For any Incorporated Association in Victoria, their Rules of Association are effectively a contract between the association and its members.

So it does surprise me how many organisations don’t know what their Rules say; have difficulty producing a copy of their Rules, or have Rules that still don’t meet the requirements of the new Victorian legislation – the Associations Incorporation Reform Act 2012 (the Act).  I’m not suggesting you need to know your Rules off by heart, but it’s important to have a rough idea of what they cover and be able to access them easily when you need to.

Organisations incorporated under the Act will have a Statement of Purposes included within their Rules.  It is important to know the scope of these purposes, as your organisation is not allowed to act outside the purposes stated in your Rules.

Your Rules will tell you a range of other things too, including the basic requirements for your meetings, how to elect your committee, whether you are a not-for-profit organisation, and how you must go about making changes to your Rules in the future.

I encourage any organisation to include their Rules in a Membership Pack which is provided to all new members.  And when changes are made to your Rules, once the updated Rules have been approved by Consumer Affairs Victoria (CAV), provide a copy of the new Rules to all your members too.

If your group is in that difficult position of not knowing what your Rules are, contact CAV and request they send you a copy of what they have on file with your current Rules.  There is a small fee to do this but at least you will then be clear about your legal obligations to your members and your organisation.

You can download this Blog Post as a tip sheet by clicking here:Tip Sheet_ Do you know ‘The Rules’_ Jun 26, 2016