Anyone who decides to volunteer at their local sports club as a committee member or is thinking of doing so should do some basic fact finding to enable them to familiarise themselves with their role and responsibilities.
What are the rules?
Ensure you are given a copy of the club’s constitution and check it to find out what the rules and regulations of the club are. The constitution should also confirm the not for profit status of the club and how the club is legally set up. Find out when the constitution was last reviewed by the club and whether it follows good practice recommendations from the National Governing Body.
What have we been doing?
Request copies of the minutes of the previous year’s meetings to familiarise yourself with what the committee have discussed and agreed. Ensure there is sufficient details to clearly indicate what the committee have agreed, particularly in terms of paying for services, entering into contracts, etc.
What’s in the bank?
Request copies of the accounts for the previous three years and liaise with the treasurer/club accountant to clarify any areas/figures that you are uncertain about. Confirm that the club has a reserves policy in place and ask to see the current/coming year’s forecasted figures.
You should also find out whether the club is registered with HMRC as a Community Amateur Sports Club (CASC) and whether the club pays tax to HMRC on any of its income.
What’s our legal status?
Find out how your club is legally setup so that you then know what your personal liability is if the club is unable to pay its debts. You club is likely to be either an unincorporated association (not a limited company) or one of three types of corporate body (limited company by guarantee, industrial and provident society, or a charitable incorporated association).
If your club is a corporate body, your liability for the club’s debts will be limited to a nominal sum, usually £1, and you will likely have legal obligations as a company director.
If your club is an unincorporated association, you will have a potential liability for the debts of the club so will need to ensure that you are fully aware of all of the club’s obligations and that the club is meeting said requirements.
Who are we paying?
Find out who the club pays for providing services to the club – coaches, groundsman, cleaners, bar staff, etc. and who on the committee is responsible for ensuring compliance with tax authority rules and regulations. Speak to the person responsible and confirm what admin procedures, paperwork and contracts are in place and when these were last reviewed.
What’s the risk?
Find out who on the committee is responsible for ensuring compliance with risk assessment requirements as determined by the club’s insurers. Confirm that there are assessments in place for all of the club’s activities and that relevant staff are aware of their obligations to carry out checks, e.g. coaches at the start of a coaching session. Confirm who is responsible for child protection and that required procedures are in place and publicised.
What will I be responsible for?
Find out from the current committee what work your role will entail and whether there is a role description in place. Find out what the other committee members are expected to do and who you may be working with.
Following this checklist will ensure you are fully prepared for your new role and minimise any potential future problems.
If you have a question you would like answered, you can submit a question on our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/gbsport – we look forward to hearing from you.
GBSport members can contact us on 01952 201657 for specific telephone and email advice and support on this and any other business matter.