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SSC Rules and Guidelines
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Scientific and Standardization Committee of the International Society on Thrombosis and Haemostasis

I. Mission

II. Governance

A. Executive Committee

  1. Composition
  2. Responsibilities
  3. Voting
  4. Officers
    1. SSC Chair
    2. SSC Vice-Chair
    3. Election and Term

B. SSC Board

  1. Composition
  2. Responsibilities
  3. Voting

C. Standing Committees

  1. Coagulation Standards Standing Committee
  2. WHO-ISTH Standards Liaison Group
  3. BAT Standing Committee
  4. Guidance Committee

D. Working Groups

III. SSC Scientific Subcommittees

A. Responsibilities

B. Creation

C. Termination

D. Composition

  1. Subcommittee Chair
    1. Appointment process
    2. Responsibilities
  2. Subcommittee Co-Chairs
    1. Appointment process
    2. Responsibilities

E. Organization and Work

  1. Public Session
  2. Projects
  3. Official Communications

IV. Meetings

A. Frequency

B. Selection

C. Duration

D. Sessions

E. Content

F. Reporting

V. Finances

A. Budget

B. Financial

C. Funding Requests

D. Fund-Raising

VI. Relationship with ISTH

VII. Liaison and Collaboration

VIII. Official Language


I. STATEMENT OF PURPOSE

The SSC translates scientific knowledge into reliable methods for the evaluation of normal haemostasis and the pathogenesis, diagnosis and treatment of thrombotic and bleeding disorders

The SSC supports the ISTH’s mission by:

  • Providing a global forum for the identification and discussion of methodologies that require standardisation
  • Formulating recommendations and guidance for the implementation of basic and clinical methods
  • Standardizing nomenclature, methods and biological materials in collaboration with international partners
  • International registries
  • Providing expert consultation to standards-setting and regulatory bodies
  • Liaising and collaborating with other organizations on clinical and research matters
  • Disseminating knowledge relevant to the mission of the SSC through educational forums and publications

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II. GOVERNANCE

A. Executive Committee

  1. Composition. The Committee will be composed of the Chair, the Vice- Chair, the Immediate Past SSC Chair, the President of the upcoming SSC Meeting, and two (2) at-large members from among either Subcommittee and/or Standing Committee Chair. At-large members are chosen by the SSC Chair and SSC Vice-Chair.
  2.  

  3. Responsibilities. The Executive Committee will be responsible for all executive functions, including matters relating to nominations, to long-range planning, programming, and finance. It oversees and coordinates – on a strategic level – the work of the Scientific Subcommittees. The Executive Committee will function in all essential management capacities as needed in the interim between meetings of the SSC Board.
    The Executive Committee will be responsible for nominating replacements to any offices vacated by reason of expiration of term, retirement, disability, death, or any good and sufficient reason.
  4.  

  5. Appointments. The Executive Committee annually appoints and re-appoints Subcommittee Chairs, Co-chairs, and appoints Chairs of Working Groups, Standing Committees and ad hoc committees per the designated term-limits.
  6.  

  7. The Chair and Vice-Chair are elected by the SSC Board.
    1. The Chair of the SSC reports to the ISTH Council. As per ISTH Bylaws, the SSC Chair shall be an ex officio voting member of the ISTH Council during the term of his/her SSC Chairmanship. The SSC Chair is also an ex-officio voting member of the ISTH Executive Committee.The SSC Chair is responsible for establishing and maintaining the SSC’s organizational structure. This organization structure includes Standing Committees, Scientific Subcommittees, and Working Groups, as necessary.
      1. The SSC Chair represents the SSC as ex officio member on the Local Organizing Committees of SSC Meetings and ISTH Congresses taking place during his/her Chairmanship.
    2. The SSC Vice-Chair sits on the SSC Executive Committee and, as per ISTH Bylaws, shall be an ex officio non-voting member of the ISTH Council.  
      1. The SSC Vice-Chair represents the SSC as ex officio member on the Local Organizing Committees of ISTH Congresses in preparation for their time as Chair.
      2. The SSC Vice-Chair shall act as Associate Editor for SSC Official Communications submitted to JTH.
      3.  
    3. Term of Elected Office. The term of elected office for both the SSC Chair and SSC Vice-Chair shall be two years.
      1. Three (3) candidates for election shall be chosen by the SSC Executive Committee from among current Subcommittee Chairs and Immediate Past Subcommittee Chairs. The SSC Vice-Chair shall be elected by the SSC Board on the occasion of the SSC Board Meeting two (2) years before a Vice-Chair should become a Chair.
      2. Past SSC Chairs are not eligible to stand for re-election.
      3. The SSC Vice-Chair automatically succeeds the retiring Chair.
    4. Removal from Elected Office. The SSC Chair or SSC Vice-Chair may be removed from elected office based on a recommendation by a 2/3 majority of the SSC Board and following simple majority vote by the ISTH Council.
    5. Immediate Past SSC Chair. The past SSC Chair will continue on the SSC Executive Committee for a period of two (2) years to serve in an advisory capacity.

