Members maintain their ASCLS membership through state constituent societies.

Within these constituent societies, members can discuss local and statewide problems, compare and contrast issues, standards and methodologies of their respective laboratories, and stimulate local/regional interest in the profession. Constituent societies produce journals or newsletters to facilitate communications among their members. Workshops and seminars are sponsored to provide continuing education. Constituent societies also sponsor their own annual meetings, usually held in late winter or spring of each year.

When you join ASCLS, you are charged $10 state dues directly to your chosen constituent society. These dues are used to finance activities and opportunities within your society.

Constituent Society Revitalization Resources

The Constituent Society Revitalization Task Force developed a toolbox to provide resources for struggling constituent societies.

This toolbox contains resources for building and/or strengthening a constituent society infrastructure. The Toolbox provides a “one-stop-shop” that includes information, templates, and websites to aid constituent societies if searching for a specific resource.

If you are concerned that your constituent society is in danger of folding or you need to strengthen certain infrastructure elements, the following information is found on this website. Click on each link below for more information.

Successful Constituent Society Traits

Characteristics describing a successful constituent society

  • A membership roster that includes significant numbers in all membership categories
    • Each constituent society will determine its significant membership numbers based on the state’s number of hospitals/clinics and student programs. The membership chair will be responsible for tracking this information yearly.
  • Composition and activity of the Board of Directors (BOD)
    • All BOD positions, determined by constituent society bylaws, should be filled. There should also be both an Ascending Professional and Developing Professional Forum representative on the BOD.
    • The BOD will conduct at least quarterly meetings each year. The format can be in-person, virtual, teleconference, etc.
    • A House of Delegates and/or business meeting open to the members at large should occur once a year. The meeting should include a State of the Society address.
    • For the president’s position, a different individual should have held the office in each of the last five terms without repetition.
    • Attendance of the president and president-elect at the ASCLS Annual Meeting, including the House of Delegates, is mandatory.
    • Adequate constituent delegate representation at the ASCLS House of Delegates is paramount.
    • Ideally, there should be more than one candidate for each office on the election ballot each year, and the candidates should include new faces and voices.
    • The BOD should conduct a yearly leadership/planning meeting open to the members at large that results in a strategic plan that is reviewed annually.
    • The SOP for the organization must be thorough, organized, and revised yearly to reflect changes made in the organization’s practices.
    • A review and revision of the bylaws is completed yearly.
  • Communication with society membership
    • Evidence of a written and/or electronic newsletter disseminated to the membership at least bi-annually.
    • An active website that is updated quarterly and links to the ASCLS website and other websites such as AABB, AACC, NCA, ASCP-BORASM, etc.
    • A mechanism (example: list serve or email blast) to enhance communication between the hospital/clinical laboratories and educational programs in the state should be in place.
    • There must be an electronic means to communicate with members.
  • Continuing education offerings
    • Offering continuing education opportunities.


Warning signs that a constituent state society is in danger

  • Recycling leadership within the organization
    • Repeating more than two terms in a row as a major officer of the organization e.g., president or vice president.
    • Lack of volunteers for vacant leadership positions during the next business year(s).
    • A single individual consistently does more than one task or holds more than one position within the organization.
  • Decreased offerings and/or participation in constituent society-sponsored continuing education programs
    • Unable to hold at least one annual meeting where continuing education programs can be offered.
    • Decrease in attendance at events.
  • Significant decline in membership numbers
    • A 10 percent drop in membership in a single year.
    • Consistent decrease in membership in the last three to five years.
    • Steady decrease in active members attending meetings.
    • Lack of interest in active members to be involved in their constituent society.
  • A constituent society requesting guidance from national ASCLS regarding survival information for the organization

Strategies for mentoring an at-risk state constituent society

In cases with warning signs that a constituent state society is in danger of inactive status, establish a program where a nearby state would act as a mentor.

  1. The primary contact for this mentoring task is the regional director in which the troubled society resides.
  2. The state society leadership along with the regional director will develop a procedure to guide the at-risk society.
  3. Utilize the hierarchy of the regional structure of ASCLS with the regional director as the point person. Other regional officers will be called upon as needed.
  4. Contact the ASCLS National Office at if you need to know regional and national contacts who can assist your regional director and the at-risk society leadership.

If individual states cannot sustain independent constituent society status, develop a mechanism for combining more than one state in a particular geographic location.

  1. President, treasurer, and membership recruitment person are key personnel in developing an alternative governance structure with the organization.
  2. Provide communication to all members of the society with the minimal effort being an email or paper notification to the membership stating the status of the society and the request for alternative governance structure.