SECTION 1 - ASSOCIATION POLICY
Restriction on the Association's activities
Rule 1. The Association shall be democratic, non-sectarian and non-party; it shall not be affiliated, either directly or indirectly, to any sectarian organisation or to any political party or like body. In no circumstances shall the Association or any of its Committees or Sub-Committees publicly express any views on behalf of the Association in connection with any political or industrial dispute, or engage in activities in connection therewith.
SECTION 2 - MEMBERSHIP
Rule 2. Full Membership. An officer shall be eligible for Full Membership of the Association when;
a.He/she is commissioned into and has served in the General Duties (Ground) Fighter Control, Operations Support (Fighter Control) or Operations Support (Aerospace Battle Manager) Specialisation or Aerospace Battle Manager Branch or Air Operations Branch of the Royal Air Force and has been awarded a recognised fighter control qualification or,
b.He/she has served in the Royal Air Force as a Radar Supervisor, Fighter Director or GCI Controller prior to the formation of the Fighter Control Branch.
Rule 2A. Ex-Officio Membership. Ex-officio membership will be offered to appointees of senior posts in the chain of command of the Air Operations Branch. The number and specific appointments of such members will be decided by the Committee as required.
Rule 2B. Student Membership.
a. An officer shall be eligible for Student Membership of the Association if he/she is commissioned into and is serving in the Air Operations Branch of the Royal Air Force prior to the award of a recognised and appropriate qualification; this period shall include any period during which the officer is holding prior to joining a training course that would lead to the award of such a qualification.
b. Student Membership shall only lead to Full Membership under the strict terms of Rule 2 and shall be cancelled on notification that the award of the qualification shall not be made by the Defence College of Airspace Control; until the time of transfer to Full Membership, no subscription shall be due from the Student Member and no benefits or privileges of full membership shall be applicable, except for modified access to the Members' area of the Association website and Message Board.
Rule 3. Associate Membership. Associate Members do not have voting rights at an Annual General Meeting or Special Meeting.
a. Officers of the Royal Navy, Royal Air Force or forces of foreign nations who are serving or have served on the operational strength of a United Kingdom ground environment unit shall be eligible for Associate Membership subject to endorsement by the Committee.
b. In addition, a surviving life-partner of a Full Member, or of an Associate Member under Rule 3a, shall be eligible for Associate Membership subject to endorsement by the Committee, with no membership fee due.
c. Exceptionally, with the endorsement of the Committee, Associate Membership may be offered to serving or retired officers of other Royal Air Force branch specialisations or other armed forces demonstrating historic and valuable affiliations to the Association and/or the Branches whose members are eligible for full membership.
Rule 4. Honorary Membership. Certain persons, not meeting the criteria of Rule 2, Rule 2A or Rule 3, whose membership would be beneficial to the Association, shall be offered Honorary Membership of the Association subject to a recommendation by the Committee and endorsement by an Annual General Meeting or Special Meeting. Honorary members do not have voting rights at an Annual General or Special Meeting.
Veteran (Dowding) Membership
Rule 4A. Veteran (Dowding) Membership. Certain persons who served as RAF or WAAF personnel, manning and operating the Dowding System or its equivalent overseas, between 1 September 1939 and 2 September 1945. Veteran (Dowding) members do not have voting rights at an Annual General or Special Meeting and pay no annual subscription.
Application for Membership
Rule 5. Application for Full, Student and Associate Membership of the Association shall be made, on the form authorised by the Committee, to the Secretary. The Committee shall call upon the candidate to furnish further evidence, when deemed necessary, to show that he or she is eligible under Rule 2, Rule 2A or Rule 3.
Rejection of Application for Membership
Rule 6. If the Committee decides to reject an application for membership, the notification by the Secretary to the applicant shall state the fact and specify the ground(s) on which the rejection was made.
