Every year, each Club and Society ‘hands over’ to a new committee. To keep your Club / Society going strong from one committee to the next, it’s important to plan your handover carefully and give yourself plenty of time to complete the process.
So what is handover and how does it work? Find out below:
January - February
Your Club / Society makes sure to update your membership list on the online system. This ensures that your Student Members will be able to vote in your upcoming elections.
March – May
The newly elected committee members sign up with the SU by completing the online form.
Committee training sessions begin for newly elected committee members.
By the end of June
The outgoing committee finishes up their duties, including completing all outstanding Finance Office business before their committee year ends. This includes any pending committee reimbursements, outstanding supplier payments, and coaching payments.
Until the end of July
The outgoing committee remains in post until 31st July and are the only individuals who can transact using the Club / Society financial account.
The new committee year officially begins.
The newly elected committee begin their roles.
The newly elected Chairperson, Secretary, and Treasurer become account signatories.
Here’s to a brilliant year on committee!
August – September
Where applicable, the new committee applies for Recurrent Grant funding. To apply for funding, the Club / Society must have submitted its AGM Minutes, Annual Report, and have all three executive committee members signed up with the SU.
How to handover smoothly
The easiest route to a smooth handover is communication.
The outgoing committee should keep lines of communication open with the new committee until they settle into their roles. This means that the outgoing committee should: provide a copy of their Annual Report and Club / Society constitution to the new committee; take responsibility for completing all outstanding Finance Office matters; and generally remain approachable and open to quick messages and queries.
You can also set up more formal handover meetings or provide a written handover document. This isn’t required, but it can be massively helpful for the new committee.
The outgoing committee should make sure that the new committee knows how to access support from the SU. The easiest way to ensure this is to get newly elected committee members to sign up online via the Handbook as soon as they’re elected.
It is crucial that the ongoing committee hands over the passwords to any social media accounts at the end of July. The inbox password should also be handed over or reset by IT Services for the new committee. If you need your inbox password reset, just let us know.
Newly elected committee members should attend a training session as soon as they can following their election. This means they’ll be completely up-to-speed when their start their roles on 1st August.
Frequently asked questions
What if we use our own selection method rather than electing a new committee?
It is a requirement for all active Clubs and Societies to hold democratic, secret ballot elections to elect their committee each year. You should not use other methods of selection, and all members should be able to stand for election. Student Members are entitled to run for any position, and Associate Members can run for any non-executive position (i.e. Associate Members cannot run for Chairperson, Secretary or Treasurer).
You cannot restrict members from standing for election (e.g. suggesting that only final year students can run for Chairperson) and you must ensure that the voting is carried out fairly.
If your Club / Society fails to hold proper elections, restricts any member’s ability to stand for election, or otherwise inappropriately influences the outcome, you could become subject to a serious complaint which will be considered by an Election Court.
You can refer to the detailed rules around elections and voting in Rule 8 of the SU Constitution. These apply to all Clubs and Societies.
What if the outgoing committee doesn’t take responsibility for their duties?
Unfortunately, sometimes outgoing committees don’t complete their Annual Report or AGM Minutes. This makes it much more difficult for the new committee to get started, and negatively impacts the Club / Society’s chances at receiving maximum grant funding in the new year.
If we haven’t received these documents by the end of June, the SU will contact the outgoing committee proactively and repeatedly until the requirement is met.
Outgoing committees must take responsibility for completing all outstanding Finance Office business. If they fail to do so, the processes cannot and will not be picked up the following year. So if an outgoing committee still owes a coach for hours worked, we cannot process these costs the following year and the outgoing committee will remain responsible. Similarly, we can only provide reimbursements in the same committee year as the purchases were made, so outgoing committees must process any pending reimbursements before they leave their roles.
What if our Club / Society follows a different timeline for handover?
All Clubs and Societies should follow the same timeline for handover. The committee year is set by the Students’ Union and runs from 1st August – 31st July annually.
If you delay your AGM until the start of Semester 1, or fail to handover to a new committee before the academic year begins, you run the risk of missing the opportunity to apply for grant funding and complete training.
If you run into issues and are forced to delay handover, you should make sure that at least one person remains responsible for regularly checking the Club / Society inbox. They should keep an eye on any upcoming deadlines or requirements which are communicated to the committee.
What do we do if social media passwords aren’t handed over?
Club / Society social media accounts are managed by committee members on a yearly basis. These committee members have access to the passwords and are responsible for handing them over. The SU cannot access or reset social media passwords.
It is good practice to use the Club / Society email address when creating any social media accounts, as future committees will always be able to access this inbox. Do not use personal email accounts to create Club / Society social media accounts.
If access to a Club / Society social media account is lost, the current committee should flag the account to the provider and ask for its removal (e.g. by reporting the Facebook page). You can then open a new account for the committee to manage.
What if we are struggling to find members to run for election?
Sometimes it can be difficult to encourage members to run for election. You cannot force anyone to run, but you can continually promote the opportunity to your whole membership. You should give plenty of advance notice to give people time to consider running.
You can encourage people to run for election by outlining the benefits of being on committee, reassuring them that they will be supported by a smooth handover, and simply showing how fun it can be to be involved!
You can also chat to the Clubs and Societies team at the SU if you’re really stuck and need some help promoting your committee roles.
Checklists for outgoing and newly elected committee members
For outgoing committees:
Schedule online AGM and give all members at least seven days’ notice
Complete elections and identify new committee
Tell all new committee members to sign-up online with the SU
Submit Annual Report by 30th June
Submit AGM Minutes by 30th June
Complete all outstanding Finance Office business by 30th June, including any pending committee reimbursements, outstanding supplier payments, and coaching payments for the year
Provide the new committee with a copy of the Annual Report and Club / Society constitution
Keep the lines of communication with new committee open and hand over any social media / email passwords
All done? Handover is complete!
For newly elected committees:
Sign-up online with the SU
Register for a committee training session
Receive a copy of the Annual Report and Club / Society constitution from the outgoing committee
Receive any social media / email passwords from the outgoing committee
Take up your new role on 1st August!
All done? Handover is complete!