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
• 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.
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
• 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.