SHIREHAMPTON COMMUNITY ACTION FORUM

RULES, POLICIES AND PROCEDURES

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Shirehampton Community Action Forum is a Company Limited by Guarantee

Registered in England, number 4686738. Registered Charity number 1099221

 

Registered Office: Shirehampton Public Hall, Station Rd, Shirehampton, Bristol BS11 9TU

 

Tel: 0117 982 9963    Email: enquiries@shirecaf.org.uk    Web: www.shirecaf.org.uk


CONTENTS

 

1.     Rules

2.     Equal Opportunities Policy

3.     Health and Safety Policy

4.     Complaints Procedure

5.     Grievance Procedure

6.     Disciplinary Procedure

7.     Child and Vulnerable Adult Protection Policy

8.     Confidentiality Policy

9.     Environment Policy

10. Reserves Policy

11. Data Management Policy

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 REVISION RECORD

1.      All Procedures and Policies reviewed by Board on 23 Oct 2006. No changes were made, but all will be reviewed before 31 March 2008.

2.       All Procedures and Policies reviewed by Board on 5 August 2008 . No changes were made, but all will be reviewed before 31 March 2010.

3.       Reserves Policy added on 17 August 2009.

4.       Data Management Policy added 20 Sep 2010.

5.       All Procedures and Policies reviewed by Board on 5 October 2011 . No changes were made, but all will be reviewed before 31 March 2013.

 

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RULES OF SHIREHAMPTON COMMUNITY ACTION FORUM

 

Introduction

 

1.      These rules are made in accordance with Article 61 of the Articles of Association of Shirehampton Community Action Forum (SCAF). Nothing in the rules shall be inconsistent with, or shall affect or repeal anything contained in the Memorandum or the Articles of Association of SCAF.

 

Objects

 

2.      SCAF’s Objects are set out in the Memorandum of Association (as revised on 7 August 2003), and are:

 

1.      To promote the benefit of the parish of Shirehampton and the neighbourhood without distinction of sex, or of political, religious or other opinions by associating the local authorities, voluntary organisations and inhabitants in a common effort to provide facilities in the interests of social welfare for recreation and leisure-time occupations with the object of improving the conditions of life for the said inhabitants.

 

2.      The promotion of public safety and prevention of crime

 

3.      The preservation and protection of health

 

Membership

 

3.      Membership shall be open, irrespective of political party, nationality, religious opinion, race or colour to:

 

(i)         Individuals living or working in the area of benefit who shall be called Full Members.

 

(ii)        Individuals living or working outside the area of benefit, who shall be called Associate Members and who shall not have the right to vote at General Meetings of SCAF.

 

(iii)       Affiliated Groups, which shall be such national, international and local voluntary or non-profit distributing organisations, whether corporate or unincorporated, as are interested in furthering the said work.

 

(iv)              Statutory authorities in whose administrative area SCAF lies.

 

4.      The Trustees shall have the right for good and sufficient reason to suspend or to terminate the membership (full or associate) of an individual or an affiliated group, provided that the individual member or any person representing the affiliated group shall have the right to be heard by a meeting of the Trustees before the final decision is made.

 

Subscriptions

 

5.      All full members, associate members and affiliated groups shall pay such subscriptions as the Trustees may from time to time determine.

 

Action Groups

 

6.      Action Groups shall be such groups of individuals, members, associate members and representatives of affiliated groups and statutory authorities, as may, with the permission of the Trustees, be formed within SCAF for the furtherance of common activities. The Trustees shall determine the terms of reference and powers of each such section, and may also determine the duration of its activities. Minutes of all Action Group meetings will be sent to the Trustees.

 

Steering Committee

 

7.      The policy and general management of the affairs of SCAF shall be directed by the Trustees. They will be advised by a Steering Committee (hereinafter called 'the Committee'), which shall meet not less than four times a year.

 

8.      The Committee shall consist of:

 

a.       The Trustees

 

b.      A representative or representatives appointed by each:

(i)         affiliated group

(ii)        Action Group

(iii)       Local statutory authority

in accordance with Clause 3 and 6 hereof.

 

c.       Four representatives of full members. Representatives of individual members shall be elected from among and by themselves at the Annual General Meeting.

 

d.      The Trustees may co-opt further members, who shall be members of SCAF whether individual or representative or a combination of both and who shall serve until the conclusion of the next Annual General Meeting after individual co-option, provided that the number of co-opted members shall not exceed one third of the total number of members of the elected and appointed Committee in accordance with Clause 8a, b and c hereof.

 

9.      Each member organisation as set out in Clause 3 and each Action Group established in accordance with Clause 6 shall appoint at least one person and not more than two persons to attend meetings of the Steering Committee as set out in Clause 8b. In the event of such person or persons resigning or otherwise leaving an organisation he she or they shall forthwith cease to be representatives thereof. The organisation concerned shall have the right to appoint new representatives upon informing the Secretary in writing.

 

10.  If casual vacancies occur among the elected members of the Committee it shall have the power to fill these from amongst the members of SCAF. Any person appointed to fill a casual vacancy shall hold office until the next Annual General Meeting of SCAF and shall be eligible for election at that meeting.

 

11.  The proceedings of the Committee shall not be invalidated by any failure to elect or any defect in the election, appointment, co-option or qualification of any member.

 

12.  The Trustees may appoint sub-committees of the Steering Committee as they deem necessary and shall prescribe their function provided that all acts and proceedings of any such sub-committee shall be reported to the Trustees and the Committee as soon as possible and provided further that no such sub-committee shall expend funds of SCAF otherwise than in accordance with a budget agreed by the Trustees.

 

Officers

 

13.  At their first meeting after each Annual General Meeting the Trustees shall appoint from their number a Chair, Vice-Chair, Treasurer and such other Honorary Officers as they shall from time to time decide. They will also appoint a Secretary, as set out in Article 50. The Trustees shall be ex-officio members of SCAF, the Committee and of any other Committee.

 

Meetings

 

14.  General Meetings of SCAF, including the Annual General Meeting, will be held in accordance with the provisions of Articles 3 to 24.

