Club Officer's Leaflets
THE ROLE OF THE CLUB CHAIRMAN
The Chairman’s role consists of two separate parts:
Planning and running meetings, being sure everything is covered and decisions are made when required, keeping order, helping the group deal with differences of opinion and conflicts, being sure that everyone who wants to has a chance to speak.
Ensuring the Club as a whole makes and sticks to priorities and policies, serving as a spokesperson for the Club.
General Responsibilities (in line with the Club’s constitution)
· To chair both Club and committee meetings
· To be the spokesperson of the Club
·To liaise closely with the Secretary about dates, arrangements, agendas, correspondence for committee meetings, and content of minutes
· To liaise with the Treasurer about the financial state of the Club
· To be familiar with all the Club’s rules and regulations contained in the constitution
Before each Committee Meeting
· Get together with the Secretary to go over the minutes of the last meeting, plan the agenda, and agree which decisions need to be made at the meeting
· Ensure that all information, documents, and papers are at hand for the meeting
At that Meeting
· It helps if the Chairman arrives early for the meeting as members may wish to speak to him or her prior to the meeting
· Start the meeting on time
· If necessary set a time limit for any items which are likely to continue for a lengthy period, always remember to allow sufficient time for each person to have their say
· Facilitate discussion during the meeting and encourage all members to participate
· Bring items on the agenda to a conclusion with a brief review of points, which may involve inviting specific proposals from the committee
· If a vote has to be taken ask for a formal proposal and clarify the procedure. In the event of a tie the Chairman may have the casting vote
· At the close of a meeting make arrangements for the next meeting and liaise with the Secretary on actions resulting from the meeting, e.g. press release or letters
The Good Chairman
· Good chairing does not simply depend upon following the duties and responsibilities to the letter; it is more than that
· A good Chairman must be well prepared before each meeting and be forewarned of possible controversial or delicate items on the agenda
· A good Chairman must always appreciate that in this position there will be less opportunity to voice his or her own opinions at meetings
· A good Chairman must know all committee members and be able to recognise their strengths. It is their particular responsibility to put at ease new members at their first meeting, to encourage participation by all and delegate responsibility where appropriate
· A good Chairman should be aware of the current NAFAS Health & Safety, Data Protection and Child Protection policies*
At each Club Meeting
· Inform attendees of safety regulations at venue
· Welcome members, visitors and special guests
· Arrange for a vote of thanks to be given
· Be responsible for the distribution of items received from Area or NAFAS
· Inform the meeting of Club, Area and National news and events
· Introduce demonstrator, speaker or guest
* Further information regarding Health & Safety, Data Protection and Child Protection
available from your Area Chairman or on the NAFAS website.
THE ROLE OF THE CLUB SECRETARY
A good and efficient secretary is a great asset to any Club and helps it to run smoothly. The Secretary should be familiar with the Club’s constitution and the rules contained in it. There should always be a close link between the Secretary and the Chairman. Together they should draw up the agenda for each committee meeting and be aware of what decisions need to be taken at a meeting.
The Secretary will find much of relevance in the constitution, e.g. the frequency of meetings, when the AGM is due, who receives notices of meetings, and the length of notice to be given.
It is a good idea to keep a master copy of the constitution safely in a file but to have a spare copy at every meeting.
New Committee Members
All new committee members should receive a "welcome pack", consisting of the constitution, minutes of the AGM, the latest annual report and accounts, copies of minutes of the most recent meetings and any leaflets produced by the Club.
Planning a Committee Meeting
Always ensure that the venue is booked and arranged suitably for the meeting. Ensure that additional copies of all papers being discussed are at hand.
It is normally the duty of the Secretary, in consultation with the Chairman, to draw up the agenda. The Chairman has the final say about the order in which items appear.
Any major items which are on-going warrant their own place on the agenda and should not be brought up under matters arising. Matters arising should consist of only brief updates from the previous meeting.
Sub committees should each have a slot on the main committee agenda so that any decisions taken by the sub committee can be ratified or approved.
Recurring calendar business should always appear on the agenda in good time for decisions, e.g. the AGM, Club accounts, outings, shows and events.
All items should appear on the agenda in a logical order. For example, a decision about spending money should appear after the Treasurer has given the financial report.
Correspondence should be discussed with the Chairman and if necessary brought to the attention of the next meeting. All correspondence should be filed after action has been completed. All important correspondence and financial records should be stored in a safe place for seven years.
