The chair’s main role is to ensure the smooth and effective running of the branch committee.
As the branch figurehead they should drive an open and inclusive environment for the members, promote the branches public image and encourage the development of the branch.
They are responsible for the social and financial management of the branch to support the branch members.
Ideally an experienced member of the branch who is respected by the membership, must be approachable, have good management skills and remain unbiased.
Their formal role is to chair the branch meetings and to ensure that they are effectively run and controlled. These meeting would include committee meetings, special general meetings, emergency general meeting and the Annual General Meeting. Should the Chair be unavailable, then the meeting would be run by a nominated Officer.
As Chair they have a vote, but this would usually be used as a casting vote in the event of a tie.
Do’s & Don’ts
• Do encourage members engagement
• Do promote branch development
• Do delegate roles and responsibilities
• Do seek advice if unsure
• Don’t panic about responsibility
• Don’t impose extra rules
• Don’t get personal
Of the five Main Officers of a Branch, that of the Chairperson involves wide ranging duties, which are sometimes hard to define.
Leader and figurehead:
The Chairperson plays an important role as leader and figurehead in the organisation and in the conduct of Branch affairs, in Branch meetings and in all matters relating to the Branch’s public image. He/she should set and maintain a course that achieves the declared objectives of BSAC and of the Branch, as defined in its Bye-Laws (Section 3.2.1).
The Chairperson should ideally be an experienced member of the Branch, unbiased and with good management skills; liked and respected by all members. They should be approachable and may well have to arbitrate in disagreements at Committee level, or between individuals or groups of members. They should avoid taking sides and to this end should ensure that the Branch conducts all its affairs in accordance with the Branch Bye-Laws.
Chairing Branch meetings:
As the name implies, their formal role is to chair Branch Committee meetings. At such meetings their authority takes precedence over all others who may be present at the meeting. They are responsible, with almost unlimited discretion, for the conduct of the meetings through which the business of the Branch is transacted.
In respect of any matter of procedure their decision is final and they are well advised to ensure that some degree of formality is observed, however small and friendly the meeting. All comments and questions should be directed through the Chair but in a small meeting the Chairperson may use a degree of latitude, however, at any large or formal meeting the need for control is essential.
As usual with this position, the Branch Chairperson has their own vote, which would normally be used as a casting vote in the event of a tied ballot at Committee and Branch meetings, if the Branch Bye-Laws so state.
The Branch Secretary one of the Five Main officers of the branch, and is responsible for ensuring an efficient level of communication between Branch Committee and membership; and between the Branch and BSAC Headquarters, as such:
The Branch Secretary is often the person to whom BSAC Headquarters sends information relating to important changes at national level. Such communications may be for the specific attention of other Branch Officers.
It is the responsibility of the Secretary to ensure that the contents of any mail received is distributed to the relevant Branch Officers or Branch members and / or brought to the attention of the Committee at its next meeting.
They have responsibility for organising, in consultation with the Chairperson, Committee Meetings and the Branch’s General Meetings, taking minutes at these meetings and for publishing and circulating them to appropriate members.
Following an Annual General Meeting or Extraordinary General Meeting, any personnel changes to the Committee should be notified to the membership department at BSAC Headquarters via email).
The communications are normally between the branch officers, branch members and with BSAC HQ.
The secretary is responsible for…
• Taking and distributing meeting minutes
• Distributing communications to the relevant people
• Update the branch committee on any notifications from BSAC HQ
• Inform BSAC HQ of branch committee members and update any changes
• Scheduling committee and branch meetings
• Providing branch constitution/by-laws to all new branch members
• Updating branch constitution/by-laws
Reports To: Branch Chairman
The Branch Diving Officer, one of the Five Main officers of the branch, is the National Diving Officer’s representative at Branch level, as defined in Article 83.D of the Articles of Association.
If appropriately qualified, the Branch Diving Officer will be the lead instructor of a Branch; and will be thus empowered to award Ocean Diver, Sports Diver, Dive Leader and Advanced Diver qualifications to members within their own Branch. Much of the Branch Diving Officer’s responsibilities are contained in the Management of Diving, an overview of the role can be found here.
The Branch Diving Officer, with reference to Safe Diving, will authorise all diving activities of Branch members.
