NAPCH Bylaws




This Association shall be known as the National Association of Professional Canine Handlers (NAPCH) a non-profit corporation.


To improve the image and abilities of all working dogs and handlers.


A: Initial Members

The initial membership of the Association shall consist of those persons who have signed the articles of incorporation as incorporators.

B: Regular Members

Any individual who is a paid law enforcement (including corrections officer), military, full-time security or executive protection canine handler, full time fire service canine handler, canine administrator, master trainers or trainers within this organization or anyone who has served in one of these capacities but is now retired and on a pension shall be eligible for regular membership. Only regular members shall be entitled to vote and to hold office.

C: Associate Members

Individuals who do not meet the requirements for regular membership, but who are involved in the improvement of canine work, are eligible to apply for associate membership. An applicant for associate membership must be sponsored by a regular member in good standing. The application shall be evaluated and decided upon by the President, whose decision to approve or reject the applicant shall be final. An associate member shall enjoy the privileges of the association, except that an associate member shall not be entitled to vote or to hold office, and may only attend and participate in Association workshops upon application to and approval by the President of the Association. Associate members may certify in non-aggressive find building search, non-aggressive find area search, tracking, obedience and article search.

D: Membership Status Changes

Members that have workplace changes that impact membership status will be given one year to meet membership requirements.  It will be the members responsibility to provide proof of meeting membership requirements.

E: Loss of Membership Status

Members may lose membership status for conduct unbecoming a member of the organization.


The Executive Committee of the Association shall consist of the following positions, each of which shall be elected by the regular membership:

APresident. The President shall be the chief executive officer of the Association. The President shall see that all orders and resolutions of the Executive Committee are carried into effect, and the President shall have the general powers of supervision and management usually vested in the chief executive officer of an association.

B. Vice President – United States. The Vice President – United States, shall be responsible for the coordination of all matters affecting those members who reside within the United States and shall, in the absence or disability of the President, perform the duties and exercise the powers of the President, equally with any other Vice President, and shall perform any other duties that the Executive Committee or the President may from time to time prescribe.

C. Vice President – Canada. The Vice President – Canada, shall be responsible for the coordination of all matters affecting those members who reside within Canada and shall, in the absence or disability of the President, perform the duties and exercise the powers of the President equally with any other Vice President, and shall perform any other duties that the Executive Committee or the President may from time to time prescribe.

D. Secretary. The Secretary shall (1) attend all meetings of the Executive Committee and record all votes and minutes of all proceedings in a book to be kept for that purpose; (2) give or cause to be given notice of all meetings of the general membership and the Executive Committee; and (3) perform the other duties usually performed by the secretary of an association.

E. Treasurer. The Treasurer shall (1) have the custody of the corporate funds and securities; (2) keep full and accurate accounts of receipts and disbursements in books of the corporation; and (3) deposit all moneys and other valuable effects in the name and to the credit of the corporation in such depositories that may be designated by the board of directors. The treasurer shall render to the president and directors, whenever they may require it, an account of his or her transactions as treasurer and of the financial condition of the corporation.

F. Membership Chairperson. The Membership Chairperson shall head the Membership Committee, and shall be responsible for keeping records of membership applications, membership application approvals or rejections, dues payments and late fees, changes in membership status, and other membership records and shall report to the Executive Committee when necessary regarding membership matters.

G. Accreditation Chairperson. The Accreditation Chairperson shall head the Accreditation Committee, and shall be responsible for keeping records regarding all matters of accreditation of members, and shall report to the Executive Committee when necessary regarding accreditation matters

H. Trustees There shall be four Trustees. Trustees shall be elected and shall interface between the Association and various third parties. Trustees shall devote their time to (i) learning of ways to improve the image of the Association within the canine handler community generally, (ii) promoting the work of the Association to the general public, (iii) encouraging the support of other organizations and institutions both public and private for the efforts of the Association, (iv) promoting cooperation between the Association and other organizations with similar goals, and (v) making recommendations to the Executive Committee, based upon their experiences with those outside of the Association.


A. All candidates for office shall be nominated at the General Membership meeting at the National Training Workshop in the year of the elections. During the general membership meeting anyone nominated for an elected office, who accepts that nomination, will immediately stand up and address the general membership, telling them why he/she wants to be elected, what his/her qualifications for that office are and what he/she proposes to accomplish if elected to that office. The general membership may ask questions of the nominee at that time. Nominees may submit a single page summary of their qualifications, their reason for seeking office and their proposed agenda if elected. Mail in nominations will be accepted as long as the nomination is accompanied by (i) written consent of the nominee, and (ii) the signature of the regular member making the nomination.

