The Role and Activities
The Czech Association of Scientific and Technical Societies was established in March 1990 as an association of professional societies, which constituted themselves as independent legal entities in the new after-december 1989 (“Velvet revolution“) circumstances. At present ČSVTS comprises 67 member societies (incorporated societies), legal entities with their own bylaws, budget, economy and work in agreement with their professional orientation and programmes approved by their supreme authorities. Individual societies cover with their activity the entire range of technical, natural and societal sciences and their application in the society. The societies perform activities closely related with issues from the field of science, research, innovations and are active in the introduction of the results from these fields into practice. Besides tens of collective members, approximately 100000 physical entities are individual members of these societies – ranging from engineers and university experts up to technicians and graduates of secondary schools. They work in almost all spheres of our economy – in the state administration and institution providing public services, at universities and secondary schools, in scientific institutions, applied research, in project and design departments and offices, they are managers at all levels of management, professional, technical, economic and business personnel in production and service companies – ranging from posts requiring highest scientic qualification up to workplaces active in the final stage of the production cycle.
ČSVTS is an organization associating experts from a broad professional range, who represent all levels of qualification and types of employees. ČSVTS is not an elite or specifically orientated organization and this enables it to perform actitivities based on a general viewpoint and at the same time to respect specific knowledge based on factual experience and enables it to adopt attitudes and find solutions independently of interest groups. The activitiy of member societies is focused above all on the organization of professional events (often on an international level) – congresses, conferences, seminars, corporate days, organization of educational projects – training, courses, excursions (accredited and with authorization to certify for the execution of a particular job) – magazine and book publishing, consultancy and expert activity.
The management of the Association and its member societies closely cooperate with universities, research institutions, ministries and the state administration, professional organizations, with industrial unions and authorities of the Chamber of Commerce and other institututions and investigates various projects with respect to its orientation. Most member societies have international professional contacts and are full members of European and international organizations. In many cases they have an important post in these institutions and their representatives represent their society, the Association and actually also the Czech Republic in the executive authorities and committees of these organizations. The knowledge, experience and information gained from their specific fields and contacts with renowned experts from other countries, are a value that in most cases cannot be achieved in another way. Many members of professional societies are represented in various scientific, external examiner and assessment committes and boards and advisory authorities in public legal entrepreneurial entities, participate in preparing documents and guidelines administered by the authorities of the state administration and are engaged in other similar activities.
The main mission of the Association is to represent the interests of its members, to support their activities and create conditions for their professional interests, development of their careers and provide lifelong education. Within the scope of its mission the Association represents and advocates for the interests of members of the Association against external subjects at home and on an international level, creates conditions for coordination and consultancy of interests of members of the Association including lifelong education in technical and other fields, participates in research, development and innovations and organizes professional activities of members of the Association.
The highest authority of the Czech Association of Scientific and Technical Societies is the general assembly of its members. The general assembly elects the Board and the Supervisory Council. The general assembly deals above all with issues which have paramount significance for the activity of Association and its members. Further authorities are the Board, the Supervisory Council and Executive Vice-President of the Association. The statutory authoriity is the President of the Association. In the period between general assemblies the activity of the Association in compliance with basic documents of the Association and resolutions of the general assembly is provided by the Executive Vice-President, appointed by the President of the Association on the basis of a selection procedure, who manages the professional staff of the Association. His main task is to guarantee the fulfillment of decisions made by the general assembly and the Board. The Supervisory Council namely checks the observation of bylaws and monitors the operation of the Houses of Technology. Within the scope of the association are professional committees comprised of authorized representatives selected from Association members – economic, investment, for modification of basic documents and for education and innovations.
One of significant tasks is care for joint property ownership and its cultivating. The houses on the Novotného lávka, the seat of the Association, which lie in the centre of the Prague UNESCO World Heritage Centre are subject to strict requirements from conservationists concerning their outward appearance and repairs. In an effort to enhance the quality of all activities the objects on the Novotného lávka were gradually adapted into a centre for educational activities equipped with top-level sophisticated technical means. The organizers can use seminar rooms and lecture halls with a capacity ranging from 10 to 160 persons in which they can organize even large international conferences. The property of the Association also includes the buildings of Houses of Technology, the maintenance and operation of which is provided by their executive heads. Certain buildings owned by the Association are used only for the purpose of leasing.
