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When do rule changes come into effect?

25 May 2017

A club’s constitution or rules is one of your most important documents. Every individual club constitution is different and relates only to your club. It has been shaped by the needs of the club and members from the day the club was established and needs to be continually reviewed and revised over the years and needs to continue to be reviewed in line with the objects of the club in order to stay relevant.

Clubs registered under both the Incorporated Societies Act 1908 and the Friendly Societies and Credit Unions Act 1982 must have outlined within their constitution the process for altering and amending the rules of the club. Typically changes to a club’s constitution are made via remits presented to an annual general meeting or special general meeting which are then voted on by the members. The percentage of members required to pass a remit and the notice period required will vary from club to club depending on the current registered rules.

It can be exciting having successfully passed a new club rule at the meeting and often clubs are eager to put those new rules into practice. It is important to note however, that rule changes do not take effect until they have been registered with either the Registrar of the Incorporated Societies or Friendly Societies (whichever is relevant to your club).

In a recent hearing before the Alcohol Regulatory and Licencing Authority it was noted that a club had made changes to its constitution allowing for a new membership type, with the club immediately putting the new rule into practice. However, the rules were not registered by the Registrar of the Incorporated Societies until some 4 months later, meaning all members who had joined under the new category were in fact not valid members of the club.

You can check to see when rule changes are registered by searching the register of Incorporated Societies on the Societies website or the Friendly Societies register on the Companies Office website.

If you would like further information on making changes to your clubs constitution please touch base with National Office on 0800 4 CLUBS.

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