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The Rolf Institute Policies

Governance Process Policies
Continuing Education Policy

The Rolf Institute Governance Process Policies

GP 1.0 Global Governance Agreement

 The purpose of the RISI Board of Directors, on behalf of the owners, i.e. the public interest and the members of The Rolf Institute, is to see to it that The Rolf Institute (a) achieves appropriate results for appropriate persons at an appropriate cost (as defined in Board Ends policies) and (b) avoids unacceptable actions and situations (as defined in Board Executive Limitations policies).
Adopted: October 16, 2015

GP 2.0 Governance Style

The Board will govern with an emphasis on (1) outward vision rather than internal preoccupation, (2) encouragement of diversity in perspectives, (3) strategic leadership more than administrative detail, (4) clear distinction of Board and staff roles, (5) collective rather than individual decisions, (6) future rather than past or present, and (7) proactive rather than reactive.
 In that spirit, the Board will:
1. Cultivate a sense of group responsibility.
a. The Board, not the staff, will be responsible for governance.
b. The Board will be the initiator of policy, not merely a reactor to staff initiatives.
c. The Board will use the expertise of individual members to enhance the ability of the Board as a body rather than to substitute individual judgments for the Board’s values.
d. The Board will allow no officer, individual, or committee of the Board to hinder or be an excuse for not fulfilling Board commitments.
e. After subjects have been discussed and voted upon, both majority and minority will support the action taken and speak with one voice.
2. Direct, control, and inspire the organization through the careful establishment of broad written policies reflecting the organization’s mission, vision, and values and Board’s perspectives about ends to be achieved and means to be avoided.
3. The Board’s major policy focus will be on the intended long-term effects outside the organization, not on the administrative or programmatic means of attaining those effects.
4. Enforce upon its self whatever discipline is needed to govern with excellence.
a. Discipline will apply to matters such as attendance, preparation, policy-making principles, respect of roles, and ensuring continuance of governance capability.
b. Continual Board development will include orientation of new Board members in the Board’s governance process and periodic Board discussion of process improvement.
5. Monitor and discuss the Board’s process and performance at each meeting. Self-monitoring will include comparison of Board activity and discipline to policies in the Governance Process and Board-Staff Linkage categories.
6. Be accountable to the owners and other stakeholders for competent, conscientious, and effective accomplishment of its obligations as a body.
7. The Board should engage in a self-evaluation process at least once a year at Board meetings. (1997)
Adopted: October 16, 2015

GP 3.0 Fiduciary Responsibilities of Board Members

  1. The Rolf Institute of Structural Integration Board shall discharge it’s duties solely in the interest of the organization, acting with the skill, prudence and diligence that a prudent person acting in a like capacity and familiar with such matters would use in the conduct of an enterprise of like character and with like aims.


  1. The Rolf Institute of Structural Integration may delegate certain responsibilities to professional experts such as investment consultants, money managers, and custodians. However, the Directors are fiduciaries, and are responsible for prudently establishing and monitoring investment policies, objectives and activities on behalf of the organization.

Adopted: October 16, 2015

GP 4.0 Governance Products

The job of the Board is to represent the public and membership interests in determining and demanding appropriate organizational performance.
Accordingly, the Board has direct responsibility to create:
1. The linkage between the organization and the owners.
2. Written governing policies that realistically address, at the broadest levels, all organizational decisions and situations.
a. Ends: Organizational products, impacts, benefits, outcomes, recipients, and their relative worth (what good for which recipients at what cost).
b. Governance Process: Specification of how the Board conceives, carries out, and monitors its own task.
c. Executive Limitations: Constraints on Executive Director’s authority that establish the prudence and ethics boundaries within which all executive activity and decisions must take place.
d. Board-Management Relationship: How power is delegated and its proper use monitored; the Senior Minister’s role, authority, and accountability.
3. Assurance of the Executive Director’s performance on Ends and Executive Limitations.
Adopted: October 16, 2015