 

15.  The Trustees may make Standing Orders for the conduct of meetings of the Steering Committee, of Action Groups, and of any sub-committees. These will be binding on all those present at any such meeting.

 

Alterations to the Rules

 

16.  These Rules may be varied at a General Meeting of SCAF, as set out in Article 61 (2).

 

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EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES POLICY

 

The policy includes:

 

v     statement of intent

 

v     aims of the policy

 

v     methods of implementation

 

v     monitoring and evaluation method

 

  1. Aims Of Policy

 

The policy aims to challenge discrimination in all areas of our organisation.  We aim to ensure that Shirehampton Community Action Forum (SCAF) reflects and meets the needs of the local community and incorporates equal opportunities into all areas of our work.

 

Objectives:

 

To ensure the makeup of the trustees and staff team at all levels reflect the make up of the community we serve in Shirehampton.

 

To ensure so far as is reasonably practicable that premises used by SCAF are accessible for all members of the community.

 

To consider equal opportunities in all areas of our services and work.

 

 

  1. Statement Of Intent

 

We recognise that certain groups and individuals in our society are discriminated against because of their race, colour, ethnic or national origin, gender, disability, culture, marital status, age, social class, religious belief, sexual orientation, employment status and if they are HIV positive.

 

Accordingly, we are strongly committed to positive action to remove/counter discrimination in all aspects of our work - in our practice as employers, in the way we work with other organisations, and in all our work with member groups and partners.

 

  1. Implementation

 

ACTION GROUPS AND DELIVERY OF SERVICE

 

Equal opportunities will be considered in all aspects of the service SCAF provides.  This will be reviewed regularly and monitored for effectiveness.

 

Language or behaviour designed to be offensive to any of the groups outlined in our statement is unacceptable and will not be tolerated by the organisation.  Membership rules and notices to users should explicitly state that discriminatory language or behaviour is not acceptable.

 

The membership of the organisation will be reviewed regularly to identify which communities are under represented.  Constitutional changes may be considered if our membership is found to be unrepresentative.

 

We will also review the image and work of the organisation regularly.  We aim to ensure that SCAF is accessible to all members of the community equally.  To achieve this end we will consider holding open days to promote our work, producing specialist information for certain organisations and consulting groups on how to make our organisation more relevant.

 

Any publicity of the organisation will state our commitment to equal opportunities and will promote positive images of those groups in the community who suffer discrimination

 

Equality of access will be considered in all activities and resources.  It is crucial that all users are able to use the organisation without discrimination. SCAF has an important role to play in promoting anti-discriminatory practice.  Positive anti - sexist and anti - discriminatory values will be integral to all programmes of activities.

 

  1. Trustees

 

We aim to reflect the makeup of the community in the decision making process of the organisation and actively encourage members of groups suffering discrimination to join the Trustees.  The Trustees should be regularly reviewed to ensure that they reflect the diversity of individuals and groups within the community. This should include a review of the process of decision making which includes informal meetings.

 

If the Trustees are found to be unrepresentative the organisation may consider co-options or reserved places for those who can make a special contribution.  This will be fully discussed by the Trustees

 

It is a condition of membership to follow the principles of the Equal Opportunities Policy.

 

Consideration will be taken when arranging the time and venue of any meeting to ensure these are as accessible as possible. Where members have care responsibilities, which preclude them from attending meetings the Trustees will consider reasonable requests to support them to attend meetings.

 

Equal opportunities training needs for the Trustees will be reviewed regularly and arranged as appropriate

 

  1. Employment Policy

 

RECRUITMENT

 

Equal opportunities are vital in staff recruitment.  It is essential that all posts are advertised openly and widely and that agreed, consistent selection procedures are followed at all times.  All decisions made with respect to recruitment and promotion for all jobs within the company will be made solely on the basis of individual qualifications and merit. All those involved in recruitment should follow an agreed recruitment procedure. This includes the format and process for:

 

Job descriptions

Application forms

Adverts

Selection

Induction

 

CONDITIONS OF SERVICE

 

Premises, working conditions and terms and conditions should all strive to promote equality of opportunity and should ensure that certain groups are not discriminated against. The administration of all other personnel matters such as salary, benefits, transfers, education and social and sports programmes will be free from any discriminatory practices.

 

All efforts will be made to ensure that premises are accessible to disabled people.  It is important that those with dependants are not discriminated against.  Working patterns and arrangements will be considered to determine which are essential and which could be flexible.  Equal opportunities will be considered in all aspects of the staff terms and conditions and will be reviewed regularly.  This will look at leave for periods related to maternity, paternity, sickness and dependants.

 

The organisation aims to ensure that no staff suffer offensive language or behaviour in their workplace or in their work.  Staff contracts should specifically state that offensive language or behaviour is not acceptable.

 

Staff training needs in issues of equal opportunities will be reviewed regularly and arranged as appropriate.

 

  1. Monitoring And Review Responsibility

 

The Trustees will be responsible for implementing the equal opportunities policy.  This may be delegated to a sub group which will report back to the main Trustees.

 

Any complaint or grievance should be made to the Development Officer or Chairman who will refer in the appropriate way.

 

Equal opportunities strategies need to be regularly reviewed and monitored.  All aspects of the policy should be monitored as an ongoing practice - this should be built into all procedures - for example as part of the recruitment process, publication process, admissions policy and activity programme.  An annual major review will take place by the Trustees.

 

  1. Approval

 

This document was approved by the Trustees on 24 August 2004. It will be reviewed before 31 March 2006.

 

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HEALTH AND SAFETY POLICY

 

PART 1 GENERAL STATEMENT OF POLICY

 

SCAF is committed to providing and maintaining safe and healthy conditions for its staff, volunteers, users and visitors.

 

SCAF is not required to have a written Health and Safety Policy under current legislation. However, because of its commitment to a safe environment, it has recognised that a Health and Safety Policy will help all those involved in the Forum to ‘think safety’ at all times.

 

It is the Forum’s policy to:

 

 

This policy applies to all activities directly managed by SCAF. It sets out the health and safety responsibilities of the Trustees, employees, and volunteers. The policy also applies to any activities which the SCAF commissions from other organisations, or where it operates in partnership with others.

