Constituting as a members club or unincorporated association

To help you in becoming a members club, or unincorporated association, Swim England has created a Model Constitution. It is a template allowing you to develop your own document without having to write it from scratch.

This model is the simplest structure to start a club. It’s not subject to specific laws or regulatory requirements. It is also the most popular legal structure of clubs.

You can access the Model Constitution below, along with other key documents. These include general guidance notes and various annexes on subjects such as the code of ethics and using online banking.

Becoming a members club key documents

  • Download the model constitution
  • Download the index to the model constitution documentation
  • Download guidance notes for the model constitution
  • Download the annexes for the model constitution
  • Download information on the mandatory, recommended and optional provisions for your constitution

All Constitution Documents

Members Club Constitution FAQs

Creating a constitution takes a great deal of work and during the process a lot of questions get raised.
Here are some of the most popular questions we get on the matter from people in the process of becoming a members club.

To secure answers simply click or tap on the section of interest.

Is a written constitution really necessary?

Yes it is. You can learn more about this in Swim England's Is a Club Constitution Necessary document here .

Is online banking allowed?

Yes it is. For clubs considering changing to online banking, further information is available in the document Guidance For Clubs About Online Banking here.

Do 16 to 18 year olds have voting rights under the Model Constitution?

Yes, they can. The Model Club Constitution provides for voting rights for 16-18 year olds. We hope this will empowering young people, and as a result become more interested in the important issue of governance. It also helps with succession planning, and has a wider collective value. You can find out more in the Swim England Voting Right for Young People document here.

What are the responsibilities of the Chairperson?

The Chairperson is an elected member of the Committee with responsibility for overseeing the running of the club. You can find more detail in the Swim England document The Role of the Chairperson here .

What are the responsibilities of the Treasurer?

The Treasurer’s role is primarily financial, with key responsibility for ensuring and maintaining the credit balance and accounts of the club in good order. You can find more detail in the Swim England Club Treasurer Role document here.

What are the responsibilities of the Secretary?

The Secretary deals with the club’s administration and has an impact on the efficiency and effectiveness of the club’s management. You can find more detail in the Swim England document Club Secretary Roles and Responsibilities here.

Are there alternative ways to set up a club?

The answer is yes. This includes registering as a Community Amateur Sports Club (CASC) or seeking charitable status. This section of the website has information on all options. Click here to discover all the ways to become a Swim England club.

What is the liability of committee members?

Where a club is constituted as an unincorporated association, members may be individually and severally liable for losses.

Committee members in particular take on a measure of responsibility when they are elected, which may open them up in particular to this liability.

For further detail on this subject see the Swim England document Liability of Committee Members here.

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