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Personal Professional Association Membership Fees Policy

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Section 1 - Purpose and Context

(1) Western Sydney University understands by the nature of the professions within the University that many of its employees will be members of professional associations. Membership of such associations provides individuals with opportunities for professional training; access to contemporary ideas in their area of expertise; and/or subscription to scholarly publications, and the like.

(2) This policy outlines the circumstances under which the University will pay or reimburse employees for personal professional association membership fees, i.e. membership in the name of the individual staff member rather than the University.

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Section 2 - Definitions

(3) Nil.

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Section 3 - Policy Statement

(4) Personal professional association membership fees are a personal expenditure to be met by employees.

(5) The University will only pay or reimburse personal professional association membership fees in the following exceptional circumstances:

  1. where the employee is in receipt of a specific 'Expense of Office Allowance' as part of their salary package under an employment contract. Professional association membership fees relevant to the employment are an allowable "Expense of Office" claim and may be reimbursed from the allowance.
  2. where the employee is required by legislation to be a member of a professional association in order to discharge their professional University duties; or where membership of an association or registration to a body is a mandatory requirement imposed by the University in the staff member's employment contract and/or position description. For example, in order to practise as the University Solicitor, the University's Legal Counsel is required to be a member of the NSW Law Society. Law Society membership is therefore an expense incurred as a requirement of employment.

(6) The University will not pay personal professional association membership fees on the basis that membership is desirable from a professional viewpoint or that it enables an employee to maintain professional currency or receive a professional journal.

(7) In circumstances where attendance at a conference, including to present a paper or poster, requires the attendee to be a member of a professional association, the University will not pay for the component of the conference fees that relate to that membership. The attendee is required to pay that component personally.

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Section 4 - Procedures

Part A - 'Expense of Office' Allowance Claim

(8) Where an employee is in receipt of an 'Expense of Office' allowance as part of a salary package under an employment contract, they may claim payment of personal professional membership fees relevant to their employment with the University as an allowable expense against the allowance.

(9) All such claims are to be submitted to the Office of People for reimbursement via the payroll. Reimbursement will be charged against the allowance and paid before tax. A condition of such reimbursement will be that the staff member submits with the claim evidence of payment of the membership fees and completes and submits an FBT Expense Declaration form. Forms are available on the Finance Office website.

Part B - Employment Requirement Claim

(10) Where an employee is required to be a member of a professional association in order to discharge the functions of his/her position by law or as a mandatory specification imposed by the University in an employment contract or position description, the University will pay the fees.

(11) Requests for payment are initiated by the unit head and submitted to the relevant Dean /Director or Deputy Vice-Chancellor. The unit head must certify that the membership is a mandatory requirement of the employee's position, i.e. the employee must hold membership or registration in order to discharge the specific duties of their position, and this is stated in the position description, or the contract of employment. The relevant Dean /Director or Deputy Vice-Chancellor can approve the request for payment.

(12) Where such payments are approved, they are to be made directly to the association or body by the University, and will be charged to the unit in which the employee is located. Employees must complete a Payment Requisition form and attach the original of the membership or registration tax invoice to the requisition. Payment Requisition forms are available on the Finance Office website. If a section of the membership form is to be returned to the association or body, this should be clearly indicated on the Payment Requisition form. Alternatively, payment can be made with a corporate credit card.

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Section 5 - Guidelines

(13) Nil.