In the field of professional activities the management of the Czech Association of Scientific and Technical Societies pays considerable attention to corporate issues concerning science and technology and shows great activity in encouraging members of the Association and professional societies to discuss these issues and search for ways how to deal with them.
The Czech Association of Scientific and Technical Societies in agreement with ČKAIT and support from the Czech Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports (MŠMT) took responsibility for the introduction of the professional card of an engineer. A Czech National Control Committee was established for the engineerING card and the issuing of the card started in 2013. The Czech Republic was thus the third European country where the card started to be issued. The start of the project was accompanied by an extensive promotion campaign using electronic and printed material, presentations at exhibitions and fairs. In agreement with the student organization IAESTE, affiliated to the Czech Technical University in Prague, the professional card was also promoted at its iKariera jobs fair.
The Czech Association of Scientific and Technical Societies created a database of top experts selected from members of the Association. This database is intended to serve authorities of the state administration, local administration and other subjects in the process of revision of documents and guidelines, expression of professional standpoints, preparation of expertises, review of technical publications, etc. The list of experts with their competences is available at the office of the President of the Association.
The Association is a long-year professional guarantor of the simultaneous series of mechanical engineering fairs FOR INDUSTRY. The Association utilizes these fairs not only for its own promotion but also for promoting its members and Houses of Technology. The Association within the Week of Research, Development and Innovations in the Czech Republic regularly participates in fairs on inventiveness and innovations and in international “INNOVATION“ symposia.
The committee for education and innovation organized a series of “round table“ sessions on “Science, Research, Innovation, 2014 - 2020 (Czech Innovation Partnership)“. The aim of the “round tables“ was to propose collaboration of authorities of the state administration, parliament of the Czech Republic, scientific and research organizations and the entrepreneurial sphere, which are interested in participating namely in the implementation of the Operational Programme “Entrepreneurship and Innovation for Competitiveness“.
The Association cooperates for a long period of time with the Association for Youth, Science and Technology AMAVET and oganizers of SOČ (secondary school professional activity). Both organizations closely cooperated in the selection of 3 best students for the finals of the secondary school professional competition in Beijing in 2013 and 2014, the organizer of which was the Beijing Association for Science and Technology. Both years the selected students were awarded Gold and Silver Medals and thus well represented the Association and made it possible also in the next years to send alented students to participate in this competition. The Association awards a ČSVTS Prize and a monetary gift to winners of five competition fields at the SOČ national competition. The Association does not forget to present financial acknowledgement also to the teachers who participated in the training of the students.
The preparatory committee authorized to create the accreditation agency for granting EUR-ACE® quality labels in the Czech Republic organized a ”round table” session on this issue. The Agency strives for the establishment of an accreditation agency for assessment of the quality of engineering study programmes according to EUR-ACE® standards, which would significantly support the prestige of engineering education. The aim of the session was to clarify conditions for the establishment of a Czech authority for providing accreditation of engineering educational programmes. This activity is related with the preparation ofr a new university act which will include the issue of accreditation and assessment of universities.
The Czech National Committee for FEANI and the Czech Monitoring Committee for FEANI which considers and approves applications for awards of the EUR ING professional title are also associated with ČSVTS.
In an effort to enhance the quality of activities of the authorities of the Association and its staff the general assembly decided on the implementation of requirements according to standard ISO 9001. The process of implementation was completely finished in March 2008 by the certification of quality control according to standard ISO 9001:2000 which includes providing impartial assessment of quality control and its compliance with this standard by means of audits. After the process of certification it was ascertained that the Czech Association of Scientific and Technical Societies has implemented all conditions required by the standard ISO 9001:2000 into the activities of all of its subordinated authorities and staff and consequently can receive a certificate confirming compliance of the quality control system with this standard. This successfully terminated an almost two-year period of efforts of the authorities and staff of the Association aimed at implementing this quality control system. The preparation and performance of this task was based on the introduction of accurately defined operating procedures, clearly defined competences and responsibilities of individual system components of the activities of the Association, clarification of the administration agenda and application of up to date tools of monitoring and control.
In further years certification and monitoring audits were performed regularly. At present the Association is audited and certified in compliance with requirements of standard BS EN ISO 9001:2008. The subject of the certification is maintenance of the system of quality control in compliance with the above standard, which will be monitored by the certification agency.