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Guidelines for future organisation of the World PCE-Conferences

Richtlinien für künftige Kongressveranstalter 
Lineas a seguir para conferencias futuras
Directives pour conférences à venir

1. Conference: aims, framework and procedures

  • The PCE conferences are congruent with the principles and aims of the WAPCEPC. They offer an opportunity for open, respectful scientific debate and challenge and for scholarly and personal dialogue about philosophy, theory, practice and research in Person-Centered and Experiential Psychotherapy and Counseling, and about its meaning in contemporary society.
  • The conference theme and invited keynotes reflect the aims and principles of the WA. The theme should have relevance to the wide variety of orientations and cultures represented in the PCE world.
  • The Conference theme and the plenary speakers should be agreed between the organizing committee and the Board of the WA. The organizing committee will propose a conference theme to the Board for consultation and negotiation.
  • A Board member, or an appointed representative of the Board, will be a member of the organizing team of the conference with the sole purpose of representing the Board's view, and to ensure good communication between Committee and Board, on all matters relating to the development of plans and preparations for the conference so that it meets the requirements of the Conference Guidelines3.
  • A Board member, or an appointed representative of the Board, will be a member of the Scientific Committee of the conference and is responsible for representing the Board's view and for communication between Committee and Board on matters relating to the development of the scientific program3.
  • The conference should be international and seek to attract participants from all parts of the globe and from all orientations and traditions within the PCE world.
  • The conference language will be, for practical reasons, English but the conference organizers may accommodate a limited number of parallel sessions in other languages to ensure the international character of the conference.
  • All presentations are expected to be accompanied by summaries in both English and in the language of the host country, in order to make them as accessible as possible. These may be in the form of Powerpoint, transparencies or written abstracts.
  • A variety of modes of approach may be adopted - lectures, papers, posters, seminars, panels, demonstrations - but an emphasis on dialogue and debate should ensure that at least one third of any given session is devoted to discussion.

2. The organizing team

  • It is essential that the organizing team has a core of at least three dedicated persons who between them have the capacity to address the administrative, financial, publicity and cross-cultural aspects of the conference.
  • The scientific committee should be established on the principle of heterogeneity, intentionally seeking to represent a variety of perspectives and orientations within PCE. The members should have a deep scholarly or practical involvement in the clinical field of person-centered and experiential psychotherapy and counseling. They should be open to the exploration of the various sub approaches.
  • The team should include those with sufficient acquaintance with the recent international literature to be able to extend invitations to those who might present keynote papers or chair major seminars. In case a team does not fully have this competency, one or two scholars from abroad should be invited to collaborate as external scientific consultants or as members of the committee.
  • The team should be supported if at all possible by a university unit or a major professional society, training institute or psychotherapy center.
  • The Board of the WAPCEPC has no direct involvement in the practical organization of the conferences, but will be kept informed about the progress of the planning through the appointment of a Board member or appointed representative of the Board, as a member of the organizing team**. It is the responsibility of the Board to represent the interests of the WA members in relation to the conference.
  • The organizers should explore locations where affordable, low cost accommodation is available in addition to the regular conference accommodation, in order to make the conference as accessible as possible.
  • The conference should offer a number of reduced fee and/or scholarship places.
  • The organizers should choose low cost venues that will result in affordable fees, in order to make the conference as accessible as possible2.
  • There should be reduced conference fee for WAPCEPC members of at least the equivalent of that year's membership dues. This will be administered with the help of the WA office.
  • The organizing team will provide two conference places at no charge to the organizing team of the next PCE conference3.
  • Any profits of the conference are shared equally between the organizers and the WA.
  • Keynote speakers and other presenters will be invited to submit their work for publication in PCEP. This will be arranged with the co-editors of PCEP.
  • Sufficient time should be allocated in the conference timetable for the General Assembly of the WA. The General Assembly will take place no earlier than the second full day of the conference to allow time for the audit of the WA accounts to take place3.

3. Provision for online attendance4

  •  In response to COVID-19 and the ongoing impact of climate change, conference organizers should make provision for online attendance.
  • Facilities for enabling members to attend the General Assembly remotely should be provided. In consultation with the Board, this may include the provision of videoconferencing facilities such as cameras and microphones, stable highspeed internet access, and support for remote voting registration.
  • The Board will be responsible for organizing and coordinating any remote attendance of the General Assembly, and for determining any remote voting procedures.
  • All keynote presentations should be video recorded, and preferably live-streamed to remote participants.
  • It is desirable that at least one stream of the conference is accessible online.

4. Procedure for establishing a venue for the World PCE Conferences

  • National groups who are interested in convening the Conference are invited to indicate their interest by sending a letter to the Board by a date specified by the Board [secretariat @]. In their proposal they present their team, their competencies on the scientific, administrative and financial level, and their plans concerning the site.
  • These letters are put on the website, in the Newsletter and in the Conference folder, so that all members are informed.
  • Voting procedure: the Board is responsible for inviting proposals and for arranging the voting procedure. Voting may take place at the GA or it may be done electronically, in order to ensure that the conference organizers have a period of at least 2.5 years for the preparation of the conference.
  • Details of the voting procedure will be available on the WA website and will be published in the Newsletter. 

5. Guidelines for good practice for access for people with disabilities

Conference organisers should ask for special needs requirements of conference delegates on the conference registration forms. Especially for international conferences, it is important to ask clear and explicit questions about mobility problems, need for wheelchair access, visual impairment or hearing impairment, need for large print documents etc.

If there are potential access problems notify the person in advance to discuss what can be done.

Conference organisers can access local disability websites to gain more specific information relevant to the country that the conference is being organised in. European guidelines for access for disabled people are different from those of the United States or South America etc.

When choosing a conference venue, the following should be considered:

  • Is the venue accessible for wheelchair users and mobility impaired people?
  • Is there a ramped or step free entrance?
  • Is there a lift if required?
  • Are there accessible disabled toilet facilities near all the rooms being used?
  • Are there suitable parking arrangements close to the venue? If not what other arrangements can be made to assist the person to get into the venue?
  • Can you provide a map or plan indicating accessible parking and toilets.
  • Is there a safe exercise area for guide dogs.
  • Is reception alerted to provide assistance?
  • If the meal is a buffet, are there some chairs and tables?
  • Are there people to assist with selecting and serving food?
  • Is there an induction loop or infra red device built into the venue for hearing aid users? If a portable loop is being used which only covers a certain area of the room, is there a sign to tell people where to sit?
  • Is there a facility for sign-language interpretation, for at least some of the key sessions?
  • Make sure directional signs are clear and not written all in upper case.
  • Provide assistance to find rooms, seating etc.

The above information has been adapted from information produced by the Disability Office at Edinburgh University, 2002

Original Guidelines published 2003.

  1. Access guidance published 2007.
  2. Added in 2010
  3. Added in 2012
  4. Online guidance added in 2021