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Useful Information from CPA

The information expressed herein should be treated as opinion. No guarantee is given or implied that any advice on the CPA website is necessarily correct. Nor might it best suit other divers and clubs due to regional and personal differences. Diving is a risk sport. All advice herein should be validated with advice from your own diving club, governing body, or approved published material before being adopted.

Doing a Committee Job

Organise an AGM (or EGM)
AGM’s traditionally early November, usually on Monday night 8pm, as most people got this pegged as club night anyway so better turn out. Book big enough room early to be sure can get good date. Usually use Woodford Park in Woodley for AGMs – cheap, spacious, bar for congregating before and after. <<See map>> for details and contacts. Constitution <<see in full>> says all members to be notified in writing at least a couple of weeks ahead, so either do mailshot or arrange for newsletter to come out around then. Often useful to get some idea of who will stand for posts well in advance, and fill nomination slips. Frenetic if all left to AGM itself. Agenda very simple <<see downloads for standard handout>>: agree last minutes, reports from current officers, break for nominations, election of new officers and thanks to outgoing ones, new committee convenes, any other business. Most of interesting debate often in any other business. Usually lasts a couple of hours, but book room for more to allow over-runs. Good if last minutes, voting slips <<see downloads again>> agenda and officers reports printed out in advance to hand out to attendees. Make sure current secretary going to take minutes and distribute to club as final task even after handover to new secretary. Finally, before new committee disperses, best to get a date in everyone’s diary to have initial committee meeting for handover – ideally with both old and new officers invited.

Get a new committee up to speed
Each officer responsible for handing over to new officer. First committee meeting of club year a good time. Secretary to notify the SAA of changed officers via form in SAA "Club and Training Guidance" manual. (Can also e-mail SAA Administrator to get new names known early). Also notify other bodies of new contacts, i.e.: insurers & RCA (for VHF licence) of new Secretary, and Leighton Park & CPA’s Bank of new Treasurer. Also submit new specimen signatures to the bank. Good idea at first committee meeting to go through role specs <<see committee buttons in who’s who>> so all officers know what’s expected.

Organise an effective committee meeting
Cut down the need for phone calls by organising next date/venue at end of previous meeting while everyone together. Far more hassle if just leave it. Each officer should have own list of things to report and get agreed. At least a few days before committee meeting, Chairman should chase actions from last committee meeting so people reminded and have time to do them before meeting – helps prevent "action ongoing" syndrome. Important for all officers to keep meetings focused on aims, else degenerate on chat shops. Secretary to record key points from committee meetings in minutes: mainly agreed decisions and actions. Waste of time doing "he said, she said" minutes. Distribute to committee soon after meeting, ideally with each officer’s own actions highlighted on own copy. Finally, talk to each other on club nights about how things going between meetings. If new action needed, don’t wait – get views, do it in executive mode and report at next meeting. "Easier to seek forgiveness than permission". Certainly gets things moving a lot faster than committee-bound procedure.

Make sure club annual renewals are done
Secretary responsible for making sure that RIB insurance, VHF licence renewed, plus any diving permits or river boat licences club has in force at the time. VHF renewed via Radiocommunications Agency (see "… Contact Diving Related Bodies"). Our VHF licence expires each June. Details are: Number = 92987/9701, Type = Transportable, Purpose = Pleasure, T Number = T8048. Secretary also renews club’s SAA memberships. One fee for club as a whole and individual fees for members. SAA send list of existing members and qualifications to Secretary towards end of calendar year. This list to be checked and SAA notified of changes. New members joining SAA for first time need to have SAA membership form submitted to SAA (not just CPA membership form). NB, nobody insured to dive unless a current member of SAA, so vital to get this all done by Jan if people diving in winter. Ideally, club subscriptions for new club year should be finalised by Jan. Only send individual SAA membership fees for paid-up members. Never are of course, so have to take a judgement on those who definitely will pay, those who will drop out, and those who might renew with effort. Latter group should be renewed with SAA only when subs paid. Until then, not insured to dive. Equipment officer too should check club equipment. Is it serviced and bottles in test? Is oxygen kit in test? Are boat flares out of date? Is first aid kit fully stocked? Get sorted early in year if not.

Make sure membership is actively managed
Secretary needs to enrol new members properly: give brief explanation of responsibilities, give hand outs for training etc. Ensure membership application form fully filled in especially with emergency contact details and whether club may publish contact details. As things change like qualifications, emergency contacts, medical renewals, keep member records up to date. Club has an Excel spreadsheet with full details of members. See D.O. or Secretary for latest copy, or contact webmaster to see how to download this from secure area of website. Ideally, every now and then a mailshot should be sent out showing current details on record and asking members to update anything that’s changed. On regular basis (maybe at committee meetings), review medical due dates and notify members and D.O. of any overdue ones. Keep communications good between Secretary, D.O., T.O. and Treasurer as all interlinked: can’t dive without insurance so no subs = no SAA cover = no diving. Can’t dive without medical, so if no proof of current medical on record, again = no diving until sorted. If qualifications change, update club records so D.O. can sanction more advanced diving and so on.

License the RIB for river use
Simply ring the Environment Agency's Craft Registration (& weir permits) line on 0118 953 5650 and they'll tell you all you need to know.

Make changes to the club website
At present, website only updated by webmaster. Things members might want to do include: improve the indexing for desired information not found; update or remove personal details; get a photograph added/changed; suggest additions and improvements. For now, any change request, just contact (ideally e-mail) the webmaster as per footer on every page of website.

Contact Diving Related Bodies
This website maintains a comprehensive list of diving related bodies on the Internet Resources page.

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CPA at Narvik 2011
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