International Fluency Association (IFA)

The IFA was founded in 1989 to promote international liaison in the area of fluency disorders and to promote the understanding of these disorders. International Congresses are organised every three years in venues selected from around the world. In 1994, the Congress was held in Munich, Germany; San Francisco, USA in 1997; Nyborg, Denmark in 2000; Montreal, Canada in 2003; Dublin, Ireland in 2006; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 2009; Tours, France in 2012 and Lisbon, Portugal in 2015.

Joint working

The IFA is keen to build links with other organisations associated with the field of fluency disorders and Congresses may be arranged in association with other organisations, such as the International Cluttering Association (ICA – joint Congress held in 2015 between the IFA and ICA) and the International Stuttering Association (ISA – joint Congress to be held / has been held in 2018 between the ICA, IFA and ISA). Teams bidding to host future IFA Congresses should be aware of the possibility of collaborative working with these organisations. When these international associations collaborate, it has implications for Congress planning as it affects delegate numbers, room sizes, catering costs, etc.

Associate Organisations

International Cluttering Association (ICA)

The First International Cluttering Conference was held in Bulgaria in May 2007. Here sixty individuals from eighteen countries met to share their research, their work and their insights about cluttering. It was at this conference that a unanimous decision was made to form the ICA. The primary goal of the ICA is to increase awareness and understanding of cluttering, and to improve treatment and quality of life for people who clutter. 

International Stuttering Association (ISA)

Founded in 1995, the International Stuttering Association (ISA) is a not-for-profit, international umbrella association made up primarily of national self-help associations for people who stutter. This association seeks to provide a means whereby the voices of people who stutter can be heard at the international level.

How is the location for a Congress decided?

Currently, Congresses are organised to take place every three years. Decisions regarding the site of the Congress are made by the IFA Board, taking into account views of the membership body, gathered via electronic voting of full IFA members in the weeks following a meeting during the Congress three years in advance of the proposed Congress.

The 2018 World Congress in Hiroshima, Japan, is/was a joint endeavour between the IFA, ICA and ISA for the first time. If further joint Congresses are planned, the Boards and membership bodies of each organisation will have a chance to offer an opinion on choice of location for the next world Congress. Again, the Boards will make the final decision regarding venue.

Who is eligible to bid?

Bids for the Congress will be welcomed from: a country’s professional organisation representing professionals in the area of fluency disorders; self-help organisations for people who stutter; local organisations in the area of speech pathology; or a combination of such organisations. It is important that the team bidding to host the Congress includes a background in the area of speech and language pathology or disorders of fluency. Experience in hosting international conferences / meetings may be an advantage. Backing from a professional organisation in hosting international conferences may be helpful in some locations, but is not a prerequisite for making a bid. It is also considered useful to have the supportive backing of city’s council, and/or a local Chamber of Commerce or tourist organisation.

The ICA, IFA and ISA are international organisations and, as such, consideration will be given to a variety of geographical locations for different Congresses.  In this way, the international remit of the three associations is reflected through the Congress venues and attendance from delegates living on different continents is promoted.


Procedures involved in making a proposal to host the World Congress.

  1. A team wishing to bid to host a World Congress should notify, in writing, the Chair/President of each international association and the Chair of the IFA Meetings and Conferences Committee at least three months before the previous Congress (i.e. the Congress held 3 years before the one the team hopes to host).
  2. The organisation or group making the bid (known from here on as ‘the bidding team’) will be informed of the timing and organisation of the voting and ballot procedure, and advised regarding promotional opportunities (e.g. a presentation during the final session of the previous Congress and information about their bid to be available on the IFA/ICA /ISA websites as relevant prior to voting).
  3. A portfolio presenting the host country’s bid will be prepared by the bidding team and sent to the Chair/President of each international association (as appropriate) and to the IFA Meetings and Conferences Committee. The deadline for portfolio submissions will be 6 weeks before the previous Congress. The portfolio format needs to follow the guidelines in Appendix A. If a large number of bids are received, the association Boards and the IFA Meetings and Conferences Committee will agree a shortlist of a maximum of 6 bids.
  4. Prior to the start of voting, shortlisted bidding teams will be invited to address a meeting at the previous conference for a period of 10 minutes (in person or via video link) and to present information about the proposed site. A format for the presentation is outlined below (see Appendix B). This format must be followed and the 10 minute time limit for each presentation adhered to.
  5. Before the electronic ballot procedure is opened, relevant members of the Boards and the IFA Meetings and Conferences committee will take time to examine the proposed budgets and determine whether proposed bids are feasible. If a highly unrealistic budget has been submitted and no amendments can be made, a bid may need to be withdrawn prior to the start of voting by the membership body.
  6. The ballot procedure will take place electronically, for a fixed period following the presentation of bids. PowerPoint presentations will be uploaded to the IFA / ICA / ISA websites to enable the membership body to view them. There will be opportunities to ask bidding teams questions about bids via email throughout this period. Following the voting process and subsequent decision-making, the venue for the next World Congress will be announced on the websites and shortlisted bidding teams notified by email of the status of their bids.