A Branch Diving Officer should hold at least the qualification of BSAC Advanced Diver and ideally be a BSAC Qualified Instructor (minimum Open Water Instructor). If not, they should nominate a Qualified Instructor (minimum Open Water Instructor) to be lead instructor of the Branch. The nominated individual will then award diving qualifications in accordance with current guidance, see award a diving qualification.
The Branch Diving Officer’s attributes:
– The person nominated for the post of Branch Diving Officer should be chosen carefully,
– They should be a volunteer rather than be pressed into taking the job, enthusiasm and a desire to do things thoroughly being of great importance.
– They should have a sound practical and theoretical knowledge of diving and in order to successfully impart their knowledge and ability to others must have zest for the task, patience, sympathy and understanding.
Everyone in BSAC has a responsibility to safeguard and protect young people. The role of a Club Welfare Officer (CWO) is primarily to promote good practice within your Club, to be a named point of contact for students, parents/carers, instructors and volunteers and to understand the BSAC reporting procedures in case a concern is raised.
The information below outlines the role, and skills and knowledge to look for in a CWO.
– Be the first point of contact for staff, volunteers, parents/carers and young people where concerns about welfare, poor practice or child abuse are identified.
– Implement the Club’s reporting and recording procedures.
– Promote the Club’s best practice guidance/code of ethics and behaviour within the Club.
– Assist the Club to fulfil its responsibilities to safeguard young people.
– Assist the Club to implement its child welfare implementation plan.
– Assist volunteers in keeping their certificates and qualifications up to date.
– Advise and attend as required Club’s management committee.
– Ensure confidentiality is maintained.
– Promote anti-discriminatory practice.
– Be the first point of contact with the BSAC LOCS.
– Maintain contact details for the Local Children’s Social Care Department and police Experience and knowledge.
– Be knowledgeable of and work to the BSAC “Buddy Guard” safeguarding policy.
– Have a working knowledge of the BSAC and Club’s role and responsibilities to safeguard the welfare of members.
– Have basic knowledge of roles and responsibilities of local statutory agencies (Children’s Social Care Teams, Police and Local Safeguarding Children Board -LSCB).
– Know and work to the boundaries of the CWO role.
– Have basic knowledge of roles and responsibilities of local statutory agencies (Children’s Social Care Teams, Police and Local Safeguarding Children Board – LSCB).
– Have full contact details for the local child safeguarding agencies.
– Have an awareness of equality issues and child protection.
– Have a basic knowledge of core legislation, government guidance and national framework for child protection.
– Basic administration
– Basic advice and support provision
– Maintaining records
– Ability to promote organisation’s policy, procedures and resources.
It is highly recommended that CWO attend the Sports Coach UK ‘Safeguarding and Protecting Children in Sport’ workshop or equivalent and the CPSU “Time to Listen” training. Consult the BSAC Lead Officer in Child Safeguarding for more information.
Reports to: Chairman
Of the five Main Officers of a Branch, a Branch Treasurer should have some experience of financial accounting.
A Branch will derive the income it needs for its operations from the Branch portion of the total subscription. These funds are used for the day to day running of the Branch, for such regular expenses as pool and meeting room hire and in particular for the acquisition of those major assets which are essential to an active diving club – training, equipment, boats and engines, diving gas compressor, etc.
The Branch Treasurer plays an important role in predicting income and expenditure, and budgeting for such major purchases – and for their upkeep and eventual replacement.
As a guide the Branch Treasurer would be responsible for:
– The sound financial management of the Branch.
– Acting as the Membership Secretary i.e., taking receipt of both Branch and Headquarters subscriptions and dealing with monthly membership returns to the membership department at BSAC Headquarters. In larger Branches, the Branch Treasurer may delegate this function to a dedicated Membership Secretary. Planning and monitoring Branch income and expenditure and preparing the Branch’s annual budget.
– Providing advice on all matters of expenditure and the Branch’s financial position on a regular basis to the Branch Committee.
– Preparing an “Income & Expenditure Sheet” and a “Balance Sheet” for presentation and approval at the Branch’s AGM.
– Ensuring the Branch’s equipment is adequately insured.
