Depending on national laws and regulations, other non-profit organizational structures are possible. A new bulletin will benefit from consulting a legal adviser to make sure that it chooses a structure that fits the way the bulletin wants to carry out the work and the circumstances in which editors need to work. A legal adviser to a health ministry or university with which you have links can often give good advice on the best legal form to adopt when the time comes. In many countries it is not necessary to establish a venture, such as a bulletin, as a company. This may also be costly.
Case study: Therapeutic Guidelines Limited, Australia
Therapeutic Guidelines Limited (TGL) was registered on 15 July 1996 as a public not-for-profit company limited by guarantee. The objective of the organization is to improve health outcomes by producing comprehensive and independent disease-based treatment information, based on the best available evidence integrated with clinical experience. The information is designed to support health professionals in their management of patients to improve health outcomes across the community.
The company has nine directors who are appointed for 2-year terms. Because TGL arose out of activities undertaken by two other structures (the Victorian Drug Usage Advisory Committee and the Victorian Medical Postgraduate Foundation) the constitution allows for these bodies to nominate two of the directors. The Board consists of:
• one appointee of the Victorian Medical Postgraduate Foundation;
• one appointee of the relevant Commonwealth Department;
• one appointee of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners; and
• five other persons elected by the membership of the company.
Because the members of the company have the authority to elect the majority of the directors (five), control of the company rests with its membership. Members of the company are appointed by the board, membership being open to persons or bodies corporate described as interested in the objects and purposes of the company. The company currently has 18 members.
Contributed by Mary Hemming, Therapeutic Guidelines Ltd. [http://www.tg.com.au/].