GP 5.0 Responsibilities of Officers

The Board of Directors is committed to fulfilling its responsibilities as set forth in the Bylaws through, amongst other means, effective decision making, which is inclusive of consideration of the interests of all constituencies of the organization. Board Members will ensure that once a Board decision has been made, that this decision is upheld in action, deed and words. At all times, members of the Board of Directors and the Board as a whole must act, first and foremost, in the best interests of the RISI, and in accordance with this Code of Conduct, with the Bylaws, and other applicable policies. Meetings of the Board are generally run based on Robert's Rules of Order.
Officers of the Board of Directors have special duties and obligations as assigned in the bylaws. Officers shall hold their respective offices for one year or until their successor(s) are duly elected or qualified. Current officers include Chair, Chair-Elect, Secretary, and Treasurer. Other officers may be created by the Board.
1. President. The Chair, a specially empowered member of the Board, ensures the integrity of the Board’s process and, secondarily, occasionally represents the Board to outside parties. Accordingly,
a. The assigned result of the Chair’s job is that the Board behaves consistently with its own rules and those legitimately imposed upon it from outside the organization.
i. Meeting discussion content will consist solely of issues that clearly belong to the Board to decide or to monitor according to Board policy.
ii. Information that is neither for monitoring performance nor Board decisions will be avoided or minimized and always noted as such.
iii. Deliberation will be fair, open, and thorough but also timely, orderly, and kept to the point.
b. The authority of the Chair consists of making decisions that fall within topics covered by Board policies on Governance Process and Board-Management Relationship, with the exception of (a) hiring or terminating the employment of the Executive Director or (b) except where the Board specifically delegates portions of this authority to others. The Chair is authorized to use reasonable interpretations of the provisions in these policies.
i. The Chair is empowered to chair Board meetings, with all the commonly accepted power of that position (for example, ruling, recognizing).
ii. The Chair has no authority to make decisions about policies created by the Board within Ends and Executive Limitations policy areas. Therefore, the Chair has no authority to supervise or direct the Executive Director except as directed by the Board as a whole.
iii. The Chair may represent the Board to outside parties in announcing Board-stated positions and in stating decisions and interpretations within the area delegated to her or him.
iv. The Chair may delegate this authority but remains accountable for its use.
2. Chair-Elect. The Chair-Elect shall:
a. Perform all of the duties of the Chair in the absence of the Chair.
b. Become Chair in case the office becomes vacant. In such a case, a new Chair-Elect shall be elected from among the remaining Directors to fill the remainder of the term.
3. Secretary. The Secretary shall:
a. Keep, or cause to be kept, an accurate record of the minutes of all board and membership meetings.
b. Hold in custody and be responsible for all reports, minutes and Board Resolution logs as prescribed by the Board.
c. Attend to all official business required by the Board.
4. Treasurer. The Treasurer shall:
a. Submit, or cause to be submitted, a monthly, quarterly, and annual financial report, covering last complete fiscal period.
b. Count, or cause to be counted , by the appointment of qualified persons, all funds received, and be responsible for their deposit in an insured financial institution.
c. Place, or cause to be placed, the funds of The Rolf Institute in an insured financial institution approved by the Board.
d. Chair the Audit Committee.
e. Develop, or cause to be developed a line item in the budget to cover Board operation and development.
Adopted: October 16, 2015

GP 6.0 Board of Directors Conflict of Interest

The Board commits itself and its members to ethical, businesslike, and lawful conduct, including proper use of authority and appropriate decorum when acting as Board members.


Under the law, all volunteers of trade, professional and service organizations, such as members of non-profit organization boards, committees, or other governing bodies, owe a duty of care and a duty of loyalty to their organizations. Even though they may serve as volunteers, individuals who hold positions in these bodies can be held legally liable to the organization – and the organization can likewise be held legally liable to others – if these duties of care or loyalty are violated and damages result. Avoidance of conflicts of interest is also an obligation of employees.
Briefly stated, volunteers and employees of the Rolf Institute® of Structural Integration (RISI) must always act reasonably and in the best interests of the organization; they must avoid negligence and fraud in performing their activities on behalf of the RISI; and they must avoid conflicts of interest between their duties to the RISI and their duties to other organizations.