The Chair of the IFA Meetings and Conferences Committee will liaise with the successful bidding team to create a Congress Organisation Team.  This may include members of the IFA’s Meetings and Conferences Committee, representatives from the ICA and ISA, members of the successful bidding team and other relevant individuals, such as the IFA Treasurer, as appropriate. The Chair of the Organisation Team will report progress to the relevant Boards and discuss decisions regarding details of the Congress plan at regular intervals.  

With respect to the program, the focus of the Congress should be on knowledge sharing, enhancing mutual understanding between different groups within the stuttering community, debate and discussion. However, additional events, such as an opening ceremony, a social event and dinner parties may be included in the program at the discretion of the Organisation Team.



If the cost of the Congress is underwritten by the IFA, the IFA Meetings and Conferences Committee Chairperson, IFA President and IFA Treasurer are jointly responsible for the budget of the Congress and budgets and financial matters will be under the governance of the IFA Executive Board. Any and all profits of the Congress will go to the IFA. Any losses generated will be the responsibility of the IFA unless an alternative arrangement has been agreed by the parties involved. All practical steps should be taken to ensure that no losses are generated, as the IFA is a non-profit organisation and has limited funds.


Appendix A

Bidding Portfolio format.

Bids should be submitted as a PDF file. Submitted bids which do not follow the guidelines set here will not be considered, as deviation from the guidelines means it is not possible to draw comparisons between all bids received. Please ensure bids submitted include the following information:

  1. A clear description of:
    1. The proposed Congress site / convention centre with information about room capacities for Congress events. The site should have facilities to offer at least: one room for plenary sessions for up to 650 people, 1-2 rooms for 200 each, 2 rooms for 100 each and two rooms for 50 each, poster session space, exhibition space, break/lunch facilities.
    2. Availability of suitable accommodation for delegates with easy access to the Congress site.
    3. Information regarding facilities and attractions near to the Congress site.
    4. Travel information (including information about the nearest international airport and public transport links to the site).


  1. Information regarding the team bidding for the Congress (including names and relevant experience) with information about links to any national or local associations who will be involved in hosting the proposed Congress. Letters of support for the bid from relevant bodies can also be included. The bidding team must include a minimum of four people who can dedicate time to actively plan and run the Congress in liaison with the Meeting and Conferences Committee and representatives from the ICA and ISA.
  1. Optional information regarding suggested theme/s for the Congress, for consideration by the ICA / IFA / ISA.
  1. Any other attractions associated with the proposed site, ideas for additional activities (outings to areas of local interest etc), and proposed venues for key events such as a gala dinner.
  1. A table showing proposed budgetary information must be included with the bid. Costings should be based on a 3 to 4 day conference and given in both the local currency and US dollars or Euros with inclusion of the following:
  1. a) Cost of conference facilities (venue hire, audio-visual aids etc)
  2. b) Catering costs (allowing for two tea breaks and one lunch break per person per day)
  3. c) Hotel costs to delegates
  4. d) Approximate cost to travel to venue from international airport
  5. e) Cost of accommodation for speakers
  6. f) Other anticipated costs, specific to the location e.g. is VAT payable, will translation be required and if so, what are the likely costs? It should be noted the language of the Congress will be English. If this will make the congress inaccessible for local delegates, the bid should include costings to allow for simultaneous translation and suggestions regarding ways to meet these costs separately to revenue gained from delegate fees.
  1. Any additional information to support the bid.

Appendix B

Presentation requirements

A PowerPoint presentation should be used to accompany a 10 minute presentation (timings will be strictly monitored), with a slide to show each of the following points.

Introductory slide

  • Brief information to introduce the bidding team and host city
  • Information to promote the host city / team

Basic information

  • Proposed dates of the Congress
  • Brief outline of team/s involved in bidding for Congress
  • Brief description of proposed venue (city as a minimum, but to include hotel / university / conference centre planned to host Congress if known)


  • Location of Congress
  • Accessibility of the proposed host city (airlines / public transport links etc. including information about distances from airports to venue)
  • Information about distance from accommodation to Congress venue


  • Suggested venues for possible events (opening ceremony / gala dinner etc)
  • Potential additional activities (local interest outings etc)

Brief budgetary information (to be given in both the local currency and US dollars or Euros)

  • Approximate costs for room hire and catering
  • Hotel costs to delegates
  • Approximate cost to venue from international airport
  • Estimated fee to individual delegates for each category used for registration at the last Congress
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