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National Advisory Council for Office Professionals


(Approved June 11, 2013)
Printable PDF File is available

Scope of Coverage
Council Membership
Roles and Responsibilities
Operating Procedures
Financial Responsibilities

A. Mission and Goal

The mission of the National Advisory Council for Office Professionals (NACOP) is to serve the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) Administrator and management in an advisory capacity on new initiatives, which impact employees across the Agency and to enhance the office support profession through training, mentoring, and recognition.  Our goal is to ensure that ARS has highly skilled professionals working in partnership with management to meet the needs of the Agency.

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B. Objectives

The objectives of the Council include:


·         Improving communication, awareness, and skills among office professionals and strengthening programs and opportunities for career development. 

·         Providing advice and recommendations on Agency-wide policies and programs related to the employment, development, and advancement of office professionals. 

·         Improving recognition of the office professional and promoting excellence within the occupation series. 

·         Assisting in the development and presentation of required and appropriate training and mentoring for office professionals. 

·         Serving as a resource for the Administrator and management on new initiatives, which impact employees across the Agency.

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C. Scope of Coverage

NACOP will serve as representatives for office professionals throughout the Agency.  This includes employees in the Secretarial Series, OS-318; Office Automation Series, OS-326; and Miscellaneous Clerk and Assistance Series, OS-303.

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D. Council Membership

Council members will serve 3-year terms beginning June 1.  A Council member may be nominated for another term after a 6-year period of being off the Council.


Council chair will contact the appropriate Headquarters (HQ) or Area management official to ensure that a replacement is nominated.  It is at the Council's discretion to accept or decline the nomination.  New Council members should be a present or former organizational Council representative who has been with the Agency 3 or more years.  If a nominee does not meet the criteria, the Council can make exceptions through special vote.  Both the incoming and outgoing members will attend the annual meeting.


Representatives to the Council will be appointed from the following organizational Councils:


Beltsville Area (BA)                                                                    South Atlantic Area (SAA)

Mid South Area (MSA)                                                               Southern Plains Area (SPA)

Midwest Area (MWA)                                                                 North Atlantic Area (NAA)

Northern Plains Area (NPA)                                                        Pacific West Area (PWA)

Headquarters (HQ)


Membership will rotate on a 3-year basis.  If a member cannot complete a term, the new appointee will be accepted, upon Council approval, and will not have a term of their own.  See Appendix A.


Co-Chairpersons will lead the Council.  The Senior Co-Chair will lead the group in their final year and will rotate into an ex-officio position for one additional year at the end of the annual meeting.  .  The Junior Co-Chair will assume the senior role and the Council will appoint a new Junior Co-Chair.  The Senior Co-Chair will rotate into an ex-officio position for one year at the end of the annual meeting.  All new positions are assumed at the close of the annual meeting.  All Council members beginning their second year of a 3-year term are eligible for appointment as Junior Co-Chair.


The HQ Technical Advisor will be assigned by the Sponsor. 

The Sponsor will be appointed by the Administrator. 

The Secretary to the Administrator will serve as a permanent Technical Advisor. 

The Webmaster, Recorder, Historian, Outreach Coordinator, and Editor of NACOP Notes will be selected by the Council.

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E. Roles and Responsibilities


Sponsor will:


  • Provide guidance to Co-Chairs and Technical Advisors.

 Co-Chairpersons will:


  • Send guidance and selection criteria for new members to the appropriate Administrator’s Council (AC) member. 
  • Review all project material before dissemination. 
  • Interact with Sponsor. 
  • Organize meetings and issue agendas. 
  • Preside at all meetings and conference calls. 
  • Provide copy of minutes of annual meeting to Sponsor and Administrator. 
  • Advise and work with management on implementing policies and programs affecting the Agency. 
  • Provide an annual report, including local council reports, by September 1 electronically to the Administrator's Council, the NACOP Sponsor, and current Council members.  As appropriate, highlights and action items from the meetings will be distributed.  The annual progress report will be posted on the web. 
  • Develop correspondence and obtain appropriate approvals prior to dissemination. 
  • Appoint chairpersons of subcommittees established by the Council. 
  • Monitor budget and submit requests for expenditures through Sponsor.

