Committee on Constitution & Bylaws Documents

Options to Update Unit Bylaws

C&B recently streamlined its options for Divisions, Local Sections, and International Chemical Sciences Chapters to update their bylaws. There are two easy options to update your bylaws: 1) use the Model bylaws and make choices; or 2) respond to the questions document and bylaws will be generated by C&B. Below are links to the documents for these bylaws options, brief summaries of the various options, and next steps. Please contact C&B at if you would like us to email any document(s) to you or if you have any questions or need help.

The model bylaws include language that permits your unit to do electronic balloting and that is legal and consistent with the ACS Governing Documents (ACSGovDocs). We suggest that you appoint one person to work with C&B in updating your bylaws.

Documents for the 2 easy bylaws options

SUMMARY of options

     1. Model bylaws

The model bylaws include defaults from the bylaws questions document, although you may still edit the optional text, but only as permitted in the model bylaws or in the questions document. The text in black font is required. You may make other changes, such as to add provisions from your current bylaws; C&B will check if your additions and changes are consistent with the ACS Governing Documents. See next steps below.

     2. Respond to the questions document

We realize that some people would prefer to respond to a questions document instead of making changes in the model bylaws. Either way, the end result will be the same. C&B will prepare bylaws based on your responses to the questions document, and send it back to your officers within 2-4 weeks, if possible. See next steps below.

     3. Use your current bylaws and add required text from the model bylaws

If you wish to use your current bylaws as a starting point, you may do so, but you must add all required text from the model bylaws. We do not recommend this because it will take longer for you to update your bylaws and it will take longer for C&B to review your proposed bylaws. Instead, please consider options 1 or 2.

Next Steps

The Executive Committee must agree on the responses, after which the Chair, Secretary, or authorized officer or committee chair should submit the completed model bylaws or the questions document to for review. C&B will contact you with questions or comments, if necessary, or let you know that your proposed bylaws are ready for vote by your members, to be conducted in accordance with your current bylaws; this might take 2-4 weeks or more. For both options: your members must VOTE on the proposed bylaw changes in accordance with your CURRENT bylaws. Within 15 months from the date that C&B prepares or approves your proposed bylaws for vote by your members, either the Chair or the Secretary would then send the vote results and other required information to C&B. C&B will then complete the certification process and issue newly certified bylaws on behalf of Council.


The entire process can take as little as a few months or up to a year or more, depending mostly on how long it takes for your members to vote, and for the results and other required information to be sent back to C&B, which completes the certification process if everything is in order. C&B is ready to review bylaw proposals before they are voted on by members, so that you can avoid having your members vote again on proposed bylaw changes, which must be in accord with the ACS Governing Documents.

Contact C&B

If you have any questions, comments, or if you would like the current version of your unit's bylaws, contact us:

  • Staff Liaison, Amy Yam | 
  • 202-872-4071 or 800-227-5558, ext. 4071