 

This policy is in three parts. Part 1 is this statement of overall policy. Part 2 describes the organisation of health and safety, and sets out responsibilities of different groups. Part 3 gives details of arrangements and procedures.

 

SCAF requires all individuals participating in its activities to take reasonable care of the safety of themselves and of others who may be affected by their acts, and to co-operate in achieving a safe environment.

 

Approval

 

This document was approved by the Trustees on 28 June 2005. It will be reviewed before 31 March 2006.

 

PART 2 ORGANISATION OF HEALTH AND SAFETY

 

SCAF is governed by its Trustees, employs staff, is assisted by volunteers, and commissions or participates in activities organised by other organisations It is therefore necessary to clarify the health and safety responsibilities of all these parties.

 

1.      SCAF

 

SCAF is governed by its Trustees. The Trustees take responsibility for all of SCAF’s health and safety obligations. It delegates these to the Health and Safety Officer (who may be an employee, Trustee or volunteer). The Health and Safety Officer will manage SCAF’s responsibilities in the first instance, but will refer any problems back to the Trustees. The Trustees remain responsible for ensuring that SCAF complies with its obligations.

 

SCAF has the following responsibilities:

 

i.         To ensure that all employees and volunteers work in a safe manner, that any risks arising in their work are properly assessed, and that any training needs which are identified are met.

ii.       To maintain an accident book, to investigate the circumstances of any incidents, to determine if any lessons can be learned, and to report to the appropriate authority any incident involving death, major injury, accidents resulting in over 3 day injury, diseases, dangerous occurrences or gas incidents, under the RIDDOR regulations.

iii.      To ensure that all individuals and organisations which participate in events commissioned by SCAF or organised in association with SCAF are aware of their health and safety responsibilities.

iv.     To review this policy at least once a year.

v.       To carry out any other actions which will promote the health and safety of SCAF users.

 

The detailed arrangements to discharge these responsibilities are set out in Part 3 of this policy.

 

2.   Employees and Volunteers of SCAF

 

SCAF’s employees include any individuals with a contract of employment. Volunteers are those carrying out work for SCAF on an unpaid basis. They may also be Trustees.

 

All employees and volunteers have the responsibility to co-operate with the Trustees and the Health and Safety Officer to achieve a healthy and safe environment, and to take reasonable care of themselves and others. They must not intentionally or recklessly interfere with anything provided for their health, safety or welfare, eg misusing equipment, knowingly adopting unsafe systems of work, deliberately putting someone else’s safety at risk, etc. Serious breaches of the Health and Safety policy will be dealt with through disciplinary procedures.

 

Whenever an employee or volunteer notices a Health and Safety problem which they are unable to put right, they must immediately inform the Health and Safety Officer, or in his/her absence, one of the Officers of SCAF.

 

3.  SCAF Meetings, Events and Activities

 

Any Trustee, employee, or volunteer who organises any meeting, event or activity on behalf of SCAF, must consider its Health and Safety aspects.

 

In the case of a meeting, he must ensure that the venue is suitable for the nature of the meeting, and that it is of appropriate size for the number of attendees. He must establish that the operator of the venue has assessed its health and safety, and ensure that any requirements of the operator are complied with.

 

In the case of an event organised by SCAF which is not a conventional meeting (eg an Open Day, or a fair with sideshows) the trustee, employee or volunteer who organises it must assess the risks to health and safety of the organisers and the public, and take action to reduce any risks to an acceptable level. He must seek advice from the Health and Safety Officer, who may seek further expert advice if necessary.

 

Where SCAF participates in or commissions activities organised by a third party, the Trustee, employee or volunteer who commissions the activity must ensure that the third party has assessed the risks to health and safety of the organisers, participants and the public, and has taken action to reduce any risks to an acceptable level. He must agree with the third party what health and safety matters remain SCAF’s responsibility, and what the third party’s. He must seek advice from the Health and Safety Officer, who may seek further expert advice if necessary. Where appropriate he must ensure that all necessary Child Protection and Vulnerable Adults policies are in place and observed.

 

4.      All Participants in SCAF Events

 

All participants in SCAF meetings, activities and events, including the general public, must take reasonable care of the safety of themselves and of others who may be affected by their acts, and co-operate in achieving a safe environment. All participants must carry out any safety-related request made by the Health and Safety Officer. All participants must comply with any No Smoking policy or other health and safety policy of the venue of the event.

 

PART 3 ARRANGMENTS AND PROCEDURES

 

This part of the policy describes the detailed arrangements made to ensure that SCAF meets its obligations as set out in Section 1 of Part 2.

 

1.      The Health and Safety Officer (HSO) is the Development Officer. Unless otherwise stated, the HSO will be responsible to the Trustees for carrying out the responsibilities in Section 1 of Part 2.

 

2.       The HSO, in conjunction with members of the Committee and volunteers, will carry out an annual Risk Assessment of SCAF’s activities. 

 

3.      The Accident Book will be located in SCAF’s Office. The HSO will examine it for new entries regularly.

 

To ensure that all users are aware of this policy, it will be displayed on SCAF’s website, www.shirecaf.org.uk. Copies will be distributed to Trustees, the Health and Safety Officer, any other employees, and the Chairmen of Action Groups. It will be available for inspection at meetings of the full forum, and General Meetings of SCAF.


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COMPLAINTS PROCEDURE

 

1.      Scope

 

For users and members of Shirehampton Community Action Forum.

 

2.      Procedure

 

1.      The complaints procedure exists to ensure that any problems or issues an individual or group might wish to raise are dealt with as quickly and efficiently as possible

 

2.      An individual or group with a complaint should raise the matter with the Development Officer, or if inappropriate the Chair of the Trustees.

 

3.      If a verbal response does not resolve the matter, the complainant should put the matter in writing to the Development Officer or Chair of the Trustees.

 

4.      This should be acknowledged, recorded and investigated and a written response made within 10 working days.

 

5.      If the complainant feels the matter has not been resolved, a meeting will be called with the Chair (if the Development Officer had been approached under ‘2’) or with Trustee Officers (if the Chair had been approached under ‘2’). This should usually be within 7 days of the request for the meeting.

