Procedure to Establish a Special Interest Group

Special Interest Group Policies and Procedures

Purpose of SIGs

The purpose of special interest groups is to facilitate national networking of SPP members in an identified subspecialty, disease or interest area. SIGs are a structural unit of the society and a reflection of the needs and activities of the members. Any member can participate in these groups.

Procedure to establish a SIG

Any group of 10 or more SPP members may apply for the formation of a special interest group. The letter of application (max. two pages) should include the name of the proposed SIG, the description of the proposed activities of the SIG, as well as the names and email addresses of the founding members and leadership.

The SIG Chair should email the letter of application to the membership member-at-large for subsequent approval by the SPP Board of Directors. The membership member-at-large will provide verbal or written (email is sufficient) notification of the decision to the SIG chair.

SIG responsibilities

Every SIG has a responsibility to uphold the image and advance the mission of the Society of Pediatric Psychology through the advancement of pediatric psychology-related research, education, treatment and professional practice. SIGs should serve as a forum for communication within the interest area and be a resource in the dissemination of knowledge and information related to pediatric psychology.

To maintain SIG status in SPP, SIGs must: (1) maintain a minimum of 10 SPP members; (2) elect (or re-elect) a chair(s) on one- to three-year terms; and (3) submit annual and midyear reports to the board of directors (roughly in January and July). The SPP central office will send a request for SIG status reports (PDF, 8KB) to the SIG chairs in advance and reports should be submitted to the central office.

SIG expectations

  • Each SIG should have a chair who will submit an annual report on the SIG activities and a list of current SIG members to the SPP board as requested by the president. These individuals will also serve as liaisons with the board on topics of relevance to the SIG. 

  • SIGs are encouraged to provide updates regarding their activities on the SPP email and the SPP newsletter. 

  • Information about SIGs will be made available on the SPP website. 

  • Membership in SIGs will be included in annual dues. Any SPP member can join one or more SIGs. 

  • Requests to join SIGs should be sent to the SPP administrative officer who can confirm whether the individual is indeed an SPP member and then provide approval to the SIG chair that the individual is eligible to join.

SIG leadership

Every SIG should have a chair or co-chairs that are elected annually (or in two- or three-year terms) by the SIG. Each SIG should have a succession plan in place, which may include a term limit as well as methods for electing a new chair (either due to term expiring or chair opting to step down). The membership of each individual SIG should decide on these policies and they should be known to the SPP Board of Directors.

Member demographics and contact information are maintained by the SPP central office and can be obtained by the SIG upon request.

The SPP president with approval from the board of directors has the power to divest any chair of his/her position should that individual consistently fail to fulfill his/her chair responsibilities.

SIG resources provided by SPP

SIGs are encouraged to provide updates regarding their activities on the SPP Email list and the SPP Newsletter (as per the editor's discretion). SPP will check that members of all SIGs are SPP members upon initiation of the SIG, upon an individual joining the SIG, and in the following years following membership renewal deadlines. SPP will also allow SIGS to place information on the SPP website as well as to have time at SPP-sponsored conferences (see related sections of this document). Other requests from SIGs for support from SPP should be forwarded to the membership member-at-large who can forward them to the board for consideration. Such requests may be made on the SIG Status Report Form.


Information about SIGs will be made available on the SPP website. Each SIG will have a dedicated webpage where they can include basic information regarding their group. A SIG web template form (PDF, 12KB) should be completed and updated annually and submitted to the SPP webmaster.


SIGs are encouraged to hold annual meetings in conjunction with the national or APA conferences. As available, SPP will provide space and time for SIGs to hold these meetings.

SIGs are encouraged to plan activities in conjunction with their meetings. Ideas include: SIG poster awards, sponsoring speakers, hosting a research blitz or case presentations, and other SIG-related social activities (runs, breakfasts, etc.). During the programming time allotted to SIGS, CEU programming may also be possible if presentations are given with learning objectives. SIGs may, for example, invite or ask members to submit ideas for such presentations. SIGs should develop their own processes for selecting presentations and other programming content. Once each SIG determines their agenda for the meeting, it should be shared in advance of the meeting with the conference program chair, who can insert the information into the program brochure or help advertise as appropriate. This will also allow the SIG presentation(s) to be eligible for CEU credit, if appropriate.

Board reports

Twice per year, the leader of each SIG will be required to supply the membership member-at-large with a report of their activities over the previous six months. These reports will be requested and compiled by the SPP administrative officer.

Email lists

It is recommended that SIGs have an active presence on the SPP email list. When you send a message that is SIG specific, simply put the name of your SIG in the subject line. Some SIGs have elected to form their own email lists independent of the SPP email list. If a SIG does elect to develop their own email list they would need to do this on their own through a service like Yahoo groups. If a SIG does maintain a separate email list it would be their responsibility to check the list twice per year to make sure that anyone who is not an active member of Division 54 is removed from the email list. Information on non-renewed members can be procured from the SPP administrative officer.

SPP logo use

SIGs may request to use the SPP logo on their brochures, posters, or other materials. This is acceptable to the board as long as the materials are professional in nature, and does not require pre-approval of the board. The board would like to track the use of the logo on such materials, so please send electronic copies to the SPP administrative officer for presentation to the board (for example at the time of submission of the SIG report). To receive a high resolution copy of the logo, contact the SPP administrative officer.


SIGs may like to have funds to support their activities. In general, fundraising by a SIG to support these activities is discouraged as there is no existing structure to assist with these activities. However, reasonable requests with specific objectives will be considered by the SPP Board. To make a funding request to the board, simply submit a SIG Funding Request Form (PDF, 15KB), which can be procured from the SPP administrative officer.


Many SIGs are working on research projects together which may (hopefully) result in presentation and publication. The board recommends that SIGs follow the APA guidelines for authorship in all presentations and publications. SIGs may also use the logo on presentations and publications where appropriate, and are also welcome to identify themselves as a "Special Interest Group of Division 54 (Society of Pediatric Psychology, American Psychological Association)," if appropriate.

How to join

Requests to join SIGs should be sent to the SPP administrative officer who can confirm whether the individual is indeed an SPP member and then provide approval to the SIG chair that the individual is eligible to join.