top of page

NRSC Complaints Procedures


The Northern Rivers Sailing Club (NRSC or the Club) prides itself on being friendly and welcoming towards all those who share its aims and objectives. The organising committee is democratically elected by the membership at the Annual General Meeting.


Between AGMs the Committee may co-opt Members to assist in the running of the Club or to fill vacancies.  All Committee members serve the Club in a voluntary capacity and do everything possible to establish an inclusive, supportive and welcoming Club environment. This tradition has served the Club very well since it was formed in 1987 and Members appreciate the relatively informal nature of the Club and the approachability of its Committee members. 

The Club has a Code of Conduct with which all Members are expected to conform. As in all walks of life, there will be occasional disagreements, grievances and concerns about conduct. In the great majority of cases these are best resolved through direct discussion. More often than not, the matter in question will have  arisen through a simple lack of awareness and some friendly advice will lay the matter to rest.

It often helps to take advice from a fellow sailor or a member of the Committee,  perhaps with no names mentioned, before raising a formal complaint. However, in the event that these informal approaches do not resolve the matter, the Club has a formal Complaints Procedure that may be followed.

When Not to Make a Complaint

• Check the Club’s Code of Conduct and other relevant codes and policies before deciding that the issue warrants a

   formal complaint.

• Note that this Complaints Procedures document does not cover Protests arising from racing. Protests are covered

  under the Northern Rivers Sailing Club’s  Sail ing Rules and  Racing Rules, the procedures for which are contained in

  the Club Details section of the members’ Red Book.

• The Club’s Committee brings important decisions to the full membership at the Annual General Meeting, or

   occasionally at an Extraordinary General Meeting. The Commodore will attempt to reach a consensus but will call a  
   vote if this is not possible. Members must conform with decisions of an Annual or Extraordinary General Meeting.

   Disagreement with a democratic decision is not grounds for a complaint.

• The conduct of races for trophies listed in the members’ Red Book is generally laid down in a deed that was prepared

  by the presenter of the particular trophy. The Committee is responsible for ensuring that the presenter’s wishes are

  fully implemented. In the event that those wishes cannot be complied with in part or in full, the Committee has the        authority to amend the instructions or cancel the trophy. In this event, the Committee’s decision is final and not 

  grounds for a complaint.

Complaints Procedures

Any complaint from a member of the public or an outside organisation should be referred to the Commodore for consideration and response by the Committee. Any complaint by a Club Member about another sailing club or its members during Club events should be referred to the Commodore for consideration and action as needed by the Committee.

In the event of a complaint from a Club Member concerning another Member of the Northern Rivers Sailing Club, a member of the Committee, or the Committee itself, the following procedures may be applied. 

1. Complaint concerning a Club Member

If all informal avenues have been exhausted and a Member decides to continue with  a complaint, they should proceed as follows:

• Write to the Committee with the full details and grounds for the complaint. 
• Wait for the Committee to make a formal response, which will normally follow the next scheduled monthly

  Committee meeting.
• If the response does not satisfactorily resolve the matter a hearing will be arranged, which is usually chaired by the

  President. Having taken all matters into consideration, the President’s decision will be final.

2. Complaint concerning a Committee member

If a complaint concerns a particular member of the Committee, it should be discussed in the first instance with the Commodore. If the complaint concerns the Commodore, it should be discussed with the Past Commodore or Vice Commodore. If the situation remains unresolved:

• Write to the Commodore (or Past Commodore/Vice Commodore as needed) with full details of the complaint.
• The Commodore (or Past Commodore/Vice Commodore as needed) will inform the person being complained about

   and call a special meeting of the Committee to consider the matter. The Commodore (or Past Commodore/Vice 

  Commodore as needed) will conduct the meeting, reach a decision and make a formal response.

• If the above does not resolve the matter a hearing will be arranged, to be chaired by the President. Having taken all

  matters into consideration, the President’s decision will be final.

3. Complaint concerning the Committee

If a complaint concerns the conduct of the Committee itself, it should be discussed in the first instance with the Commodore and President. If the situation remains unresolved, the Commodore and President may offer independent arbitration or call an Extraordinary General Meeting in conformity with Section 2 of the  Club Details, to be found in the members’  Red Book.

Action Following a Complaint

The  Committee  may  rescind  a  membership should  the  Member  not  pay  the subscription by 1st March. The Committee also has the right to refuse to accept any membership  application,  to  refuse  the  renewal  of  membership  and  for  appropriate reasons (for example breach of the Club’s Code of Conduct), cancel membership at any point during the year completely (Club Constitution Rule 1.6).

Once  a  formal  complaint  has  been  examined  in  line  with  the  procedures  outlined above,  the  Commodore  (or  Vice-Commodore,  Past  Commodore  or  President)  will inform the parties to the complaint about the outcome and inform them of any action to be taken. Where a complaint is upheld, the perpetrator of the breach will normally 
receive a written warning, but the Committee also has the right immediately to rescind membership  without compensation.  


Should the conduct be repeated after a written warning, the Committee has the right to refuse access to Club activities (for example, racing) for a period of time or to rescind membership. 


bottom of page