 

6.      Any complainant may be represented by or supported by a representative or a friend at any stage.

 

7.      A written response and proposed actions will be given to the complainant and the Trustees. The outcome of this meeting will be final on behalf of SCAF.

 

8.      It is SCAF’s responsibility to ensure that the outcome of any complaint is acted upon.

 

3.   Approval

 

This document was approved by the Trustees on 24 August 2004. It will be reviewed before 31 March 2006.

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GRIEVANCE PROCEDURE

 

All grievances, claims or other questions of concern, which employees raise, shall be dealt with carefully and fully in accordance with the following procedure, with the aim of settling them as quickly as possible.

 

At all stages of the procedure, employees have the right to be represented by a trade union official, or a friend who is acting in a non-legal, supportive role.

 

1.         An employee who has a grievance with another worker, user, or management member should in the first instance raise this with this person.

 

2.                  If the grievance cannot be resolved it should be referred to the Chair of the Trustees (or other Trustee Officer in their absence). If the Chair can deal with the grievance, it should be settled within 5 working days.  If the decision is unacceptable to the employee, or if the grievance is outside the terms of reference for the Chair, the grievance should be put in writing and forwarded to a special meeting of the Trustees.

 

3.                  The Trustees will invite the employee and, if wanted, a union official or any other person acting in a non-legal capacity to discuss the grievance and will give a decision as early as possible and not later than 5 working days.

 

4.                  If the decision is unacceptable to the employee, reasons should be given in writing within 14 days with a request for arbitration. The Trustees will seek to find a mutually acceptable, appropriate body, to help with arbitration.

 

5.                  Both parties accept the arbitration decision as binding in honour but agree that it is not intended as a legally enforceable agreement between them.  It is further agreed that the parties to the agreement will use their best endeavour, and that the spirit and intention of the arbitration decision is honoured at all times.

 

6.                  If the grievance is specifically with the Chair, the complaint should be made to another Trustee officer who would convene a meeting of all the Trustees to resolve the issue. If the grievance is against the Trustees as a whole then the committee should seek to find an independent  arbitrator to help resolve the issue.

 

Approval

 

This document was approved by the Trustees on 24 August 2004. It will be reviewed before 31 March 2006.

 

 

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DISCIPLINARY PROCEDURE

 

The primary object of this procedure is to establish disciplinary practices that are fair and reasonable, which will be understood and respected, and which contribute to a sound relationship between management and staff.

 

For the purpose of disciplinary action the Chair of the Trustees will be responsible for implementing procedures. However, the Chair may delegate responsibility to, or discuss the matter with, another member of the Trustees (eg the Vice Chair, Treasurer or Secretary).

 

1.         Gross Misconduct

 

1.1       Where an allegation of misconduct is made against an employee, which is of a serious nature an employee may face termination of employment. The procedure laid out in 1.3 will apply to any employee against whom the allegation of gross misconduct has been made.

 

1.2       Examples of gross misconduct include the following and relate to all employees.

 

        Theft from the organisation, staff, management and users (both individuals and organisations).

        Fraud perpetrated against the organisation – such as falsification of subsistence and expenses claims

        Assault or other criminal activity on the premises or on those of a user organisation.

        Sexual or racial harassment.

        Gross disregard for the health and/or safety of any person.

        Being under the influence of drugs/alcohol at workGross insubordination or wilful disobedience.False information on application of employment form.

        Wilfully causing harm or injury to another employee, client or guest.

        Performing an action that is intimidatory to other people or suggesting damage to Company property.

        Performing an action that is liable to cause injury to other people or damage the Company's property

        Wilful breach of our equal opportunities policy.  

 

This is not an exhaustive list.

 

1.3       Gross Misconduct Procedure

 

1.3.1    Any allegation of gross misconduct must be made in writing to the Chair of the Trustees who will convene a meeting of a Disciplinary Panel. The Disciplinary Panel will consist of a minimum of 3 Trustees.

 

1.3.2    The Chair, with the approval of at least two Trustees may suspend with pay the employee concerned pending a full investigation by the Disciplinary Panel.  Suspension should not be seen as a punishment or disciplinary action.  It will be carried out immediately and seen as a stage in the procedure.  It will be carried out to protect all concerned to allow investigations to take place.

 

1.3.3    Full details of the allegation shall be given, in writing, to the employee by the Chair of the Trustees.

 

1.3.4    Within the agreed time of no more than 10 days, the organisation’s disciplinary Panel will have an initial meeting to decide whether of not there is a case.  The employee against whom the allegation is made is invited to be present and has the right to be accompanied by a representative (trade union or otherwise). After the meeting the Disciplinary Panel may decide to further suspend the employee concerned on full pay, pending a further investigation.

 

1.3.5    If after objective investigation there is clear and tangible evidence which substantiates the allegations and there are no mitigating circumstances the Disciplinary Panel wish to take into account, the employee will be dismissed.  The notice of dismissal will be in writing and will include the reasons for dismissal.

 

1.3.6    The employee concerned shall have the right, within 14 days of receiving the notice of dismissal, to appeal against this decision.  Any such appeal must be put in writing to the Chair who must set up an Appeal Panel consisting of people who have not previously been involved in the disciplinary hearings.  The Appeal Panel must meet within 14 days of the appeal being lodged.  The employee has the right to be present at this meeting and to be accompanied by a representative (trade union or otherwise).  The findings of this Appeal Panel will be binding.

 

2.         General Misconduct

 

2.1       Informal Procedure

 

Minor faults will usually be dealt with informally by discussion between the Chair and the employee concerned.  The employee has a right to request an informal meeting with a Trustee(s).  In cases where such informal discussion does not lead to improvement, or where the matter is more serious, the following procedures should be used.

