Frequently Asked Questions - Councils and Committees

There are more than 800 volunteers, representing more than 230 organizations that actively support TAC's work by participating as a member of a council or committee. The opportunity to volunteer on any of TAC's committees is exclusively available as a benefit and privilege of membership.

Learn more about participating by reading our FAQs. 

How can I find out more about TAC's councils and committees and the work they do?

  • TAC's website has descriptions of each council and committee; please refer to for more information.
  • Council and standing committee meetings are open to TAC members; members can attend meetings to participate in discussions and learn more about the activities.
  • Contact staff at the Secretariat for more information.

How do I join a council or committee?


Council membership is by invitation/appointment; contact the TAC Secretariat to express your interest.

Standing Committees

Membership in standing committees is generally open to qualified TAC members, depending on the committee’s current numbers and composition to maintain balance and diversity. Contact the TAC Secretariat to express your interest.

Project Steering Committees

  • Project steering committees are formed exclusively of representatives of the project funding partners.
  • If you (or your employer) would like to make a financial contribution to a project, contact the Secretariat. Arrangements will subsequently be made for a representative to join the steering committee.

  • More information about the rights and responsibilities of pooled fund partners can be found in the Pooled Fund Project Guidelines. Steering committees for volunteer (non-funded) projects are formed by the standing committee overseeing the work. Contact the Standing Committee Chair to express your interest in helping with a volunteer initiative.

Commitments and costs

Q.  Can I be a member of more than one standing committee?

A.  Yes.

Q.  Is there a cost associated with being a council/committee member?

A.  Your organization must be a TAC member for you to be a council or committee member. There  is no additional cost to join a council/committee or to attend council and committee meetings, other than your own travel/accommodation costs. Spring meetings are held in Ottawa; fall meetings are held in the host city of the annual TAC conference. If you attend any events other than council or committee meetings, you must register and pay the fees associated with these events. TAC does not reimburse members for costs of travel to council or committee meetings.

Q.  How long is the commitment to be a council/committee member?

A.  Terms of reference for each council or committee vary; typically there is no defined term for a council/committee member. You can be a member as long as you are interested and you can resign at any time.

„If you become a member of the Executive of a council or committee, the term for each position is generally two years and you typically progress through each position of secretary, vice-chair, chair and past-chair.

Q. How often do councils and standing committees meet?

A.  Councils and standing committees generally meet twice per year, at the Spring Technical Meetings and the TAC Conference & Exhibition in the fall. In exceptional circumstances, standing committees may meet by teleconference in between semi-annual meetings.

Q.  What happens if I miss a meeting?

A.  While council/committee members are expected to attend as many meetings as possible, we understand that it is not always possible. Contact the TAC Secretariat and the council/committee executive to let them know if you have to miss a meeting. If a member misses several consecutive meetings, they may be asked to reconsider their participation in order to make room for other interested individuals.

Q.  Can I bring a colleague to a meeting if he/she is not a committee member?

A.  Yes. Any interested individuals employed by a TAC member organization may attend standing committee meetings. Voting on issues that may arise during the meeting is, however, restricted to committee members. Interested individuals, who are not TAC members, may be invited to attend a meeting by the committee executive.

Q.  Are there special policies that apply to me when I am a council or committee member?

A.  TAC has conflict of interest guidelines that are intended to be used as a code of practice for members participating in TAC meetings. The guidelines can be found at

Pooled Fund Projects

Q. What is a Pooled Fund Project?

A. A Pooled Fund Project is the vehicle that TAC typically uses to coordinate, support and undertake projects when a need is identified through the volunteer committee structure and endorsed by an overseeing council. A brief overview is provided at

Q.  I am interested in starting a project. How do I do that?

A.  The process usually begins by raising the subject you are interested in with a standing committee. A standing committee can recommend either a volunteer or a funded project to a council, in which case the Secretariat would seek funding partners for the work. A project proposal form, which identifies the information usually needed to initiate a project, is available at Contact the Secretariat with questions at any time.

Q.  Where can I find information about projects in development, in progress, or in production?

A.  Project descriptions and status information are available on TAC’s website at

Q.  How can I express an interest in providing consulting services to conduct a project for TAC?

A.  Most TAC projects begin with a request for letters of interest or proposals. These requests are emailed to the official member representative of TAC’s private sector and academic member organizations, and are also posted on-line at