Rule 7. Application Procedure.
a.If an applicant for Full or Associate Membership is deemed to be eligible for such membership in accordance with Rule 2 or Rule 3, an interim or provisional registration shall be made by the Secretary - in accordance with Rule 8 - and the applicant so informed. Associate members falling under sub-para c of Rule 3 cannot apply for membership; those considered suitable must be proposed by a full member. In every case the applicant shall simultaneously be requested to complete and submit a standing order mandate, in accordance with Rule 12. The applicant will, from the point the completed standing order mandate is received and actioned by the Treasurer, enjoy the benefit of membership of the Association (including but not limited to full website and Message Board access and subsidised attendance at any Association function), but such membership shall cease if the applicant's subscription payment is not made on or immediately after the due date - as required by Rule 12 - at the discretion of the Committee; Rule 9 shall not apply in this case.
b.If an applicant for Student Membership is deemed to be eligible for such membership in accordance with Rule 2A, a temporary registration shall be made by the Secretary and the applicant so informed; the applicant shall simultaneously be requested to complete and submit a modified standing order mandate that will only be required to make a first subscription payment on 1 April following the transfer to Full Membership. The applicant will, from the point the completed standing order mandate is received by the Treasurer, have modified website and Message Board access (but no automatic right to participate in any subsidy when attending any Association function).
Register of Members
Rule 8. The Secretary shall maintain a register of all members of the Association. The register shall contain the following particulars of each member of the Association:
a.Name and address, and in the case of a serving member, current Service particulars.
b.Date on which the member joined the Association.
d.Category of Membership (Full, Student, Associate, Veteran (Dowding) or Honorary).
e.Such other pertinent particulars as the Committee may deem necessary from time-to-time.
Cessation of Membership
Rule 9. The membership of a Full or Associate Member shall be restricted or ceased in the following circumstances (at the discretion of the Committee):
a. Restriction of Membership. If the subscription of a Full or Associate Member remains only partially paid by 6 calendar months from the date it becomes due, membership privileges shall be restricted in that, where applicable, (i) access to the Member area of the website and Message Board shall be removed and (ii) eligibility to attend an Association function as an Association Member shall be withdrawn. This restriction shall last only so long as the subscription remains partially paid. The affected Member shall continue to receive communications, newsletters and notifications of events.
b. Cessation of Membership. If (i) the subscription of a Full or Associate Member remains unpaid by 6 calendar months from the date it becomes due or (ii) said Member enjoys the benefit of membership or services thereof without proper and full payment (as specified in Rule 28) of the amount designated to be paid for such benefit or service, membership shall cease forthwith and all membership privileges, communications, newsletters and notifications of events shall be withdrawn or cease.
Reinstatement of Membership
Rule 9A. Notwithstanding Rule 9 and at the discretion of the Committee, a former Full/Associate Member may be reinstated under the provisions of Rules 2 or 3, such reinstatement to depend on the immediate payment of an amount representing the subscription(s) missed in the intervening period, such amount to be the initial joining fee (provided for by Rule 11) plus the amount of the applicable (current) annual subscription (provided for by Rule 12), and any amount outstanding from membership benefits or services thereof enjoyed during any previous membership period.
Refund of Subscription
Rule 10. A person who has resigned or otherwise ceased membership of the Association shall not be entitled to the refund of any subscription or part thereof.
Rule 11. There shall be provision for all members to pay an initial joining fee as determined by the Association at an Annual General Meeting. (The current fee with effect from 1 April 1993 is £0 (Nil Pounds))
Rule 12. The Annual subscription shall be £15 or such other amount determined by the Association at an Annual General Meeting. The first subscription is to be paid on the date of his/her registration as a Member and then paid annually. Payment may be made by Standing Order or through the PayPal system. In addition, a Member who resides permanently outside the United Kingdom and is unable to take full advantage of the benefits of membership shall be excused payment of the Annual subscription. Serving officers who are posted overseas are also excused payment, at their discretion, for the whole period of their posting.