 

2.2       Disciplinary interviews

 

Before any warning is issued or dismissal decided upon, the employee will be interviewed in private by the Chair of the Trustees.  Five working days notice of such an interview shall be given to the employee together with a written statement of the area of concern to be discussed.  The employee will be entitled to be accompanied by a representative of his/her choice.  The representative will inform the Chair of their intention to attend, prior to the interview.  The reason for the interview will be fully explained and the employee and/or his/her representative shall have proper opportunity to state his/her case.  A record of the interview shall be prepared and shall be agreed by the parties. If it is decided to issue a warning the employee shall be left in no doubt as to the standard that is expected or the consequence of a repetition of the original area of concern.  A warning will include both a specified period in which improvement is expected and a clear statement of the training and/or other support programme SCAF will implement to aid the employee to improve performance.

 

2.3       Stage 1 - Verbal Warning

 

In cases of less serious misconduct or where work performance is unsatisfactory a formal verbal warning, may be given to the employee by the Chair. The Trustees will be informed.

 

2.4       Stage 2 - Written Warning

 

If conduct or work performance does not improve, or if the case is more serious, a formal written warning, may be given by the Chair. The Trustees will be informed.

 

2.5       Stage 3 – Dismissal

 

2.5.1    In cases where, despite verbal and/or written warning, there is still no improvement in conduct or work performance, the management may recommend dismissal.  In such cases the Chair shall inform the rest of the Trustees of this recommendation.  Only the Chair of the Trustees can authorise dismissal.

 

2.5.2        Where the Chair of the Trustees is also the line manager of the employee concerned the Chair’s recommendation for dismissal shall be referred to a Disciplinary Panel composed of 3 members of the Trustees.  In these circumstances dismissal can only be authorised by a majority of the Disciplinary Panel.

 

2.6       Warnings and Personnel Records    

 

When any informal verbal or written warning is given the employee will be told that such warning is part of the disciplinary procedure and the consequences if improvement does not take place will be explained.  All formal warnings will be recorded, and will remain on file for one year and be discarded.

 

            An employee shall have the right to inspect his/her personal file at any time without notice.

 

2.7       Appeals

 

An employee may appeal against any decision made in the course of operation of this procedure.  Appeals should be in writing and addressed to the Chair of the Trustees and should be made within 3 working days of the warning or dismissal in question.  At an appeal the employee will again be given an opportunity to state his/her case and will have the right to be accompanied by a representative of their choice.  All appeals will be heard as quickly as possible, normally within 10 working days.

 

All appeals will be to an Appeal Panel of the Trustees who were not involved in the original investigation.  The decision of this Appeal Panel shall be final.

 

Approval

 

This document was approved by the Trustees on 24 August 2004. It will be reviewed before 31 March 2006.

 



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CHILD AND VULNERABLE ADULT PROTECTION POLICY

 

1.      Scope

 

This Policy sets out SCAF’s Child and Vulnerable Adult Protection Policy. It sets out what SCAF’s Trustees, employees, and volunteers should do, if they become aware of, or suspect, that child abuse is occurring or has occurred. For convenience, the word child is used throughout, but it should be understood as also referring to vulnerable adults.

 

SCAF does not generally directly organise activities which give contact with children who are not being supervised by their parents or carers. However, SCAF does commission activities provided by other organisations, or work in partnership with them. Where appropriate such providers or partners should have their own Child Protection Policies in place.

 

2.      Introduction

 

SCAF has a duty through our members, management, staff and volunteers to protect from abuse children and young people with whom they come into contact.

 

The 1989 Children Act identifies four categories of abuse:

 

Physical Abuse

Sexual Abuse

Emotional Abuse

Neglect

 

Physical Abuse

Actual or likely physical injury to a child or young person under age 18, or failure to prevent physical injury.

 

Sexual Abuse

Actual or likely sexual exploitation of a child or young person. The child may be dependent or developmentally immature.

 

Neglect

The persistent, or severe neglect of a child, or the failure to protect a child from exposure to any kind of danger, resulting in the significant impairment of a child’s health or development,  including non organic failure to thrive.

 

Emotional Abuse

Severe or persistent emotional ill-treatment or rejection likely to cause adverse effects on the emotional and behavioural development of a child. All abuse involves some emotional ill-treatment.

 

Vulnerable Adult

 

A “Vulnerable Adult” is a person “who is or may be in need of community care services by reason of mental or other disability, age or illness; and who is or may be unable to take care of him or herself, or unable to protect him or herself against significant harm or exploitation”.  (Department of Health “No Secrets”).

 

3.      Historical Abuse

 

There may be occasions when an adult will disclose abuse (either sexual or physical) which occurred in the past, during their childhood. This information needs to be treated in exactly the same way as a disclosure or suspicion of current child abuse. The reason for this is that the abuser may still represent a risk to children now.

 

4.      Awareness

 

As a member, trustee, paid staff or a volunteer etc, you are not responsible for diagnosing abuse. However, you have a responsibility to be aware and alert to signs that all is not well with a child or young person. Not all concerns about children or young people relate to abuse, there may well be other explanations. It is important to keep an open mind and consider what you know about the child and its circumstances.

 

Bristol’s “multi agency procedures for working with children in need (including those in need of protection) and their families” are the guidelines Social Services, the Police, Education, Health and other agencies work to.

 

5.      What to do

 

As someone in a child care role as well as a citizen, when abuse is disclosed or observed you should take the following action:

 

1.            Inform whoever has disclosed the information that the information cannot be kept confidential and will have to be passed on to appropriate agencies.

2.            Inform an officer (Chair, Vice-Chair, Secretary or Treasurer) about the disclosure within 24 hours. S/he to treat as top priority and seek advice urgently. You might also consider keeping an accurate and contemporary record for future reference.

3.            The officer will report and discuss the information with Social Services eg Duty and Assessment Team at local Social Services and Health office or with the Police Child Protection Team (0117 9454320).

4.            The officer/Worker to ensure that the “discloser” is kept informed about what will happen next, so they can be reassured about what to expect.

5.            Social Services District Duty Team telephone nos are: 0117 9558231 (East), 9036500  (Central), 9031414/9642593 (South) and 9031700/9038786 (North).

