One SPE: Guiding Principles

The concept of One SPE reflects the goal that each function and activity of the society should serve the broader membership while addressing local needs, supporting technical and professional excellence, and making wise use of society resources. The voluntary donation of time and talent by SPE members is our most vital asset, and the creative energy of volunteers must be encouraged and supported by the society.


The vision of One SPE is to continually improve and to be the best in how the society supports and interacts with members worldwide in fulfilling its mission of capturing and disseminating technical knowledge for the benefit of all members. This means that all elements of the society will work together in a way that leverages volunteer efforts and creates greater value for the membership as a whole. One SPE provides vision and context for websites, meetings, publications, knowledge capture, central services, new ideas, and specialties.

Meetings of the society can take many forms and be conducted in widely varying formats. For meetings beyond local membership, volunteers and SPE staff work together in the planning and implementation and should be committed to capturing the knowledge presented and shared in those meetings in ways that will serve the entire society.

Meetings should meet high-quality standards and wisely steward funds in a manner that is consistent and fair. SPE staff is committed to delivering cost-effective services for planning, implementation, and knowledge capture that will provide volunteers with the freedom to focus on high-value-added content and other ideas to make the meetings successful.

Sections serve the local members who often share similar specialized needs on a geographical basis. The sections are often SPE’s greatest source of new ideas to address the needs of members. Section activities can involve the resources of regional and society-level strengths and capabilities.

Section leadership should conduct and plan activities consistent with the One SPE Guiding Principles and SPE’s mission. SPE staff is committed to providing flexible, cost-effective services to assist sections in conducting their activities.

Publications of the society serve current and long-term member needs. Technical quality is paramount as publications provide a major mechanism for the primary mission of the society. Volunteers generate content, evaluate and review publications, and provide feedback on value creation. Volunteer leadership should solicit member ideas to make sure that SPE publications maintain their high standards and are a cost-effective way of sharing and preserving knowledge.

Websites of the society provide important links and “knowledge portals” to other parts of SPE. Members are the key source for designing and updating these sites. SPE staff is committed to supporting these member initiatives and will ensure that there is one “backbone” system throughout SPE that is consistent with the mission.

Role of Specialties

SPE’s establishment of six specialty areas and the appointment of technical directors to the SPE Board of Directors is part of an evolution in how members interact with each other. Technical sections foster interaction between members regardless of geographic and other barriers. Society leadership and SPE staff are committed to making resources available to give these technical communities an opportunity to thrive.

Specific Guidelines for Organizing Meetings, Publications, Websites, and Member Services

Early consultation among organizers and their respective SPE regional director is essential. SPE staff advice should be also considered in early discussions.

It is understood by all members of the society that the SPE board is charged to ensure staff resources are available to support organizers in their efforts. In the case of product and services that extend beyond local membership, utilization of these resources is key to ensuring the high standards of knowledge exchange expected by members throughout the world are consistently and efficiently achieved for mutual benefit.

The SPE board is accountable to the membership for ensuring these resources are fit for their purpose and competitively priced. The recovery of these investments and expenses is absolutely essential to enable the society to deliver consistently high-quality products and services to all members in all locations.