As a Regional Caving Council, the Derbyshire Caving Association needs to be accountable to its membership, and to the wider caving community, in terms of what we do and how we go about doing this, and our sources of funding. DCA is run by a council of officers, the list of officers is below:
Chair, vice-chair, secretary, treasurer, access officer, conservation officer, project officer, equipment, cave registry secretary, training, newsletter / publications, publications sales, membership secretary.
If you looked at us as a business model, the officers each run their individual areas (departments within a business world) and report to the board meeting. The board meetings in DCA’s case are our three council meetings in a year and the AGM for the election of officers, constitutional matters, and other general meeting business. Each officer produces a report for the council meetings based on their activities throughout the period between the meetings and an annual report for the AGM.
All officer positions are voluntary. As the volunteers tend to have day jobs and other interests that take up their time, they can only do what they can do. Volunteers are allowed to claim travelling expenses if they wish.
The chair, secretary and treasurer are the executive team, their role is to keep the administrative side of the association running, liaising / working with the other officers in their duties.
The chair’s role is to convene, chair and endeavour that the correct procedures and conduct at meetings are adhered to. Ensure that agenda items are given due time and attention, and that discussions and any actions arising are duly recorded. Encourages promotion of the DCA and fosters good relationships with caving clubs and other organizations. Endeavours to ensure the Group fulfils its responsibilities and obligations to affiliated organizations and national caving bodies and maintains good levels of communication and feedback on relevant issues to the membership. Leading the Group forward and looking to the future.
The secretary looks after the communication between our members whether this is incoming or outgoing communication. Prepare, and issue Agendas for all meetings. Produce the officer reports, issue to all members, and take minutes at all meetings. Distributes documents to all members. Deal with incoming and outgoing, day to day correspondence whether this is via post, email etc.
The chair and secretary work together to arrange these meetings in whatever format they happen in. Meetings have been traditionally in a meeting location, so booking the meeting location, arranging refreshments, attendance list, prints of the agenda, officer reports, previous minutes etc. However, due to COVID, the traditional method of arranging meetings went out of the window, we reverted to online meetings and the main task being arranging the online platform and starting the meeting. The tasks of preparing the agendas, collating the officer reports, communicating this information with the membership, and finally collating the minutes is the norm.
The meetings are recorded in written format by the secretary, they show the association’s decisions and can be referred to as and when required.
Our association is made up of club and individual members. On a yearly basis, the membership is renewed, and tasks need to be undertaken to ensure the continuation of our members benefits. Keep the membership lists up to date for the categories of membership. Deal with membership application queries for membership.
The treasurer role is to be accountable for the association finances, ensure the transactions are recorded, bank accounts are monitored, accounts are presented to the meetings. The association accounts need presenting to BCA in a pre-determined format, as BCA provide DCA with most of our funding.
DCA also has a representative on BCA Council, somebody tends to be appointed from the executive.