Audits are not legally required (unless the Branch is supplying any form of commercial trade), but it is recommended that the accounts are independently audited / checked before the Branch’s Annual General Meeting. This gives the Branch membership, the Committee and the Treasurer some assurance that all is in order.
Reports to: Chairman
At Branch level, the authority to conduct diver training has been delegated solely to the Branch Diving Officer. The Branch Diving Officer has sole discretion to do the job or appoint one or more Training Officers. Neither a Branch Committee nor the membership shall elect the Training Officer(s). This avoids a situation where the Branch is in conflict with the National Diving Officer’s delegation to the Branch Diving Officer.
Termination of a Training Officer’s appointment rests solely with the Branch Diving Officer.
Note: It would be prudent for a Branch Diving Officer to discuss their Training Officer appointment / termination decision with the Branch Committee prior to any announcement.
The Branch Diving Officer shall specify the duties of their Training Officer(s), which may cover:
– Arranging a uniform system and standard of training in the classroom, pool and open water. The BSAC Diver Training Programme shall be the basis for a Branch training system.
– Holding stocks of training support materials for lesson use: issue them for lessons and recover them afterwards.
– Selecting a suitably qualified team of instructors / assistants to implement the system, to assist them with lesson preparation, provide instructional materials, monitor lesson quality and provide instructor development.
– Arranging to bring students and instructors together at the right place, at the right time, and with the right equipment for training.
– Assigning members of the Branch Instructor team to teach individual lessons.
– Liaising with the Branch Equipment Officer with regard to equipment needs for lessons.
– Arranging for lesson reports from instructors, and for the collection of dues levied for use of equipment by students.
– Supervising the training to see that all is going well, and to monitor the performance of the instructors.
– Arranging the testing of students when their instructors consider them ready for assessment: advise the Branch Diving Officer when members have completed training and recommend the award of qualifications if relevant. Only when a Qualified Instructor is satisfied that a member has reached the required standard for a diving qualification may it be granted by the lead instructor of the Branch.
– Ensuring that correct records are kept of training given and tests passed by each student and seeing that each member’s Qualification Record Book is signed by a Qualified Instructor, in accordance with the BSAC Instructor Manual.
– Any other duties relevant to Branch training as required by the Branch Diving Officer.
Reports to: Branch Diving Officer
A diving club is also a social club, catering for all classes of membership. Make your club a pleasure to belong to. A good social programme helps.
Dry meetings – are mainly social events, but may have an educational or instructional element. They can also be opportunities for fund raising. The frequency of dry meetings is a matter of Branch policy, but if they are used as opportunities for member education – guest speakers, film or slide shows, etc. – then a monthly programme could be adopted. Ideas for dry meetings:
– Guest speakers – Regional Coach, BSAC Council or National Diving Committee Members, Speakers from kindred bodies such as Marine Conservation, Nautical Archaeology etc., Commercial Divers, Water Authorities, First Aid talk / demonstration, members from other Branches who are engaged in an interesting project.
– Films and slide shows – Films on diving and related subjects from film hire libraries, member’s diving holiday slides and videos.
– Inter-Branch quiz on diving topics or any other subject.
– Social events – Skittles, Barbecue, Karaoke, Discos, Cheese and Wine Tasting.
Some points to consider:
– Publicise early. Let members know the date, venue and ticket price as soon as possible so they can make plans to be there. Start selling tickets – get the money into the Branch bank account.
– Speeches. Try to keep these brief and light-hearted, and avoid ‘in jokes’ which the majority may not understand.
– Awards and presentations. Again, try to keep these brief, by awarding major Branch trophies only.
Don’t miss the chance for fundraising! Run a Tombola or a raffle for a series of appropriate purchased or donated prizes.
All the advice above that applies to social activities applies equally to fundraising.
Reports to: Secretary
Treasurer (for funding)
Appointed by agreement between the Branch Diving Officer and the Branch Committee, but not necessary a member of the Branch Committee. As part of their wide-ranging brief, the Branch Diving Officer is ultimately responsible for all matters concerning Branch diving and related equipment. Typically, this will include diving equipment used for instructional purposes; boats and their equipment; diving gas compressor; working equipment used on dives; instructional aids, etc. It is usual for Branch Diving Officers to delegate this responsibility to an Equipment Officer, who should ideally be someone with mechanical knowledge and skills. In these mechanised days, it is not very difficult to find such a person in every Branch.