Volunteers and employees owe the RISI their undivided allegiance. A conflict of interest exists when an individual participates in a task, job or the deliberation and resolution of an issue important to the organization while, at the same time, the individual has other professional, business, or volunteer responsibilities outside of RISI that could predispose or bias the individual to a particular view or goal.
There are three ways to avoid legal liability for volunteers and employees, as well as for RISI, arising from conflicts of interest. For serious and actual conflicts, the individual must voluntarily withdraw – or be withdrawn involuntarily if necessary – from the organization position. For less serious conflicts, there must be disclosure to RISI and avoidance of participating in debate and voting on the issue for which there is a conflict (known as recusal). Finally, for minor or potential conflicts, there must be full disclosure to the organization.
Only judgment and experience can determine which kind of conflict exists and therefore which resolution of the conflict is appropriate. Ultimately, it is the organization’s prerogative, not that of the individual, to make determinations regarding conflicts.
In any legal challenge, conflicts will be judged from the point of view of disinterested outsiders, so it is prudent to err on the conservative side and avoid even the appearance of conflicts of interest.

Example A

Assume that an individual sits on the governing board of an organization’s for-profit subsidiary, which conducts a fee-for-service consulting program for the field represented by the parent
organization; at the same time, the individual sits on the governing board of a business corporation in which the individual is called upon to make decisions regarding management of the corporation’s own consulting program that competes directly with that of the organization’s subsidiary. Here, the problem is that the individual has active responsibility for the management of two competing programs. This is the kind of extreme conflict that demands that the individual not serve on the organization subsidiary’s governing board.

Example B

Assume that a member of an organization committee is a recognized technical expert in an area in which the committee plans to conduct a survey; after taking competing bids and assuring that it is paying a “market rate,” the committee recommends that that organization engage the individual at a reasonable compensation level to assist with the survey. Here, it would be adequate for there to be full disclosure to the committee and the organization at the time of the engagement, as well as periodic reminders to the committee and the organization later about the vendor relationship, plus avoidance of participation by the individual in discussing and resolving issues related to the area of the engagement (recusal).
Special care should always be taken, however, when an individual serving as an organization volunteer is also a vendor, or an employee or consultant for a vendor that provides products or services to the organization or its members in any capacity. There must be meticulously complete and periodically repeated disclosure of those dual relationships, as well as avoidance of participation in debate and resolution of issues at the organization related to the vendor situation.

Example C

Assume that a member of a trade or professional organization’s governing board is affiliated as an instructor at an educational institution that is associated with the trade organization. The trade organization, among many other offerings, facilitates contact and interface with other educational institutions competing with the educational institution where the board member is an instructor, and seeks to further the profession based on the goals of the trade organization. The trade organization itself does not offer educational programming in that field, yet does offer benefits to those in the profession. Here, the individual is not actively managing an endeavor that directly competes with the organization, yet by nature of the goals of the trade organization and the individual’s position with the educational institution, allegiance may be inadvertently compromised or duty of loyalty could be questioned. In this situation, it would be wise for the individual to disclose this outside relationship to both the trade organization and the educational institution and consider minimizing scope-of-work within one role.


1. The Board’s role is to provide a linkage to ownership, have explicit governing policies, and assure the performance of the Executive Director. (RISI Feb 10-12 1996)
2. Those responsible for nominating or appointing leaders to positions on the Board, committees, and other governing bodies, as well as those responsible for interviewing and hiring employees, should be alert for possible conflicts and should explore questionable situations thoroughly before making the nomination, appointment, or hiring decisions.
3. When conflicts or potential conflicts arise, they should be evaluated thoroughly, using the assistance of the organization’s legal counsel if necessary, and resolved appropriately. If there is a perception by a majority of the Board regarding a conflict, even if the member has not disclosed a conflict, that member will be asked to recuse him/herself from the discussion.
4. Where individuals serving voluntarily or as employees of the organization are also engaged in a capacity as vendors to the organization or its members, special attention should be given to ensure that the individuals provide full disclosure and avoid participation in related issues at the organization.
5. Each year, volunteer members of boards, committees, and other governing bodies of RISI, as well as employees, should disclose any situations or areas of actual or potential conflicts of interest. See Appendix: Conflict of Interest form is attached for this purpose.
6. To amend the Standards of Practice with an eye toward creating a drug-free workplace and to recognize that sexual relationships in a relationship with a power imbalance are incompatible and we will not tolerate them. (RISI Feb 4-6 1995)
7. The Board directs Jim to see that all students are informed of the ethics documents and the Standards of Practice as specified in the Bylaws. The Board also requests that each student be required to sign that they have read those documents, and that this signed document is stored in their membership file at the Rolf Institute. (Feb 4-6 1994)
Adopted: :# 7 Feb 1994; #6 Feb 1995; #1.a  Feb. 1996; # 7 Feb. 1996; 2015 ( Current version signed by BOD at 2015 April Mtg. Developed by RISI Attorney.)
Revised:  October 16, 2015

GP 7.0 Board Communications


When in the community – outside of Board business and meetings, Board members must clarify when they are speaking for themselves (“my own thinking on this is that…”) rather than for the Board or Board members.