SECTION 3 - OFFICERS
Officers of the Association
Rule 13. Only Full members of the Association shall become Officers.
a.The Officers of the Association shall be:
(1)The President, who shall be the non-executive head of the Association.
b.The Officers of the Association shall be elected by the Association at an Annual General Meeting and shall hold office for three years without re-election.
c.The Officers of the Association shall hold office from the conclusion of the Annual General Meeting at which they are elected to the conclusion of the Annual General Meeting in the year in which their term of office expires.
d.The Officers of the Association shall be eligible for re-election for further periods of office when their current term expires.
e.In the event that the Deputy Treasurer assumes the Powers, Responsibilities and Duties of the Treasurer in accordance with Rule 26, he/she shall simultaneously become an Officer of the Association. Only a Full Member of the Association may be elected to be the Deputy Treasurer.
(Rule 13 amended at AGM 21)
Officers' Terms of Office
Rule 14. The following qualifications/terms of office shall apply:
a.The positions of President, Chairman, Treasurer and Secretary may each be held by a serving or a retired member of the Association.
b.The position of Vice-Chairman shall be held by a serving member of the Association who is also a senior officer (at group captain or wing commander level) in a post whose professional responsibilities are consistent with the Association’s eligibility requirements of Rule 2. In view of the Association’s inability to tie the post of Vice-Chair to any specific RAF post, succession planning shall regularly consider the suitability of posts held by senior serving Association members, accepting that the position of Vice-Chairman may become temporarily vacant.
c.The Deputy Treasurer shares some of the Treasurer's responsibility for Association banking (a designated signatory for the Association bank account and the Secondary User for Business Internet Banking); therefore, every effort should be made to avoid the 2 posts changing incumbents simultaneously.
(Rule 14 amended at AGM 21)
President's Power to Delegate
Rule 15. The President of the Association may, by a directive in writing, delegate to the Chairman of the Committee any of his/her functions when he/she is unable to perform the function(s).
a.Any member of the Association who has rendered outstanding service to the Association may be invited, on recommendation of the Committee and an overall majority vote at an Annual General Meeting, to become an Honorary Vice-President.
b.Up to six Honorary Vice-Presidents may be appointed.
c.An Honorary Vice-President will not be required to pay an annual subscription, although s/he will remain a voting Member of the Association.
d.An Honorary Vice-President shall be given full access to the Committee forum area of the Association website and Message Board in order to permit informed contribution to any Committee discussion, without any obligation to provide such contribution. Such access shall not confer membership of the Committee nor any associated voting rights other than those applicable to a Full Association Member.
SECTION 4 - COMMITTEE
Rule 17. The Committee shall comprise:
a.The Chairman, The Vice-Chairman, The Treasurer and The Secretary, as Officers of the Association.
b.The Entertainments Member.
c.The Web Manager.
d.The Memorabilia Member.
e.The Heritage Member.
f.The Museums Liaison Member.
g.Serving Member Representative(s).
h.Any Member elected to deputise for a core post, any Representative appointed under Rule 18 or any Additional Member co-opted under Rule 21.
(Rule 17 amended at AGM 21)
Rule 17A. The President shall be invited to attend Committee meetings in a non-voting, advisory capacity.
(Rule 17A added at AGM 21)
Rule 18. Every member of the Committee shall be a member of the Association and, with the exception of the Officers of the Association and the Representatives, shall be elected by the Association at an Annual General Meeting; they shall hold office for such term and subject to such conditions as may be prescribed in these Rules. Serving representatives shall be voting members of the Committee. No member of the Committee shall have more than one vote irrespective of the number of posts the member fills.
Rule 19. The Quorum for the transaction of Association business by the Committee (in a prearranged meeting of some or all Committee members) shall be four, of whom two must be Officers of the Association, or such numbers as may from time-to-time be approved by the Association at an Annual General Meeting. When transacting the Association’s business on-line, whether by email or using the dedicated (Committee) area of the web site’s Message Board, there shall be no quorum and all Committee members shall be involved in both the discussion and majority decision surrounding each item of business.