B. A ballot will be mailed by the Membership Chairperson to all regular members in good standing and eligible to vote. A special lined envelope marked OFFICIAL BALLOT will be used by each member to return their ballot directly to the Judge of Elections. Only ballots received in the special lined envelope will be counted. Any marking on a ballot which would identify the member submitting the ballot will invalidate that ballot. Any envelope which has been opened before being received by the Judge of Elections will be declared invalid.

C. OFFICIAL BALLOT envelopes will contain a serial number sequentially 1 through the numeral representing the total number of regular members eligible to vote at the time of mailing. Nominees shall be listed on the ballot in alphabetical order, based upon last names, for each office.

D. Each ballot voted shall be returned in the OFFICIAL BALLOT envelope, sealed and addressed to Judge of Elections at the address for the Association. Ballots must be postmarked no later than two months after the close of the general membership meeting. The Judge of Elections shall verify the serial number and signature on each envelope against the list supplied to him/her by the Membership Chairperson. Only one envelope will be counted per regular member.

E. The Judge of Elections will hold all OFFICIAL BALLOT envelopes unopened until he/she meets with the Election Committee.

F. The President will appoint an Election Committee consisting of not less than three regular members who are not candidates for any elected office. The Election Committee will select one of its members to serve as Judge of Elections and Chairperson of the Committee. The Election Committee will open the OFFICIAL BALLOT envelopes and remove the ballots without unfolding them. The envelopes will then be discarded, and the ballots unfolded and counted. The Election Chairman will the record the total number of ballots received. The ballots will be retained by the Election Chairman.

G. The ballots will be counted at the next Executive Committee Meeting following the fall seminar. A plurality of votes cast for each office shall constitute an election of the member receiving the votes to that office. Members who are elected are to receive prompt notice of their election, by the Judge of Elections. At this point, the Judge of Elections position will terminate.

H. Newly elected officers shall take office at the spring Executive Meeting.

I. The election of officers shall take place biennial.

J. No member who is elected to serve as an officer of NAPCH shall hold any other elected office within any other national or international canine association.


Officers will take office by taking the following oath: “I (insert first and last name) do hereby promise to fulfill my term as (insert office title) in a manner which is in keeping with the goals and bylaws of this Association, and to remain honest in the execution of my duties.”

The officer swearing in each officer will follow with: “I do hereby declare (insert first and last name) to be the duly elected (insert office title) of the National Association of Professional Canine Handlers for the year ending December 31, 20** , or until he/she is removed, resigns or is otherwise replaced.


A quorum shall be required to conduct a meeting of the Executive Committee. The President shall call at least two regular meetings of the Executive Committee during the calendar year. Dates, times and locations for the meetings shall be with the approval of the majority of the Executive Committee.

There shall be at least one annual meeting of the general membership and at least one annual Association training workshop. Dates, times and locations for these meetings shall be established by a majority of the Executive Committee, and members shall be given at least 30 days advance notice of such meetings.

Meetings shall be conducted according to Robert’s Rules of Order.


The President may appoint a By Laws Committee, composed of not less than three regular members to study and make recommendations on amendments to the Bylaws. If recommendations for amendments are made, the Executive Committee shall consider those recommendations and notify the regular members of any amendments under consideration, prior to the annual meeting of the general membership. At the general membership meeting, a voice vote will be taken among the regular members, to approve or reject any proposed amendment.


All members will be required to pay annual dues of $25.00 which starts on the Membership date. The Membership Chairperson shall e-mail dues notices to all members one month after expiration. If the Membership Chairman does not receive a response from the overdue Member in 60 days a final written notice will be sent to the Members listed residence.  If there is no response from the Member 30 days after the written mailing the Membership Chairman will list the Member as terminated.  Members shall mail their dues payment directly to the Membership Chairperson. After recording the amount received, and date received, the Membership Chairperson shall forward all monies received to the Treasurer. The Membership Chairperson will issue a membership card to each new member whose dues are paid. The original membership card will be effective while Dues are current.