 

6.    Support to Staff and Volunteers

 

As a result of reporting concerns, you may find the person who disclosed the information is upset or angry. SCAF will support you. If Social Services or the Police need further information or involvement from you, an Officer will talk with them and you about how this will happen.

 

Staff and volunteers may also be subject to allegations of abusing children. While support will

be offered, SCAF will ensure that Social Services or the Police are given all assistance in pursuing any investigation. Suspension and/or the disciplinary procedure may be implemented.

 

7.    Confidentiality

 

Disclosure of information is normally governed by the SCAF’s Confidentiality Policy - but the welfare of the child is paramount. The law does not allow anyone to keep concerns relating to child abuse to themselves. Confidentiality may not be maintained if the withholding of the information will prejudice the welfare of the child.

 

8.   Recruitment of Staff and Volunteers/Appointment of Trustees, etc

 

Paedophiles are attracted to organisations which provide services for children. In normal circumstances Trustees, staff, and volunteers do not have direct contact with children.

 

However, if circumstances arise where someone may be in any position giving regular contact with/access to children and young people up to age 18, including those in “positions of trust” and supervisors as well as people in frontline roles, then SCAF will ensure that criminal records statements are obtained and acted upon, prior to their engagement, from paid/unpaid trustees/staff/volunteers new to the organization, or existing members who start to carry out such a role. With these statements, SCAF will make “disclosure applications” to the Criminal Records Bureau (the Government’s “Disclosure Service”). Two references will be sought for new staff and volunteers and followed up as necessary. A medical reference may also be required. A rigorous and probing approach to the application process (eg using application forms designed to elicit the full, relevant history of applicants), interviews and selection for positions with the Association will be adhered to. Proof of identity may be sought.

 

9.   Other Measures

 

The work of SCAF is planned in ways which minimise risks to children eg physical layout and surroundings, clear roles for everyone, and children’s welfare will always be taken seriously.

 

In cases of misconduct towards children involving staff, volunteers, trustees etc, these are reportable to the Protection of Children Act Service at the Department of Health for possible inclusion on the List of unsuitable people to work with children. (See the Govt’s Practical Guide to the Act).

 

“CHILDREN’S SAFETY AND WELL BEING IS A CORE VALUE OF THIS ORGANISATION.”

 

10.   Approval

 

This document was approved by the Trustees on 24 August 2004. It will be reviewed before 31 March 2006.

 

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CONFIDENTIALITY POLICY

 

1.      Scope

 

For the use of Trustees, staff and volunteers.

 

2.      Policy

 

The work of SCAF is in the main open to public scrutiny. Minutes of meetings should be publicly available.

 

However from time to time there will be a need to discus confidential matters especially regarding members of staff or contracts. If Trustees are discussing individual members of staff they should be aware they are doing so in their trusted capacity as employers.

 

Anyone contributing to a Trustee discussion should have a reasonable expectation that what they say should not go beyond that meeting. However, if people other than committee members are present or the minutes are made public these expectations do not stand.

 

If a confidential matter is to be raised at a Trustee meeting

 

  1. The matter should be noted ‘confidential’ on the agenda

 

  1. People who are not Trustees should be excluded from these discussions, unless invited to remain because of their knowledge and expertise.

 

  1. It should be noted in the public minutes that a confidential item was discussed.

 

  1. A separate confidential minute should be produced and circulated to Trustees only.

 

  1. The Chair should specify where the confidential minute should be kept so that it is available as a record of the discussion and decision, but is not available for public inspection.

 

3.      Approval

 

This document was approved by the Trustees on 24 August 2004. It will be reviewed before 31 March 2006.

 

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ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY

  

Aim & Objectives

 

The Environmental Policy covers all aspects of SCAF operations - from good housekeeping measures such as using both sides of paper prior to recycling, to ensuring that investments made are environmentally sound.

 

The policy also commits us to promoting suppliers and services who adhere to environmentally sound ways of operating.

 

The Environmental Policy will be regularly referred to in decision-making. It is to be included during the induction of new staff, Trustees and volunteers. It shall be reviewed annually by the Trustees.

 

SCAF practises the principals of the 3Rs by:

 

i. Reducing waste where possible by thinking about what we buy and how we use it. Non-essential documents and emails will not be printed. We will annually review which internal documents and external publications are essential, if they are not they will be cancelled thus reducing waste and saving money. We will endeavour to avoid disposable cups and food packaging bought by the office and for events. We will ensure all our printing and photocopying is double-sided.

 

ii. Re-use wherever possible by trying to find a second life for items especially paper and office stationary. Scrap paper will be used in printers, fax machines, for taking messages and for writing notes or draft copies of documents. Envelopes and packaging will be reused.

 

iii. Recycle as the least preferred option of the 3Rs.SCAF will use the in-house systems for card and paper re-cycling. Toner cartridges and inkjets will also be recycled. If office furniture or IT equipment is being replaced then SCAF will seek to have those items reused or recycled. We will use/support social economy organisations to recycle materials as appropriate. SCAF will buy recycled products whenever possible.

 

We will endeavour to switch all publications and general office papers to 100% post-consumer waste recycled papers, any additional purchasing costs will be balanced against reduced consumption (see above). When purchasing other items of office equipment recycled options will be considered.

 

Fair trade

 

SCAF will seek to purchase fair-traded and environmentally sound goods In particular wood products should carry the Forestry Stewardship Council logo.

 

Local produce & products

 

Wherever possible we will buy locally produced items, and when catering for meetings and events will purchase from local traders.

 

Promotion of environmentally friendly transport

 

SCAF will promote the use of cycling and walking as the main means of travel to local meetings, and use public transport where systems allow efficient use. For journeys that require the use of a car, car sharing will be encouraged. (Where personal mobility or access issues present an excluding difficulty for SCAF members, SCAF will arrange appropriate transport in line with our Equal Opportunities Policy).

 

Energy efficiency

 

SCAF will seek to minimise the use of energy in its activities. We will address this issue within our office space in relation to equipment etc., for example lights and equipment will be switched on only when needed and not out of routine. All computers, monitors, printers etc will be completely closed down after use.

 

Approval

 

This document was approved by the Trustees on 12 October 2004. It will be reviewed before 31 March 2006.

