Technician Branch Representative (TBR) Guidelines
AALAS is committed to technicians and strives to bring them quality professional growth opportunities and a variety of products and services to help them excel in their jobs. This guide will assist you in your role as Technician Branch Representative (TBR)* within your branch. Before accepting the position of TBR, speak with your supervisor or facility manager for approval and support.
Committee on Technician Awareness and Development (CTAD)
The CTAD is a standing committee whose function is to determine the needs of the technicians, and to stimulate technician participation in National AALAS. The CTAD works with and through the TBRs to gather and disseminate vital information. Information received from the TBRs assists the CTAD in working with the AALAS staff and Board of Trustees to:
- Establish initiatives at AALAS specifically geared to enhance technicians’ roles
- Recognize technicians as an important asset of the national organization
- Develop technician programs for the AALAS National Meeting
- Encourage technicians to take an active role in all AALAS activities, meetings, and publications at the national, district, and branch levels
TBRs serve as the voice of the technician community by serving as liaisons between the 50 local AALAS branches and the AALAS national office. The TBRs work closely with the CTAD and AALAS staff to:
- Share technicians' activities, ideas, and suggestions with other AALAS branches and the National Office
- Help technicians promote biomedical research on a local level
- Provide technicians with professional opportunities and strategies at the local, district, and national levels
- Maintain regular contact with other TBRs, the CTAD, and the AALAS national office via the Branch Leadership and TechLink electronic listservs
What does a TBR Do?
The following points address the responsibilities of the TBR with respect to their local AALAS branch, the CTAD, and the National AALAS office.
- Communicate within your branch
- Communicate with the CTAD and AALAS
- Stimulate Technician Participation
CTAD: The CTAD is your number one resource. The more you and your CTAD reps communicate with each other, the better the chance for AALAS to meet your needs.
AALAS website (www.aalas.org): Staying up to date on the current AALAS products and services is another way of conducting your role as TBR. The “Certification” link has information specific to technicians, so encourage you branch technicians to periodically check to see what’s new.
Branch Leadership and TechLink listserves: When you become a TBR you will be added to three of AALAS’ electronic email listservs – Branch Leadership, TechLink and TBRs. The listservs are designed to allow users from around the country to keep in touch with each other. Want to know what other branches do at their meetings? Need ideas for a technician-oriented event? Want a copy of another branch’s newsletter? Simply post a message on one or all of the listservs... you’ll have all the answers you need in just a matter of minutes.
Imagination: The position of TBR within your branch is unique and calls for the "creative expression" of ideas to be able to entice branch technician participation. Simply get out there and talk to people. See what they are interested in or what they need. Use this information to develop activities at your branch and/or district meetings. Then, share the details with other TBRs!
How to Get Started!
Listed below are a few suggested activities to get started in your job as TBR:
- Have your branch president introduce you (and your ATBRs) at branch meetings. Then, make brief announcements about national activities and other important news
- Prepare a report for your branch newsletter about technician participation at your last branch meeting
- Order posters and other materials (most are free) from the AALAS national office to display and give out at your branch meetings
- Make up a contest to encourage branch participation at your branch meetings
- Make yourself a checklist to keep track of communication between you, your branch, and your CTAD district rep.
- Create a system to distribute CEU certificates for attendees to your branch/regional meetings
- Remember -- share your ideas, instructions, good parts, and disasters with all of the other TBRs!
TBR Activities at the National AALAS Level
TBRs are encouraged to:
- Assist in staffing the CTAD booth and promoting the CTAD and the annual International Laboratory Animal Technician Week event
- Actively participate in CTAD-sponsored events such as the Technician Fun Fair, the Technician Lunch & Learn, the Charles Hunter Lecture, and the TBR Meeting
Following are descriptions of some of the technician-specific activities that the CTAD and TBRs are responsible for overseeing:
- International Laboratory Animal Technician Week
- Technician Fun Fair
- Charles Hunter Lecture
- Technician Lunch & Learn
* “TBR” will be used collectively to represent both TBRs and the Assistant TBRs within each branch.