A $10.00 late fee will be assessed to any member whose dues are received after 30 days of expiration. A $30.00 service charge will be assessed for any check which is dishonored. The certifications and membership status of any member will be suspended until the dishonored payment has been replaced.

The Membership Chairperson may provide other members or Committees with a current membership mailing list upon request.


The President may, at his discretion, appoint a member to serve as a Sergeant at Arms during any meeting of the Association.


A. The President, or his designee, shall serve as Chair of the meeting. Any member desiring to be heard shall rise and address the Chair. No member shall speak until properly recognized by the Chair. No resolutions can come before the meeting unless properly moved, recorded and declared upon for discussion by the Chair.

B. Any regular member shall be entitled to call for a vote on a motion duly made and seconded. Members voting on the motion shall identify themselves by name at the time of their vote to assist in the recording of the votes. Members may abstain from voting.

C. A member may move to have an approved motion reconsidered. Such a motion must be made immediately after the motion is approved. A motion to reconsider will only carry if approved by a majority of the members present.

D. When a point of order is raised by any member, a person having the floor shall take his/her seat until the point of order is decided by the Chair, after which the speaker may resume his/her remarks if proper in light of the ruling by the Chair.

E. No subject which is tabled shall be brought up again at the meeting unless it was so understood when tabled. A member may challenge the ruling of the Chair by raising the question “Shall the decision of the Chair be sustained?” A voice vote of the members shall decide the issue.


Any member may file a grievance against any other member or officer of the Association. Any member accused through a grievance shall be presumed innocent.

The grievance must be filed with the Executive Committee and must be accompanied by a processing fee of $25.00.

The Executive Committee shall review the grievance and may interview others who may be able to substantiate or refute the allegations in the grievance.

An Executive Committee member who is the subject of a grievance must abstain from participating in the determination of that grievance.

Within thirty days of receiving the grievance, the Executive Committee shall issue a written ruling on the grievance which shall include (i) a finding that the grievance is established or that it is not established, and (ii) if established the disciplinary action to be taken. In the case of a member against whom a grievance is found to be established, the disciplinary action may include expulsion from the Association. In the case of an Executive Committee member against whom a grievance is found to be established, the disciplinary action may include impeachment.

The ruling of the Executive Committee shall be final and there shall be no appeal of the finding or of the disciplinary action assigned.

In the event that a grievance is established, the processing fee will be refunded to the member filing the grievance. If the grievance is not established the fee will be retained.

Article 13:   CODE OF ETHICS  

Section A:   The application for membership shall provide that the applicant, if elected, agrees to abide by these By Laws and all rules adopted by the Executive Committee.  He/she agrees to abide by the Code of Ethics.

Section B:   No member will act in a manner prejudicial to the Association or to the best interests of the Association.  No member will knowingly falsify any record or document in connection with the certification or sale of a dog.  In any exhibition or workshop no member will conduct himself/herself otherwise then in accordance with the highest traditions and standards of fair play and good sportsmanship.

Section C:   Any member in good standings may prefer charges against another any other member for alleged conduct in violation of the above Code of Ethics.  Such charges must be in writing, signed by the complainant, setting forth the facts upon which the charges are based in a concise and summery manner and filed with the Grievance Committee Chairperson.  The complainant must agree to appear and furnish full evidence in support of the charges if requested to do so.  The Grievance Committee will then proceed as described in Article 12.

Section D:   Disciplinary action may include the temporary suspension of privileges, censure, expulsion or any other appropriate action.

Section E:   If the Executive Committee finds that a member, in preferring charges against another member, did so for spurious reasons out of improper motives and if the charges are wholly false, and without proper foundation, then the Executive Committee may, if it desires, take appropriate disciplinary action against the complainant.

Section F:   No disciplinary action shall be taken against a member, be he/she the complainant or accused, unless the member shall have been afforded the opportunity of a hearing before the Grievance Committee with the right of appeal to the Executive Committee.

Section G:   Every member shall be presumed innocent of misconduct and disciplinary action shall be taken against a member only if he/she is found guilty of misconduct by evidence that is clear, precise and indubitable.

Section H:   Any member who is found guilty by the Grievance Committee shall have a maximum of sixty (60) calendar days from the date of his/her written notification to file a written appeal of the findings and punishment to the NAPCH Executive Board for their consideration.  Said appeal will be sent to the NAPCH Secretary.