WFSA Guidelines on the Application, Preparation and Organisation of the World Congress of Anaesthesiologists


WFSA Guidelines on the Application, Preparation and Organisation of the World Congress of Anaesthesiologists

The World Congress of Anaesthesiologists (WCA) is the Congress of the World Federation of Societies of Anaesthesiologists (WFSA). The WCA is held every four years and hosted by a national member Society (NMS) of the WFSA. It is the major international exposition of the speciality of anaesthesia and its many related disciplines.

Article I.                 


The WFSA Secretary will call for
applications to host the WCA approximately nine (9) years before the proposed
WCA. The selection of the NMS by the Venue Committee will take place eight (8)
years in advance. All applications, including documentation should be submitted
electronically to the Secretary at least three months before the meeting of the
Venue Committee, i.e. the WCA where selection will take place.  The Secretary will advise of the specific
closing date for submissions with the invitation for application. 

Member Societies interested in hosting the
WCA should obtain these WCA Guidelines for preparing their applications to host
the WCA.



Article II.              


The Secretary will receive
all applications to host the WCA on behalf of the Venue Committee (VC).  The VC is appointed by the Executive
Committee. It includes a Chairman and up to eight members, each from different
Member Societies and including at least one from each major world region (WFSA Constitution
Art. The following information should be included in the documents
and other material submitted to the Secretary by each NMS applying to host the


The Society will undertake
responsibility and demonstrate support for the organisation of the WCA in
accordance with the guidelines established by the Executive Committee and
General Assembly as laid down in this document.

The submission should include
support for the application from the regional and national governments, such as
the National Ministries of Education, Health and Tourism.

Proposed dates of the Congress
should be provided.

Details must be provided on the
conference centre at which the WCA is proposed to be held, including the number
and capacity of meeting rooms, available offices and committee rooms, general
layout, and proposed sites for events such as the Opening Ceremony and the
General Assemblies.

Two General Assemblies (GA) consisting
of delegates of the member Societies are held during the WCA, as well as
meetings of all the existing WFSA committees. 

Options for appointment of a
congress organising company should be provided in order to demonstrate that
appropriate, reliable and experienced companies are available to organise the

The submission should give a
full account of potential hotel and other accommodation sites, including
proximity to the Congress venue and possible transport arrangements between the
venue and hotels.


Those considering application should
consider that the WCA should not be held in the same country twice within
twenty years and global movement is desirable.



Article III.           


The following is a list of general
requirements for the Congress, based on experiences from previous WCAs.  The list is not all-inclusive but attempts to
provide guidelines.

III.01              Convention

The Centre should include at least eight
meeting rooms available for simultaneous sessions of the Scientific Program.  Ideally, the rooms should range in size from
50 seats to 2000 seats, thus accommodating major plenary sessions through to
small workshops and case discussion sessions. 
Suitable areas for poster displays, poster discussions & workshops
must also be available within the complex. 
The Convention Centre must also contain sufficient space for committee
and other business meetings and administrative office space (see below).

III.02              Industry

The Healthcare Industry Exhibition is
important to the success of the Congress. 
The Exhibition should be in the Convention Centre or adjacent to the
Convention Centre, with an available floor space of at least 10,000 square
metres, ideally in a column free hall and contained in one area.  Ceiling height should allow for a 8 (eight)
meter exhibits.  Refreshment and lunch
distribution points could be within the Exhibition to encourage Congress
delegates to regularly attend the Exhibition.


III.03              Delegate

At least 5,000 bedrooms in hotels and
similar accommodation should be available within easy access to the Convention
Centre, ideally over 50% within walking distance.  Shuttle transport or low cost or free
transport tickets to and from the Convention Centre should be provided for more
distant officially recommended accommodation. 
Accommodation type should range from 5-star hotels to hostel type



Article IV.           


At the meeting of the VC each submission is
considered by a verbal presentation of the delegation from the applicant
Society, following which the Committee may seek clarification from the
delegation on their submission and further discuss the overall
application.  Each member society will be
granted a period of up to 45 minutes.

The VC, having heard all the presentations
will propose the NMS and site to the Executive Committee. Following approval by
the Executive Committee, the decision will be conveyed in private to each
bidding society by Officers of the WFSA. The choice will then be announced at
the Second General Assembly.  The
selection is followed by the signing of a Letter of Agreement between the NMS
and WFSA. The NMS and the venue are currently (2010) selected eight years
before the scheduled event.



Article V.              