 Ex-Officio will:


  • Advise and work with senior and junior co-chairs. 
  • Have no voting privileges. 
  • By August 1, prepare Executive Summary for the Annual Report and forward the Summary to the co-chairs.

 Recorder will:


  • Record and distribute highlights and action items of meetings.
  • Maintain an accurate roster and e-mail list of membership and current biographical information on Council members. 
  • Coordinate conference calls. 
  • Inform Council members of future meeting arrangements. 
  • Maintain the yearly NACOP records. 
  • Maintain and provide original records to the HQ Technical Advisor for filing at the George Washington Carver Center (GWCC/HQ), Beltsville, Maryland (Office of the Administrator's central file room) upon completion of term. 
  • Upload all records to NACOP SharePoint site.

 NACOP Technical Advisors will:


  • Act as liaison between the Administrator, Sponsor, and the Council. 
  • Ensure all Council meetings are conducted in accordance with the established charter and that   appropriate issues are addressed. 
  • Ensure that all recommendations from the Council are consistent with policies and procedures. 
  • Maintain access to the NACOP files at the GWCC complex.  
  • Ensure that all Council members are informed when there is a change in sponsorship. 
  • Have no voting privileges.

 Webmaster will:


·         Maintain and update the NACOP website with changes submitted by Council members.


Historian will:


·         Maintain and update timeline of NACOP members including dates of service. 

·         Maintain and update pictorial history through scrapbook with hard copies. 

·         Bring scrapbook and supplies to annual meeting.


Outreach Coordinator will:

      ·         Maintain and update brochure. 

·         Maintain and update displays (1 large, 1 small). 

·         Serve as point of contact for displays (shipping and tracking).


NACOP Notes Editor will:


·         Collect and compile articles from NACOP members bi-annually in April and October. 

·         Prepare draft for review (word template). 

·         Send final to NACOP members bi-annually in May and November for dissemination in pdf  format.


All Members will:


  • Actively participate and support the activities of the Council. 
  • Serve as Technical Advisors to organizational advisory councils. 
  • Exchange information on significant activities, questions, and concerns received from organizational Councils and other sources. 
  • Inform office professionals of NACOP activities and other related programs. 
  • Provide current biographical information upon appointment to the Council and update annually. 
  • Adhere to the NACOP Code. 
  • Submit articles to NACOP Notes Editor. 
  • Submit Annual Reports by June1 for the reporting period June-May of the previous year.




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F. Operating Procedures

  • The Council will meet annually in June at a site and place to be determined (ARS site, if possible).  A team building session will be conducted when three or more new Council members come on board. 
  • A replacement will be named 3 months prior to the expiration of a member's term.
  • Payment of travel expenses will be determined by each respective area of representation.  The Administrator and Sponsor will be responsible for the Technical Advisors' travel expenses. 
  • All recommendations from the Council with Agency-wide impact must be submitted to the Sponsor.  The Sponsor will submit Council recommendations to the Administrator for approval prior to implementation. 
  • Conference calls will be conducted monthly. 
  • All decisions will be made by consensus.
  • Council records will be retained by the HQ Technical Advisor and archived at the GWCC complex.

 In addition, the Council will adhere to the following NACOP Code:


  • Be honest. 
  • Agree to disagree - respectfully. 
  • Behave and respond professionally. 
  • Every opinion counts. 
  • What starts with the Council, stays with the Council.  
  • Involve yourself as an equal. 
  • Be positive, not negative.  Be constructive, not destructive. 
  • Commit to the mission of NACOP. 
  • Council operations are built on trust. 
  • Encourage, support, and praise others, and pass it on.



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G. Financial Responsibilities


All funding for the Council will be provided by the Administrator and must be approved before dispensing.  Disbursements from the Administrator's account will require approval from the Sponsor and the Co-Chairs before submitting to the Administrator for final approval.  No other individual may request disbursements to be paid out of the Administrator's account.

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Last Modified: 4/20/2015
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