B. SSC Board

  1. Composition. The SSC Board shall be composed of the SSC Executive Committee members, Subcommittee Chairs, and Standing Committee Chairs. Working Group Chairs shall be non-voting members of the Board.
  2.  

  3. Responsibilities. The SSC Board shall be responsible for reviewing the work of the SSC and makes decisions on structure and function of the SSC. The Board will meet yearly in conjunction with the annual SSC Meeting. All SSC Board members must be ISTH members in good standing.
  4.  

  5. Board members shall be responsible for voting on the creation and dissolution of SSC Subcommittees, Standing Committees and Working Groups. The SSC Board Members shall also elect the SSC Vice-Chair.
    1. The Quorum for transacting official business at the SSC Board Meeting of the SSC shall be constituted by the SSC Chair and two-thirds voting members. Unless otherwise specified, decisions shall be taken by a simple majority vote.

C. Standing Committees

SSC Standing Committees shall be created by vote of the SSC Board as long-standing groups with cross-SSC Subcommittee-relational subject matter. Duration and term limits shall be defined by the Executive Committee in committee-specific governance documents.

Creation of a Standing Committee must be approved by a 2/3rd majority vote of the SSC Board.

Standing Committees may request to hold a public session during the annual SSC Meeting.

  1. The Coagulation Standards Standing Committee is responsible for overseeing the ISTH Secondary Coagulation Plasma Standard. This Committee shall oversee the creation and management of a uniform plasma standard for use by diagnostic manufacturers in labeling their coagulation calibrators. The Committee shall be comprised of an Executive Board, representatives of the diagnostic manufacturers and a panel of representatives of expert laboratories.
  2.  

  3. The WHO-ISTH Standards Liaison Group oversees all activities relating to standardization within the SSC.  The group ensures the timely flow of biological standards related to Haemostasis and Thrombosis through a sound “peer review process” in and between Organizations through to final establishment by World Health Organization Expert Committee on Biological Standards (ECBS). The group advises the ECBS of the priorities of various standards to be developed, replaced or discontinued as well as on new methodologies, taking into account the needs in the various WHO regions. They discuss regular information on the development and assessment of such standards and recommends as appropriate to ISTH/SSC and WHO/ECBS issues related to the preparation/assessment/publication of biological standards in the field of hemostasis and thrombosis as and when deemed appropriate by the Group.  The Group shall be comprised of the ISTH WHO-ISTH Standards Liaison Chair, WHO Designated Technical Officer, SSC Chair, SSC Vice-Chair, Immediate Past SSC Chair, one (1) at-large Council member, and one (1) representative from each WHO collaborative center.

D. Working Groups

SSC Working Groups are created for work in new areas that do not fit within the present Subcommittee or Standing Committee structure. They may be created for a set period of time for a particular project, or as a probationary step towards the creation of a new Subcommittee.

Proposals for new Working Groups must be submitted to the SSC Executive Committee and voted on by the SSC Board. Approval requires a simple majority vote.

While encouraged to follow the SSC Subcommittee structure, Working Groups may organize themselves as they see best fit for the period of their working group status but must show specific work and results for at least 2 full years before they can be considered for vote to become official Subcommittees.