Timing of the WCA
application, submission and awarding process:

The Secretary will call for applications to
host the WCA about nine (9) years prior to the proposed WCA and one (1) year
before the Venue Committee meeting at the next scheduled World Congress

The Secretary will determine a closing date
for submissions, about three months before the Venue Committee meeting, i.e.

The host Society and site are proposed by
the Venue Committee and approved by the Executive Committee and the 2nd General

The Secretary will confirm the appointment
in a Letter of Agreement to the elected Society within three months of the

The Letter of Agreement will be signed by
the Secretary and the Host Society within twelve months of the determination.

The Treasurer will then discuss the arrangements
for the payment of the interest free loan.


Article VI.           


LETTER OF AGREEMENT between the WFSA and a
Society hosting a World Congress of Anaesthesiologists.

The purpose of this letter is to record the understanding between the World
Federation of Societies of Anaesthesiologists (hereinafter called WFSA) and the
name of Society (hereinafter called the Society) that has agreed to host the
World Congress of Anaesthesiologists (hereinafter called the Congress), the
details of which appear in the title of this document. The understanding is as


1. The
WFSA grants to the Society, and the Society accepts, all rights and
responsibilities for the planning, development and implementation of the
Congress. The Society agrees to use all efforts to present a successful
scientific, educational and cultural event.


2. The Society will
arrange to provide the WFSA with facilities, equipment, and secretarial and
clerical services for the conduct of its organisational affairs during the
course of the Congress. The WFSA agrees, consistent with its capacities and to
the extent requested by the Society, to provide assistance to the Society in
assuring the success of the Congress.


3. The Society will
provide the WFSA with annually updated information developed during the course
of planning and development of the Congress, beginning six years before the
Congress. The Society will maintain segregated accounts of all income and
expenditure relating to the planning and development of the Congress. The Society
will provide twice-yearly financial reports to the WFSA Treasurer, beginning
four years before the Congress. The accounts of the Congress will be held and
only accessed directly by representatives of the Society. Such access will not
normally be available to any companies contracted by the Society, except the
Professional Congress Organising company. (PCO)


4. In an effort to build on the successes
of previous WCAs, the WFSA strongly encourages the use of a PCO with experience
in running a WFSA World Congress or events of a similar size and nature.

The Society shall inform the WFSA of its
selection of a PCO and send a copy of the draft agreement between the Society
and the PCO prior to its signing.


5. The WFSA may provide,
on request, an interest free loan to the Society as “seed money” for
the planning and development of the Congress. The size of the loan will be up
to US$100,000 (one hundred thousand dollars), payable as agreed between the
parties. This loan shall be repayable as soon as possible but not later than 6
(six) months after the last day of the Congress and repayment shall not be
dependent on the financial outcome of the Congress.


6. An audited final
financial account of the Congress, prepared in accordance with generally
accepted accounting principles, will be submitted to the WFSA as soon as
practical and no later than ten (10) months after the last date of the


7. The WFSA shall receive an
appropriate sum from the surplus over all expenses, prior to any incentivised
payments to the PCO, immediately following completion of the final audit. Any
deficit resulting from an excess of expenditure over all revenue will be borne
by the Society.

It is vital that the host Society considers the tax and currency transfer
implications of their Congress. Expert advice should be sought to minimize
exposure to tax and currency transfer restrictions. This is the responsibility
of the host Society which should liaise closely with the WFSA Treasurer (see


8. The Society will obtain
a policy of comprehensive damage and public liability insurance cover for the
Congress – naming the Society, the WFSA and relevant members and staff of these
organisations as insured parties. At its discretion, the Society may also
obtain a policy insuring it against financial loss in the event of cancellation
or impairment of the Congress due to catastrophic events.


9. The Society agrees to work in close
cooperation with the WFSA Scientific Committee in the development of the
programme for the Congress.


10. The Society will have
the exclusive right to solicit contributions in support of the planning,
development and conduct of the Congress. Any such contributions shall be
credited to the World Congress account. The WFSA grants to the Society the
rights to use the name and logo of the WFSA in connection with promotion,
planning, development and implementation of the Congress. The Society will
indicate in all publicity that it is a WFSA World Congress of

It is anticipated that as soon as practical hereafter, the Society and the WFSA
will agree to details acceptable to both organizations with respect to specific
aspects of the conduct of the Congress as outlined in the WFSA World Congress
of Anaesthesiologists Guidelines.


11. The WFSA reserves the right to suspend
or to alter this agreement when failure of compliance with these guidelines
occurs and which is not remedied within 30 days of a request in writing from
the WFSA.


Agreed by the two parties and signed on
their behalf:


WFSA Secretary…………………President or Secretary, the Society






Article VII.        