 

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RESERVES POLICY

Where possible provision should be made to hold approximately the equivalent of 6 months revenue costs of the Forum as set out in the annual budget. Should the level of income for the Forum fall to such a level that the Forum is unable to meet its regular ongoing commitments the reserve will be used to cover these commitments.

If the level of income falls to the extent that the reserves have to be used the Board should call an emergency meeting to discuss the financial situation of the Forum. Immediate steps should be taken to raise the level of income or make savings so that expenditure should stay within income levels.

The Forum should be mindful that in the event of having to make savings and staff being laid off provision should be made for any staff member who has been employed for 2 years or more and may be entitled to redundancy payment. The Treasurer should calculate possible redundancy entitlements to be included and add this to the 6 months costings.

At present the Forum does not hold significant capital assets. However, if in the future the Forum does acquire such assets, their depreciation should be included in the Accounts. Additional reserves should be held to match the accumulated depreciation, to enable such assets to be replaced at the end of their lives.

If after taking into account the above commitments there are still reserves available it will be at the discretion of the Board how these reserves are used to further the aims of the Forum.

Grants or contracts awarded to the Forum for specified purposes, which cannot be used for general expenditure, should be held as additional reserves, and defined as ‘Restricted Funds’ in the Accounts. If a specific future expense is anticipated, funds may be set aside as a ‘Designated Fund’ to meet part or all of such expenditure. Any Restricted or Designated Funds form reserves which are in addition to the general reserves set out in this policy.

Any interest earned on reserves will be used towards revenue costs of the organisation.

Approval 

This document was approved by the Board on 17 August 2009. It will be reviewed before 31 March 2011.

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Data Management Policy (DMP) – Shirehampton Community Action Forum (SCAF)

This Data Management Policy has been produced (June 2010) to detail how the trustees of SCAF have decided to act in order to comply with its legal responsibilities in the collecting, handling and storing of information. This policy will be reviewed each year by the trustees and will be available to our stakeholder via the normal routes. 

 

Organisation

SHIREHAMPTON COMMUNITY ACTION FORUM (SCAF) (No: 04686738)

Scope of policy

 

This policy applies to:

 

   the SCAF head office (Public Hall, Shirehampton, Bristol);

   its working groups;

 

It applies to paid staff and volunteers (including trustees).

 

Policy operational date

 August 2010

Policy prepared by

Darren Jones, Company Secretary and Trustee

Date approved by Board/ Management Committee

20 Sep 2010

Policy review date

 August 2011

 

Introduction

Purpose of policy

The purpose of this policy is to enable SCAF to:

        comply with the law in respect of the data it holds about individuals;

        follow good practice;

        protect SCAF’s supporters, staff and other individuals

        protect the organisation from the consequences of a breach of its responsibilities.

Brief introduction to Data Protection Act 1998

This policy aims to comply with the requirements of the Data Protection Act 1998.

Personal data

This policy applies to information relating to identifiable individuals, even where it is technically outside the scope of the Data Protection Act, by virtue of not meeting the strict definition of ‘data’ in the Act.

 

This may include contact information, background information and any employer/volunteering information held on file at SCAF HQ

Policy statement

SCAF will:

        comply with both the law and good practice

        respect individuals’ rights

        be open and honest with individuals whose data is held

        provide training and support for staff and volunteers, where appropriate, for those who handle personal data, so that they can act confidently and consistently

 

SCAF recognises that its first priority under the Data Protection Act is to avoid causing harm to individuals.  In the main this means:

        keeping information securely in the right hands, and

        holding good quality information.

 

Secondly, the Act aims to ensure that the legitimate concerns of individuals about the ways in which their data may be used are taken into account.  In addition to being open and transparent, SCAF will seek to give individuals as much choice as is possible and reasonable over what data is held and how it is used.

Key risks

SCAF has identified the following potential key risks, which this policy is designed to address:

        Breach of confidentiality (information being given out inappropriately).

        Failure to offer choice about data use when appropriate

        Breach of security by allowing unauthorised access - especially into HQ (the public hall).

 

 

Responsibilities

Trustees

The Board of Trustees recognises its overall responsibility for ensuring that SCAF complies with its legal obligations.

Data Protection Officer

The Data Protection Officer is currently the Company Secretary, with the following responsibilities:

 

        Briefing the board on Data Protection responsibilities

        Reviewing Data Protection and related policies

        Advising other staff/volunteers on Data Protection issues, where appropriate

        Ensuring that Data Protection induction and training takes place, where appropriate

        Notification

        Handling subject access requests

        Approving unusual or controversial disclosures of personal data

 

Staff & volunteers

All staff and volunteers are required to read, understand and accept any policies and procedures that relate to the personal data they may handle in the course of their work.

Enforcement

Significant breaches of this policy will be handled under SCAF’s disciplinary procedures.

Confidentiality

Scope

SCAF recognises that confidentiality applies to a much wider range of information than Data Protection but SCAF considers that, due to the basic nature of our acquisition, handling and storage of data, this policy will suffice in covering all of these areas. We collect and store a variety of data, all of which is stored either in hard or digital copy, which is stored at SCAF HQ unless otherwise agreed

 

Communication with staff

Staff and volunteers will be required, from time to time, at appropriate times decided at the absolute discretion of the Data Controller, to sign a short statement indicating that they have been made aware of their confidentiality responsibilities.  (See Appendix B.)

Authorisation for disclosures not directly related to the reason why data is held

Where anyone within SCAF feels that it would be appropriate to disclose information in a way contrary to this policy, or where an official disclosure request is received, this will only be done with the authorisation of the Data Protection Officer.  All such disclosures will be documented.

 

Security

Scope

This section of the policy only addresses security issues relating to personal data.  It does not cover security of the building, business continuity or any other aspect of security.

Specific risks

SCAF has identified the following risks:

 

        Volunteers/members could continue to be sent information after they have stopped supporting SCAF, if their records are not updated promptly.

        Poor web site security might give a means of access to information about individuals once individual details are made accessible on line.

 

 

Setting security levels

Access to information on the main computer system will be controlled by function.