Board members must:

1. Refrain from “lobbying” other board members outside of board meetings that might have the effect of creating factions and limiting free and open discussion.
2. Ensure that private or personal financial interests never influence decisions and never use their positions as members of the Board for personal gain or to support personal views in any way.
3. Support and defend board decisions, once made, even if one’s own view is the minority view.
4. Not disclose or discuss differences of opinion on the board outside of board meetings, especially with staff, volunteers or clients.
5. Respect the confidentiality of information on sensitive issues, especially in personnel matters.
6. Refrain from speaking on behalf the organization or the Board unless authorized to do so.
7. Disclose involvement with other organizations, businesses or individuals where such a relationship might be viewed as a conflict of interest (see Conflict of Interest Policy).
8. Refrain from giving direction, as an individual board member, to the Executive Director, or any staff or faculty member.
9.Refrain from using threatening behavior, violence, obscene, insulting, derogatory or otherwise inappropriate language, as well as racist/sexist or cultural discriminatory behavior or language.
Adopted: October 16, 2015

GP 8.0 Breach of Code of Conduct

1. Where a Board member is in serious breach of any aspects of this Code of conduct, he/she may be removed from office.
2. Any member in breach of Section I of this Code  may be suspended from the current meeting and from future meetings.
3. All Board Members shall affirm compliance with this code upon instatement and on an annual basis by agreement noted in meeting minutes.
Adopted: September 28, 2010
Revised:  October 16, 2015

GP 9.0 Agenda Planning and Electronic Communications

Agendas will be prepared with the following limitations:
1. Board meeting agendas are prepared and distributed by the Board Chairperson.
2. A Board member may submit an item for Board discussion to the Board Chairpersonno later than five (5) calendar days before the Board meeting. The President shall not deny discussion of an item submitted for the agenda that falls within issues that clearly belong to the Board to decide or to monitor according to Board policy.
3. Agendas and reports are distributed at least three (3) calendar days in advance of each regularly scheduled Board meeting. Distribution is by electronic means.
4. Meeting minutes are prepared and distributed by the Secretary. Minutes are distributed to all Board members no later than fourteen (14) calendar days after each meeting.
5. The Secretary distributes the Minutes to the Executive Director and appropriate staff for distribution to the permanent record and posting to the website for member access within seven (7) days of Board approval.
6. Virtual Attendance at Meetings. Board members may attend Board meetings and committee meetings through electronic means. Electronic attendance shall be live and in real time so Board members can participate in discussions and voting.
7.Electronic Communications. The Board may conduct business and hold official votes via electronic communications as necessary.  Motions approved entirely by electronic voting (e-mail) will be confirmed during the next regularly scheduled Board meeting.
8. The Board has the following expectations of individual Board members—attendance, communication with constituency, have access to e-mail, timeliness of response to issues/questions, be responsible for accepted commitments, have tolerance of diversity and minority opinions. (RISI Aug. 20-22 1996)
Adopted: October 16, 2015

GP 10.0 Board Conduct at Meetings

Conduct of Board Meetings

1. Board members should arrive punctually, to enable the prompt commencement of the meetings.
2. Where there are competing motions on the same subject matter, the Chair of the meeting will decide what resolutions will be discussed and in what order.
3. All motions must be proposed by one board member and seconded by a different board member.
4. Once a resolution has been voted on and passed or rejected by theBoard, no Board member can further pursue any debate on that matter. She/he may request that his/her specific objections be recorded. However, the matter may be discussed in the future as a separate agenda item and dealt with in the same manner as any other agenda item.
5. Any Board members wishing to speak on a particular topic must indicate to the Chair, by way of a raised hand or other determined way, that she/he requests an opportunity to do so. The Chair must then indicate the order in which various members will speak.
6. Notwithstanding the agreed time agenda, the Chair of the meeting may, at his or her discretion, terminate or extend debate.
7. During Board proceedings, no Board member shall use threatening behavior, violence, obscene, insulting, derogatory or otherwise inappropriate language. Nor shall a Board member engage in racist/ sexist or cultural discriminatory behavior, make threats or otherwise disrupt meetings of the Board.
 Adopted: 1996
 Revised:  October 16, 2015

