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Constituting as a members club or unincorporated association

To help you become 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 currently the most popular legal structure of clubs.

You can access the 2022 Model Constitution (v3) for unincorporated clubs below, along with a guidance document. You can also access a document that includes all the changes that were made from the 2018 to 2022 models. Following the recent update to Wavepower the Model Constitution has also been updated and v3 with footnotes show the most recent changes that have been made.

Becoming a members club key documents

Please note that this model is not for clubs who are thinking of becoming, or already are, a registered charity. For those clubs please contact and follow advice from the Charity Commission.

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 read the 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.

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. The Chairperson leads on Governance of the club in line with Swim England and the Club Constitution. 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. The Treasurer is responsible for preparing the club accounts annually to be examined prior to presenting at the Annual General Meeting. 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, constituting as a company or incorporating as an organisation. This section of the website has information on all options. Click here to discover all the ways to become a Swim England club.

What if my club is an unincorporated association looking to apply for charity status?

If you are looking to become a registered charity this model will not be applicable to your club. Please seek relevant advice from the Charity Commission on how to become a registered charity.

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.

Affiliated clubs that are concerned may wish to seek independent legal advice. However, in the first instance, a representative of the Committee may wish to consult the DAS legal helpline whose remit includes constitutional legal advice. If the Committee does not already have the telephone number and reference, please check your club insurance documents which you will receive from Swim England upon renewals, or email [email protected].