Membership information for BFS IOA

Dear BFS member,

During the year, we have noted some confusion around the BFS IOA membership system. The board would therefore like to take the opportunity to explain the details around our membership and its implications.

1.) The membership fee (currently €1100 or $1350) should be paid by the company and is not linked to any particular person.

2.) Where the company is multinational, every regional part of such a company should pay a membership fee, alternatively the company could apply for a Global membership (allowing all subsidiaries and agents to attend all meetings)

3.) Once a membership fee has been paid, that company is allowed to send any number of employees to any number of meetings, globally.

4.) The company also has a right to vote (one membership – one vote) at the yearly Annual General Meeting (AGM). Voting should be made to reflect the company view, or the majority of active employees’ views. It is up to the company employees to agree on the voting, prior to sending the vote to the AGM or assigning one person (attending the AGM) to represent the company.

As you can see, the above system is very much different than e.g. the PDA system, where each individual in a company must become a member to be able to attend meetings. For large companies, this risk to become a major cost, and in addition, large fee´s are normally needed also to attend the meetings in addition to the membership fee. At BFS meetings, you are normally only required to cover your costs for the hotel, and a nominal minor fee to cover for the conference arrangements.

Ideally, all member companies should send in a contact list with names at various line functions, with a potential interest in BFS IOA subjects. An example could be:

  • Production management
  • Engineering
  • QA/QC
  • R&D
  • Purchasing

Having several contact persons will allow us to better disseminate the essential information and help in allowing more employees to take advantage of the company membership.

The board members and Appointed Officers do their work solely on a voluntary basis without financial compensation, other than coverage of travel related expenses during our meetings. To be able to organize three major meetings (one per geographical region) yearly, we also rely on our sponsors, both Global / general sponsorships and specific ones for local meetings. This is an important part of our financing, complementing the membership fees.

Since the BFS IOA is a non-profit association, relying primarily on voluntary work and sponsoring companies, we have been able to maintain the yearly membership fee for a complete company to €1100 ($1350). This is generally less than the cost for sending one person from one company to one PDA meeting per year.

We do hope that the BFS Association can continue to add value to your company and function as a united voice for the BFS users and suppliers, but we need your help. In previous years, we have had several BFS companies sending their employees to BFS IOA meetings without being members. To the board, it is self-evident that in order to draw advantage of the benefits in an Association, you must become a member. This is our policy also in 2006, and I am sure that when reflecting over what wealth of knowledge and experience you get access to in the Association, the networking and the fact that we together can make a real difference in our discussions with various health authorities around the world, you will agree with us that the membership fee is money well-invested.

I am looking forward to meet and discuss with you all during next year, 2006. BFS technology is becoming increasingly more accepted as the advanced filling technology we all know it is, much related to the work we are making as a united lobby group.

Best regards,

Anders Löfgren, Ph.D.
Chairman of the Board, BFS IOA