Rules and Procedures


For all questions of rules and procedures, the current edition of Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised shall prevail. These Rules and Procedures will be reviewed on a regular basis (at least once every three years) and may be amended at any time subject to the approval of the Council.


The current membership list is posted on the NCCMERP website.  Increasing or decreasing the number of members requires approval of the Council.

Liaison Member – Non voting

A Liaison Member shall be entitled to the rights and privileges of other Members except that, at the discretion of their Federal Agencies/Department/Organization, the Member may not vote. Each Liaison Member may appoint one Delegate and one Alternate Delegate.

Patient Representative Member

The Council may invite a patient representative(s) to serve on the Council. The Patient Representative Member shall be entitled to the rights and privileges of other members.

Individual Member

The Council may invite an individual with significant expertise in medication error reporting and prevention to become an Individual Member. Each Individual Member shall be entitled to the rights and privileges of other Members. 

Member Organization 

Member organizations are expected to meet the following characteristics:

  • Share the vision of the Council
  • Be national and/or international in scope and influence
  • Demonstrate ability to affect healthcare standards or practices
  • Represent a membership base of either individuals and/or organizations that is involved with or contribute to the medication use process.

Delegates and Alternate Delegates

Each member organization, patient representative, and individual member holds one full-voting seat at the Council table (virtually or physically). Each organizational member may appoint one Delegate and one Alternate Delegate. Individual and Patient Representative members are Delegates and may not appoint an Alternate Delegate.


The Council will make decisions regarding management and rules and procedures governing operation of the Council, membership, and recommendations and statements related to the reporting, understanding, and prevention of medication errors.


Any member that is not present by means of a Delegate or Alternate Delegate for more than two successive meetings shall be notified in writing and the Council will reassess their continued participation on the Council.


An attendee/guest who is not a Delegate or Alternate Delegate may observe the Council meetings. The Council may invite an organization to become an observer to allow limited participation by organizations that collaborate, assist, and share in the Council's error prevention and reporting mission. Observers may also be guests of Delegates and/or attending from member organizations. Observers will not receive member communications. Observers may not vote.

Election of Chairperson and Vice Chairperson

Call for Nominations

Every two years, the Secretary will issue a call for nomination of candidates in writing for the offices of Chairperson and Vice Chairperson of the National Coordinating Council for Medication Error Reporting and Prevention (NCC MERP). 


Candidates for Chairperson may be nominated from the pool of voting Delegates or Alternate Delegates to the Council. Only one representative (Delegate or Alternate Delegate) from a member organization may be nominated. The responsibilities of the chair include, but are not limited to preparing the meeting agenda, conducting regular meetings of the NCC MERP, providing interviews to the media on behalf of the Council, and making formal presentations on the Council and its work. The Chair will be elected to serve a two-year term.

Vice Chairperson

The Vice Chairperson will be elected to serve a two-year term concurrent with the term of the Chairperson.   The Vice Chairperson and the Chairperson must be from different member organizations/agencies. The Chairperson may also direct the Vice Chairperson to perform certain functions if the Chairperson is unable to carry out such functions. 


In the event of a vacancy of the Chairperson's seat, the Vice Chairperson shall become the Chairperson; a new Vice-Chairperson will be elected and both will serve for the remainder of the term. In the event of a vacancy of the Vice Chairperson seat, a new Vice Chairperson will be elected.

Nominating Ballots

A blank ballot will be distributed to the Delegate of each voting member organization/agency and to Patient Representative and Individual Members The name of the nominee will be submitted on the ballot and the ballot returned to the Secretary by the required date. The nominee must accept the nomination prior to submission by Delegates.  Only one nomination per organization may be submitted.


A slate of candidates, listed alphabetically by candidate’s last name, will be prepared and then distributed to the official Delegates for voting. The winner will be determined by majority vote based on the official membership of the Council at the time of election. If there are more than two candidates for the office, a plurality of votes will determine the winner.

