IAPO has 3 categories of Members: Full Members, Associated Members and Affiliated Members.


Full Members are patient organizations which are patient-driven. To ensure that IAPO is patient-driven, Full Members have greater voting rights at our General Assembly. Full Members must meet all five criteria below:

  1. Must be non-profit and non-governmental.
  2. Must have a legal status appropriate to the country of origin, with a written constitution and/or by-laws. If no appropriate legal status exists in the country, this criterion may be waived at the discretion of the IAPO Governing Board.
  3. May be an international, regional, national or local organization, or an umbrella group.
  4. The organization must demonstrate commitment to patients and the principle of patient-centred healthcare in their guiding statements, such as their vision, mission or organizational objectives, and activities. Typically the organization’s mission will be to respond to the needs of patients in a specific geographical or disease area, supporting and representing them.
  5. The organization must be patient-driven: the needs and views of patients drive the organization’s strategy, policies and activities in a significant way, and the organization is capable of representing the needs and views of these patients. Full Members must demonstrate that they use at least one of the following methods:
  • The majority of the organization’s voting rights to nominate and elect the governing body of the organization are held by patients1, patient representative2, or representatives of patients’ organizations.
  • The majority of the organization’s governing body are patients, patient representatives, or representatives of patients’ organizations.
  • The organization’s strategy, policies, and activities are driven by, and represent, patient’s needs and views. Patients and patient representatives may in addition support and drive the organization financially through voluntary contributions. 

(1) We define a patient as “a person with any chronic disease, illness, syndrome, impairment or disability”. We aim to be representative of all patients regardless of gender, race, class, culture, religion or belief, age, sexuality, lifestyle or degree of able-bodiedness.
(2) We define patient representatives as “patients’ organization representatives, family members or carers”.

 

Associate Members are healthcare-related organizations who are not eligible to become IAPO Full Members. To ensure that IAPO is patient-driven, Associate Members have minority voting rights at our General Assembly. Associate Members must meet all five criteria below:

  1. Must be non-profit and non-governmental.
  2. Must have a legal status appropriate to the country of origin, with a written constitution and/or by-laws. If no appropriate legal status exists in the country, this criterion may be waived at the discretion of the IAPO Governing Board.
  3. May be an international, regional, national or local organization, or an umbrella group.
  4. The organization must demonstrate commitment to improving healthcare and to the principle of patient-centred healthcare in their guiding statements, such as their vision, mission or organizational objectives and their activities. Typically the organization’s mission will be to improve healthcare through raising awareness, advocacy work, raising funds for research or assisting patients’ organizations. The organization may be a multi-stakeholder umbrella coalition or alliance. 

 

Affiliated Members are member organizations of a parent umbrella group or alliance that is a Full Member of IAPO. This is a free membership and can only be enjoyed by those who are approved by their own umbrella groups and alliance, and agree to abide by IAPO bylaws and rules of conduct/policy. The free membership comes with restricted rights: Affiliated Members shall not have a voting right and their privileges shall be restricted. The IAPO Governing Board shall from time to time determine, together with the parent umbrella groups and alliances, which such organisations are admitted and what their rights, obligations and privileges shall be. Affiliated Members must meet all two criteria below:

  1. Be a member organization of a parent umbrella group or alliance that is a Full Member of IAPO.
  2. Provide a written statement from their parent umbrella group or alliance that the applicant is their member and that they endorse their application.