It is important throughout the planning stages
that the COC and the Secretary, Treasurer and other Officers work closely

VII.01            Congress Organising

The host Society appoints a Congress
Organising Committee (COC) to undertake detailed planning of the Congress.  Appointments to the COC should occur from at
least six years before the Congress, initially with a small number of people
and building up as needs expand. 

VII.02            WFSA Involvement in COC

The current Secretary and Treasurer should
be ex-officio members of the COC. They should receive notices and a summary of
all COC meetings minutes (recorded in English). 

The Chair of the WFSA Scientific Committee
will be appointed to the Congress Scientific Committee. 

The WFSA logo should be incorporated in all
relevant documents, letterheads, publicity, notices and other material
pertaining to the WCA.  It is important
to emphasise that the Congress is that of the WFSA.

VII.03            Reporting

The COC must provide annual reports on the
organization of the WCA to the Secretary to be distributed to the Executive
Committee. A verbal and written report must be submitted to the General
Assembly at the preceding WCA.

VII.04            Meeting

The Secretary, Administrative Co-ordinator,
and possibly other Officers, will normally meet with the COC during a site
visit two years before the Congress.  The
main purpose of the visit is to discuss the Federation’s office and equipment
needs on site and provisions for committee meetings and General Assemblies.



Article VIII.     


The World Congress of Anaesthesiologists is
an important opportunity for fundraising in support of the aims of the
WFSA.  Any financial surplus from the
WCA, which is allocated to the WFSA and shared with the organising National
Member Society, is vital to the educational related activities of the WFSA.

VIII.01           Letter of Agreement

The Treasurer drafts a Letter of Agreement
between the WFSA and the Society hosting the WCA (utilising the template
attachment document).  This document
includes the provision of “seed money” from the WFSA, obligations of the host
Society on financial accountability to the WFSA, distribution of any surplus
and other relevant conditions and requirements. 
Copies of the letter will be signed by the Secretary and the President
or Secretary of the host Society.

VIII.02           The Seed Money

This interest free loan is to be provided
by WFSA to the NMS at 6 and 4 years prior to the WCA as agreed. The seed money
will be returned to WFSA within six months after the WCA.

Section VIII.03           Reporting

The WFSA Treasurer shall be appointed to
the Finance Committee of the WCA. The Treasurer will regularly receive on-going
details of banking and account status and relevant minutes of meetings on WCA
financial matters. 

VIII.04           Complimentary

Complimentary WCA registration is provided
for the WFSA President, his/her spouse and for Past Presidents.

Complimentary accommodation (appropriate to
the needs) for the WFSA President and spouse from the time of arrival at the WCA
venue city to the final day of the WCA, and complimentary admission for the
President and his/her spouse to all associated WCA social events is a common



Article IX.           


The Scientific Program will be a broad mix
of presentations with a variety of formats as determined by the COC.  The formal Scientific Program runs up to five
days (normally Monday to Friday).. It is suggested that advice be sought from
previous Congress organisers on the mix of differing formats for presentations
and their relative success with delegates.

IX.01              Remuneration

WFSA recommends that invited speakers
should not receive any honoraria, travel or hotel expenses for their
contributions to the meeting.  Registration
fees should be waived for speakers.  It
is likely that support may be provided to allow contributions from individuals
from less affluent countries. Invited participants in the Scientific Program
from a non-anaesthesiology background may also receive reimbursement of costs
associated with attendance at the Congress. This should be limited to economy
airfare, accommodation and registration costs.   Speakers whose papers are accepted may be
offered a reduction in the registration fee at the discretion of the COC.

Many delegates are only able to attend the
Congress if they are presenting a paper or poster. Therefore, attempts must be
made to accept all submitted papers, posters and other presentations in some
form or other. All regions of the world should be represented in the scientific
presentations. There should be no discrimination among participants,
particularly on the basis of country of origin.

IX.02              Simultaneous interpretation

The language of the WCA is English.

Provision of simultaneous interpretation for
scientific presentations is desirable. It should be considered an important
tool in attracting delegates from all countries.  Major scientific sessions should have
simultaneous interpretation in chosen languages at the discretion of the
COC.  Some other sessions may be
presented in a language other than English but must have English translation

IX.03              Harold Griffith

The Harold Griffith Symposium is an
important part of the Scientific Program, honouring the first President of the
WFSA and the WFSA itself. It should occur at a time and in a venue to maximise
attendance by Congress delegates.  There
will be no other simultaneous sessions at the time of the Harold Griffith
Symposium. The Symposium is chaired by the WFSA President. The Symposium
usually does not include a discussion or question and answer period. The format
and choice of speaker(s) is at the discretion of the COC.