Each voting organization/agency has a single vote. Ballots will be counted by the Secretary and validated independently by the USP Legal Department. If the Alternate Delegate of a voting organization/agency should win the election, he/she becomes the delegate for that voting organization/agency. 

In the event of a tie, the candidates will participate in a run-off election. The candidates will present a statement of their vision for helping the Council reach its goals. The winner will then be determined by a majority vote.

Term of Office

The term of office for both the Chairperson and the Vice Chairperson shall be two years beginning immediately following the election.

Advisory Committee

The Advisory Committee is a collection of individuals who provide strategic direction for the Council. The Advisory Committee shall meet at least 4 times per year, including the month before Council meetings.  The purpose of the Advisory Committee is to develop meeting agendas for the full Council based on the mission and vision of the NCC MERP, to coordinate the development and/or acquisition of materials that may be needed by the full Council, review proposed statements or recommendations prior to dissemination to the council and to coordinate activities with “Subcommittees and Expert Advisory Panels” described below.  The recommendations of the Advisory Committee will not be binding and will be reviewed by the Council as a whole.

The advisory committee will consist of the chair, vice chair, USP secretariat and up to 5 delegates from the NCC MERP.

Subcommittees and Expert Advisory Panels

To carry out the work of the Council, Subcommittees and/or Advisory Panels may be established for specific charges. Such Subcommittees and Advisory Panels shall be appointed by the Council, and their membership shall be determined by the Council. Each Subcommittee shall be chaired by a Delegate or Alternate Delegate to the Council subject to the approval of the Council. An Advisory Panel may be established for a specific continuing purpose or with a view to being discharged when the work has been completed and reported. An Advisory Panel shall serve in a fact finding, advisory capacity and shall report its recommendations to the Council or Subcommittee. A Delegate or Alternate Delegate to the Council shall be appointed as a liaison to each Advisory Panel.


A meeting agenda summarizing topics for discussion shall be prepared by the Secretary with the input of the Advisory Committee and shall be made available to the public. Topics for the agenda may be introduced through the Chairperson or the Secretary or by any of the members of the Council prior to each meeting.

Meetings of the Council, its Subcommittees and Advisory Panels shall be open to the public except that a meeting or portion of a meeting may be held in closed session if the Chairperson determines that there is good and sufficient reason for closure. Reasons may include, among others: review or discussion of trade secret or confidential commercial information, review or discussion of matters that might constitute an invasion of privacy, or review or discussion of matters the premature disclosure of which could be detrimental to the Council.

The public summary of the meeting shall be made available on the NCC MERP website. Summaries of meetings shall be maintained and approved by the Council.

Meeting Cancellation Notification Policy and Procedures


The purpose of this policy is to assure that the Council has a structured and standardized process for notifying members of a meeting cancellation in the event of an unanticipated emergency situation (e.g., weather, national security).

A determination of whether or not to cancel a meeting of the National Coordinating Council for Medication Error Reporting and Prevention for any reason will be handled as follows:

  • The Council Secretary will identify whether a situation or potential situation exists that threatens or compromises the ability of the Council to conduct a productive meeting and/or jeopardizes the safety and well-being of Council members.
  • The Secretary will notify the Council's Chairperson and Vice Chairperson of the facts respecting the situation of concern and, together, they will make the decision whether to cancel the meeting.
  • A decision to cancel a Council meeting must be made at the earliest possible time to minimize inconvenience to members; 
  • An e-mail will be sent to the NCC MERP distribution list. The subject line will read: NCC MERP Meeting Cancelled.
  • The Council cannot be responsible for any "lost" travel expenses incurred as the result of a meeting cancellation.

Press Releases


Press releases to the public from NCC MERP shall only be provided by the Secretary in conjunction with the Chairperson. Prior to issuing the press release, input regarding the proposed press release will be solicited via email from all Council members at least 48 hours prior to release.