Rule 20. Should a vacancy among the Officers of the Association or among the members of the Committee arise unexpectedly and more than four months before the next scheduled Annual General Meeting, it shall be filled by the Committee forthwith; the Officer/Committee member shall hold office to complete the full term of his/her predecessor.
Rule 21. The Committee shall have the power to co-opt additional members, who must be members of the Association, for specific purposes. Such an appointment shall continue only as long as the special purpose exists or requires. Additional Members shall have voting powers whilst serving on the Committee.
Rule 22. The Committee shall have the power to appoint Sub-Committees from amongst their members, including Additional Members co-opted under the provisions of these Rules.
Terms of Office for Committee Members
Rule 23. Members of the Committee, other than the Officers of the Association and the Representatives, shall hold office for a period of 2 years commencing from the conclusion of the Annual General Meeting at which they are elected to the conclusion of the Annual General Meeting in the year in which their term of office expires. Such elected members shall be eligible for re-election for further periods of office.
SECTION 5 - FINANCE
Rule 24. The accounts of the funds of the Association shall be subject to an independent check annually, as soon as possible after the end of the financial year of the Association (31 March), by 2 members of the Committee of the Association other than the Treasurer and Deputy Treasurer.
(Rule 24 amended at AGM 21)
Holding of Property
Rule 25. All property of the Association, both real and personal, shall be held in the name of such other person(s) as the Committee may from time-to-time determine.
Powers and Duties of the Treasurer
Rule 26. The cash and bank accounts of the Association shall be under the control of the Treasurer who shall be responsible therefore, but who shall administer them in accordance with the decisions of the Committee. The Treasurer shall maintain double-entry records of the accounts and shall submit statements of accounts to the Committee for examination and subsequent approval by the Association at the Annual General Meeting. In the event of the incapacitation of the Treasurer, the Powers, Responsibilities and Duties of the Treasurer shall devolve automatically to the Deputy Treasurer for the period of the Treasurer's incapacity.
Rule 27. Withdrawals from the Bank account shall be authorised by the signature of either the Treasurer, Deputy Treasurer or the Secretary with the implicit authority of the other.
Rule 28. Financial propriety shall be maintained in all aspects and operations of the Association.
a.Set fees and subscriptions shall be handled in the following manner:
(1)The amount of the joining fee to be forwarded to the Treasurer shall be as prescribed at Rule 11.
(2)The amount of the annual subscription to be forwarded to the Treasurer shall be as prescribed in Rule 12.
(3)Such other amounts as may from time-to-time be determined by the Association at an Annual General Meeting, or by the Committee, shall be forwarded to the Treasurer.
(4)Sums received in payment for any goods or services supplied by the Association shall be forwarded to the Treasurer.
(5)Sums received in respect of any function organised by the Committee, or in respect of any public appeal of any kind, shall be forwarded to the Treasurer.
(6)Sums received as donations for the use and benefit of the Association shall be forwarded to the Treasurer.
(7)The requirements of Article 18 of the Constitution or of this Rule shall be deemed to have been met if, instead of forwarding any sum to the Treasurer, it is duly accounted for to his/her satisfaction.
b.Sums due in respect of any function organised by the Committee on behalf of the Association shall be paid prior to the function, either at the time of booking or before a time to be set when the function is announced, at the discretion of the Committee.
c.Sums due in respect of goods or services shall be paid prior to the delivery of the goods or services.
Powers of Investment
Rule 29. Any funds not immediately required for the day-to-day running of the Association shall be invested as may from time-to-time be determined and authorised by the Committee.
Rule 30. Members of the Association may, at the Committee's discretion, be paid amounts by way of expenses incurred in the pursuance of the Association's business; this may include an allowance for expenses incurred for attendance at Committee meetings. The Chairman's approval for such expenses must be obtained prior to the event, and shall be submitted to, and ratified by, the Association at an Annual General Meeting.