If the Club has a written annual report it often falls to the Secretary to compile the report with the Chairman adding a Chairman’s Report as part of it. A draft of the report should be approved by the committee prior to publication as it is in fact the committee’s report of the Club’s activities during a particular financial year.
Sample Committee Agenda
3 Minutes of previous meeting
4 Matters Arising (not covered elsewhere in the agenda)
6 Treasurer’s Report
7 Committee Members’ Reports
8 Future Events/Special Items
9 Any other business
10 Date, time and venue of next meeting
After the Meeting
The Secretary often has to take action following a meeting, write letters, contact people, make phone calls or organise more meetings or events.
THE DUTIES OF A CLUB TREASURER
Many Treasurers will not be required to undertake this wide a range of duties, as it depends on the size and complexity of the Club. Most of the responsibilities listed here will be carried out by someone in the Club and it will be the Treasurer’s responsibility to see that all that should be done, is being done.
Management of the money of a Club can broadly be divided into two overlapping categories : financial responsibility and financial accountability.
Put simply, this means not taking on obligations the Club cannot meet, paying bills on time, keeping proper records of all money which comes into and goes out of the Club.
The Club committee is responsible to the membership and must provide accounts to the members each year.
Club accounts can be checked and certified by a 'competent independent examiner', i.e. a retired bank or building society manager.
Treasurer’s Responsibilities include:
General Financial Responsibilities
· Ensuring that funds are used in accordance with the constitution and committee decisions
· Advising on financial policy, e.g. charging for services, financial implications of new activities, etc.
· Liaising with the bank
· Preparing accounts for examining and discussing them with the examiner
· Deciding on security measures to ensure cash and cheques are not open to misuse in any way, e.g. more than one signatory on each cheque
· Presenting regular written financial statements to the committee
· Presenting the end of year financial report in draft form to the committee
· Presenting examined accounts at the AGM and ensuring that members have a basic understanding of annual accounts
Banking, Book-keeping, Record-keeping
· Advising on which bank and what type of account to use
· Serving as a signatory for bank accounts
· Ensuring that there are proper systems in place for receiving and paying out cash and cheques
· Setting up appropriate book-keeping and petty cash systems
· Ensuring membership subscriptions are collected and records kept
· Ensuring money due to the Club is collected
· Ensuring receipts are issued if required
· Ensuring all income is paid into the bank
· Ensuring all bills are paid (including affiliation fees and insurance)
· Ensuring everyone handling money for the Club keeps proper records and documentation
Control of Fixed Assets and Stock Control
· Establishing systems for stock checking and re-ordering
· Ensuring the Club keeps proper records of its equipment and property it owns or rents
· Ensuring the Club has all necessary insurance and keeps it up to date
The Club should ensure that it has in reserve sufficient funds to meet all its obligations to creditors for at least one year.
Minutes are usually written by the Secretary and are a written record of what happened at the meeting.
The minutes should make complete sense when being read many years after the meeting took place. It should give a clear picture of when and where it took place, who was present, their status at the meeting, the range of the discussion, and the decisions taken.
The style of the minutes should be consistent and should satisfy the requirements of the committee. Minutes should record a short statement of what has been discussed (the facts), a summary of the discussion (people’s views), any formal proposals, (who made and seconded them) and the decision taken, including any vote result.
The minutes should be numbered and written following the order of the agenda.
Whoever is recording the minutes should do so in a clear, unbiased and completely objective manner. Minutes should be written in a past tense.
If action is to be taken by members before the next meeting it is useful to have an action column showing who is to take action and by when.
Any formal motions or resolutions should be recorded in full with the name of the proposer and seconder. The result of any vote should be recorded as announced by the Chairman.
It is better for the Secretary to record as many notes as possible during the meeting and later to summarise discussions and record the important points.
The Minutes should include:-
· Name of the Club and committee title
· The date, including the year
· The place where the meeting took place
· If it was an AGM or committee meeting
· Members present, who entered or left during the meeting
· Others present, guests, observers
· Who acted as Chairman, who took minutes
· Apologies for absence
· Corrections, if any, to the previous minutes
· Who proposed and seconded the adoption of the previous minutes
· Matters arising from the previous minutes. This should consist of very brief update remarks and should not involve going over every item from the last meeting
· A separate record of all other items discussed at the meeting
· Date, time and venue of next meeting
Minutes should be impartial and factual. Initials, first names, or jargon should not be used unless it is certain that everyone who reads the minutes will understand them.
