IPA Candidates Loan Panel Procedures
1. Regional Distribution of Loans
Whenever loans are offered to candidates, equal sums will be allocated to each IPA region. However, should this mean, through insufficient applications from one or two regions, that sums remain unallocated in these one or two regions, the Panel may apply to the Executive Committee for the funds to be used in those regions where there are sufficient applications.
2. Value of Loans
Loans will be up to $5,000 in value. The total limit for the first and any subsequent loans from the Candidates loan fund to any one person will be $7,000.
3. Administrative Support
Lexicon staff will provide administrative and financial support to the Panel. It is assumed the Panel will operate almost entirely by email and teleconferences.
The Panel will advertise the existence of the fund in ways it thinks appropriate, and will invite confidential applications on the basis of ‘financial hardship’. IPSO should be asked to assist in advertising the availability of the loans.
5. Closing Dates
The Panel will determine and advertise the closing date for applications. It is assumed that applications will be invited each time there are sufficient sums in the fund to warrant such invitations.
Applications may be submitted in any IPA language. The Panel should adopt economical ways of translating applications so that they may be read by all members of the Panel.
The Panel should adopt its own definition of ‘financial hardship’, the requirements for making applications, and the criteria for assessing applications and deciding which ones to support. Every Panel member must vote on each application (not just those from the region concerned). Loans should only be offered in cases of demonstrable ‘financial hardship’. The Panel may enter into dialogue through the IPA staff with applicants if it feels the application is insufficient for a decision to be made.
8. Conflicts of Interest
The Panel should be alert to conflicts of interest that may arise from recognition of an applicant from the application text.
a. Any member of the Panel who knows an applicant must reveal this to the Panel. Such a Panel member may not vote on that particular application.
b. Any member of the Panel must reveal to the Panel when an application is from an Institute with which he or she is associated, whether or not the Panel member concerned knows the applicant. Such a Panel member may not vote on that particular application.
c. Any member of the Panel must reveal any other potential conflicts of interest to the Panel, and the Panel shall determine any appropriate action.
The names of recipients of loans will not be disclosed beyond the staff in Lexicon who need to know this information for administrative, contractual and financial reasons. Names of recipients will not be released to Societies or Institutes or to other IPA Members. The existence of a loan is a private matter between the IPA and the recipient. However, Lexicon staff may contact the recipient’s Institute/Society to seek confirmation that the recipient is indeed an IPA Candidate of good standing within the Institute/Society and, under other unusual circumstances such as when there is difficulty in contacting a recipient. In all cases the administrative staff will use reasonable endeavours to minimise any breach of confidentiality. The numbers of loans made, the total value of the loans (but not the individual loans) and the regions of the recipients may be disclosed – such as: ‘A total of $X,000 has been loaned to 6 recipients in Europe’.
10. Correspondence with Applicants
All applications should be acknowledged, and the outcomes of applications should be communicated to recipients in a timely manner. Applicants should be informed that all communications with them will be handled confidentially by the IPA.
The Panel should not enter into dialogue with applicants as to why any were refused, apart from saying that it made its decision on the basis of ‘financial hardship’ and it felt there were more deserving cases. There will be no appeals procedure, but refused applicants should be informed that they may apply again to future invitations.
12. Repayment of Loans
Loans will normally be repayable from a year after a candidate graduates, and repaid at the rate of $1,000 per year, without interest, until the sum is repaid. However, if a candidate has not graduated eight years after the loan was issued, repayment on the same terms will begin at that time.
13. Loan Agreements
All loans will be subject to a simple agreement (or contract) with recipients specifying the repayment period. The agreement will include a hardship clause in case recipients find repayment difficult. The standard agreement will be approved by the Treasurer. The Loan Agreement will be in English and subject to English law. A copy of the Loan Agreement in French, German and Spanish may be made available to those selected applicants who require clarification as to what they are signing. It should be noted however that only the English Language version may be signed as a condition for the release of the loan.
14. Recycling of Loans
Any repaid loans will normally be returned to the fund for subsequent new loans to candidates.
15. Increasing the Loan Fund
The IPA will seek to increase the size of the fund both from donations from members and from other sources. The Panel is asked to consider such actions and to make proposals to the Executive Committee.
16. Keeping Donors Informed
The Panel will keep any donors to the fund informed of the actions it has taken, but it may not reveal the names of any recipients. Consideration should be given to asking such donors to consider further gifts.
17. Terms of Panel Members
The Panel Chair shall serve as long as the President determines but it will be assumed that he/she has resigned at the change of IPA administration. The six other members of the Panel shall be subject to a system of automatic rotation: they shall serve no more than 4 years each, with 3 serving only two years in the first instance, so that three members, one from each region, change every two years. The first such change will be in 2008, then 2010, etc.
Outline procedures approved by the Board November 2004
General procedures, above, approved by the Board January 2006
Revisions approved by the Executive Committee March 2007
Addition of limit of funds loaned to one person approved July 2007