Working Groups may apply to hold a public meeting during the SSC meetings.

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III. SSC SCIENTIFIC SUBCOMMITTEES

A. Responsibilities

Scientific Subcommittees support the mission of the SSC by carrying out the on-going work of the SSC. Subcommittees shall work on projects that are in alignment with the mission and objective of the SSC and set forth for them by the SSC Executive Committee. They also advise the SSC about important tasks or projects appropriate to the mission of the SSC and may propose new or revised objectives for their activities, subject to approval by the SSC Executive Committee. Subcommittees shall report annually regarding their progress toward these objectives.

Subcommittees may meet as needed in the interim between SSC annual meetings at the discretion of the Subcommittee's Chair. Interim meetings should only be scheduled to support ongoing standardization projects of the Subcommittee.

SSC Funding may be requested to support interim meetings as well as ongoing Subcommittee activities and projects (see V.c.).

Subcommittee work must be accessible at any time to members and non-members. All communications originating from any Subcommittee must be posted on the ISTH website, or, JTH website. Official Communications from the SSC must be exclusively published in the Society’s Official Journal.

B. Creation

  1. NEW Scientific Subcommittees may only be considered from among Working Groups that have at least been operational for two (2) years.
  2. Proposals for new Scientific Subcommittees must be presented to the SSC Executive Committee and voted on at the annual SSC Meeting by the SSC Board. Creation of a Subcommittee must be approved by a simple majority vote of the SSC Board.
  3. Subcommittees are established for a time period necessary to complete approved objectives which shall be clearly indicated at the time of creation.

C. Extension or Termination

Subcommittees will undergo a review process conducted by the SSC Executive Committee every 4 years to determine if the Subcommittee should continue. Subcommittees will be reviewed on the success of its main objectives by looking at the following criteria:

  1. number of ongoing standardization projects, their success and completion,
  2. number of published official communications,
  3. leadership structure,
  4. annual session attendance.

If the Executive Committee identifies concerns with the performance of a Subcommittee, it will be reevaluated in two years to see if identified issues have been addressed. Should a Subcommittee continue to fail to meet these objectives the Executive Committee may disband the Subcommittee.

At the time of the originally indicated end-date of a Subcommittee or if a Subcommittee is reviewed as completing its main objectives – whichever comes first - the SSC Board shall – based on the recommendation of the SSC Chair – vote on its extension or its discontinuation. An extension requires a 2/3rd majority vote while a discontinuation requires only a simple majority vote of the SSC Board.

D. Composition

  1. Subcommittee Chairs.
    1. Terms and Appointment Process. Scientific Subcommittee Chairs are appointed by the SSC Chair on behalf of and after consultation with the SSC Executive Committee for a period of two years with potential re-appointment for a total of four years. 
      1. Subcommittee Chairs shall be internationally recognized experts in their respective fields, willing to participate in the work of the SSC and reflect the broad international representation found in the Society.
      2. Subcommittee Chairs need to have served at least 2 years on the respective Subcommittee in a Co-Chair role before being eligible to become Subcommittee Chairs. Only current Co-Chairs will be eligible to apply for the Chairmanship.
      3. The year prior the departure of the Chair, all eligible Co-Chairs will be given the opportunity to apply for the open Chair position. The departing Chair may make a recommendation for consideration of the SSC Executive Committee. The Executive Committee makes the final selection of new Chairs. 
      4. Subcommittee Chairs may serve for a maximum of 2 terms (consecutive or non-consecutive) except under special circumstances as determined by the SSC Executive Committee and voted on by the SSC Board. If Chair are not meeting their obligations satisfactorily after their first two year term; the Executive Committee will not re-appoint them.
    2. Responsibilities. Scientific Subcommittee Chairs must be members "in good standing" of the ISTH.
      1. Subcommittee Chairs shall be fully responsible for the activities if their respective Subcommittees. Together with their Subcommittee Co-Chairs, they shall develop annual work plans and goals; submit them and get them approved by the SSC Executive Committee; request, manage and be accountable for any financial resources that may have been assigned to their Subcommittee; report on behalf of the Subcommittee on the progress of projects; approve submission of manuscripts arising from Subcommittee projects;  make recommendations for Co-Chairs of their Subcommittee; recommend extensions or the discontinuation of their Subcommittee Chairs are responsible for advancing the work of the Subcommittee including identifying new projects and ensuring the Subcommittee’s existing projects advance at a satisfactory pace.
      2. At least nine (9) months before the end of their term, Subcommittee Chairs shall make a recommendation to the SSC Executive Committee on a candidate – from the pool of the SSC Co-Chairs - who should be considered to become their successor. In order to facilitate the transition between Chairs, the SSC Executive Committee shall confirm, no later than 6 months before the end of term of any current SSC Subcommittee Chair, who his/her successor shall be.
      3. The retiring Subcommittee Chair is requested to serve one (1) additional year as a Subcommittee Co-Chair. Upon termination of their tenure as retired Subcommittee Chairs are strongly encouraged to stay active in the respective Subcommittee as Contributors.
      4. Subcommittee Chairs should be fully active in one Subcommittee only and may serve additional, related subcommittees in a secondary or consultative capacity only.
      5. Subcommittee Chairs are required to attend the annual SSC Meeting.
      6. Subcommittee Chairs must serve on the SSC Board and attend the annual SSC Board Meeting.
      7. Retired Subcommittee Chairs may be appointed as Co-Chair on a different Subcommittee in consecutive terms.
      8.  