The Equipment Officer is someone who will inevitably spend Branch money in carrying out their duties and should liaise with the treasurer for necessary funding. The Equipment Officer should be allowed to delegate within the Branch, especially to those who are qualified to repair and service equipment. The Equipment Officer should also have the authority to arrange repairs and maintenance through specialists – approved service engineers, cylinder test houses, etc – without having to seek Branch Committee approval on every occasion.
Responsibilities may involve:
– Advising the Branch Committee through the Branch Diving Committee (if there is one) on matters concerning the purchase and insurance of Branch equipment.
– Providing for safe and secure storage of equipment.
– Arranging for equipment allocation and for its return to store; and in some cases, if it is Branch policy, to be responsible for its transportation to/from the place of use.
– Maintenance of all equipment and the keeping of relevant records.
– If the Branch has its own diving gas compressor, the Equipment Officer will be responsible for drawing up a ‘Duty Compressor Operator’ rota.
Storage / Safekeeping:
There are some simple precautions that can be adopted:
– Mark each item with the Branch name or an identifying symbol.
– Record serial numbers in an asset register.
– Take photographs of equipment to prove you once had it.
– Purchase and use anti-theft devices.
– Ensure all items are accounted for at the end of each activity.
– Ensure all items are returned to their correct storage location at the end of each activity.
– Make it a condition that members sign equipment out / in.
Hiring out Equipment
Branch assets sitting in a cupboard or standing on a driveway are not very productive, it is possible to help finance their replacement by allowing Branch members to hire Branch equipment. The knack is striking a balance between ensuring you meet maintenance and replacement costs whilst providing a service to members.
If the Branch has a compressor there is a temptation to offer gas to non-members, this is a commercial activity that would require commercial insurance at the least.
If assets are hired to non-Branch members, then the Branch is running a commercial operation and will have to comply with all the relevant legislation, expert legal advice should be sought.
Keep records relating to
– Equipment insurance: Diving equipment owned by the Branch should be insured as
– a minimum against loss / theft.
– Boat insurance: For Third Party / Public Liability risks, in line with Article 87. (E), and obviously such a valuable asset should be insured against loss and damage. A marine / boat insurance policy should provide this cover as well as protection against loss, theft, and damage. The marine policy should also cover members while they are being trained to use the boat.
– Compressor insurance: While damage or injury caused by improper or negligent use of a Branch compressor is covered by the Membership Liability Policy, damage or injury caused by mechanical failure of the compressor is not. Separate ‘engineering policies’ are available to cover compressors against mechanical failure, and Branches are advised to seek such cover.
Reports to: – Branch Diving Officer
Appointed by agreement between the Branch Diving Officer and the Branch Committee, not necessarily a member of the Branch Committee, who would manage a Branch diving expedition. Dependant on the wishes of the Branch Diving Officer duties can range from a single expedition to a complete diving programme for the Branch.
Responsibilities may involve:
– Choosing a series of suitable dive sites which will provide both experienced members and trainees with the sort of dive they want, or need, for a particular qualification: booking dive boats where appropriate.
– Choosing the best dates and times for such a programme of dives.
– Selecting appropriately qualified individuals to serve as Dive Managers and in conjunction with the Training Officer, to select those who require experience as Deputy Dive Managers and dive leaders.
– Providing help and advice to Dive Managers as they plan and conduct dives.
– Ensuring that Dive Reports are correctly prepared and submitted.
– Arranging Branch diving holidays, at home or abroad, as appropriate.
– Liaising with Regional Expeditions Diving Scheme Co-ordinator (Section 3.5.3).
– Ensuring Risk Assessments are carried out.
This Sub-committee would have responsibility for organising the management of major expeditions. There is no requirement for the Branch Diving Officer to be a member, the Expedition Leader would logically Chair this Sub-committee on behalf of the Branch Diving Officer.
This Sub-committee would look at such things as:
– Dive site / location.
– Getting access rights.
– Organising food / meals.
– Liaison with other Branches / bodies.
