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Policies and Procedures

POLICIES AND PROCEDURES FOR THE ASSOCIATION OF PHILADELPHIA TOUR GUIDES

AS AMENDED AUGUST 2019

A. The Board of Directors

  1. Duties
  2. The President
  3. The Vice President
  4. The Secretary
  5. The Treasurer
  6. Directors-at-Large

B. Meetings

C. Committees

  1. Handbook
  2. Membership
  3. Communications
  4. Events
    • William Penn Birthday Celebration
    • Great Tour
  5. Education and Certification
    • Lecture Series
    • Certification Examination
  6. Nominating and Elections

D. APT and Other Organizations

A. 1. The Board of Directors – Duties – Board members are expected to actively work for APT and its activities and programs. Board members will ensure that the needs and concerns of all the membership are addressed and met. Board members will ensure that all APT activities and programs are in keeping with and further the APT Mission Statement as stated in the By-Laws. 

  • The Board will meet at least 6 times a year but as often as 12 times a year, or as deemed necessary by the President.
  • Expenses in excess of $100 shall require approval by a majority vote of the Board of Directors.
  • The Board will report to the membership on its activities at the monthly membership meetings.
  • The Board may vote to remove any Board member by majority vote of the Board for just cause. “Just cause” may include fiduciary irresponsibility, lack of communication, lack of performance, and/or missing more than two (2) Board meetings per year without adequate explanation.

A. 2. The Board of Directors – The President

  • Shall preside at all meetings of the members and the executive committee
  • Shall present an annual report to the members on the work of APT
  • Shall appoint all committees
  • Shall ensure that all reports, records, and official business of the Association are maintained in good order
  • Shall be one of two signatories on any checks
  • Shall act as spokesperson of the Association to the public and press, reflecting the official decisions and viewpoints of the membership

A. 3. The Board of Directors – The Vice President 

  • Shall assist the President as requested by the President
  • Shall serve as an ex-officio member of all committees
  • Shall serve as President in the absence of the President at a meeting or other event
  • Shall assume the office of President upon the resignation of the President or if the President is unable to fulfill the duties of the office as determined by the Board of Directors

A. 4. The Board of Directors – The Secretary 

  • Shall maintain and update the membership list
  • Shall give and serve all notices to the members of the Association
  • Shall maintain the minutes of membership meetings and a record of all official actions and decisions of the Association and Board of Directors and submit them monthly to the members
  • Shall submit to the Board any communications addressed to APT

A. 5. The Board of Directors – The Treasurer 

  • Shall have the care and custody of all the Association’s funds, depositing them in timely fashion in the designated account
  • Shall, with the President, be one of the two signatories on all checks
  • Shall provide a quarterly written account of the Association’s finances – at membership meetings in January, April, July, and October
  • Shall update the Board of Directors on the Association’s finances as requested

A. 6. The Board of Directors – Directors-at-Large

  • Shall chair a committee(s) as determined by the President
  • Shall assist any Officer or other Board member as necessary

B. Meetings – Per APT By-Laws, membership meetings are usually held on the second Wednesday of every month at 7 pm. Meetings should begin and end on time and usually include a guest speaker or educational component. The business meeting following the speaker’s presentation should encourage input and exchange of ideas from all members. 

  • Visitors may attend 2 meetings for free, after which there will be a $10 fee per meeting. Exceptions may be made for spouses, partners, and guests of APT members.
  • APT will cover the cost of dinner and drinks for speakers and pay $100 as the speaking engagement stipend.
  • Outside organizations that host APT meetings will be given $100; outside organizations that provide APT a special tour of their venue will be given $75.
  • An agenda for each meeting should be provided to all members.
  • The Secretary will provide the Membership Chair with an updated membership check-in sheet before the monthly meeting.
  • The Membership Chair will record attendance at each meeting and report that information back to the Secretary.
  • The Events Committee is responsible for finding speakers for meetings. (See Events Committee)
  • The Events Committee, working with the Board, will determine the location of the meeting.
  • Minutes will be taken by the Secretary and posted to the APT website as soon as is practical.
  • Unavoidable last-minute meeting cancellations will be sent to members via email and posted on Facebook and the APT website.

C. Committees – All committees will be established as deemed necessary by the Board, and a chair will be nominated by the President. All committee chairs will be required to have a status report ready at the monthly membership meetings. All committees should solicit suggestions and input from the membership. Although other committees may be established, the current core committees of APT are listed below. 

