ESPN working group regulation

ESPN encourages Pediatric Nephrologists from all European centres to be involved in the activities of working groups (WGs). The main goals of WGs are to plan seminars, organize webinars, conduct scientific researches, and prepare guidelines.

Currently, six WGs have been established within the ESPN. These include:

– Transplantation WG

– Dialysis WG

– Chronic kidney disease/metabolic bone disorders (CKD/MBD) WG

– CAKUT/UTI/bladder dysfunction WG

– Inherited kidney disorders WG

– Glomerular diseases WG

Only active ESPN members can become members of WGs. Candidates should send by e-mail to the ESPN secretariat a brief Curriculum Vitae and a note explaining why they wish to join a specific WG.

New members must be approved by the WG board.  The board may discontinue the membership of members that do not participate to its meetings on three consecutive occasions; active participation is essential.

ESPN members wishing to form a new WG should contact the ESPN President and prepare an application letter to be presented to the Council for approval.  The letter should clearly state the rationale and the objectives of the new WG.

The WG activities are coordinated by its board that is composed of a chair plus five other board members, including one young nephrologist. The young nephrologist must be an active member of the Young Nephrologist Network at the time of joining the WG. He/she should therefore fulfils the age and/or experience criteria (i.e. age less than 40-year old and/or less than 10 years of training in Pediatric Nephrology); the duration of the mandate is three years.

TheWG chair rotates every 3 years. The chairs should preferably have been members of the WG board and can be renewed only once. Board members serve for 3 years and should be replaced progressively on an annual basis starting from the 3rd year following the WG constitution. A call for candidates (board members and chair) must be announced one month in advance, usually in November. New board members are elected by electronic vote with the support of the ESPN office, usually in December, to begin their turn in January. The initial and final dates of their turn will be indicated on the webpage of the WG. The ESPN secretariat will send reminders to organize elections in due time. If these do not take place within 6 months, the ESPN President will contact the WG chair.

WG members are required to come together and hold meetings at the annual ESPN Congress each year and to hold at least 2 additional virtual meetings per year to exchange views and plan scientific projects. The ESPN office organizes WG meetings and has the task of writing the minutes in collaboration with the WG chairs. All minutes are published on the WG webpage after approval by the board.

The ESPN council choses among its members a liaison for each WG who is in charge of maintaining close communication between the ESPN council and the ESPN WGs. Liaisons are renewed during the Council meeting that takes place at the end of each annual congress, in order to include new council members. The council also identifies among the liaisons a chief liaison that is in charge of organizing a liaison meeting at the annual ESPN congress to discuss WG strategic plans.

Yearly financial support is available to support the activities of WGs.  These must be approved by the boards.  Funds cannot be cumulated and must be spent within each calendar year.  A financial report must be sent to the ESPN council together with the annual report; failure to send the financial report will preclude additional funding. The amount of financial support for the following year is established during the ESPN council that takes place at the end of the annual congress. Additional support for the development of guidelines is also available. Guideline development must follow a validate method (instructions are available).

In 2022, each WG was granted EUR 2.000 per year; in addition, up to EUR 2.000 per year could be claimed for a maximum of two guidelines by each WG.

The annual report should be submitted to the ESPN President in January of each year, for presentation at the following ESPN Council. The annual report should include at least the following points:

– finished, on-going, and planned projects

– list of WG publications during the last year

– details of WG meetings in the last year

– the WG financial report

– changes in board composition.

All updates on WG activities that are sent to the council and have received approval will be published on the WG webpage for the benefit of all ESPN members.  In addition, WG chairs are expected to give a short presentation (1-4 slides) of the WG activities at the AGM.

All publications by ESPN WGs should clearly indicate the involvement of the WG, ideally in the title, and should disclose in the acknowledgement section any financial support received by the ESPN.