|Frequently Asked Questions|
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. If I join the IPA US am I also a member of the International organization?
A. Yes. All members around the world join their local section (Country). Membership in their local IPA makes them a member of the overall International Group.
Q. Can I attend other IPA events around the world?
A. Yes, annual meetings, friendship weeks, anniversary events, weekend get-togethers, etc. around the world are open to any IPA member (some events will have a charge).
Q. Where is the IPA US national office?
A. There is no national office or regional offices. Each officer works out of his/her own home.
Q. Where does the IPA phone number 855-241-9998 go?
A. The phone number is a call forwarding service that lets members call a central number regardless of what national officer they need to talk to. The call is forwarded to the appropriate officer’s cell phone and that officer may or may not be available. If not you can leave a message.
Q. If there is no office, where does the staff work?
A. There is no staff. There are no employees in IPA US. All members are volunteers at both national and regional levels.
Q. Is the US one of the largest sections of the IPA in membership?
A. No, it is one of the smaller sections.
Q. Does the US have IPA houses for rent?
A. No, but many members have lodging available.
Q. How to do I sign on the website?
A. Use the user name and password you set up when joining on line. If you have never signed in, obtain your temporary user name and password from your region officer or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q. How does the IPA Travel work?
A. You complete a travel form (online) and the IPA US member assigned as travel officer reviews your request. He sends it to the US member assigned as the Associate Secretary to the country you are heading to. The Associate Secretary in turn sends it to his counterpart member in the other country, who then looks for members who might be able to assist you with your request.
Q. What kind of help is available when traveling?
A. Every country is different. Remember, everyone is a volunteer working hard to help you in your needs. But they do that around their work and home schedule. The system works pretty well but occasionally the volunteers are scarce due to many reasons, sometimes including job duties. If you go to Germany during Oktoberfest, understand why the officers may not have time to give you a station tour. Be realistic and considerate.
Q. I don’t travel so how can I assist other travelers?
A. The IPA is first and foremost a friendship organization. Our prime purpose is to foster friendships with officers around the world. The majority of our US members don’t travel internationally. Many vacation only in the US where members are ready and able to assist in many ways. Many don’t travel at all but open their homes to traveling officers from around the country and world. They belong just for the friendship it brings.
Q. Why is the quarterly magazine no longer in print and only available online in digital format?
A. Quite simply, cost. Printing and mailing a magazine to all members 4 times a year is beyond our budget, running about $8,000 an issue.
Q. What is the IPA biweekly E-News and how do I sign up?
A. The IPA E News is a brief email Newsletter sent out on the 1st and 15th of each month. It contains recent news and information items. To sign up, visit the website and under MAG & NEWS you’ll find E News sign up. Any member can sign up for the E News, even members from around the world.
Q. When I order IPA items from the store, where are they shipped from?
A. The treasurer receives the order and forwards it to our volunteer supply officer in Florida. He ships the items out, usually within 1 or 2 days.
Q. How do I update my address and email information?
A. Sign in and update your info at “Manage profile”.
Q. Where can I find contact information?
A. On the website under “Contact.”
Q. Where can I find an application for a friend?
A. Applications can be downloaded from the web, but the best way is just to direct the person to the website, where he/she can join online in a few minutes.
Q. I heard the IPA has some scholarships available.
A. Yes, visit the web under “Members Only” for more information.
Q. Where can I obtain promotional materials?
A. The National provides ready to print promotional items. These can be found online under “Members Only” and “Recruitment.” Your region may have items you can use.
Q. Is the promotional movie I see online available?
A. Yes, under “Members Only” and “Recruitment.”
Q. What is the difference of the Line of Duty Deaths “Regular” members versus “Extraordinary” members?
A. If a member is killed in the line of duty, his/her information is provided in the Regular Member LODD that is on our web under “In Memory.” Our bylaws also provide that if an officer is killed in the line of duty but is not a member, the officer’s spouse can join the IPA at no cost for the remainder of his/her life. They are considering Extraordinary members and their deceased spouse’s information is listed in the “Extraordinary Member LODD” and posted on the web.
Q. If a member passes away, can his/her spouse remain a member?
A. Yes, that spouse can remain a member at whatever status the spouse was (life member or regular member).
Q. Does the IPA provide any training?
A. Yes, many sections (countries) provide training that is open to all IPA members from around the world. The US also provides such training.