IX.04              Subspecialty groups

Every effort should be made to incorporate
groups who wish to organise sub-specialty “Satellite Meetings” into the
Scientific Program of the Congress rather than hold rival meetings of
sub-specialties.  If such meetings are
planned, they should be held at a venue and time that encourages delegates to
those meetings to also attend the WCA. 
If they cannot be incorporated, encouragement should be given to holding
such meetings at the Congress venue prior to or following the Congress.



Article X.              

X.01               Opening Ceremony

This Ceremony takes place prior to the
start of the Scientific Program. Every effort should be made to encourage a
high attendance, as this event can attract positive media coverage for the
profession. Entertainment may be provided before and during the ceremony. A
national or local dignitary may, at the discretion of the COC, be invited to
formally open the Congress. The program includes an address by the WFSA

Seating should be reserved for current and
former Officers, Executive Committee members and their spouses (± 30). There is
a need to be realistic in the planning of this event. It should not been seen
as a competition with past or future Congresses and should be simple yet
effective. The WFSA believes that money is better put to achieving the aims of
the organisation rather than paying for ephemeral and expensive entertainment.

X.02               Welcome Reception

This event can follow the Opening Ceremony,
usually within the Exhibition Hall (thus supporting the Industry).  It provides the major and initial opportunity
for delegates and families to meet and greet each other, assisting to build up
the camaraderie of WCA.

The cost of this reception to delegates is
included in the registration fee.

X.03               Gala Dinner

A major dinner or similar evening function
is usually organised as an official event at which maximal attendance is
encouraged.  A fee for the dinner is
charged although it may be subsidised by the registration fee, thus encouraging

X.04               Closing

This final official function should be
preceded by a particularly attractive section of the Scientific Program in
order to encourage attendance at the Ceremony. The program includes an address
by the retiring President, an address by the newly elected WFSA President and a
presentation from the host Society of the next WCA.

The ceremony could be followed by an
informal closing party, enabling delegates to bid farewell to friends and
colleagues. A fee should not be charged, with costs covered by the registration

X.05               Other Social Events

Additional optional events are organised at
the discretion of the COC and should be self-funding. One relatively free
evening early in the Congress should be set aside for Health Care Industry

X.06               President’ lunch

The WFSA President may organise a luncheon
for past and current Officers and their spouses.  This should be held on a day when there is no
major clash with other events or meetings. 
This lunch will be funded by the WFSA.

X.07               Accompanying Persons’

The Accompanying Persons’ Program is for
family and friends of WCA delegates. This program should consist of a range of
activities to suit a wide variety of tastes. 
It is suggested that some research be undertaken on suitable activities
and advice sought from previous conference organizers.  A specific meeting point at the Congress
venue is useful for all participants.  It
is advisable to hold events during the hours of the Scientific Program. All
events should be fully funded through ticketing, with or without sponsorship.



Article XI.           


The WFSA grants the WCA to the NMS on the
condition that all WFSA administrative and committee functions are facilitated
at the WCA. The WFSA and various related bodies hold numerous committee
meetings before, during and after the Congress, spanning approx. 8 days.  These meetings are to be held at the
Convention Centre at the expense of the WCA. 
This includes an undertaking to provide the following facilities:

XI.01              Staff

Staffing of the WFSA Office will be a
combination of WFSA staff (at WFSA expense) and at least one local
receptionist/secretary (WCA expense).  It
is useful if offices for the COC and the host Society are located close to the
offices of the WFSA, thus enabling close liaison on administrative needs.  The matter of staffing and such liaisons
should be fully discussed by the Secretary and the COC prior to the Congress.

XI.02              Space

  • A general office and reception area sufficient to house three
    staff and a lounge/ refreshments area, including desks, chairs and lounge

  • Small offices for the President with desks and 3 chairs.


XI.03              Catering

Coffee, finger lunch and tea
breaks for the Secretariat and the Executive Committee meetings.

XI.04              Equipment and office

  • Three desk top computers (PC) with English Office software and
    internet connection for e-mail, a laser printer, and ancillary equipment
    standard for busy office functions.

  • A high quality photocopy machine with double-sided printing,
    collating facility and high speed output.

  • Telephone with two outside lines, located with the receptionist
    and the office of the Secretary

  • Office sundries such as staples, sellotape, pens, pads, paper,
    scissors, markers and other office materials.

