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Technical Section Operations Manual




A Technical Section represents a grouping of global members who share an interest in a specific technical topic. These communities of SPE members share ideas, promote competence, and develop projects related to their technical interest. Technical Sections tend to be more task-oriented than discussion-oriented. They meet virtually for the most part, but are encouraged to hold a face-to-face meeting at least once a year. 

The Technical Sections Operations Manual (TSOM) is your go-to source for information about how to conduct your technical section activities. You can learn about your individual role and find the forms and deadlines associated with your duties.

Questions may be directed to your staff liaison, or to



The Chairperson promotes the well-being of the section, the society, and the profession. He/she performs all duties that pertain to the direction of the technical section including, but not limited to:

  • Understanding the global mission of SPE.
  • Possessing good leadership, motivation, and communication skills and the ability to work with various personalities.
  • Understanding the technical section’s role in relation to the SPE International Board.


  • Preside over all meetings of the technical section and its board of directors.
  • Oversee the election of officers (outlined in the Sample Governance Model) and the appointment of workgroup and subcommittee member positions.
  • Understands the principle behind the technical sections and contributes to technical section’s ideas.
  • Ensure the technical section is global in applicability and participation. 
  • Inform the nominating committee that the technical section board should maintain regionally geographic diversity and cross-company representation.
  • Keep the staff liaison informed regarding plans, needs or challenges.
  • Ensure that an officer communicates with technical section members at least 4 times per year via Informz email broadcast platform or SPEConnect.
  • Ensure the technical section complies with all SPE Guidelines and Policies, including that all officers be members of the technical section in good standing. 
  • Submit an Annual Report (see link below) by 1 June.
  • Hold a minimum of six (6) board meetings/conference calls per year, and at least (1) face-to-face meeting of the membership to be held in conjunction with ATCE, OTC or other SPE event.
Quick Links

Request a Tax Exemption Form


Annual Section Timelines

Sample Governance Model

Technical Section Annual Report

Technical Section Email System

Technical Section Programming Ideas


Administrative Chairperson

The Administrative Chairperson will record, store, and distribute minutes from technical section board meetings.


  • Record meeting minutes.
  • Distribute Board meeting announcements.
  • Maintain technical section Governance Model.
  • Maintain list of technical section officers.

Record Minutes


Record the official business of the technical section meetings through the writing, retention, and distribution of minutes. Minutes should be taken for all board meetings and should only include key points and actions taken but not verbatim discussion. Minutes often resolve misunderstandings, so they should be accurate, objective, complete, and clear. At each meeting, the minutes of the previous meeting should be reviewed and approved by the group.

Minutes of meetings should contain the following:

  • Name of organization or committee
  • Place and date of meeting
  • Names of officers and members present
  • A statement previous meeting minutes were amended or approved
  • A list of reports presented and accepted



Technical sections are required to maintain a Governance Model which addresses the mission statement, governance structure, officers’ roles and responsibilities, how and when officers are elected. It serves as an important operating document.  It is important to keep an up-to-date copy on file with your staff liaison, as well as posted to the technical section’s SPEConnect site. 




You are responsible for ensuring SPE has accurate record of technical section officers and their contact details. Changes should be sent to, as they occur, to ensure no lapse in service. All officers must be SPE members in good standing. You may review the officer roster SPE has on file for your technical section through Membership Builder.

Quick Links

Membership Chairperson

The Membership Chairperson is responsible for all membership activities.


  • Review data and lists provided via Membership Builder, and report membership statistics to the technical section board.
  • Maintain a comprehensive list of members.
  • Organize and implement methods to increase technical section membership.
  • Encourage members to volunteer and engage in technical section activities.
  • Ensure the technical section is global in participation. 

Membership Roster


Officers in good standing are able to download officer and membership rosters through Membership Builder at any time. The information on the rosters may be used only for programs endorsed by SPE.  Use or reproduction of the information for commercial purposes or for programs not endorsed by SPE is strictly prohibited and subject to legal action. All data contained within the reports is updated daily. 


Program Chairperson

The Program Chairperson is responsible for the arrangement and promotion of programs, entertainment, and incidental details related to meetings, events, and webinars (if applicable).


