Terms of Reference

Updated September 2015



The Perinatal Society of Australia and New Zealand (PSANZ) is a multidisciplinary society dedicated to improving the health and well-being of mothers, fathers and their babies. PSANZ includes scientists, obstetricians, midwives, neonatologists, neonatal nurses, epidemiologists, surgeons, therapists and others focussed on care and research around pregnancy, birth and the newborn period. PSANZ encourages training and research and provides expert advice to government and other bodies.

Consumer Advisory Panel

As the views and experiences of mothers and their families are important to its work, PSANZ established a Consumer Advisory Panel (CAP) to provide advice to PSANZ from a consumer perspective.

This advice will include:

  • Strategic advice on priorities for future perinatal research including outcomes important to consumers;
  • Advice on consumer engagement in perinatal research at all levels, including participation in studies, engagement with researchers and with research groups;
  • Advice on how to evaluate and monitor consumer involvement in PSANZ;
  • How to disseminate important research findings effectively to consumers, and
  • Advice on how to involve consumers in the annual PSANZ conference.

The CAP will provide an informed understanding of the experiences and perspectives of perinatal health consumers. A range of strategies will be employed to seek consumer advice from CAP members and more broadly (based on the advice of CAP). This will include the use of electronic communication, teleconferences, face-to-face meetings, including the annual conference. In turn members of CAP will be expected to consult others to provide balanced and informed views. The CAP will report regularly to the PSANZ Board via the Chair.



The CAP has been established as a Working Committee of the PSANZ Board. Members will be members of PSANZ and will be offered a waiver of membership fees and free registration to the annual PSANZ Congress.

Members will be eligible for remuneration for costs associated with their contribution to the CAP. The CAP will be comprised of between 5 and 7 members from across Australia and New Zealand

The aim is to have geographic representation from across ANZ as much as possible. Members will include a member of the Board to ensure that there is organisational knowledge available to the CAP. Without such knowledge it can be difficult to understand the scope of the work done by PSANZ. This is likely to be an interim role.

Membership will include a broad range of perinatal experiences and will be appointed for a period of two years, which can be renewed for additional terms upon recommendation from the CAP and approval by the PSANZ Board.

A transition period will be developed so that appointments are staggered and a minimum of two members are replaced every year. CAP members will be eligible for nomination as members of the PSANZ Board.

CAP Chair

The chair of the CAP will be a CAP member and be elected to the role by CAP members. The PSANZ Board member on the CAP will not be eligible for the position of chair. The term of this position will be two years with a possibility of extension for another two years with no more than four years’ continuous service.

Appointment Process

To apply, individuals must submit:

  • CV;
  • Information addressing the criteria for appointment (see below), and;
  • 2 referees.

Applications will be considered by a working party of the PSANZ Board and approved by a majority of the Board.

Criteria for Appointment

Members will have:

  • Experience and skills that will allow them to advise PSANZ on consumer issues associated with perinatal research and/or policy;
  • Links to established community groups or access to an identified constituency with whom they can consult and communicate;
  • A demonstrated willingness to donate time and expertise to the scheduled meetings and activities undertaken by the committee on behalf of PSANZ as outlined in this TOR;
  • Ability to reflect the broader interests of women, babies and their families, and
  • Good health literacy and communication skills.
  • Commitment required
  • Attend monthly meetings via telephone or online
  • Attend yearly PSANZ conference
  • Be available for extra meetings as needed
  • Assist in the development of materials / contributions to PSANZ newsletter
  • Be willing to advertise or promote position on the CAP externally. For example, at workshops, talks, on social media.

Members should be prepared to attend all scheduled meetings of the Committee, with a minimum of 50% attendance per year to maintain Committee membership. Further, members are expected to actively participate in all “out of session” tasks pertaining to Committee business, which may on occasion require a quick response. Failure to meet these requirements will inform decisions related to continued membership of the committee.

Proposed foundation agenda

The CAP will be asked to give advice on the following areas working with relevant PSANZ entities (noted in brackets) as follows:

  • Communication strategy to raise awareness of the work of PSANZ and the importance of research in perinatal care (Board Executive);
  • Research priority setting in perinatal care (currently Perinatal Trials Working Party and Research Committee when established);
  • Clinical practice policies and guidelines (Policy Committee);
  • Involvement of consumers in PSANZ conferences and meetings (Conferences Subcommittee), and
  • Other specific needs for consumer advice identified either by the CAP, by the Board of PSANZ, or by Special Interest Groups (SIGs) and Sub-Committees of PSANZ.