The Chairman of the meeting has the final say on what is recorded in the minutes.
Preparing to take Minutes
Write in advance on a sheet of paper any reports or facts which you will be expected to give, e.g. apologies.
Any papers or correspondence should be arranged in the order in which they will be required, corresponding to the agenda items.
At the Meeting
During the meeting if you are unsure about what was decided or what to record in the minutes, ask the Chairman to clarify the decision taken.
After the Meeting
Minutes should be written up as soon as possible after the meeting when recollections are still fresh in the memory.
It is the Chairman who has to approve the minutes before they are released or circulated. Committee members have the opportunity to amend the minutes at the next meeting.
Some useful phrases
· It was reported that ….
· It was agreed that ….
· The report was noted
· The matter was deferred until ….
· Mrs …. proposed that ….
· This was seconded by Mrs …. and agreed unanimously
· The motion was carried by six votes to four, with one abstention.
· The Chairman asked members for their views on ….
· After a lengthy discussion in which everyone aired their views the Chairman summed up by saying ….
· In reply to a question from Mrs …. the Secretary intimated that ….
· The Chairman referred to the previously circulated report on ….
· Recommendations from the Treasurer were approved in full.
· There being no further business the Chairman thanked everyone for attending and concluded the meeting at ...
GUIDELINES FOR PROGRAMME SECRETARIES
A successful club is one where members are happy and pleased with the programme. Your role is a very rewarding one and important in the life of the club.
In the first instance refer to the code of practice regarding demonstrations.
Preparation of a Club Programme
1. At least one year ahead discuss with the club committee the budget for the year in question.
2. Check club meeting dates for that year. Some may have to be altered for seasonal reasons e.g. Easter.
3. Consult Area and National Lists for demonstrators and speakers depending on type of meeting. The National List is available through Trading Officers at Area Level or through the distribution officer at NAFAS HQ; a new edition comes out every 2 years. Area lists are available for a small fee from each NAFAS Area (details in the National List). Please note black dots indicate those who have attended Refresher Days.
4. National Demonstrators should be booked at least 2 years ahead of the meeting.
5. When choosing demonstrators or speakers take into account travelling distance during wintertime. Book January and February first - these need to be filled with a person living fairly close in case of inclement weather.
6. Telephone the person to see if they are available and ask their fee.
7. Book the Christmas demonstrator at least 2 years in advance particularly if it is an open meeting and a National Demonstrator is wanted.
Fees and Flower Allowance
8. Fees vary and if in doubt consult the club committee before confirming the booking. Note mileage costs *
9. It may be necessary to negotiate - if the club allowance for flowers is less than the demonstrator considers necessary it may be that they can be asked for one less arrangement.
The NAFAS Blue Form
10. The Blue Form is used to book only NAFAS demonstrators and speakers. Complete form A with details agreed on the phone and send all three parts together with an S.A.E to the person being booked.
At this stage a map and layout of stage should be included.
The person will retain part A, complete part B and return B and C to you. After checking all details on both forms are correct keep part B and send part C to the demonstrator or speaker. NO BOOKING IS FINALISED UNTIL THIS PROCESS IS COMPLETED.
11. Three weeks prior to the meeting send a reminder, directions (including the postcode of the venue) and a contact mobile phone number. Demonstrators /speakers should acknowledge receipt of this letter.
If the flower allowance has not been agreed state the amount. If, due to fluctuations in the market, an increase is requested, this should be agreed by telephone.
12. Liaise with the club hostess re requirements for the visitor e.g. refreshments, time of arrival etc.
13. Ensure a person can assist by carrying items both before and after the meeting. This is important where access is difficult.
14. On some occasions mitigating circumstances may lead to a cancellation by a demonstrator or speaker; however they should endeavour to find a replacement if under 6 months to the demonstration.
15. Have a contingency plan to entertain members should the demonstrator or speaker be delayed or not arrive at all.
It is useful to learn of other clubs’ demonstrators and speakers that they have enjoyed. Keep a note of when a person has been booked so those visits are spread over a period of time.
* Be aware that travel costs can be shared when a Demonstrator is booked as part of a short tour. Ask your Area Demonstrators’ Representative, or Chairman of your Area JDS&E Committee, for advice and information.