SECTION 6 - MEETINGS
Annual General Meeting
Rule 31. The Annual General Meeting shall be held at such time and place decided by the Committee; all members shall be notified of the place, date and time of the meeting, by the Secretary, at minimum of 2 months prior to the date of the meeting. Proposals for agenda items to be discussed under 'Any Other Business' shall be forwarded to the Secretary at least 28 days prior to the date of the meeting. The Secretary shall make arrangements for Full Members unable to attend an Annual General Meeting to vote by proxy.
Annual General Meeting Cancellation or Postponement
Rule 31A. Notwithstanding Article 14 of the Constitution, if extenuating circumstances dictate, the Committee shall postpone or cancel an annual meeting of the Association and inform the membership of the reason. Simultaneously, the Secretary shall distribute to the membership copies of the accounts that would have been discussed and approved (or rejected) at the meeting had it not been cancelled or postponed. If such meeting cannot be held within the intended calendar year, the Committee shall make arrangements for the next meeting to be held as early as possible in the following calendar year; it will though not be necessary for multiple meetings to be held in any one calendar year
(Rule 31A added at AGM 21)
Rule 32. A Special Meeting may be convened at any time by the Committee with a minimum of 28 days notice. A Special Meeting may also be convened at the request of a minimum of 50 members of the Association. The convening notice for a Special Meeting shall state the business to be transacted; no business other than that notified on the convening notice shall be transacted at such Special Meetings.
Chairman of Meetings
Rule 33. In the Chairman's unavoidable absence, the Vice-Chairman shall take the chair. If the Vice-Chairman is not available, then another Officer of the Association shall chair the Meeting.
(Rule 33 amended at AGM 21)
Business of Annual General Meetings
Rule 34. The business to be transacted at an Annual General Meeting shall comprise:
a.Apologies for Absence.
b.Approval of the Minutes of the Last Meeting.
c.Annual Report from the President.
d.Election of Officers.
e.Election of Committee Members, if required.
f.Election of Auditor(s), if required.
g.Consideration of proposals from the Committee or members for revocation, repeal or amendment to any Article(s) of the Constitution.
h.Consideration of proposals from the Committee or members for revocation, repeal or amendment of the Rules.
i.Financial statement and approval of the balance sheet from the previous accounting period.
j.Any Other Business, agreed by the President, of general concern to the Association.
Copies of Annual Reports
Rule 35. Copies of the President's Annual Report, the annual accounts of the Association and the Agenda shall be available to all members attending the Meeting.
Rule 36. Nominations for the election of Officers of the Association and Committee members shall be in writing and sent to the Secretary at least 28 days prior to the date of the Annual General Meeting at which the election shall take place. Each nomination paper shall be signed by the proposer, the seconder and by the nominee signifying acceptance of his/her name being put forward. Use by the Proposer, Seconder and Nominee of separate multi-purpose nomination, acceptance and proxy forms shall be deemed a satisfactory alternative to the single nomination form signed by all parties. Where appropriate the nomination shall be accompanied by a brief statement of qualification. In the absence of any nomination for a vacant post or for a post that will become vacant after the AGM, every effort shall be made at the AGM to find a suitable volunteer, who shall then be elected in the normal manner.
List of Candidates on the Agenda
Rule 37. The Agenda of an Annual General Meeting shall include a list of all candidates who have been validly nominated for election as an Officer of the Association or as a member of the Committee; the inclusion of a candidate's name in such a list shall be conclusive evidence that the prescribed conditions of nomination have been met.
Notice of Resolutions
Rule 38. A member of the Association wishing to move a resolution(s) at an Annual General Meeting shall give notice of the proposal(s) in writing and duly seconded, to the Secretary at least 28 days prior to the date of the meeting.
Agenda to be Final
Rule 39. Resolutions, subjects or matters not included in the Agenda shall not be moved, raised or discussed at an Annual General Meeting except when a matter of urgency has arisen after the Agenda has been printed. In this event the Agenda may be altered by the Committee, the President or the Chairman so that the topic may be discussed.