  1. Handbook – The APT Tour Guides Handbook is the primary reference source for guides wishing to pass the APT certification exam. The scope of the Handbook should be basic information for guides with a special emphasis on the history of the city and the historical city sites. Specific duties of this committee are as follow:
    • Meet at least once a year to evaluate the Handbook and determine if updates are needed
    • Poll the membership and solicit suggestions and comments
    • Assess recommendations, updates, and corrections
    • Submit all changes to the Board for approval
    • Research and implement options for its reproduction/conveyance
  2. Membership – APT encourages a varied membership, including but not limited to, walking tour guides, step-on guides, carriage drivers, docents, house managers, local residents, and historians. Dues will be collected annually and only paid members can vote. The Membership Committee:
    • Encourages new members to join and reaches out to past and present members to sustain their support in the organization. To this end, they may plan events, such as “meet and greet”
    • Is responsible for ensuring members check in at the monthly meetings
    • Works closely with the Secretary and the Treasurer to monitor membership rolls and dues payments
    • Updates information on members and works closely with the Communications Committee to get updated information published on the website
  3. Communications – Communications, both internally among members as well as externally for the public, is essential to the organization. The Communications Committee will:
    • Promote all events and programs through news releases, email, Facebook and other social media outlets, as well as website updates
    • Be responsible for the APT website, including launch of new websites or updates, maintenance, and updating of member information
    • Work closely with all other committees, primarily Events, Membership, Education and Certification, to ensure proper updating and dissemination of information
  4. Events – The Events Committee will find appropriate speakers for APT monthly meetings and present ideas/schedules to the Board for approval. Speakers should be scheduled as far out as possible. The Events Committee may also arrange for outside site visits or tours to venues appropriate for Philadelphia tour guides. Generally these tours would be limited to a few a year. The events listed below have been part of APT over the years and have required their own Committees and Chairs:
    • William Penn Birthday Celebration – this 2-hour event held in October in honor of Penn’s birthday has been a popular free gathering of guides and like-minded Penn enthusiasts. The last few years have been done in conjunction with City Hall representatives and local Quaker societies.
    • The Great Tour – This 8-hour river to river 4-phase tour was designed to showcase certified guides from APT. The event traditionally took place in September, but in 2019 the Board voted to hold the event following the conclusion of the lecture series in late March/early April. This event requires long-term planning.
  5. Education and Certification – The Education and Certification Committee carries out the Association’s Mission Statement that provides for “establishing high standards for interpreting this city to the public and developing an effective training and continuing education program.”
    • The Education and Certification program puts together the training programs for guides, namely the annual Lecture Series. Details to arrange such lectures are described below:
      • Submit a budget, itemizing project costs and proposed fees, for Board approval at least 6 weeks before the start of the series. NOTE: Every effort should be made to make lectures affordable and available to all APT members, including offering discounts to members
      • Arrange for speakers, venues, and necessary equipment
      • Partner with other organizations if practical to share lectures, speakers, venues, etc.
      • Send out contracts to all speakers
      • Prepare information announcing the Lectures Series and provide it to the Communications Committee for dissemination
      • Together with the President, send speakers welcome and informational letters at least one week before the speaker’s program
    • The Education and Certification Committee prepares certification testing and schedules and administers such testing.
  6. Nominating and Elections Committee – This Committee ensures that there are qualified candidates for all offices and that voting takes place in accordance with Article V of the APT By-Laws. Note, per changes to the By-Laws (November 2019) this is now a biennial event (every 2 years). 
    • By or at the January membership meeting, the current Board shall approve a 3-member Committee including the Chair
    • Members of the Committee may not be candidates for office but must be members in good standing for at least 1 year prior to this election and be familiar with the workings and needs of the organization
    • The Committee should be familiar with the By-Law’s descriptions of the duties of Officers and Board Members and of the voting process
    • The Secretary will provide the Committee with a current members list. Only members in good standing can be candidates for office
    • The Committee shall report a slate of suitable candidates by the Wednesday two weeks before the December elections. This should be done after issuing a call for candidates, interviewing candidates, and deliberating
    • The Committee shall prepare ballots, including the names of all candidates with room for write-in candidates
    • If no candidate is found, the Committee may leave that slot open for nominations from the floor. Candidates may announce their candidacy up until the actual vote is taken
    • The Chair of the Committee, aided by the other two Committee members, shall oversee the December election process
    • The Committee is responsible for tallying and verifying the votes and announcing the results

D. APT and Other Organizations – APT should show mutual support, cooperation, and collaboration with other organizations involved in tourism, arts, and culture in the city. Recognition should especially be given to organizations that have previously shown support for APT and APT programs. 

  • The annual budget should include a line item for APT memberships in other organizations
  • APT membership in outside organizations will be evaluated on an individual basis
  • APT may extend courtesy discounts to members of other organizations who have been supportive of APT
  • At the consensus of the Board, APT may send member representatives to meetings, conferences, or other gatherings held by other organizations in the tour industry
  • Any APT member designated to represent APT at any meeting, conference, or other gathering will be expected to report his/her findings/experiences to the Board and/or the membership.