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Terms and Conditions
Version 1       Date of Issue 16/9/2019

1.     Membership criteria

1.1.     Institutional member

1.1.1.    Legal entity wholly or partly engaged in research into, development of or use of isotopic analysis for forensic application and supportive of the FIRMS Mission

1.1.2.    Approved by FIRMS Steering Group

1.1.3.    Abides by FIRMS Code of Conduct

1.2.     Individual member

1.2.1.    Individual, aged 18 years or over,  wholly or partly engaged in research into, development of or use of isotopic analysis for forensic application and supportive of the FIRMS Mission

1.2.2.    Approved by FIRMS Steering Group

1.2.3.    Abides by FIRMS Code of Conduct

1.3.     Student member

1.3.1.    Registered under or postgraduate student, aged 18 years or over, wholly or partly engaged in research into, development of or use of isotopic analysis for forensic application

1.3.2.    Approved by FIRMS Steering Group

1.3.3.    Abides by FIRMS Code of Conduct

 

2.     Membership benefits

2.1.     Membership of the FIRMS Network is available at three different levels: institutional, individual and student. As a member of the FIRMS Network, you will receive a range of benefits including:

2.1.1.    Institutional Member benefits

2.1.1.1.   Discounted FIRMS Conference registration

2.1.1.2.   Access to peer review

2.1.1.3.   Access to advice on accreditation and regulation

2.1.1.4.   Access to FIRMS Network publication repository

2.1.1.5.   Eligibility to seek FIRMS Approval as a Lead Practitioner

2.1.1.6.   Right to nominate a person for Steering Group Membership

2.1.1.7.   Right for the elected Steering Group member to become a Director

2.1.1.8.   Access to the Steering Group area of the website

2.1.1.9.   Up to three named individual memberships

2.1.1.10. Up to 20 named student memberships

2.1.1.11. Subsidy of FIRMS PT scheme fee

2.1.2.    Individual Member benefits

2.1.2.1.   Discounted FIRMS Conference registration

2.1.2.2.   Access to peer review

2.1.2.3.   Access to advice on accreditation and regulation

2.1.2.4.   Access to FIRMS Network publication repository

2.1.2.5.   Eligibility to seek FIRMS Approval as a Lead Practitioner

2.1.3.    Student Member benefits

2.1.3.1.   Discounted FIRMS Conference registration

2.1.3.2.   Access to FIRMS Network publication repository

2.2.     The FIRMS Network reserves the right to change the benefits of membership at any time without prior notice.

 

3.     Application Process for Membership

3.1.     An institution or individual (including students) can register their interest in joining the FIRMS Network via the contact form on the FIRMS website.

3.2.     As part of the application process, applicants will be required to provide information including a brief (<300 word) CV together with one or two relevant publications/presentations. These will be considered by the FIRMS Steering Group as part of the application process.

3.3.     The FIRMS Steering Group will vote on membership with a simple majority being required for success.

3.4.     Upon successful application, the new member will be sent an invoice for membership for the current year (pro-rata to the nearest half year rounded up).   They will be considered as members upon receipt of payment:

3.4.1.    Successful membership applications approved between 1st January and 30th June will be invoiced for the full year.

3.4.2.    Successful membership applications approved between 1st July and 31st December will be invoiced for half of the full subscription amount.

3.5.     Successful membership applications will be officially ratified at the next Steering Group Meeting.

3.6.     Regardless of the outcome of the application, the FIRMS Steering Group will not store copies of the CV or publications/presentations after the decision has been reached without the express permission of the applicant.

3.7.     If your membership application is accepted, but if it is subsequently discovered that any or all of the information provided by you was misleading or false, The FIRMS Network reserves the right to revoke your membership with immediate effect, without the right of appeal.

 

4.     Membership Fees and Charges

4.1.     The FIRMS Network membership year runs from 1st January to 31st December.

4.2.     Fees for membership of the FIRMS Network are payable annually and are charged in GPB:

4.2.1.    Institutional Membership £1090 annually

4.2.2.    Individual Membership £45 annually

4.2.3.    Student Membership £10 annually

4.3.     The FIRMS Network reserves the right to increase the price of membership subscription from time-to-time, and any such amendments will be announced on the FIRMS website. If you are a current member, you will be informed of any fee increase in your renewal notice sent with your invoice during January of each year. If an error is discovered in the price of your membership subscription, you will be informed as soon as possible.

4.4.     Invoices for the current year are sent out to all existing members in January with payment due upon receipt of the invoice. The FIRMS Network should receive fees no later than the end of February.

4.5.     The FIRMS Network will send out a reminder that invoices are due for payment at least 10 working days before the payment deadline of the end of February.

4.6.     If there is an unavoidable delay that would cause payment to be received by the FIRMS Network on or after the 1st March, then this must be communicated to FIRMS before the end of February.

4.6.1.    If no such communication is received and payment is not received by the FIRMS Network, your membership will be terminated (clause 6 ) and a final invoice will be issued.

4.7.     Payment of membership fees is to be made electronically where possible (including PayPal), payment by cheque or by bankers draft is possible but incurs and additional surcharge (clause 4.9 ).

4.8.     You may opt out of renewing your membership subscription in writing by letter or e-mail. This must be done by the end of February (i.e. by the time payment is due) if you wish to avoid payment for the current year (clause 5 ).

4.9.     Payment of membership fees by cheque or bankers draft requires an additional 10% (rounded up to nearest £5) surcharge:

4.9.1.    Institutional Membership £1200 annually

4.9.2.    Individual Membership £50 annually

4.10.  Payment of membership fees in any currency other than GPB is acceptable, provided that the amount received by the FIRMS Network following conversion to GBP meets those given in clauses 4.2 or 4.9 , as appropriate. 