AGM or Special Meeting Quorum
Rule 40. A quorum at an Annual General or Special Meeting shall be ten percent of the Full membership of the Association. Proxy votes from Full Members, given to any Full Member attending the AGM, shall count towards the quorum.
Rule 41. Voting at an Annual General or Special Meeting shall be by a show of hands unless otherwise directed by the Chair. A simple majority vote by those members attending the meeting and entitled to vote shall be sufficient for resolution to be carried.
Rule 42. The Secretary will make arrangements to enable members who cannot attend the Annual General Meeting, or an Extraordinary General Meeting, to nominate a proxy to vote on their behalf in accordance with Article 21 of the Constitution. Members may nominate as their proxy the Chairman, a Committee Member or any other member known to be attending the Meeting in question. Members must send their proxy nominations to the Secretary, in writing, prior to the Meeting.
Decisions to be Final
Rule 43. A decision of an Annual General or Special Meeting shall be binding upon the Association, its Officers and members.
Minutes of the Meeting
Rule 44. A true and accurate record of an Annual General or Special Meeting shall be maintained by the Secretary. This record, the Minutes of the Meeting, shall be made available to all members, within the bounds of economy, after the conclusion of the Meeting. These Minutes shall constitute the authority to implement those decisions taken at the Meeting.
Rule 45. Meetings of the Committee shall be held as required, but not less than two per year, and as notified to Committee members. Such meetings shall not discuss, or take decisions upon any subject or matter other than the routine conduct of the Association's business. A simple majority vote shall be deemed an agreement of the Committee and shall be binding on all members of the Committee.
Committee Meeting Minutes
Rule 46. The Secretary shall maintain a true and accurate record of the Committee's proceedings and shall be directed by the Chairman which of the decisions taken in the Committee shall be included in the President's Annual Report to the Annual General Meeting. Where applicable and appropriate, the reports and findings of all Sub-Committee(s) shall be summarised in the main Committee's Minutes.
SECTION 7 - MISCELLANEOUS
Use of Association Title, Initials, Badge or Insignia
Rule 47. No member of the Association shall use or permit the use of the name, initials, badge or other insignia of the Association which would in any way suggest that any of his/her activities has the support of, or is conducted under, the auspices of the Association without the prior written authority of the Chairman; if such authority is given it may be revoked at any time.
Rule 48. The Committee may make Bye-Laws for regulating the affairs of the Association and the Committee. Bye-Laws shall prescribe anything which is required by these Rules, and may make further provisions as may be seen by the Committee to be necessary, or desirable, for implementing, or facilitating, the provisions of the Constitution in the absence of a specific Rule to cover any particular circumstance or contingency. Such Bye-Laws shall be submitted by the Committee to the next Annual General Meeting for ratification and inclusion in these Rules.
Rule 49. In these Rules, unless otherwise specified the following definitions apply:
a.'The Annual General Meeting', 'Special Meeting' and 'Committee Meeting' respectively mean the annual meeting of members of the Association to be held in pursuance of Article 14 of the Constitution, a meeting of the members of the Association specially convened to deal with extraordinary business of the Association in pursuance of Article 16 of the Constitution and a meeting of the Committee convened to manage the day-to-day affairs of the Association.
b.'The Association' means the Association of Royal Air Force Fighter Control Officers.
c.'Royal Air Force' means the Royal Air Force, the Women's Royal Air Force, the Royal Auxiliary Air Force and the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve.
d.'The Committee' means the Committee of the Association including the Officers of the Association, the elected and nominated members of the Committee and the Representatives; such Committee being authorised under the provisions of articles 10, 11 and 12 of the Constitution.
e.'The Rules' means the Rules of the Association written under the provisions of Article 17 of the Constitution.
f.'The Constitution' means the Constitution currently in force, approved by the Association and assigned as effectual by the President of the Association.
Rule 50. In these Rules references to the Rules shall, unless otherwise specified, include any Bye-Laws issued under the provisions of Rule 48.
Current Version Dated: 27 November 2021