XI.05              General Assembly

Two meetings of the WFSA General Assembly
are held in association with the World Congress.  Requirements for the meeting area of the
General Assemblies are:

  • A large meeting room to accommodate up to 300 Delegates in
    “classroom style” within the Convention Centre of the Congress. The number
    of Delegates from each Society is predetermined by the Hon Secretary.  Each Society nominates Alternate
    Delegate(s) who may substitute for Delegates unable to attend a particular
    General Assembly.

  • If an alternative (outside the WCA Convention Area) location is
    absolutely necessary, it must be within a short distance of the WFSA
    Administration offices at the Congress for logistical reasons.

  • An electronic voting system will be required for all delegates.

  • Standard seating at the rear or side of the room must be
    available for observers, including Alternate Delegates. 

  • The room must have a suitable entrance foyer that will be used
    to process and register attendees by the Credentials Committee.

  • The delegates of each National Society will be seated in areas
    designated by geographical regions. 
    The WFSA will supply the PCO with delegate numbers for each
    geographical region.

  • Stewards will be required to assist delegates to their
    appropriate seating area.


  • A raised podium and table and seating for the WFSA President,
    the Chairman of the Executive Committee, the Secretary, and the
    Treasurer.   The podium should include a lectern for

  • Full audiovisual facilities for recording of the proceedings,
    presentations from the lectern on to a screen at the front of the room,
    and floor microphones for discussion from delegates must be made

  • Simultaneous translation in Spanish, English and French are
    required at these meetings.

  • The First General Assembly will be held the day before the start
    of the Scientific Program. 

  • The Second General Assembly is usually held two or three days
    later, either at lunch time or with an interruption of the scientific
    programme later in the day to enable all delegates to attend.  A longer lunch break may be considered
    to encourage greater attendance at the Industry Exhibition by all the
    other attendees.

  • Details of the dates and times of the General Assemblies will
    be confirmed by the WFSA Secretary 6 months in advance of the

  • Organisation of the General Assemblies is a major and very
    difficult organisational undertaking and requires considerable efforts by
    all parties.

  • The total cost of holding the General Assemblies is a cost of
    the WCA.

XI.06              Executive Committee

There is a general requirement (see below)
for a large Executive Committee meeting room exclusively available for up to
three days prior to the Congress and for the duration of the Congress.  An additional 3 smaller meeting rooms should
also be exclusively available to WFSA for the duration of the Congress.

XI.07              Timing

Timing will be confirmed closer to the
Congress by the WFSA Secretariat:

  • First Executive Committee meeting (2 and 1 days before the
    Scientific Program starts).  If the
    Convention Centre is not available for this meeting, an alternate venue
    must be arranged at the expense of the WCA.

  • Standing & Specialty Committee meetings (before the 1st
    General Assembly).

  • Nominations Committee meeting (on day 1 after 1st General

  • Venue Committee (1 day after 1st General Assembly).

  • Second Executive Committee meeting (day 2 of the Scientific

  • Executive Committee in new composition meeting (day 3 of the
    Scientific Program)

  • New Standing and Specialty Committee meetings (days 4 and 5 of
    the Scientific Program)

  • Officers, new Executive and Committee Chairmen (day 5 of the
    Scientific Program).

Many other Committee meetings in addition
to those listed above may be organised and held during the Congress, often at
short notice.  The COC should ensure that
adequate meeting rooms are provided for these purposes.

Article XII.        


The COC is expected to provide progress
reports to the following bodies:

  • Executive Committee:

1. at the previous WCA

2. two years before the WCA

3. during the Congress

4. within 12 months after the Congress

  • WFSA General Assembly:

1. at the previous WCA

2 during the Congress at the 2nd General


Report (4) is known as the Final Report and
will provide useful information for organisers of future WCAs.  The Final Report should include details of
the following:

1     Number of full
registrants, registered accompanying guests and their countries

2     Number of exhibitors, the
total area of exhibition space sold, and the number of     registered exhibition staff

3     Number of free and
invited papers: submitted, included as oral presentations,         included as poster presentations, listed
by title, rejected,

4     Number of participants
for whom travel, accommodation and/or registration was   paid by the Congress, giving the basis for these concessions.

5     Estimated attendance at
major official and social functions

6     Estimated attendance at
major scientific sessions

7     Details of the Industry
Exhibition and sponsorship of the Congress

8     Associated satellite
meetings of the Congress and estimated attendance

9     A full audited report of
the complete finances of the Congress including    Treasurer’s Report.


Examples of previous final reports are
available from the WFSA Secretary.


May 2011

David J Wilkinson

WFSA Secretary

Document Actions