  • Establish goals for programming based on technical needs of technical section members.
  • Set and execute objectives, including budget and attendance targets and track revenue and expense.
  • Contact and secure speakers.
  • Ensure appropriate marketing.
  • Ensure adherence to all SPE Policies.
Quick Links

Online Community Webmaster


  • Promote collaboration, post announcements, and initiate discussions on SPE Connect*
  • Periodically update the site to ensure it remains relevant to technical section members.
  • Maintain the officer list on the site, current.

*SPE Connect is NOT intended to mimic how other social media platforms function, or consumed quickly. SPE Connect is intended for members to collectively invest, contribute, and build on a body of knowledge for the benefit of the industry as a whole. 

The following are suggestions for how to get the most out of the technical section’s community:

  • Document important information by mining discussion posts and posting them in the Library.
  • Continue the conversation from an SPE event or an article you’ve read, by posting a discussion about it.
  • Crowdsource ideas to solve a problem.
Quick Links

Graphics Standards

Guidelines for Online Communities

Social Media Guidelines

Community Webmaster Training Video


Treasurer (Optional)

The overall goal of the Society is the dissemination of technical information, rather than generating surplus funds. In most cases, technical sections should avoid opening bank accounts. The technical section board should first consult with the staff liaison to determine if an alternative solution is available. The staff liaison can provide guidance on opening a bank account if the need arises.

Each technical section will receive up to $5,000 allowance (per fiscal year) for audio visual requirements for special events held in conjunction with an SPE conference, e.g., Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition (ATCE), Drilling Conference, etc. If these costs exceed the $5,000 allotment, additional sponsorship may need to be obtained.

Technical section programs should be self-sufficient and budgeted to break even. Collection of funds from sponsors for special technical section programs or events is encouraged. 


  • Ensure that all direct costs for the event are covered by sponsorships or ticket sales, in cooperation with the Program Chairperson.
  • Set budget and attendance targets and track revenue and expense, in cooperation with the Program Chairperson.

Bank Account Responsibilities (if applicable)

  • Collect and disburse section funds as approved.
  • Submit financial statement to the staff liaison or to with a copy to the Chairperson by 1 June.  
  • Provide financial reports to the technical section board and make recommendations on the management of the technical section’s finances.
  • Establish, balance and maintain all accounting records for the technical section’s bank account, including deposits, income from events and payments.
  • Reconcile the bank account to the monthly bank statement.
  • Audit Financial Records.
  • Process Charitable Contributions (If Applicable).

Audit Financial Records


Your audit should take place before each new Treasurer assumes office. For most technical sections, an informal audit conducted by designated members of the technical section is appropriate. The audit provides protection for the technical section officers and helps to ensure an orderly transfer of financial records.

Charitable Contributions


SPE encourages its members and sections to be socially responsible. As such, a technical section may choose to make charitable contributions. Donations must be consistent with SPE’s mission and vision, with the only exception being for donations for emergency relief funds. Charitable contributions should be discussed and approved by the technical section board, ensuring that members of the technical section support the donation.

To receive tax benefit for the charitable contribution, a written acknowledgment may be needed, especially to substantiate amounts of more than USD 250. The acknowledgement should include:

  • Name of the recipient organization
  • Amount of monetary contribution
  • Description (but not value) of non-monetary contribution
  • Statement that no goods or services were provided in return or a description and estimate of the value of goods or services provided in return for the contribution
Quick Links

Technical Section Financial Statement form (Excel)

Request a Tax Exemption Form


Tools and Resources

1. Membership Rosters – Membership Builder

Review your section roster, and obtain charts of your section membership through Membership Builder.

  • Note you will need your login and password. 
  • Membership Builder is available only to technical section officers in good standing with SPE.

2. Speaker Source      

This online directory provides section officers a searchable database of professionals willing to travel and share their knowledge through in-person presentations to SPE sections.

3. SPEConnect Online Communities Portal

Collaborate in technical discussions, view upcoming events, access and contribute to a technical library.

4. Technical Section Programming Ideas

As global professional technical groups, SPE technical section members benefit from a number of programs available to participate in.

5. Technical Sections Email System - Informz

SPE provides a broadcast email tool for technical section officers.  This robust system includes reporting on the success of your email to technical section members and ensures compliance with all privacy laws. Informz is available only to technical section officers in good standing with SPE.