  2. Subcommittee Co-Chairs.
    1. Appointment Process. An annual open call for interested Co-Chairs will be made to all ISTH members. To be eligible for selection, interested candidates must apply during the open call. The Subcommittee will make recommendations of which candidates should be appointed for a final decision by the SSC Executive Committee.

      Scientific Subcommittee Co-Chairs are appointed annually by the SSC Executive Committee for a 2 year period with a maximum of 2 consecutive terms except under special circumstances as determined by the SSC Executive Committee. Except under special circumstances, Subcommittees should have no more than 6 Co-Chairs. Co-Chairs who are not meeting their responsibilities will not be re-appointed for their second term and may be asked to depart early; at the discretion of the Chair and Executive Committee.
      • Subcommittee Co-Chairs may be retired from one Subcommittee and appointed to another Subcommittee in consecutive terms.
      • Past Subcommittee Co-Chairs may be re-appointed to the same Subcommittee if two years have passed since last serving on the Subcommittee.
    2. Responsibilities. Scientific Subcommittee Co-Chairs must be members "in good standing" of the ISTH.
      • Co-Chairs should be fully active in one Subcommittee only, serving additional, related Subcommittees in a secondary or consultative capacity, only.
      • Co-Chairs are required to actively lead Subcommittee projects. Projects may be set by the Subcommittee Chairman and/or proposed by Co-Chairs for approval by the Subcommittee Chairs.
      • Co-Chairs should actively contribute to the program of the Subcommittee at the annual meeting.
  3. Subcommittee Contributors.
    1. Requirements. All those interested in the work of a particular Scientific Subcommittee are welcome to participate in or contribute to ongoing projects of the Subcommittee.
      • Contributors are not required (but shall be encouraged) to be ISTH members in good standing, but must register via the ISTH website for the specific Subcommittee in order to receive updates and communications.
      • There shall be no limitations on the number of Subcommittee Contributors but the Subcommittee Chair shall ensure that the list of contributors is current, complete and contains individuals who have a continued interest and expertise in the respective field of the Subcommittee.
      • Active contributors who apply for Co-Chair positions will be given preference over applicants who have not previously been involved in the Subcommittee’s work.
    2. Subcommittee Co-Chairs, in conducting the approved projects of the Subcommittee, shall invite the participation and contribution of registered Subcommittee contributors as the scope and objectives of the projects may demand.
    3. Expertise, interest and international representation shall be the criteria for such participation.

