Guidance notes for BYC Committee Members


Brixham Yacht Club is a half million pound turnover business, involved in Sailing and Hospitality. We employ up to 16 people, but only 4 full-time. These notes are intended to help you to understand the way in which the Club is managed and what is expected of members of the Committee.

Committee Organisation

The Management Committee is corporately charged by the AGM with all aspects of BYC management it is indemnified by the ordinary Members of BYC. In practise it is divided into three separate standing committees which meet independently of each other:

The Executive Committee comprises the Commodore, the Vice-Commodore, Rear Commodores Sailing and House together with the Hon Sec and Hon Treasurer. In effect this Executive forms a quorate meeting of the Management Committee with the same powers. The committees role is to take an overview of the management of the Club and to co-ordinate, where necessary, the activities of the House and Sailing Committees. The Executive agrees and sets budgets and monitors the Club’s financial position on a regular basis, approves all capital expenditure and sets rates of pay for employees. It deals with all matters relating to Club Membership, any staff and legislative matters that will affect the facilities of the Club or its employees. Club Rules and Bye -Laws are regularly reviewed by the Executive together with any disciplinary matters relating to infringements of Club Rules. Any member of the Management Committee has the right to attend meetings of the Executive and to express their views on particular issues.

The Sailing Committee is chaired by the Rear Commodore Sailing and is composed of those committee members with a particular interest in the sailing activities of the Club. A primary role of the committee is to plan the race programme and other events like championships, regattas and special sailing events. The provision of the Point Team, Race Officers, Committee Boats, training, liaison with the RYA, and management of the Club’s water-based assets and compound facilities are all within the remit of the committee. The Committee must ensure that proper safety measures are in place and are complied with, this may entail the training of Club volunteers to operate safety boats etc. The Committee determines the functions of the Club Bosun and oversees his day to day activities. Where sailing events involve social activity they liaise with the House Committee. The committee constructs a sailing budget for presentation to the Executive.

The House Committee is chaired by the Rear Commodore House and is composed of those committee members with a particular interest in the social activities. The Committee plans the programme of social events for both summer and winter and liaises with the Sailing Committee with regard to joint social events. The Committee oversees the bar and restaurant, sets pricing and supply policy and day to day staff management procedures. The House Committee is responsible for the fabric of the Club premises including the provision of facilities for the disabled, maintenance and shore-based capital projects. The Committee draws up an annual budget for consideration by the Executive.

If Management Committee Members so desire they may choose to sit on both the Sailing and the House Committee, but the time they will need to devote to the Club will naturally be significantly greater.

The Officers of the Club consist of the four flag officers (Commodore, Vice Commodore and both Rear Commodores) plus the Honorary Secretary, Honorary Membership Secretary and Honorary Treasurer. They are the only members of the Management Committee to have individual executive responsibility in relation to the practical implementation of committee generated policy. Individual committee members have no such powers and should avoid becoming involved in day to day management matters that are the responsibility of the Officers unless they have been specifically empowered to do so; in particular Committee members should, other than in exceptional circumstances, avoid directing Club staff and other members of the Club on their own initiative. This is to protect the Club from inadvertent infringements of employment and other legislation.

The Honorary Secretary is responsible for and will conduct all correspondence on behalf of the Club. The Hon Sec keeps minutes of all meetings of the Club committees and is the custodian of all Club documents. The Hon Sec liaises with the Club Legal Advisor to ensure that current legislation is complied with including employment law, Health and Safety, licensing law for both the premises and firearms, and insurance. On behalf of the Management Committee the Hon Sec is responsible for the employment of staff including terms and conditions of employment, job descriptions, contracts, grievance procedures and staff discipline. The Hon Sec is responsible for ensuring that the conduct of committees, Club members and staff are in accordance with the extant Club Rules and Bye-Laws.

The Honorary Membership Secretary is responsible for all matters relating to membership of the Club, the processing of application forms, issuing of membership cards, car park passes, and Corporate membership. 

The Honorary Treasurer is responsible for maintaining the Club accounts and issuing financial reports to appropriate committees and the AGM. The Hon Treasurer liaises with the Club Accountants, carries out cash and stock checks and ensures that all Club monies are promptly banked.  All banking arrangements and investments are to be made within an agreed Treasury management policy, having due regard to the avoidance of risk, and the Club’s cash flow requirements.
All creditors are to be discharged within the agreed payment policy, including payroll and dealing with all matters relating to PAYE, National Insurance, VAT and Corporation Tax.  The Hon treasurer liaises with the Rear Commodores House and Sailing, with regard to supply contracts and to ensure that all invoices are checked and authorised before payment.

So what is expected of a committee member? This is most simply answered by a few “Dos and Don’ts”:

Please do:

  • Attend Committee meetings and participate as actively as you can. They are usually held on a regular monthly date, in the evening, and last for 1-2 hours.
  • Try to attend functions laid on by the club and be prepared to lend a hand with hospitality. We do expect to see a good turnout of committee members at most functions; if you are unable to do this, please discuss it with us as you may still be an important asset on committee
  • Keep an eye on the fabric of the Club and notify any problems to the relevant Flag Officer.
  • Report back to the committee any important issues which you pick up from the members. If an issue is contentious, it often helps to focus the proposer’s mind if you ask for the input in writing.
  • Be pro-active in suggesting sensible improvements to the Club.
  • Be prepared to take on a special role or duties, particularly if relevant to your own skills.
  • Support your committee in public. If you have issues with the committee, raise these at the committee or with an officer of the Club.
  • Conduct yourself in accordance with the Club rules and such that members hold you in high regard –you represent the Club.
  • Enjoy your role as a committee member.
  • In order to achieve the above points effectively and get to know your fellow BYC club members it is a good idea to use the club on a regular basis.

Please don’t:

  • Get personally involved in Staff matters, but do notify the Hon Sec of any problem.
  • Assume any special powers just because you are a committee member – you are bound by all the same rules, bye laws and standards of behaviour as any member. In fact you should lead by good example. In particular remember that the Bar and Galley are staff-only areas generally. If you need to enter, please ask first.
  • Enjoy your role so much that you can’t remember which day it is!

As a final note:

One thing that should be remembered above all others is that confidentiality must be respected at all times. As a committee member everything that you see or hear at meetings must not be discussed outside that meeting.

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