For all Members of ERA Committees/bodies, speakers at ERA Congresses and/or meetings, speakers representing ERA At congresses/meetings organised by other societies
I. Glossary of terms used in the following document
Committee includes the ERA Council, advisory boards, working groups, ad hoc committees, and any other group formed under the auspices of, or in association with, the ERA.
Committee member refers to all people entitled to speak at committees, including full committee members, invited participants, and employees of the ERA.
Chair is the person chairing the committee on any given occasion; this may or may not be the regular Chair of the committee.
Industry-sponsored event held in association with ERA meetings includes industry-sponsored symposia, workshops, panel discussions or other meetings, held in association with ERA Congresses or satellite events, or in association with other ERA activities/meetings.
Participation in includes organising, chairing, speaking in, being a panel member in, or playing any other significant part in an industry-sponsored event, whether or not a fee is paid. It does not include simply attending a symposium.
Interests include financial interests (e.g. honoraria, stock holdings), reimbursement of expenses by commercial organisations or direct competitors on the market, benefits in kind (e.g. travel, hospitality), involvement in industry-sponsored research (either personal or by the department of the committee member), membership of potentially competing organisations, involvement in relevant medical charities, or any other similar circumstance. Interests of spouses/partners and children must also be disclosed.
II. General Policy Statement
The ERA has a policy of full and public disclosure of interests, both financial and of other kinds. This policy is not intended to prevent ERA committee members, speakers at ERA Congresses/Meetings or speakers representing ERA at other Society meetings from having relationships with industry, or with other organisations (e.g. potentially competing societies, charities), but rather to ensure that these interests are made transparent to the society and do not bias the decision-making of these people. Disclosure must be provided annually by all those mentioned above and, in addition, members must update their disclosure statement with any new interests before taking part in ERA activities. Disclosures are publicly accessible on the ERA website.
All financial interests or benefits in kind of any value (> zero) must be disclosed. Future interests (e.g. acceptance of an honorarium to be paid after a future presentation, agreement to take part in future research projects) must also be disclosed. Interests will lapse after 2 years and then no longer need to be disclosed.
With regard to ERA Committee/Body members, it is the responsibility of individual committee member to declare any potentially relevant interest before discussion of a topic. Disclosures should be recorded in the minutes of the committee. If the interest is a significant personal one, the member should not take part in discussion of, or voting on, a particular topic. Significant personal interests include any interests which may affect, or be affected by, the decision of a committee about the topic (or might be perceived to do so) – this also includes involvement with any competitor company linked to the specific activity of the committee. A person with a significant personal interest may speak only if asked by the Chair of a committee to make a factual comment about a specific point.
If there is doubt about the significance of a declared interest, the Chair of the committee will judge whether or not the member may take part in discussion and vote. If any member of the committee disagrees with the judgement of the Chair, then a secret ballot of all members of the committee (except for the person who has declared the interest) as to whether or not the person should be allowed to take part in discussion and vote should be conducted (decision by simple majority, with the Chair having the casting vote in the event of a tie).
If it is the Chair of a committee who declares an interest, then another officer of the committee should take the role of the Chair (usually the co-Chair, vice-Chair, or secretary, in that order) in deciding the significance of the interest and chairing the discussion of the topic if necessary. If no officer of the committee can take the role of Chair because of declared interests, then the oldest other member (in terms of age rather than length of service on the committee) should perform this role.
III. Participation of ERA Committee members in industry-sponsored events held in association with ERA Meetings
- Committee members may give a maximum of one presentation in an industry-sponsored event, and be Chair of maximum one industry-sponsored event, per ERA Congress/Meeting;
- If invited to participate in industry-sponsored events, committee members should decline if this might result in a significant conflict of interest with their work for the ERA;
- If a committee member agrees to participate in an industry-sponsored event, then his/her DoI must be updated immediately and also displayed in the first slide of the session if he/she is the Chair, or the first slide of his/her presentation if he/she is a speaker;
- Committee members must not participate in industry-sponsored events to which they have been invited solely or mainly because of their role in the ERA; for example, an ERA Congress President should not agree to chair an industry-sponsored symposium in an area outside his/her special expertise;
- The ERA role of committee members participating in industry-sponsored events must not be stated either in any written material or even orally at the event: a committee member does not participate on behalf of ERA but as an expert in the field of interest or topic of the event;
- Committee members must not participate in industry-sponsored events in the exhibition hall of the Annual Congress such as question-and-answer sessions at exhibitors’ stands;
- In case of violation of any of the DoI rules, the Chair of the committee should reprimand him/her. In case of continued violation of the rules the Council has the power to dismiss the person (by secret vote and simple majority) and make sure that he/she is not allowed to have any nominated or elected position within the Society for a minimum of five years starting from the moment in which the decision has been taken. He/she should also not represent ERA in any event or take part in any event organised by ERA (i.e. as a chair/speaker).
Last update: March 2023