– Ensuring equipment needs are catered for.
– Ensuring Risk Assessments are carried out.
– Ensuring all Charter agreements, Charter contacts and trip information are obtained in advance, and passed to club treasurer
– Ensuring all receipts are obtained and passed to club treasurer
Reports to: Branch Diving Officer
The Social Media Officer is the voice of the club and should be included in all matters aimed at promoting the club and encouraging new members. Every club needing to develop their online presence and that’s the main aim of the Social Media Officer.
The Social Media Officer works closely with other committee members to create engaging content for a club’s social media presence, including keeping social media channels updated and brand-focused, and seeking out new social media avenues and ways of connecting with audiences.
Social media is about creating, observing and responding to conversations within your brand community. Monitoring tweets, responding to Facebook posts and engaging with brand advocates. It even means knowing how to respond to trolls and negative feedback. It’s part PR and part common sense.
Social media marketing is not just cold hard tactics. It means understanding the creative process that provides creative content that engages with your customer and touches their hearts and not just their minds. Don’t underestimate the importance of creative visual content and be willing to experiment. Show a true picture of your club activities, don’t only show the good parts.
The Social Media Officer will need to know how to make content move and maybe even go viral across Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and the other social networks.
The Social Media Officer needs to know what content works and what doesn’t on social networks. It also means understanding which different media formats such as text (articles), video, images and podcasts resonate with your particular niche.
Responsibilities of the Social Media Officer Responsible for planning, implementing, monitoring the club’s Social Media strategy in order to increase awareness, improve advertising and increase membership. Manages club social media channels, including Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Club Website, and other relevant platforms
Duties of the Social Media Officer – Manage social media day-to-day activities including: Develop relevant content topics to reach the club’s target customers. Create and manage all published content (images, video, written and audio/podcast).
– Design, create and manage promotions and social ad campaigns, being sure to integrate with club’s overall marketing campaign plan and channels.
– Plan campaigns alongside any BSAC or Sports England current campaigns
– Monitor trends in social media tools, applications, channels, design and strategy.
– Create content that promotes audience interaction, increases audience presence on club sites, and encourages audience participation
– Writes and distributes e-newsletters to subscribers
– Liaise with the Welfare Officer and ensure that the relevant permissions for junior members are only published with parental permission. Other members will be treated with an assumed opt-out position: i.e., members agree to pictures being used for promotion of the club or recognition of club activity unless they actively request not to be.
– Outline goals define your target audience and know what platforms will help you scale your efforts.
– Download club day to day activities showing the club in its true sense and share your content on Facebook and other social media sites. Structure your text for easy reading online. People will be skimming and scanning, so that means subtitles, bullet points and numbering are part of the skillset.
– All members receiving new qualifications will be congratulated across all platforms to provide external evidence of club growth as part of the drive for more members.
– No political agendas will be posted, unless directly relating to scuba diving safety, conservation, climate change or marine protection within the UK directly pertaining to club activity (as promoted by BSAC as an organisation).
– The website, Instagram and twitter are to be used for club promotion. Posts will only be made by the person holding this current role or forms it may exist within in future. Members may tag the club within these platforms; any inappropriate agendas will be deleted with discussion after the fact.
– Members will be encouraged to tag their videos and holiday pictures on these platforms, particularly Instagram, to ease the WhatsApp foot traffic.
– Only current members of Dudley Dolphins will be allowed on any WhatsApp Group affiliated to the club with the exception of parents of junior members. No members between 16-18 years of age will be added to any WhatsApp group.
– WhatsApp groups will be created for individual club trips. As a minimum, both the treasurer and diving officer are to be added as administration and will add/remove members as required, and post updates accordingly.
Trip WhatsApp groups will be deleted 2-4 weeks after the end of the trip. All trips will be promoted to every club member via the club secretary by email, reiterating the rules and ensuring that everyone is informed.
– Posts and requests to the entire club should be communicated primarily through email so that they do not get lost in the WhatsApp messages, particularly for members who may mute the group and updates. This includes social events (which will be secondarily promoted via WhatsApp and Facebook), and club trips.
– Any administrative access for promotion of social events, diving trips, will be granted so the committee can continue to promote their own events.
Reports to : Secretary