E. Organization and Work of Subcommittees

  1. Projects. Scientific Subcommittee Chairs will organize their subcommittee's activities by 1) identifying current needs of the field that require attention and solutions as the mission and objectives of the SSC dictate; 2) selecting Co-Chair who can lead projects to address the identified needs; 3.) selecting contributors with expertise related to projects; 4) measuring and reporting on the progress of the projects and maintaining written records of participating contributors and the progress of the projects.
    1. Projects, communications around projects and reports on projects shall be conducted as much as possible via the online communities of each Subcommittee to enable access to the information to the widest possible and interested audience and encourage engagement and participation.
    2. Projects must be reported on annually with submission of a project report to the SSC Executive Committee and posting on the Subcommittee online work page.
    3. Copies of all Scientific Subcommittee correspondence, such as study proposals, questionnaires, or preliminary reports circulated to Subcommittee contributors should also be sent to the SSC Chair and ISTH Headquarters.
    4. Before any subcommittee business is submitted to the SSC Executive Committee, the Scientific Subcommittee Chair must have agreement from the Co-chairs.
    5.  

  2. Public Session. Subcommittees with ongoing SSC projects are eligible to hold a public session during the annual SSC Meeting. Public Sessions shall generally only be granted to Subcommittees with a demonstrated need for a public exchange in order to further develop the ongoing project(s). Intention to hold a public session must be submitted to the SSC Executive Committee no later than 9 months before the Annual SSC Meeting.
    1. Subcommittee Public Sessions are broken into 2-hour blocks of time with a Subcommittee receiving one block of time in each annual Congress. Additional time may be allocated for joint Subcommittee sessions based on availability, at the discretion of the Executive Committee.  
    2. Public Sessions shall provide adequate time to report on ongoing SSC supported projects. Non-SSC projects may also be reported if specifically related to the Subcommittee. Chairs are required to provide time for reporting on plasma and concentrate standards that will be presented for approval at the yearly WHO ECBS meeting.
    3. Subcommittees may be granted private meeting space during the SSC Meeting for the discussion of new project work.
    4. Subcommittee sessions are open to all interested parties.
    5.  

  3. Official Communications.  Scientific subcommittee reports and recommendations shall be published in an official journals of the ISTH. Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis (JTH), and Research and Practice in Thrombosis and Haemostasis (RPTH).  JTH will act as the primary and first choice for SSC communications.  RPTH may publish SSC communications if length or content do not conform to JTH publication guidelines.  SSC Communications will also be published on the journal website according to guidelines and in line with the SSC’s publication policy.
    1. Final Subcommittee reports and recommendations concerning standards, methods, nomenclature, and/or technology which are intended for publication in the Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis must be clearly and succinctly presented in written form for approval according to the SSC's publication policy (Appendix 1).
    2. Subcommittee Chairs shall ask internationally recognized experts in the Subcommittee's field of work to consider documents that require formal approval as part of the internal review process for Official Communications. All reports and recommendations must receive full Subcommittee approval by Chair and Co-Chairs before submission to JTH.

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IV. ANNUAL MEETING OF THE SCIENTIFIC AND STANDARDIZATION COMMITTEE

The SSC shall meet regularly to conduct its business, report on the progress of its activities, and allow for public discussion, agreement and dissemination of its work.

A. Frequency. The SSC shall meet annually in conjunction with the ISTH annual Congress..

B. Sessions. Public session will be assigned in 2-hour time slots to those Subcommittees with ongoing work. Time allocation will be assigned by the SSC Executive Committee based on applications by the Subcommittees and on project needs as delineated by Subcommittees.

C. Content. Subcommittees and the SSC Executive Committee have control over their session content. An assigned liaison person of the Congress Program Committee shall – together with the SSC Executive Committee ensure that there is no duplication of content with the main Congress program. The Executive Committee will also review to ensure a diverse range of speakers and appropriateness of the topics.

D. Reporting. Subcommittees must provide written minutes if holding a public session. Chairs must submit progress reports on new/ongoing projects, which will be added to the ISTH website for distribution.

