or Chapter/Network based seminars, may be held more frequently. This should be coordinated in partnership with the Events Sub- Committee.

4.1 Selection Process for Biannual Conference Host

The selection of the host institution for ACHS biannual conferences is made at the ACHS conference held four years prior (i.e. a voting process that runs concurrent with the ACHS conference will decide the location/host of the conference to be held in four years time).

The ACHS Executive Committee should call for informal expressions of interest to host the biannual conference six months prior to the vote. This can be done via the ACHS newsletter, which is sent to all members. The Conference and Events Sub-Committee should manage enquiries or submissions.

The formal bidding process should be opened no later than one month prior to the vote. Formal bids must be submitted no later than one week prior to the vote.

Formal bids should include an outline of the proposed location, theme, supporting events and any other information that the bidding institution wishes to make public. This outline will be circulated to ACHS members prior to the vote.

A representative of each bidding institution must attend the General Meeting and may be asked to offer a brief summary of their bid prior to the vote.

In the event that a winning bid is unable to hold that conference, the bid with the second most votes will be given the right to hold the conference.

The President or Vice-President of the Executive Committee will not have carriage of organizing a conference. If a President or Vice-President wins a conference bid, they must resign their position.

4.2 Conference Organisation

A conference-specific Scientific Committee, comprising, but not limited to, the ACHS Executive Committee, should be established for each conference. The conference organisers should nominate a main contact person/representative with whom the ACHS Executive Committee (and specifically Events and Conferences Sub-Committee) can liaise.

5. Publication and Revision of Rules and Procedures

An updated version of the Rules and Procedures document should be published on the ACHS website and be accessible to all ACHS members at all times.

Revisions to the ACHS Rules and Procedures may be necessary as the Association grows and diversifies, and/or as circumstances arise that prompt the formalisation of processes.

5.1 Revision Process for Rules and Procedures

In the event that revisions are deemed necessary, the President and/or Vice President will advise the Secretariat Officer to make changes; the Secretariat Officer will then distribute a draft version of the revised document to the Executive Committee for comment.

After a two-week period of open discussion amongst the Executive Committee, the Secretariat Officer will make further minor revisions (if this is deemed necessary by majority consensus) and prepare a final version for ratification by the majority.

Ratification of the new version of the Rules and Procedures can be done at an Executive Committee meeting held during the Biannual ACHS Conference, or – in extenuating circumstances – by email.