GP 11.0 Executive Sessions

Executive Sessions may be called only for the following reasons by vote of the Board of Directors specified in California Civil Code Section 1363.05(b) are:  (1) litigation, (2) matters relating to the formation of contracts with third parties, (3) member discipline, (4) personnel matters and (5) meeting with a member regarding the member's payment of assessments. 
California Corporations Code Section 8320(a)(2) requires that :
Each corporation shall keep minutes of the proceedings of its members, board and committees of the board. Since boards discuss official business and take official actions at executive sessions, executive sessions are "proceedings of [the] board".  Therefore, the board is required to keep separate minutes of all executive sessions.
Further support for this conclusion is found in Civil Code Sections 1363.05(d), 1365.2(a)(1)(H) and 1365.2(d)(1)(E)(iv).  Each of these sections make express reference to executive session minutes, confirming that the legislature considers "executive sessions" to be "proceedings of the board".
Only in rare cases will the Board of Directors take action in an Executive Session.
Adopted: October 16, 2015

GP. 12.0 Board Member Compensation

To be developed


GP 13.0 Board Meeting Audience Participation

The Board recognizes the value of public comment on educational issues and the importance of involving members of the public in its meetings.  In order to permit fair and orderly expression of such comment, the Board will provide a period during  certain Board meetings when visitors may present to the Board or listen to certain discussions by the Board.  Such presentations will be scheduled in advance.
If you wish to address the Board during a meeting, please coordinate with the Board Chair no less than 14 days in advanced of the meeting unless otherwise not possible.
Plan to arrive to the Board meeting early and sign in The Board Chair will acknowledge the individual(s) wishing to address the Board at the stated time on the agenda and provide direction for so doing.  The Board Chair has the responsibility to terminate any statement that is too lengthy, personally directed to a RISI employee, member, student, or community member, abusive, obscene, or irrelevant. 
Audience protocol shall be as follows:
1. The audience shall be expected to remain quiet during the meeting.
2.  All cell phones and other electronic devices shall be turned off or set to vibrate.
3. The audience shall be expected to refrain from audibly commenting during the business portion of the meeting.
4. If disruption occurs, the President of the Board shall have the authority to ensure order through verbal warnings and/or removal of the individual or individuals from the premises or from the on line meeting system.
Members and the Public are provided two way to address the Board. The first  way is to directly contact the Chair of the Board or individual board members through email correspondence. The second way is through the public comment portion of certain regularly scheduled meetings and/or the face-to-face meetings scheduled twice per year.  
The following rules shall apply to the public comment portion:
1.Speakers must register prior to the regular Board meeting with the Manager of Member Services 24 hours prior to the Board meeting to be placed on the sign up sheet and given the phone conference call in number for the time on the agenda set aside for Public Comment, generally at the start of each meeting.
2. The public comment presentation shall be limited to a maximum audience time of 30 minutes or as deemed appropriate by the Board Chair. Each speaker is limited to a maximum time of three minutes. No more than ten individuals shall be permitted to speak, and the time allotted for each speaker shall be three minutes. If fewer than ten individuals register to address the Board, the three-minute rule shall still apply to each speaker. Individuals speaking on the same topic are encouraged to select a spokesperson to present the group’s views.
4. The Board Chair may direct the Executive Director to review and respond to the request or concerns of the speaker and report back to the Board through written or electronic transmittal or at a designated meeting.
5. The Board Chair shall recognize Board members prior to any member asking clarifying questions or making statements of the Board.
6. Negative comments or complaints regarding individual staff, faculty, students, members or others fall under the grievance policy. The Board will not entertain such comments in public session given the requirements of employment law, and RISI policies.
Specific factual information or recitation of existing policy may be furnished in response to inquiries, but the Board shall not deliberate or decide regarding any subject that is not included on the agenda posted with notice of the meeting. The Chair or designee shall determine whether a person addressing the Board has attempted to solve a matter administratively through resolution channels established by policy. If not, the person shall be referred to the appropriate policy
The Board shall not tolerate disruption of the meeting by members of the audience. If, after at least one warning from the Chair, any person continues to disrupt the meeting by his or her words or actions, the presiding officer may request assistance from law enforcement officials to have the person removed from the meeting.
Adopted: October 16, 2015

