From the President to all Members
3 May 2016
I am writing to you all, about changes in our fee structure, governance practices, insurance cover, membership system upgrade and future direction of the federation.
In conjunction with our insurers, we have developed a member’s information pack, (Available on our web site). It explains in simple terms what coverage the AUF has. It explains claims procedures for public liability and personal injury claims, injury reporting and other more general information.
Our death benefit cover has been reinstated this year for all of our sports. Our volunteer and coaches cover has been updated as to our professional indemnity. I believe this is the most comprehensive policy the AUF has ever had and will be a reassuring benefit to our members. It should be noted that this insurance is now costing us in excess of $42,000.00 per year.
Membership Database upgrade.
In 2014 our contract with IMG, our membership system provider expired. It was felt that the current system we were using was becoming antiquated and not user friendly. We also felt that with the increase in mobile technology that we needed to offer a platform that was mobile friendly. Our current platform was far too rigid as it was a three tier system, which meant we had to base our usability requirements around the system.
IMG have offered us a new contract on a new platform, one that is mobile friendly and is flexible to be designed around our needs. This will give all levels of our membership greater ease of access, by being able to create as many tiers as necessary. Federal Commissions will be able to access all their members’ data right across Australia. Likewise state commissions and branches, individual clubs will be able to log into the system, and use the email mail out facility for their individual members.
There will also be a competition portal, so the organisers of any competitions can set up registration fees for any events. Competitors can pay by credit card and the fees will automatically be transferred to nominated bank accounts.
The new system differs in its pricing structure as opposed to the old one. We now pay a monthly fee for the system, but the credit card transaction fees have been reduced. It will cost us a little more but we believe this will be offset by delivering a better system for the members. We hope to have the new system online by October.
With the investment outlay for the new membership system and increased insurance, we have had to look at membership fees. We still believe that membership for underwater sports, is still one of the cheapest around. But we have had to increase our fees for the 2016-2017 periods
These new fees which will start in May, when we kick off with our early bird special.
You will notice that we know have split the senior and junior fees, between AUF club and non-club members. Your fees will be cheaper if you a member of an AUF registered club. This is because the board has taken the position that we want to be a club based organisation. I will talk further on this later.
So generally a senior membership has gone from $75.00 to $80.00, for a registered club member. A non-club member is $100.00; this is proportionate across all the membership grades.
We have asked our commissions to submit a list of member clubs. To be a registered club within the AUF you need to have 8 members registered on the AUF data base. Existing clubs that meet these criteria will remain on the data base. If a new club is to be registered then the form which is available on the AUF web site, will need to be filled out and sent to our membership officer.
Remember if a club on the current data base doesn’t have the required number of members, it will be removed. The club will need to lodge the attached form and have the required number of members to be renewed on the data base.
Good Governance and Transparency.
With continuing pressure being applied by the government, via the Australian sports commission, we have had to evaluate and reassess our governance procedures and reporting. This includes reporting protocols, financial reporting, operational rules, policy adherence Government grants disbursement and member protection.
From the top down we will be focusing on specific areas moving forward.
If any of our member groups deal with more than $20,000.00 per year. They will need to have their accounts audited, under this amount they will need to provide an income and expenditure statement. This will need to be provided to their parent sporting body. i.e. clubs to state commissions, State to Federal Commissions and Federal Commissions to Federal AUF. This needs to be recorded as all these different levels are handling member’s funds and possibly receiving grant funds.
Each club, state commission and Federal commission will need a minimum standard, set of operational rules. Some groups already have these, others don’t. We will be evaluating all current rules in all of our member groups, to make sure they conform to our aims and objectives and a minimum standard.
Things that will be addressed are membership criteria, inequalities in voting rights, the need to be club based at state level, state based at a national level and discipline based at a federal level. That member’s rights are reflected equally throughout the organisation. That our member groups follow the principals outlined in our member protection policy.
We need to make sure that the different state laws that deal with child protection are being practiced, and that all statutory requirements are being followed.
We understand that this will be a lengthy and ongoing process, but one that in the end will make us a stronger and fairer organisation.
We welcome any comments or questions on the above.
Yours in underwater sports,