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V. FINANCES

A. Budget. The SSC shall apply to the ISTH Council for a budget following the ISTH budget process and timelines.

B. Financial affairs of the SSC are managed by the ISTH Headquarters who shall report on SSC financial matters to the SSC Executive Committee and the Council of the ISTH. Financial affairs of the SSC must be in compliance with the mission of the SSC and the ISTH, the Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws of the ISTH and must comply with all legal regulations applying to not-for-profit corporations.

C. Funding requests. Based on established guidelines by the SSC Executive Committee, Subcommittees, Standing Committees and Working Groups may submit funding requests directly to the SSC Executive Committee for the following calendar year (Appendix 2) Funding requests must be received by September 1.  

D. Fund-raising. No one may raise funds in the name of the ISTH or the SSC without prior written authorization from ISTH Council. Funds raised in the name of the ISTH or the SSC are the property of the ISTH, reportable under the ISTH's tax exemption number to the US Internal Revenue Service, and must be deposited in an ISTH-owned account.
The ISTH Executive Director shall be made aware of the opportunities to raise funds for pursuit by the ISTH Headquarters.

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VI. RELATIONSHIP WITH THE ISTH

The Scientific and Standardization Committee is a permanent committee of the ISTH that addresses issues related to reference materials, standardization of both basic scientific and clinical methods and nomenclature. Its relationship to ISTH as a permanent committee of the ISTH with independent authority over its scientific program is recorded in ISTH Bylaws, Article VII (Membership), Section 4 (SSC).

The Chair of the SSC is an ex officio voting member of ISTH Council, and represents the SSC on the Local Organizing Committees of future meetings. The Chair of the SSC is also a voting member of the ISTH Executive Committee.

The SSC Vice-Chair is a non-voting ex officio member of ISTH Council. The Vice-Chair of the SSC who will be Chair at the time of the next ISTH Congress will be an ex officio member of the Congress' Organizing Committee and Scientific Program Committee.

The Vice-Chair acts as Associate Editor for SSC Official Communications submitted to JTH.

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VII. LIAISON AND COLLABORATION

Liaison with other organizations active in the same or related fields for exchange of information on activities may be established administratively by the ISTH Secretary General with approval by the SSC Executive Committee.

Liaison with other organizations for collaborative clinical studies requires separate approval of the SSC Executive Committee for each study undertaken and each written report of the approved study.

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VIII. OFFICIAL LANGUAGE

All SSC transactions and reports, oral and written, shall be in English.

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Appendix 1: SSC Publication policy

Official SSC Communications will be published in JTH as brief manuscripts, with abstracts. To be considered for publication these manuscripts must not exceed 2500 words for the main body of the text and can have up to 3 tables or figures. There is a limit of 45 references. . There is no limit to the number of authors

The cover letter accompanying the manuscript must be undersigned by both the corresponding author and the Subcommittee Chair.


Additional supplementary material (figures, tables, methods) may be submitted for publication on the JTH web site if the information is directly related to the text and if adequate reference to the supplementary material is made in the text. This material is not limited in length, but it must not be in the form of a full length manuscript. 

Manuscripts must be submitted with clear identification as SSC Communications. The Subcommittee Chair will be responsible for determining the appropriate authors. Manuscripts submitted will be sent by JTH to the SSC vice-Chair and Associate Editor of JTH, for review and decision. Communications regarding the progress of SSC manuscripts should be directed to the JTH Editorial Office.

Appendix 2: SSC Funding policy

Subcommittees, Standing Committees and Working Groups may request limited funding to support new and ongoing projects.

SSC Funding is used for programmatic costs (ie. travel for speakers) or to support administrative costs necessary to complete standardization projects in a timely fashion. Non-standardization projects may request funds if available. Funding requests must not exceed $20,000 in a calendar year for any specific Subcommittee.

Funding requests will be reviewed by the SSC Executive Committee based on the following criteria.

  • Relevance to the work of the Subcommittee
  • Unavailability of other funding mechanisms
  • Expected results
  • Project timeline
  • Overall availability of funds for SSC projects

Completed SSC funding request forms must be submitted to ISTH headquarters by September 1 to consider as part of the overall ISTH budget process for the following year. A secondary deadline of April 1 will be offered for additional projects.

 

Revised October, 2019

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