GP 14.0 Board Minutes

Board minutes will be taken and distributed as follows:
1.Minutes shall be taken for each Board meeting . (2008)
2.All Motions, seconds, votes, and action items will be captured and documented.
3.“Discussion Ensued” will be used to note discussions.  Full discussions will not be recorded.
4.Any board member wishing to have a particular comment included in the minutes must make a request for specific statements to be “noted in the minutes.”.
5.Any Prepared Statements or submitted documents may or may not be included - at the discretion of the Board Chair or by vote of the Board of Directors as a whole.
6.Non-executive approved minutes will be distributed to the Board, the Executive Director , the permanent record at the RISI office and to the RISI website.
7.  Executive approved minutes will be distributed to the Board, the Executive Director and to the permanent record at the RISI office.
7.Minutes will be distributed and approved within 8 weeks after the meeting. (2008)
8.The draft minutes from each meeting shall be distributed to Board members and the Executive Director within 2 weeks from each meeting.(2008)
Adopted: # 1,6,7,8 2008
Revised:  October 15, 2016

GP 15.0 Board Committees


Board committees, when used, will be assigned so as to reinforce the wholeness of the Board’s job and so as never to interfere with delegation from Board to Executive Director. Accordingly,
1. This policy applies to any group that is formed by Board action, whether or not it is called a committee and regardless of whether the group includes Board members. It does not apply to committees formed under the authority of the Executive Director.
2. Board committees are to help the Board do its job, never to help or advise the staff. Committees ordinarily will assist the Board by preparing policy alternatives and implications for Board deliberation. In keeping with the Board’s broader focus, Board committees will normally not have dealings with current staff operations.
3. Board committees may not speak or act for the Board except when formally given such authority for specific and time-limited purposes. Expectations and authority will be carefully stated in order not to conflict with authority delegated to the Executive Director.
4. Board committees cannot exercise authority over staff. Because the Executive Director works for the full Board, he or she will not be required to obtain approval of a Board committee before an executive action.
5. Board committees are to avoid over-identification with organizational parts rather than the whole. Therefore a Board committee that has helped the Board create policy on some topic will not be used to monitor organizational performance on that same topic.
6.Board committees will be used sparingly and ordinarily in an ad hoc capacity. Committee Charges stating the purpose, membership, deliverables, and time line for committee work will be developed, approved, and reviewed no less than annually by the Board for all standing and ad hoc committees.
Adopted: October 16, 2015

GP 16.0 Board Elections

To be developed

GP 17.0 Governance Investment

Because poor governance costs more than learning to govern well, the Board will invest in its governance capacity. Accordingly,
1. Board skills, methods, and supports will be sufficient to assure governing with excellence.
a. Training and retraining will be used liberally to orient new Board members and candidates for membership, as well as to maintain and increase existing Board member skills and understandings.
b. Outside monitoring assistance will be arranged so that the Board can exercise confident control over organizational performance. This includes but is not limited to at least an annual financial review.
c. Outreach mechanisms, including but not limited to surveys, focus groups, opinion analyses, and meetings, will be used as needed to ensure the Board’s ability to identify and consider   members’ viewpoints and values.
d. The Board will hold two annual face to face Board meetings. The Board is responsible for setting the agenda and determining who will facilitate the meeting.
2. Costs will be prudently incurred, though not at the expense of endangering the development and maintenance of superior capability. The Board’s cost of governance budget will include the following items:
a. Training, including attendance at the face to face board meeting.
b. Auditing and other third-party monitoring of organizational performance.
c. Surveys, focus groups, opinion analyses, and meeting costs.
d. When financially feasible, attendance at the Fascial Research Congress and travel expenses for up to two delegates to attend.
Adopted: October 16, 2015

 Continuing Education Policy

Continuing Education Policy 2016