Effective/Last Updated: 7 April, 2020
BNI General Policies
- Only one person from each business specialty is permitted to join a chapter of BNI. Membership Committees of each chapter have final authority relating to business speciality conflicts.
- Members must represent their primary occupation, not a part-time business.
- The weekly meetings last for 90 minutes. Members need to arrive on time and stay for the entire meeting.
- An individual member cannot be in a second BNI chapter nor in any other group that allows only one person per business specialty and whose primary purpose is to pass referrals to one another, because it substantially reduces their commitment to the chapter members. Membership Committees must enforce this policy.
- Attendance is critical to the group. If a member cannot attend, you may send a substitute (not a member of your chapter) to the meeting. This will not count as an absence. A member is allowed 3 absences every six months. More than this and the member’s business specialty is subject to being opened by the chapter’s Leadership Team.
- Members are required to bring bona-fide referrals and/or visitors to their BNI chapter. Chapters may establish a minimum number of referrals and/or visitors that is acceptable to maintain membership.
- Visitors may attend chapter meetings up to 2 times.
- Speakers must bring a door prize. Only members bringing a visitor or a referral are eligible for the door prize.
- There are no leaves of absence except for medical leaves. A member may take up to eight weeks medical leave with the Membership Committee’s prior approval if fees are pre-paid for that period of time and an attempt is made to have someone “fill in” during the medical leave.
- It is the member’s responsibility to file a concern with the Membership Committee of the chapter if a visitor “who submits an application in any way conflicts with their business specialty. This should be done before the visitor is approved for membership. If there are no complaints, the Membership Committee will “assume their consent”
- Members who wish to change their business specialty must submit a new Membership Application and get approval from the Membership Committee for that business specialty change.
- In case of problems with a member, Membership Committees may, at their sole discretion, put a member on probation relating to the member’s business practices or commitment to the chapter.
- A member’s business specialty may be opened for failure to comply with the policies and/or code of ethics of BNI. Membership Committees of any chapter may open business specialty. In the absence of a Membership Committee, the Leadership Team may fulfil that responsibility.
- If the Leadership Team fulfils all responsibilities throughout their term, then they will receive compensation for their fees. The Leadership Team must agree to the terms and conditions outlined in the Leadership Team Agreement in order to hold a position and must go through training before participating.
- In the absence of a Membership Committee, the Leadership Team may act as an ad hoc Membership Committee until one is established.
- BNI membership lists are for the purpose of “giving” referrals and not for soliciting (via email, direct mail, or other means) BNI members or Directors without their prior approval.
- All new members must attend Member Success Program (MSP) training in their region within the first 60 Days of their membership. Only after attending the MSP training may the new member be added to the ‘speaker rotation’ for the chapter. Any new members not attending MSP training within the first 60 days of being inducted into the chapter will be subject to having their business speciality opened by the Membership Committee.
- Policies are subject to change. All proposed policy changes need to be reviewed first by the Executive Board of Advisors, at the discretion of the Chief Executive Officer of BNI in Upland, California. The current version of these policies can be found any time in the BNI member section of www.bni.com.au or can be requested by email from [email protected]
- Other than normal BNI printed materials, members may not use the BNI Intellectual Property (e.g. logos, trademarks, names, slogans, copyrighted materials, etc.) to manufacture, distribute, sell, market, or promote any product or service, or otherwise use the BNI Intellectual Property without obtaining the prior written consent of BNI HQ or the appropriate National Office. Members must agree to abide by the BNI Branding Standards for any permitted use.