BNI General Policies
Only one person from each professional classification is permitted to join a Chapter of BNI. Membership Committees of each Chapter have final authority relating to classification 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 may be a member of only one Chapter of BNI at any given time.
- 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 6 months (April through September and October through March). Please note arriving late or leaving early is 1/2 an absence and more than 4 total absences per semester and the member's classification is subject to being opened by the Chapter’s Leadership Team or Membership Committee.
- Members are required to bring bona-fide referrals and/or visitors to their Chapter of BNI. Chapters may establish a minimum number of referrals and/or visitors that is acceptable to maintain membership.
- Visitors may attend Chapter meetings up to two 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 they attempt is made to have someone “fill-in” during their medical leave.
- It is the member’s responsibility to file a concern with the Membership Committee of their Chapter if a visitor "who submits an application in any way conflicts with the member’s classification." 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 classification must submit a new membership application and get approval from the Membership Committee for that classification 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 classification may be opened for failure to comply with the policies and/or the Code of Ethics of BNI. Membership Committees of any Chapter may open classifications. In the absence of a Membership Committee, the Leadership Team may fulfill that responsibility.
- If the Leadership Team fulfills all responsibilities throughout their term, they will receive compensation for their fees. The Leadership Team must agree to the terms 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.
- An individual member cannot be in a second BNI Chapter nor in any other group that allows only one person per profession and whose primary purpose is to pass referrals to one another, because it substantially reduces their commitment to the Chapter members. Membership Committees have full authority in this area.
- All 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 training in their region within the first 60 days of their participation. Only after attending the Member Success Program training may the new member be added to the “speaker rotation” for the Chapter. Any new members not attending the Member Success Program training within the first 60 days after being inducted into the Chapter will be subject to having their classification opened by the Membership Committee.
- Policies are subject to change. All proposed policy changes need to be reviewed first by the Board of Advisors.
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