4.10.1. Notice of such payment must be given in writing by e-mail at least 10 working days before the deadline for payment (clause 4.4 ) to ensure that correct amount will be sent and received.

 

5.     Cancellation

5.1.     If you wish to cancel your membership you must inform The FIRMS Network of your intention to cancel. This notice should be provided directly to us in writing by letter or e-mail.

5.2.     Cancelation of individual or institutional memberships received during the invoice period (i.e. 1st January to 28/29th February) will result in a full refund of the annual membership fee if this has already been paid, or cancelation of any outstanding invoice for the current membership period.

5.3.     Cancelation of individual or institutional memberships relating to individuals who are not part of the Steering Group during the year (i.e. those received from 1st March onwards) will result in a pro-rata refund  of the annual membership fee rounded to the nearest half year from the date of receipt of the cancelation request:

5.3.1.    Cancellations received between 1st March and 30th June will receive a refund equal to 50% of the annual membership fee.

5.3.2.    Cancellations received between 1st July and 31st December will not generally result in a pro-rata refund of the annual membership fee.

5.4.     Cancelation of individual or institutional memberships relating to individuals who are part of the Steering Group during the year (i.e. those received from 1st March onwards) will result in a pro-rata refund rounded to the nearest half year from the date of receipt of the cancellation request or from the date of the most recent Steering Group Meeting that was attended whichever is later.

5.5.     No refunds will be provided unless the above notice requirements are complied with.

5.6.     Bank charges incurred during processing of refunds by the FIRMS Network (e.g. those involving international payments) will be borne by the member concerned.

 

6.     Termination

6.1.     If membership fees are not received by the end of February and there has been no contact from the individual/institution involved, membership of the FIRMS Network is terminated and a final invoice will be issued.

6.2.     Final invoices will be for the full annual membership fee.

6.3.     Without affecting any other rights and remedies which the FIRMS Network may have and without liability to you for any losses which may result, the FIRMS Network may terminate these terms and conditions:

6.3.1.    immediately and without notice if,

6.3.1.1.   in the FIRMS Network’s sole opinion, you materially breach any of these terms and conditions, or fail to adhere to the FIRMS Code(s) of Conduct.

6.3.1.2.   you fail to renew your membership;

6.3.1.3.   you become bankrupt or insolvent;

6.3.1.4.   the FIRMS Network is required by any applicable law to terminate these terms and conditions; or

6.3.2.    at any time by giving you 10 working days' notice in writing.

6.4.     On any termination of these terms and conditions your right to use the members’ area of the FIRMS website and any services you receive from the FIRMS Network shall cease, and the FIRMS Network may invalidate any relevant access details. You will also be issued a final invoice to cover unpaid membership fees for the current year as details in clause 6.2 .

6.5.     Termination for whatever reason of these terms and conditions shall not affect:

6.5.1.    any rights, liabilities or obligations which accrued before such termination;

6.5.2.    any right to payment of fees; and

6.5.3.    any of these terms and conditions that are intended to continue to have effect after such termination.

6.6.     If the FIRMS Network terminates your membership under clause 6.3.1.1 or 6.3.1.2 , you may appeal our decision to terminate by contacting the FIRMS Network in writing or by e-mail. The matter will be referred to an independent third party chosen by the FIRMS Network, and any decision they make regarding the termination of your membership will be considered final and binding.

 

7.     Approved Practitioner Scheme

7.1.     Terms and conditions relating to the Approved Practitioner Scheme including fees and charges can be found in the AP Scheme documentation.

 

8.     PT Scheme

8.1.     Institutional members are eligible to receive subsidised participation within the FIRMS PT scheme administered by LGC Ltd (clause 2.1.1.11 ).

8.2.     Institutional members who have not paid their fees by the end of February (pursuant to clause 4.6 ) will not be eligible for subsidised participation within the FIRMS PT scheme administered by LGC.

8.2.1.    FIRMS will inform LGC of paid-up institutional members on 1st March, only these institutions will be eligible for subsidised participation within the FIRMS PT scheme.

8.2.2.    Other institutional members of FIRMS will be required to pay the PT scheme participation fee to LGC directly.

8.3.     The level of subsidy is at the discretion of the FIRMS Network, which reserves the right to change this at any time. Any such amendments will be announced by the FIRMS Network prior to registration for the round(s) within a particular year opening.

 

9.     Steering Group

9.1.     Institutional members are eligible to nominate an individual to join the Steering Group.

9.1.1.    The nominee must be aged 18 years or over

9.1.2.    Institutions may need change their nominated representative (e.g. due to staff leaving) and in such cases, the institution can nominate a replacement.

9.2.     The Steering Group may also invite individuals to join the Steering Group.

9.2.1.    Such individuals must be or become individual members of the Network before their position can be confirmed.

9.3.     The decision on whether to accept any nominee into the Steering Group rests with the Steering Group.

9.4.     Details over requirements of Steering Group members including lengths of membership of the Steering Group, can be found within the FIRMS Network’s Constitution within the controlled documents area of the FIRMS Website.

 

10.  Codes of conduct

10.1.  The Codes of Conduct for members of the FIRMS Network, for FIRMS Network Approved Practitioners and for members of the FIRMS Steering Group can be found as separate documents within the controlled documents area of the FIRMS Website.

 

11.  Data Protection/Privacy Policy

11.1.  The privacy policy relating to the FIRMS Network can be found as a separate document within the controlled documents area of the FIRMS Website

 

12.  Changes to membership terms and conditions

12.1.  The FIRMS Network is free to change unilaterally the membership terms and conditions without giving further notice to the individual/institutional member. Such changes will, unless otherwise stated, take immediate effect. The FIRMS Network will publish changes to the terms and conditions on its website. However, members are responsible for keeping themselves updated in relation to any changes to the terms and conditions