Q. Where can I find trips listed?
A. We try to list as much as possible on the “Events” area of the website. A special page of “Trips” lists trips being planned by US regions. The International Site also lists events from around the world on their site www.ipa-iac.org/ under “Events.”
Q. Are donations tax exempt?
A. The IPA US is a 501(c)(8) organization. The only donations that are tax-deductible are those made to our education programs by the way of scholarships.
Q. Where can I make donations to the various scholarships?
A. All scholarships are listed online and donations are easily done online.
Q. Do the local regions have websites?
A. Yes and no. Some have no region specific website; some use the US site and their region page therein (www.ipa-usa.org/regionXX), while others have their own website outside the IPA US web. All such sites are listed on the web under “Regions” and “Region Map and Contacts.”
Q. Where can I find the magazine?
A. The most recent issue of our quarterly magazine and all historical issues are online under “Mag and News.”
Q. Are ID cards provided?
A. Yes. The official ID card is in digital form, online. Simply sign in and go to your profile to print it. The annual cards are not available until 1/1 of that year. A mailed plastic card is sent in January to all members who renewed by 12/31 of the year. Members who renew late or new members will have only the digital card until the next year.
Q. How do I renew my membership?
A. Renewals are due by 12/31 of the current year, for the next calendar year. Renewals can be paid at the region level, by mailing in (address in “Contacts” on the website) or online. The simplest and preferred method is online. Please pay online whenever possible.
Q. How can I help on the region level?
A. Help with, plan or attend meetings and social events. Consider serving as a region officer. Assist members from outside the region.
Q. After I signed in the web and provided my email, I’m getting all kinds of unwanted emails telling when other members change their profile. How do I stop that?
A. You are in control of what emails you get and it is easily changed. Sign in under My Profile and you’ll see “Manage Profile.” Click that and then click on “Preferences.” Uncheck the boxes on anything you don’t want notified of.
Q. What is the Scholarship Club?
A. The Club is a way of generating funds for our scholarships while providing a raffle for club members. Membership runs the calendar year, January to December and annual dues are $15. Anyone can be a member of the Scholarship Club. You do not have to be an IPA member to join. An individual can join, an organization can join, a region can join, and a business can join! As a thank you for the $15 membership dues, the IPA holds a monthly raffle. You receive one chance to win for every membership so if you prefer donating $30, you’ll double your chances to win each month while supporting a great cause! As a Scholarship Club member, your name will be in each monthly drawing. Each month will have three winners, a $100 winner and two $50 winners.
Q. Who should I contact in the UA Section if I have a question?
A. First stop is your region. The region email is regionXX@ipa-usa.org with XX being the number of the region you are trying to contact. If you need to contact another region, all the region location info and contacts are on the web at “Regions” and “Region maps and contacts.”
Q. What if my question is about something on the national level?
A. Each national officer has an email with their position (i.e., President@, 1vp@, 2vp@, 3vp@, treasurer@, SG@) A general email is info@. Who you contact depends on your question. Additional contacts are Webmaster@, editor@, supplies@. The domain name for each email address is ipa-usa.org (e.g., President@ipa-usa.org).
Q. Are there any times requests or emails should be sent direct to the International versus the US Section?
A. Not really. If you need something from the International it is best to contact the US Sec. General who is the official liaison to the International. It serves no purpose to contact the International directly because they have no way of confirming you are a member. They will forward your email back to the US Section. The exception is if you want to attend an IPA event in another country, in which case just use the email provided by that country for that event.
Q. Can I contact another US region if they contact my region direct for assistance?
A. Yes but consider asking to see their membership ID to ensure they are who they say they are.
Q. What should the region or I do if we receive a direct contact from an IPA member from another country asking to travel in our area?
A. International rules require a member to complete a travel form in their own country, and that section’s Sec. General then forwards to the US Sec. General. Such travel forms have to be sent at least 30 days in advance for individual travel and longer for group travel. This allows you to confirm that the person you are dealing with is actually a member, actually an officer, etc. Some agencies require that travel form before letting someone tour their agency. Certainly this formal method can be adapted if the members know each other, as many in the IPA do.