Security measures

All records, in hard copy and electronically, will be stored in a secure environment with security access (lock & key, computer password) being utilised where appropriate.

Business continuity

All electronic data is backed up and stored off the premises via a password controlled USB pen or back up disc.

Data recording and storage

Accuracy

SCAF is works from a single electronic database holding basic information about all supporters and volunteers, including basic hard copies. 

 

SCAF will regularly review its procedures for ensuring that its records remain accurate and consistent and, in particular:

        ICT systems will be designed, where possible, to encourage and facilitate the entry of accurate data. Including the provision of email addresses.

        Data on any individual will be held in as few places as necessary, and all staff and volunteers will be discouraged from establishing unnecessary additional data sets.

        Effective procedures will be in place so that all relevant systems are updated when information about any individual changes.

        Staff or volunteers who keep more detailed information about individuals will be given additional guidance on accuracy in record keeping.

Updating

Data changes will be updated on an ongoing basis.

Storage

All information will be stored in the SCAF HQ (Public Hall) as well as back up information on a password protected USB pen or back up disk.

Transparency

Commitment

SCAF is committed to ensuring that in principle Data Subjects are aware that their data is being processed and

        for what purpose it is being processed; and

        how to exercise their rights in relation to the data.

Procedure

Data Subjects will generally be informed in the following ways:

        Staff: verbally on training

        Volunteers: verbally on training

        Members: in the welcome information

        Supporters: when they sign up (on paper, on line or by phone)

 

Whenever data is collected, the number of mandatory fields will be kept to a minimum and Data Subjects will be informed which fields are mandatory and why.

 

This information will be published on the SCAF website for open access to our guidelines and policy.

Consent

Underlying principles

Consent will normally not be sought for most processing of information about staff, with the following exceptions:

 

        Staff details will only be disclosed for purposes unrelated to their work for SCAF (e.g. financial references) with their consent.

 

Information about volunteers will be made public according to their role, and consent will be sought for (a) the means of contact they prefer to be made public, and (b) any publication of information which is not essential for their role.

 

Information about members and supporters will only be made public with their consent.

 

‘Sensitive’ data about members and supporters (including health information) will be held only with the knowledge and consent of the individual.

Forms of consent

Consent will be accepted verbally but may asked for in writing.

 

 

 

Direct marketing

Underlying principles

SCAF will treat the following unsolicited direct communication with individuals as marketing:

 

        seeking donations and other financial support;

        promoting any SCAF fundraising events;

        promoting membership to supporters;

        promoting sponsored events and other fundraising exercises;

        marketing on behalf of any other external company or voluntary organisation.

 

Opting out

Whenever data is first collected which might be used for any marketing purpose, this purpose will be made clear, and the Data Subject will be given a clear opt out.  If it is not possible to give a range of options, any opt-out which is exercised will apply to all SCAF marketing.

 

Policy review

Responsibility

Board of Trustees; Company Secretary

Procedure

Board Discussion

Timing

August 2011

 Notes

Data Controller

The Data Controller is the legal ‘person’ responsible for complying with the Data Protection Act – in this policy the Data Controller is SCAF as an organisation.

 Fair processing conditions

Schedule 2 of the Data Protection Act lays down six conditions, at least one of which must be met, in order for any use of personal data to be fair.  These are (in brief):

        With consent of the Data Subject

        If it is necessary for a contract involving the Data Subject

        To meet a legal obligation

        To protect the Data Subject’s ‘vital interests’

        In connection with government or other public functions

        In the Data Controller’s ‘legitimate interests’ provided the Data Subject’s interests are not infringed

 Appendix: Privacy statement 

When you request information from SCAF we obtain information about you.  This statement explains how we look after that information and what we do with it.

 We have a legal duty under the Data Protection Act to prevent your information falling into the wrong hands.  We must also ensure that the data we hold is accurate, adequate, relevant and not excessive.

 Normally the only information we hold comes directly from you.  Whenever we collect information from you, we will make it clear which information is required in order to provide you with the information you need.  You do not have to provide us with any additional information unless you choose to.  We store your information securely on our computer system, we restrict access to those who have a need to know, and we train our staff in handling the information securely.

 We would also like to contact you in future to tell you about other our work, and ways in which you might like to support SCAF.  You have the right to ask us not to contact you in this way.  We will always aim to provide a clear method for you to opt out.  You can also contact us directly at any time to tell us not to send you any future marketing material.

 You have the right to a copy of all the information we hold about you (apart from a very few things which we may be obliged to withhold because they concern other people as well as you).  To obtain a copy write to the Data Protection Officer (Ash Bearman) at SCAF HQ (Public Hall, Shirehampton). 

 Appendix B:  Confidentiality statement for staff and volunteers

When working for SCAF, you will often need to have access to confidential information which may include, for example:

          Personal information about individuals who are supporters or otherwise involved in the activities organised by SCAF.

        Information about the internal business of SCAF.

        Personal information about colleagues working for SCAF.

 SCAF is committed to keeping this information confidential, in order to protect people and SCAF itself.  ‘Confidential’ means that all access to information must be on a need to know and properly authorised basis.  You must use only the information you have been authorised to use, and for purposes that have been authorised.  You should also be aware that under the Data Protection Act, unauthorised access to data about individuals is a criminal offence.

 You must assume that information is confidential unless you know that it is intended by SCAF to be made public.   

You must also be particularly careful not to disclose confidential information to unauthorised people or cause a breach of security.  In particular you must:

        not compromise or seek to evade security measures (including computer passwords);

        be particularly careful when sending information;

        not gossip about confidential information, either with colleagues or people outside SCAF;

        not disclose information — especially over the telephone — unless you are sure that you know who you are disclosing it to, and that they are authorised to have it.

 If you are in doubt about whether to disclose information or not, do not guess.  Withhold the information while you check with an appropriate person whether the disclosure is appropriate.

 Your confidentiality obligations continue to apply indefinitely after you have stopped working for SCAF.

 I have read and understand the above statement.  I accept my responsibilities regarding confidentiality.

 Signed:                         Date:

 

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